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AfriGeneas Caribbean Research Forum

[BARBADOS] Slave Records On Line

Britain's slave trade records go online By Amie Ferris-Rotman

Reuters, April 27, 2007

Britain's slave trading past gets a human face on Friday as an
ancestry-tracing Web site starts putting the personal histories of the
victims online for the first time.

The Web site,, posted 100,000 names of Barbados
slaves registered in 1834 in the colony.

By December the site will contain the names of three million slaves from
700 registers in 23 British colonies, from South Africa to Sri Lanka
between 1812-1834.

Members of the site can search free for ancestors by entering their
relatives' first and last names and place of enslavement during that

"We're dedicated to bringing quality historical record collections
online and this is really important for anyone who is interested in
black history," said spokesman Simon Ziviani.

Slavery was abolished in Britain in 1807 but continued in the colonies
until 1834 and records were kept of registered slaves every three years,
starting in 1812.

Today, two percent of Britain's population of around 60 million are
black and the majority have slave ancestors, the site's organizers said.

"They (the records) provide a much needed piece in the puzzle for those
of us wanting to find the truth about our ancestors," Web site founder Mia Morris said.

But not everyone in Britain's black community was pleased with
Ancestry's launch of the records.

"What about the slaves who were chucked over board? It's almost an
insult to some of our ancestors that it's not a comprehensive and
definitive project," said Interim Director Eroll Walters of Black
Londoners Forum, an organization established to advance ethnic
minorities in London.

"It's a good idea but get it right. Half a loaf is not better than none.
We want a full loaf."

Britain celebrated the bicentenary of the abolition of slavery in
February with festivities and events across the country.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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