The tribe of Ga

Ancestry DNA shows I have an African ancestor by the name of Quartey. I searched the name in Google and found they are descendants of the Ga tribe from Accra Ghana. I am going to research this tribe and continue to update this post with my findings. My DNA shows I am 7% Nigerian and 12% Ivory Coast Ghana.

SHEIKH MUSTAFA’S INTRODUCTION IS BELOW type his name into Google to find his blog or check out my re blogs.

INTRODUCTION by SHEIKH MUSTAFA

Quarteys’ all over the world are descendants of the Royal Family of Kpakpatse We clan of the Asεrε group of the Ga speaking people, which is one of the seven quarters (Akutséii) that constituted the Ashiedu Kεtεkε District within the Odododiodioo Constituency of the Ga Mashie Community in Accra. The Asεrε group of people comprises of five different clans which relocated to the coastal settlements of Little Akra (Ga Mashie) after the destruction of Great Akra (Ayawaso) by the Akwamus in the early Sixteen Century. Among them is the Kpakpatse We Royal Family, whose history we shall discuss in this discourse.

That is the end of SHEIKH MUSTAFA quote.

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History and Cultural Relations

The Ga have lived in southern Ghana for more than a thousand years. They largely displaced or intermarried with the indigenous Kpeshi people, established their system of rotating slash-and-burn horticulture, and eventually adopted maize as a primary staple as opposed to the earlier millet. The date of the earliest settlement at Accra is not known, but that settlement was flourishing by the fifteenth century. Accra developed from a series of contiguous settlements formed at different times by different peoples who developed a coherent but flexible sense of Ga identity.

The growth of Accra was stimulated by the arrival of the Europeans, the first being the Portuguese, who built a small fort there in 1482. In the seventeenth century the English, Dutch, Swedes, and Danes established spheres of influence, entering into a preexisting coastal trade. Further growth came with the destruction of the original capital, Ayawaso, 2.1 miles (3.4 kilometers) northwest of Accra, by the Akwamu kingdom in 1677. After being in a tributary relationship with the Akwamu until 1730, Accra regained and largely maintained its independence until it was occupied by the British in 1874. By the beginning of the nineteenth century Accra had a population of approximately 7,500 to 10,000 and was well developed, with extensive interior and exterior trade connections. Merchants in Accra acted as middlepersons in the trade of slaves, gold, and other commodities between the Europeans and the Asante kingdom to the north. From the 1820s on European missionaries arrived in the area and had a substantial impact.

Ga ethnicity was constructed out of many strands because of the multiplicity of trade contacts, religious influences, founding ethnicities, and cross-cultural contacts fostered by intermarriage. A common saying at Asere is, “There is no such thing as a pure Ga.” Not only were many European and inland African ethnicities represented in Accra over hundreds of years, but also the lateral coastal connections produced migrations of Brazilian, Sierra Leonean, and Nigerian families, who formed clans and assumed Ga identity.

Around the turn of the twentieth century Accra experienced a series of disasters, including famines, a fire in 1894, an earthquake in 1906, bubonic plague, and the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919, as well as continuous emigration of skilled laborers. A severe earthquake in 1939 destroyed much of Central Accra and gave added impetus to settle in new suburban settlements such as Kaneshie and Adabraka.

http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/anthropology-and-archaeology/people/ga

 

The tribe of Ga are descendants of GAD and are the hebrew Israelites. They left Egypt and migrated to Ghana via Nigeria and Ethiopia there is much discussion around this on the internet.

http://www.ghanadot.com have great information regarding this. Below is a quote from their blog.


The Ga-Dangmes claim to be descendants DAN and GAD, the fifth and seventh sons of Jacob. Biblical history suggests that Jacob, whom God named YISRAEL had Leah as his wife who gave birth to four sons for him. When Leah noticed that she had passed child-bearing age, she gave her maid servant, ZILPAH to wife. Through Zilpah, Jacob had Dan and Gad and four more sons. Jacob has two sons with Rachel. Gad’s fifth son was Eri who later formed a clan known as Erites (Genesis 30:9, Genesis 46:16, Numbers 26:15-19 and Deuteronomy 3:12; Genesis 30:4-8 3:12.The descendant of Eri, son of Gad are believed to have founded the Nri Kingdom around 900 A.D of the South Eastern and parts of the mid-western Igboland in Nigeria with other tribes of Levi, Zebulon, Ephraim and possibly more. In the Book of numbers, the Bible had made extensive references to the children of Israel, which includes Gad and Dan and their children (Numbers 1:1-54).

Biblical history strongly lends support to the claim by Ga-Dangmes that they are HEBREW ISRAELITES due to the fact Ga-Dangme names are found throughout the OLD TESTAMENT. Examples are: NIIKOILAI (Rev:2, 6, 15); AMASA (2 Samuel 17, 25; 1 Chronicle 33 20-21 DJAANI/JANNE, 2 Timothy 3: 8; AMON, 2 Chronicle 33: 20-21; ASHALE (ASAHEL), 1 Chronicle 2:16, 2 Samuel 2: 18-19.

King AYI KUSHI, spelled Cush in Hebrew, Genesis 10: 6 Jeremiah 13:23, Isaiah 18:12) led the Ga-Dangmes from Cush in Jerusalem to Ayawaso and was the founder of the GA DYNASTY. It is believed that the Ga-Dangmes Kingdom at AYAWASO was the first Kingdom in GHANA. It is interesting that Queen Dode (Dodi) Akabi’s name DODI is a Hebrew Name. Also, the name of the hunter, KADI, who found a group people at OSU DOKU and introduced them to the Nungua Mantse, is a Hebrew name. The Nungua Mantse, in consultation with the Ga Mashi Mantse gave Osu lands to the “KADI GBOI” as people of Osu were referred to.

