Many of the indigenous people died of disease, and the Spanish imported African slaves as labourers.Named , the island remained a possession of Spain until 1655, when England (later Great Britain) conquered it and renamed it Jamaica.Under British colonial rule Jamaica became a leading sugar exporter, with its plantation economy highly dependent on slaves forcibly transported from Africa.The British fully emancipated all slaves in 1838, and many freedmen chose to have subsistence farms rather than to work on plantations.This is a virtual genealogy library for those researching family history for Jamaica, West Indies, especially for people born before 1920.The site contains transcriptions from various documents including nineteenth century Jamaica Almanacs (which list property owners and civil and military officials), Jamaica Directories for 1878, 18, extractions from Jamaican Church records, Civil Registration, Wills, Jewish records, and excerpts from newspapers, books, and other documents.There is information on immigration and on slavery.
The island achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 6 August 1962.
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