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St Paul, are you a Grenadian Historian? You should be. Maybe you can help me with my family history. To VJL I have to watch you. Your great great was in the history books. OK. My family including Gouyave man last name is Millette, some spell it Millet. Please tell me how to start. I have been to St Georges and I was told that the building where the information was kept burnt a few years ago. Millette was originally from grenville. Thank you
".....To VJL I have to watch you. Your great great was in the history books.....
And it seems that they were there for all good reasons.
As you know,we were always "good people". It was only recently that those way-word ones who were mixed with Caribs(respect to Mr.Cyril, Mammy Molly and family)began fighting among themselves and disparaging our good name.
No I am not a Historian. Just a Grenadian who wants to know more about how our nation and people developed. If I had the time of a Historian, I would bring all our history to everyday Grenadians who don’t have the resources to spend on knowing who we are. I don’t know about the surname Millette. If I had to guess, I would say it is not French. But that does not mean much when you look into your heritage in Grenada. After the defeat of Fedon, many Grenadians who had French associated surnames, did their best to rid themselves of them. It was a serious liability if you wanted to enjoy basic liberties enjoyed by Grenadians with non-French or French Creole sounding names. Unless you were a La Grenade. The women married men who carried surnames from the British Isles as much as they could – especially those a little better off, and who showed unquestionable loyalty to the British after their family, husbands, and sons, were defeated or executed.
But I will keep an eye on this name as I go about hunting! ;-)
Much appreciate the info you have shared, the names have hit home.
Indeed, they are all members of my clan and I know or have heard of them, in particular, those on the Garvy Sr. and Clive side. Dr. Anthony (Theorem/Pola) and I were school mates at Schaper then later, came Einstein and I think Dr. Bowen may have attended also. I was closer to their older Brother, George as he was more frequent in Gouyave. Lucky, I remembered very well, together with his Sister Gertrude. The rest of the girls - all prefessionals in their own rights - I had since met some years ago.
On the Gouyave side, in the French Quarters, we are the product of Victor Louison, the Brother of Llyle, Linton, Dennis, Edgbut and Joe. There was another Brother, Seiton (sp) who had immigrated to Trinidad back in the late fifties. There were many other siblings who all (except one) went to England in the early sixties. Those are my direct link.
I still cannot make the connection to the blood-line of those on the Concord side but there is a biological/genealogical link as to the physique, physical characteristics and close resemblance.
As you know, we sometimes can get confuse into believing that people who share the same surnames are related, when nothing could be further from the truth.
"Dem other Louisons an dem, wid blond hair and blue eyes, dey dey hiding from us in Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba in Canada; cold country wid no Summer so dem wretch and dem safe up dey".
Thanks again for the update.
What is the relationship between your Victor Louison and the one here whose death is recorded in 1901?
1901 Death of Victor Louison
Obviously to me, it must have been another "Victor Louison" who preceded my Dad in death, as he had passed in 1956. I do not recall my Grandfather's (Papa) name but I will check with my other siblings.
Understood Monsieur. I see that a lot. In a lot of our families, sons and daughters will carry a father or grandfather or mother, aunt, grandmother etc first names. It makes it difficult sometimes to understand who is who. It would have been not much of a big deal if Victor was recorded in another parish. But since it was Gouyave (I like using the French names), I felt that there might be some kind of connection to your Victor. I am going to find the actual recorded death listing details and see if it lists how old he was at the time the death was recorded. Sometimes it could have been a young child who died and just happened to be named Victor in the Louison family. The actual details in the recorded certificated will give a better idea as to who this Victor was.
Indeed, Monsieur St.Paul.
If it would help your search any, my Dad's full name was Victor, Ignatius Louison, Architect/Builder by trade.
Monsieur Louison, from the French Quarters
A very interesting read if I may say so, even though your hypothesis seems incomplete with noted suppositions that beg for more deeper research . What is more interesting is the fact that the 21st. century "Louison's" seemed to have tracked in the same footsteps as their predecessors of the 18th. centuary.
Here is an observation that has hit home and seems to support that.
Your research indicated that of the 27 Slaves that were auctioned off that day,".......Two were named Louison, and the purchaser’s name was Alexander McSween. Former owner was listed as Charles Martin. Alexander McSween was an attorney in Grenada and the new owner of Grand Mal Estate. "
There is an eerie moment for me here that establishes a 20th. Century union between a Gouyave Louison (by way of St. David) and a Mulatto Martin woman of Grand Mal. This may be pure coincidences but the fact that the initial coming together of the names can be traced back to as early as 1797 and again at some time in 1948, without either party having lnowledge of this information is quite astonishing.