Ga-Dangmes custom of circumcision of their male born and their patriarch traditions further lend support to their Hebrew Israelites origins (Genesis 17: 1-12). The HOMOWO FESTIVAL (the PASSOVER) celebrated by the Ga-Dnagmes supports their claim that they are Hebrew Israelites, descendants of children of Jacob (Exodus 13: 1-10); Exodus 12: 1-50; Numbers 9:1-5

According to Abbey in his book KEDZI AFO JORDAN (1968), Ga-Dangmes tradition during which they put money in the coffins of their deceased relatives prior to burial is an ancient Hebrew Israelites custom. In ancient Israel of the Bible, the deceased were said to be buried across the river Jordan. Coins placed in the coffins of the deceased believing that  their spirits will use it in “paying” for their passage across the River Jordan. The “abayan”, cloth belonging to the deceased, which is torn to pieces, and each piece placed on the left wrist of the deceased relatives and very close friends, is an ancient Jewish custom. Also, the DIPO or OTUFO customs of the Ga-Dangmes are said to be ancient Hebrew Israelites customs. These and ancient traditional customs still observed by Ga-Dangmes clearly lend credence to their claim that they are of Hebrew Israelites origins.

End of extract from Ghana. Com blog

Through my own research I have found that the Ga-Dnagmes believe in one supreme being and an evil being who we would call Satan in Europe society. The tribe also believe there are good and bad spirits. The tribe believe that our ancestors guide us through life. People are held accountable in this community for their actions. Many people would have you believe that all of these people worship deities and animals and spirits which is not the case. There are good and bad types of worship and the bad takes the direction of black magic, spirit worship and sacrifices to a number of God’s in my opinion and the opinion of some of the Ghanian community. A documentary I watched discussed this very point and even the indigenous Igbo of the land are aware of this and confirm the difference in the 2 religions. An interesting point is that for 1000s of years there have been people who believed in one God. Religion unfortunately has used it’s power to dominate and rule over certain people claiming all men worshiped numerous God’s and therefore had to be taken under control. Slavery is heavily documented in The Bible and Quran and historical documents breathe life to the story.

Fort James was built in 1673 in Accra as a trading port.  It appears that the slaves were shipped straight from Ghana to Jamaica and other ports that I have yet to explore. In researching my heritage I identified that my paternal line traces back to Accra Ghana. I stored the picture below as my investigations led to Elmina Ghana. Many slaves were transported from the castle below.

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Elmina is conveniently located at the shore line providing a means of transporting the slaves at the time. This castle was used in Ghana to ship the slaves across the continent.

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Some of the people enslaved were described as AKAN  in the slave records. These Africans were from The slavery Gold Coast and would likely have spoken a number of languages which are still in use today.

 

Currently English is the official language of Ghana and the Ga are a mixture of peoples concentrated in the capital, many first-language Ga speakers also know English, one or more of the Akan languages (Fante or Twi), and/or Ewe. These are the languages that they speak in that area.

Further information can be found online http://www.encyclopedia.com they state the following:

The oldest area of settlement in Accra, now known as Central Accra, is composed of seven quarters, among which Asere, Abola, and Gbese are oldest and considered to be the most traditionally Ga. Otublohum originally was settled by people from Akwamu and Denkyera to the northwest. These four quarters make up Ussher Town, the area placed under Dutch jurisdiction in the seventeenth century. The other three quartersAlata or Nleshi, Sempe, and Akanmadzeare said to be of later origin. Alata was settled by Nigerian workers imported to construct a European fort. These three quarters are commonly called James Town and formed the original area of British jurisdiction at Accra. Asere is by far the largest quarter in terms of population and area. All quarters have clan houses known as wekushia, the original homes of Ga patrilineages, and chiefs called mantsemei.

Extract above from http://www.encyclopedia.com

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Ghanian Tour Guide

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My DNA interestingly enough shows the migration of africans down the coast of Africa from Mali and Senegal down to Nigeria Ghana Benin Togo Cameroon and Congo

It is also to be noted that the tribe of Ga are no longer just found in Africa. There are claims that the chereokee Indians and native Americans also originate from this tribe. I will be exploring their heritage and other tribes later in this blog.

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A personal account of St George Castle in Elmina is below by the New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/11/25/travel/the-slave-fortresses-of-ghana.html?pagewanted=all

Elmina, 93 miles west of Accra, at the western edge of Ghana’s central region, is different. Here the highway looks out on coconut groves lining the beach, and the massive weight of St. George’s Castle, at the end of the bay’s long sweep, is clear even from a distance. Here the contrasts that characterize Europe’s first footholds on the continent make themselves felt: the gray and white of the stone against the turquoise and green of the sea, the fortified solidity of the structure against the airy openness of the horizon.

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Built in 1482 by the Portuguese in the area they called Mina de Ouro (the gold mine), after they found vast quantities of the precious metal there, the castle is the oldest European structure in sub-Saharan Africa. For more than 100 years the area around Elmina was the center of a thriving trade in gold, ivory and peppers, which the Africans supplied in abundance, and cloth, beads, metals and hardware, which the Portuguese brought from Europe.

After two unsuccessful attempts to take it, the Dutch captured the castle in 1637 with an assault from the land. Mindful of similar threats, they built Fort Coenraadsburg on St. Iago Hill, where it keeps watch to this day over St. George’s rear. The great castle then became the African headquarters of the Dutch West Indies Company, whose business was supplying the needs of the New World’s great plantations. Foremost among these was the need for labor; the Dutch became the slave trade’s masters.

Elmina’s storerooms were converted to dungeons as other European powers built lodges and forts on what became known as the Gold Coast and began competing fiercely for their share of the trade from the mid-1600’s on. The building that once housed a Portuguese Catholic Church became Elmina’s slave market, where African dealers brought their captives, many of them victims of tribal wars. By the 18th century an estimated 68,400 slaves were exported from Africa each year, of whom about 41,000 came from West Africa, according to published accounts of the times. Of those, 10,000 left Elmina’s shores when the castle was operating at full capacity, according to Ghana’s Museums and Monuments Board.

