I, (Thank you Steve and Peter), have been jolted back into the realm of my/our genealogy looking for any idea or thought that may lead me/us to find the origins of my/our GGG-grandparents James and Mary Ann (née Doret) Smith.
On the 27th of February 1818, GGG-Grandfather James Smith appears to have purchased a lot/parcel of land in the Town of St. George, Grenada. This property cost at the time £165, in current funds. (In today’s US dollars this is something over $13 thousand.) GGG-Grandfather James bought this property from a Judith/Judique Dunn.
James Smith is identified as a “Mill Carpenter” and she, Judith/Judique Dunn is a “free Black woman”. Both are of St. George in Grenada. There are some very interesting related facts regarding Judith/Judique Dunn The year is 1818, and a “free Black woman” is recorded as a landowner.
Continuing on in the Indenture the description of the property, it borders onto land to the south owned by Robert Napier. And then comes the clincher “and on the East by Lands of Mary Ann Doret”. This is 1818. GGG-Grandparents James Smith and Mary Ann Doret were not married until 11 December 1832.
Taking this into account all of GGG-Grandparents James and Mary Ann’s children, the ones that I can identify, were born between and possibly before 1806 and 1820. Also I have been able to research documentation that both GGG-Grandfather James and GGG-Grandmother Mary Ann were slave owners, per Office of Registry of Colonial Slaves and Slave Compensation Commission: Records; (The National Archives Microfilm Publication T71); Records created and inherited by HM Treasury; The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England.
Family history that I have been privy to when I began my trek into genealogy and the search for my Smith et al ancestry was that GGG-Grandmother Mary Ann (née Doret) Smith was from Martinique and that she was a black female. I was also told that she may have been GGG-Grandfather James Smith’s housekeeper. Well, I am yet still to determine whether she was from Martinique, black, or a housekeeper. I am not discrediting this information it is just that I do not have any viable documentary proof to that effect.
I have located the majority of Birth Registrations for GGG-Grandparents James and Mary Ann (née Doret)Smith’s children: Sophia (1806), Mary Ann (circa 1809), Eley (1812), James Jr (1815 and my GG-Grandfather), Henry (1818), and Thomas (1820). The only reference to a George is in GGG-Grandfather’s last will and testament.
I did find GGG-Grandparents James and Mary Ann (née Doret) Smith’s Marriage Registration dated 11 December 1832. I have found the both GGG-Grandfather James and GGG-Grandmother Mary Ann were property and slave owners, individually and as a married couple.
My current autosomal DNA, the ethnic breakdown by Family Tree DNA, currently shows the following resulting breakdown: European - 78%; Jewish Diaspora - 14%; Middle Eastern - 4%; and African - 4%. 23andMe displays the breakdown as follows: European - 96.3%; Sub-Saharan African - 3.5%; Middle Eastern & North African 0.2%; and Other - < 0.1%. These primary classifications can and are broken down further across a number of classifications.
These are the facts. I am not disputing any of the family histories that I have been provided but a number of logical question do arise when examining the currently available documentation and my DNA percentages.
Logic seems to indicate that GGG-Grandmother Mary Ann Doret was a woman of some means. It also appears that she may have been a free person as she did own property typically reserved for free peoples.
Was she from Martinique, I cannot answer that question but the fact that she appears to have had a French surname, Doret, there may some credence to that possibility. We can only continue to search for a possible birth sometime in the time range of 1770 and 1790.
And then there is the question of the origins of GGG-Grandfather James Smith. The surname Smith does not provide much to go on. There are a number of assumptions but here’s hoping that one day I/we can find an iota of truth to the location of his birth and origin.
Here are the images of the 1818 Indenture, These are copies of the FHL microfilm #1563379 Item 5, Pages 450-2 -
And my transcription -
This Indenture made the Twenty Seventh Day of February One thousand
Eight hundred and Eighteen between Judique Dunn of the Town of Saint George in the Island
of Grenada aforesaid a free Black woman of the one part and James Smith of the Parish of Saint
George in the same Island, Mill Carpenter of the other part witne∫seth that the said Judith Dunn
in consideration of Five shillings Current money of Grenada to her in had paid by the said James
Smith before the sealing and delivery of these presents (the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged)
hath bargained and sold and by these presents doth bargain and sell unto the said James Smith
his Executors Administrators and A∫signs All that Lot piece of Parcel of Land Situate and being in
the Town of Saint George in the said Island of Grenada containing in front Twenty Seven feet
and in depth Thirty feet and bounded on the North by Gore Street on the West by Halifax Street on
the South by lands late of Robert Napier and on the East by Lands of Mary Ann Doret or howsoever
otherwise bounded and being and all erections thereon and all ways waters Liberties Easements and
Priviledges thereto belonging or usually enjoyed therewith and the reversion and reversions remainder and
remainders Rents, I∫sues and Profits thereof with their and every of their Appurtenances To have and
To hold the said Lot Piece or Parcel of Land and all and singular the Premises above mentioned unto
the said James Smith his Executors Administrators and A∫signs from the day next before the Day of
the date hereof for and during the full end and term of one whole Year thereon next ensuing
Yielding and paying therefore at the End of the said term One Pepper Corn if lawfully demanded
To the intent and purpose that by virtue of these presents and of the statute for transferring Uses
into Po∫se∫sion the said James Smith may be in the actual Po∫se∫sion of the premises and
thereby be enabled to accept and take a Grant and release of the Freehold and Inheritance thereof
by Indenture intended to bear date the day next after the Day of the Date of these presents.
