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Caribbean Genealogy Research
Historical Time Line
(Thanks to Ann)
More information and accuracy is always welcome...
Please send corrections, updates and additions
Updated 27 May, 2011

Read Me, Please
Claims & Discoveries | 1400 | 1500 | 1600 | 1700 | 1800 | 1900



This timeline was created to document the events in the history of the Caribbean. It includes events that occurred in Europe and/or the Americas that impacted on the area.

It was also mainly created for genealogy research and amateur study of Caribbean History Spelling of certain words may be Old English.

The data comes from the histories of the specific islands, and various encyclopedias.

This Timeline is specific to the Caribbean and general to History - it can and should be used in combination with my Caribbean Hurricane Timeline.



Please send corrections, updates and additions

1492 Columbus’ first voyage of Discovery, islands sighted/claimed for Spain .

Oct. 12. BAHAMAS.
Oct. 27. CUBA

1493 -- 1496 Columbus’ Second Voyage


Nov. 3, 1493 DOMINICA

Nov. 11, 1493 MONTSERRAT
Nov. 19, 1493 PUERTO RICO ( with Ponce de Leon)

1498 -- 1500 Columbus’ Third Voyage


1499 Ojeda, Vespuice and laCosa discovers the Netherland Antilles

1502 -- 1504 Fourth Voyage

Dec. 13, 1502 ST.LUCIA


Significant dates of events, and corresponding locations
Please send corrections, updates and additions

