Some years ago when I began searching records for the Seale family of the Island of St. Helena I was only interested in my direct line of ancestors. Since I was born and raised on the island of Key West, Florida, not nearly as remote, I became intrigued with the history of that island. I began to read the minutes of the Council of the East India Company and before I realized it, I was looking for every recorded person with the Seale name on the Island up to 1834 when the last of my direct line died. Subsequently, I have now found Seales that were on the Island much later than that date, after the British Crown took over rule from the East India Company.
The Seale and Other Related Families database has been prepared after extensive study of the Birth/Baptism, Marriage, Death Records and some Wills from the Island of St. Helena. Hundreds of hours have gone into this research; plotting out time lines to try and make sure that putting together families was feasible, and then the preparation of the database. I do not claim that all of the family connections are correct, but to the best of my knowledge they all work. I feel that this is a fairly good piecing together of events that occurred between 200-300 years ago. This is certainly a starting place for anyone who wants to take a particular Seale line and do their own research. For the individuals that I could not, with some assurance place with families, I have listed them singly and noted this.
The records that I have studied have come from many sources. There are individuals that deserve my heartfelt thanks for their patience in answering my questions or supplying me with information. Others gave me moral support. Dr. Alexander Schulenburg was very supportive, providing me with data that he researched during his visits to the island. For several years we talked by E-mail and he answered whatever questions he could. Carol Archibald of the University of the Witwatersrand was very kind and invaluable by providing dates from the very early records of Birth/Baptisms and Marriages of the Island. Moral support came from my friend Ian Bruce of England who is researching the Bruce family from St. Helena who have a tie with the Seales. Kenneth and Francis Gould of Florida had research done by G. W. Tatham who was the Archivist of St. Helena in the late 1970’s and I have read their notes. Mr. Trevor Hearl of Cheltenham, England, who has since passed away, sent me information pertaining to some of the individuals that are in the database. Mr. Hearl who was quite knowledgeable in the history of St Helena authored the introduction in the new edition of the book St Helena 1502-1938 by Philip Gosse. The microfilms used in my research were the St Helena Parish Registers, 1769 to 1825; these are the property of the Family History Library of the Mormon Church, Salt Lake City, UT. The Early Records of St Helena, 1681 to 1769 are held in St. Helena with copies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. There are three books that also provided valuable information: A St Helena Who’s Who, by Arnold Chaplin; Roots and Recollections, by Hugh Janisch and St Helena 1502-1938 by Philip Gosse. There are other persons whom I had corresponded with via E-mail and had exchanged pieces of information but these are too numerous to name, so I will say, “Thank you all.”
If anyone finds errors and can back up their corrections with documents I would like to hear from you and I will change my database accordingly. For some of the individuals that are my direct ancestors I have more information concerning them than the notes of the database reflect. If anyone is doing research on these particular people, please contact me and I will be happy to share my notes with you.
Below are some notes regarding the sources of information included in the data base, and how dates are displayed.
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