There are history hunters on St. Martin. They are resourceful and dedicated. They’ve unlocked hidden facts and pieced them together. The webs they’ve woven connect much of the island.
Genealogy is the study of family lines, and these history hunters on St. Martin have been doing it. They have built family trees that connect them to their past. Some include a few dozen people, others contain thousands of family members stretching back centuries.
Anyone can become a history hunter. We all have ancestors. It is a way to connect with living family members, and also to explore more distant connections.
If you are starting your own family, the first information usually comes from your family members. Asking around, you may find that one of your relatives has already been working on a family tree. There are also Facebook groups for many St. Martin families. Members share details and help name people in old photographs.
There are a few online databases that contain quite a bit of information about St. Martiners. Geneanet has many records of births, marriages and deaths for both sides of the island. You can search for free and limit your results to Guadeloupe or Sint Maarten to focus on local records. WieWasWie is a similar website for searching Dutch records. It’s also free to search, and you can limit results to Netherlands Antilles to make it easier to find local records.
Basic government records for St. Martin, like births and marriages, are available. But some other valuable resources aren’t as easy to find here. Newspaper archives are a huge resource for family tree research. On St. Martin, archives of The Daily Herald are available going back to 2006. Most older newspaper archives are not online, and it’s unclear if they exist at all. An effort to locate and digitize newspaper archives would be a huge boon to history hunters.
If you are ready to become a history hunter, head to the Heritage Backup page on lesfruitsdemer.com for links to tools you can use.
Are you a history hunter who would like to connect with others on St. Martin? Do you have resources or a family tree online you would like to share? Let us know by writing to [email protected] or The Daily Herald.