Information on migration between East and West Indies.
There are many surnames common to both India and the West Indies, particularly Jamaica. "I wondered if anybody thought to look westwards when they hit a brick wall in India".
A number of families who were active in India, had in previous generations also taken part in the development of the West Indies. Some of the most effective officers in India during the 1780's and 1790's had previously served in the West Indies. The reverse also applied. Planters from India moved to the West Indies to run plantations there.
- Also see External links and Historical books online, below.
- FamilySearch, a free website, contains transcribed records relating to the Caribbean, and in addition many images. From the list of all Historical Record Collections, use the filters on the left hand side of the webpage to select "Caribbean and Central America". There may be additional databases found by Searching the Catalog. Alternatively, from the Records/ Search page, click on the map for the Caribbean/West Indies area, and select a country. Also see External records below for the FamilySearch Wiki page.
- FamilySearch microfilms include Wills, 1756-1930 Jamaica. Supreme Court and records using keywords Jamaica. Registrar General, most of which seem to be available on home computers. There may be additional microfilms. See the Fibiwiki page FamilySearch Centres for information about microfilms and digitised microfilms.
- Note, you must be signed in to FamilySearch to view the records.
- Digitised records from the Endangered Archives Programme at the British Library, London. Click on the map for items in the West India region. Note the digitised images are in TIFF format. If you cannot see the images you will need to download a plug-in, see Online books - Digital Library of India for suggestions. Includes
- Inventory of archival holdings in Jamaica (EAP148) Includes
- Angela Reid Collection (Birth, Baptismal, and Death Registers) [1795-1965] Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kingston, Jamaica records
- Digitising the endangered archives of Grenada (EAP295)
- Preserving and digitising the historic newspaper, The Barbados Mercury Gazette (EAP1086). Editions from 1783 to 1848 (broken range).
- Coming, not yet available online (at 2019/10)
- Digitisation of Wills, Deed Books and Powers of Attorney for St Vincent, 1785-1865 (EAP1013). Related completed digitised projects are EAP345, which includes one Book of Wills, and EAP688 Deed Books.
- Digitisation of the Historic Newspaper, The Barbadian (EAP1251) (1822-1863) from Barbados.
- Inventory of archival holdings in Jamaica (EAP148) Includes
- Findmypast: Search A-Z of record sets (located as an option under the Search tab). Findmypast is a pay website. Use Search terms such as Caribbean, or individual island names such as Barbados, or Jamaica. Findmypast indicates that at least some of the Barbados records are sourced via the International Genealogical Index (from FamilySearch), although the databases themselves do not give this information. Some of the Jamaica databases are stated to be created through the International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) and it is possible that others (perhaps all) also come from FamilySearch. Depending where you live, these records will generally require what was previously called a findmypast World subscription, now called a Pro subscription, (however FamilySearch records are free on FamilySearch, see above).
- Ancestry Card Catalogue of all Record Databases (located as an option under the Search tab). Ancestry is a pay website. Use Search terms such as Caribbean, or individual island names such as Barbados, or Jamaica. Includes databases from the books Scots in the West Indies, 1707-1857 by David Dobson 1998 (there was subsequently a Volume 2 published in 2006, which appears not to be included in the Ancestry database) and The Original Scots Colonists of Early America. Caribbean Supplement 1611-1707 by David Dobson 1999. See Scotland for some background about the Scottish diaspora.
- Kabristan Archives -Ireland -Ceylon -India Genealogy Includes a Search, with a partial transcription of records. Search for free, then pay for a full record. Includes one database relating to Jamaica “Moravian Graveyards India and Jamaica 1755-1971” located under India & Nepal. Moravian missionaries were the first large-scale Protestant missionary movement.
- The Society of Genealogists holds some records relating to the West Indies. Search the catalogue to see what is currently available. The holding at November 2012 is set out in the archived webpage Overseas: West Indies. Some of the sources are from Caribbeana - all of these volumes are available online, refer below. Also includes the book Tracing your West Indian ancestors: sources in the Public Record Office: PRO readers’ guide, no. 11 [by Guy Grannum, 1995, subsequently republished as Tracing your Caribbean ancestors : a National Archives guide 2012]
- The British Library holds the book Lists from the San Fernando Gazette, Trinidad, West Indies, 1865-1896 by Tian Uddenberg & Karen Vaucrosson 2002 UIN: BLL01012465957 . This book is also held by the FamilySearch Family History Library, where the catalogue entry says "This book is a compilation of births, deaths, and marriage announcements, as well as news items, Burgess lists, land rate delinquencies, entrepreneurial activities, and other lists", and perhaps may become digitally available in the future.
