||Aberdeen was so named by Alexander Forbes, a Scotsman, after the area of Scotland from which he came. He erected a Great House there. The estate in time was sold, and the town which was established in that area took the name. Aberdeen is situated between Appleton (sugar) Estate and the Cockpit Country. |
Accompong (Maroon settlement) is in St. Elizabeth. This name is said to be derived from the Ashanti word, Nyamekopon, which means “the lone one, the warrior”. This name was also given to one of the brothers of Captain Cudjoe, the second Maroon leader. Accompong was established in 1739, and the compound is in the charge of a colonel, the army rank being honorable. The colonel appoints a major, several captains, and a council. This council functions like an open meeting.
Allen Highway is named after the late Hon. Edward Victor Vivian Allen wilo was born in Mandeville, in the parish of Manchester, in 1896. He was the son of the late Stephen Allen, schoolmaster, and Laura Mary Parker, his wife. After elementary education, Allen received a scholarship to the Manchester Secondary School. Besides being a successful businessman in the town of Black River, he was a Member of the Parochial Board of St. Elizabeth from 1930 to 1944, Hon. elected Member of the Legislative Council from 1935 to 1944, and Member of the House of Representatives for Northern St. Elizabeth from 1944 until his death. Senator Allen married Blanche Hunter in 1925 and they had two sons and one daughter. Mr. Allen died of a heart attack in Match 1966. He served his country for over thirty years.
Appleton (sugar) Estate is said to have derived its name from its English owner, James Appleton. Appleton Estate is now owned by J. Wray & Nephew Limited. Balaclava, St. Elizabeth, is named after the site of the battle in the Crimean War of 1854-6 fought by Great Britian, France, Sardinia, and Turkey as allies against Russia, and perhaps in recognition of the fact that Mary Seacole, Jamaican nurse, was designated ‘The Florence Nightingale of Jamaica’ for her care of the soldiers.
Ballard’s Valley and Ballard’s River, in St. Mary, is named after Colonel Thomas Ballard of the Army of Occupation (1655) who was granted land in both these parishes. Bamboo Avenue, St. Elizabeth, is a stretch of a mile or more of bamboos. It is pictured on postcards and regarded as one of Jamaica’s beauty spots. Berlin, near Munro College, St. Elizabeth, was named by the first owner, Henry Cerf, a German, after the capital of Germany, from which he came.
Black River. Elizabeth originated as the Rio Cobre by the Spaniards it is 44 miles long and navigable. This river flows from the northern frontier of the parish and empties out southwest at the seaport town of Black River. This place-name is also found in Clarendon, northern St. Catherine and northeast Portland.
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Bogue was owned in the middle of the 18th century by William Foster and Joseph Foster Barham, who were wealthy absentee landowners. Three hundred acres of land at Bogue, situated at the foot of the Nassau Mountains, were given by these two men to the Moravian Missionary Society to establish missionary work there. This was done in 1754, and the Moravians became the first nonconformist missionaries to begin work in Jamaica.
Canoe Valley is said to be so named because for many years canoes have been made there from cotton trees, which grow in quantity in that area. Cheltenham comes from Gloucester, England. Chew Magna near Balaclava, was named by the Roberts family after the place in Kenysham, England, from which they came. Cockpit Country which is a Maroon settlement, is so named because of the strange limestone formations of crater-like pits, which abound in that area, and which are said to be bottomless. These are referred to as Cockpits.
Cuffie Pen once a Maroon settlement, is named after a brother of Captain Cudjoe, leader of the Maroons. Dickenson Run is in St. Elizabeth, named after Caleb Dickenson, one of the Scotsmen who endowed Munro College in this parish. Dundee in St. Elizabeth, Elderslie was originally a Scottish place-name. This village in the hills of St. Elizabeth is near the entrance of Cockpit Country. One of the buildings of interest there is the Baptist chapel, established in 1 840.
Elim, a property in St. Elizabeth, was owned in the 18th century by the Foster Brothers. It was they who got the Moravian Missionary Society to send out missionaries to Jamaica in 1754. Giddy Hall, in the parish of St. Elizabeth, was first known, some claim, as “Gideon Hall” and took the name of the first owner. When it became known as Giddy Hall is uncertain, but for many years it was owned by the Cooper family, English settlers.