See also The Ga-Dangme of Ghana

Major Ethnic Groups Of Ghana

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The Igbo tribe

 

 

I traced my ancestry back to the first slaves of Jamaica my father’s side was described as Igbo. A fantastic lead for me to discover more about who these ancestors were. The Igbo tribe are from West Africa and are found in Nigeria. This would describe my 7% Nigerian ancestry.

See the link below to see what Lagos is like now.

Lagos City Photo Blog: Kaye Whiteman’s LAGOS

The Oba of Lagos claim Lagos State is not part of Yoruba land.

The Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, has claimed that Lagos State is not part of Yoruba land.

Akiolu’s statement is coming barely a week after he publicly humiliated the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi at an event.

The statement reads: “Coming from the palace, with what I was told by my late paternal grandmother who is a descendant of Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi and also reading from factual Historical books, let me share this Knowledge with you all on Eko/Lagos.

“Modern day Lagos was founded by Prince Ado, the son of the Oba of Benin, Prince Ado was the first Oba of Lagos, the son of the Bini King, Prince Ado, named the town Eko until the Portuguese explorer Ruy de Segueira changed the Maritime town to Lagos, which at that time from 1942 was Portuguese expedition center down the African Coast.

It was a major centre of the slave trade until 1851. Lagos was annexed by Britain via the Lagos treaty of cession in 1861, ending the consular period and starting the British Colonial Period. The remainder of modern day Nigeria was seized in 1886 when the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria was established in 1914 Lagos was declared its capital due to the struggle of the Bini King.

“Lagos experienced growth prior to the British Colonial rule and even more rapid growth during the Colonial rule throughout the 1960s, 70s, continued through the 80s and 90s till date. Thanks to the Awori’s, Bini’s, Yoruba’s, migrants across the nation and world at large, as no particular group of people can take the glory alone.

“Lagos is made up of Lagoons and creeks. The Lagos lagoon, Lagos Harbour, five cowne creeks, Ebute-Metta creeks, Porto-Novo creeks, New canal, Badagry creeks, Kuramo waters and Light house creeks.

“The Awori’s and Bini’s are known to be the first settlers of the Eko land. The Awori’s are speakers of a distinct dialect close to that of the Yoruba language with a rich Bini mixture. Traditionally, Awori’s were found in Ile-Ife, they were known to be the Bini’s who followed their self-exiled Prince, the first son of the Ogiso (now called Oba) of Benin Kingdom, whose step-mother was after his head.

“The exiled Benin Prince Izoduwa known to the Yorubas as Ooduwa (Oduduwa) was made ruler of the Ife people due to his powers and followers from the Great Benin-Kingdom.

“Izoduwa (Ooduwa) was made the first King of Ile-Ife in 1230 AD. His followers from his father’s Kingdom in Benin are the today’s Awori people who settled in Eko now called Lagos.

“In the 1300, the King of Benin-Empire heard from one of his traders who was a settler in Eko on how the Bini’s were treated by the Awori’s who lived in their area. Upon hearing this, the King of Benin commanded the assembling of a war expedition, led by his son, Prince Ado, which headed the settlement of the Awori’s and demanded explanation.

“On arriving Eko, Prince Ado and his Army were more than received. The Aworis asked the Bini Prince to stay and become their leader. Ado agreed on the condition that they surrender their sovereignty to the Oba of Benin, to which the people agreed. Hearing this, the King of Benin gave his permission for Prince Ado and the expedition to remain in Eko.

“The Oba of Benin sent some of his chiefs including the Eletu, Odibo, Obanikoro and others to assist his son, Oba Ado in the running of Eko.

“From the crowing of Prince Ado as the first Oba of Lagos (then called Eko), Lagos served as a major center for slave trade from which the Aworis, the Oba of Benin and his son the Oba of Lagos and all the children/descendants who took over as his successors for over four centuries supported the trade.

“The Oba of Benin was the head of the Benin Empire which are the present day Western, Southern and Eastern modern day Nigeria. The King never obliged anyone to speak the Bini language as he believed everyone was entitled to their own choice of language.

“The name Eko was given to it by the first king of Lagos, Oba Ado, the young and vibrant Prince from Benin. Eko was the land now known as Lagos Island, where the king palace was built.

“The palace is called Idugaran meaning “palace built on pepper farm” Oba Ado and the warriors from Benin together with the early Bini’s settlers in Eko and the Awori people settled in the southern part of Eko called “Isale Eko”. “Isale literally means bottom “. Must have been used to indicate downtown (as in down town Lagos)

“Until the coming in of the Benin’s 1300AD , Lagos geographical boundary was Lagos mainland, Lagos Island, the seat of the Oba of Lagos then consisted of a pepper farm and fishing post. No one was living there.

“About 1450 AD some Yorubas who hailed from Isheri in Ogun-state and Ekiti were allowed by the King to settle in Eko during a war, they came in a very large numbers thereby surpassing the numbers of the Awori’s and Bini’s. (Hence Yorubas claim to own Eko due to their numbers).

“Oba Ado fell in love with a beautiful woman whose father was Awori and mother a daughter to one of the chief; they had two sons and also a daughter Erelu Kuti, who begot Ologun Kutere who later became King.”

http://dailypost.ng/2017/05/03/lagos-not-belong-yorubas-oba-akiolu/

see my other posts

Béhanzin, The Last King of Dahomey, Benin

Igbo people in Jamaica

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Hebrew tribes

IGBO is short for HEBREW. Check out these YouTube videos.  “The Nigerian Igbo Israelite connection” or ” Biafra/Igbo put down your” the latter by Eunice Young. I was absolutely amazed to discover that they too believe that they are the hebrew Israelites. In Igbo land and Igbo culture there is a story that has been passed down to pretty much all of them regarding where they came from. They were forced to migrate out of Egypt. The reason that I am quite shocked is that my mother has always said that we are from the tribe Gad a Hebrew tribe. I can see now that the Jamaican slaves orally passed the information down so that it came to pass to people like my mom and myself. Reading the bible for myself about 15 years ago I came to the conclusion that black people were the real Israelites.

