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Saint-Domingue Special Interest Group

For printableApplication/Subscription forms, click here.


Check here from time to time for photos of the latest S*I*G* meeting.

Purposes and Goals

The Saint-Domingue Special Interest Group (hereafter referred to as the S*I*G*) was formed to meet the special needs of those Jefferson Genealogical Society members who have a specific or general interest in the political, economic, and social history and genealogy of the French West Indies colony of Saint-Domingue.

Although the special focus of the S*I*G* is Saint-Domingue, we welcome anyone researching their family history in any of the other French West Indies colonies.

Also included in the scope of the S*I*G* are the island-colonies in the Caribbean and North Atlantic, belonging to Great Britain, Spain, and other European nations, as they relate to the French refugees that sought shelter on their shores, settled there, and/or married into their families.

The purpose of the S*I*G* is to help researchers trace their ancestry in and through the West Indies, and North America, by informing them of records, documents, books, special collections, etc. that exist in the United States and Europe, and by discovering and investigating previously-unknown sources.

Members are encouraged to be aware of and learn more about the political and social history of the era and area, and the events that affected the lives of their ancestors. Help and sharing sessions at the regular S*I*G* meetings give researchers the opportunity to ask for assistance with special research problems.

It is also our intention to make our needs known to individuals, organizations, libraries, repositories, and research facilities, especially those that might be in a position to acquire books, manuscripts, and microfilmed records of importance to West Indies research.

S*I*G* Projects

Some time ago, the S*I*G* completed the NUCMC project which involved researching the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections for references to collections of Colonial West Indies-related materials that exist in repositories in the United States. Over 200 references were found and placed on index cards. These have been photocopied and are available for loan by mail to S*I*G* members and Newsletter subscribers.

Our latest project , which has just been completed, involved indexing the surnames in Winston Babb's 1954 dissertation, French Refugees from Saint-Domingue to the Southern United States, 1791-1810, an under-utilized source, brimming with refugee names and references. The Babb index has been published in the July 1999 issue of the Saint-Domingue Newsletter.

We are also involved in arranging for the microfilming of the early Catholic registers of Kingston, Jamaica.. Click here for more information on this important project. We anticipate this project should be completed within a few months.

The S*I*G presently exchanges publications with the Généalogie et Histoire de la Caraïbe (GHC), of LePecq, France. Their monthly bulletin (the GHC) contains a wide variety of articles, including letters, genealogies, queries, historical essays, book reviews, etc. We have an agreement with the GHC whereby we both publish each other's queries (their bulletin is mailed out to many genealogical societies in France and the West Indies). All back issues of the GHC through 1999 are presently available at the Eastbank Regional Library in Metairie.

We also exchange with two excellent English language publications: 1) theCaribbean Historical and Genealogical Journal which covers all the colonies and countries of the West Indies. It is edited and published by Peter Carr of The Cuban Index; and 2) Revista, quarterly journal of the Cuban Genealogical Society, edited by Mayra Sánchez-Johnson. We also exchange with the Anglo-French Family History Society in England. Their website is still under construction.

At the present time, we cannot conduct research for individuals. What we can offer is "networking"—contact with other West Indies researchers and organizations. The quarterly Saint-Domingue Newsletter (published in January, April, July, and October) goes out to many libraries, research facilities, and societies that are located in other areas of the United States where the Saint-Domingue refugees settled. (Mailings may be delayed to coincide with J.G.S. bi-monthly mailings.) Queries are accepted from everyone and are published (at no charge) on a space-available basis. For a list of facilities that carry The Saint- Domingue Newsletter, consult my Links page.

Everyone is encouraged to submit material about ancestors, reports on research in progress, special discoveries, book reviews, queries, or anything pertinent for publication in the Newsletter. One-liners, as well as longer articles are equally welcome.

Meetings of the Saint-Domingue S*I*G* are held on the third Monday of February, April, June (Pool Party), August, October, and December at 7:30 p.m. For more details, contact Augusta Elmwood (contact information at the bottom of this page). Link to photos from the December 2000 meeting.

Membership Requirements

Membership in the Jefferson Genealogical Society is a pre-requisite to membership in the S*I*G*. The fee for joining J.G.S. is $20.00 ($25.00 per couple) for the first year (includes a J.G.S. Surname Index and their bi-monthly newsletter) and $10.00 ($15.00 per couple) per year thereafter (includes the bi-monthly newsletter). Applicants should make checks payable to Jefferson Genealogical Society.

Membership in the Saint-Domingue Special Interest Group is free, but is limited to only members of J.G.S. There is an annual fee for the quarterly Saint-Domingue Newsletter — $US 9.00, domestic or foreign mail. Make checks payable to Augusta Elmwood, not to the S*I*G*, and send them to the J.G.S. address below, along with the membership and Surname Index forms. Note: this rate applies only to J.G.S/S*I*G* members. See below for non-member subscription rates.

Please do not combine funds for the two organizations ! Send all paperwork and checks to the J.G.S. address below. Appropriate items will be forwarded to me. When joining after 1 October, please indicate if the money is for the current year or for the upcoming one.

A non-membership subscription to the current year of The Saint-Domingue Newsletter is also available, for $US 12.00, domestic or foreign mail. (Make check payable to Augusta Elmwood, and send it directly to me at my home address below.) This fee is for The Saint-Domingue Newsletter only and does not include membership in either J.G.S. or the Saint-Domingue S*I*G*.

Back issues of the The Saint-Domingue Newsletter are $US 3.00 each, domestic; $US 4.00, foreign orders. Presently, there are 54 back issues : 1989 - 1 (no surname index); 1990 - 5; 1991-2002 - 4 issues for each year. Order the entire set for a reduced price of $US 70.00, domestic or foreign orders. When ordering back issues, no stamps or envelopes are necessary. Membership is not required to purchase back issues. Order a complete set of back issues and receive a free complimentary copy of the bibliography mentioned below!

Publications Available

Available from the S*I*G*:.. a 35-page selective, annotated bibliography listing works essential to Saint-Domingue and West Indies genealogy and history, including journals, microforms, maps. Send $US 5.00 (no envelope) to the address below.

Addresses for the two organizations are as follows:

 Augusta B. Elmwood
1514 St. Roch Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70117-8347
Jefferson Genealogical Society
Post Office Box 961
Metairie, LA 70004-0961

Questions concerning the Saint-Domingue Special Interest Group should be directed to S*I*G* leader Augusta Elmwood, at the New Orleans address above. Questions concerning J.G.S. should be mailed to the Metairie box number above.

S*I*G* and Society funds are limited—please be sure to include the customary SASE (or two International Reply Coupons for foreign mail) with all correspondence requiring a reply.

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