Goshen in the parish of St. Elizabeth is a biblical place-- name found in Egypt. It means “the best of the land”, and Goshen in Jamaica received this name because it was considered the best site for a church and for the establishment of the Scottish missionary station. At Goshen the Ministry of Agriculture has established a Dairy Training Centre. There is also a Goshen in St. Ann.
Guthries’ Defile, in the parish of St. Elizabeth, bears the surname of Colonel Guthrie, an officer of the Jamaica Militia who was commissioned by the government to go with an offer of peace to the Maroons, the war with whom had been so prolonged that the government was anxious for it to end. He met with Captain Charles Cudjoe, who was in charge of the Maroons in this part of the island, and under a cotton tree (which was afterwards named after Cudjoe) the agreement was signed in the year 1734. By its terms, the Maroons were guaranteed full freedom and were given 1,500 acres of land lying between Trelawny Town and the Cockpit Country and the right to hunt wild pigs anywhere except within a three-mile limit of towns and plantations. Captain Cudjoe was appointed chief commander in Trelawny Town and his successors named in order, beginning with Accompany and Johnny. The chief was empowered to inflict any punishment he might think proper for crimes committed by his people, except those requiring the death sentence; such cases were handed over to a justice of the peace. Two white men were to live permanently with the Maroons in order to maintain friendly contact between them and the colonists. The Maroons, for their part, were to cease hostilities, to receive no more runaway slaves but instead to help recapture them, a reward being paid for each slave so returned. They were also to assist the government in suppressing any local uprising or foreign invasion.
Gutters, on the boundary between Manchester and St. Elizabeth, at the foot of Spur Tree Hill, is said to be well named, because after heavy rain, water flows from three directions, making it almost impassable. In old Jamaica it was known as “The Gutters”. It is now a small town. From Gutters beautiful views of Don Figueroa Mountains and Nassau Mountains can be seen.
Hampton, in the Malvern Hills, St. Elizabeth, has been the site of a girls school for many years. Happy Grove in St. Elizabeth is said to have had as its first owner Lord Vaughan of Ireland. Hodges, in the parish of St. Elizabeth, is named after Joseph Hodges (1718). The Hodges family of Jamaica was said to be related to Sir Nathaniel Hodges of Middlesex, England. In Estates for 1936, Hodges is listed as being owned by Henry William Griffiths, planter, and afterwards by his son, W.H. Griffiths. W.H. Griffiths and his brother are part-owners (1972).
Horse Savannah is said to have been originally “The Horse Ranch [Potero] de Santiago”. Ipswich was named by the Rev. John Hutchin, English Baptist missionary stationed at Savanna— la-mar, Westmoreland, after his birthplace in England; the occasion was when he went to establish a church there in the 19th century. Ipswich is a small country town adjoining the railway station of that name. There are also Ipswich Caves, which are proving a tourist attraction, and these can be reached either in a specially designed diesel known as the “Governor’s Coach”, starting from Montego Bay, or by car via Montpelier and Cambridge.
Joe Williams Bigwood was a property presumably named after its first owner. It is now a village. Labour In Vain Savannah is in St. Elizabeth. This parish usually experiences an annual drought, which makes it difficult to be certain if there will be a harvest — hence the name.
Lancaster is in St. Elizabeth. This name could have come either from England or the U.S.A. It was an estate, owned with Bogue, Elim and Mesopotamia in this parish by William Foster and his brother, Joseph Braham Foster, who claimed to be related to an officer in the English Invading Army ( 1655). Lititz, in the parish of St. Elizabeth, is a place-name originating in Moravia. It is claimed that the name was first given by the Moravian Missionaries (1754) to a church, and that the estate nearby has taken the name. Lititz is now also a village.
Maggotty is in St. Elizabeth. There used to be five places with — or including — this name, but the one in the paring of St. Catherine, Maggotty Savanna, is no longer known. However, there are the town of Maggotty, and Maggotty River and Maggotty River and Cove in Hanover. Maggotty (St. Elizabeth) is now a part of Jamaica Revere Limited alumina plant. There is also a Maggotty Railway Station. Malvern, in the Santa Cruz Mountains in St. Elizabeth, is named after the health resort of that name in England. Malvern in Jamaica is also regarded as a health resort, and is a residential area. There is also a place in this parish known as “Malvern Chase”.
