September 2, 2018

Cap-Haitien Civil Birth Records 1827 to 1917

While in the 5th grade, I came home one day not happy in seeing a boy in the class being picked on due to his accent. His name was Adrienne, a triplet, but the only one of the three in my class. The reason he was being picked on was that he was Haitian. It was relentless for months because he let it be known that it bothered him and it bothered me.

While our neighborhood was poor to middle-class Black neighborhood, it was the beginning of an era where more people from the Caribbean started moving into the area. There were many of us in the area but the volume started increasing by the late 1970's.

I recall looking in my grandmother's set of encyclopedias and discovering that it was the neighboring country to the Dominican Republic as I wanted to know more about where the boy came from. It was just part of my curiosity and is still a part of me today. My grandmother noticing me digging through the books and proceeded to ask me what was I doing.

After explaining, my grandmother sat me down and explained that he was no different than me or anyone else.  She then proceeded to tell me how she would visit Cap-Haitien with her mother and my mother to shop in the 1940s. What really amazed me was years later, at age 19. I took my then boyfriend, now husband, who is Haitian to meet my grandmother. This woman all of a sudden breaks out and starts speaking in Haitian Creole. That was one detail she never shared with me, that she spoke 3 languages. Talk about being surprised!

Well, today these memories came back as I continue to look for online records and saw Cap-Haitien is online. Cap-Haitien, which was once called Cap-Français, was founded in 1670. There is plenty of history about the region that involves war and slavery.  I recommend you visit Slavery and Remembrance website to read up more on Cap-Français.

I never let my inability to read the language deter me from reaching my objective; sharing information. That being said, I am happy to say that there are more digitized records online for Haiti.  This post will concentrate on the digitized birth records currently available for viewing for Cap-Haitien in Haiti.  I hope that those who have family in this region will locate records of their ancestors.


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