1493 June 16 - Hurricane recorded in Hispaniola
1496 Santiago, HISPANIOLA, founded by Bartholomew Columbus.
1502 July 1 - Hurricane recorded in Hispaniola
1503 Spanish slave trade inaugurated to HISPANIOLA
1508 de Ocampo circumnavigates CUBA.
Ponce de Leon established first settlement in PUERTO RICO: CAPARRA
Aug 3 - Hurricane recorded in St. Domingo
1509 Spanish settle JAMAICA
July 29 - Hurricane recorded in St. Domingo
1511 HAVANA, CUBA founded by de Valzqurz
1521 de Leon made Governor of PUERTO RICO by Spanish Crown
1522 Slave revolt on HISPANIOLA
1523 SPANISH TOWN, JAMAICA established
1526 First slaves imported to CUBA
Hurricane recorded in St. Domingo
1527 Slave revolt on PUERTO RICO
Hurricane recorded in Cuba
1530 Spanish settle TRINIDAD
Hurricane recorded in Porto Rico
1532 Spain banned the importation of new Negro slaves from certain African regions
1543 Portuguese land in BERMUDA
1562 SANTIAGO, SANTO DOMINGO, destroyed by earthquake is rebuilt.
1564 French expedition discovers ANGUILLA
1583 Sir. F. Drake sacks SANTO DOMINGO.
Drake lands at CAYMAN ISLANDS
1592 Town of ST.JOSEPH, TRINIDAD established by de Berrio y Oruna
1595 17 Spanish shipwreck wreck off ABACO BAHAMAS.
Sir Walter Raleigh destroys ST.JOSEPH, TRINIDAD
1605 67 Englishmen try to settle ST.LUCIA
1606 ST.JOSEPH, TRINIDAD rebuilt.
1609 British ship Sea Venture bound for Virginia, foundered off BERMUDA, crew settles for a year and build Deliverance.
1612 Charter granted by James I to the Virginia Co. for BERMUDA
1618--1648 30 year War, involved Germany, England, France, Spain, Denmark
1621 Dutch uses CURACAO as a military stronghold
1623 September 19 - Hurricane recorded in St. Christopher's
1625 Dutch and English settle ST.CROIX, VI
1627 English settle BARBADOS
1629 English from the Carolinas settle BAHAMAS. (SEE 1647)
French settle northern ST. MAARTEN
1631 Dutch settle southern ST. MAARTEN
1632 English from St. Kitts colonize ANTIGUA.
Shipwreck English land at SABA.
Thomas Warner brings English and Irish Catholics from ST.KITTS and establish colony on MONTSARRAT.
English colonize ANTIGUA
1633-- 48 Spanish occupy ST.MAARTEN
1634 Dutch settle CURACAO
1635 French settle MARTINIQUE & GUADELOUPE.
French claim SABA.
1635--74 Private co. Compangnie dis Iles, owns MARTINIQUE
1636 Dutch capture BONAIRE, Aruba and Curacau from Spain
1638 French attempt to settle GRENADA. English from BERMUDA & ST. KITTS settle ST. LUCIA, settlers killed by Caribs three years later
1639 Dutch colonize ST.EUSTATIUS, and build FT.ORANJE.
1639--1778 Dutch bring half a million slaves to the Caribbean
1640 Dutch settle SABA, build two communities, Trent Bay and The Bottoms
1641 James, Duke of Courland obtain a grant for TOBAGO
1642 King of France ceded ST. LUCIA to French West India Co.
Courlanders settle the north side of TOBAGO.
Three hurricanes reported in this year, the second was in St. Christopher's..
1644 Peter Stuyversant attack ST. MAARTEN
1645 Dutch abandon ST.CROIX for ST.EUSTATIUS & ST.MAARTEN.
French from Dieppe settle ST. BARTHELEMY
1647 70 settlers & 28 slaves led by William Sayle, governor of BERMUDA for LEUTHERA, BAHAMAS.
1648 March 23. Treaty of Mount Coneordia, officially divides ST.MAARTEN between the French and the Dutch
1649 Oliver Cromwell transports Irish political prisoners to MONTSERRAT
1650 Maroons wage wars with European settlers of JAMAICA
1650--1730 Spanish repossess ST.CROIX
French from MARTINIQUE settle GRENADA, establish St. George’s
First slaves brought to GUADELOUPE
F.W.I. Co. sold ST. LUCIA to MM Houel & Du Parquet
"Sugar Revolution," most whites leave BARBADOS
English settle ANGUILLA
1651 Irish bring first slaves to MONTSERRAT.
Hurricane recorded in Martinique.
1652 Hurricane recorded in West Indies
1653 de Poincy deed ST.CROIX to the Knights of Malta
1654 Dutch refugees from Brazil bring sugar technology to NETHERLAND ANTILLES
1655 English land at JAMAICA, captured by Sir. William Penn
British take JAMAICA, Spanish settlers flee to CUBA
1656 Amerindian attack English settlement on ANGUILLA; killed men, captured women and children
Two hurricanes recorded in the West Indies.
1657 Hurricane recorded in Guadeloupe
1658 The Courlander are overpowered by the Dutch on TOBAGO
1659 Major Bridgetown fire, Barbados (200+ houses)
1660 Spanish abandon JAMAICA
English renew claim on ST.LUCIA
1662 Cornelius Lampsius created Baron of TOBAGO, under the Crown of France
1664 October 22, 23 : Severe gale, heavy rains destroyed vegetation in Guadeloupe, almost caused a famine.
1665 St. Thomas colonized by the Danish
1665--1667 Second Dutch War, England vs. Netherlands
1666 BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS fall into British hands
French occupy ANTIGUA
Hurricane, devastates early Danish settlement on St.Thomas
French attack ANGUILLA
