A Guide to Family History at the National Archives


Trinidad’s society can be described as heterogeneous. The population comprises various races, ethnicities, religions and cultures which enriches our history. The population consisted of Indigenous persons commonly known as Amerindians, followed by the Spanish who first colonized the island and the French who developed it economically, then the Africans who were the main source of labour for estates, and indentured labourers from China, India and other countries across the world. The major religions practiced by the members of the population include Christianity, Hinduism and Islam together with their many divisions. Also, processes such as migration, assimilation, creolisation and miscegenation have contributed to the society which exists at present.

Family History involves tracing the origins of a family. It is also referred to as genealogy or genealogical research.  In undertaking a family history search in Trinidad, the records must be examined to trace the origins of a family line. The records which are pertinent to family histories have not all survived limiting the success of tracing a family history. This is due to poor records management practices as well as disasters such as fires, for example the fire at the Red House in 1903 which destroyed a large amount of the country’s records. There is also the case where much of the island’s historical records are stored in other archives such as the National Archives at Kew in London. Despite these limitations there are large holdings of records which are available that would be vital to family history research.

1 Response to A Guide to Family History at the National Archives

  1. Louis M Donawa says:

    I would to research the Donawa family tree.

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