Royal Gazette: BNT publishes historic Bermuda slave registers online

Royal Gazette: BNT publishes historic Bermuda slave registers online

The Bermuda National Trust has published historic Bermuda slave registers online in a searchable spreadsheet format.

The spreadsheets, available through the Bermuda National Trust website, were transcribed from original, handwritten Bermuda Slave Registers for 1821, 1827, 1830, 1833 and 1834 with the permission of the Bermuda Archives.

They include the number, names, sex and occupation of enslaved people alongside the names and sex of enslavers.

The ages and birth places of enslaved people may be searched in microfilm of the originals at the Bermuda Archives.

Karla Ingemann, acting archivist at the Bermuda Archives, said: “These transcriptions are the product of diligent labour undertaken by former Bermuda Archives staff Kristy Warren and Catherine Lamiere, which built upon the work of Virginia Bernhard who generously donated two of the original spreadsheets.

“It is the intention of the Bermuda Archives to have a website in the upcoming year which will highlight more of the original records we have diligently collected and conserved.

“In the meantime, we are grateful these vital records will now be accessible to the world.”

A BNT spokesman said British Colonial Dependencies, including Bermuda, were required to create slave registers under the Slave Trade Act 1807 to distinguish people who were “lawfully enslaved” from those who were illegally trafficked from Africa to the colonies.

“The registers were usually revised every three years up until the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 led to the emancipation of all enslaved people in the British Empire – including Bermuda – from August 1, 1834,” the spokesman added.

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March 7, 2023 News