Saturday, 30 July 2016

#15 George Holland Sheaf - Jamaica George revisited.

A while ago I wrote about my 2x great grandfather George Holland Sheaf and the mystery that surrounds much of his life (and death) in Jamaica. You can read that post here to refresh your memory. It seems however, that sometimes one only needs to wait before new information comes to light. As more and more records from around the world get digitized, more information is available to family researchers.

Just on the off chance I did another search for George Holland Sheaf and I have to say I was very, very surprised to see new results. The first new bit of information about him was that he did NOT die in about 1865, but lived until 1 Feb 1893, aged about 75. His death is recorded as having occurred at Bruce Hill in Kings District, Westmoreland, Jamaica. From the little I have been able to find out about Bruce Hill it appears that distant family connections probably through the Moores and the Tates owned this property. He is recorded as being a widower (which we knew) and a pauper (which we did not know).

The second somewhat startling discovery was that at least two of his children, other than Louisa our great grandmother, survived into adulthood. His eldest child Mary Moore Sheaf born in 1849 lived until 1909. She is recorded as dying a spinster at a place possibly called Barnes, Kings District, Westmoreland and her occupation is given as seamstress. Her younger brother George Kemble Holland Sheaf, born in about 1857, also survived childhood and lived until the age of 66, dying of fever in 1922. His death is recorded as having taken place at Friendship, Westmoreland. He also never married and is recorded as having been a carpenter.

Now all this just raises more questions! What happened to the other children? Who looked after them? Why was Granny Sheaf, Louisa, raised by Episcopalian Missionaries (so the story goes) and who were they? Did Granny Sheaf even know that she still had siblings alive after she left Jamaica? Was her father George Holland Sheaf somehow disowned by his wife's family the Briggs? Was he a wastrel? (Possibly, I would suspect!) Aaaaaaargh!!! So many little mysteries to solve!


  1. I dont believe Louisa Sheaf left Jamaica until she was about 14 at least. I think she would have known about siblings even if she was living apart from her immediate family. This is all so interesting.

    1. True. So maybe it was just the generations down from her that didn't ever know that some of her brothers and sisters had survived.