Researching family roots in the Caribbean? This book might help

David Dobson, the noted Scottish genealogist, is known for his numerous books on Scotland and Scottish-born settlers of the American Colonies. But now there’s a reprint of his 2010 volume “The People of the Windward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and Curacao, 1620-1860.” The book is an alphabetical listing of settlers, usually with short, two-line biographical data. Some have much longer sketches. He covers just those islands. In his addendum, he lists some major sources and then the reference codes for the data used in the sketches. In the introduction, he points out that the people of those islands had varied backgrounds. Some were economic migrants, some were prisoners of war. Others escaped persecution. It is certainly worth a look if you have ancestors from that region. Published by the Clearfield Company of the Genealogical Publishing Company, it’s available from, or by calling 800-296-6687, for $25 plus postage. The company has thousands of genealogy titles including Dobson’s similar volume on the Leeward Islands.

DNA Tests: How many companies to test with?

Many people have asked if they should submit samples to multiple DNA testing companies. The answer depends on what information they are seeking. For the person who want an ethnic profile, one test might suffice, since the profile should not radically change between companies. But if a person is adopted and trying to find birth parents, he or she should test at all of them and copy results into GEDMatch. A newly revealed cousin did just that and found that one of his birth parents had already tested. Had he not tested at four major companies, he would not have his answer. If you are deep into genealogy and trying to unravel a brick wall, then testing at as many as you can is imperative. If you are trying to trace your male line (Y-Chromosome DNA) then the only company to test at is in Houston.

There are other directories to find clues in

Some of the most useful biographical information can be found in directories — alumni, social, fraternity and sorority directories. The Atlanta History Center's Kenan Research Center has some. Every college issued alumni directories, many in the 19th century. Emory's 1926 directory is one of the best.

Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr., P. O. Box 901, Decatur, GA 30031 or