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  1. #1
    Loves to help with queries lindarhead's Avatar
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    Default Born in West Indies,British Subject

    Hello all,

    I'm researching an Ellen Hills born 1838 in the West Indies, her parents were John Hills( Hill on some census records) and his wife Elizabeth,maiden name Stringer.

    On all English census records from 1851 onwards Ellen is recorded as born in West Indies,British subject. There is no sign of the family on the 1841 census, but in 1851 there are children Emma, Alfred,Amos,Ellen,June & Harriet. Now Amos is born 1835 in Sussex, yet their next child Ellen is born in 1838 in the W. Indies. The next child to be born is June, who is born in Islington,Middlesex in 1843. So obviously somewhere between the years 1835-1843 the family move to and then back from the West Indies. What I want to know is why?...and if it's possible to get a birth record for Ellen?

    If anyone can offer any help or advise on this one I will be eternally grateful.

    Linda

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    Just a thought -they may have moved back to West Indies to care for a sick/dying relative.

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    Loves to help with queries lindarhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by josie7644 View Post
    Just a thought -they may have moved back to West Indies to care for a sick/dying relative.
    Thanks for the thought Josie, but both John and his wife were born in Sussex I don't think it's likely that they had ever lived in the W Indies before, certainly none of the births of their other children indicate that, and also William & Elizabeth were married in Goring in Sussex in 1823.

    Thanks anyway.

    Linda

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    Marie C..
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    Was the father in the army? My grandfather was born in West Indies and his siblings in various army places in Uk.
    Marie

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    Loves to help with queries lindarhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marie C.. View Post
    Was the father in the army? My grandfather was born in West Indies and his siblings in various army places in Uk.
    Marie
    That was my first thought actually Marie but I don't have that info, and on the 1851 census the father, John is recorded as a Labourer so that doesn't help me really.Do you know why some of our army personnel woud be in the West Indies at that time? ( 1838)

    Linda

  6. #6
    Heather
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindarhead View Post
    Hello all,

    I'm researching an Ellen Hills born 1838 in the West Indies, her parents were John Hills( Hill on some census records) and his wife Elizabeth,maiden name Stringer.

    On all English census records from 1851 onwards Ellen is recorded as born in West Indies,British subject. So obviously somewhere between the years 1835-1843 the family move to and then back from the West Indies. What I want to know is why?...and if it's possible to get a birth record for Ellen?

    If anyone can offer any help or advise on this one I will be eternally grateful.

    Linda
    Hi Linda......

    I am afraid you will have to get more information than just "West Indies, British subject"!! That covers a number of the Islands, such as Jamaica, Barbados, Bermuda and so on. My husband's Jamaican ancestors were alternately called British, West Indian, and your designation, plus a few more.

    However, there is one bright note. In Jamaica, the church records are by Parish (frankly a parish there is what you know as a county). BUT.....all of the LDS Parish microfilms have Indexes. HUGE HELP!! If there is a Mormon FHC near you, I suggest you order in one of their films, but not before you nail down which Island in the West Indies. (there were 15+ parishes at that particular time in Jamaica)

    Pat Jackson has an incredible website for Jamaica, but it is mostly a pay one. I put the name "Hill/Hills" in there and got everything from surnames to plantations to villages. So that won't work. Google her site which is Jamaica Family Search. There are free sections that you could browse thru.

    Often the UK people who came out to the Island were looking to make their fortunes, not realizing just how hot and sometimes dangerous the Islands could be. Cholera, Yellow Fever, Bone-breaking Fever, to name a few illnesses. And 1835 was the year that slavery was abolished, so it was not a particularly easy period in their history.

    However, unless you know it definitely is Jamaica, you will have a tough time of it. I have the reverse......looking for a Cooper in England who came out to Jamaica around 1800.

    Once you know for sure which Island, YES, you will be able to get a record of the birth from the Church of England parish records. I have films that go back to 1722. And they give way more information than the UK ones do, which is a bit strange, seeing that it is the same church!!

    Good luck and let me know if I can help. I haven't been over to my local FHC for a year or two, but could look up stuff once you know for sure where she was born.

    Cheers......Heather in Canada

  7. #7
    Heather
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindarhead View Post
    That was my first thought actually Marie but I don't have that info, and on the 1851 census the father, John is recorded as a Labourer so that doesn't help me really.Do you know why some of our army personnel woud be in the West Indies at that time? ( 1838)

    Linda
    There were several British army garrisons in Jamaica for eons. Jamaica was British until 1963. And there were often uprisings on the island, etc. Two of the garrisons were in a place called Falmouth in the Parish of Trelawney. That is where my Coopers were from. There also were garrisons in Kingston and other parts of the Island. As to why?? I am not entirely sure because I have never thought of that. But I am sure they kept the population peaceful in the more remote areas.

    Perhaps your ancestor was a tailor or the like. A thought just struck me and it is worth considering. Once slavery was abolished in 1834/5, Jamaica went to the "indentured worker" system wherein people would sign up for 7 years to work on the island. That is one possibility judging by your time span. Usually they were German or from Asia and India. But it is a possibility, if he thought he would make a fortune there.

  8. #8
    Geoffers
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    Do read Heathers replies, above, also...........

    I got these hits searching TNA's catalogue for "john hill* AND sussex" in WO97

    Could the second one be your chap?

    I tried repeating the search for RN and RM files using the series code ADM, but any possibilities seem less likely. You might try a search for yourself, if you are not sure how, please ask.

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    Loves to help with queries lindarhead's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for those replies Heather....I don't know really which way to go with this, as I have no clue how I can possibly find out which Island she was born on,it's completely outside anything I've ever come across before and there is no-one who has any idea other than the ref in the census records. I can see that the time span fits in with what you're saying about the indentured workers, but I just don't now how to find out. I do feel that although my initial thought was down the military route as the reason for their being there that would he have come home to England and by the time of the next census in 51 just been a Labourer...I'm in a muddle with this I have to admit....

    Linda

  10. #10
    Geoffers
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    Further to my last message - See this TNA news item as another source for foreign births. Searching is free, you pay to view likely matches.

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