Montserrat






Culture Name

Montserratian

Orientation

Identification. Before 1995, this pear-shaped island had a population of about ten thousand and was lush, green, mountainous, isolated, and unspoiled. There are three green-clad mountain ranges and the island is edged by largely black sand beaches. Much of the land is fertile with a healthy tropical climate.

Location and Geography. Montserrat, covering 39.5 square miles (63.7 square kilometers), is a British Crown colony between Nevis and Guadeloupe. Christopher Columbus gave this Caribbean island its name. On his second voyage, Columbus noticed that the island resembled the land around the Spanish abbey of Santa Maria de Montserrati.

Montserrat occupies a region of the earth's crust that is geologically unstable, with volcanic activity and earthquakes an ever present reality. Hurricanes and other natural disasters have long plagued this otherwise idyllic "Emerald Isle" of the Caribbean. Economic issues and ecological necessity remain persistent features of the national culture and values. Although many people are impressed with the individuality of the island, Montserrat is a country looking for a national identity.

Demography. Montserrat has for some time been considering independence from Great Britain. It has a unique blend of Anglo-Irish and African cultures and thus is an example of a fairly successful blend of two very different cultures and races. Until recently, national self-image was a hot topic as a result of extensive outmigration. After Hurricane Hugo in 1989, the population dropped from 11,500 to slightly less than 10,000 people. After 1995, volcanic eruptions halved that number.

Linguistic Affiliation. The official language is English, but a dialect is widely spoken on informal occasions. Monserratians tend to use standard English in formal contexts and creole English in informal contexts.

Symbolism. The national emblem is a carved Irish shamrock adorning Government House, and the island's flag and crest show a woman with a cross and harp. Other cultural survivals, such as a value systems, codes of etiquette, musical styles, and an Irish recipe for the national dish called "goat water" stew, are considerably more problematic as cultural legacies.

History and Ethnic Relations

Emergence of the Nation. Very little is known of the early history of Montserrat. The aboriginal population probably was made up of Arawak Indians who were killed off by Carib Indians by the time of Columbus's voyage in 1494. The Caribs left the island by the middle of the seventeenth century but continued to raid it. They named the island Alliouagana ("Land of the Prickly Bush"), perhaps after the aloe plant.

Montserrat is often referred to as "the Emerald Isle of the West" because the Irish figured prominently in its early history. Montserrat was first settled in 1632 by a British contingent from the mother colony of Saint Kitts. Although the original colonists were English and Irish, Montserrat quickly became a haven for Irish Catholics escaping from religious persecution. The Irish first came as indentured servants and later as slaves to work in the plantation system.

Later, Catholic refugees from Virginia came to escape from religious persecution. By 1648, there were one thousand Irish families on the island. The French occupied the country between 1644 and 1782 but ceded it to Britain in 1783.

Montserrat
Montserrat

In 1649, Cromwell sent political prisoners to Montserrat, increasing the population and helping to preserve its Irish character.

National Identity. Irish cultural retentions are largely symbolic. Some claim that modern-day Montserratians have an Irish brogue, but linguistic evidence is not conclusive. Irish names abound, and the phenotype of the inhabitants seems "lighter" than it is in other Afro-Caribbean countries. Most of the inhabitants appear to be of an African heritage.

The national emblem is a carved Irish shamrock adorning Government House, and the island's flag and crest show a woman with a cross and harp. Other cultural survivals, such as a value systems, codes of etiquette, musical styles, and an Irish recipe for the national dish called "goat water" stew, are considerably more problematic as cultural legacies.

Montserrat's luxuriant vegetation, emerald hills, and fern-covered ravines have given it a striking resemblance to Ireland, and its history has left ruins of the plantation period as well as colorful houses in the capital city of Plymouth. However, the contemporary culture is pan-Caribbean with a heavy overlay of African and Anglo-Irish elements.

Sugar and slaves eventually changed both the economy and the culture. In the seventeenth century, after tobacco production waned, Montserrat developed into a typical plantation colony. The date of the arrival of the first slaves (1651) corresponded roughly with the start of the sugar industry. Slaves quickly outnumbered Irish indentured servants, and eventually there were more blacks than whites.

By 1705, a planter class, based on slave labor and sugar, was fully established. The planter class attempted to control and coerce the blacks, leading to several rebellions, including the Saint Patrick's Day rebellion of 17 March 1768.

Sugar fortunes began to disappear toward the end of the eighteenth century. Earthquakes, droughts, hurricanes, French raids, and the loss of slave labor after emancipation (1834) combined to end the "plantocracy." Cotton supported the economy until the 1960s, when tourism and an elaborate real estate construction scheme were instituted.

Montserrat has become an emigration society, with remittances being important sources of revenue. The recent volcanic eruptions have made Montserrat dependent on Britain for its survival.

Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space

Some islanders are sensitive about the size of Montserrat. Its size of 30,000 acres, of which almost two-thirds are mountainous and barren, coupled with the recent economic and ecological crises, has created an "economics of scale." The industrial and commercial potential has been hampered by low population growth, mountainous terrain, poor air access, the high cost of energy, and a limited infrastructure. Choked by conditions of underdevelopment and poverty, nationalism is a sentiment held by a relatively small segment of the population. Lacking in this national self-image are emotionally charged symbols such as flag waving. Rather than chauvinistic political rhetoric, one is more likely to hear references to an unspoiled landscape, satisfaction with the customs and lifestyle, and sentiments of security derived from the safety of a home isolated from the rapidly changing world.

Food and Economy

Food in Daily Life. Native-grown breadfruit, mango, soursop, pawpaw, and cashews are regarded by some locals as less desirable food.

Basic Economy. Agriculture has not supported the population. To foster tourism, the government decided to avoid high-rise hotels and noisy nightclubs; instead, Montserrat was to be a model of "the way

A woman walks along a narrow street in the town of Plymouth.
A woman walks along a narrow street in the town of Plymouth.
the Caribbean used to be." In the 1960s, Montserrat embarked on a tourist venture called "residential tourism." In a country where 90 percent of the citizens are black, white North Americans and Europeans were encouraged to settle in a restricted part of the island as permanent or part-time residents. The result has been a concentration of prosperous white foreigners living in villas by the sea, with multiple servants and imported amenities.

Another economic factor was the establishment of an offshore medical school that catered to North Americans, mostly from the United States. Montserrat was a regional media center, broadcasting to the entire Antillean region. The most famous of the foreign studios, however, pulled out after the last hurricane.

Montserrat's agricultural history has been marked with repeated failures; the island has been plagued with charges of international banking frauds; and the trade deficit has been balanced only by overseas remittances and capital from foreign expatriates. When Hurricane Hugo struck in 1989, aid for reconstruction was provided by the United Kingdom.

Major Industries. The economy is based mainly on agriculture, real estate, building construction, tourism, and assembling industries. There is little manufacturing activity. There was, until the volcanic eruptions, an expanding tourist trade; and the island was beginning to build an integrated cotton industry (sea island cotton), although the island lacks the technology to handle large volumes of cotton. The off-shore medical school had to move to another island after the recent natural disaster.

Trade. The government had plans of reviving farming, creating a tourist industry, and supporting a real estate-and-home-construction scheme; but Montserrat has been for many years marginal in relation to overseas markets, compounded by a series of natural disasters to the island.

Social Stratification

Classes and Castes. The pattern of social stratification that emerged after the slavery period remains relatively unaltered. Lower classes predominate in this society.

The upper class includes resident owners and managers of the larger estates, expatriate colonial officials, professionals, religious leaders, bank managers, and larger merchants. Most are white or light-skinned. There are no poor whites. The upper classes generally live and work in the capital city of Plymouth, speak English, and adhere to legal forms

A fisherman untangles his net from his boat on the beach at Carr's Bay.
A fisherman untangles his net from his boat on the beach at Carr's Bay.
of marriage and a nuclear form of the family. They belong to the Anglican, Methodist, and Roman Catholic denominations.

The middle class consists of salaried employees or civil servants who work for the post office, hospitals, courts, or the police department. This is the class that aims for secondary schooling. With increased educational opportunities, there is a growing middle class, which tends to use "standard" English in formal contexts, and creole English in others. Many of these households employ at least one domestic servant. Mostly Anglican, Methodist, or Roman Catholic, this is the class most anxious about appropriate behavior. There is an emerging professional class.

The lower classes are primarily black and are characterized by sporadic employment, with many people dependent on remittances. Virtually all live outside Plymouth. Migration was predominantly a lower-class phenomenon before the 1995 evacuations. Most of the members of this class follow Pentecostal faiths. Relationship patterns perhaps represent the greatest institutional variation between classes.

Political Life

Government. Representative government was introduced in 1936; Montserrat got a new constitution in 1952, and Britain introduced a bicameral system of government in 1960. Virtually all effective political power has been in the hands of the few who control production (the monopoly of the wealthy). Montserrat has elected to remain a colony, although some have argued for a discontinuation of colonial status. There is almost total dependence on Great Britain.

Leadership and Political Officials. Montserrat has a representative government with a ministerial system, practicing parliamentary democracy rooted in the Westminster model. The head of state is represented by a governor, who exercises executive authority. Britain is still responsible for the island's external affairs, defense, and law and order, although Montserrat has a fairly autonomous local government. The chief minister is John Osborne, who has always favored independence for the country. The recent natural disasters effectively put this question to rest for now.

Social Problems and Control. A nation of emigration, with severe loss of population, Montserrat has choking conditions of underdevelopment, poverty, unemployment, declining productivity of abused space, unavailable markets, land problems, and insecure subsistence production, as well as fear, suspicion, and mistrust, especially since the natural disasters of Hugo and the volcanic eruptions. It is a nation suffering from a colonial past, a Caribbean laboratory with "infinitely limited alternatives." There have been various schemes proposed to eliminate some of the social problems, but to date all have failed, e.g., the geothermal project that did not take into account popular superstition about disturbing the dormant volcanoes. The present socioeconomic crises cannot be separated from the recent natural disasters. Great Britain has had to bail out the Montserratians once more.

Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations

In a typical parish, there might be three rum shops, four small provision shops, a sub-post office, the Methodist church and smaller Holiness church, and a school. However, Rotary and Jaycees are both active on the island. Montserrat has a theater with plays that address Caribbean issues and at least two dance groups. Choral music groups and sports are also popular.

Gender Roles and Statuses

Gender roles vary by class, with more rigidity in the lower strata. Homosexuality is feared. Marriage is valued, being associated with socioeconomic standing and as a demonstration of ambition and the attainment of social adulthood.

Marriage, Family, and Kinship

Marriage. Once a proposed marriage union is recognized, the couple are referred to as being "friendly" or as being "sweethearts." The migration of either party in such a union is regarded as terminating that union. Most lower-class Montserratians eventually legally marry, because marriage is associated with a higher socioeconomic standing. Legal divorce is fairly rare.

Domestic Unit. The major domestic unit is the household, which encompasses kinship, mating, land tenure, and inheritance. Migration has caused some unique problems for maintenance of the domestic unit in Montserrat.

Inheritance. About half the children born are technically illegitimate, but no stigma is attached to this fact. All children are entitled to an equal share of the parents' fixed property regardless of birth order or sex.

Kin Groups. Standard English kin terms apply in Montserrat, except for "niece" and "nephew," which are rarely used. Children are typically given the name of their genitors regardless of the type of mating arrangement.

Socialization

Child Rearing and Education. Children are cared for within the domestic unit of family, which tends to be matrifocal. Children are given the name of their genitor. Pre-primary education is provided in nursery schools for 3-5 year-olds, while primary education for children of 7-11 years is provided in 15 primary schools. Religion has had a strong influence on education. Anglicans and Methodists broadened the base, and Quakers also played a vital role in education. Education, however, tended to render the educated unfit for life on the island.

Higher Education. Secondary education is fairly well developed throughout the island, but access to tertiary education is only through a school of continuing education sponsored by the University the West Indies.

Water cascades over the yellow rocks and soil of the Galway Soufriere volcanic vent. Montserrat depends on Britian for its survival, due to recent volcanic eruptions.
Water cascades over the yellow rocks and soil of the Galway Soufriere volcanic vent. Montserrat depends on Britian for its survival, due to recent volcanic eruptions.

Religion

Religious Beliefs. Protestant sects have multiplied in recent times. Catholics were a strong religious group in the 1800s, but today the largest religious denomination is Anglican Protestant. The first church, built by Governor Anthony Brisket, was probably Anglican. Pentecostal churches are growing.

Medicine and Health Care

Medical services are reasonably adequate on the island, with a number of private medical practitioners available as well as doctors in the government health service. Health centers are scattered throughout the island. Free medical attention and medication are provided for children and the aged.

Secular Celebrations

Saint Patrick's Day, March 17, is celebrated with feasts and festivities by the island's Irish inhabitants, and local scholars made it a national day on which to celebrate the freedom fighters of the abortive 1768 slave uprising. August 1 is Emancipation Day, and August Monday a national holiday, with picnics, bazaars, and dances. Many parishes have village days, beauty contests, and Calypso contests.

The Arts and Humanities

The arts and humanities are largely confined to folk representations. The trappings of black power, Afro clothing, and plaited hair have appeared and disappeared. However, there has been a new appreciation of self and a search for national identity. The new consciousness has found expression in research into local folk music, folktales, proverbs, riddles, and dialects. There has been an attempt to recognize and reconcile the African contributions to Montserrat's cultural mosaic.

Bibliography

Berleant-Schiller, R. "Montserrat." World Bibliographical Series 134, 1991.

Fergus, H. A. "Montserrat: Paradise or Prison." Bulletin of Eastern Caribbean Affairs 12 (1): 1–10, 1986.

——. History of Alliouaguana: A Short History of Montserrat , 1975.

Fitzgerald, T. K., and H. A. Fergus, H. A. "National Self-Image on A Caribbean Island: Montserrat, W. I." Journal of Eastern Caribbean Studies 22 (2): 56–67, 1997.

Fitzgerald, T. K. Metaphors of Identity: A Culture-Communication Dialoque , 1993.

Irish, J. A. G. Life in a Colonial Crucible: Labor and Social Change in Montserrat 1946–Present , 1991.

Kurlansky, M. A Continent of Islands: Seraching for the Caribbean Destiny , 1992.

Messenger, J. C. "Montserrat: 'The Most Distinctively Irish Settlement in the New World."' Ethnicity 2: 281–303, 1975.

Philpott, S. B. West Indian Migration: The Montserrat Case , 1973.

Schlesinger, P. Media, State and Nation: Political Violence and Collective Identities , 1991.

Smith, A. D. National Identity: Ethnonationalism in Comparative Perspective , 1991.

