**All text directly quoted from the now-extinct Prestwidges of Jamaica website (prestwidge.com/river/jamaicanparishes/html), written and researched by William (Bill) Prestwidge. Original website archived here: http://web.archive.org/web/20110515000000*/http://prestwidge.com/river/jamaicanparishes.html**


Jamaica before 1655
Before there were parishes, Jamaican territories looked roughly like the map below.  Yallahs and Morant were names of large Spanish ranches.  Guanaboa was an Arawak name.  Liguanea is still used to refer to lower St. Andrew. Traces of these older names can still be found. From 1510 to 1535 the capital was Seville. With the exception of a one year period starting in 1755, Spanish Town was the capital from 1535 to 1872. Kingston was the capital for that brief period and also since 1872. For genealogical purposes, this map can be ignored.

Black and white outline map of the parishes and major cities of Jamaica before 1655. Parishes included Northside, Bluefields, Withywood, Guanaboa, Liguanea, Yallahs, and Morant. Major cities included Seville, Ocho Rios, Spanish Town, and Kingston.

Isloa Cuba Nova - by Ruscelli - 1562
Jamaica - by Tomaso Porcacchi - 1572
Antique Map of the Caribbean - Mercator - 1631
de Cuba et de Iamaica - by Alain Mallet - 1683


Jamaica 1655-1675
The original English parishes.
After Jamaica was taken by England in 1655, the English system of local administration was implemented and almost everything became Saint This or Saint That.

Black and white outline map of Jamaican parishes from 1655-1675, including Saint Elizabeth, Saint James, Saint Ann, Clarendon, St John, Saint Mary, Saint Catherine, Saint Andrew, Saint George, Port Royal, St David, and Saint Thomas.

Jamaica and Barbados - by John Speed - 1676
Noviffima et Accuratiffima Jamaicae Descriptio- by J. Ogilby - 1671
Jamaica - by Nicolaum Visscher - 1680
Insula Jamaica - by Robert Morden - 1688
Dominia Anglorum præcipuis in Insulis Americæ - by Homann's Heirs - 1730


Jamaica 1675-1692
St. Dorothy separated from Clarendon. St Thomas in the Vale separated from St. Catherine.

Black and white outline maps of the parishes of Jamaica from 1675-1692, including Saint James, Saint Elizabeth, Saint Anne, Clarendon, Vere, St Dorothy, St John, Saint Mary, St Thomas in the Vale, Saint Catherine, Saint Andrew, Saint George, Port Royal, St David, and Saint Thomas in the East.

A New Map of the English Empire in the Ocean of America or West Indies - by John Senex - 1715
A New and Accurate Map of the Island of Jamaica- by Emanuel Bowen - 1744
A Correct Map of the Island of Jamaica - by John Gibson - 1762
Neiuwe Kaart van het Eyland Jamaica - by Hermann Moll - 1710
A New Map of the Island of Jamaica- by Herman Moll - 1717
The Island of Jamaica- by Herman Moll - 1728
La Jamaique - by Sieur le Rouge - 1746


Jamaica 1693-1702
Kingston separated from St. Andrew.

Black and white outline map of the parishes of Jamaica from 1693-1702, including Saint James, Saint Elizabeth, Saint Ann, Clarendon, Vere, St John, St Dorothy, Saint Catherine, St Thomas in the Vale, Saint Mary, Saint Andrew, Kingston, Port Royal, Saint George, St David, and Saint Thomas in the East.


Jamaica 1703-1722
Westmoreland separated from St. Elizabeth.

Black and white outline map of the parishes of Port Royal, from 1703-1722, including Westmoreland, Saint James, Saint Elizabeth, Saint Ann, Clarendon, Vere, St Dorothy, St John, Saint Mary, St Thomas in the Vale, Saint Catherine, Kingston, Saint Andrew, Saint George, Port Royal, Saint David, and Saint Thomas in the East.

Antique Map


Jamaica 1723-1769
The Duke of Portland became Governor in 1722 and Portland parish was created from St. George and St. Thomas in the East. Hanover separated from Westmoreland.

Black and white outline map of the parishes of Jamaica in 1723-1769, including Hanover, Westmoreland, Saint James, Saint Elizabeth, Saint Ann, Clarendon, Vere, St Dorothy, St John, Saint Mary, St Thomas in the Vale, Saint Catherine, Kingston, Saint Andrew, Saint George, Port Royal, St David, Portland, and Saint Thomas in the East.

