22 Jan 2000 Bloomington, Idaho New leads focus Stirling research on the beautiful isle of Jamaica!
Recent contributions and research developments suggest that many ancestors of Clan Stirling stopped to visit, or spent quite some time on the isle of Jamaica before continuing on to the American Mainland. The Stirlings of Keir had numerous land holdings in Jamaica including two sugar cane plantations at Frontier and Hampstead. The last was sold about 1840. One of the old Stirling estates was later used as a prison, and to this day the ruin is known as Castle Stirling. According to Inez Sibley in Dictionary of Place Names in Jamaica, there are two places called Stirling Castle in Jamaica. One in St. Andrew was named after its first owner, John Stirling. The other Stirling Castle is in Trelawny (she does not say for whom it was named)
To highlight this branch of our heritage a new section has been setup in Family Pages for Jamaican information. The first branch of the family to be published there is Walter Stirling who lived in either Westmorland or Hanover Jamaica. We don't know his wife's given name, just that she was of the family of Cornish. There isn't a lot of information on this branch of the Stirling family, (yet!) so please feel free to add to it. If you have other Jamaican branches of the family, please send them to Clan Stirling so we can compile information.
If you've found good sources of research materials, particularly on the Internet, please pass them along.
Of special interest is the number of Quaker ancestors that spent time on Jamaica. Quakers who settled in the island in the late 17th century removed to Pennsylvania & New England in the 18th century; American researchers who cannot make the connection between Pennsylvania/New England Quaker families and those in England might consider the possibility that their families made a home in Jamaica before removing to the United States.
FAMILY LINES IN JAMAICA
RESEARCH AIDS -
The book "Jamaican Ancestry: How to Find Out More" by Madeleine E. Mitchell a paperback publication released in 1998 has over 180 pages of useful information about doing research in this part of the world. The book can be a little hard to find, but is well worth the price! The ISBN number for the book is 0788410504, and was published by Heritage Books.
Ms. Mitchell found a lack of materials to help as she conducted her own Jamaican family research. She compiled this handy guide, intended for researchers in the U.S., Canada, the UK and Jamaica. The appendix contains a timeline of important dates in Jamaican history.