I was born in Trinidad, an island in the Caribbean, and my family history is very typical for the British West Indies. My ancestors include Huguenots and displaced nobility from France, field laborers from Madeira (Portugal), government clerks from England, estate overseers from Scotland, and merchants from Newfoundland (Canada).
I became interested in exploring my family history after I began having children of my own. It became really important to me that I be able to explain their heritage to them when they were older. I began by asking questions of relatives, and discovered that some of our family lines had already been researched. Soon, I had acquired alot of information and a genealogy program to track it. The next step was to begin the painstaking task of verifying the data that I do have, as well as continuing to follow lines back in time, therefore, it seemed only natural to publish this information on the Internet for others to review, comment on, and add to it.
The site called "Dean's Family History" contains basic genealogical information as it relates to our direct ancestors such as birth dates, occupation etc. In addition, I have attempted to provide information about the history and historical setting of each line as I understand it. It seems to me that the study of genealogy is made more substantial when one has an understanding of the historical happenings surrounding our ancestors' lives. As our history is primarily one of immigration to the New World, an understanding of the reasons behind someone leaving everything they know to pursue a life in a foreign land is imperative. Most of the time, these reasons are rooted in the belief that they will find a better life for themselves and their decendants. The least we can do to honor their courage and sacrifice is collect and preserve our genealogy.
After I began my research, it quickly became apparent that Internet information on genealogy in the Caribbean, and Trinidad and Tobago in particular, was scarce. I decided to do something about that, and volunteered to be the Country Coordinator for Trinidad and Tobago in the volunteer run CaribbeanGenWeb Region of the WorldGenWeb Project. Hence, TriniGenWeb was born. This evolved into becoming the Regional Coordinator for the entire CaribbeanGenWeb Project.
Another subject that lacked resources on the Internet was that of the migration of a substantial number of Madeiran Portuguese to the West Indies in the nineteenth century. As a result, I set up the Portuguese of the West Indies project with a fellow researcher. It is difficult to devote much time to this endeavour, but we try to put out one newsletter a year.