Hurricane recorded in Guadeloupe, also felt in Martinique and St. Christoper's.
1667 August 19 - Hurricane recorded in Barbados
September 1 - Hurricane recorded in St. Christopher's
1668 April 18 - Major Bridgetown fire, Barbados (800+ houses)
1670 Treaty of Madrid transfer JAMAICA to the British
October 7 - Hurricane recorded in Jamaica
1671 Danish West India Company given royal Charter
ST. BARTHELEMY purchased by Compangie des Iles
1672--1678 Third Dutch Wars, England vs. Netherlands
1673 January 24 - Major Bridgetown fire, Barbados (~40 houses)
1674 French Government purchase MARTINIQUE
Christopher Codrington established first sugar estate on ANTIGUA, and leased BURBUDA to raise provisions for his plantations
1675 August 31 - Hurricane recorded in Barbados
1678 Peace of Nijmegen, the English give the Dutch-ARUBA CURACAO, BONAIRE, ST.EUSTATIUS, SABA and half of ST.MARTIN
1680 Planters from ANGUILLA move to ANEGADA & VIRGIN GORDA
1681 Hurricane recorded in Antigua
1683 Rye House Plot in England
1684 Denmark claims ST.JOHN
French appoint deCussy governor of Haiti
1685 Bloody Assizes
1686 100 penal transports to BARBADOS due to "Bloody Assizes".
French and British declare DOMINICA neutral
1688 Sugar abandoned in the NETHERLAND ANTILLES and Citrus fruit introduced.
French and Irish attack ANGUILLA, colonists flee to ANTIGUA
1689--1697 League of Augsberg War, Holy Roman Empire vs. France
1691 Pirates begin using BAHAMAS as a base
1692 PORT ROYAL, JAMAICA. chief slave market, destroyed by earthquake.
Epidemic in BARBADOS
Hurricane recorded in Barbados.
1695 October 2 - Hurricane and earthquake in Martinique
1695--1696 French Knights of Malta abandon ST. CROIX for ST. DOMINGUE.
1697 Peace of Ryswich, Spanish cedes western portion of HISPANIOLA to France, renamed SAINT DOMINGUE. Eastern portion named SANTO DOMINGO
1702--1713 Spanish Succession War, France, Spain vs. England,, Netherland, Denmark, Austria
1707 Hurricane recorded in Nevis
1712 August 28 - Hurricane recorded in Jamaica
1713 Hurricane recorded in Guadeloupe
1714 Hurricane recorded in Guadeloupe
1717 Tobacco made a strict monopoly for Spain
Danish settle St.John
1722 August 28 - Hurricane recorded in Jamaica
1726 October 22 - Hurricane recorded in Jamaica
1728 August 19 - Hurricane recorded in Antigua
1733 France sold ST. CROIX to the Danish West India & Guinea Company
1734 Hurricane recorded in Jamaica
1737 September 9 - Hurricane recorded in St. Domingo
1738 Hurricane recorded in Guadeloupe
1748 Coffee plants introduced to CUBA
1750 First Catholic church founded at ALTO VISTA, ARUBA
1754--1763 DANISH WEST INDIES become a royal colony
Seven Year War
1756 February 8 - Major Bridgetown fire, Barbados (~160 houses)
1758 February 25 - Major Bridgetown fire, Barbados (~90 houses)
1759 British occupy GUADELOUPE
1762 English occupy MARTINIQUE
British capture GRENADA
1762--1763 DOMINICA ceded to Britain
1763 British capture and hold CUBA
Feb. 10, Treaty of Paris signed, France cedes GRENADA , TOBAGO and DOMINICA to the British.
1763--1814 Josephine Bonaparte born in MARTINIQUE
1766 May 13-14 - Major Bridgetown fire, Barbados (1,140 buildings, 26.5 acres)
1766 December 27 - Bridgetown fire, Barbados
1768 St. Patrick’s Day, Slave rebellion on MONTSERRAT
1772 Hurricane devastate Virgin Islands
1776 Nov. 19. St. EUSTATIUS gives first official salute to American Colors, becomes a major trans-shipment point for arms and supplies for George Washington
1776--1783 American Revolution, America vs. England
1778 French control ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES
1779 French regain control of GRENADA
1780 Natural disasters wipe out sugar industry on GRENADA
1781 British Admiral Rodney sacks ST. EUSTATIUS
1782 French expel British from ST.EUSTATIUS
1783 Treaty of Versailles, French return GRENADA, ST. VINCENT & The GRENADINES and MONTSERRAT to the British.
British introduce nutmeg and cocoa as main crop to GRENADA.
Royal Cedula of Population, a policy to encourage immigration of Roman Catholic, introduced in TRINIDAD. Settlement began with French-speaking immigrants, also many from ST.LUCIA and DOMINICA when these islands were ceded to the British in 1784. Others come from the French Caribbean with their slaves when slavery was abolished, and from SANTO DOMINGO after the war of independence.
1784 Spain cedes ST. LUCIA and DOMINICA to the British
1785 Hurricane devastate Virgin Islands
1789 Slaves fight for emancipation on MARTINIQUE
1789--1799 French Revolution, impacts on slavery in the French Antilles
1791 Slave uprising on HAITI
1792 Denmark ends their involvement in the slave trade and abolishes slavery
1794 British capture PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI
A convoy of 10 Jamaican merchantmen wreck off GUN BAY, GRAND CAYMAN