Williams, A. R. "Under the Volcano: Montserrat." National Geographic 192 (1): 58–75, 1997.

—T HOMAS K. F ITZGERALD



User Contributions:

amy
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Sep 23, 2006 @ 1:13 pm
i find this information very good, but could you tell me how the island was formed please it is for my geography homework.
Owen Dyer
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Apr 30, 2007 @ 11:23 pm
I want quite taken by your knowledge of the heritage and history monserrat.I was born on the Island of Monserrat in the village noted as Diers. Your first hand knowledge has enlighten my family tree. You have brought value to my belove country.My e-mail address is odyer@visa.com or daco140@verizon.net.

Sincerly,
Owen
Joseph Dyer
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Aug 8, 2007 @ 4:16 pm
The information was very informative and helpful; at the moment I am putting together the Dyer’s family tree, from Montserrat and would like to know who were the first Dyer’s to settle on the Island, were did they come from, and did they have a Coat of Arms & Family Crests, and or any other information about the Dyer’s



Kind regards

Joseph Dyer
linka dyer
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Aug 25, 2007 @ 1:13 pm
well i am pleasantly suprised... this information was indeed helpful but i am also shocked that other Dyer's are researching here also... maybe we can share information - my grandparents were from monsterrat as well.
sue roe
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Sep 29, 2007 @ 3:15 pm
I'm trying to research my mother's family history. She was born on Montserrat where her father , Charles Branch-Evans was a clergyman. His father was also a clergyman on Montserrat. Family story has it that he died there during a hurricane. My aunt aged 93 remembers living there as a child.
Can anyone help?
K
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Oct 16, 2007 @ 4:16 pm
This answered every question I had for some EXTENSIVE homework having to do with the carribean ( since i am from the US, this is foreign to me...). Kudos. You have great info.
shenyis allen
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Jun 12, 2008 @ 10:10 am
hi i just decided 1 day to look up the history of my father's country while browsing the net. this information was really useful it was clear and well put together. i had no idea about the history of where my father grew up. i am thinking of 1 day visiting the country in the near future. thank you very much very enlightening. shenyis
Marjorie Rivers
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Nov 14, 2008 @ 5:17 pm
This is indeed veryinformative. It has helped me to do an outstanding presentation at the college (St. John:s College) which I attend. I would like if you could add though some Montserrat Creole sentences and the meaning in English and some single words and meaning. (Think about it) maybe travellers may even try to learn some beforethey arrive.

If you do this it would help many more students when doing research about your homeland.

Thanks for the information. It was great!!!!!!

Marjorie
lawrence buntin
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Jan 30, 2009 @ 8:08 am
my family name is buntin if any buntins come to this message board leave me a message...my name is lawrence buntin my famliy is very big...nice work on my belove country's history.. two thums up....pease..and this is how creole sounds am going to say in english am going to go to the shop to buy some bread.....and in creole english it sounds like this.....ME A-GO-GO DEAR D SHAP FU BUY SUM BRED....let me know what you people think.. jah bless.. one!
Bernadine Murrain
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Oct 9, 2009 @ 3:15 pm
I am researching my family's geneaogy. My father's name is James Murrain (Johnnie Walker) from Harris, Montserrat who married Margaret (Miss Mary) Baker from the North. If you have any information about other connections/relations please email me at: bernadine_murrain@yahoo.co.uk. I am compiling a family tree.
anderson dyer
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Nov 30, 2009 @ 6:18 pm
it's good to know so many dyer's are out there researching there family history. i left the island in 1997 and only know back to my nan. her names jane dyer. i would like to know the history of the family before that if anyone got any info
sarah lee
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Jan 23, 2010 @ 12:00 am
hi im looking for any family members with the surname lee my grandmother is pracilla lee she lived in plymouth my dad was born in wapping his name was william henry lee if anyone has any information please contact me thank you caramel.sarah@hotmail.co.uk
Chris Allen
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Feb 3, 2010 @ 6:06 am
Greetings all. My mothers name is Rose Aleen she is from Geralds St Johns and her maiden name was Tuitt my fathers name is William Allen and is from Salem. I am hoping to start a family tree soon if any one can help fill in the gaps I would be grateful. I know my grandfathers name was Thomas Tuitt and my grandmothers name was Jane Anne Farrell. I look forward to hearing from anyone with any information. Thank you in advance bye for now.
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May 24, 2010 @ 9:09 am
My mother is a Buntin from Salem. I lived on the island off and on for parts of my childhood. I attended Maple Leaf School in town(Plymouth) I am trying to research my family history. My grandmother was a Greaves.
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May 27, 2010 @ 2:14 pm
I really enjoyed this site. It brings back a lot of memories of growing up in Salem. As I said before, I am a Buntin from Salem.I do not know any other Buntins. My grandmother was a Greaves.Her mother's name was Isles.I think they came to Montserrat from Barbados.I was married to a Lewis from George Street for awhile in the early '80s. My family is having a reunion cruise this summer. There will be a lot of Montserration relatives there. The names include: West, Daly,Pond,Ambrose,Greaves,to name a few. My email adress is royd0507@aol.com.Please contact me if you know any thing about these any of these last names.
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Jul 1, 2010 @ 1:13 pm
this article was very informative. I am beginning my research on my family history. What I do know is that my grandfather Samuel West was from this country and left at some point and went to Cuba met my father's mom Theresa and had three children with her Ilene, John and Ronald. I am not sure if he left Cuba and went back home or stayed in Cuba, but my father and siblings moved to Jamaica where Theresa was from and he was never heard from again. I would love to know more. I anyone know any West please contact me.