Marlborough is found in St. Elizabeth and Manchester. Marlborough in St. Elizabeth has been owned for years by the David Lalor family. Middle Quarters is in St. Elizabeth. The reason for this name is uncertain. It is claimed that in the old days the quarter session of the court was held here and that might have something to do with the name. Middle Quarters is now the location of a large-scale shrimp trade conducted by the villagers.
Middlesex is found in St. Elizabeth. Mile Gully was first known as Mile Gully Pen and was owned from 1815 by Thomas Hercy Barrett, whose family were amongst the first English settlers who received land patents from the king. In the 18th century, Mile Gully was a centre of greater importance than at present, as many early settlers acquired properties there. The Mile Gully Parish Church has many memorial tablets to those, settlers, among whom were Mr. John Clark and his wife, Jane Smythe Powell, owners of the Kendal Estate.
Mornningside is in St. Elizabeth. The place-name originated in Edinburgh, Scotland. Many Scotsmen were early settlers in St. Elizabeth. Mount Ajax is in St. Elizabeth. Why this mountain is named after Ajax, the most famous fighter (next to Achilles) in classical Greeks legends, is not easily understood. However, it is interesting to note that in the same area the Hector’s River sinks at Troy, so we are inclined to ask which Hector’s River (there is another Hector’s river on the border of St. Thomas and Portland was named after Hector, the captain of the Trojan force.
Mount Carmel is named after a place of the same name in Penn., U.S.A., where the Moravian Church in Jamaica has a missionary station. Mount Charles in St. Elizabeth was owned from 1811 by Charles Phipps, and was evidently named after him. Roses Valley is named after the first owner, William Rose (Jamaica Almanacks, 1811) of this now defunct estate. Roses Valley is now a village, in the centre of which is a Baptist Church. There is also Roses Valley Post Office. Sangster’s Heights was named after the late Sir Donald Sangster, who was born in Black River in this parish on October 26, 1911, and died in 1967. He was the son of W.B. Sangster, commissioned land surveyor, and his wife, Cassandra. He was educated at Munro College in this parish and was a Solicitor and pen keeper. He began his political career at the age of 21, when he was elected to the St. Elizabeth Parish Council in 1933. This career was remarkable for its continuity. He became M.H.R. for southern St. Elizabeth, then M.H.R. for north-eastern Clarendon, and when he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1949, he took over from Mr. Frank Pixley and became Minister of Social Welfare and Labour; at the death of Sir Harold Allen, Jamaica’s first Minister of Finance, Sangster took his place and also became Leader of the House of Representatives. After 1955, he was Deputy Leader of the Opposition, and on the return to power of the Jamaica Labour Party (1962) he again became Finance Minister. In 1963, he became acting Prime Minister, and at international level he demonstrated Jamaican capability with great success at the Commonwealth Economic Conferences, earning a highly respected name in Commonwealth circles. In 1967, the Jamaica Labour Party won the election and Sangster became the second Prime Minister of Jamaica. Sangster, however, attended only one session of Parliament before he became suddenly ill and was sent to Canada for specialist treatment. Nevertheless, he succumbed to this illness. Five days before he died, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
The international airport at Montego Bay is named after Sir Donald Sangster and a library and swimming pool have been named “The Sangster Memorial Library and Swimming Pool”. Shady Grove, St. Elizabeth, is named for its natural features. Shoe Myself Gate derives its name from the following old custom: those who could barely afford to buy shoes, after acquiring pairs and being unaccustomed to wearing them, would sling them over their shoulders until they got near to the church of their choice. At the gate of the church, they would sit down and ‘shoe themselves’.
Shrewsbury is an English place-name, also found in Portland and Westmoreland. Southfield is on the plains of St. Elizabeth.
Spring Park is the name of a property in St. Elizabeth, owned (on estate records) by the R.D. Daly family (1920).
Stanmore is said to have got its name from Stanmore in Middlesex, England. The property was first owned by Charles Forbes, whose tombstone is to be seen in the cemetery of the Alley Church in Clarendon. Stanmore was purchased by John Vassall Calder of Edinburgh, Scotland, in the 19th century, and still belongs to members of the Calder family.
