Jamaica Family Roots


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This is a guest blog from Brenda of the  Jamaica Family Roots family history group which meets at Solihull Library.


I was always curious about the maternal side of my family with the unusual surname of Rhone.   My Rhone family are from St Catherine which is a small district in Jamaica in the West Indies.

I knew a fair bit of information from my mother and aunt.  As I continued to research I found the marriage of my third great-grandparents in 1856, in Clarendon, Jamaica.  I also found their 6 children’s baptism records.  The marriage was of Samuel Roan (note the spellings) and Elizabeth Pleydle .

So now I was thinking “Wow! what a surname! Another unusual surname to delve into.” From using Google search I knew that Pleydell (note the spellings) was a English surname.

I spent many many months hooked on my third great grandmother surnames – used various websites, sent out emails etc.  I found her baptism in 1826 – she was not listed as a slave.  Her parents were John Cleeve  Pleydell & Frances Anderson.

Through my passion for research I found John Cleeve Pleydell’s baptism and his marriage which were both in Jamaica. I decided to use Ancestry to find out if he was a slave and to my shock he was a plantation owner in Jamaica in 1820 and so had been his father Samuel Pleydell previously.

I believe Samuel Pleydell was born in Scotland or England about 1750-1760.  Using Google search I found that there is a One Name Study for the surname Pleydell.  With support from the members of the Pleydell One Name Study I found:

Samuel’s father was married in Dumfries, Scotland.

Samuel attended Edinburgh University in 1774 for four years. However, when the 80th Regiment of Foot was raised in Edinburgh in 1778, he joined up & was listed as a surgeon’s mate in their Muster Roll in 1779. He returned to Edinburgh and the 80th Foot was disbanded in 1784.  He took up residence in his uncle’s home and was then involved in a divorce scandal with his uncle’s wife. (source Scotlands People). I feel this is when Samuel went to Jamaica to escape the divorce scandal, so that date of emigration would therefore be 1790/1. In Jamaica Samuel eventually rose to be a Lieutenant Colonel and Captain in the Parish of St John, Jamaica.

My quest now is to find out if John Cleeve’s mother was Creole, Mulatto or African.

Brenda Francis