"......The descendant of a MULATTO would certainly give VJL a different view of his history! "
Indeed it would but with my dominant African genes and all the visual characteristics that goes with it, I would be hard pressed to convince anyone of a genealogical hybridization that left me with nappy, seeded hair and at one time, had been a derivative of a Afro-Euro injection. Besides, laying claim to a Mulatto status would be bad for the business of making my reparation claim. That mixture would be a discount or a give-back of 40% for having just 60% Black blood.
".....If those Louison were the descendants of VJL, then he has a powerful case for twice the compensation claim from the British Empire for the sale of his descendants – TWICE! When they came from Africa, and as punishment for being disloyal adopted subjects!...."
Sah! How you come up with "twice" ? It is thrice! boi.....interest and lost opportunity cost must be added.... ah know me sums. And as your research showed that the British stole our land from us and gave to the Scotts in St. David, ....."ah want me land back!".
"......Madam Louison the wife of Charles Martin and all the other Louisons who joined him in burning British owned estates in St David’s and those who were in Fedon’s camp, could be all related....."
Sah, it is with pride and honor that I recognize and take claim of this patriotic act above of WE! Louisons that was mitted out on those British thrives!. And for all those Scotts who now sits comfortable on my Forefather's land in St. David's.... "one day!, one day!, congo-tey".
It seems like we must prepare ourselves on this Talkshop for a dethroning and a new coronation; one that would remove the crown from that Zabetti woman head and posthumously, place on one of my Forefather's.
This would be a welcoming ceremony .
Thank you St. Paul, it was a pleasure to read.
Monsieur Louison from the French Quarters.
“…Besides, laying claim to a Mulatto status would be bad for the business of making my reparation claim…”
LOL! Interesting way of looking at it. You never know. With all the tricks global lawyers use today, that may be indeed a problem for you.
I am looking into who exactly this Charles Martin was. Grenadian historians and researchers say he was a Mulatto born in the early 1770s. It looks like he was very angry for losing the small privileges Afro-colored enjoyed under local French rule, and those who were legally his slaves, felt that they too had a lot more to lose under British rule. So they joined him in burning down British owned estates in St. David and St Andrew. I once read somewhere that Charles Martin his slaves, and slaves from other plantation were the ring leader in trashing Grand Bacaye, which the Scotts renamed Westerhall Plantation after their aristocratic descendants in Scotland. I am desperately trying to rediscover that source.
As you mentioned, the evidence is pointing to some kind of relationship between Martin and the Louisons by way of marriage and maybe others. The surname Martin is very common surname in the islands around that time, and they were a few variations. John and Jonathan Martin who had owned Petite Saint Vincent, were from British America, and were the GGGgrandson of Susanna North Martin who were burnt in Salem Massachusetts during the Salem witch trial. A Frenchman Jean des FOUGERAIS de ST-MARTIN owned estates in St David. Mulatto children almost always dropped any “de” and ‘saint’ and ‘dit’ in the Frenchmen who fathered them surname, if they took it. So Martin could be from a list of variety of Martins that I would carefully have to research.
I also would like to know how the surname Lousion developed from all the pieces I have seen so far. As I mentioned before, the Mulatto Lousion could have been related to Madam Louison. I doubt he survived after Fedon was defeated, and if he was lucky, he might have stayed or escaped to Guadalupe, and returned to the island years later. The three British lives that Fedon spared became a primary source of information as to who did what during the revolt for the British, as they go about hunting and executing the command leadership of the rebels. Martin lost his head and I am also certain that Louison would have had his neck in a noose too. The interesting thing about most of Rebels around Fedon was that they had young families. Most were banished to other islands – wife and children, and would later try to return. Some did and some were never allowed while the hatred for them were still in the British rulers minds.
Knowing the names of the Scotts who purchased conquered rebels families and those attached to them, it should be not too hard to trace what happened to them from 1797 to the time of legal British emancipation in 1835. Registration of slave ownership from the early 1800’s till 1835, kept good records which later helped owners make huge claims against the British Crown after emancipation, for loss of slave property valued in the millions in today’s money. Slaves were recorded by names that can be linked to them later in the 1800s as births and deaths were recorded using those names.
