Lambeth Caribbean Family History Group

While Solihull has flourished, Lambeth has withered. However, plans are afoot to revive it. I’m aiming to hold some workshops in Lambeth Libraries in the run up to Black History Month. Hopefully this will form the basis of a new group meeting regularly to discuss and promote Caribbean ancestral research. My new website is or I’ll be advertising courses there, many of which will be funded, so your wallets will be safe! Ayshah


Who You Be? Solihull and Birmingham Family History Events | Oct 2012 @ Solihull Central Library

Exhibition – Caribbean  Family History Research + Stories
1 October 2011 – 31 October 2012

Workshop – Walk-in surgery
Saturday 13 October 10am – 4pm
Assistance for anyone who would like advice/help with their family research.

Event – Open Day
Saturday 27 October 10am – 4pm
Come and meet experienced researchers and group members face to face, and get help to build your family tree.
-Learn the 5 basic steps of genealogy
– Find out how family and friends, archive records and DNA can help you trace your ancestors
– Microfilms of original documents from  Caribbean available at Solihull library!

Heritage & Local Studies
Solihull Central Library
Homer Road
Solihull  B91 3RG

Call 0791 701 5113 or email for more information

East London Routes Family History Day | Sun 4 Nov 10am – 6pm @ RichMix

East London Routes Family History Day  | Sun 4 Nov 10am - 6pm

Celebrate Every Generation Media’s 10th birthday with our East London Routes family history day.

EGM is based in east London and has been at the forefront of developing  websites, publications, workshops and films around family learning and cultural heritage, particularly among people from minority ethnic heritage.

Contributors include: authors Patrice Lawrence, Jacqueline Walker (‘Pilgrim State’) and Kerry Young (‘Pao’), Hackney campaigners Ian Levy and Pauline ‘Hackney Heroine’ Pearce, equality campaigner Simon Woolley, cultural campaigners and historians Arthur Torrington CBE, Stephen Bourne, Oku Ekpenyon MBE, Angelina Osborne, National Archives outreach team Sandra Shakespeare and Sara Griffiths, Cllr Michael Jones one of the youngest politicians in London, Guardian journalist Hugh Muir and Patrick Vernon OBE founder of Every Generation.

To attend this free events please RSVP or (new site to be launched on shortly).

Get £5 off the new edition of “Tracing Your Caribbean Ancestors”

Tracing Your Caribbean AncestorsThe third and newest edition of Guy Grannum’s Tracing Your Caribbean Ancestors is out this week.

To celebrate its launch The National Archives website  are offering it for only £11.99 – £5 OFF the usual price of £16.99. I’m not sure how long the introductory offer will last, so get in there quick!

The new edition is fully revised and covers recent developments in Caribbean archives, including details of newly released information and archives that are now available online.

The gorgeous the front cover features the waving passengers and crew of the MV Empire Windrush at Tilbury docks, having sailed from Australia via Jamaica. The photograph was taken by Jones for the Daily Herald newspaper on 21 June, 1948.

The Empire Windrush passenger lists 1948 (BT 26/237) , which is part of the collection at The National Archives, lists the names of the 492 Jamaicans who stepped ashore on 22 June 1948.

The National Archives holds the majority of inward passenger lists from 1878 to 1960 and outward passenger lists from 1890 to 1960 for UK ports, you can find more information here.

Tracing Your Caribbean Ancestors is a must have book for any one undertaking family history research for people who were born, lived or worked in the Caribbean.

How are you enjoying the most recent edition?

Let us know?

Events for September & October 2011

Caribbean Family History Group Events for September & October 2011

Sat 17 September, time tbc
Caribbean Evening [talk]
at Holy Trinity Church, Aston, Birmingham

Sat 1 + Sun 2 October, 10am-5pm
Black History Live [event]
at Wembley Stadium, London

Sat 1 October, 2pm
Introduction to Caribbean Family History [workshop]
at Lambeth Archives Open Day, Minet Library, 52 Knatchbull Road, London SE5

Thu 7th + 13th October, 6.45pm
Beginning your Family History [workshop]
at The Drum, Birmingham

After a long weekend, a few late nights, dozens of stories shared, hundreds of new people met and pounds of carrot cake  (eaten mostly by me, thanks Fathia). Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011 is OVER! And what a weekend…

So while we recover and start planning for next year we thought we’d share  Carlston’s reflections on the Caribbean Family History Group’s first time at the world largest family history event.

(l-r) Fathia + Carlston – Caribbean Family History Group Solihull and Sharon Tomlin –

“I know that I went feeling excited and thinking that we could at least say we had been there and perhaps have visits from the odd person, but the reality has been far different!

It has become clear to me that Caribbean Family History is not a side show in within Genealogy/Family History but a mainstream activity!

On Friday, and continued on Saturday, it has been the normal ‘punters’ to the show – ‘White/European’ British enthusiasts – that have been coming along and saying:
‘I have a family member who was from or went to Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago etc….. What can you tell me?’ In hind sight this should not be a surprise, but it was! A gratifying one.

Other things they have said – ‘Can I have your information for a friend of mine, or my son in law etc… who wants to/or to help them do their research in Jamaica…?’ One woman was even trying to get gemmed up so that she could surprise her  friend on her 50th birthday, with a family tree! 😉

Yesterday, the attendee mix was greater – many more with African Caribbean descent and with a focus of starting their trees or extending further back.  But once again we were busy all day with all sorts of enquiries, ending in Fathia and I giving our workshop with Sharon Tomlin in the afternoon.  I had visits from the show organiser’s asking us how it was going and I had the chance to share with them what I had learned from the first day.  I heard enough to think that they were glad that we were there.


Thank yous so far must go to:

  • Kelly and Ayshah from Caribbean Family Group (Lambeth) and all their hard work in conjunction with ours to get things sorted and adding the great knowledge to what we had to share!
  • Fathia of course!
  • Sharon Tomlin of and
  • All the Solihull group that has attended to visit the show and help out at the stand – Cynthia, Sharon C, Dennis L, Dawn, Marilyn, Fiona, also…. (have I forgotten anyone?)
  • Guy Grannum who has made his booklet on starting Caribbean Family History available for sale, along with some other books – and they have been selling well. He also came across and spent the afternoon on our stall helping the public with advice, which was very helpful! Also someone from did the same thing on his time off!  They had wider expertise to help with some of the questions about the islands outside our main focus as a group.  However, these questions are that we intend to get to grips with in due course.
  • Others who I should have remembered but have forgotten (forgive)  and some I have yet to speak to but will comment on in due course.”