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Germans of Westmoreland, Jamaica

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The idea for this project came from the book, Insight Guides: Jamaica, edited by Paul Zach. c. 1995, APA Publications (HK) Ltd.

"The white migration never amounted to much, but it left a few rural pockets with English and German names. The most noted of the racially German locations, Seaford Town in the parish of Westmoreland, still exists today - although migration in recent years has depleted its population. Moreover nearly a century of in-breeding has sadly had a degenerative effect on the population of 200 or so residents, nearly all of whom have one of four family names: Somers, Eldermeyer, Wedermeyer or Kameka. Their ancestors had immigrated to Jamaica at the beckoning of a Prussian doctor, William Lemonious, settling on land provided by Lord Seaford. Those Germans who began intermarrying with Jamaican blacks in the 1930s contributed to a dilution of the number of whites living in the area. Other evidence of the German influence are contemporary Jamaican place-names like Hanover, Blenheim, Berlin, Potsdam, Saxony and Bohemia." (page 89).6

Names of the original settlers of the German township of Seaford Town (1836-37) in the parish of Westmoreland, Jamaica. Two hundred and forty nine settlers arrived in Jamaica from Germany on board the ship 'Olbers" in December 1835. Their names were recorded in the 'Seaford Town Record Book' (MS-92, Institute of Jamaica) beginning in January 1836 and at subsequent intervals thereafter.

Germans wishing to emigrate in the 1800's were required by law to obtain permission: their names would then be recorded in regional emmigration lists. The names of 247 German emigrants from the province of Westphalia "bound for Jamaica" are listed here for the years 1834 and 1835. The list was compiled from one of three volumes of the German periodical, "Beitrage zur Westfalischen Familienforschung" with the subtitle "Westfalische Auswanderers". (or Contributions to Westphalian Genealogy - Westphalian Emmigrants). The publisher is "Aschendorff" of Munster and the volume is #38-39 (1981) which covers the MINDEN region of Wesphalia.

From Gillian ScottO'Connor, July 16, 2012: There was also a small settlement of Germans at Haddo, on the way to Macfield from Savanna-la-Mar.