Martha Elizabeth James

Treasure Beach Forum: Birth, Death, Marriage, Congratulations, etc.: Martha Elizabeth James
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Earl Moxam on Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 10:22 am: Edit Post

Today, April 19, is the 152nd birthday of my great-grandmother, Martha Elizabeth James.

She was born Martha Elizabeth Parchment in Great Bay (I believe) and later married my great-grandfather, Joseph Keith James, a bit of a legend in these parts, himself, popularly known as Joe Keet. I hope to write about him more extensively on the occasion of his birthday next month.

The couple produced a large brood. The names I have include daughters Medora, Edith and Alice, and sons, Ernest, Odel, Lambert, Cecil (Peewee), Alfred and Andrew. Iíd love for relatives who have more information to add any names I might have missed.

Alice married Norman Moxam, my beloved grandfather, and they produced their own large brood, including my father, Carl, which led, in due course, to my arrival on the scene, 101 years after she was born!

Granny Martha went blind in her later years, but that did not deter her from getting around in the yard. I was told, for example, that she had ropes tied from the back of the house to the kitchen and elsewhere, so that she could hold onto the rope and safely navigate her way to those essential locations.

I find putting a personís birth in historical perspective to be very interesting and useful. Martha was born just 24 years after the full abolition of slavery in Jamaica. The year of her birth Ė 1862 Ė was two years into the American Civil War and three years before Jamaicaís Morant Bay Rebellion.

She passed away in her 81st year, making the transition on January 18, 1943 (20 years after she lost her husband) so she lived through many of the significant post Emancipation events of Jamaican history and got to know many of her grandchildren, including my father and his siblings. They, in turn, shared little snippets about her with us, based on their childhood memories. That gives me a special sense of being connected to my past. Itís as if Iím able to reach back in time and touch her and some of my other ancestors and connect with their lifetime experiences.

That, for me, is a very special gift. I hope others find it so as well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eric on Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 11:25 am: Edit Post

What a lovely story, Earl. I'm looking forward to reading more.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Earl on Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 02:08 pm: Edit Post

Thank you, Eric! Hoping to write much more about our forebears in the community, and not just my direct ancestors.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Naman.L.James on Monday, April 21, 2014 - 03:22 pm: Edit Post

Hi Earl this is a remarkable story of the early years of this very fascinating family tree,i too will be quite eager to read your next instalment, please keep up this this great insight of our local history best wishes Naman


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gloria James on Monday, April 21, 2014 - 09:57 pm: Edit Post

thanks for the info on our family Earl,I remember papa use to tell us how granny Alice would make bammy and he would have to walk through old warf and go to GreatBay with them . Also my nephew did the family tree and he say Martha mother had slaves of her own he even find there names I think he say they migrate from England to Jamaica .


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Earl on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 09:10 am: Edit Post

Glad you appreciate the effort, Naman! This is an area of huge interest for me. Gloria, Martha herself was the product of a mixed (European/African) relationship, I believe. It is difficult to be definitive about some elements of these stories at this stage, but I would not be surprised if she had an English (slave owning) father and a colored mother. Of course, I'd be very interested to learn more from that research. I'm in contact with another one of your nephews who knows about it and can put me in contact.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By treaesur beach born on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 05:01 pm: Edit Post

With so many of the older folks deceased many years ago I personal think it's going to get a bit tricky to get the stories right.
I myself would love to get my family tree going but neglected to ask more questions when my grandmothers and grandfathers were alive.
On that note it was not even possible to do because they would have turned to me and say "Why so many questions" that was part of our up- bringing......you see there is lots more to the knowing that they would not have wanted to share.

Lots of you out there know exactly what I am trying to say, so therefore digging up family trees might not be that pleasant after all.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Helen Parchment-Reyes on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 11:38 am: Edit Post

This is such a great story Earl. Maybe you can talk with my father Artie Parchment in Great Bay, he has a great memory of the families back then. I always encourage him to write them down, because there is not many of his age still around.I am sure he should be able to give you some info....great job.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Earl on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 10:11 pm: Edit Post

Hi Helen! Your father is one of my favorite elders in the community! I've tested his memory to good effect on several occasions and am hoping to do so again. Thanks for the recommendation. You probably know he was one of my father's friends as well. Best regards. Earl


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Helen parchment-Reyes on Sunday, May 11, 2014 - 08:51 pm: Edit Post

Oh yes Earl, they were best of friends, they had such great respect for each other. As a matter of fact, just a few months ago he was telling me how devasted he felt when your father passed. He said he went to see where the incident occurred and put a stick in the water to see how the tide would react. He said he could not believe that his friend had really left him right there. They use to swim in that area as young boys, it was hard for him to comprehend. It brought tears to my eyes just to hear him talk of his friend like that. Your parents were such wonderful people, I use to love following my dad whenever he goes to visit them. Well good luck in your search my friend, and it you ever come to Miami, you know you always have a place to stay.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Earl on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 09:18 pm: Edit Post

Thanks for filling in the picture a bit more for me, Helen, regarding that important friendship between our respective fathers. That's precious!

Who knows, one of these days, I might just take you up on that Miami offer!

