My First Post

Hello everyone – My name is Robert Hodgson and I live in West Bromwich, England. Welcome to my family history blog To Jamaica And Beyond.

To Jamaica And Beyond is the result of an 18 year study looking into the history of my ancestors that lived in Great Britain, Africa, Jamaica and America.

Everything to be written about them has been thoroughly researched and checked as much as possible using verbal and documentary evidence.

Over the many years of research, I have gathered a huge collection of documents, photographs, certificates etc and have also used many other resources to obtain information, including;

  • Face to face interviews
  • Telephone conversations
  • Handed down stories
  • Original documents
  • Visited properties and places
  • Archives
  • Burial places
  • Donated items
  • Books and newspapers
  • Online websites
  • Parish registers
  • Birth, marriage and death certificates
  • Photographs
  • Wills and deeds
  • DNA tests

This blog will guide you through the lives of my black and white ancestors – on my father’s side. I have an African and British ancestry and will be recording a historic timeline of their events – this will be displayed in a chronological date order.

Revealed will be the experiences that my ancestors faced when they were taken from Africa and left Great Britain. It is history, as it happened. The story will ultimately span nearly 600 years and will cover the period 1494 to the present day.

2016 – My DNA results showing my British and African roots

Locating information concerning my black ancestors has been a lot more difficult to find, especially during the slavery period. It has been less productive than searching for my British ancestors due to records not being kept by the colonial governments.

Aside from being a family history, the story also includes a social and political aspect which will help to give more depth to the overall story. A selection of these historic events will include;

  • The discovery of Jamaica
  • Ownership of colonies
  • African slavery
  • The battle for Jamaica
  • Development of the Plantation industry
  • Colonial wars
  • Abolition of the slave trade
  • Abolition of slavery
  • Black freedom
  • Jamaican Independence
  • Development of DNA

Stories and new information will be added on a regular basis.

Thank you for taking the time to read To Jamaica And Beyond

Hope you enjoy reading it….

9 thoughts on “My First Post

  1. I am embarking on a journey which has made me emotional at looking into the history of my relatives. Thank you, Robert for your dedication and commitment to your endeavour .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Carol, I am so happy that you have embarked on this journey. I hope you enjoy discovering and learning about your new found ancestors and relatives. It has been a pleasure being in contact with you. Thank you for the brilliant photograph of your grandmother Ina Hodgson. The power of DNA is amazing. Rob


  2. Hi Robert,

    I came across your blog by chance, and I will certainly be subscribing to keep abreast of your posts. Years ago I was doing a course at Trinity College in Dublin; during one break I ventured off campus and saw a sign above a door inviting passers-by to come in and trace their ancestry through their last name. I boldly ventured in, and then it hit me that tracing my ancestry through my last name was almost impossible. I am a black Jamaican. First, my last name most likely came from a slave owner. Plus it is Smith, which I think is the most common last name in the English language! To cut a long story short, I recently embarked on research on my heritage, and have gotten some exciting findings! I have done my DNA testing, and have also managed to find birth certificates, marriage certificates, and baptismal certificates leading all the way back to a direct paternal forebear that was christened as a slave on a plantation in St. Thomas, Jamaica! I am sure there will be a lot I can learn from your posts to help me in this “new hobby”.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Peter

      I only just got the comment you sent on the 14th, for some reason it went into my spam.
      Welcome to the exciting world of family History. It is right what you said about your surname Smith being a very difficult search. It seems that you have gone back quite far though, so fingers crossed you will do well. I think DNA, good determination and ‘good luck’ will help you succeed. Thank you very much for reading and following my blog, I will have a look at yours too. Let me know if you require and help or advice. Cheers.


  3. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been and still must be, trying to piece together all the info from the different places your family has lived – and also trying to track them all down to enter into your amazing book. I look forward to reading what you’ve written/will write.

    One thing – I don’t know your bit of England particularly well – have passed through it a few times – and I’m originally from London, but I was a kid in the 1950s and England was a far poorer place before Jamaicans came here, as far as I’m concerned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your nice comment and for following my blog. Yes it has been difficult tracing my far flung relatives, but it has been so very enjoyable that it compensates for all the hard work that has been put in. I come from West Bromwich (near Birmingham)
      I have a keen interest in old photo’s and have just visited some posts on your blog and website, your restorations are absolutley amazing. It is also interesting to see that you have done work for Luanne, I may also use your services in the future. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, thanks for following my blog. I must pop by yours again and read some more. (I think I probably found your blog via a comment you posted in one of Luanne’s posted.)

        Liked by 1 person

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