I have started collecting the Louisons records from St. John and St Mark to try and see if I can follow the development of the Louison branch that ended up on the Grand mal and black bay areas and see what I come up with. Remember. Grenadians never really moved around living in different places up until the early 1970s. Especially those stuck in the appalling conditions created by Estate workers life after emancipation. That makes it easier to track families by the local village and Parish civil and religious records that survived. Certain surnames can be identified with a certain location for generations until the late 1950s.
Thank you Peter. I always like to check my family history. I try to mention to my children about their Grenadian family especially Gouyave. Sometimes I think they know more about grenada than their mother.
Peter, i'm very interested in your research and keep a comprehensive family tree online (9,000 names). I have many connections to the Louisons by marriage - such is Grenada! Having been on a few message boards over the years, I understand that Rudolph was one of 7 children to Edward and Rose. Rudolph had Norbert Louison with a Langaigne lady (my grandfather was a Langaigne). Edward Louison was one of 6 children of Rowley Louison. Rowley was the son of a slave in a plantation called "Old Works" higher up the Concord Valley.
There are the white Louisons and the Black Louisons. They are related through slavery and not by blood. The white Louison are either Irish or English but not French. Then there are the mullato Louisons.
Rudolph was married but had no children with his wife. He then had Nobert (aka Woay) with another woman. Norbert had Carson Louison, MacMillan Louison and daughter (I think Silvia) in cotton Bailey (cotto maley) with different women. Rudolph then settled down with a mullato named Henrietta (aka Hariettte) Through her, he brought forth Garvey, Clive, Edlin and Regina. Edlin and another son who who went to Trinidad. Edlin had one child named Jeanette Dubois. Notice how light skin Jeanette is although her mother was black as me. Also Clive was black skin but Garvey was brown skin. Regina had no children and was the same complexion as Garvey. Garvey married Alberta while Clive married Ionie Langaigne, a past teacher of Concord school.
Vernon and his brother Vince would be for sure a direct descendant of Rowley The question is who were the other children of Rowley and who were the other children of Edward and Rose. If you can do that Vernon you would have solve a great descendant riddle.
A source would be the descendants of Anesta Louison and Enoch Louison of Marigot. Such would be descendants of Robertson (Robo) Louison, Ann and Claris etc.. Other Louisons are the descendants of old Louison that was a Principal - Arthur (aka Rum) Lucille, Gerald etc. They used to control the early post office at Concord.
If you can binary connect them, you will get a Heaven of a genetic tree.
While I love the contributions of Peter St. Paul regarding our last names, I cannot help feeling that sometimes he seems to be implying that we should be proud of those European names. Really??
That's why I want to thank Agbom for reminding us that >>There are the white Louisons and the Black Louisons. They are related through slavery and not by blood.<<
If I may be permitted to re-emphasize THAT POINT again, let me do it using big bold letters: THEY ARE RELATED THROUGH SLAVERY AND NOT BY BLOOD.
Of course that's not to say that there are absolutely no cases where they might be related by blood as well. But by far we adopted the names of the massas on whose estates we were enslaved.
We should never forget that most of those "by blood" names came about when the slave-masters could no longer resist the jungle-fever that overcame them. Very rarely if any, did those fathers recognize and accept those off-springs as their very own biological children. The stories of American slavery are filled with examples of those fathers who actually sold their own half-white children!! I'll daresay that our Caribbean experiences were not that much different if at all.
We cannot casually dismiss the devastating effects of those times. So insidious was it that only recently a so-called young "Grenadian white" banker refused to have his poor Indian mother enter the front door of the bank where he worked to visit him. She was relegated to the back door. Yet when his White half-siblings came to visit him they were ushered in through the front door so that they could be introduced to his banking colleagues.
Believe me when I say that's not a hearsay story. We were old ex-GBSS school-mates.
Verne, as you correctly stated, let dem white Louisons stay wey dey dey. You and your siblings certainly did not need them to help you live the life you all are now living.
Before the Germans bombed the crap out of them during WWII, the English used to boast that they lived in "splendid isolation" from Europe. That's a very appropriate term for us Caribbean peoples, the descendants of slaves, to use today.
That's the key point to keep in mind in any appraisal of our European ancestral names, whether by adoption or by blood.
It is good to know how we got to be who we are. To understand the struggles of our forebearers. And it is good to investigate real materials that reveals real truths. It is an emotional experience to read the real words and names of those who made us the people we are today – good and bad. We are old enough to exercise our own curiosity. Discover. Debate. Challenge old uncertainties. If we don’t do that, we become Facebook Zombies. Herded into a system created to feed us information from sources we no longer question. We just react emotionally with cheap Social Media buzz words created for us to rally around until its creator gets bored with it, and moves on to the next Social Media thing. We don’t want to read anymore. We just want to be fed information without having to think.
