January 4, 2017

Researching Your Guyanese Ancestry

I suspect that my Guyanese DNA genetic cousins connection occurred during the enslavement of African people.  The ugly treatment that our ancestors faced with being enslaved continues to impact us today.

They were ripped from their families and sold from plantation to plantation across the Caribbean and South America.  Discovering Guyanese cousins was truly unexpected but it helps to recognize what our ancestors faced. We still face hardships based on the pigmentation of our skin today but I embrace all of my cousins no matter where they are from.  💖

Although Guyana is considered a Caribbean country, they didn't have to face the many hurricanes that destroyed documents.  However researching from your computer will prove a bit of a challenge.  It is also a region that isn't easy to research as there aren't as many records available as with other Caribbean locations.

It turns out that Familysearch does have church records for Guyana but you'll need to use Google Translate if you don't speak Dutch.  I have been able to successfully read documents in other languages using it and it all depends on your determination of finding ancestors.

The following is only available on microfilm.  I've posted on my blog in the past about ordering microfilms.  I recommend that you read before you place an order; especially if you live in a part of the world where there are many others from Guyana in the region; it will save you money in the long run.

(Colony de Demerary) Mariages 1758-1804 and (Colony de Essequibo) Mariages 1779-1811 
Catalog contents for Guyana (outside of the above church records))

Click on the triangles to expand the menu item and clicking the hyperlink will lead you to microfilm information.

There is Guyana's National Archives as they are digitizing many records.  I've provide their link as well as the University of Guyana's library catalog below. 

There is also a blog for Guyana Genealogical and Biographical Society with a lot of good information.

Last but most important, Dr. Henry Louis Gates did an article in 2014 called, How Do I Research My Guyanese Heritage?  I recommend that you review this article to ensure nothing is missed.

Wishing you well in your research of your ancestors.  This post will help me down the road as I continue to dig through records and breakdown my DNA. I will post if I find any more sources here on the blog.

If you haven't taken a DNA test yet, I recommend that you take one with Ancestry You do not need a subscription to view results, just a one time kit order.  If you have siblings, have them take the test too as you each inherit an approximate random 50% of DNA from each of your parents.  No two children will be identical unless you're identical twins.

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