I found this YouTube video after completing this post: https://youtu.be/8yz2FDflwlc

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The bible and Deutronomey describe what happened to the slaves and what continues to happen to black people. I saw this for myself it is quite clear to me in the bible.

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A 1747 map of Africa show what we call “The Gold Coast” which was then called “The Kingdom of Juda”

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The slaves were sold in Jamaica and America below is a genuine advert of that time describing Heeboes for sale.

 

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The Igbo tribe claim to have been worshiping only one God since before the bible and Koran was written. Of course I had to do more research on this. If the Igbo get their culture from information passed to them by their forefathers in Egypt then the next step for me was to look into what did the Egyptians believe.  I had heard of the ancient city of Kemet which was a rich empire before invasion. See Ashra kwesi “Wake up African people” or any of his lectures. Ashra tours these historical sites and explains the writing a on the walls. All religions came from the teachings of ancient Kemet. Please watch Ashra Kwesi’s lectures the evidence is compelling. The writing on the walls in Egypt mean that it is fact not opinion.

More and more people are being awakened to what happened in the past and how the 12 tribes of Judah came to be scattered around the world.

Below is a list of the nations and their bible related ancestors, according to some.

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There is a very detailed summary of the Hebrew Israelites at https://carm.org/black-hebrew-israelites Matt Smith the president of the above company details their beliefs in an honest unbiased account. Of course we can all argue the reasons why it is false or true but I came to the same conclusion as the Hebrew Israelites. Direct to quote from website:

  1. The Identity of the Hebrew Israelites
    1. “The Hebrew Israelites are the modern descendants of the ancient Israelites. The Hebrew Israelites have been scattered to the four corners of the earth. They reside in all lands among all people, they are suffering from the curses that are found in the law books of Leviticus chapter 26 and Deuteronomy chapter 28. Today they are known by the bywords and proverbs of “BLACKS, AFRICAN AMERICANS, AFRO AMERICANS, NEGROES, NIGGERS, ETC. The Hebrew Israelites are the true descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They are the priest of the Most High.”12
    2. “…The Most High said the Curses found in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 are the Identifying mark. Whatever people are suffering the curses in their entirety are the true Israelites.  This site has proven that the so called black man and woman of the western hemisphere who got to this part of the world as captives in the bottom of slave ships. Fit the full scriptural description of Israel, any other people who are claiming Israelite heritage must fit the full description of Israel in the latter days.”
  2. Jesus
    1. “Some of Israel do believe in the Messiah and some don’t. Even among the ones who don’t there exist a slight separation of what they believe about the messiah, this can also be found among the ones who do believe. There isn’t one universal belief about the Messiah among Hebrew Israelites. Well not yet.”13
  3. The Bible
    1. There are mistranslations in the King James Version, but it does contain truth: “Although a few mistranslation exist in the KJV, such as the name Jew, Jesus and Jehovah in my humble opinion this translation is still very useful and still contains THE truth.”
    2. There are other books that belong in the Bible: “These are books that were removed FROM the bible, by so called Roman Catholic authroities. I highly recommend you get these missing books, they are part of scripture, in many cases they fill in the missing blank in some of the 66 “canonized” bible books.  For instance In the book of Genesis chapter 6 the sons of Yah are mention who have taken on the daughter of men, this passage is very controversial so many interpetations have been given about Genesis 6. But the book of Enoch says the sons of Yah Were sinful angels who had sex with Human women (the daughters of men). Both the apostles Peter and Jude makes quotes from the book of Enoch, these missing books are just as valid as the 66 books. The book of Jasher is mention twice in the scriptures. The missing books can give you a lot of understanding, I highly advise you find a copy to increase your understanding of Yah’s Word.”

End of quote.

                   Watch Igbo Jamaican Hebrews here https://youtu.be/bxJP5JblVAg

 

the Bible and Tankh do appear to provide insight into the history and migration of man including the 12 tribes of Judah.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Obadiah

(Extract below)

Throughout most of the history of Judah, Edom was controlled absolutely from Jerusalem as a vassal state. Among the region’s great powers, Edom was held in low regard. Obadiah said that the high elevation of their dwelling place in the mountains of Seir had gone to their head, and they had puffed themselves up in pride. “Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord. (Obadiah 1:4, NIV)

In 597 BCE, Nebuchadnezzar II sacked Jerusalem, carted away the King of Judea and installed a puppet ruler. The Edomites helped the Babylonians loot the city. Obadiah, writing this prophecy around 590 BCE, suggests the Edomites should have remembered that blood was thicker than water. ‘”On the day you stood aloof while strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them… You should not march through the gates of my people in the day of their disaster, nor gloat over them in their calamity in the day of their disaster, nor seize their wealth in the day of their disaster.”‘ (Obadiah 1:11, 13 NIV)

Obadiah said in judgement God would wipe out the house of Esau forever, and not even a remnant would remain. The Edomites’ land would be possessed by Egypt and they would cease to exist as a people. But the Day of the Lord was at hand for all nations, and someday the children of Israel would return from their exile and possess the land of Edom.

End of extract.

See also My Igbo slave ancestor

 

 

 

 

How to use ancestry DNA to trace your family

 

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The ancestry DNA test is currently £99 in the UK. You order the test online and it is delivered to your address with an activation code. You activate the code on the Ancestry DNA website and send your spit away to be analysed.

When you receive your results you will also receive a list of DNA matches. I had 24 pages of matches and I now have 34 pages. Each time a match is tested they are added to your matches. You can learn a lot from your DNA matches but you first need to get your head around the website which can be daunting at a first glance.

So what can you learn at first glance from your DNA matches?

The beauty of Ancestry DNA is it allows you to upload pictures and post messages. You can start looking into your genetic makeup by scrolling through your matches. What do the people look like? What are their surnames? It may take you a while to scroll through all of the people but it is worth doing. You might start to see reoccurring surnames or surnames that sound similar.  Make a note of people who have the same surname.

