Parish Histories of Jamaica

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Highlights of the Parish Histories of Jamaica Launch

Students from Robert Lightbourne High School eagerly waiting to answer a historical question on St.Thomas.

Students from Robert Lightbourne High and Seaforth High School learning about the Historical memorabilia from Jamaica National Heritage Trust representative Mr.Oshane Robinson

Students from Robert Lightbourne High learning about historical memorabilia from Mrs. Rose Miller, Ms. Sebrina Brown and Mr. Oshane Robinson from the Jamaica National Heritage Trust


The Parish Histories of Jamaica project was developed by the JN Foundation in partnership with the Department of History and Archaeology (DoHA) at the University of the West Indies (UWI). The generation of the project stemmed from a need to use history as a uniting force amongst  Jamaicans and to contribute to the preservation of Jamaica’s history.  This project seeks to capture and document the unique histories of all fourteen (14) parishes in Jamaica and make it available through a platform that is easily accessible to all; a website.

These histories will portray to readers the major historical highlights and developments in each parish. These histories also provide insight into the socio- economic climate and the built landscape of the respective parishes. The project commenced in 2015 and is expected to span four years, concluding in 2019. Parish Histories of Jamaica aims to strengthen social connectedness which falls under the Foundation’s strategic theme of Social Empowerment. Under this strategic theme, the project will  strengthen cultural vitality and increase community involvement through a variety of activities aimed at engaging the population in sharing their histories and helping to pass on a legacy that will be immortalized for generations to come.

The project is executed in two major ways:
1. The written component- Undertaken by the University of the West Indies (UWI)
This component is spearheaded by the team of the Department of History and Archaeology (DoHA), UWI. Research Assistants work alongside a designated author who collects and combines data to write the official history of the parish. The official history is made available on the website.
2.   The Oral component- Undertaken by the JN Foundation
The oral component encompasses the capturing of both formal and informal history videos on the particular parish which are available at


The project recently launched the History of St.Thomas on February 10, 2017 at the Robert Lightbourne High School in accordance with Black History Month. Students were allowed to physically interact with historical memorabilia courtesy of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust and enthusiastically answered questions about their parish. The launch also encompassed the official launch of the Anancy Story Competition and the website which was part of the engagement process in a bid to involve youth in the submission of history in a fun and meaningful way.


The official History of St.Thomas has been completed and is available on the website. The vox pop on St.Thomas was captured during Emancipendence celebrations in 2016 and brings to life the energy of the people of St. Thomas. View full history and vox pop on the website. 


The History of Westmoreland has also been completed and will see a condensed version being produced during the course of the project. Full history can be seen on the website.


The most recent set of interviews were conducted in Trelawny featuring Violet Brown, affectionately called Aunt V who is 117 years old, making her the oldest living person in Jamaica and the second oldest in the world! This video and an official history of Trelawny will be available on the website soon.


You may share with us your pictures of old time Jamaica, Jamaican recipes, and any oral stories you think will contribute to the preservation of Jamaica’s rich history and culture! Visit to submit your content.