If we do not know the names of our forbearers how can we intelligently discuss their trials and tribulations?
“……..I cannot help feeling that sometimes he seems to be implying that we should be proud of those European names. Really??...”
That’s unfair. I discuss our history. Names go along with it – Really. We were enslaved by Europeans. Their Christian and Surnames are part of our history. It should not be upsetting that we make references to them and bear them. We have been doing that for over 400 years. I am not even going to try and understand how the word “proud” got in that sentence. We should be proud of our heritage. It is the only one we got. None of us had a decision in who we should be. This type of accusation is the reason why the global left-wing movement is now in total retreat. They have become just like Right wing zealots. If you don’t see things their way, then they attack you and make you the bad person.
I have never met a white Louison – Grenadian or Foreign. As a matter of fact I did not even know that the surname was so common outside of the parish of Gouyave until this discussion. The surname only got my attention because of the poster here and the two brothers that were in the PRG. So I was curious. Nothing to do with proud European names. The same with DeCotoue(x). Never thought much about that name until I started reading them in the archives and realized what a big part some of those who carried that surname played in the struggle against British Capitalism and rule in La Grenade. And as a Grenadian I am proud of their struggle and sacrifices. So to try and tell their untold stories we can only identify them by the names they bore. I just don’t understand why that has to become an issue of being accused of wanting us to make us proud of European names.
“THEY ARE RELATED THROUGH SLAVERY AND NOT BY BLOOD.”
That is a general statement that does not help us to understand anything about our unique history. Lack of knowledge brings forth such generalization. Who are “THEY”? While it is true that we all have a common links to slavery, each families have unique experiences. Your family’s experiences with slavery is certainly not the same as the La Grenada’s for example. And it’s good for us as a people to understand why. After the failed attempt to rid Grenada of British rule, life for Grenadians with French Surnames were NOT the same as Grenadians with British surnames. It did not matter if you were full white, half white, or full African. Having a French surname meant your loyalty to the crown was always suspect for more than a generation. These distinctions must be taken into consideration when we study and discuss our history.
“So insidious was it that only recently a so-called young "Grenadian white" banker refused to have his poor Indian mother enter the front door of the bank where he worked to visit him. She was relegated to the back door. Yet when his White half-siblings came to visit him they were ushered in through the front door so that they could be introduced to his banking colleagues.”
That has nothing to do with racism as we know it today. It is economics. The fool most likely wants to climb the economic ladder in the bank. Darker skin in Grenada meant poor with no formal education. Economics dictated your place in a society with those social rules. Even in the days of slavery a black or colored men could have been more respected and given his freedom if he was in possession of property and material wealth and education. Fedon gained respectability from white French slave owners due mostly to his possession of land and his intelligence. The same with Louis La Grenade. Both owned land and slaves and who in spite of having African blood in them, managed to gain a certain amount of respectability in both the French and British time of rule. And that was the way it was since after that until very recently.
GBSS and that other Anglican school was known in my time for a place that replicated elitism in little Grenada. Our history was never taught. But their graduates knew every book that Shakespeare is claimed to have written. They were the receptions of British Scholarships and elected to be awarded the coveted medals of the British Empire. If you want to rain on a parade this is a perfect place to start.
Wow wee, Peter St. Paul! I thought we could have freely expressed our opinions based on the materials you've been providing us. But it seems that those expressions are being taken as personal attacks.
>>I cannot help feeling that sometimes he seems to be implying that we should be proud of those European names. Really??...”
What in that statement translates as a personal attack? Am I missing something here or am I too blind to recognize this as a personal attack on you? Hey, correct me, 70+ years old as I am, I'm not unwilling to continue learning. And btw, why would I continuously praise you for the work you've been posting, but yet go on to personally attack you? Does it make any sense? I am at a complete loss here.
Peter, that statement is nothing more than my understanding of what you've written, not about who you are!! To quote you >>We just want to be fed information without having to think.<< I thought I was injecting THOUGHT into the discussion. Heck, I don't even know you, and I can't recall you ever hurting or insulting me, so what earthly reason could I have for personally attacking you?
My friend, I was simply responding to how I interpret your posts; certainly not to the person who wrote it. So please don't assume one has anything to do with the other.
I wonder if Malcolm Little's intent was to blaspheme the name of his parents when he dropped Little and simply refer to himself as Malcolm X?
