• These charts are NOT meant to be taken as an absolute or definitive display of ethnic origins for modernday populations!
  • Ethnic labels given by Europeans do NOT per se reflect how the slaves would have self-identified themselves! (see this article for more discussion)
  • Take note of the sample size, time period, region and any other details given to familiarize yourself with the CONTEXT of the chart!
  • Even if limited in scope, valuable information can still be obtained if you look for the patterns!
  • Sorry for all the exclamation marks 😉 It’s just that i’ve seen these kind of charts being misinterpreted so many times, not only online but also by trained historians. Which is a shame really because misleading conclusions can easily be avoided if you just take these charts for what they are reflecting: a randomized subset of enslaved Africans who might provide us with extra clues about the ethnic backgrounds of other African captives during a given time period and for a given place/region. All depending on how representative the samples might have been.



Moravian Church Registers Antigua 1757-1833
For more details read “Antigua’s African Origins According To Moravian Church Records

Antigua (1757-1833)



Slave Census Berbice 1819
For more details read  “Guyanese Slave Census of 1819 , less specified but still representative?

Birthplaces of slaves Berbicea

Birthplaces of slaves Berbiceb



Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
For more details read  “100 Jamaican AncestryDNA Results (2013-2018)

***(click to enlarge)


Source: TAST Database (2019). See also table directly below. Keep in mind that this map is based on  *estimates* of Jamaican Trans-Atlantic Slave Voyages. Also excluding Inter-Colonial Slave Voyages (see this section instead). The modernday countries being chosen because of the ports of embarkation. Actually the origins of the captives may have been from neighbouring countries as well.

***(click to enlarge)

TAST Estimates JAM

Source: TAST Database (2019). See also map directly below. Based on a separate database of *Estimates*, featured on the Slave Voyages website. The overview based on actually documented Slave Voyages is pretty similar but has a different ranking for Gold Coast and Bight of Biafra. Although the actual difference is not that large in fact (301k vs 296k) (see also table directly below).


(click to enlarge)


Source: TAST Database (2019). Follow this link for underlying numbers. Keep in mind that Inter-Colonial slave trade is not taken into consideration. Also “other Africa” has been left out as embarkation region in my query in the TAST database. Bight of Biafra and the Gold Coast are clearly the most important provenance areas. To be correlated with (southeast) Nigerian and Ghanaian lineage firstmost. Still other coastal regions are also showing up with considerable shares. And might also have been more prominent during specific time periods.

***(click to enlarge)

Estimated waves by African coastal regions (Chambers)

Source: The Links of a Legacy: Figuring the Slave Trade to Jamaica. (D. Chambers, 2007, p.302) Take note of how going by sheer numbers the two biggest waves involved Bight of Biafra (1773-1808) and the Gold Coast (1748-1790).

***(click to enlarge)

Origins of African migrants to Jamaica (Burham)

Source: Planters, Merchants, and Slaves – Plantation Societies in British America, 1650-1820 (T. Burnard, 2015, p.171). See this link for charts depicting the same trends, also incl. underlying numbers. The so-called “Angola” region should be read as West-Central Africa. It is a somewhat misleading contemporary term which actually mainly refers to the so-called Loango coast: Congo (DRC & Brazzaville) & Cabinda (=northern Angola) see also this link.




Substructure due to differences in slave trade patterns
For more details read  “African DNA matches reported for 30 Jamaicans on Ancestry


(click to enlarge)

TAST Montego vs Kingston (%)

Source: TAST Database (2019). Follow this link for underlying numbers. Kingston was by far the main entry port of enslaved Africans into Jamaica. The overall composition of slave trade into Kingston is therefore very similar to total Jamaican slave trade (column to the right). However Montego Bay, in the northwest, also was involved in direct slave imports from Africa. But with very distinctive sourcing. Take notice that the Bight of Biafra accounts for more than 70% of slave trade into Montego Bay! Also intriguingly no documented slave voyages from either Central Africa or Senegambia.



Africanisms in Jamaican Patois
For more details read  “Words of African Origin in Jamaican Patois


African lexicon in Jamaica (2012) (fig. 6.1)

African lexicon in Jamaica (2012) (table 6.5)



Runaway slaves advertisements 1718-1817
For more details read  “Ethnic Origins of Jamaican Runaway Slaves

Ethnic Origins of Jamaican Runaway Slaves Tracing African Roots


(click to enlarge)

Chambers (2007) - Major Diasporic Ethnies among Jamaican Runaways, 1718-1817

Source: “The Links of a Legacy: Figuring the Slave Trade to Jamaica.” Chambers, D. In Annie Paul, ed., Caribbean Culture: Soundings on Kamau Brathwaite. Kingston, Jamaica: University of the West Indies Press, 2007, pp.287-312.