You can take this a step further by clicking onto the person and looking at their profile. From here you can learn where the person is located if they have added this information. You can see their genetic profile and identify which countries and regions you have in common. You can also see which surnames they are researching. If they have uploaded pictures you can see them here.

If you haven’t done it already you should create a family tree as the Ancestry DNA site will then start to give you hints regarding your ancestors.

How to trace your ancestry online

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If you have decided to trace your family lineage you have joined millions of others on that same journey.  Tracing your family requires the same steps regardless of your background. It can seem daunting at first especially if you have little information to go on.

Step 1 Speak to your family and get the names dates and places of your immediate family. A good place to start is grandparents. Once you have the information of your grandparents birth days places of residence and place of birth you can then start to work backwards. Ask aunts uncles and your grandparents siblings if possibe what information they have regarding your family history.

Step 2 Locate the registers of births deaths and marriages for your grandparents parents in the country that they lived. There are places such as http://www.geneology.com and http://www.familysearch.com that hold records you can view online.

Step 3 Broaden your search to include the children as this can later prove invaluable in explaining connections and family links. Research your family surname in war records and make a note of where the people lived.

Step 4 Search the family name online using search engines such as Google.  Someone else may have already started researching your surname.

Step 5 Follow the trail back as far as you can using the records of parents and parents parents parents.

Step 6 Consider taking a DNA test.

Step 7 Ask the elders in the local community, contact teachers and historians as they may hold invaluable information.

You can search births deaths marriages at  www.familysearch.org

 

My carribean african ancestry DNA

I have always been interested in history. I cherish the memories of me and my grandmother sketching out our family tree. A passion for history was already taking set at an early age. At school, history and english classes were the only time I listened tentatively. I clung on to the teachers every word. By 15 it became quite apparent that this history curriculum had very little to do with my actual history or past and it left me wanting more. In class we learnt about Christopher Columbus amongst other explorers. As to be expected in an English school we also learnt about the Romans, Tudors Stewarts. The first and second world war were a focus for a long time. I enjoy learning about the history of England and America since they are always so closely related when it comes to politics and business and after all I was born in England. That said these things only skimmed the surface of my heritage. With a hunger for more information I soon emerced myself in books about slavery from my local library. I was horrified as I stared at diagrams of slaves packed into the bases of ships. I soon gained the general knowledge of the slavery era and transportation of africans to the carribean and America and the sort of labour they endured.

 

I remember my grandmother describing her 2 week journey to England by boat where she became a nurse. Previously my grandmother on my paternal side had lived in America and worked as an au pair/live in nanny. As a third generation jamaican all 4 of my grandparents were born in  jamaica and so we’re their parents. My early childhood and teenage years were filled with stories about growing up in Jamaica. My paternal grandmother spoke of living in Kingston and being born and raised in St Elizabeth. My maternal grandmother spoke of being from Clarendon jamaica. She was what we call red skin, a fair lady compared to my other side and it showed. She boasted of Indian heritage and had the hair to prove it. She was proud of being from Redhills. It is fair to say my moms mom was prejudice against dark skin despite being black herself. This type of prejudice is familiar amongst races as per history the light skinned people for a time in jamaica were treated differently sometimes called creole. These black people would have been more likely to be given less strenuous work possibly a house slave rather than a field slave. It appears that not only is my mother’s side mixed with Irish but the term Creole in Jamaica referred to people born in America and possibly mixed. My grandmother I now know was mixed with Polish/Russian and Portuguese or Spanish which would have given her an Asian look.

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Both my grandfather’s passed away before I reached 4 so information regarding their lineage was limited. At around 20 I started tracing my mother and father’s ancestry using my grandparents birth as a starting point on the jamaican census births deaths marriages. I narrowed down their parents and followed the family lines. I looked at the early census for my surname and made a note of their details. The trail soon ran dry since my grandparents were all deceased and there was no real way of knowing who their forefathers were. Fast forward just over a decade and DNA testing has now become accessible for the likes of me and you.

It would have been wonderful to share my findings with my grandparents but me and my mom joke about them looking over my shoulder as I search and discover. I took the ancestry DNA test and here are my results

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trace regions were

Mali 2% Senegal 2% 

2% iberian peninsula 1% Britain 1% Ireland 1% Europe East.  

 

I was surprised with these trace regions and surprised I had no asian DNA. I made a note before my results of what I was expecting. Looking at previous you tube videos I expected to be around 80% African with the remainder being European. So I was surprised that I am 95% african.Ancestry DNA returned 32 pages of relatives mainly 4-5th cousins with a whole host of surnames I had never heard of. I looked at the list and started to make a list of surnames that kept appearing and the names of the people. I started a family tree and ancestry dna led me to develop a family tree that is now pushing 1000 people. I checked some people out on Facebook and was surprised to see family resemblances. Where there was only a vague idea of my history I now have names places and stories that genuinely relate to my own heritage. For example in tracing my paternal grandfathers side I was led to Trelawny Spanish town in Jamaica and St James for both my paternal grandparents lineage. Records dated 1796 called some of them Maroons. I believe that because I had Maroons in my ancestry who were fighters and ran away they would have remained in black communities and were not subject to rape hence I am 95% African. 

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Uncovering 200 years of family history has taken a while. A place called James Town can be found in Accra Ghana. Elmina Port is where the slaves were shipped from straight to places like Louisianna and the West indies. There were said to be 40 ports along the coasts of Africa. The surname James runs through my ancestry and places in Jamaica and Ghana are called James Town I do not believe that this is a coincidence.

 

On my mother’s side the trail led to Senegal and Mali which was taken over by the Arabs during the time of the Songhai Empire. People were taken from Mali and Senegal and enslaved in Sudan.

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During this time and documented in the amaraic bible the slaves of  West Africa were enslaved and feared as they left Israel as only 70 people but multiplied quickly. A side from the bible tale I noted I have no East African ancestry and no East African matches. Before researching the slave era I wondered what might have happened to them. It is documented that arab slavery was different to other types of slavery and the male children and men were killed or castrated or worked to death. Of course this could be historical dramatization.