Again, thanks this has been a great starting point because you really dont hear much about this place. I would love to visit one day.
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Jul 22, 2010 @ 8:08 am
I am of Montserration descent as well. This web site helped e find a whole bunch of relatives. I am not a West, but I have several cousins who are.
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Nov 1, 2010 @ 3:15 pm
Hi i am researching where my family name comes from and as i have discovered there are a lot of people called Tuitt on montserrat, I am wondering when the use of the name came about and where did it originate from, because the only Tuitt's i know of is my family and we are from england and are white, When i was growing up it was always classed as a very rare and different name, So i am very glad to find more Tuitt's and very interested in learning any new information,
thank you for taking the time to read this
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Nov 2, 2010 @ 9:09 am
This is was a great article, well written and informative! I am lucky enough to live in Montserrat! I would suggest anyone trying to find family information also check out Facebook- Island of Montserrat. The Tourism Board runs it, and has lot of island info and lots of people who check it regularly! Or better yet, just come visit! One afternoon in a rum shop and I am sure you will find family or at least find someone to point you in the right direction. :) Just to give a few contacts to recent posts... I use to live in Joseph Greaves house in Flemmings, Salem. He pasted away a few years ago and his son lives in Canada. Kevin West is on-island and is well known for his amazing photography, esp. of the volcano. The Chalmers are a really nice family who run BBC a local store. Yes, there are a lot of Tuitt's around, one being one of my good friends Charles who is a fisherman. Please... come check out Montserrat for yourselves, it is worth the trip! Good luck finding family info!
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Jan 8, 2011 @ 2:14 pm
Enjoyed reading your article. very informative and accurate. Looking forward to the updated version. Well done.
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Jan 22, 2011 @ 1:13 pm
I must say this is a great piece of work.Montsterrat is an amasing place and some day i will come to see you
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Mar 8, 2011 @ 7:07 am
Hi everyone, i found this site by accident but it was soo cool to read more about my familys island. I've only been to monsterrat once, i was there when the volcano started in 1995, it was such a beautiful island. All i know about my family in Montserrat is that my nans name was Mary Ryan also know as Sue before she married my grandad Charles/Martin Lee. Im not sure whare my grandad lived but when I stayed with my nan in 1995 she lived in Salem. My nan came to the UK in the late 50's early 60s then went back to montserrat in the 80's. Shes now here, im not sure when my grandad came here. If anyone on here thinks they might be realted to me please contact me on cheeki01.nlt@googlemail.com
Thanks
Jermain Taylor
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May 19, 2011 @ 8:08 am
I am researching my family's genealogy.My grandfather's name was Donald Elbry Taylor he lived in Montserrat and left to the island of Curacao,i believe in the early 40's.If anyone has any information about other connections and relations please contact me at jermain.r.taylor@gmail.com
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Jul 30, 2011 @ 11:11 am
Hi I'm trying to research my family, my grandad was called tucker victoria Robinson(greah)i think he moved to the UK in the 50's. my grandmother was called ms dorrset, i think she moved to the uk in the late 50' early 60's, i think they were from plymouth.i would be greatful if any one with info to email me on darnelltheo@hotmail.co.uk as im trying to find my roots as no body in the uk has any info and both of my grandparents are dead. and now i need to teach my children about our heratige. thanks to any body who can help me.

regards Daniel
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Aug 26, 2011 @ 11:23 pm
Hi everyone, I was having a conversation with my dad about our history, and found out that my grandfather's family or at least part of his family was originally from Montserrat, before relocating to the United States. My grandfather's name was Patrick White, but the family name before then was O'Garrow. I may have spelled that wrong, not so sure of it. Anyway, my grandfathers family also supposedly owned land near where the Volcano erupted. Shame about that. I would have loved to see it. If anyone has info about the O'Garrow's or even the White family, due share it. Thanks in advance :)
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Nov 4, 2011 @ 12:12 pm
My grandfathers from the island - last name Molyneaux. Please email me any info i'd be extremely grateful. Thank you
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Nov 11, 2011 @ 12:12 pm
hi good day to all my name is Abigale Maynard - Titley my mother and her nine other siblings were born in montserrat and grew up in a village called gages. my mother's name is Adella Irish, her father's name is Daniel Irish and i believe that her mother's name was Henrietta or Nelly Irish can you please send me any information about my mothers history you can E-Mail me.
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Nov 19, 2011 @ 1:01 am
Hi lawrence, I am a Buntin From St. Kitts My Family are the only ones, My grandmothers father was a Buntin, but i think he was born in St. Kitts, but have roots in Montserrat. I also knoe that he was family to the shields as well. need help making connection, my greatgrand father was born around 1888 but move NY before my Gandmother ws born in 1912. never heard of him again much, otherthan in the 1940 my grandmothe was told by some one returning to st kitts that te saw him in NY after that no trace of him, his name was Ernest Buntin, hope you can help
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Nov 27, 2011 @ 3:03 am
Hello to everyone,
the above indeed is first class information my sincere gratitude to the author which I am sure is shared by all,for those of you trying to trace your family tree it is worth considering that
although you might be Lee/Tuitt/Bunting/Allen/Davis/Brade myself,
your tree might very well have stated with another name as I am finding out.


