Walsh family

I have a couple of links with the Caribbean in both Jamaica and Saint-Domingue (now Haiti).

The primary connection is through my great great-grandmother, Eliza Thomasina Walsh, who was born on 3 March 1808 in Jamaica and baptised in St. Catherine’s Parish, Spanish Town. Eliza’s father was Lt. Col. Thomas Walsh of the British 56th Regiment and her mother (as shown in the church records) was A.E. French. A local professional genealogist advised me that, because of the wording of the church records, A.E. French rather than being European is more likely to have been of mixed races. It has not yet been possible to positively identify A.E. French (my 3x great-grandmother) and it remains one of my brick walls.

My second Caribbean link relates to Thomas Walsh’s family. Thomas came from a family of Irish Jacobites, who after their Kilkenny estates were confiscated in the mid-1600s, moved and became established in Brittany. They had close relations with French royalty in their navy, as ship builders, privateers and slave traders. At one time Thomas’ grandfather Anthony Vincent (Antoine) Walsh was the most successful slave trader in France and the family-owned extensive property in the French colony of Saint-Domingue where he died in 1763. Thomas’ father also died in the Caribbean and is buried in the Catholic cemetery in Kingston, Jamaica.

Ironically, Thomas who with a successful military career had become quite dissociated from the earlier family slave business, is most likely to have become the father of the descendant of an African slave.

Other blogs about my Walsh family can be seen here.

by Rowan Morrison

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