- The British Library holds the book Monuments of the Cathedral-Church and Parish of St. Catharine: being part I. of Church Notes and Monumental Inscriptions of Jamaica, in the year 1824 by John Roby, published Montego-Bay, Jamaica : A. Holmes, 1831. UIN: BLL01003126950 . Also available at Yale University Library where the book contains "Ms. notes and additions in text".
- By the same author: The history of the parish of St. James, in Jamaica : with notes on the general history, genealogy, and monumental inscriptions of the island by John Roby. Published Kingston, Jamaica : Printed by R.J. De Cordova, 1849. Contains information to 1740. Held by Yale University Library, bound in three parts, with "Ms. corrections of author in text". There are also references to microfiche of this book published "Ann Arbor, Mich. : UMI, 2008. 2 microfiches ; 11 x 15 cm. (Genealogy and local history ; LH19183)". UMI [University Microfilms International] is now part of Proquest.
- Information about the database Caribbean Newspapers 1718 - 1876, part of Readex World Newspapers Archive, and a database containing Blue Books from many Caribbean countries.
- Jamaican Family Search Genealogy Research Library jamaicanfamilysearch.com
- Genealogy of Jamaica (a Rootsweb page). Includes
- "Jamaica Records" by Stephen D. Porter. A genealogical talk on the Records of Jamaica held at the Society of Genealogists, London, on Saturday, 21 June 1997.
- Caribbean Family History. Barbados. Includes transcribed burial records for Barbados.
- Caribbean FamilySearch (LDS) Wiki. Includes links to the pages for Barbados and Jamaica.
- FamilySearch Genealogy Research Groups, also called Family Search Community FamilySearch Wiki. Includes links to 'closed' Facebook groups (where you must be accepted by an Administrator) for the Caribbean and Jamaica. Note, to sign up to these groups you must be a Facebook member, and then may need to be signed in to FamilySearch, and then may need to agree to conditions set by FamilySearch Community, including access to your data.
- Really Useful Weblinks from London FamilySearch Centre website includes a category Caribbean.
- Caribbean family history: An introduction to tracing your Caribbean ancestors. Caribbean Roots website. Includes information about Civil Registration, and addresses of Registry Offices. For example, births were registered from 1890 in Barbados, and 1880 in Jamaica.
- CaribbeanGenWeb. This site is part of the WorldGenWeb Project and is the regional resource page for research in the Caribbean.
- Rootsweb Message Boards: Carribean. Part of Ancestry. Search the Archives.
- All Rootsweb Mailing Lists includes Barbados, Jamaica etc. Search the Archives.
- Trace and tell your family’s Empire stories with links to pages "Government Records of Britons in …" including
- These pages c 2008 are from the archived website “Empire’s Children”, a website connected with the 2007 Channel 4 television series of the same name. Note, some of the information may now be outdated. Many of the internal links have not been archived.
- There is a "Resources" chapter in the book Empire’s Children: Trace Your Family History Across the World by Anton Gill 2007, available at the British Library UIN: BLL01013623894 . This book accompanied the television series Empire's Children.
- National Library of Jamaica Digital Collection. Mostly online photographs, but also contains the Collection "Online Government Documents", see Historical books online, below.
- Caribbean Views British Library Online Gallery.
- Caribbean Roll of Honour 1914-1918 1939-1945 . A page within includes a link now not active, but available as an archived page Caribbean Online - Routes to Roots. Gallery - World War One and the British West Indies Regiment, Lists of honours and awards from World War One and the British West Indies Regiment now archived. commonwealth.sas.ac.uk
- Maps of Jamaica by James Robertson, 1804 National Library of Scotland.
Historical books online
- Monumental Inscriptions of the British West Indies from the earliest date by J H Lawrence-Archer Index. 1875 Archive.org
- Sketch pedigrees of some of the early settlers in Jamaica : compiled from the records of the Court of Chancery of the island with a list of the inhabitants in 1670 and other matter relative to the early history of the same by Noel B Livingston 1909. Archive.org
- Caribbeana : being miscellaneous papers relating to the history, genealogy, topography, and antiquities of the British West Indies edited by Vere Langford Oliver. There appear to have been six volumes published, together with one supplementary volume, total seven. Generally there is an Index at the back of the book.