Regards with love for you all
naida
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Nov 30, 2011 @ 1:13 pm
i was born in monserrt in the village called woodlands. but went to another country to resided becuz of family problems. but would loe to come back to my country but do not know any one at present.
hans
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Dec 17, 2011 @ 9:21 pm
I lived on Montserrat right before hurricane hugo and went to the public school near woodlands. Montserrat is the most beautiful place I have ever lived. I would go back in a heartbeat!
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Dec 18, 2011 @ 7:19 pm
My name is Pamela Bassett but my maiden name is Riley. I am one of eight siblings and we are all descendants of two large families from Montserrat, the Boatswains and the Rileys, from our father's side.

Our father was Samuel Douglas Riley. His parents, our paternal grandmother was Ellen (Helen) Boatswain and our paternal grandfather was John Douglas Riley.

Ellen Boatswain's father was Samuel Boatswain and her mother was Katie Meade. Samuel Boatswain's parents were Patrick and Sita Boatswain.

John Riley's father was Nicholas Riley and his mother was Louisa Willock. John also had a twin brother whose name we do not know.

We also have a connection to the West family, as one of Samuel Boatswain's brothers, Timothy Boatswain had a daughter by the name of Esther, who married a George Henry West.

We are also very connected to the Meade, Dyer, O'Garro and Dungee families via marriages within the Boatswain family line. We are still trying to find information on Patrick and Sita, especially her maiden name and also on John Douglas Riley's twin brother.

We have put together extensive family trees at a couple of websites.

Please feel free to contact me at the email address displayed here if you have information regarding anyone in the family line and I will add that information and share the trees with you. We are not allowed to post the website links here.

Let's keep up the research! This is fun!!

Pamela Alicia Riley Bassett-Carmalt.

:)
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Feb 11, 2012 @ 10:10 am
Hello to all whom have found this site fascinating as I did. And to those who are still in search of information to lend towards the development of a family tree, I wish you the best of luck. This synopsis of Montserrat’s history contains very interesting accounts; some I have to admit is relatively new to me. However, I would like to know more about the Murrain family, primarily at the point where African slaves were introduced to the island. My maternal grandfather was Murrain; however, it was the name inherited from his forefathers through slavery. That history is apparently lost to most and I would love to experience some account of it. If there is any Murrain or anyone out there with information to share, please contact me at my email address. I am presently residing in the wonderful Hawaiian Island of Oahu. Much peace and love to all.
Sharon
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Apr 16, 2012 @ 12:00 am
I came upon this website. I am researching the Hussey family. My greatgrandmother grew up in Montserrat. Her name was Annie Hussey. She left Montserrat to go to Trinidad. She had a sister named Susan or Suzanne. I don;t know much more,only that she was born in 1861. Anyone who is a relative and/or knows someone by that name please contact me through the email provided.
Philip Brade
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Apr 17, 2012 @ 12:00 am
Hi Sharon please forgive the sketchiness of my information,as a child in Montserrat I could remember a Hussey family living in Friths the name nana or mama Hussey come to mind there might be a tina also,
I am sure my mother and my uncles would know a deal more of this family as they were living quite close you are welcome to contact me and I will see what I could find out for you .
Sharon
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Apr 19, 2012 @ 2:14 pm
Hello to Philip Brade. I am so happy that you responded to this email so quickly. I would be happy if you could help me get on to the Hussey family that you know about. My email address is acreativeresearcher@gmail.com. Hoping to hear from you soon
Charles dowdye
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May 16, 2012 @ 3:15 pm
I found this site quite by chance my name is charles dowdye the name
Dowdye is from montserraat on my fathers side his name was John dowdye
My mother is Sarah Elizabeth Martin who lived in grandstand her mother
And father wiiam and Catherine Martin lived in st Patrick's. Catherine had a brother
And sister Richard Martin and Mary (caty)

