Saint Thomas Parish, Barbados
Barbados Saint Thomas Parish
The first marriages in the parish of St. Thomas, Barbados appear in January of 1723 with surnames such as Banks, Bannister, Bradley, Brooker, Cobham, Farnell, Parsons, Reed, Scot and Sharp. These were quickly followed by other well known names from that period with the likes of Bourn[e], Brown[e], Carlton, Clarke, Cox, Cumberbatch, Cummings, Davis, Evans, Fitzgerald, Goddard, Odell, Porter, Sanders, Smith, Webster, Wheeler, White and Williams.
Notably in 1780 late on the 9th of October what was to become the [Great Hurricane] began affecting Barbados with heavy rains and northwesterly winds which increased through the following day, and the Rector of Saint Thomas Parish Church commented in the rescued register of the time:
- "... a dreadful hurricane which began to rage with great fury at noon and continued with great violence till four o'clock the next morning, the 11th; At eight o'clock at night St. Thomas's parsonage was demolished and the church where the Rector and his family sought shelter began to fall about two hours after, the Chancel fell while the family were in the church ... St. Thomas's Chapel, St. Michael's, St. George's, Christ Church's and St. Lucy's churches were totally destroyed, the other chruches were severely ‘injured’ (except St. Peter's and St. Philip's). Because of the demolition of the parish church and chapel ‘divine services’ continued in the ‘boiling house’ at the ‘Rock Hall’ estate of Thomas Harper by Rev Wm Duke and curate Hugh Austin of St Thomas. Most other buildings and works were blown down and many lives were lost. The dead could not be bought to a church so were buried in gardens and private land.”
- St. Thomas, Barbados, parish marriage registers, 1780 [RL1/49 page 209]