Category: <span>African ancestry</span>

A distant cousin of my husband was labor leader, historian, and scholar Edgar Oscar Challenger (1905-2000), through a shared ancestry of two Madeiran sisters who immigrated to St Kitts. I recently stumbled on a fascinating collection of letters that Challenger wrote in the 1930s to someone he always addressed respectfully…

I have traced my husband’s Cannonier ancestors back to the British island of Montserrat. His 2nd great grandfather, John Henry Cannonier, was born about 1832 and died young in St Kitts in 1868. I have yet to establish a definite link between the Cannoniers of Montserrat and John Henry Cannonier,…

I am fortunate to live in the neighborhood of Smithtown, NY, on Long Island. It is the home of Caleb Smith State Park. The park features 543 acres of nature preserves with hiking trails, bird watching, a pond stocked with fish, and the main house and museum. It was home…

I have looked in the past at the documents and background details surrounding the manumission of two young enslaved people, whose freedom was purchased by my husband’s 3rd great-grandfather, Frederick Walton Mallalieu of St Kitts. No relationship is specified between Frederick and the two young people. In my research into…

Everyone has skeletons in their family history closet, known and unknown. Some can seem quaint and even funny to us today, like my Coles ancestor who had to wear a scarlett “D” for drinking more alcohol than his puritan neighbors liked. But other skeletons can be viewed through current eyes…

My husband’s 3rd great-grandfather was Frederick Walton Mallalieu (1802-1851), who was born in Lancashire, England, and came as a young man to the British West Indian island of St Kitts about 1820 and worked as the manager of the Belvedere sugar plantation. Only just leaving his teen years, his duties…

When looking at racial issues today in the United States, it’s important to look back in history to see where we were, where we’ve come, and where we need to go. One aspect of the history of enslavement of African Americans that may not be well known is that it…

New York City death records can provide a wealth of genealogical information. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to locate the death certificate of my husband’s 2nd great-grandmother, Ann Marie Richardson. Ann Marie came to NYC from St Kitts about 1900, with several of her adult children. She was part of…

Slavery was abolished in the British West Indies in 1834. The transatlantic trade of enslaved Africans was abolished by Great Britain in 1807. So how can multiple births appear in the vital records of St Kitts from the 1860s, classifying parents as Africans? The mothers in these cases were most…