Peter, like Malcolm X, I'm just not as wrapped up in those European names as many folks are. I wish I had the means and wherewithal to go on a relentless pursuit to eventually proclaim as loudly as I can "Yes, Kinta Kunte" as Alex Haley did when he finally found his African lineage.
Haley's prime purpose was to find out the link to his original African last name. The world is obviously grateful for his contribution as indicated by the phenomenal success of ROOTS.
Tell me, was that wrong of him to do so? And is that wrong for me to share similar sentiments by wondering if somewhere back there, my ancestors were probably Osakwee, or Nkrumah, or Zirimenya or even Amin? That's one of my fondest wishes.
Hey Peter, when I found out many years later that a close GBSS friend was actually my first cousin, I regretted that he was executed during the Revo before we even had a chance to talk about that close relationship. I was thrilled when I finally met his sister Dr. Paula Bullen-Aymer in Boston. She was able to fill me in on the very little I knew about my maternal grandfather, Mr. J E Lucas, who was a former head-master in Gouyave.
Yes, I'm very proud of my grand-parents like Miss Ceaty, Mr. Lucas; my parents, John & Idora DeCoteau plus the long trail of which I have no idea. But I see no reason not to wish that I knew their true African origins.
And then you wrote >>This type of accusation is the reason why the global left-wing movement is now in total retreat. They have become just like Right wing zealots. If you don’t see things their way, then they attack you and make you the bad person .....
<< GBSS and that other Anglican school was known in my time for a place that replicated elitism in little Grenada. Our history was never taught. But their graduates knew every book that Shakespeare is claimed to have written. They were the receptions of British Scholarships and elected to be awarded the coveted medals of the British Empire. If you want to rain on a parade this is a perfect place to start.<<
Despite that tirade on the GBSS, nothing but nothing could ever cause me to forsake my alma mater. I am a proud GBSS man!!!
I sincerely hope though going forward, we'll be able to disagree, even agree, or whatever on the opinions expressed in your posts without taking it as animosity. Believe me that was not my intent.
Take care and keep on writing.
I don’t do personal attacks. It is a waste of time and especially when I don’t know you. We are both adults. There might be a generational issue, but that can be resolved by shared knowledge.
If I don’t refer to Grenadians of the past by their recorded names, how do you want me to refer to them? They never carried African or Indigenous names. To tell their stories you have to use the names they were known by. I just don’t understand the issue here with European names. I felt for some reason you believe I am trying to promote European superiority – or something, by referring to these individuals by the names in our archives that survived. That’s not true and unfair to me. I am very proud of my African roots. I don’t need to go overboard and create names and stories to prove that. If people want to rid themselves of their European names I am okay with that too. As long as they don’t go on a mission to bully everyone else to do as they did – just because. That was my reference to the global Left-Wing movement going astray because today you are either with them or against them if you have a different opinion of things. I think of myself sometimes as a bit on the left but not that kind of nutty left where if someone don’t see things my way I feel it is my duty to lecture them on how wrong they are and how always right I am.
The same people who Malcolm Little changed his name to be a part of Killed him because he had a different opinion of the leader who they claimed was infallible – Elijah Muhammad. So forgive me if I am not impressed with his name changing business. It got him an early ticket to his grave. We need economic development more that name changes. It is a cheap gimmick that appeals to the lowest degree of emotional dissatisfaction. In the end we still live in a world where we have no control over our economic situation.
“..Tell me, was that wrong of him to do so? And is that wrong for me to share similar sentiments by wondering if somewhere back there, my ancestors were probably Osakwee, or Nkrumah, or Zirimenya or even Amin? That's one of my fondest wishes…”
Come on. That will not work for the simple reason that records were not kept of the slaves African names. You don’t get to choose anything when you are a slave. That is what makes the institution so horrible. But then again that is the nature of slavery. I am not going to go look for something we all know does not exist. To me, that comes across as pretentious. I personally don’t like pretentiousness. But if someone wants to indulge themselves in it, I say whatever floats your ship – do it! God know I have been to many occasions with people of African descent in America where they dress in African clothing for a weekend event and the following week go to Harvard and Yale to honor their graduates. Make no sense to me. But then again no one made me upholder of African Values.
A lot of our African links are in our archives that survived. It is just a ton LOAD OF WORK to put the pieces together. Very few of us have the time and resources to commit ourselves to that kind of research. There are not African names, but there are links and hints as to who our slaves were. Not even the Africans who came to Grenada after the end of slavery got to keep their African names. Nearly all were baptized in the Anglican Church and given the surname of the plantation owner or manager they were indentured to.