 

Finally a few months after doing the DNA test I have some native full blooded African distant cousins. I have researched the ancestry and movements of their family. So far I have managed to pinpoint ancestry in Lagos Nigeria Igbo and possibly Yoruba tribe and the Ga and Akan tribe in Accra. According to the history of the native African  surnames I was able to pinpoint where they originated from. My ancestors are showing up as migrating or being taken from Accra Ghana or surrounding regions and possibly Coromantee and Ashanti. I have identified the African surnames from my matches in migration records and their migration seems to fit my DNA Portugal, Spain, England and America and Haiti where I have DNA matches. One African ancestors DNA led to Ghana  Accra and the Asere Quarter known as the Kpakpatse We, people which I will be investigating further. I am still looking into my mother’s side but with her looking Sudanese and me having Mali and Senegal DNA it’s possible her African ancestor was from the Mendes Hausa or red Igbo peoples in that region. On a more fun note my boyfriend found my doopleganger  (my unrelated twin) and sent me the video the girl is Sudanese and we look exactly the same. 

As a very spiritual person I also have an interest in how my ancestors might fit into the bible. This is covered extensively in my other posts regarding the Hebrews.  What I have discovered is that because my ancestors were taken to Jamaica where a lot of people became Maroons they are classed as being from the tribe of Benjamin which I found difficult to understand. The bible refers to the Hebrew people as being able to hide in Africa as they looked the same but had different beliefs. The 12 tribes of Israel are identified by their persecution and their life as slaves. The Hebrews according to the Bible follow the spiritual practises of Moses Abraham and Noah and are scattered to the four corners of the earth. According to the Bible the West Africans migrated from Israel and it was the cushite kingdom of Liberia and Sudan that were the original Africans. In researching the Maroons in Jamaica I found that it was the skills they developed in Africa that helped them defend their territory and remain undefeated.

I have added some of the flags of African regions in my DNA. I have done this because as a third generation Jamaican the colours we tend to associate with ourselves are red gold and green sometimes more than the Jamaican flag. My DNA shows a link to those colours and most of the flags in my DNA represent red gold and green. I believe that it is because we are the same tribe of Hebrews.  However it is important to note that there are many tribes across Africa and not all have the Hebrew and Jewish practises.

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This has been a great journey and it is just the beginning

The flags of my DNA.

The maroons of jamaica my ancestry

images-16I traced my ancestry as far back as I could go in Jamaica using information given to me by my family before I did a ancestry DNA test. My ancestors were described as Igbo around 1830 on census records, but further back around 1809 they were described as Maroons. I did not know what a Maroon was. I carried on searching and did some research. I discovered that my 6th great grandmother and her sons became Maroons and my 6x great grandmother was a Maroon for nearly 20 years until she was caught and made into a slave again when she was over 50. They lived in Trelawny and St James in Jamaica. I also do not think it is a coincidence that they named the area St James and those particular slaves came mainly from James Town in Ghana. I recall tracing the ancestry back and seeing an ancestor described as being runaway and branded with the letter J but at the time I could not connect the J as it did not match the slave masters name. I believe now that slaves who were not branded with the slave masters name were branded with initials which related to where they were from or what ship they were from.

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My great grandmother x6 called her child Quamin a African Ga Akan and Ashanti day name describing the day he was born. The fact that there were records of my ancestors with African names helped me identify where they were from.  This told me they had ties to Ghana and the Ghana naming ceremony and were described by the slave master as Igbo which suggested a mix of Ghana and Nigeria for their ancestry. I decided to explore this further.

Exploring day names

noun
1.

              (formerly, especially in creole-speaking cultures) name given at birth to a black child, in accordancewith African customs, indicating the child’s sex andthe day of the week on which he or she was born, asthe male and female names for Sunday (Quashee andQuasheba) Monday (Cudjo or Cudjoe and Juba)Tuesday (Cubbena and Beneba) Wednesday (Quacoand Cuba or Cubba)     Thursday (Quao and Abba) Friday(Cuffee or Cuffy and Pheba or    Phibbi) and Saturday(Quamin or Quame and Mimba)

(W Africana name indicating a person’s day of birth

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/quaos

Documentation I found states one of my first ancestors arrived in Jamaica about 1760 however I now think this is incorrect. I have seen other people with the surname and naming patterns that are similar to my relatives in the 19th century listed pre 1760. The documents available often don’t contain enough information for me to push back further than  this. A possibility since my relative was a Maroon is that she lied about how long she was free and could have been born in Jamaica and not Africa. If this were the case she would have to lie as punishment would have been worse if she was from a lineage of Maroons.  Information was purposefully suppressed the further back you go as the whole point was to create a slave that made money and strip them of their identity. It is said that most slaves have 2-3 names. The African name first slave name and later a new name if they were baptised or a new name once made free. Hence there are a lot of Freeman’s this was a popular name after slavery that ex slaves chose for themselves.

 

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Nanny town in jamaica is named after nanny of the maroons (1686-1755). Nanny is one of Jamaica’s national hero’s.  Nanny was from the ashanti tribe. The first nanny town was destroyed during the first maroon war in 1734. Maroons were african slaves who fled their captors and lived in the mountains.

Slaves from africa are described as coromantee Igbo Ashanti Fulani and Akan which relates to their tribes in africa. The slaves revolted against their enslavement and banded together living in the mountains. Some maroons were later deported to Sierra Leone.

I read this quote which puts it into context “During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Akan, Ga, and Adangbe from the northwestern coastal region known as the Gold Coast (around modern Ghana) dominated the slave trade to the island.” Until around 1776. In my research and DNA testing I discovered a family connection to the GA and Adangbe.

