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Early and Notable Families of British Jamaica, 1655-1800

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  • John Gale, of the Cashew (1637 - 1689)
    JOHN GALE , of the Cashew in the parish of St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, b. Dec 1637, ‘went when a youth to the Island of Jamaica at the first conquest by Penn and Venables A.D. 1655’, patented 533 acres at ...
  • General Robert Venables (c.1613 - 1687)
    Robert Venables (ca. 1613–1687), was a soldier during the English Civil War and noted angler. Venables was lieutenant-colonel in the parliamentary army. He was wounded at Chester in 1645. He was app...
  • Edward Penn, the Planter (c.1683 - 1741)
    PARENTS UNKNOWN.= Relationship, if any, to the Penn proprietors of Pennsylvania, unknown and undocumented. He was certainly not a direct descendant, but may have been a collateral relative in some, pro...

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This project is a portal for early and notable British families of Jamaica.

Summary of the Early History of British Jamaica

When General Robert Venables and Admiral William Penn captured Jamaica for Oliver Cromwell, the island went from Spanish rule to British.

Approximately 8,000 men on 38 ships arrived in Kingston Harbour on May 10, 1655, and anchored near Passage Fort. The British leaders gave strict orders to avoid the cowardice that they'd seen in Santo Domingo, but this force only met 1,500 Spanish settlers, only about a third of whom could bear arms.

The taking of the fort was easy, since the residents were so accustomed to pirate attacks and believed this invasion to be nothing more. Jamaica's Governor, Juan Ramirez, was old and sick, and the treaty negotiations fell to Christoval Arnaldo de Ysasi and Duarte de Acosta. ( ).

Here will be listed the original English settlers of Jamaica, by Parish, who settled there after 1655.


  • They were given a grant by..., with whom they had settled at .... in 1655.

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How to Contribute

  • Please click the "Join Project" button on the upper right of the project page.
  • After getting yourself added as a collaborator for the surname, select the profile of the prominent Filipino you wish to add.
  • Navigate to the profile. Under the "More Actions" link, choose "Add to Project" and select sub-project to which your ancestor should be included in.
  • Include in the "About Me" section a brief biographical sketch, summarizing the person's significant contributions and accomplishments. (Required)
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See also

Earliest British families

Notable British families

  • According to one early account written by William Beckford in 1790, the districts of Cross and Chapel were described as villages containing about 10 houses each, 16,800 slaves, 200 settlements and 78 sugar works. Vere was described as possessing 23 sugar works, 136 settlements with roughly 6700 slaves.
  • ===Clarendon parish===

Clarendon was named in honour of the celebrated Lord Chancellor, Sir Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon. The parish was formed from a combination of three parishes: St. Dorothy's, Vere and the old parish of Clarendon. Before the merger, the capital was Chapelton. The current capital, May Pen, was established as a plantation settlement by the British between 1660 and 1683 on a crossing
point of the Rio Minho River. May Pen is now said to be the fastest growing rural town close to Kingston. It is well located from an administrative point of view, in the centre of a largely agricultural area, and as a midpoint on the Kingston to Manchester.