29 April 2007

Unusual names in family history - update

One of the delights of an Ancestry.com subscription is exploring newly available databases. This week "English Settlers in Barbados, 1637-1800" came online. I took the opportunity to search some of the less common surnames in my family, without success, and then remembered the one previous occasion I'd had to explore Barbados' records.

One of the two men from the Ottawa Company of Sharpshooters who died at the Battle of Cut Knife Hill on 2 May1885 was John Rogers, a native of Barbados. While researching for the book "The Ottawa Sharpshooters" I found his mother was baptized Mary Licorish Kidney, one of the most unusual names I've ever found. It rivals a Norfolk man I stumbled on baptized February Backlog.

Previous information was that Mary had been born in Barbados in 1818, too late for this dataset. There were lots of Kidney and Licorish family members, and John's paternal line was tentatively extended back to a g-g-grandfather named Andrew. That's a nice bonus benefit on this useful subscription.


Ancestry.com have also added a new database, Slave Registers of former British Colonial Dependencies, 1812-1834, which includes information on Barbados slave owners as well as slaves. I probably should not have been surprised to kind that James T(homas) Rogers, father of John Rogers who died at the Battle of Cut Knife Hill, owned more than 100 slaves in 1834. the Kidney family owned 21 and the Licorish family 116 slaves.

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