Also

See the link below for information on the tribes from Ghana as these often correlate with the slaves found in the US and Carribean islands. The Ghanian Embassy provide information on their heritage lineage and current tribes. Here is an extract from their site


Major Cities

Accra, the capital, has a population of 10% out of the total population. Kumasi is the capital of the Ashanti region. Sekondi has an artificial harbor and was the first modern port built in Ghana. Other major cities include Tema, Tamale, and Cape Coast. People living in urban areas account for 37 percent of the population

The Capital   

Accra is the capital and largest city of Ghana, southeastern Ghana, on the Gulf of Guinea. Accra is an important commercial, manufacturing, and communications center. It is the site of an international airport and a focus of the country’s railroad system, including a link to nearby Tema, which since 1962 has served as the city’s deepwater port. Industries include vehicle and appliance assembly, petroleum refining, and the manufacture of foodstuffs, textiles, metal and wood products, plastics, and pharmaceuticals. A sprawling city, Accra presents a varied appearance, with buildings of modern, colonial, and traditional African architecture. Of note here are the 17th-century Christiansborg Castle, now the residence of the chief of state, and the National Museum (1957). Several research and technical institutes are located in Accra, and the University of Ghana (1948) is in the nearby town of Legon. The site of what is now Accra was occupied by villages of the Ga, the local people, when the Portuguese first visited here in the late 15th century. During the 17th century the Portuguese were forced to withdraw by the Dutch, who, along with the Danes and the English, founded rival trading posts, which became the settlements of Ussher Town, Christiansborg, and James Town, respectively.

In the 19th century Britain purchased Dutch and Danish rights in the area, and in 1876 Christiansborg was made the capital of the Gold Coast Colony. The three separate towns grew and gradually coalesced to form the city of Accra. Much of the modern city’s layout was planned in the 1920s, and since then growth has been rapid. Accra remained the capital city, when in 1957 the Gold Coast Colony became the independent state of Ghana. Population (1990 estimate) 953,500.


Language and Religion

Language

English is the official language of Ghana and is universally used in schools in addition to nine other local languages.The most widely spoken local languages are, Ga, Dagomba, Akan and Ewe.

Religion

Traditional religions accounts for two-fifths of the population. The Christian population also accounts for two-fifths of the total population and includes Roman Catholics, Baptist, Protestants, etc. The Muslim population (12 percent of the total) is located chiefly in the northern part of the country

http://www.ghanaembassy.org see their population page.

Back to Nanny of the maroons Wikipedia

Historical documents refer to her as the “rebels’ old ‘obeah‘ woman.” Following some armed confrontations, colonial officials reached a settlement for peace. They legally granted “Nanny and the people now residing with her and their heirs … a certain parcel of Land containing five hundred acres in the parish of Portland …

MaroonsEdit

The Maroons are descendants of West Africans, mainly people from the Ashanti region of what is today Ghana. After being brought to Jamaica in the course of the Transatlantic slave trade, many slaves fled from the oppressive conditions of plantations and formed their own communities in the rugged, hilly interior of the island. A minority of slaves originated from other regions of Africa, including the Congo and Madagascar; they were known as Coromantie or Koromantee, and were considered ferocious fighters.[3] People who escaped from slavery joined the other Maroons.[3]

Later, after the British assumed control of the colony, more slaves escaped from to join the two main bands of Windward and Leeward Maroons. By the early 17th century, these were headed respectively by Nanny of the Maroons and Captain Cudjoe. Between 1655 until the 1830s, these Maroons led most of the slave rebellions in Jamaica, helping to free slaves from the plantations. They raided and then damaged lands and buildings held by plantation owners.[3]

The Maroons also contributed to the cooking technique of jerking, adapted from the Arawak. Chicken or pork pieces were cooked over a low fire using green pimento wood. The smoke was smothered in order to escape detection by British forces.[5]

Life and workEdit

Nanny was born into the Ashanti tribe about 1686 in what is now Ghana, West Africa.[4] It is believed that some of her family members were involved in intertribal conflict and her village was captured. Nanny and several relatives were sold as slaves and transported to Jamaica. There she was likely sold to a plantation in Saint Thomas Parish, just outside the Port Royal area. The commodity crop was sugarcane, and the slaves toiled under extremely harsh conditions to cultivate, harvest and process it. Another version of her life tells that she was of royal African blood and came to Jamaica as a free woman. She may have been married to a man named Adou, but had no known children who survived.[3]

As a child, Nanny was influenced by other slave leaders and maroons. She and her “brothers”, Accompong, Cudjoe and Quao, ran away from their plantation and hid in the Blue Mountains area of northern Saint Thomas Parish.[4] While in hiding, they split up to organize more Maroon communities across Jamaica: Cudjoe went to Saint James Parish and organized a village, which was later named Cudjoe Town; Accompong settled in Saint Elizabeth Parish, in a community that came to be known as Accompong Town;[6] and Nanny and Quao founded communities inPortland Parish.

Nanny became a folk hero. The British were unsuccessful in their attacks on Nanny Town, thanks to its strategic location, and her idea to control access to it. They fought off soldiers despite being outnumbered. Cudjoe also led slave rebellions in Jamaica.

By 1720, Nanny and Quao had settled and controlled an area in the Blue Mountains. It was given the name Nanny Town, and consisted of 500 acres (2.4 km²) of land granted by the government to the refugee slaves under a 1739 treaty ending the First Maroon Wars. Nanny Town had a strategic location overlooking Stony River via a 900-foot (270 m) ridge, making a surprise attack by the British practically impossible.[4] The Maroons at Nanny Town also organized look-outs for such an attack, and designated certain warriors to be summoned by the sound of a horn called anabeng.

The community raised animals, hunted, and grew crops. Maroons at Nanny Town and similar communities survived by sending traders to the nearby market towns to exchange food for weapons and cloth. It was organized very much like a typical Ashantisociety in Africa.

The Maroons were also known for raiding plantations for weapons and food, burning the plantations, and leading freed slaves to join their mountain communities. Nanny was highly successful at organizing plans to free slaves. During a period of 30 years, she was credited with freeing more than 1000 slaves, and helped them to resettle in the Maroon community.[4]

Leadership and ObeahEdit

Many in her community attributed Nanny’s leadership skills to her obeah powers.[7] Obeah is an African-derived religion that is still practised in Suriname, Jamaica, Trinidad and TobagoGuyana,BarbadosBelize and other Caribbean countries. It is associated with both good and bad magic, charms, luck, and with mysticism in general. In some Caribbean nations, aspects of Obeah have survived through synthesis with Christian symbolism and practice introduced by European colonials and slave owners.