My father John had a brother called boxie and 2 sisters. I am trying to
Put together my family tree but it is painstaking
If anyone has information on the martins. Dowdye. Or anyone who lived
At trials please contact
Anita
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May 24, 2012 @ 7:07 am
This is a good quick overview of Montserrat. I do question the section called The Arts and Humanities. I just returned from a trip to Montserrat and met many top-notch writers and artists. Anyone interested in learned more about the scene there could check out the annual Alliouagana festival and the work of Dr. Fergus collecting and publishing the work of Caribbean writers, including many from Montserrat.
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Jun 28, 2012 @ 9:21 pm
I'm also looking for my family tree as well my father dad name is Ryan but his mother last name is Bryan if u share those last name hit me up on my email
Julie
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Jul 26, 2012 @ 10:10 am
Hi

I wondered if anyone could give me any information about the Mulcare family, my father Jonathon was born in Harris (I believe) in Montserrat in 1935.
vera
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Aug 1, 2012 @ 4:16 pm
montserrat was & is a beautiful island come and viste our island
Liam Bradshaw
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Aug 14, 2012 @ 10:22 pm
Hi

Just wondering if anyone has information on the
Parson or parsons family, my grandmothers maiden
Name would have be laurancena parson and her fathers
Was Samuel, I think they lived in Harris Area
Thankyou
Jamaal
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Sep 2, 2012 @ 12:12 pm
Hello Everyone,
It's a real pleasure seeing folks trying to reconnect. Montserrat has always had a larger community abroad than at home and we really have to stay connected. Thanks to whoever created this site.
I would like to find out more information about my grandfather's first wife. Her name was Ann Weldon Trott and we know little about her. My grandfather, John Henry Jeffers preserved her name by adding Weldon to his first son's name. I would also like to learn more about my great grandparents, William C Jeffers and Elizabeth Allen. I believe the Allens were from Davy Hill and William Jeffers was from Zion Hill in the North. Please feel free to email me at jamaalj54@gmail.com Blessings, J
Beresford Roberts
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Oct 8, 2012 @ 11:11 am
Liam

My mother came to London England as a teenager and first settled and lived in Notting Hill, Shepherds Bush and finally Fulham.

I hope this helps

Thanks
Beresford
Mary Tuitt
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Oct 29, 2012 @ 3:15 pm
Hi Chris Allen,
My name is Mary Tuitt I currently live in Georgia but I am From Montserrat. I also share the same Grandmother and Grandfather Jane Ann Farrell married to Thomas Tuitt. Thomas is origanally from Bakers Hill (Codgoe Head). Thomas and Janie as she was called together had 16 children but my grandfather had two or three children before marriage, aunt Rosalyn was one of them and I knew her very well. If we are talking about the same people then we are closely related. My mother's name is Mono Tuitt. I hope this info would be of some help and I also forwarded this message to my brother whos much better than me at recognizing family.
Leroy Allan Martin, Sr. (Rocky)
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Jan 24, 2013 @ 10:22 pm
Interesting site. I was born in 1952, and went to Wesley (Elementary) School. A whole bunch of O'Garro boys were there too. I have forgotten most of the names. I do remember there was a David, a William, and a Philip. You didn't mess with the O'Garro boys. There were too many of them and they were only to happy to fight if anyone did anything to any of them. Philip appeared to be the exception though. He was easy. There was also an older O'Garro brother that must have gone through the school before me, because I remember him as an adult and I think he was the eldest. Never learned his real name. He went by the name "Apache". Big guy, but more likely to break up a fight than start one.
Also at Wesley school at the time was an Evelyn Buntin (Bunting?). She lived on Waterlane. She had the smoothest dark skin, and was always disappointed when she didn't get sent to the school dentist.
I grew up in Plymouth (Town Hill). My father is Leonard Aubrey Martin (Babbabs). His father was Ray Martin. I don't know how I might be connected to the Martins from Trials or St. Patricks. It would be good to find out if I am.
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Jan 29, 2013 @ 1:01 am
Blessed Be fellow Montserratians. I am also doing a family tree. I have Daly, Daley, Weekes, Silcott, and Kirnon's as immediate family members but I do have Greenaway, Lee, West, Botswain, Fergus, Allen, and Fenton on my tree. The saying goes we are all cousins anyway. I am looking for information particularly on Sarah Joseph, Joseph John Daley, or the Sena's. Please contact me if you need any info as well and I will see what I can do.
Diana West Thompson
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Feb 3, 2013 @ 12:00 am
I join you Montserratians researching your roots. My grandparents were born there and I have been working on a family tree for a while. The surnames West, Boatswain, Daly, Roach, French and Williams figure prominently on my tree as do the areas of Plymouth, St Patricks, Bethel and Farms. If these names are familiar to you, please contact me by clicking on my name above. Hi Pamela, Eli...keep on searching!
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Feb 16, 2013 @ 5:05 am
Hi Diana! Still searching for the Willock link! If anyone here knows of a Louisa Willock married to Nicholas Riley, both of Montserrat please contact me.
Kristan
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Mar 4, 2013 @ 8:20 pm
Hello,
My son is doing a project on Montserrat. He is trying to find some traditional dessert recipes.
Richard SHiell
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Apr 1, 2013 @ 1:01 am
To Charles Dowdye,
I have done considerable research on the old Shiell family of Montserrat. There were very influential in the early part of the 19th century and have left a few decendents on the island but many more have migrated away to the UK, USA, CAnada and Australia.
There are many variations on the spelling of the name and I have some interesting stories about a Mrs Dowdy in 1823 who felt that she was defrauded of her land and slaves. It had interesting consequences and Mathew Dowdy Shiell, a mullato Methodist lay-preacher and store-keeper may have be decended from one of her slaves. His son Matthew Phipps Shiell -1865-1947- (the "King of Redonda") lived all his adult life in Britain and was a prolific writer of adventure stories . Contact me for more details on richard.shiell@gmail.com
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Apr 16, 2013 @ 3:15 pm
I Am also a Decendent of Montserrat. I am currently looking for my family line which is Boatswain, Ryan, and Duberry. I'm glad to know that we are still out there, if you are apart of this family blood please contact me. I also know alot of Buntins as well. George Buntin, was actually my Grandmothers Husband.
Michael J. Farrell
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May 20, 2013 @ 5:17 pm
My name is Michael J. Farrell, I am a Descendent of Montserrat Island, I was born to Joseph and Sarah Farrell on December 12 1938. I am looking for any live relatives still living on the Island. I have lived in the USA since the early 70's. I am trying to reunite with my relatives. Please contact me at this Email address above.


