British Guiana Colonists
Due to research and travel commitments, answers to inquiries are suspended until further notice.
This site contains an index to an on-going database of 18th and 19th century residents of the colonies of Berbice, Demerara, and Essequebo (with some connected relatives).
Others who have an interest in their ancestry, may claim earlier European roots in these colonies. In some cases these claims could date back to around 1580 with the earliest Portugese and Dutch settlers at Fort Kyk-over-al.
There are also those with ancestors associated with the Dutch West India Company or connected to the 1739 invitation to all nations that led many settlers, from Barbados, Antigua and other West Indian islands, to establish themselves in these colonies, then under Dutch control.
This wave of colonisation led to improved communication and therefore more data became available following the capture of the three colonies, Berbice Essequibo, and Demerara by the British in 1781.
Taken by the French in 1782 the colonies were restored to Holland the following year. In 1796, the British again claimed the three colonies, only to cede them to Holland in the Peace of Amiens in 1802. The following year, Britain captured the colonies again and gained formal control over them in 1815. In 1831, the three colonies were consolidated as British Guiana, now Guyana.
Sources of information include Universities and State Libraries in Australia, Dutch publications, the Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie and Algemeen Rijksarchief at the Hague, Nederland's Patriciaat 1910-1997, Leiden University Library, the Gemeentearchief Amsterdam, the Archives Nationales d'Outre Mer at Aix-en-Provence in France, the Rhodes Library at Oxford plus Genealogical Societies of England and Australia. Also included are extracts from countless books, newspapers at the British Museum Newspaper Library and the National Archives in London, various UK Censuses, the Guildhall in London, the Church of the Latter Day Saints and the Internet. Additional information has been supplied by those with British Guiana colonial ancestors who have personally contributed through emails to the database.
The 'British Guiana Colonists' site depends on exchange of information. Names in this database have been entered over a period of years and corrections are inevitable.
Partial transcripts of selected British Guiana newspapers (1794-1817) are on the Guyana Colonial Newspapers site.
This data was last updated on 25 May 2014, and contains details of 14853 individuals.
This compilation © 2008 Tikwis A Begbie. No part of this compilation may be reproduced by any process without the written permission of the author Begbie, Tikwis.