People from St. Barths immigrated to St. Thomas over many decades. They included descendants of the original colonists, as well as people that were passing through St. Barths. Some came to St. Thomas in the early and mid-1800s; some arrived in the mid-1900s, and many in the 100 years between. Today there are people from St. Barths living in St. Thomas; there are descendants who’s parents, grandparents or great-grand parents were from St. Barths; and there are some who are surprised when they go through early census records for St. Thomas and find their ancestor is cited as being born in St. Barths.
The Caribbean Genealogy Library will host a workshop on Saturday August 1st, 2015 at 2pm entitled “From St. Barths to St. Thomas, Tracing your Roots”. The workshop, presented by Sophia Aubin and Carol Berry, will include a brief history of St. Barths as a background for discussing the variety of records available for researching family ties. Records discussed will include Roman Catholic Church Records for St. Thomas, Passenger Arrival Records for St. Thomas, Vital Records for St. Barths found on ANOM, Swedish period data, early French census records for St. Barths and other resources.
Attention will be given in particular to the French Archives’ ANOM website. It contains digitized vital records for St. Barths, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinque, Saint-Domingue, St. Martin, St. Lucia, and also French colonies and overseas collectivities in Africa and the South Pacific. These records vary as far as time period covered; for example Guadeloupe’s records start at 1679 while the records for St. Barths start at 1808. These records are a fantastic resource for people with ties to French islands in the Caribbean. They are written in French. Tips will be provided for non-French speakers.
The workshop will wrap up with an introduction to Carol Berry’s French Heritage project. For 30 years she has researched her family tree, and that of friends and extended family on the Northside. Her database contains around 1400 names dating from the 1700’s to present. She hopes to continue adding more people and to make more connections between the French of St. Thomas and their ancestors of St. Barths.
Caribbean Genealogy Library’s mission to identify, preserve and provide access to Caribbean genealogy, history and cultural heritage information resources for the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. It is located in the Al Cohen’s Plaza (at the top of Raphune Hill). The library is on the 2nd floor, above Paint Depot. For more information call CGL at (340) 714-2136