Genealogy and Historical Research Plus! Jamaica - Genealogist's Biography
Genealogy Plus! Jamaica - Bringing Jamaican History to Life

Dianne T. Golding Frankson
 
I have been a professional Jamaican Genealogist and Historical Researcher, with more than thirty five years experience in the field.
 
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reports for N.E.P.A. My resume of achievements include a published paper in the Caribbean Quarterly , with several unpublished manuscripts on my own family and on the Pre-Colombian inhabitants of the island, whom I have researched in detail for the last 18 years.











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, Sebastian Coe, British Olympian and former Chairman of the 2012 London Olympics Committee and Emilia Fox, actress, John Barnes, celebrity British Footballer.

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. And many many more, too many to name.

Highlights from my TV Appearances

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 of Jamaica , the islands oldest continuous published Newspaper , he was also a founder of the Who's Who Jamaica
 

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 

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"




The B.Y.U TV Appearance


















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 :-
http://byutv.org/watch/aa6f2573-e474-4fd7-a691-bef0e433c8a5#ooid=diOGVnMzqfp77vj0Kk3HgCIg174QOWi6

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

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. 
  
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 :-

  • Member of the Board 2009-Present
  • Editor of Archaeology Jamaica 2014

Genealogical Society of Jamaica 
  • Member 2007-Present
 
Symposium and Conference Presentations:-
·         Jamaican Taino ‘Shellsmithing’ Techniques Explored, the Archaeological Society of Jamaica 2008 Symposium, U.W.I Mona

·         Uneasy lies the Head that wears the Crown: an examination of a Strombus gigas shell artifact found at Booby North Point and its Meso-American connections, The Archaeological Society of Jamaica 2009 Symposium, U.W.I Mona (correction: Booby North Point was re-identified as Ross Craig)

·         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

·         Elements of Power: An Overview of Two Jamaican Pre-Columbian Monolithic Axes, The Archaeological Society of Jamaica 2012 Symposium, U.W.I Mona

·         ‘To Wear the Stars, a Brief Description and an Analysis of a Belt Ornament found at the Pre-Ceramic Ross Craig, Portland Site 1’, The Archaeological Society of Jamaica 2013 Symposium, U.W.I Mona

·         Hunting for the Jamaican Taino: the complicated dynamics of Amerindian bloodlines in Jamaica, using Genealogical research and Historical records as our guide, The Archaeological Society of Jamaica 2014 Symposium, U.W.I Mona

·         Hunting for the Jamaican Taino: the complicated dynamics of Amerindian bloodlines in Jamaica, using Genealogical research and Historical records as our guide ,The 6th Charles Town Maroon Conference: 2014, Charles Town , Portland

Publications:-

·         Jamaican Taino ‘Shellsmithing’ Techniques Explored, Caribbean Quarterly , Vol. 55.2, June 2009, UWI Mona ( a scanned copy can be made available at your request)
     
     
     
    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.
     


    Guest Lecturer:-
    Archaeology Dept. Overseers’ Cottage Classroom, 2014, ‘Shell Artifacts of Ross Craig, Portland and Chancery Hall, St Andrew’, Private Collection
    ·        
    Archaeology Dept. Gibraltar House Lab, UWI, 2009, Shell Assemblage studies, Cranbrook, St Mary
    ·         

    JNHT (Jamaica National Heritage Trust) Open day, 2008, ‘What is a Consultant 
    Archaeologist and Mythographic studies of the Taino’; (mythography is the study of the legend stories of various cultures). 
     
     
    Here I am at the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, showing the resident National Archeologists, a Classic Taino stone carving from Puerto Rico.

    Archaeological Research:-
    ·         DAACS (Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery) /Archaeological Dept. U.W.I Mona – Laboratory work 2010
    ·         Initiated the relocation and subsequent excavation work at the Ross Craig site by the Archaeological Society of Jamaica / Jamaica National Heritage Trust and the Archaeological Dept. of the U.W.I Mona, under the lead Archaeologist, Dr. Ivor Connolly, then a PHD Candidate and President of the Society 2009- still in progress
    ·         Discovery of a Petroglyphic site at Harmony Hall, Trelawny 2008
    ·         Identified and discovered Ross Craig, now Jamaica’s first confirmed Pre-ceramic site. 1998
    ·         Private Analysis of Pre-Columbian Artefacts collected at Chancery Hall , St Andrew , Wentworth , St Mary , Bengal, Trelawny , Ross Craig , Portland , Harbour View , St Andrew and Long Mtn, St Andrew 1994-Present.

    ·         Private Field Research conducted at Chancery Hall Pre-Columbian site, St Andrew 1994-2002