January 31, 2018

Manumission Records of Slaves in Jamaica

One of the terms that many of us that descend from enslaved ancestors know is the word manumission.  Manumission is the term used when referencing the freedom of those that were enslaved. The term is used when individuals managed to attain their freedom, whether through the slave holder freeing them or through the enslaved person purchasing their freedom or a family member do thing for them.

While many of us would like to find these records, it isn't an easy task. It becomes harder for those of us who have ancestors that come from the Caribbean. Many records have been destroyed or lost due to fire, hurricanes, the humidity, and the insects that enjoy eating through the records.

Many times when books were found to be in poor condition, they would wind up being burned as trash. Preservation is not a priority when many face struggles in feeding their families and maintaining homes.

While records are disappearing, many have taken on the mission of preserving these records, which helps many in the genealogy world discover records that were not previously available to them. Many of these preservation projects are taken on via grants through universities around the globe.

One such project is based out of the United Kingdom but easily accessible in the USA. While the project has identified that there are 70 registers but the first 4 volumes are missing. The volumes that are available are Volumes 5 through 12, contain people who were manumitted in the following parishes across Jamaica covering the time period of 1747 through 1838:
  • Clarendon
  • Hanover
  • Kingston
  • Manchester
  • Port Royal
  • Portland
  • St. Andrew
  • St. Ann
  • St. Catherine
  • St. David
  • St. Dorothy
  • St. Elizabeth
  • St. George
  • St. James
  • St. Mary
  • St. Thomas in the East
  •  St. Thomas in the Vale
  • Trelawny
  • Vere
  • Westmoreland 
 The volumes are as follows and if browsing from a computer, they will open in a new tab:




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Emancipation Park, Kingston, Jamaica



3 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing! I was a part of a transcription project in 2000 where we transcribed the 1820-1825 manumissions, but the color images are wonderful!! You can find the transcriptions here: http://www.jamaicanfamilysearch.com/Samples/Manumiss.htm I hope this helps someone.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing this link! I'll post it in the Google group as well called Caribbean Genealogy.

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  2. A great resource. Thanks for sharing.

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