[Barbados] What’s in a name?

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[Barbados] What’s in a name?

Postby bimjim » Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:10 am

http://news.barbadostoday.bb/barticlene ... 2011-08-31

[Barbados] What’s in a name?
Shawn Cumberbatch
5 April, 2012

      Image
      Historical researcher and author Dr. Patricia Stafford speaking last night.

Genealogical researchers are trying to shed light on the origins of thousands of place names across Barbados and are appealing to Barbadians with information for assistance.

Historical researcher and author Dr. Patricia Stafford, who along with Professor Sir Woodville Marshall, is preparing to publish a book on Barbadian place names after three years of investigative work.

She delivered the Sir Harold Bernard St. John Memorial Lecture, an event on the Oistins Fish Festival calendar, last night at the Christ Church Parish Church Centre.

Speaking on the topic From Oistins to Miami Beach: A Historical Journey Through The Placenames of Christ Church, Stafford told her audience, many of them from that parish, of 277 names of locations familiar to them, but others she was still trying to find information on.

The researcher said this was the case with other areas across the island’s 11 parishes where she, Sir Woodville and others involved were relying on various means to get the required information.

“It’s suppose to be a non-academic history to start with. We felt that a lot of people were not knowing how these places came about and genealogical researchers often come across an ancestor who lived for instance in Hopewell and they have no idea where Hopewell is and they want to find out and there is not much comprehensive information out there really. So sometimes historical research is needed to know where places were,” she said.

“It will help historical researchers as well so it’s got a multi-purpose really and also some interested tourists can . the book and put a bit of money into our revenue and they can go around the island looking for these places and say ‘Oh there is Moonshine Hole, or what have you’ – so yes it is popular history in a sense.

“The research is divided into parishes and each parish has an alphabetical listing. First of all we say where the place is and we say something of the history and try and tell the people how it got its name. Sometimes we can’t because we don’t know, sometimes the places have had multiple names from time to time so all of that is listed and we are hoping to illustrate it with maps and photographs,” Stafford added.

The lecturer, who during her presentation responded to several questions from many members of the mature audience who grew up and still lived in Christ Church, said assistance from individuals such as them was crucial as the research continued.

“I think it’s more a case of how the people of Christ Church can benefit us by telling us the history they know and then we will pass it on to those who don’t know,” she noted.

“We have done a lot of documentary work in the archives, we have asked local people also, we have also spent an awful lot of time digging through the title deeds, which has been very time consuming.

“What we want to do is have people enjoy knowing about local history and this is really what this is about, the people of Christ Church and the rest of the island,” she added.

Stafford said while 277 Christ Church place names had been identified, St. Michael had been more time consuming.

“Christ Church and St. Michael are the two biggest parishes in terms of population, St. Philip is actually bigger in acreage, but Christ Church is bigger in terms of settlement. We have the most names in St. Michael, which is more than a hundred pages long and I think I have got about 70 pages for this 277 names,” she pointed out.
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