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…


George Brizan’s histories of Grenada are chocked full of names and other information that may be useful to genealogists. Here are some tidbits I copied down from Grenada: Island of Conflict. Warning – they are disjointed:


William Smith, Englishman, owner of Revolution Hall Estate (now called Brothers)

Mentions Alexander Campbell and Lt. Governor Ninian Home as planters at this time


Lussan, a merchant from Gouyave is mentioned [ I think this is the surname now spelled Lusan]

Balthazar Estate is owned by de Poulain

Julien Fedon owned the large Belvedere Estate in St. John’s


Domingo Sebastian DeFreitas mentioned as a planter from St. John’s and a Member of the Governor’s Legislative Council in the late 1800s


Magistrates and Special Justices


TA Sinclair

Mr.  Cayley

Mr. John Ross

Mr. Garraway until early 1836 when he was replaced by Fraser


John Ross

T. Cayley [most likely the same man as above]

L. Walsh

CS Fraser

TA Sinclair


Chief Justice – John Sanderson

Ass. judges: LJ Walsh and John Wells

Special justices: CJ Fraser, RM Jephson, Julien DeGourville and Philip Staunton


Plantation managers in the 1830s

Mr. Leid – Mt. Reuil Estate

Mr. Agar – Mt. Gay Estate

Dr. John Brown – Clark’s Court Estate


Bocage, Pearls, Boulogne and Madeys Estates owned by Theophilus Law

St. Bernard Search

I have been tracking St. Bernards from St. Paul’s District, St. George’s Parish and from St. David’s Parish for some time but am still not able to “crack the code.” Little pieces of the puzzle do come together, but still I have a lot of “orphaned” individuals and dead ends. So, I’m going to throw some of the St. Bernard information I have out to you in the hope…

Most of the St. Bernards lived either in Good Hope, Mt. Hope (I’m not sure exactly where this was, since no one seems to use that term today) or near St. Paul’s Chapel and the Tower owned by the Slingers (this area is sometimes also called St. Leonard’s Land in the old records). One group seem to have lived in Morne Delice, as well.

James ST. BERNARD and his wife Lucretia of Good Hope have a number of children in the 1880s and 1890s, all baptized in St. Paul’s Chapel:

Arthur Wellesley St. Bernard baptized in 1887

Elizabeth Virginia St. Bernard baptized in 1889

Claud Alvern St. Bernard baptized in 1891

Edward Septimus St. Bernard baptized in 1893

Edmund Fitzherbert St. Bernard baptized in 1885

George Nathaniel ST. BERNARD and his wife Julia of Good Hope:

George Templeman St. Bernard baptized in 1888

George ST. BERNARD and his wife Matilda of Good Hope:

Alfonso Matthias St. Bernard baptized in 1891

Festus ST. BERNARD and his wife Jules R. or Julia R. (record was hard to read) of Mt. Hope:

Byron Festus Macaulay St. Bernard baptized in 1886

John ST. BERNARD and his wife Elizabeth of Good Hope

Edith Matilda St. Bernard baptized in 1888

Samuel Leabertson St. Bernard baptized in 1890

Hyacinth (middle name was illegible) St. Bernard baptized in 1893

David Tennyson St. Bernard baptized in 1894

Finally! Canadian passenger lists are finally accessible through Ancestry.com/Ancestry.ca/Ancestry.co.uk.

The available lists cover the period 1865-1935.

Already, I have been able to find, with just a cursory look, some of the folks I have been tracking. I have been searching using the parameters of birth country = Grenada and departure port= Grenada, though I’ll probably get more inventive as I go along.

For those of us without an Ancestry account, most of the LDS Family History Centres have one that you can use free-of-charge. Just ask one of the volunteers to direct you to it.

