Sometimes it’s a bit hard finding a great house, even when it is standing there right in front of you. I knew, via old maps, the approximate location of Hillside Estate. I drove a short distance out of Hayes, left the paved road and headed through the cane fields toward a small hamlet that existed on the side of well…the hill side. I drove past a large hulk of a house adjacent to the ancient stone irrigation ditch and quizzed the villagers. They indicated that this village was indeed called Hillside but knew nothing of a great house. I then reversed my direction and drove up into the yard of the largest hose in the neighborhood. I asked the inhabitants, who worked for the sugar estate, when the house had been built. They indicated that they thought it had been built in the 1960s. The old house had burned down and this house was built on the foundations. Ah ha…sure enough, underneath the overhanging second floor were the obvious walls of the original house. The square-cut stone walls belied its older construction.
A little historical data can be gleaned from the old Jamaica Almanacs. In 1878 the attorneys for the estate were Latreille J. R. and Thomas Ellis. Gordon T. R. was the overseer. In 1900 the estate was owned by Miss Harvey and Mrs. F.G. Pearce and the attorney was F.M. Ellis. In 1904 they had 591 acres of sugar cane and 5,482 acres in other uses. The mill was steam powered using the centrifugal method. They produced 187 hogheads of sugar and 197 puncheons of rum. Another little detail gleaned by the historical record was that the local newspaper ran an ad on 15 October 1814 stating: Runaway Slave-William, an Eboe, to Hillside Estate, Vere, and no mark.
That’s about all I have on the Hillside Estate in the old Vere Parish (now part of Clarendon Parish). If anyone else has additional information, I would appreciate receiving it.
This is fabulous and timely. Hillside shows up on some documents for my family. That is where one of my great great great grandfather’s daughters was living. It’s timely as I will be visiting Jamaica next month and I want to see the area now that I have learned my family has roots there.
Thank you also for this and the post on Morelands were my great great great grandfather was living and working at the time. It would be fabulous to find photos of the estate when it was in good repair. More digging for me.
Glad you liked it. How was your trip to Morelands?
I loved it. It was great to follow in the steps of my ancestors. I could almost picture my great-great-great grandfather riding in on his horse. I took a lot of photos. I f you want a guest blog post about Chesterfield, I would be happy to write one.
I meant to add in my original comment that, at the time of Emancipation, Hillside Estate (Jamaica Vere 120), Vere, was owned by owned by the heirs of Thomas John Parker. The payout for the slaves who were emancipated was was £7,554 4S 6D.
There was a very long and drawn out legal battle about Hillside and the other estates owned by the heirs of Thomas John Parker. It was not settled until the 1860s.
I think records for Hillside in 1900 may be incorrect. I believe the 1900 owners of Hillside may have been Mr Francis George Harvey and Mrs Harriet Chavannes Pearce (nee Harvey). Francis and Harriet were the son and daughter of James and Marie Sophie Harvey (nee Chavannes). Harriet Harvey had married Frank Leopold Pearce. Marie Sophie died July 24 1871 and was memorialised in a southern window in the Alley Church (St Peter’s) Anglican. James Harvey was a JP and a member of the House of Assembly for Vere. In 1866 James was the Attorney for Sutton’s Pasture, Parnassus, the Lodge and Raymond’s. I believe James was leasing, and residing at, Hillside (which he also referred to as Hill Side in at least one letter) in 1866 but by his death in June 1876 he owned Raymond’s and Hillside.
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I believe that the 1900 owners of Hillside may have actually been Mr. Francis George Harvey and Mrs Harriet Chavannes Pearce (nee Harvey), son and daughter of James Harvey and Marie Sophie Harvey (nee Chavannes). Harriet was married to Frank Leopold Pearce. I believe in 1866 James was leasing and residing at Hillside. Marie Sophie died 24 July 1871 and was memorialized in a window in the Alley Church (St Peter’s Anglican). James had been a JP, Member of the House of Assembly for Vere and in 1866 was Attorney for Sutton’s Pasture, Parnassus, the Lodge and Raymond’s.
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