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 wills are housed in the Island Record Office in Jamaica. Unfortunately, certain volumes of the wills in the Grantors Old Series, which covers the 17th century, are missing. These were reportedly lost when Admiral Knowles moved the capital from Spanish Town to Kingston in 1755. All official records were loaded on to wagons and transported to Kingston only to be returned to Spanish Town three years later. It is believed that on one of the journeys, a wagon overturned, spilling some volumes into a swamp. As with the Port Royal probate inventories, the wills are themselves transcriptions, copied in the 1880s in an effort to preserve the public records. Apparently, the originals were destroyed once the volumes were transcribed.
The following selected transcribed wills cover the period from 1672-1720 (Volumes 1-15). 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. Much work still has to be done before all the wills are transcribed and saved in electronic format. This page will be continually updated as the work proceeds and the transcribed wills from the other Jamaican parrishes are posted.
NOTE: Some of the transcribed wills below have a link to their respective transcribed probate inventory
VOLUMES 1 & 2: 1672-1680
VOLUMES 3 & 4: 1680-1686
VOLUME 5: 1686-1688
VOLUME 6: 1688-1689
VOLUME 7: 1689
VOLUME 8: 1694
VOLUME 9: 1698-1702
VOLUMES 10 & 11: 1705-1707
VOLUME 12: 1708-1709
VOLUME 13: 1710-1712
VOLUME 14: 1712-1717
VOLUME 15: 1717-1720
|THE PORT ROYAL ARCHIVES|
|THE PORT ROYAL PROJECT HOME PAGE|
2001, Hamilton, Donny L., Port Royal Wills, World Wide Web URL, http://nautarch.tamu.edu/portroyal/archives/wills.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
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