This information is taken from a post to Rootsweb made by Merrill Bourne in 2003. She lists her original source for the obituary as the The Chronicle and Gazette [published in St. George’s, Grenada], Saturday September 8th 1877. You’ll note that Thomas Bell, is not a native of Grenada, having been born in Madeira [ERRATA: Merrill Bourne contacted me to say that the family’s Bible lists Malta, NOT Madiera as Thomas William Bell’s birthplace] , a Portuguese archipelago in the north Atlantic ocean:

Died at Dumfries house Carriacou, on Monday the 3 rd. instant, Thomas
William Bell, Esquire, Police Magistrate and Coroner for the Northern
district, aged 58 years, leaving a wife, children and grand children to
mourn their irreparable loss.

The Packet:
Death has removed, since last packet, one of our most esteemed
colonists. Thomas William Bell, Esq. Police magistrate of Carriacou,
died on Monday, the 3rd. instant, after a very short illness. Mr. Bell
came out to Grenada in 1839, in Messrs. Hankey’s ship, the Helen , as an
interpreter to a batch of Maltese immigrants, who were brought here
through the exertions of the late Henry Edward Sharpe, Esq. Then
Proprietor of Corinth and providence estates, in St. Davids Parish,
conjointly with Messrs. Thompson Hankey and company, and Messrs.
Davidson, Barkely and Company. Of London. The failure of this experiment
was attributable , we learn on good authority, to the uncalled for and
improper interference of the Stipendiary Justices of that day. Mr. Bell,
after several years occupation as a clerk and merchant, settled himself
on his property of La Vallette in St. Andrews, where he soon became
distinguished as a grower of spices, which had become a specialty in
Grenada, through the perservering exertions of the late Robert Kenedy at
Belone, George Macfarlane at Peggy’s Whim, and Alexander Brim at
Hampstead, Mr. Bell, with such advantages and examples, soon established
his name which up to now stands high in the London and other home
markets, as a grower of spices. Mr. Bell leaves a large family, who have
been trained to follow his industrious example, and a widow with young
children, all of whom have to deplore the loss of an affectionate
parent. With these, the community deeply sympathise, as all who knew Mr.
Thomas William Bell will miss his genial friendly manner. His remains
were interred at Carriacou on Monday evening. The Health of the colony is good.

This document covers the Dougaldston, Gouyave and Revolution Hall Estates and is held at the National Library of Jamaica:


The Grenada Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses is very useful for researchers interested in the study of capital expenditure of sections of the Grenadian population in the mid-nineteenth century. The Ledger gives an idea of prices, cost of living, monies paid in and out and the balance remaining. Additionally, the Grenada Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses reveals the consumerism and purchasing power of a portion of the Grenadian populace. As such, the Ledger of Accounts and Personal Expenses will prove especially useful for persons studying Grenada’s economic and social history.


Name of Holding Entity: The National Library of Jamaica


Description and inventory: There is only one volume Grenada Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses and it contains 164 pages. It includes the accounts of Revolution Hall Estate, Dougaldston Estate and Gouyave Estate. Each entry in the Ledger gives the date, nature/who/why of payment and the total expenditure further down. The top of the page, which is the title section, gives the name of the owner, attorney or overseer. Essentially, the Ledger is organised like any other account book.

The Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses enumerates the things purchased by individuals for their comfort and routine estate items. Personal items include silk stockings, sherry wine, lace and shirts. Estate items include nails, bricks, powder and cane hoes.

Bibliographic details: The bibliographic details of the Grenada Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses are housed within the card catalogue at the Special Collections and Conservation Dept. of the National Library. The Ledger is filed under MS 129.

Visual documentation if appropriate: Currently, there are no visual representations of the Grenada Ledger of Accounts.

History of the document (Provenance): The history of the Ledger of Accounts and Personal Estate Expenses is presently unknown.


The Grenada Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses is quite useful for person studying estate expenses. Agriculture was important to Grenada’s economy during the mid-nineteenth century. Estates were owned by the mainly white ruling class who exerted great influence over Grenada’s political and economic development. The main crops included sugar, coffee and spices such as pimento. The Ledger contains the personal expenses of these whites and the expenditure of their estates. A study of the Ledger would give insight into their lifestyle and plantation management.

The Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses spans 1852-1854 and covers a section of the colonial era of Grenada’s history. Additionally, the date coincides with the maturity of the Sugar Duties Equalisation Act which came into being in 1846. By 1854, the effects of the Sugar Duties Equalisation Act were felt all over the Caribbean and Grenada was no exception. As such, the Ledger would allow for a useful study of the cost of living and the profit/loss of the estates in Grenada during this period.

The Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses covers the island of Grenada.

The Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses deals mostly with the white and wealthy persons of Grenada in the mid-nineteenth century. These persons were the ones who controlled the wealth and society of Grenada and as such were very influential. The Ledger reveals their purchasing habits and power.

Subject and Theme
Persons interested in the social, economic and political histories of Grenada will find the Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses useful. Additionally, those interested the evolution of consumerism and popular culture/taste will likewise utilise the Ledger.

Form and Style
The layout of the Ledger is useful for paleographers interested in comparing account styles throughout history and the world.


Owner of Documentary Heritage: National Library of Jamaica
Name: National Library of Jamaica
Address: 12 East Street, Kingston, Jamaica, W. I.

Contact details: Tel: (876) 967-1526, 967-2516
Fax: (876) 922-5567
Email: nlj@infochan.com

The Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses is available to members of the public for consultation, in particular, researchers and academics.

Copyright Status
Public Domain


The Grenada Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses is in good condition. The Special Collections and Conservation Dept. has undertaken the task of rebounding and de-acidifying the Ledger. Additionally, patrons are required to use gloves provided by the National Library when examining the Ledger.



Name: The National Library of Jamaica
Contact details: 12 East Street,
Jamaica, W. I.
Tel: (876) 967-1526, 967-2516
Fax: (876) 922-5567
Email: nlj@infochan.com

Source: Caribbean Database of Documentary History

Correspondence from Charles Stewart Parker to Patrick Parker  920 PAR/I/46 1789

In 1789 Charles Stewart Parker was sent to Grenada to work under George Robertson, merchant, for a trial period. A co-partnership was then formed between them and Daniel Gordon with trading interests in Grenada and Demarara. In 1792, after a dispute with Gordon, this was dissolved and a new co-partnership agreement made. Two firms were formed with a joint capital stock of £14,000: Robertson Parker & Co. in Grenada and McInroy Sandbach and Co. in Demerara. The partners were George Robertson, Charles Stewart Parker and James McInroy with equal shares each and Samuel Sandbach with a half share. Samuel Sandbach settled in Liverpool and married Elizabeth Robertson, a cousin of C. S. P.’s wife, Margaret. Subjects covered in Charles Stewart Parker’s letters include: trade with Spain, prices for cargoes of Negroes, the effect of the French wars in the West Indies, French privateering, cotton and cotton planters, the British capture of Tobago in 1793, the Martinique Expedition of 1793/94 and underwriting for ships and cargoes
In 1794 Charles returned to Scotland where he met his future wife, Margaret Rainy, daughter of the minister of Creeches, Sutherland and niece of George Robertson. They were married in 1797. After this date, when new articles of co-partnership were made between Charles Stewart Parker and George Robertson, Charles’s interest was mainly in the Demerara cotton estates of Woodlands, and L’Amitié. The latter, purchased in 1800, employed fifty Negroes and was bought with Gilbert Robertson, nephew of George who had died in about 1799. Charles was now settled in Scotland, making periodic trips to Demerara. His father, J. P., joined him in Scotland in 1799. Charles’s letters of this period describe his voyages and the cotton crops and markets. [N. B. for further, related, correspondence SEE: 920 PAR/IV]

Documents can be found in the Liverpool (UK) Record Office

City Libraries
William Brown Street
L3 8EW

Tel: 0151 233 5817
Fax: 0151 233 5886