1794--1802 English occupy MARTINIQUE
1795 Maroon rebellion on JAMAICA
1797 Sir Ralph Abercromby captures TRINIDAD and return to British
1800 English take CURACAO
1801--1802 British occupy the DANISH WEST INDIES( Virgin Islands)
1802 Slavery restored in GUADELOUPE
Denmark first European nation to end its participation in the slave trade.
Treaty of Amines. Spain cedes TRINIDAD to the British, who imports large numbers of African slaves to work in the sugar cane fields.
1803 English withdraw from CURACAO
1804 General Jean Jacque Dessalines expel the French from HISPANIOLA, declares independence and rename the island HAITI
1807--1815 English occupy CURACAO
British occupy the DANISH WEST INDIES (Virgin Islands)
1813 Hurricane
1814 Treaty of Paris, ST.LUCIA becomes a British Crown Colony
1816 Dutch control CURACAO
Tobacco monopoly abolished
"Sugar Rebellion" in BARBADOS, 123 slaves exiled to SIERRA LEONE
1818 CUBA given the right to trade Tobacco with the world
1819 Hurricane destroys TORTOLA’s harbor, Royal Mail Steam Packet CO move their station to ST. THOMAS, DANISH WEST INDIES.
1821 June 10 - Major Bridgetown fire, Barbados
1822 SANTO DOMINGO reunited with the rest of the island
1823 Independence movements in CUBA quelled by Spain
1826 June 25 - Major Bridgetown fire, Barbados (~166 houses)
1828-- 45 All Dutch West Indian colonies governed by Surinam
1832 Slavery abolished in ST.VINCENT 7 THE GRENADINES
1833 JAMAICA declares emancipation for slaves
1834-- 48 Several thousand immigrants from neighboring islands come to TRINIDAD to work
1837 CUBAN slave uprising
1838 August 1, slavery abolished in JAMAICA
1840 --1848 Madeirans, British, Scots, Irish, French, German and Swiss European immigrants , and free West Africans flock to TRINIDAD, to work in the sugar cane fields
1841 Americans from Baltimore and Pennsylvania come to TRINIDAD to work
1844 SANTO DOMINGO once more declares its independence from the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, assumes former name, HISPANIOLA.
British Government import East Indian laborer to TRINIDAD
1845 February 3-4 - Major Bridgetown fire, Barbados (~180 houses, 10 acres)
1845 May 30, first indentured Indian laborers arrived TRINIDAD, by 1917 -- 141,615 arrive for the period of 5 years indenture
1847 A royal Danish decree provides all slaves would be free after 1859, in the DANISH WEST INDIES
1848 Slavery abolished by the French
Slave revolt on St. Croix
1849 First Chinese indentured servants arrive in TRINIDAD
1853 Cholera Epidemic kills 1,865 on ST. THOMAS, DANISH WEST INDIES June
Malaria, kills 100, ST. THOMAS, DANISH WEST INDIES
1853 February 17 - Bridgetown fire, Roebuck Street, Barbados (~97 tenements)
1860’s By 1864 as many as 1,700 immigrants arrive in the Virgin Islands from Barbados and St. Eustatius
1860 February 14 - Major Bridgetown fire, Barbados
1861--1865 American Civil War, BAHAMAS prosper as base for blockade runners
1863 Slavery abolished in the Dutch West Indies
1866 Cholera epidemic kills 1200 - 1300, on ST. THOMAS, DANISH
Chinese immigration ends in TRINIDAD.
1867 Hurricane, with tidal wave, DANISH WEST INDIES, November
1870’s French laborers migrate to St.Thomas from St.Barths.
1871 Hurricane, DANISH WEST INDIES, Aug. 21
Hurricane, DANISH WEST INDIES, Oct., 23
1874 TURKS & CAICOS are annexed to JAMAICA
1877 TOBAGO becomes a CROWN colony
1888 TOBAGO amalgamated politically with TRINIDAD
1898 Spain cedes PUERTO RICO to the United States.
1902 La Soufriere volcano erupts on ST.VINCENT, killing 2,000 people.
Montagne Pelee on MARTINIQUE erupts, destroying Saint-Pierre, once the largest city on the island, killing 30,000
1904 --1914 Panama Canal construction project, 50,000 Caribbean workers used.
1910 July 20 - Major Bridgetown fire, Barbados (large area, thought to be arson)
1914 --1918 World War I
1917 Purchase by the United States of Danish Virgin Islands
1919 Prohibition in the US, NASSAU becomes a bootleggers’ paradise
1938--1945 World War II
1976 April 13, La Soufriere volcano erupts on ST. VINCENT
1996 April 01, Chances peak volcano erupts on MONTSERRAT
Sept. 18. Chances peak volcano erupts on MONTSERRAT
2000 Chances peak volcano continues to erupt on MONTSERRAT

Please send corrections, updates and additions

Read Me, Please
Claims & Discoveries | 1400 | 1500 | 1600 | 1700 | 1800 | 1900

FAQ | Preservation | GenResources | Microfilm Index Caribbean Surname Index | About Microfilms | email Webmaster | Mitchell's West Indian Bibliography | Caribbean-L email Discussion List | Commercial Sources of Research Material | Mormons: IGI International Genealogical Index | Mormons: Family History Library Catalog |  CARSURDEX - Caribbean Surname Index | Antigua Film Project p1|p2|p3|p4|p5|p6|p7|p8 | Surnames By Town 

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