Family Name & Kinship of Emancipated Slaves in Suriname: Tracing Ancestors
by H E Lamur
This is a remarkable study, a book that brings together facts about a crucial moment in the history of Dutch slavery: information on every individual ... Show synopsis This is a remarkable study, a book that brings together facts about a crucial moment in the history of Dutch slavery: information on every individual slave in Suriname on 1 July 1863, the day slavery was abolished. As compensation at emancipation, the government gave slave owners 300 Guilders for each slave or 30 Guilders if the slave was entitled to manumission. To be eligible for this compensation, they were obliged to submit lists of the slaves that they owned. This list, the Statement of Registration, contains valuable information such as the names of slaves, their ages and dates of birth, religion, job, and some comments on their personal circumstances. The majority of slaves were given a family name when they were emancipated, after which they were registered on the Emancipation Register.This study links both files -- the Statement and the Emancipation Register -- which makes it possible to create a database with significant information on individual slaves. The database is supplemented by data on the slave owners and other socio-economic reference material. The databases made accessible in this book constitute part of the historical heritage of, and can serve as an important source of identification for, the descendants of these population groups.The social significance of the database is the heart of this study. The data presented here can serve as raw material for further scientific research, such as studies in the field of demographics; the creation and development of socio-cultural patterns; the job structure of the slave population; as well as research into the family and relations of slaves and their descendants. Assumptions and preconceptions about the family structure of both the slave population and its descendants remain great sources of controversy. The database will shed new light on this issue and other issues. The data files also provide the opportunity to conduct research into child rearing and the role of children during slavery. Little is known about child labor during the slavery period. Research into the nature and arduousness of the work that children were forced to perform will enhance our insight into slave societies. This is an essential reference for anyone studying Black slavery in the Americas.