Historical records for Jamaica are distributed between the Jamaica Public Archives and the Island Record Office, both of which are located in Spanish Town, Jamaica. Records begin with the English occupation of Jamaica in 1655; Spanish records from the period prior to 1655 did not survive.
The probate inventories are housed in the Jamaica Public Archives and, as with the Port Royal wills, are actually transcriptions themselves. The originals were copied in 1839 in an effort to preserve the public records. Apparently, the original inventories were destroyed once the volumes were transcribed. Unfortunately, the transcription of one volume (Volume 4) is missing.
The following selected transcribed probate inventories cover the period from 1674-1716 (Volumes 1-10). They are all of Port Royal residents and were transcribed by graduate students from microfiche copies housed in the Anthropology Department of Texas A&M University. An equal number of wills and inventories from the other Jamaican parrishes have been transcribed and will be posted at a latter date. Much work still has to be done before all the probate inventories are transcribed and saved in electronic format. (You will notice that by far most of the work has concentrated on Volume 3, since this is the period right before and after the earthquake and thus is of particular interest.) This page will be continually updated as the work proceeds.
I should be noted that there is a wide ranges of inventories. Most are of adult males, but a number of inventories of women are present. Likewise there are a number of wills and inventories of the Jewish population of Port Royal. In most instances these are apparent from the Portuguese surmames. At least one will was written in Portuguese. There are also a number of Dutch surnames present.
NOTE: Some of the transcribed inventories below have a link to their respective transcribed will
VOLUME 1: 1674-1678
VOLUME 2: 1679-1686
VOLUME 3: 1686-1694
VOLUME 5: 1699-1701
VOLUME 6: 1702-1705
VOLUME 9: 1706-1711
VOLUME 10: 1712-1716
Misc. Non-Port Royal Inventories
|THE PORT ROYAL ARCHIVES|
|THE PORT ROYAL PROJECT HOME PAGE|
2001, Hamilton, Donny L., Port Royal Probate Inventories, World Wide Web URL, http://nautarch.tamu.edu/PROJECTS/PR-archives/probates.htm.
Port Royal Project, Nautical Archaeology Program, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. March 14, 2001.
© 2001 Copyright and All Rights Reserved
by Donny L. Hamilton
Created and maintained by Madeleine J. Donachie, Dept. Anthropology, Texas A&M University
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