Monthly Archives: February 2019

Barbados slave registers

Introduction

The records of the slave registries are among the most important and comprehensive for slave research in the British West Indies for the period 1812 to 1834. The slave registers provide a census of all slaves and slave holders until the abolition of slavery on 1 August 1834.

Between 1812 and 1834 the British government and Anglo-Caribbean colonial governments registered the enslaved population to help manage the illegal movement of slaves following the abolition of the slave trade. See my article on slave registers for more information.

Original returns may survive in the local Caribbean archive, though  none have been found for Barbados. From 1819 copies (including the Barbados returns) were sent to the London Registry and these are held by The National Archives under the reference T 71

The registers were later used as evidence of slave ownership for the compensation awards following the abolition of slavery in 1834. A brief description of the awards and a database of the Barbados awards is on the Caribbean Family History website. A more extensive database for the all countries with biographical and other information on slave holders is at Legacies of British Slave-ownership.

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Reflections of past two years

I am surprised that it has been over 2 years since I last wrote on this blog. The highlight for 2016 for me was working with the Barbados and Friends Association (Reading) on their Heritage Project: The Story so far: a celebration Barbadian settlement in Reading. We hosted workshops where people from the local Bajan community brought artefacts and were invited to talk about their experiences of Barbados, and their settlement, education and employment in Reading. The project ended with a Cultural Extravaganza and a display of artefacts in Reading Museum.

Over the past two years I had lost the energy and enthusiasm in pursuing my personal and Caribbean research. I put off giving talks and writing articles and didn’t undertake any family history. Even so, I continued to play and active role in the Berkshire Family History Society as a volunteer on the committee on the Computer branch and gave a couple of talks to several branches. I took the opportunity on further price drops and sales  for DNA tests to take further autosomal tests with AncestryDNA and 23&me. These haven’t really added much to my knowledge but have different sets of matches which I will follow up. 

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