Genealogy Plus! - Genealogist's Biography
Genealogy Plus!  - Bringing Jamaican History to Life
Dianne T.Golding Frankson
I am both a professional and competent Jamaican Genealogist, with more than thirty years experience.
Thus allowing me, the unique privilege of having experience with all areas of Jamaican research, and have done volunteer cataloging at the Registrar's General Department of Jamaica in the late eighties and early nineties , which primarily meant working in the documents vault , with the wills, deeds and the old law books etc.

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BBC - Who Do You Think You Are - Ainsley Harriott 2/5
Me and Ainsley exploring his family history


Also I am well known at the National Archives and the National Library of Jamaica, I have also trolled many cemeteries throughout the island and will do grave stone photography on request.

Based in the capital city , Kingston, I travel regularly to the various repositories in Spanish town , the old capital city of Jamaica.

For thirty odd years I have worked on the genealogies of all ethnic groups , found on the island namely African ,Caucasian, East Indian , Amerindian , Chinese , Lebanese , Palestinian heritages with special experience in Jewish and mixed race genealogies in Jamaica.

As well as an Archaeological Consultant and have written several reports for N.E.P.A. My resume of achievements include a published paper in the Caribbean Quarterly , with several unpublished manuscripts on my own family and on the Pre-Colombian inhabitants of the island, whom I have researched in detail for the last 18 years.

I am best known for the research which I have done on several celebrity genealogies  for the popular BBC series "Who Do You Think You Are?" namely Colin Jackson , British sprint Olympian , Ainsley Harriott ,British celebrity chef , and in this recent series , British Olympian / Architect and Chairman of the 2012 London Olympics , Sebastian Coe, and Emilia Fox , actress, John Barnes , celebrity British Footballer and as well as the PBS series "Faces of America" which included work on the ancestries of Elizabeth Alexander , US Poet Laureate and Malcolm Gladwell, famous author of the book ,"Outliers". There have been many others however they cannot be named. I've even done background research for the National Geographic hit series 'Lockup Abroad'.I have also done the genealogy of the Honourable Robert Nesta Marley aka Bob Marley , the world famous late great Reggae King as well as the genealogy of the fastest man alive , the great Usain Bolt.

Highlights from my most recent TAppearance

Unlike several other WDYTYA? trips to Jamaican shore's this one dealt with Johnny Barnes' maternal Grandfather's unique role in the bringing about of the islands self awareness and the eventual full independence movement for Jamaica away from Colonialism.

Here I am explaining to John the dynamics of the 
 times re a row between his establishment oriented 
great grandfather,Stephen A.Hill and the civil rights leader Marcus Garvey.

His son , Frank Hill was a  member of the notorious Four H's, who were imprisoned during WWII for attempting to insight the Jamaican people to not help in the War effort, an act of treason at this time.

A photo of Stephen A. Hill of the Gleaner Company , also a founding editor of the Who's Who Jamaica

"Genealogy has been my life and the fulfillment it gives me to see a person finally discover who they are, and where they come from cannot be described or truly put into words. All I know is it feels really great. And that's why I do what I do, to the very best of my abilities. 

Every Project has it's own unique set of challenges, with its own individual results. 
Thus no responsible dedicated Researcher can give guarantees, only that, I promise to give each and every client the benefit of my many years of experience and will exhaust all avenues of research before the job is done.

Jamaica has three major document repositories, holding several million records, specifically but not limited to maps, deeds, wills, patents, land grants, births, baptisms, marriages and deaths, to name only a few. Each repository is governed by specific laws of the island ,as well as two other minor yet valuable additional sources of data. Between them all with the right amount of time and patience, I can unlock the mysteries behind your ancestors lives, making them live once more in your eyes and the eyes of generations yet to come.
So I now whole heartedly invite you  all to come with me on this worthwhile journey of self discovery"

                                      Dianne T. Golding Frankson
My Ancestry through one branch back to c.1556
Highlights from Film Appearances in 2011

The BBC Vision Documentary "The Manor Reborn", a four part series airing on BBC1 on Thursday , the 24th of November at 9pm, for further details visit 

I however appeared in the second episode of the four part series, talking about the fascinating life and times of Sir Adam Williamson, an avid military man turned Governor of Jamaica in the nineteenth century. And one of the famous inhabitants to have lived and died at Avebury Manor.

Me with Paul Martin the co-host of the BBC 1 series "The Manor Reborn"

Highlights from the BYU TV Appearnce

On the BYU TV series " The Generations Project" , out of Salt Lake City ,Utah, USA , I appear in the David Dossett episode,which aired on February 6 2012 here is the link :-

After extensive research it turned out that David was my cousin through my ancestral uncle Claudius Archbould, now, what are the chances of that, pretty incredible right , even-though this was not the first time I found a relationship connection to someone I have been filmed with , Ainsley Harriott's ancestral aunt married a descendant of that same uncle as well. And though there was no blood relationship to Sebastian Coe, I found out that his ancestor George Hyde Clarke was a good friend of my ancestors the Archbould's. This just goes to show that Jamaica is a very special place indeed.

Highlights from the Sebastian Coe 'Who Do You Think You Are' Film Shoot 

The Sebastian Coe shoot was a really fun experience , though short in comparison to other film shoots I have done , the laughter was real and the cordiality genuine. I had a great time of it and so did he. 

