Madeiran Portuguese Migration to Guyana, St. Vincent, Antigua and Trinidad – By Jo-Anne S. Ferreira

Madeiran Portuguese Migration to Guyana, St. Vincent, Antigua and Trinidad:

A Comparative Overview

Madeira Island click for info

Madeira Island click for more info – Wikipedia also click map to enlarge

By Jo-Anne S. Ferreira – University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad.

THIS PAPER REPRESENTS a preliminary exploration of Madeiran migration to the Anglophone Caribbean.1 It seeks to consider the phenomenon of Madeiran migration in the context of the wider Anglophone Caribbean by comparing and contrasting the waves of Madeiran migration across the region, including the extent and rate of cultural assimilation in each new home of Madeiran migrants. Apart from the primary sources available for the Portuguese community of Trinidad, mainly secondary sources have been used and assessed for the other territories as an initial basis for comparison. This is done particularly where the experiences of migrants have been reportedly similar.2

During the 140 years of Madeiran Portuguese migration to the Anglophone Caribbean, a period lasting from 1835 to 1975, Portuguese and Luso-West Indians have remained a minority group within the wider host societies.  

Note added:   “Luso” is from the Roman province Lusitania which is roughly the ancestor of the modern state of Portugal in the Iberian Peninsula. Luso-West Indians are Portuguese mixed with other West Indian racial groups.

Within the local Euro-Creole communities, the Portuguese were in most cases a minority within a minority, and in a few cases a majority within a minority. In the history of the Caribbean, Madeirans constituted the only significant post-emancipation European group across the Anglophone territories, significant both in relative size and in their socioeconomic contributions to the development of the region, although their numbers remained generally lower than for other ethno linguistic groups of European and non-European origin, the latter including Africans, Indians, Chinese and Arabs.

Read complete paper: Madeiran Portuguese Migration to Guyana, St. Vincent, Antigua and Trinidad – By Jo-Anne S. Ferreira

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  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 04/04/2015 at 12:46 am

    Thanks, Cyril.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 04/04/2015 at 1:57 am

    There are a few Guyanese mentioned in this link:

  • de castro  On 04/04/2015 at 3:43 am

    Did romans ever ventured/invaded Madeira…were .Lusitanians. A roman tribe ?

    Will have to read on or up to understand better migration post roman conquest
    ….in 55BC invasion of UK (tribal some worshiped gods others pagans)
    hence Adrian wall was built to keep northern barbarians/pagans out.
    Romans then adopted the tribal gods as their own to establish its administrative
    control of the “godfearing” tribes.

    Am inclined to believe romans sent expeditionary fleet or conquered/invaded Madeira and canary islands ……

    Article raises more questions than answers.

    However very interesting info on migratory history.

    Salud Cyril….

  • guyaneseonline  On 04/04/2015 at 4:03 am

    Hi all..

    You can get more info on the history and geography of Madeira by checking this link:

    Thanks to Clyde Duncan for sending this entry to Guyanese Online.
    Kind regards,

  • gigi  On 04/08/2015 at 11:06 am

    Interesting read. My father’s parents were Portuguese immigrants.

    Note: The rest of this blog entry has been deleted by the editor of this blog..
    In future, this will be done to reduce the incidence of racial slurs and personal attacks on blog commentators.

  • albert  On 04/08/2015 at 2:29 pm

    It was interesting to read something about Portuguese/Madeira. My maternal side has strong Portugese roots with some Welch. While my paternal side is African. … I have a mix up color family with the older fair skin ones thinking much of their color……as usual in Guyana. Most are scattered in North America.
    I have seen Wales. Nothing much there…..a relatively poor section of UK but many retired Welch American have returned. It seem like a comfortable place to live with a good pension.

    Never had the chance to visit Portugal or realise the significance of the Portuguese contribution to Guyana. Most have now migrated…US/Canada.

  • Randy De Freitas  On 10/01/2017 at 10:35 am

    Very good article. I now have to make time to do what I always wanted to do.

  • tata  On 10/18/2017 at 8:10 pm

    You all now need to get a DNA because having Portuguese roots also means you have BLACK blood. Never mind the COLOR! What you don’t know will certainly educate you. Light skin is superficial, claim your ROOTS!
    My WHITE SKIN relatives were SHOCKED to learn that they were more BLACK than who they thought they were. Trust me, AncestryDNA will certainly expose many of our bigotry.

  • Albert  On 10/19/2017 at 5:33 pm

    “Trust me, AncestryDNA will certainly expose many of our bigotry.”

    It’s the skepticism in me. They sell a service but give little explanation as to how it works. Could someone who know explain how your DNA show our ethnic/racial profile/history. I did my layman reading on genetics but am not sold on this new product.e

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