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448Richards and a question about Saints' family names e.g. Yon

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  • jamesteebee
    Oct 12, 2006
      Hi Everett,

      Yes, I had read on this forum about your great-grandmother leaving
      the island for the US. It is, of course, not impossible that Sophia
      Richards was related to your ancestor in some way. I don't have her
      dates - am awaiting these details - but she would have been born in
      the 1880s or 1890s.
      Was your Elizabeth white? My great-grandmother Sophia was not(and
      from my reading, by the time of the 1881 census, all but the London-
      sent administrators and soldiers were of mixed race). Her son
      Daniel was born in Port Elizabeth around 1920 and I know that his
      birth certificate classified him as coloured - his father was, by
      all accounts, a white Englishman, John Henry Brooks whom Sophia had
      met in P.E.
      This brings me to a general question, which I believe is a useful
      one for elucidation given that so many of us contributing to this
      forum know so little about how today's community on S.H. was formed,
      and here I mean in the specific. Everett, it may be that we are
      distantly related by blood, but I suppose it might also be true that
      my Richards line might simply begin with a Richards slave.The
      question is quite simply how did the Saints' get their names? Am I
      wrong to think that relatively few of the names from the 1814 census
      are present on the island today? Of course, I know that only the
      whites' names were recorded, the rest were simply counted under the
      categories blacks and Chinese.
      One name which was in the census and is still very present on the
      island, and which is also to be found in numbers in the Cape, is Yon.
      The references to the Yons in the 1814 census, however, don't get
      the same treatment as the others. Why was this? I have read
      somewhere on the internet that the origin of this name on the island
      is Chinese, not implausible, I suppose, but it does not convince me.
      Similarly, the statistic that Saints' have 25% of Chinese blood in
      their veins, which you can read on the web, must be wrong, surely:
      en masse, the Chinese labourers only stayed a few decades. I look
      forward to comments and explanations from historians out there.

      Thanks, Everett, for your post. I'm glad that this forum is being
      read. I have other questions for forum readers and for Dr
      Schulenberg, but for now this is all.


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