Hello all. As you can see, I posted a first draft.
I try to focus on the 'points of entry'. Hence, it's not an inventory of all colonies (nor their capitals), but an inventory of 'primary' destinations for European immigrants in colonial times.
A few notes...
* Britain: there are many more Caribbean islands, of course, but they seem to me as 'secondary' destinations after initial entry (to be tuned)
* Spain: there was a major settlement move into California etc, but this again looks secondary; the question may be, what was the primary entry point for this: was it Veracruz in Mexico, or any of the 'Spanish Main' ports? To be discussed.
* France: there are many interesting settlements from tthe North southwards, from Detroit over St Louis, Memphis etc. Here, again, I would assume these were secondary destinations, with original settlers arriving mostly thorugh Quebec City and (later) New Orleans (to be discussed)
I think the Dutch, Swedish and Portuguese colonies are pretty straightforward.
Please keep in mind that this is not trying to map all the nationalities that arrived in the Americas. The Danish, Germans, Italians, etc... arrived through the colonization efforts of the main colonizers - and hence they left Europe through the ports of those colonizers.
Yes, Victar, my thinking is that ports would be the best place to find archives about. The ships left somewhere, and they arrived somewhere. In both movements, many shipping companies had records. Of course, this is open for debate. But, it gives us an anchorpoint, literally.
Hence, my idea was NOT to look at settlements in the first place (there would be so many of them - perhaps something to be looked at in a 'country-by-country' approach).
BTW, I have a document in progress that maps all the slave traders and merchant companies between 1500-1830. I try NOT to get into much detail there, but all of those traders can be mapped to ports. And, what I'm finding is that many of these merchants (with 'asientos', or otherwise), have records. Some are surviving in British bank vaults (which is a story by itself).
Yeps, the same thing goes for the Dutch settlements in Guyana/Surinam - they settled upstream rather than near the sea. Perhaps because they had bases on the island before the coast anyway, and so these early settlements were probably more like inland trading posts - with the settlements on the island serving as intermediary between the continents.
That's what happened with the slaves too: the merchants would take them from Africa to some key Carribean islands, and then dispatch them to the mainland settlements. Interesting trivia (if it wouldn't be a sad story, of course), is that besides having mainland customers travel to those island to make the deals with the 'importers', there's also mention of a 'mail-order' system whereby buyers would send their order to the island and then the merchants would ship the 'order'. Beside the sad trivia, it's also an indication, of course, that some form of records were kept.
Just so that you know, some Portuguese minister decided about 150 years ago that ALL slave-trading records with the Portuguese colonies had to be destroyed. I think that Brazil-Africa genealogy must be extremely difficult :-(
George, this is my (bad) translation from a text that could help about Brasil:
The Portuguese began to arrive in Brazil in 1530. Until 1755 Portugal sent many prisoners, convicts and unwanted here, and before 1808, with the arrival of the royal family and the consequent opening of the ports, immigration was limited to Portuguese.
Before 1850 the number of immigrants rarely exceeded 2,000 per year. Only after the approval of the womb-free laws in 1871 and Áurea Law in 1888, which forced farmers to seek other sources of manpower for their crops, the increased immigration to Brazil. In 1888 came more than 130 000 immigrants. It is estimated that the total number of immigrants to Brazil until then was 750 000. About 5 million people immigrated to Brazil from 1884 to 1963, half of them between 1889 and 1913. Most went to Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais, Parana, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and Rio de Janeiro.
The main ports of entry were Rio de Janeiro, Santos, and Salvador. As they went into the port of Rio de Janeiro, were registered by the Central Bureau of Immigration. They were then taken to the Ilha das Flores and distributed by the House of Immigrants. Those who intended to São Paulo to Santos continued to travel in the same boat when they came, however, after 1854 many ships directly followed. Port authorities that recorded and handled with the immigrants were called Immigrants Hostels.
Great! Over the next weekend, I'll get back to these dormant projects and see how we can further 'deepen' them.
For the African 'immigration', I had a draft document that gives all the merchant companies and the major actors in the slave trade. I will publish that in project format as well (the nice thing is, we now have identified loads of slave traders on Geni, so it becomes more tangible).
