There have long been links between Scotland and Jamaica. As early as 1656, 1200 prisoners of war were deported to Jamaica by Oliver Cromwell. Later, many Scots migrated to Jamaica in search of their fortune. Famously, Robert Burns was set to sail for Jamaica before the success of the Kilmarnock Edition of his Poems Chiefly in a Scottish Dialect persuaded him to remain in Scotland.
Many Scots became plantation owners and wealthy merchants in Jamaica, frequently based on the exploitation of slaves. Often they would return to Scotland, having made their fortune. Others would leave money to the poor in their home parishes. One such was William Duffes (or Duffus), from Deskford in Banffshire.
The Kirk Session records of Deskford include a list of the recipients of £15 left to the poor of the parish:
List of the Poor of the Parish of Deskford nominated by the Revd Walter Chalmers Minister of Deskford & George Duffes in Knappycawset in terms of the will to receive the Legacy bequeathed by the late Mr William Duffes of Jamaica 17th November 1826
You can find more information on the records of Deskford - including nearly 700 heads of families from 1834 to 1840 - here.
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