Nanny’s tribe of origin, Ashanti, strongly resisted Europeans in West Africa and the New World. She was also likely influenced by her brothers and other Maroons in Jamaica.

Nanny possessed wide knowledge of herbs and other traditional healing methods, practised by Africans and native islanders. She served as a physical and spiritual healer to her community, which in turn would elevate her status and esteem.

DeathEdit

In the Journal of the Assembly of Jamaica, 29–30 March 1733, is a citation for “resolution, bravery and fidelity” awarded to “loyal slaves … under the command of Captain Sambo”, namely William Cuffee, who was rewarded for having fought the Maroons in the First Maroon War and who is called “a very good party Negro, having killed Nanny, the rebels old obeah woman”.[8] These hired soldiers were known as “Black Shots”.[9]

Another record states that in 1739, a parcel of land named Nanny Town was awarded to “Nanny and her descendents” under a treaty with the colonial government.[10] Some claim that Queen Nanny lived to be an old woman, dying of natural causes in the 1760s. The exact date of her death remains a mystery. Part of the confusion is that “Nanny” is an honorific, and many high-ranking women were called that in Maroon Town. However, the Maroons are adamant that there was only one “Queen Nanny.”



LegacyEdit

In 1739 the British governor in Jamaica signed a treaty with the Maroons, promising them 2500 acres (10 km²) in two locations. They were to remain in their five main towns – Accompong, Trelawny Town, Mountain Top, Scots Hall, Nanny Town – living under their own chiefs with a British supervisor in each town. In exchange, they agreed not to harbour new runaway slaves, but to help catch them for bounties. The Maroons were also expected to fight for the British in the case of an attack from the French or Spanish.

Nanny is known as one of the earliest leaders of slave resistance in the Americas, and one of few women in that role. She is celebrated in Jamaica and abroad.

  • The government of Jamaica declared Queen Nanny a National Heroine in 1976. Her portrait graces the $500 Jamaican dollar bill, which is colloquially referred to as a “Nanny”.[12]
  • Nanny’s Monument is located in Moore Town, Portland, Jamaica.[13

Wikipedia also states

Nanny was born in what is now GhanaWest Africa, as a member of the Ashanti nation, part of the Akan people. She was enslaved, along with her five brothers, and brought to eastern Jamaica. She and her five brothers, CudjoeAccompong, Johnny, Cuffy and Quao, quickly decided to flee the oppressive conditions of the sugar cane plantations to join the autonomous African communities of Maroons who had developed in the mountains. This community originated from people formerly enslaved by the Spanish, who had refused to submit to British control. This community developed as many more slaves escaped the plantations and joined the Maroons. Angered by continued raiding of plantations and armed confrontations, the colonial government mounted the FirstMaroon War of the 1730s in an effort to run out and capture the refugee slaves.

Nanny and her brothers split up in order to continue the resistance to the plantation slave economy across Jamaica. Cudjoe went to Clarendon, where he was soon joined by about a hundred Maroons from Cottawood; while Accompong went to St. Elizabeth, where a Maroon community was later named for him. Nanny and Quao made their way to Portland Parish and the Blue Mountains.

By 1720, Nanny and Quao had organized and were leading this settlement of Maroons; it was known as Nanny Town. According to a deed from the colonial government, Nanny was granted more than 500 acres (2.4 km²) of land where the Maroons could live and raise animals and grow crops. Due to the town being led by Nanny and Quao, it was organized similarly to a typical Ashanti tribe in Africa.

In addition to what they raised and produced, the Maroons sent traders to the cities to exchange food for weapons and cloth. The Maroons were also known for raiding plantations for weapons and food, burning the plantation, and leading liberated slaves to join them at Nanny Town.

Nanny Town was an excellent location for a stronghold, as it overlooked Stony River via a 900-foot ridge, making a surprise attack by the British virtually impossible. The Maroon organized look-outs for such an attack, as well as designated warriors, who could be summoned by the sound of a horn called an abeng.

Granny Nanny was very adept at organizing plans to free slaves. She has been credited with freeing more than 800 slaves over the span of 50 years. She also helped these slaves remain free and healthy due to her vast knowledge of herbs and her role as a spiritual leader. However, freeing slaves upset the British. Between 1728 and 1734, they attacked Nanny Town time and time again, but not once was it harmed. This was accomplished due to the Maroons being much more skilled in fighting in an area of high rainfall as well as disguising themselves as bushes and trees. The Maroons also utilized decoys to trick the British into a surprise attack. This was done by having non-camouflaged Maroons run out into view of the British and then run in the direction of the fellow Maroons who were disguised, thus crushing the British time and time again.

End of Wikipedia Extract Further information about Nanny’s family from Wikipedia below.

Nanny’s Brother Cudjoe 

Cudjoe, or Captain Cudjoe (c. 1690 – 1744),[1] sometimes spelled Cudjo[2] – corresponding to the Akan day name Kojo or Kwadwo – was a Maroon leader in Jamaica during the time of Nanny of the Maroons. He has been described as “the greatest of the Maroon leaders.”[3]

The Jamaican Maroons are descended from runaway slaves who established free communities in the mountains of Jamaica during the era of slavery on the island. African slaves imported during the Spanish period may have provided the first runaways, apparently mixing with theNative American Taino or Arawak[citation needed] people that remained in the country. Some may have gained liberty when the English attacked Jamaica and took it in 1655, and subsequently. For about 52 years, until the 1737 peace treaty with the British rulers of the island, the Maroons stubbornly resisted conquest.

See this documentary on the maroons of Kojos place https://youtu.be/36B_I8qjPJo

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Transatlantic journey from West Africa to beyond

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