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Taitt-Eaddy: Genealogy tourism has tremendous potential

Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:50 pm
by bimjim ... -potential

Taitt-Eaddy: Genealogy tourism has tremendous potential
Mon, 08/08/2016
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The interest being shown by Barbadians living here and abroad in tracing their roots is definitely on the rise.

Sandra Taitt-Eaddy, a Barbadian-born Genealogist now resident in the United States, says she is happy to see that over the last few years family history has become popular locally. Speaking to The Barbados Advocate on the sidelines of the Genealogy Marketplace, which was staged last Friday at the Archives Department, Taitt-Eaddy was hardly able to contain her excitement and enthusiasm, as she noted that the interest now being seen is just the tip of the iceberg.

As such, she believes strongly that the efforts by Barbados to go after genealogy tourism business, is definitely worth pursuing. She said that given the growing interest in family history, the country is sure to benefit economically and socially from such an
endeavour. Using the example of Connecticut where she lives, the genealogist said there is a great deal of focus on culture and history tourism there, which has proven to be quite attractive to visitors, and she feels confident that Barbados is right on target for capitalising on similar interest being shown here.

Taitt-Eaddy’s comments came as she noted that in the United States in general, there is a lot of work being done in the area of history and genealogy, with most of the historical societies now having genealogy research rooms and setting aside capital to further build out that area. Based on that, she is suggesting that as Barbados is now taking concerted steps in this direction, the relevant authorities can learn a great deal from those overseas initiatives. Acknowledging however that not everyone will be able to
journey to Barbados to conduct their research, she indicated that there are other outlets through which persons can delve into their history that they should be aware of.

“I’m a genealogist so I help persons who want to trace their family history. Though we also have to let persons know that even though we were forced to come from Africa to Barbados to be enslaved, there are mechanisms in place to trace our lives here on the island including amazing documents available from the Barbados Museum and the Barbados Archives. There are also . repositories available,” she noted.

Her comments came as she lauded the Archives Department and the Barbados Tourism Product Authority for coordinating and hosting the marketplace.

“In 2012 I was invited by the Barbados Ministry of Foreign Affairs to come down and present genealogy to the Barbadian diaspora and the Barbadian public. I am probably more excited than anybody here because genealogy has been my life for the last 20 years and I have been sharing it with the Barbadian public every chance I get, whether it is here locally at a conference or through social media. So for me this is a major event, I am glad that we are able to bring history and make it alive, make it fresh, and I am pleased to see this come to fruition,” she said.

Re: Taitt- Eaddy: Genealogy tourism has tremendous potential

Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:58 pm
by bimjim
Personally, I think genealogy tourism has a future in the Caribbean islands, but in the specific case of Barbados my efforts - and the efforts of others - at improving the survivability of genealogical records have been rebuffed by the powers-that-be so often and with such vigour that I think the trend-setting example would be best performed elsewhere - and perhaps, if they are interested, let Barbados copy that at some point in the future.

The resistance to improvement has been so fierce, and for so long, it is almost as if the Ministers responsible and the Archive Director are determined to make sure these records are gone from support by the public purse in the shortest possible time.

A harsh criticism? No, not really. When a Director instructs that Deed Books be taken out of public use and put into a safe with termites, and refuses any and every offer to have his records digitised - free of charge - by UNESCO or by the LDS then there is deliberate sabotage at play.