- Vol. I 1910, Contents; Vol. II 1912, Contents; Vol. III 1914, Contents; Supplement to Vol.IV The Registers of St Thomas, Middle Island, St. Kitts 1915; Vol. V 1919, Contents; Vol. VI Commences page 41, no Contents or Index. All Archive.org.
- All seven volumes of Caribbeana are available online at The University of Florida Digital Collections including Volume IV, Contents; and Volume VI, no Contents or Index. All volumes may be accessed from the two given volume links by clicking on "All Volumes". Print may be darker in these volumes compared with the editions on Archive.org, and therefore easier to read.
- The Monumental Inscriptions in the churches and churchyards of the island of Barbados, British West Indies edited by Vere Langford Oliver 1915 Archive.org
- More monumental inscriptions : tombstones of the British West Indies by Vere Langford Oliver. Reprint of The Monumental Inscriptions of the British West Indies, collected and edited by V. L. Oliver, 1927. Catalogue entry with link to a FamilySearch Digital Book to read online or download. You need to be registered and sign in first, see Family Search. Direct link. Catalogue entry says "Inscriptions copied from cemeteries on the West Indian islands of Antigua, Dominica, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Kitts, Grenada, St. Lucia, and Trinidad; on the Bahamas; and in the former Dutch colony of Demerara, now a county of Guyana". With an Index of Names at the back of the book.
- "Barbadoes Parish Registers 1678-1679", page 419 The original lists of persons of quality emigrants; religious exiles; political rebels : serving men sold for a term of years; apprentices; children stolen; maidens pressed; and others who went from Great Britain to the American plantations, 1600-1700. With their ages, the localities where they formerly lived in the mother country, the names of the ships in which they embarked, and other interesting particulars. From mss. preserved in the State Paper Department of Her Majesty's Public Record Office, England. Edited by John Camden Hotten. 1874 Archive.org
- “Some Extracts relating to West Indian Families...” page 245, Miscellanea genealogica et heraldica and the British archivist, Volume V, Fifth Series 1923-1925. Archive.org. Only one page.
- Monumental inscriptions of Jamaica compiled by Philip Wright 1966 FamilySearch Digital Library. Catalogue entry with link to a FamilySearch Digital Book to read online or download. You need to be registered and sign in first, see Family Search.
- Genealogies of Barbados families : from Caribbeana and the Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society by James C Brandow. 1983. Archive.org Lending Library
- The Jews of Jamaica: Tombstone Inscriptions, 1663-1880 Richard D. Barnett and Philip Wright c 1997. Digital Library of the Caribbean.
- Collection: Jamaica Government Documents from National Library of Jamaica Digital Collection. Read online or download. Includes
- Almanack and Register for the Island of Jamaica (or similar title) for 1779, 1782, 1783, 1784, 1785.
- Blue Book. Island of Jamaica for years 1852, 1853, 1866 to 1906-1907 (broken range). "Contains statistical information about the island of Jamaica". As an example of the contents,
- for the year 1906-1907, the Contents page is digital page 2. Each section is allocated a letter, and is separately numbered. The Civil Establishment (civil service employees) is section N and commences digital page 135 - note many of the following pages needed to be read two pages side by side (but it does not seem possible to select a two page option). Information includes employment title, date appointed and salary. There is also a following section "Officers who have given Security", section O digital page 201, and Pensions, section P digital page 232 (again, most/all pages for these two sections need to be read side by side). Total digital pages 582.
- The Colonial Office List for ... Includes a section on each country, and the Colonial Office List at the end of each volume. Google Books, HathiTrust Digital Library and Archive.org.
- 1862: First publication; 1867, 1877; 1878; 1879 pdf from Oxford University Library, may be slow to open, 1879 Google Books edition should become freely available 2020; 1881; 1889; 1901; 1902; 1903; 1904; HathiTrust Digital Library editions to 1922 viewable in restricted areas such as North America: A and B
- In addition, Colonial Office List, 1863 and Colonial Office List, 1870 are available in the findmypast (pay website) dataset "Britain, Directories & Almanacs" located in Newspapers, Directories & Social History/Directories & Almanacs.
- FamilySearch has a catalogue entry for a series of microfiches of the Colonial Office List, (produced by Chadwyck-Healey, 1987), currently (2019/06) available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, with however the potential to be digitised in the next few years, and perhaps be more widely available, or at least searchable. The same microfiche series may also be available at some other libraries, or to a very limited extent at some other FamilySearch Centres.