(click to enlarge)

Chambers (2007) - Major Diasporic Ethnies by imputed Coastal Provenances, 1718-1817

Source: “The Links of a Legacy: Figuring the Slave Trade to Jamaica.” Chambers, D. In Annie Paul, ed., Caribbean Culture: Soundings on Kamau Brathwaite. Kingston, Jamaica: University of the West Indies Press, 2007, pp.287-312.Saint Kitts & Anguilla


Slave Census Saint Kitts 1817
For more details read “St. Kitts & Anguilla Slave Census, least informative of African roots?

Birthplaces Slaves St Kitts, 1817

Slave Census Anguilla 1827

Birthplaces of slaves Anguilla 1827


Saint Lucia

Slave Census Saint Lucia 1815
For more details read “St. Lucia Slave Census of 1815 , reflecting English or French Slave Trade Patterns?

Birthplaces of slaves St Luciab



Slave Census 1813
See also “Trinidad’s Slave Census of 1813 – Representative of African Ethnic Origins?

Paul Lovejoy Ethnic origins of Slaves 1813 (part1)

Paul Lovejoy Ethnic origins of Slaves 1813 (part2)


Virgin Islands (US)

Oldendorp survey 1767/1768
See also ” Virgin Islands Roots (part 2)

Oldendorp Nations


9 thoughts on “Anglo-Caribbean

  1. Do you have any info about the maroons in Suriname? I read that they were from Congo, and to me , they look more like central africans than ghanians etc.


    • From what i’ve read Surinamese Maroons should have multiple origins across Western Africa, but Congo could be a significant part of their ancestry indeed. Their cultural retention is very fascinating, many distinct influences from Ghana, Benin and also Congo can clearly be recognized. I intend to blog about Surinam and the Dutch Caribbean, so in the future there will be a separate section of charts for them.

      In the meanwhile you can check out this overview which shows the African influence on Surinamese languages, the number of African words is very impressive, probably the highest in the Americas! Bantu words are 28% while Kwa languages (both Ghana & Benin) provided 47%.

      This website , Slave Trade to Surinam, is also very informative.


  2. Wonderful blog. I share your passion, and interests. With St Lucia, Breen suggests Martinique traders controlled the trade. I still can’t work out where on the Island the British would have disembarked the slaves. Or how, alternatively, the re-exports operated: were slaves brought over on slave ships or simple boats? Lastly, Delphinus argues most of the slaves were actually from the Senegambian region and the hinterlands during French period, and extending into the Malian hinterlands.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting James! Great to hear you share the same interests. Recently a book appeared about the intercolonial slave trade which might have some answers. I haven’t read it yet, but i’m about to read an article by the same author. I will let you know if i come across anything specific about St. Lucia.

      “Final Passages: The Intercolonial Slave Trade of British America, 1619-1807” by Gregory E. O’Malley.

      Btw you might be interested that just the other day i created a new page featuring the AncestryDNA results of people from the West Indies. One of them is from St. Vincent and he indeed had a pronounced “Mali” score, however it might not be the most typical outcome for West Indians.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Geat blog. I was wondering if you had any data on Barbados? I know there was a lot of slave trade between Barbados and Charleston, S.C. and I am wondering if the results are similar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dem , glad you like the blog. For Barbados i only have the slave trade data. i wish i had more specific data also on ethnic groups being documented there, but sofar i haven’t come across anything. If anyone reading this knows something useful please comment 🙂

      Barbados is indeed an interesting place to study because it was heavily involved in intercolonial trade but also because its population was one of the earliest ones in the West Indies to show natural growth, which implies that for Bajans tracing their African roots they will generally have to look into earlier timeperiods.

      Here’s the link for the slavevoyages data (scroll down), it has a useful comparison with SC, VA and Jamaica. Keep in mind it’s only measuring Trans Atlantic voyages directly from Africa and not what happened afterwards. It might be that some of the “Benin/Togo” scores seen for AA’s might ultimately derive from Barbados:

      “Benin/Togo region”

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Would you happen to have information on the blacks in Grenada? I do know on Carriacou (sister-isle to mainland Grenada) most blacks are Temne people. But as for Grenada itself, I have no clue. Very curious about that.


    • Yes the Temne connection for Carriacou is very remarkable! However i’m doubtful if such exceptional African retention among a small group of people would also be indicative of the African origins for the majority of the Carriacou population. I remember reading there are several documented refernces to other African ethnic groups as well. Some of which also appearing as the African Nations in the Big Drum Dance. I might blog about this some day in more detail as i find it very fascinating.

      I am also intending to do an update of this page eventually. I will then provide more details on several AncestryDNA results i have collected from Grenada. In the meanwhile you can already consult this chart based on the Slave voyages Database. Keep in mind though that inter-colonial slave trade as well as inter-island migration in later timeperiods is not being accounted for.


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