Sebastian's ancestry is an example of how varied Jamaican genealogy can be, often times , people make the mistake of thinking that only person's of African descent have a right to claim Jamaica as their ancestral home, but his lineage proves this is not so. As a matter of fact there are countless persons across the world of various colors and shades whom if you go far back enough up their family trees, are linked to the island of Jamaica with its varied rich culture and heritage


Below is an actual copy of the Baptism Register entry of George Hyde Clarke's baptism which confirms his Jamaican birth 

George Hyde Clarke , the son of Major Edward Clarke and Elizabeth  Guthrie,was a complex and interesting character , his practice of polygamy was however not unique among 18th century plantation Barons , many of them did this. 
What however did separate him from the pack was the importation of a White upper class mistress , Sophia Astley into his established harem , which was headed by his wife Katherine Hussey, all apparently living together under one roof.

Other members of his harem included a variety of free women of color , and maybe the occasional slave , but there was no evidence that he "raped" his slaves. As a genealogist and historian well versed in the in's and out's of the vast variety of Jamaican records , I have seen many cases of actual recorded instances of violent sexual abuse perpetrated by White slave masters , overseers, estate tradesmen and bookkeepers. But I have also seen countless documented records of a variety of other relationship types existing between the Enslaved woman and her En-slaver , these ranged from love matches which lasted many years and produced stable family units. There were also relationships of mutual financial or social convenience as well.

The Baptism record of Sarah Elizabeth Leigh /Lee

As a Professional Genealogist , I have learn't over the years to shy away from the common historical assumptions made by many, about the relationships which existed during the three hundred years of Trans-Atlantic Slavery. Which produced social variants in each island or region it impacted. Slavery was not practiced in the same way in the Untied States as it was practiced here in Jamaica, thus it created a difference in the lives and social interactions experienced by the Jamaican enslaved population.

In realty a large Caucasian population which out numbered its enslaved population almost three to one , can afford to be much more cruel and repressive , than a small island with the reverse.

Thus it is my duty to convey a more accurate picture of the life and times of the various ancestors a person may have , their are no cookie cutter explanations in Jamaican genealogy.

Here below are Highlights from the Ainsley Harriott Film shoots 

Here I am with Ainsley Harriott, British cooking sensation after filming, part of the episode dedicated to his family search on the B.B.C's "Who Do You Think You Are?, which was aired in the UK on September 10th 2008, on BBC1.

Ainsley , pondering the significance of documents found which proved his paternal ancestors were white slave masters

Ainsley taking a moment to relax between shoots

The Moravian church which is sited on the highest adjacent hill , across from Hopeton Great House. The church can be seen from the house and visa versa. The Moravian's bought a sizable section of land from the original 400 acres estate after emancipation and subdivided the land and distributed it to the plantations former enslaved population , thus creating the township of Hopeton.This meant that the vast majority of this small towns
residents today are the descendants of former Harriott slaves.

Spanish Town Square, Spanish Town, Jamaica , the home of the Jamaica Archives , which is sited behind the World Famous "Lord Rodney Memorial Statue .

Ainsley on the way to Hopeton , even though the journey was long he kept his good humor all the way.

Wear Pen the home of  Catherine Smith , the enslaved property of the Estates owner John Davy
The St. George's Anglican church built by the Property owners who surrounded Mile Gully , this church was featured in both Colin Jackson's story and Ainsley's as the worshiping place of the slave owners of their respective ancestors.

The abandoned Hopeton Great House , the former residence of George David Harriott , Ainsley's white slave owning 3rd great-grand father and this is where his father George Harriott, taught his 4 year old son the art of buying and selling slaves in his possession

Highlights from the 'Faces of America' film shoots

I was filmed for in the Summer of 2009 for a PBS Special , Faces of America , which  was hosted by the eminent Professor  Henry Louis Gates Jr. , and aired nationwide in the United States on the 10th of February 2010 . The four part series featured the Jamaica research I did on the family histories of two of the twelve celebrities which were featured , Malcolm Gladwell , the famous Canadian author of the 'Outliers' and Elizabeth Alexander , famous poet laureate and renown for her poetry reading at the Presidential inauguration ceremony of President Barack Obama.Though in the final cut the Jamaican footage was not included in its entirety only small snippets were used , here included are photos of the unused footage.

I am examining the Deed Registers housed at the Registrar General's Dept.

And here I am again out in the fields  of Northampton Pen , St Elizabeth

                                                                 Online Resume
Organizational Affiliations :-

  • Jewish Genealogical Society of Jamaica 
Speeches , Symposium Presentations and Papers:-
  • What is a Consultant Archaeologist, Jamaica National Heritage Trust's Open day, March 2008
  • Jamaican Taino ‘Shellsmithing’ Techniques Explored , The Archaeological Society of Jamaica  2008 Symposium, U.W.I. Mona , April 2008
  • Uneasy lies the Head that wears the Crown: An examination of a Strombus gigas shell artifact found at Booby North Point and it's Meso-American connections, The Archaeological Society of Jamaica  2009 Symposium, U.W.I. Mona , April 2009
  • Jamaican Taino ‘Shellsmithing’ Techniques Explored, Caribbean Quarterly , vol. 55.2, June 2009 ,U.W.I. Mona
  • Seeing Through Taino Eyes, the Spanish place names of Southern Central Jamaica,Poster session , The Archaeological Society of Jamaica 2010 Symposium , U.W.I.Mona, May 2010
    Me examining shell's found at the Cranbrook , Pre-Columbian site in St Mary, Jamaica at the Gibraltar House Archaeological Lab, U.W.I Mona Campus.
    Here I am at the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, showing the resident National Archeologists, a Classic Taino stone carving from Puerto Rico.