Early Common Last Names in Jamaica

Family names of Jamaican people have been passed on through a mixture of enforced slavery, early European settlers,  new immigrants to the island post 1834 Emancipation from slavery that consisted of  indentured such groups of people would include people of African, Chinese, Indian ( East Indian), Jewish and European ancestry.

This section aims to illustrate the main families that settled in Jamaica after the capture of Jamaica from the Spanish during the 17th century. Registration of baptisms, marriages and burials began during the late – 17th century. During the early stages of settlement of primarily  European and enslaved African people, records for vital events were held by the Church of England.

This section is subdivided into parishes that lists the most commonly occurring last names of early settlers to Jamaica before 1800. Most of the names are of European extract with hardly any presence of  African sounding names recorded in the index. The names of African Jamaicans were recorded as part of the enslaved people.

Note on spelling. The names are documented as appears in the records. Spelling variations do occur that requires attention. Reasons for spelling variations range from written errors made on the part of Rector/Registrar, the family being unaware of the correct spelling and pronunciations that tends to lead to names being spelt phonetically.

It will be continually updated as more records become available. Please feel free to submit names that are omitted from a particular parish.

Contact can be made by emailing: sharont@familyhistoryjamaica.com


Copyright Sharon Tomlin 2007