Guide to tracing your Barbados roots

Convent School Barbados 1944 click photo for larger

Everywhere you go… you’ll find a Bajan

My great-great-grandfather Sandy Powell Sr. moved to North Carolina in the late 19th century. The story is that he came from Barbados after 1865, as a free man. No one knows why or under what conditions. We don’t know from where in Barbados he traveled, either. Was he part of a larger migration from the Caribbean to the Carolinas? If so, how do we trace that information? —Bettina Judd

It is true that everywhere you go today, you’ll find a Bajan. Here at Barbados Free Press we’ve been contacted by Bajans in China, Greenland, Panama, Russia, Antarctica and Peru to name a few. And way back when during the aftermath of Britain’s anti-slavery laws and movements, Bajans also traveled far and wide… but not always at their own desire. Over-crowding and poverty on Barbados was the catalyst for many young men and women to seek better lives over and away. They still do, and many for the same reasons – deny it as you will.

Many Bajans ended up in North and South Carolina both before and after slavery and the civil war, and many Americans from the Carolinas combine an annual vacation in Bim with the search for their roots and relatives.

We hear in the rum shop that a year ago former Prime Minister Owen Arthur received a young family from South Carolina who are related in some way to him a long time ago. It is a small world sometimes.

Places to look and see…

The Root: How Did My Free Bajan Ancestor End Up in North Carolina?

Ursuline Convent School of Barbados: A short history.

Photo credit: Ursuline Convent School of Barbados Photo Book

1 Comment

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One response to “Guide to tracing your Barbados roots

  1. Anonymous

    I had previously written to the Barbados Free Press seeking information on how could I research my biological father ‘s roots (Jorge Coulthrust) in Barbados. I was born in Panama. If anyone have any information on the Coulthrust from Barbados please respond to me.

    Marcelino Campbell –