WDYTYA? key documents: Noel Clarke's episode

By Rosemary Collins, 31 August 2017 - 10:11pm

Noel Clarke used a variety of different documents to trace his family’s story. We take a look at some of the most important documents seen on screen…

Lulu
Noel found out more about his great grandmother from travel and immigration records

Star source

Slavery records

Noel found out more about the harrowing experiences of his enslaved ancestors through the records of Harvey Vale, the plantation where they were held on the small island of Carriacou, which is part of Grenada.

The slave trade was abolished in the British Empire in 1807. In 1819 the Office for the Registry of Colonial Slaves was established in London and began keeping records of so-called ‘lawfully enslaved’ people in Britain’s colonies, some of which are now digitised on Ancestry. Noel’s 4x great grandfather Glasgow Bedeau is listed on Harvey Vale plantation in the 1825 records, aged four. Digitised records from major Grenada plantations are also available on the New York Public Library Websites.
 

Other key sources

Naturalisation records

Noel found out that his great grandmother, Elizabeth Adina Clarke, emigrated to New York to find work, leaving her four young daughters with family in Trinidad. He traced her story through passenger lists and the record of her eventual application for naturalisation in the USA. Passenger lists and immigration records, including Elizabeth Clarke’s naturalisation record, are available on Ancestry.
 

Birth, marriage and death records

Noel looked at a number of his ancestors’ birth and marriage records during this episode. There is a collection of Caribbean baptism records on Ancestry and baptism and marriage records to search for free on FamilySearch. Birth, marriage and death records, along with other key documents, can be searched in the Grenada Family Records Centre.

However, records in the Caribbean are vulnerable to natural disasters – as Noel learned in this episode, his great grandparents’ birth certificates have been lost because a volcanic explosion destroyed the records in St Vincent in 1902, and the Grenada Family Records Centre is still struggling to recover from the 2004 impact of Hurricane Ivan.

 

WDYTYA? episode summary: Noel Clarke
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5 websites for tracing your Caribbean ancestors like Noel Clarke
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WDYTYA? episode summary: Noel Clarke
previous blog Article
5 websites for tracing your Caribbean ancestors like Noel Clarke
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