Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category

In short, a project to preserve and digitize Grenada’s essential documents has begun.

This is EXCELLENT news as the current storage of said documents is horrific and we have already lost so much to fire, water and pest damage.  I am glad to see that the group pushing these efforts prevailed – I was worried that they would not be able to find funding. It appears that they found their partner and funding in the British Library.

The digitization is to start with the Grenada Public Library’s collection of old newspapers and culminate with the opening of a National Archives building where hard copy and digitized versions of materials will be stored.

More details on the project here.



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The Grenada Handbook

The Grenada Handbook is a wonderful primary resource for Grenada genealogists and historians/history buffs alike. Published between 1896  and 1946 (no issues were printed from 1919-1920 and 1922-1926) and compiled by the Colonial Secretary, the Handbook offers a wealth of information about Grenada’s history and the way in which the Colony was structured.

This from Allister Hughes’ website:

“These handbooks were published from 1896 to 1948, and include a vast wealth of data, from pictures of the “First Motor Car in Grenada,” to a Chronicle of Events for the prior year, lists of registered medical practitioners, foreign consuls, cocoa and nutmeg dealers, a map of the Grand Etang Forest Reserve, financial statistics, lawyers fees, and a directory of all businesses in the colony.”

I’ve been quite excited to see several of the names I’ve been following in them.

For those interested in biology and botany, the Grenada Handbook also lists Grenada’s flora and fauna and tracks the island’s weather.

You are truly lucky if you own one or more of the Handbooks, since they are rare books that retail for around $400 each. I don’t own any of the issues and rely on libraries and interlibrary loan to get my hands on them.

1897 and 1902 are available online from Google Books. You can download a PDF from there if you are in the US. If you are outside of the US, it’s always possible to use an online proxy like Zend (though, before someone flames me, I am not advocating this) to do so.

New York Public Library has 1896-1927 (minus the years when the handbook wasn’t published) on microfilm.

Hard copies are available in/from the following libraries:


CISTI – National Research Council Library (Ottawa, Canada) has 1896-1906, 1909-11, 1912, 1914-21, 1927. It costs $25 in Canada to borrow a book for 6 weeks. It’s $45 outside of Canada.

Toronto Public Library (Reference Library) has 1909 and 1927.

McGill University has 1897 in its Rare Books/Special Collections (McLennan Building).


Can anyone confirm whether the Grenada Museum and/or Public Library have Handbook issues?

University of the West Indies in Trinidad has holdings

The Barbados Museum and Historical Society has holdings.


University of London has 1927 (Institute of Historical Research)

Cambridge University Library has 1896-1927 and 1946.

Oxford University has 1896-1907 and 1927.


Harvard University (Widener Library) has 1897, 1902, 1905, 1912, 1921 and 1927.

Boston Public Library has 1946-

Boston College Library has 1897

The Schomburg Center (New York – Part of New York Public Library) has 1927.

Columbia University Library has 1896-1927 and 1946-

NYU has 1896 and 1946

Yale University Library has 1946

Cornell University has 1897.

University of Pennsylvania has 1900.

University of Chicago has 1900, 1902, 1912, 1921 and 1946.

Detroit Public Library has 1946 and 1927.

Stanford University has 1917/18, 1921 and 1927

This is definitely not an exhaustive list – but hopefully it’s a start…

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John Hankey

2nd son of Sir Thomas Hankey deceased and his wife Sarah, daughter of Sir John Barnard.
Property includes sugar plantations, mills and negro slaves in Grenada and elsewhere in the West Indies.
Appoints Beaumont Hotham his brother-in-law and Thomas and Robert Hankey his brothers as Trustees.

Will of John Hankey (copy) IV/35/32/10 4th August 1773

Lambeth Archives Department (London)

Minet Library
52 Knatchbull Road

Tel: 020 7926 6076
Fax: 020 7926 6080

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I discovered yesterday, with Cathy Aquart’s help, that some of us, interested in Grenadian genealogy have had the aid of old Grenadian newspapers (by old I mean issues that go back to the early 1800s) at the British Library. These apparently often listed weddings, births and deaths and so seem as if they would be a rich resource for those of us looking for family history information.

If you are tapping these resources – **please do share with us.

For those of us who live across the Pond, there are also holdings of old Grenadian papers at The American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, MA. This library and archives are open and free of charge. West Indian newspapers in the American Antiquarian Society are available up to 1876. The detailed newspaper catalogue is not available online – you must visit and use their on-site card catalog.

At the British Library there are holdings for the following Grenadian newspapers:

  • The Grenada Free Press and Public Gazette (from 1839-1840)
  • The St. George’s Chronicle and Gazette (from 1839-1907)
  • The Grenada Phoenix (from 1864-1865)
  • The Weekly Record (from 1865-1865)
  • The Grenada Reporter (from 1867-1867)
  • Excelsior! (from 1876-1876)
  • The New Era (from 1878-1880)
  • The Equilibrium (from 1882-1887)
  • The Grenada People (from 1883-1908)
  • Daily Tidings (from 1886-1886)
  • The Federalist (from 1896-1901)
  • The Federalist and Grenada People (from 1901 to 1907)
  • The Federalist and Grenada People (from 1909-1920)
  • The Federalist (from 1907-1908)
  • [St. George’s] Chronicle and Gazette (from 1912-1915)
  • The West Indian (from 1915-1970)
  • The West Indian [mail edition] (from 1917-1920)
  • The Grenada Guardian (from 1930-1935)
  • The Vanguard (from 1959-1960)
  • The Citizen’s Weekly (from 1959-1961)
  • The Citizen’s Weekly (from 1960-1961)
  • The Star (from 1962-1962)
  • The Torchlight (from 1962-1967)

To find the catalogue information you will need to request the issues visit the British Library’s online Integrated Catalogue and select the Search the Integrated Catalogue link. From here, choose Catalogue subset search, then Newspapers. Type Grenada in as a keyword and the database will return the list of Grenadian newspapers. You can then click on the listing that interests you for information on the specific issues they hold, the system number and shelfmark.

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The microfilm the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) took of Grenadian records is invaluable to anyone doing genealogical or historical research of the island.

The actual paper records, in many cases no longer exist, so thank God we have access to them in microfilmed form.

I’ll admit, though, that I’ve often found the LDS film search engine bewildering. Enter the Candoo Caribbean LDS Film Index to make it easier to find the film you are looking for.

The index covers all of the Caribbean countries for which there is LDS microfilm. Note, that Trinidad records are not available, a sad fact, since Grenada and Trinidad have always been so linked.

The index main page also includes links to a helpful Caribbean historical timeline (I know I’ve found it important to keep track of the end of the Slave Trade, Emancipation, the Panama Canal construction period, etc.) and hurricane timeline.

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At the risk of sounding like a commercial (for which I’m not being paid), I wanted to let all know about KeepCalling.com

It’s a prepaid call program – basically functions like a calling card – but there aren’t the connection fees and rates are low. 15 cents a minute to Grenada. 2 cents a minute from where I am, Canada, to the States. 1 cent from the States to Canada.

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The extended La Motte/La Mothe/De La Mothe clan are very organized and have done a lot of great research into the family’s history. They are networked through a Google group [works like a mailing list]. If you are a cousin/may have something to contribute they’d welcome your sign up at http://groups.google.com/group/LaMotte/

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