Author, Christopher Martin, takes you on his journey from British Guiana through London, Hamburg, South Africa, New York, and New Jersey in search of his ancestors. This book describes in detail the author’s travels to find his lineage.
Growing up, Christopher Martin heard many stories about his family history, but little about his maternal grandfather. He was not alone. His brother and sister harbored a similar curiosity. As their mother approached the end of her life, the siblings decided to extract as much information about their family history as she knew. Although many clues were unearthed, the details remained a mystery. What emerged was a promise, a commitment to their mother to try to find their grandfather and bring peace of mind to the family.
He was a German Jewish diamond merchant who came to British Guiana on behalf of a diamond syndicate. According to the author, “This was the clue that my mother gave us.” Years later, while on vacation in England, the author began his search for answers. “Since my mother was born in British Guiana, South America, I went to the British Overseas Colonial archives to follow the clues. They led me to the British National Archives, Kew Gardens and the British Museum, also in London."
During his thirteen years of intermittent research in London, Christopher had to trace business activities in the South Africa gold and diamond trade around Kimberly and back again through Amsterdam, a major center for the DeBeers diamond conglomerate. As the picture became clearer, more clues about family life in Hamburg came into focus.
The author stitches together the intriguing threads of information that connected London, Hamburg, New York, and British Guiana (now the Republic of Guyana), and the diamond and gold industries at the end of the 19th century.
Martin says, “I felt like a detective, as I suppose most persons who undertake similar searches must feel. But the journey was most rewarding and gratifying and, at the end, I believe I found my grandfather.”
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