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Bermuda

Discussion in 'General' started by Bob Spiers, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    I am interested in finding sources -preferably non fee paying (unless Ancestry or FMP where I have subscriptions ) that cover Bermuda. I seek information, mainly dates for BMD's, of ancestors who were early Bermudian settlers, and for the most part their descendants still reside there. I have a Pedigree list of names from a family source but little else. Any pointer on how to proceed will be appreciated
     
  2. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

  3. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    Thanks Alexander I had tried Family Search myself but in a more general way so thanks for the specific 'Caribbean' filter. In all instances -and I tried a fair few - they returned a 'nul' search or umpteen 'near misses' based on Barbadian records, and little other. Certainly nothing Bermudian.

    The problem with Bermuda is that it is 3/4 of the way across the Pacific (about 700 miles from the USA and 1000 miles or so from the Caribbean proper) and they do not regard themselves as Caribbean. They are proudly -and I do mean proudly- British. Although over the years there has been a large influx of West Indians into Bermuda, Bermuda itself pays little regard to being included under the Caribbean umbrella and even the Cruise ships (mainly from the USA) only look upon it as a staging post onwards to the Caribbean.

    Bermuda has its own way of doing things as I have found with strong ties to the UK and more than a little influence from America with money and commodities. I thought their BMD registrations might find there way to the UK but it appears not to be the case and Ancestry/FMP searching has produced nothing.

    There is a My Heritage site 'Family Link' that claims to have 'some' Bermuda BMD records and will show no results until you take up a so called '3 day trial' and need to register a credit card. I might take this up and if unsuccessful just cancel the registration. It is also possible to communicate with Bermuda GRO after downloading and completing a request form and then posting or faxing. (They do not accept online requests). However the cost for them to search and provide a certified copy of any Certificate is astronomical. For an island without income tax it certainly knows how to charge for its services, but can't say I blame them.

    It is of course possible to conduct a free search in Bermuda and although I do have family contacts, most are elderly, and I am not sure I want to ask them. However that may still be the way forward, or to visit myself; but that in the foreseeable future is unlikely.

    Thanks for your help and if anyone has other ideas do please make contact.
     
  4. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    Those ones might have been a miss as I wasn't aware it wasn't really Caribbean. However it might be in a different collection. Scroll down to bottom of the front search page and you can select collections to browse. That's how I found the Caribbean ones.
     
  5. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    Thanks Alexander will do, and I would like to take the opportunity of correcting my error of placing Bermuda in the Pacific, it is of course smack bang in the Atlantic. Silly me
     
  6. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    Although I was unsuccessful with Bermudan searching on the Family Search site, I did discover a Roots Webb (Ancestry) site that I found most helpful and it was free. It mainly concerns itself with early Bermudian settlers by family names but could prove a good starting off point. For the benefit of others it can be found here Bermuda

    I also came across another My Heritage owned site entititled 'World Vital Records' that claimed 'Bermudan record Collections, but like its 'Family Link' brother, produced the exact same pop-up offering a 3-day trial on registration with a credit card.
     
  7. AndyMick

    AndyMick LostCousins Star

    I have some of my One Name Study people in the Bahamas (OK they're not that close unless viewed from here or New Zealand!) The point I wanted to make is that there is (or was a couple of years back when I was researching) a very active Bahamas email list - not on Rootsweb, but on Yahoo.
    HTH
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  8. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    Thanks for the info but although a 'Bahamas' label is slightly better than a Caribbean one for Bermuda, they are still 900 miles distant as the crow flies. Genealogically speaking they are quite separate entities although I concede a One Name Study might make this less so as there would have been cultural migrations.

    I did a Yahoo Bahamas genealogical search and sure enough found Bermuda listed. However when I clicked on it, it took me to the self same 'Roots Web' Bermuda site I have already posted. Will keep trying.
     
  9. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    One of my back burner projects is a lovely lady, Mrs Blanche Coddington, who is mentioned in the records of one Thomas Hayes a WWI soldier. Thomas came to my attention because of this little project which I could not resist while looking for something else in the City of Toronto Archives. The "something else" is my main priority so you can see that I must not let myself be distracted.
    I have not delved further than a quick peak at Blanche at Family Search but Thomas was among Canadian soldiers who spent a bit of time in Bermuda. If anyone has more current insight into island research perhaps you could post.
     