In Witne∫s whereof the party first above named hath hereto set her hand and Seal the Day
and Year first above written. order(?) Mark
of + Judith Dunn +
Signed Sealed and Delivered }
In presence of us } L Vonweiller _ Anthony Lumpres(?)
This Indenture made the Twenty Eight Day of February One thousand Eight
hundred and Eighteen Between Judique Dunn of the Town of Saint George in the said Island of
Grenada free Black woman of the one part and James Smith of ^the Parish of Saint George in the
same Island Mill Carpenter of the other part witne∫seth that the said Judique Dunn for
and in consideration of the sum of one hundred and Sixty five pounds Current money of Grenada
to her in hand well and truly paid at or before the sealing and delivery of these presents by the
said James Smith (the Receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged) hath bargained granted sold
released and confirmed and by these presents doth Grant bargain Sell release and confirm unto
the said James Smith (In his actual Pro∫se∫sion now being by virtue of a Bargain and Sale to him
thereof made by Indenture bearing date the day next before the Day of the date of these presents
and by force of the Statute for the transferring uses into Po∫se∫sion) and to his Heirs and A∫signs All
that Lot Piece or Parcel of Land Situate and being in the Town of Saint George in the said Island
of Grenada containing in front Twenty Seven feet and in depth Thirty feet bounded on the North by
Gore Street on the West by Halifax Street on the South by lands lately of Robert Napier and on
the East by Lands of Mary Ann Doret or howsoever otherwise bounded and being and all erections
thereon and all ways waters Liberties Easements and Priviledges thereto belonging or usually enjoyed
therewith and the Reversion and Reversions Remainder and Remainders Rents I∫sues and Profits
thereof with these and every of these Appurtenances and all the Estate Right Title Interest Trust
Property claim and demand whatsoever both at Law and in Equity of her the said Judique Dunn
of in and to the same or any part thereof To have and To hold the said Lot Piece or Parcel of Land
and all and singular other the Premises above mentioned with these Appurtenances unto the said
James Smith his Heirs and A∫signs to his and their only proper use and behoof for Ever. And the said
Judique Dunn for herself her Heirs Executors and Administrators doth hereby covenant and agree
to and with the said James Smith his Heirs and A∫signs in manner following that is to say that
for and notwithstanding any Act matter or thing done committed or willingly to be hereby granted
and released with the Appurtenances of and in a pure absolute and indefeasible Estate of Inheritance
in fee simple with any condition matter or Thing whatsoever to alter change le∫sen defeat or make void
the same and further that he the said James Smith and his heirs and A∫signs shall at all
Times hereafter peaceably and quietly have po∫se∫s and occupy and enjoy the said Lot Piece or
Parcel of Land and Premises hereby granted bargained and sold and receive and take the Rents
I∫sues and profits thereof to his and their own use without the Let ____ hindrance Interruption
or denial of the said Judique Dunn her I∫sues and A∫signs or any other Person or Persons
claiming under her them or any Predici∫son of her the said Judique Dunn and that
free and clear and freely and clearly acquitted exonerated and discharged or otherwise by the
Said Judique Dunn and her I∫sues well and sufficiently Saved and ^kept indemnified from and
against all and all manner of former and other Gifts Grants Bargains Sales Leases Mortgages
forfeitures Rents Dowers Judgements Estates and Incumbrances whatsoever made done or executed
by the said Judique Dunn or any of her Predece∫sors. And moreover that she the said Judique
Dunn will at all times hereafter at the request of the said James Smith his Heirs and A∫signs
but at his and their proper Costs make and execute such further conveyances and a∫surances
for the more perfectly and absolutely granting releasing and a∫suring the said Lot Piece or parcel
of Land hereby granted and released and the Premises unto and to the use of the said James
Smith his Heirs and A∫signs as by the said James Smith his Heirs and A∫signs or his or their
Counsel shall be reasonably devised and required. In Witne∫s whereof the Party first above
named hath hereto her her hand and Seal the Day and Year first above written.
In presence of us } L Vonweiller _ Anthony Lumpres(?)
Received on the Day of the Date of the within written Indenture of and from the within
named James Smith the sum of One hundred and Sixty five pounds Current money of Grenada
being the full consideration money within mentioned to be by him paid to me I say received £165 by
Before the Honorable Richard Ottley Esquire Chief Justice if his Majesty’s
Supreme Court of Judicature for the Island of Grenada and its Dependencies
Personally appeared Lawrence Vonweiller of the Town of St. George Writing Clerk one of the subscribing
Witne∫s to the annexed Indentures of Lease and Release who being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists
of Almighty God deposeth and Saith that he was present together with Anthony Lumpres the other
subscribing witne∫s thereto and did see the therein named Judith Dunn Sign by making her
ordinary Mark not knowing to write opposite to the Seals of the said Indentures of Lease and release
and also sign by the same mark the Receipt for the consideration money thereof And also saw her
Seal acknowledge and deliver the same as and for her free and voluntary Act and Deed And
Testimony thereof this Deponent and the said Anthony Lumpres respectively subscribed their names
presence of each other.
Sworn to Before me this } Lawrence Vonweiller
thirteenth day of October 1881 } Richd Ottley
I had previously worked on the 1818 Indenture in A Genealogy. You can cross-reference my earlier work at:
Part 408s – Smith Robertson Genealogy – Smith Indenture Study – 1818 James Smith and Mary Ann Doret
Part 409s – Smith Robertson Genealogy – Smith Indenture Study – 1818 James Smith – Acquisition of Land
Enjoy, and I’m going to keep looking,