February 26, 2017

Researching and Finding Ancestors in Barbados

Just like many of the other Caribbean islands, Barbados has a rich history where today you can find information online which includes records.

First let me start with what is currently digitized or even indexed online. A wealth of information is maintained on familysearch.org's website.

The first obvious are databases that contains many different islands and many years.  They are as follows:

Caribbean Births and Baptisms 1590 - 1928
Caribbean Deaths and Burials 1790 - 1906
Caribbean Marriages 1591 - 1905

There are also specific databases for Barbados only, which are:

Barbados Baptisms 1739 - 1891
Barbados Marriages 1854 - 1879
Barbados Burials, 1854-1885

And there is the database that not only lets you search for your ancestors via a searchable database but it permits you to browse the images.  This is useful if you have a name that can potentially be misspelled:

Barbados Church Records 1637 - 1887

There are Slave Register records but you'll have to pay for access to them by having an international subscription to Ancestry.  The slave register covers from 1817 to 1834.  There is also a duplicate set that is held by the UK National Archives.

And speaking of the UK National Archives, I highly recommend that you use their search engine. They maintain many records pertaining to the Caribbean and your ancestors that were on the islands. In one of my quick searches, I was able to locate references of Africans being liberated due to illegal smuggling slavers having them onboard their ships. This was due to the activities I discussed in my post about the African Holocaust.  Their website permits you to either view online or download the records to your computer.  Here is another link to UK National Archives.

In reference to what familysearch has available, you can order from the catalog to view at a local Family History Library the 1715 Census for Barbados.

There is the population of the island of Barbados from 1679 to 1680 that is also available on the same film as the 1715 Census.  So if you order the film, you actually get both.

For the year 1638 "Census", there is a digitized book called The Narragansett Historical Register available via familysearch which contains a list of people on the island that had more than 10 acres of land.  You can find them on pages 282 through 288.  To get to page 282, at the top of the screen you should be at 1 of 710 pages, remove the "1" and enter in 305 and hit enter.

Another great source is the Trans-Atlantic Slave Voyages website. Here they contain over 36,000 Voyages. I plan to list this one on a separate post so that it can be found by everyone researching their African roots.

I came across another website that should help you in your ancestry research for Barbados ancestry.  You can find it on creolelinks.

My last link is for Barbados' government website, where they have publications.  

As I find more resources, I will post to the website. Please look at other posts even if you do not believe they pertain to you as you may discover other information that may help you with your research. Best of luck on your research!

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