Here: http://www.imigrantesitalianos.com.br/NAVIO_AMERICA_RELACAO_DE_PASS... is an example. The transcription of the list of passengers that arrived in a ship called America, in 1895, at Santo's port. By sheer chance, I saw a Pilla in this list, but he is not my ancestor. :(
Lucia, question (for my personal knowledge)... Is searching ancestry problematic for Brazilians even in the 19th century? I mean, is it generally hard to find records - and specifically those immigration records?
I'm asking because, by and large, 1800-2000 is never really a problem in the Benelux (thanks to Napoleon's introduction of civil registries AND to the excellent availability of those sources on the Internet).
Also, are there many Brazilians that can trace their origins to the earliest days of immigration? In other words, how relevant is it for Brazilian users to be able and find connection points with, say, the Dutch settlement of Recife? (Short period in time, I know, and I think most Dutch basically ran away after the Portuguese took Recife back).
George, I'm much far from to be a specialist in genealogy. But I think that yes, it's a problem. Our best records were from churches (baptisms and marriages) and many of them are lost. I know that many people go to looking for your ancestry in the lists of passangers of immigration ships. My family, for instance, don't knows the year when my third grand father came with your family from Italy. We only know that they are from Altivole, Treviso. They are, I'm sure, in one of these lists but we never have found.
For other side, the 1800's immigrants were, in general, simple people, workers for crops, illiterate. It's more simple find a long line of ascendents when they were from a noble portuguese family. About Dutch settlement of Recife, I confess that I'm a totally ignorant.
I was looking for the links to excellent Recife material, but I have so many bookmarks that I can't find it :-) I'll try again later on!
Regarding Italy, it shows again we need urgently to get some activity there. I bet that, for your own family, there must be good shippîng records from Genoa or other places.
BTW, you may know that that Portuguese finance minister Rui Barbosa decided in 1891 to destroy all records related to Portugal's role in the slave trade? I fear that this probably the key reason why so much ancestry in Brazil may never be traced - as it applied to shipping records from Africa etc.
No, I didn't know that! I need to do just a little repair: Rui Barbosa was not portuguese, he was the brazilian finance minister (Independence was in 1822) and (I saw now) he did that because 11 days after the slave abolition (in 1888) a bill was submitted to parliament, proposing to reimburse the slave owners of the losses generated by the measure. The alleged reason for the gesture would have been erase "the stain" of slavery from the national past, but the real reason was to do impossible to calculate these compensations. Follow the money... :))
Very interesting discussions! I want to get this project going: http://www.geni.com/projects/Ships-and-Owners
Yes, excellent, Kwame! Don't think I wanted to leave dormant projects dormant! Sometimes you need a switch because of some 'feeling' that you just need to pursue a few parallel things. In the end, though, things come together :-)
Perhaps we've just been waiting for Lucia! After all, there's no country as big as Brazil in the Americas - and only second to the US in terms of population. (Yes, Victar, I know, and more Spanish than anything else too ;-) ).
Personally, I'd like to spend time on the role of the Dutch West Indies Company and its impact in the Americas (slave trade, settlement of Recife, New Amsterdam, Surinam...). I think we can have a few of our Dutch friends to contribute to that. I'd also like to help out on the Asiento system in general.
Kwame, can you say a few words about how you see the 'Ships and Owners' project going? I sense that there's a huge opportunity there. Remember that I tried to do an inventory of the Ports of Departure and the Ports of Arrival. We would need a team of people that can focus on specific ports and try to uncover whatever can be uncovered.
Lucia, I bet this may not be of an immediate concern to Brazilians, given that records are so hard to get by. Still, sometimes it's interesting to work on the oldest families. Very often, they kept their own records. I'm seeing this in New Amsterdam. Descendants of the early settlers are very proud of their heritage. It thus gives us a backbone to work by.
Just ideas :-)
Just like the Americas Immigration project is going, I'd like to see the Ships and Owners project go, built up country by country, port by port, not just by ship and owner.
(BTW, I wanted to mention that one of our friends uncovered a plot to vandalize and delete information from this same project. Let's all be diligent in watching out for each other.)
I'd be willing to work on this port info, not just in the United States and West Indies, but in Brazil, as well.
George, check this out: http://www.geni.com/projects/Jamaican-Planters
I don't know if I understood your question, Hatte. Anyway, we are building a project to address this issue: http://www.geni.com/projects/Imigrantes-ao-Brasil-Immigrants-to-Brazil