Jamaica Court Records

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In 1910, Noel B. Livingston described Jamaica's court records as follows:

Unfortunately I cannot say that the same care which has been taken of our other records has been extended to these. Up to the time of the disastrous earthquake of the 14th of January 1907 they were kept in the office of the Supreme Court in Kingston, on shelves provided for that purpose, and in the vault of the Post Office, a neighbouring building. After the destruction of the Court House by the earthquake the records there were removed without any special care to the temporary Court House, and deposited in huge stacks upon a brick-floor building, without any regard to the divisions of the Court to which they belonged; thus they remained in chaos for about two years, the dust that had collected on them in that length of time in no way improving their condition, most of the volumes being without covers, backs, or indices, many pages missing, others so moth-eaten or covered with damp and mildew that it is impossible to decipher them. Of these records the most important are those of the Court of Chancery, as much valuable genealogical information is obtainable from them. I have done some little work in this connection, but unfortunately I lost a great many of my notes in the fire which helped to destroy Kingston after the earthquake. Amongst my late searches there I found an old register containing instructions to some of the old Governors, a survey of the Island with a list of the inhabitants in 1670, the register of the Captains of the Train Bands, Reports of the Governors, a list of some of the ships arriving at Port Royal Harbour, and other interesting matter, all dealing with years prior to 1692, a few of which articles I carefully copied out and put the volume aside for future work in my spare time, but unfortunately at this juncture the Government had provided a series of shelves for the records, and employed ordinary day labourers for the task of placing the volumes thereon, with the result that this particular volume has been stacked away somewhere amongst the other volumes, and I have not yet been able to find it. The records in the vault of the post office are still there, but I am unable to say anything with regard to them, as they are so far an unexplored region save only to the spiders, scorpions, and other vermin which must have made their home amongst them.'[1]

England Privy Council[edit | edit source]

Caribbeana carried a series of articles on appeals to the Privy Council from the West Indies, which includes Jamaica residents:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Noel B. Livingston, 'Jamaica Records,' Caribbeana, Vol. 1 (1910):136. Digitised by dLOC - free.