Stanton in the parish of St. Elizabeth is said to have been named after George Stanton, who owned this property from 1745. Stirling was first known as “Mount Zion”, and was owned by the Anglican Church in Jamaica Archdeacon Ramson was in charge of the church and school. In 1895 when George Vassal Calder purcffàsed this property, he named it “Stirling”. Elsie Calder (Maxwell) after wards inherited this property from her father.
Surinam Quarters derives its name from the historic fact that in 1675 it was settled by planters from Surinam, or Dutch Guiana, which was ceded to the Dutch in exchange for New Amsterdam (later New York).
Treasure Beach is said to have been first known as “Frenchman’s”, because in the early days a “ship with strangers. Said to be Frenchmen landed there”. it is not known whether the fact that a distinctive period of Arawak pottery was discovered there influenced Ernest Decker when he purchased it, but, with a Mrs. Harris, he established a hotel and bathing beach, which they named Treasure Beach.
Vauxhall, a village in St. Elizabeth and an area off the Windward Road in Kingston, were evidently named after the well-known tavern in London, England. Vauxhall in St. Elizabeth, as early as 1716, was the site of a tavern, and so was the Vauxhall in Kingston. The monetary unit used in taverns at that time was known as a “bit”, and the following were the prices for meals and drinks: dinner — 5 bitts; coffee (in the morning) — one bit; bottle of ale — 4 bitts; a jorum of rum — 5 bitts; and bed - - 8 bitts.
Warminister could have been named after the urban district in Wilts., England. Warminister is said to have been owned by William Adlam, who filled many offices of public and private trust in Jamaica, dying in 1844. Watch Well is in St. Elizabeth.
Whitehall is said to have been owned by James White from 1793 to 1808, and evidently bears his surname. James White married a Miss Griffiths of Long Pond in this parish. One section of the Whitehall property was sold to Reynolds Bauxite, another to small settlers. The house, with some land surrounding it, was owned by the late Mr. Cleve Lewis (former Minister of Communications and Works).
White House Bay is in the vicinity of Bannister Bay (named after Major-General Thomas Bannister, who, in March 1675, brought Dutch nationals from Surinam to settle on 2,940 acres granted them here by the government). There is now a White House Bathing Beach.
Windsor Forest, evidently named after a place in England, is found in Portland, St. Elizabeth, and Westmoreland. Yardly Chase is on the 1920 roll of estates listed as owned by S.H.A. Forbes. It was recently purchased by the government for a land settlement.
Y.S. is a property and river in the parish of St. Elizabeth. Some historians claim that Y.S. is derived from the Gaelic word meaning “crooked” or “winding”, others that the property was named Wy-ess, and that the commercial mark for shipping purposes was Y.S.
Arcadia, originally a French place-name, is found in five parishes in Jamaica. In southern St. James it is a village on the western fringe of the Cockpit Country, and in north— western St. Elizabeth it is a small village.
Golden Grove — this place-name is found in four parishes: St. Elizabeth, St. Thomas, Trelawny and St. Ann.
He married Rebecca Haughton, daughter of Richard Haughton of Haughton Court in Hanover. Golden Grove was subsequently inherited by their son, John. However, it is now said to be “merely a farm belonging to Hampden Estate”.
Holland in St. Elizabeth was first owned by Lord and Lady Holland, and was said to be named after their home in England, “Holland House”.
Lacovia is said to have been the La Caoban of the Spaniards, in early days referred to by the inhabitants as “Coby”. Lacovia was the first capital of St. Elizabeth.
Little Pedro Bay And Point are in St. Elizabeth. Little Pedro Point became the second port in Jamaica for the shipping of bauxite by Permanent Metals, a subsidiary of the Kaiser Fraser Corporation of America (1949).
Roxburgh is a Scottish place-name. It is interesting to note that ROXBURGH is the birthplace of the late Hon. Norman Washington Manley, Q.C., M.M., former Chief Minister, and Leader of the Opposition in the Jamaica Parliament from 1962 until 1969, the year of his death. He was recently designated a National Hero. Siloah, in St. Elizabeth and St. Mary, is a biblical place— name. Both areas are villages.
I-No-Call-You-No-Come — this odd place-name in the Cockpit Country, St. Elizabeth, describes the attitude of the Maroons in their exclusive colony, during the early years of their history, when they discouraged visitors from seeking to enter, and if the “Captain” in charge did give his permission to someone, that person was shown the most inaccessible pathways in the hope that, finding the way so difficult, he would decide to go no further.