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Benjamin Gittens, Esquire (1730-1790)

The vast majority of our Barbados Gittens ancestors have very little information of an historical nature written about them, other than births, deaths and marriages. However, there are some Gittens who have played prominent roles in the history of Barbados. As a result, there is a reasonable amount of historical information written about them. This…

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Second Time Lucky!

Amazingly the family of Barbara Ellen Clincket (Leach) Mair continues to expand, connecting again with long lost family.  This time reuniting with her cousin Mary who Barbara had not seen since 1929….that’s 82 years ago!   Barbara sums it up perfectly in her e-mail…. “Well !  What next?  Not only your own study but now…

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One in three brides keep maiden name – study

Another interesting challenge for family research. London – Many a young girl has filled up an old notebook or a spare scrap of paper trying out a different name for size. But it seems that by the time they grow up, they have rather gone off the idea – with a study claiming that one…

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Edwin “Teddy” Johnson Gittens

A Sketch of the Life of Edwin “Teddy” Johnson Gittens (1887-1921) Edwin Johnson Gittens was my grandfather. He was better known as “Teddy” for most of his life. Teddy was born in about 1887 somewhere in the New York City area. He was the child of Edwin Thomas George Gittens and Isabella Gretton (Leach) Gittens…

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Gordon Paul Johnson

Gordon “Paul” Johnson (1923-2010) Paul was my father-in-law who had lived with Donna and I for the last 15 years. He was very much a part of our extended family and he will be missed by everyone. His obituary follows. Mr. Paul Johnson of Langley, BC, died Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at Langley Memorial Hospital…

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Katherine Johnson

Introduction The Thunder Bay, Ontario area has been described as the oldest area of Finnish settlement in Canada.  One of the earliest or even the first Finnish inhabitants of Thunder Bay was Donna’s (my wife) Great Grandmother Katherine Johnson.  This sketch of Katherine Johnson’s life was published in a book titled “The Bay Street Project”…

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Ivan Clement Gittens

A Life Sketch of Ivan Clement Gittens (1916-1980)   Ivan was born April 23, 1916 in the Parish of Christ Church, Barbados the son of Edwin “Teddy” Johnson Gittens and Annie “Sis” Eileen Foster.  Ivan was baptized on May 7, 1916 in the Roman Catholic Church of St. Patrick, in the Parish of St. Michael,…

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Book chronicling the Haynes family

I learned that there is a new book to be soon released chronicling the Haynes family of England and Barbados written by Dr. E Stewart Johnson. The book will be released on September 28, 2011 but can be pre-ordered from the publisher. I ordered my copy. The book is called ‘Reading to Barbados and Back’…

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James William Gittens – Slavery to Freedom

The story of James William Gittens was researched and written by Victor Gittens. Victor Elsworth Gittens was born in Barbados and still resides on the island with his wife, Jeanne and children Graham and Jenna. He lived for a short while in Jamaica from 1968 to 1971 while perusing a degree at the university of…

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Unknown little girl

Can you identify this young girl? This picture was found when Louise Williamson’s family was going through the papers of her late aunt Isobel “Jeanne” Gittens who passed away in 2005, in Barabdos. She has passed it along to me to see if by chance anyone on the mailing list might have some idea who…

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Lady Gertrude Agnes (Gittens) Cameron (1854- )

This is the first of our Gittens ancestors that I have found who has been elevated into the nobility of English society with the title of Lady. I though I would pass along a little bit about her for your interest. Barbados parish mapThe Future Lady Gertrude Agnes Cameron was born as…

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A Curiosity – The Origin of the Wyndham name

In my family research I have found a few naming conventions that had been quite puzzling. One of these is the use of “Wyndham” as a second or third given name in one of the Gittens family lines. The reason for the curiosity is that the origin or significance of the “Wyndham” name has not…

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Gittens Quakers

Barbados Quakers – Early History In 1655, two Quaker missionaries, Ann Austin and Mary Fisher, arrived on the island to propagate the Quaker faith. Their mission was very successful. One of the islands most respected and wealthy families, the Rous family, became Quakers and many others followed. Barbadian Quakers were subject to persecution by the…

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The Gittens Family of Barbados – At the Beginning

The intent of this blog is to gather information about the history of the Barbados Gittens family, who were very early English settlers in Barbados, and to make the information available to family members and other interested individuals. This first blog contains an overview of the Gittens family history and its origins in Barbados. Future…

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Paul Foster, Barbados tourism pioneer, passes away

Paul Foster, founding partner of the travel agency Foster & Ince, died this morning. He was in his early nineties. Friends and loved ones have been offering their condolences on social media to the family of a man being remembered as a visionary and champion of tourism and heritage, who made a sterling contribution to…

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Is Rosie Drew the Sister of Gertrude O’Riordan?

This post will be of interest to Foster Family members. Rosie Drew, nee O’Reardon, died 14 Mar 1908 in Philadelphia. What’s really fascinating are the details included in her death record. It states she was born 14 Mar 1862, in the West Indies, and that her parents were Michael O’Reardon, born in Ireland and Mary…

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Gittins of Myddle – Circa 1550 – 1700

The following account of the Gittins family of Myddle was taken from a book titled “An English Rural Community, Myddle, under the Tutors and Stewarts, by Davd G. Hey, Leicester University Press, 1974 Myddle, Shropshire, England The village of Myddle is a small village in Shropshire, England, about 10 miles north of Shrewsbury, the county town of Shropshire.  Myddle…

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Henry Selman Leach Part II

Part II Covering the years 1931 – 1975   Part I of Harry’s life sketch ended in about 1930 just following his separation from his first wife Molly Dowler and after the birth of their daughter Barbara. When Harry’s marriage ended in the late 1920’s he was living in Montreal.  Sometime after this Harry entered…

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Leading Families in Eigteenith Century Barbados

“In 1651 Barbados was said to be the most flourishing island in the British West Indies and during the following decade it enjoyed the Golden Age of its prosperity. White indentured servants were still plentiful and African slaves were being imported in steadily increasing numbers. Improved methods of cultivation were employed, the production of sugar…

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Trevor Maxwell Wyndham Gittens (1949-2011)

I was very saddened recently to learn of the passing of Trevor who died on November 3, 2011, following a battle with ALS. A service of thanksgiving was held November 9th at 2:00PM at St. Matthias Church, Hastings, Barbados. Internment followed at Westbury Cemetery. Trevor and I first connected through my family history web site…

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A life Sketch – Henry Selman Leach (1891-1975)

Introduction What a surprise it was to receive this e-mail a few weeks ago from Carolyn Hawkins who lives in England. “Dear Cliff, I just googled my grandfather’s name (Henry Selman Leach) and solved a huge mystery.  I am at present in my mother’s house and we spent an hour in total amazement and astonishment. …

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Stede Bonnet – The Gentleman Pirate

Introduction: Family history research often uncovers small surprises and the pirate Stede Bonnet is one of them.  Recently Andrew Gomes who lives in Edmonton e-mailed me telling that Stede Bonnet, the Gentleman Priate, was the great-grandfather of Anne Thomasine Clarke, the wife of General Robert Haynes, who for 36 years was Speaker of the Assembly…

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