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Sikhs In Jamaica

Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by dremae, May 28, 2016.

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  1. dremae

    dremae United States
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    Hi,

    I have recently been doing genealogy research on my paternal family in Jamaica. I was surprised to learn that I have at least 2 generations of East Indians in my family, one with the last name Singh and the other with the last name Gooral (sp?). I do know that Gooral spoke Arabic and was literate and his son (Francis) was a proprietor and shopkeeper.

    I'm trying to find more information about Sikhs coming to Jamaica during the 1700 and 1800's. Do any of you have any leads or suggestions you can offer? I know very little about the Sikh community so any and all information would be extremely helpful.

    Thanks
     
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  3. dalvindersingh grewal

    dalvindersingh grewal India
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    There is evidence in janamsakhis of Guru Nanak having visited 100 islands in early sixteenth century East Asian countries then fell under Majapahit Hindu kingdom which controlled 100 islands. It is likely that Guru Nanak set up sangats in these islands. From there Jamaica is not far. It may be that Sikhs must have visited Jamaica then. There is also evidence of Sikhs into business and also went to sea for this in seventeenth and eighteenth century. It is likely that some Sikhs landed in Jamaica and got settled there. Guooral may be either goorai (gurae) or grewal. This needs further research.
     
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  4. swarn bains

    swarn bains United States
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    Indians came to west indies during 17 and 1800 ad. in the beginning ships in river Ganges were hijacked by British and forcibly took people to west Indies. Later on people were asked to volunteer and they were give return passages if they want to come back. Most of the people who came from India to west Indies including Jamaica are either Bentalies or Biharies. there are no sikhs in that lot. singh name is common in India and your ancestors are from Bihar.
     
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  5. dalvindersingh grewal

    dalvindersingh grewal India
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    As per chronicles, In 17th-18th century Sikhism was well spread in Bihar and Bengal. If the point of hijacking of Bengalis and Biharis as suggested, there may be Sikhs among them as well which cannot be denied.
     
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  6. dremae

    dremae United States
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    thanks. i'm well aware of indentureship but he was listed at a shopkeeper and proprietor and this was before slavery ended and indentureship began. Thanks for the info on Bihar and the various spellings. I'll do more researching.
     
  7. dremae

    dremae United States
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    one other question, if I want to research records of passage where would you suggest? I think I've found all I can find using ancesty.com and when I was in Mauritius their records weren't digitized at the time (probably still aren't) so I can't research any depots.
     
  8. dremae

    dremae United States
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    also if i'm doing a search for the last name, would i search singh guooral or guooral singh? are there any other alternative spellings of the name?

    lastly i'm also looking for info on the name Bissessar, I think it would be from Bihar as well but am unsure.
     
  9. swarn bains

    swarn bains United States
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    firstly there is no ancestry records in india. secondly if there are some records kept they are at Haridwar. that also only if some one from the family went there. if you want to search by names, singh in bihar and uttar pradesh are thakur caste. if you search it will be name as guooral singh and alternate spelling Gural singh or gooral singh. Bissessar is the correct name. most appropriate place to find is cargo manifest from Calcutta or now a days Colcatta. next place to find is from british archives from England they will have the names and addresses of the people who came to West indies. My guess is if your ancestor was a business man then he came when people were given return passage it will be late 1800 or beginning of early 1900. good luck
     
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