M J. Farrell
Mona O'Garro
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Jun 4, 2013 @ 10:22 pm
Hi! My name is Mona O'Garro , my husband family are descendent of Montserrat. I'll be visiting this year in Dec for the first time and is do excited to see the country where my husband and his family was born.
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Jun 10, 2013 @ 1:01 am
I am looking for my family also my grandmother name was Mary Meade better known as Minnie she was born December 27 1912, she has a brother not sure of his name. My grandfather was William Robinson or they call him Sally picney Willie or Alton. My grandfather had a brother they call him Moses. My dad was born there with two other brothers my dad name is William Nathaniel Richard Robinson they call him John he was born September 3 1936. His brothers name is Daniel Robinson who lives in England we heard. My dad youngest brother died a few years ago and his name was Arthur Robinson. I was told that my grandparents was from Farms and Harries. My dad is not to 100% he said he can remember his dad would take him to see a man called King or Dadda. When I was very young like five years old my grandfather came to my parents home in Antigua and he was ridding a donkey he was light skin, very tall slim and very nice hair. My dad also remember a lady they would take him to see was Anna or Nanna in Brade he is not sure if she was his aunt or godmother. I would be very happy if anyone could please help me find out any information on my family.
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Aug 6, 2013 @ 7:19 pm
I am currently tracing my family tree and am extremely surprised to find that my grandfather eight times removed was born at The Farm st Georges Montserrat in about 1680. His name was George Lomas and He married a Edith Palfreyman from Tideswell Derbyshire England and they had nine children. It appears that during there life numerous journeys took place between Montserrat and England as some children were born in either place. Is it possible to find out anything about there lives, status and work. I am assuming because of the apparent frequent travelling that they were not poor. Any information would be very gratefully received back here in Derbyshire England. Thankyou.
Vanessa
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Nov 6, 2013 @ 5:17 pm
Hi my grandmother is from Montserrat her surname is Ryan. My great grandmother is called Catherine (cash). I wondered if there are any Ryan's here. My grandmother and her mom now live in England. I just wondered if there are any Ryan's in Montserrat. Also I'm looking for my grandad side of the family. All I know is that his name is Thomas Allen not if he is from Montserrat or Antigua. He also lives here in England. I'm more interested in finding info on him as my mom has never met her dad we don't know much.
P.S this article and comments are very interesting.
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Dec 10, 2013 @ 7:19 pm
Hi my mother and father are from Montserrat. My Mother is Ernestine Browne and my father is Ronald Allen(Deceased). I have so many family members I would love to find. My uncle was the late chief minister John Osbourne and he had children I never met. Not to mention all my family who left to England. I want to know more about my Irish relatives. On you tube you can find my grandfather and grandmother Mr. and Mrs. Allen from 1976 who owned the local post office. The documentary is called The Black Irish of Montserrat - Irish accents in the Caribbean. I think this article is great and hopefully more folks will find out about this page.
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Mar 6, 2014 @ 8:20 pm
Hi
This information is well researched and very informative. I am trying to follow the roots of the Fergus Family which moved down the caribbean to S.t.Vincent and as far as Trinidad. please email me if you have any information that is helpful
Thanks
Allan
Brenda Beach Nickelson
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Apr 1, 2014 @ 4:04 am
I am researching my family from Montserrat. My grandfather is John Beach, who was born on Montserrat around 1880. John and his brother Thomas moved to NY in the early 1900's. I believe their mother was Belle Lee. I have heard that we are related to the Allens, Dyers, Ryans. Any info you may haave on my family, please email me aloha5@hotmail.com.

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