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Douglas Castle, Jamaica




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Douglas Castle signSeven brothers migrated to Jamaica and settled in the parish of St. Ann and St. Elizabeth. The Eldest Brother, William 'Captain' Douglas settled in River Wood on land which he purchased from Lord Sutton Brown. He renamed the place Douglas Castle.  William 'Captain' Douglas was born 3rd September 1858, in Saint Nicholas parish, Aberdeen, Scotland.  The brothers were the sons of John Douglas, born 1823, and his wife, Christina Mcleod.

Douglas Castle is a chiefly agricultural community situated in St. Ann. The community lies at the southeasterly end of the parish, approximately 42km away from the parish capital St. Ann’s Bay. To the south of east of Douglas Castle is the Clarendon parish boundary. Douglas Castle has a population of approximately 2500 with an average household size of 5 persons.

As a part of its wealthy history, the story is told of how the Community of Douglas Castle was settled. In the 19th century, Captain William Douglas, a sailor from Scotland and his wife Jestina Downes(3) with their six sons and two daughters, were searching for fertile land to settle on like many others living in the parish. It was a period of great migration as individuals moved across the wood lands in search of water. The family finally found a spring in an area known as Bud Hole. The area was owned by Benal Burgh, Captain Douglas and his family claimed the area which is now known as Douglas Castle, and settled there. The Douglas family was the first to settle in the area. Edward Douglas, the ninth of ten children was born to Captain William Douglas and Jestina Downes in June 1902(1), was the first to be born 'in the district'(4).  Joseph Ebenezer Small was Jestina Douglas' eldest child, born in June 1879.

Agriculture has been the economic mainstay of the community for decades and Douglas Castle district in particular has been called the "bread basket" for the parish, well known for its production and supply of food produce, especially vegetables across the island.

Amongst the The Douglas Castle Community Development Foundation Board Members are: Mrs. Patsy Douglas, Mr. Linchmore Douglas, Mr. Vessel Douglas and Mr. Lenmore Douglas.

The Douglas Castle school is (in 2015) owned and operated by the Apostolic Church of God and the present building was donated in the 1960s by the late philanthropist Edward Douglas.

1.  When was Edward born?  1902 seems too recent if the family settled in the area in the 18th century.  However, it appears his brother, Stephen Adolphus Douglas was born on 9th April 1888 in St. Ann, Jamaica, so perhaps that should be 19th C? So was Edward the first to be born in the district?   Can anyone help?
2.  Previous owners are proving hard to verify.  Help welcomed!
3.  In September 2020, I have learned that Jessica was a black woman, so presumably not from Scotland. She died in May 1954. Possibly previously married to Charles Downes.
4.  'In the district' implies that the family did not move into Douglas castle til around 1900.
5.  (Boris) Stephen Adulphus Douglas born Apr 9, 1888 - Sterling St Ann, Jamaica -  siblings were Ada Matilda, Martin Luther, Nancy Ann, Samuel, David, Eustace Benjamin, Wilford, Edward and Joseph. He had a daughter, Daisy Maud Douglas, born St Ann's on 8th August 1917.

Charles (Bobby) Wood writes: Samuel H Douglas 1880-1977, my Mother one his children, and me all grew up in Troja, St. Catherine. There is Douglas family still living there, some of us went to Douglas Castle and met some there who knew of us inc. Samuel Douglas. We also looked the same, I remember that Grandpa had a brother came back from Cuba, was married to Miss May in Troja, but left her and moved to Douglas Castle.

Ray Maginley informs:
a. Edward Douglas who was born in 1902 and died in February 2007. He married Ethel "Etty" Brown who was born 24 June 1905 and died 9 December 1988. They had eleven children: Gwendolyn, Jean, Joel, Rupert, Edward, Myrtle, Edla, Joyce, Harry, Loxley and Timmy.
b.  Gwendolyn, born on 26 September 1938, had seven children: Ray, Jean, Trevor, Veronica, Errol, Clive and Alison.


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  • A collection of names connected with the West Indies


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