- Colonial Office List (to 1925) and the later title The Dominions Office and Colonial Office List are available at the British Library UIN: BLL01002841625 and UIN: BLL01007173533
- Comments about "The registers of Persons Baptised etc Abroad: The West Indies" page 237 Registrum ecclesiae parochialis : the history of parish registers in England : also of the registers of Scotland, Ireland, the East and West Indies... by John Southerden Burn 2nd edition 1862 Archive.org. Refers to some early Baptisms and Burials from Barbados in the "State Paper Office", now The National Archives at Kew, but it is unknown whether these records are still available. See Other records above.
- A descriptive account of the island of Jamaica: with remarks upon the cultivation of the sugar-cane, throughout the different seasons of the year, and chiefly considered in a picturesque point of view; also observations and reflections upon what would probably be the consequences of an abolition of the slave-trade, and of the emancipation of the slaves by William Beckford 1790. Volume I, Volume II Archive.org.
- The history, civil and commercial, of the British colonies in the West Indies by Bryan Edwards. First published 1793. 1806 volumes have additional title To which is added A general description of the Bahama islands by Daniel M'Kinnen
- 1806 edition in four volumes Vol I, Vol II, Vol III, Vol IV
- 1807 Fourth edition "with considerable additions", in three volumes Vol I, Vol II, Vol III. All Archive.org
- Additional editions Archive.org
- The Royal Register and Jamaica Almanac, for the year 1810 Archive.org.
- Jamaica: its Past and Present State by James M Phillippo, Baptist Missionary 1843. London Edition 1843, USA Edition 1843 Archive.org.
- The Moravians in Jamaica: History of the Mission of the United Brethren's Church to the Negroes ... by J. H. Buchner 1854 Archive.org.
- The Handbook of Jamaica broken range of editions from 1886 to 1906. Archive.org. The edition catalogued 1908 is in fact 1903.
- History of the First West India Regiment by A B Ellis, Major, First West India Regiment. 1885 Archive.org
- Stark's History and Guide to the Bahama Islands… by James H Stark 1891 Archive.org. Version from University of Florida Digital Collections/ Digital Library of the Caribbean which may contain better photographs.
- Stark's Guide-book and History of Trinidad: Including Tobago, Granada, and St. Vincent… James H Stark 1897 Archive.org. 2nd copy missing title page, but the photographs may be better.
- Stark's Jamaica Guide (illustrated) : containing a description of everything relating to Jamaica of which the visitor or resident may desire information, including its history, inhabitants, government, resources, and places of interest to travellers by James H Stark 1898 Archive.org
- Stark's History and Guide to Barbados and the Caribbee Islands, containing a description of everything on or about these islands of which the visitor or resident may desire information .. James H Stark Archive.org 1903 Archive.org
- Jamaica cartography; chronological list of the maps of Jamaica in the Library of the Institute of Jamaica… by Frank Cundall c 1897 Archive.org. Reprinted from the Handbook of Jamaica for 1897.
- Studies in Jamaica History by Frank Cundall 1900 Archive.org.
- Bibliographia jamaicensis; a list of Jamaica books and pamphlets, magazine articles, newspapers, and maps, most of which are in the library of the Institute of Jamaica by Frank Cundall 1902 Archive.org
- Supplement to Bibliographia Jamaicensis by Frank Cundall 1908 Archive.org
- Bibliography of the West Indies (excluding Jamaica) by Frank Cundall 1909 Archive.org
- Jamaica Place-Names by Frank Cundall 1909 Archive.org
- 1939 edition, revised by Philip M Sherlock University of Florida Digital Collections
- Historic Jamaica : With fifty-two illustrations by Frank Cundall 1915 Archive.org
- Jamaica in 1922 : a handbook of information for intending settlers and visitors with some account of the colony's history by Frank Cundall 1922 Archive.org
- The History of Piracy by Philip Gosse 1934, first published 1932. Hathi Trust Digital Library. Contains "Book III: The Pirates of the West". An earlier book was The Pirates' Who's Who Giving Particulars Of The Lives and Deaths Of The Pirates And Buccaneers by Philip Gosse, first published 1924 Gutenberg.org.
- Harding, Simon. Private Merchants & Photo's from India Rootsweb India Mailing List 19 December 2009. Scroll down. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
- Balmer, Nick. Private Merchants & Photo's from India Rootsweb India Mailing List 19 December 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
- Findmypast Friday February 22nd 
- Page 336 Caribbeana : being miscellaneous papers relating to the history, genealogy, topography, and antiquities of the British West Indies by Vere Langford Oliver Volume I, 1910 Archive.org