Community Focus : Seaford Town - A community of Germans
It was 182 years ago that the Seaford Town community in Westmoreland was established by disbanded soldiers who came to Jamaica as indentured workers after their period of conscription to the German armies had ended.
“There is no one here who can trace their roots back to Germany, unless they are going to do it through the Registrar General’s Department or a website they have named Ancestry or something like that,” community historian Fitzroy Chambers told the WESTERN STAR.
Approximately 300 persons, many of them fair-skinned, live in the community.
“I have never met a person who can say ‘I have a cousin in Germany’ who is in Berlin or anything like that. When the mini museum was up we used to get a lot of visitors from Germany because most of them, for some reason, like staying in Negril and a lot of the bus drivers and tour operators know about Seaford Town. We used to get persons coming from as far as Ocho Rios. Every ambassador from Germany that comes here from Germany has visited Seaford Town,” he added.
Seaford Town, commonly called ‘German Town’, is considered one of the best pineapple farming areas in Jamaica. It was named after one Lord Seaford, the owner of the property who gave 500 acres of land towards the settlement of the immigrants.
The arrival of the Germans followed the Sam Sharpe Rebellion in 1831, which saw many of the sugar estates in western Jamaica being destroyed. The Germans landed at Reading Wharf but did not encounter the riches they were told awaited them. Instead, they had to hack their way through thick forests in unfamiliar territory to get to Seaford Town.