  10. SuzanneD

    SuzanneD LostCousins Star

    I'm not sure what sort of timeframes you mean by 'early' given that Bermuda has been settled by Europeans for over 400 years. I see you've already found the Rootsweb site that I found most useful for piecing together my Paynter family line in Bermuda in the 1615-1750 period. I don't know if many old parish records for Bermuda have survived, or when civil registration started?

    The other tactics I found useful for filling in details (as opposed to finding BMD sources) were:
    • Some of the settlers had their wills proved in England, even a few generations on from the first arrival, so look in the PCC wills on Ancestry.
    • Run a search for names on the British History website. One of its free resources is Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies from 1574 to 1739; there are other relevant records too.
    • Search for the individual's names and 'Bermuda' on Google Books and Archive.org (which is most easily searched via Googling 'site:archive.org SEARCH TERMS' than from the site's own search function). Many of the very early families seem to have maintained connections to the American colonies; and I found a few references to my Bermuda family (along with reference to sources) in published genealogies for early American families.
    The amount of material available on Archive.org these days is truly astounding.

    Heh. If you're not raising any income tax then you have to get your revenue from somewhere...
     
  11. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    And if my Grandson -3 years a resident married to a daughter of a Bermudian family with American/Scottish ancestry - is anything to go by Bermuda has ways of making money never dreamt of outside the island. He tells me they are past masters at getting revenue from their residents and especially from casual Cruise liner visitors; not to mention attracting investment monies as a tax haven island. No wonder they are one of the richest 'per capita' countries in the world.

    He regularly asks me to buy books for him in the UK which even with astronomical posting costs are cheaper than those available on the island. For birthdays and Christmas he and his wife ask for Amazon US dollar vouchers and not unheard for them to buy direct from the USA. Even with modest postal charges and the inevitable added revenue imposed once on the island, they can show savings.

    As an ex UK 'Postie' (but employed in a quite different trade in Bermuda) he particularly laments the Bermuda postal system, telling me they do in a week which his depot in the UK would manage in a day. On an island I remind some 21 miles long and barely 3 miles wide. Apparently parcels are not delivered to the door but you receive a docket reminder through the letter box. The parcel then has to be picked up from the main post office in Hamilton. Of course once there the item is examined to see what additional revenue has to be paid, or if accompanied by a more savvy native, explain why the item should be exempt!

    All that said he still maintains Bermuda is an island paradise where the sun always shines, even if subject to the odd tropical storms and hurricanes. It is just a matter of learning to live on a small island that goes at its own pace, beset in old colonial British traditions (slowly being changed by US influences) with roads barely a car width wide and an average 30mph speed restriction throughout. You just have to shake off any idea of what things used to cost in the UK he tells me or times them by 3. (His words I should add).

    I shall comment separately another time on genealogical research for Bermudian ancestry.
     
  12. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    As it turns out I doubt I can add to what either I or others have already said as information on Bermudan genealogy is very scant. I tried at first to concentrate on finding out all I could on Bermuda history (via routes already mentioned) and was not that successful. However I was distracted when the Bermudan born mother-in-law (of my Grandson) asked for help with her Scottish ancestry. So I diverted attention to this with some success. I was then asked to look into the father-in-law's American history and was told he had been born Ohio to a known mother but unknown father. I became quite engrossed in the intricacies of American research which were relatively new to me and decided to set up a separate Tree on Ancestry. Luckily I discovered quite by accident another Researcher who had overlapping family details and learned (which the family later confirmed) the father was a distant cousin of the famous American golfer Tony Lema who had died in a plane crash in 1966.

    I know none of that imparts information on actual Bermudan research, yet in a way it does because along the way through the Lema (Lima) name I learned of the heavy Portuguese Azores connections, with links to both Hawaii & Puerto Rica which appeared to have been stop off points for many before they settled in Bermuda. Where else could one come across the lovely name of Louisa Lucia (Lucy) da Conceicao Cunha?

    The more you delve into the island (known to its natives as 'The Rock') the more you learn of the great diversity of it people. Quite a fascinating place and where many of the its traditional stores, shops & restaurants have been owned by the same families (mainly of British extractions) for generations.
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  13. Rhian

    Rhian LostCousins Member

    I have a line of descendants in the British West Indies, Mainly Potts and Ames, in redoing data searches I found quite a few updates recently to the family search collections mentioned at the start of this thread. It might be worth a recheck of your lines.
     

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