Carte de l'Isle de Jamaique - by J. N. Bellin - 1753
A Correct Map of Jamaica- by G. D. Ehret - 1757
Carte de l'Isle de Jamaique - by J. N. Bellin - 1758
Carte Particularie De L’ Isle De La Jamaique- by J.N.Bellin -  1758
A Correct Map of Jamaica - 1760
A New Map of the Island of Jamaica - by Thomas Kitchen - 1765
Jamaica - by Thomas Jeffreys - 1775
La Giammaica - by Antonio Zatta - 1779
Carte de l'Isle de la Jamaique - by Rigobert Bonne - 1780
Isle de la Jamaique - by Arrowsmith - 1812
Jamaica - by John Thomson - 1814
Jamaica - by Fielding Lucas - 1823

Detail Maps

Plan de la Ville de Port Royalby J.N. Bellin - Le Petit Atlas Maritime - 1764
Carte des Havres de Kingston et de Port Royal by J.N. Bellin - Le Petit Atlas Maritime - 1764
Plan de la Ville de Kingston by J.N. Bellin - Le Petit Atlas Maritime - 1764
Plan des Havres de Port Antonio et de Saint Francois by J.N. Bellin - Le Petit Atlas Maritime - 1764


Jamaica 1770-1813
In memory of Edward Trelawny who was Governor between 1738 and 1752, Trelawny parish was created with land separated from St. James.

Black and white outline map of the parishes of Jamaica in 1770-1813, including Hanover, Westmoreland, Saint James, Trelawney, Saint Elizabeth, Saint Ann, Clarendon, Vere, St Dorothy, St John, Saint Mary, St Thomas in the Vale, Saint Catherine, Saint Andrew, Kingston, Port Royal, Saint George, Portland, St David, and Saint Thomas in the East.

A Map of the Island of Jamaica - by Bryan Edwards - 1794
Charte von Jamaica - by Jean Baptiste Marie George Bory de Saint Vincent - 1805
Geographical, Statistical, and Historical Map of Jamaica- by Carrey & Lea - 1822
Jamaique - by JA Buchon - 1825
The British Island in the West Indies - Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge - 1835
Jamaica - by J. & C. Walker - 1836

Detail Maps

The Maroon War - by J. Robertson - 1803 (3.4 mb)


Jamaica 1814-1840
The Duke of Manchester governed Jamaica between 1808 and 1811. Manchester parish was created from St Elizabeth, Clarendon, and Vere.

Black and white outline map of the parishes of Jamaica in 1814-1840, including Hanover, Westmoreland, Saint James, Saint Elizabeth, Trelawney, Manchester, Saint Anne, Clarendon, Vere, St Dorothy, St John, Saint Mary, St Thomas in the Vale, Saint Catherine, Saint Andrew, Kingston, Port Royal, Saint George, Portland, St David, and Saint Thomas in the East.

Tourist Map of the Isand of Jamaica - by E. V. D'Invilliers - published 1850
Jamaica - by J. Rapkin / J. Tallis - published 1851
Jamaica - by Harvey Newcomb - published 1854
Map of Haiti and Jamaica -  by Edward Weller - published 1859
Island of Jamaica - Fullarton - published 1860


Jamaica 1841-1865
In 1839, Sir Charles Metcalfe became govenor of Jamaica. Just before he left office in 1842, Metcalfe parish was created from St. George and St Mary.

Black and white outline map of the parishes of Jamaica in 1841-1865, including Hanover, Westmoreland, Saint James, Saint Elizabeth, Trelawney, Manchester, Saint Ann, Clarendon, Vere, St Dorothy, St John, Saint Mary, St Thomas in the Vale, Saint Catherine, Metcalfe, Saint Andrew, Kingston, Port Royal, Saint George, St David, Portland, and Saint Thomas in the East.

Cuba and Jamaica - D. Appleton & Co. - published 1892 - (Jamaica only)


Jamaica 1866-present
8 parishes were eliminated. Vere was absorbed by Clarendon. St. David was absorbed by St. Thomas in the East. St. Catherine grew dramatically by absorbing St. Dorothy, St. John and St. Thomas in the Vale. St. George was absorbed by Portland. Most of Port Royal was absorbed by St. Andrew and a smaller portion became part of Kingston parish. Metcalfe was absorbed by St. Mary.

Black and white outline maps of the parishes of Jamaica, from 1866 to the present, including Hanover, Westmoreland, Saint James, Saint Elizabeth, Trelawney, Manchester, Saint Ann, Clarendon, Saint Catherine, Saint Mary, Saint Andrew, Kingston, Portland, and Saint Thomas.

General Chart of the Island of Jamaica - John Purdy - published 1880
Outline Map of Jamaica - Dangerfield - published 1882
Jamaica - Dodd, Mead & Co. - published 1903
Jamaica Earthquake - Vaughn Cornish - 1908
Jamaica - Cram. - published 1910
Jamaica Road Map - Esso Standard Oil - published 1967


The images behind the antique map links are very easy to read, easier than if you were holding the actual maps. I used the scanner as a sort of microscope and the images are large enough to be studied on your computer screen without a magnifying glass. Correspondingly, the sizes of these electronic files are also quite large and it will take a bit of time to download them to your computer. I've tried hard to keep them each under a megabyte. With maps that exceeded the glass size of my scanner, on close inspection, you will find that there are color variations from segment to segment and there are seams that don't exactly match. This is what to expect when you scan very large documents in pieces and then glue them together electronically.