Best regards.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Marcia on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 05:14 pm: Edit Post

Wow, Helen's recollection of What Maas Artie did when Daddy passed just brought tears to my eyes. There was so much affection between them that it is not a surprise that that tragedy of November 19, 1986 would've impacted him so profoundly. But to know that they actually swam in that area as boys is a new piece of info. for me. Daddy always made sure to spend some money in his shop.
Please give my best to your dad. I was sorry to hear of the passing of Miss Ruby. Please extend condolence to him and to your siblings. And do tell Vernette and Rita that Marcia Moxam says "hello." It seems like only a short time ago that we were all children at Sandy Bank but time sure flies!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jeannie Casey on Friday, July 25, 2014 - 05:11 pm: Edit Post

I would love to read more on this family. You say one of their son's name was Lambert...could it have been David Latima James, if so he was my grandfather. My 92 year old mother was told he died when she was two years old. I however found him living in Florida where he died in 1974. Please help me with this is the correct family I would love to know about my maternal side of the family. I look forward hearing from anyone on this matter.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By just saying. on Saturday, July 26, 2014 - 03:16 pm: Edit Post

Now,we are all interested in our family trees. Why do we not PRESS the older LIVING people to GIVE US those information we desire.
We WAIT UNTIL, death arrives and then, we go seeking knowledge.

Fill up the BELLY(ies) of the elders. Take them down to the beaches...FEET, IN SAND and water. Let the FRESH Sea AIR blow into their Nostrils, to their Memories. And ASK,to GET the IMPORTANCE:

Me,not smartest person on PLANET.And I CAN GIVE U this INSIGHT. (I may be smart after all)

did your daddy told you to say that!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jeannie on Sunday, July 27, 2014 - 01:11 pm: Edit Post

I agree and would love to see the finally results. If someone could take great notes and put them into a final draft I would be willing to pay for the price of copying and mailing to me.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fabian on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 12:10 pm: Edit Post

Hi Earl, I have been doing research on my family ancestry for some time now and hope to publish a book this year. in my search I have come across a wealth of information on families in South St Elizabeth and has confirmed what the older folks have always said, that most if not all families from that area are somewhat related. Your great grandmother Martha was indeed from Great Bay and of course she was of English ancestry mixed with African and possible others. Her parents were Nicholas Brian Parchment and Eliza. She had a sister, Ellen Rebecca who was christened on April 5,1861. Martha was christened on July 30, 1862.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Earl on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 11:09 pm: Edit Post

Thank you very much for this, Fabian! Every new piece of information helps. I had been trying to discover her parentage, so this will save me some of the leg work. Best
wishes with the book. Consider me your first purchaser!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jeannie on Wednesday, August 06, 2014 - 01:26 pm: Edit Post

Does anyone have any pictures of Martha Elizabeth Parchment James and her family that you are willing to download onto this site? I would love to see them she is my great grandmother.

Thanks in advance.


[If you have pictures but are not able to add them, please send them to use at webmaster@treasurebeach.net and we'll post them. -TBNet]


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Odessey on Wednesday, August 06, 2014 - 06:52 pm: Edit Post

Hi fabian...just curious about what your research says about why these people from the English isles ended up in Jamaica.
My family is of irish-Indian heritage. The Indians ended up there as indentured servants for the most part.there are differing versions of why the people from England ended up
Down there. I wonder if they ended up there like they did in Australia and other British territories, the medically infirmed or the criminal elements.there is also another story that say that there was a missionary ship that got wrecked in the Jamaica-Haiti pass and the missionaries ended up settling in Jamaica.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Archie on Thursday, August 07, 2014 - 09:50 am: Edit Post

There is also no "other story", the only story was the one about the ship, which seems to have been imaginary, although possible. Was it not only Australia, and only prisoners who were sent? Don't you know that England colonised Jamaica?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Earl on Friday, August 08, 2014 - 06:55 pm: Edit Post

Odessey, just to be absolutely clear: Jamaica was captured by England from Spain in 1655 and was quickly colonized and exploited mainly for the production of sugar and its by-products. It was not a penal colony, as was the case of Australia.

The English reinforced the wicked system of slavery in Jamaica for the cultivation of sugar cane, which served to enrich England and Wales, and later Scotland, when the Scots joined the United Kingdom in 1707.

So, there's no mystery regarding how the English came to Jamaica, in the first place.

What is somewhat different about Treasure Beach is that it would seem that this was not a community that was ideal for establishing large sugar plantations, and I'm assuming that there was therefore not a large black (slave) population in the immediate community.

It was here that a group of Scottish settlers reportedly ended up via a shipwreck, in the first half of the 19th century; hence the large concentration of white, mainly Scottish residents (and now their descendants) rather than English settlers.

Many of the prominent surnames in this community would seem to support the story of a strong Scottish presence, historically.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By odessey on Saturday, August 09, 2014 - 06:46 pm: Edit Post

Very interesting indeed Earl.Thanks for the info,very helpful.On a related topic:do you think that Scotland should secede from the UK as they are threatening to do again,but this time they look like they may do more than just flap their gums about it!?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Earl on Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 10:05 pm: Edit Post

Odyssey, that's for the people of Scotland to decide, of course, but after a union lasting more than 300 years, it must be a difficult choice for many of them. I believe the result could be quite close and will leave a lot of people sad, whichever way the referendum goes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tameika Williams on Monday, September 08, 2014 - 02:27 pm: Edit Post

Did Cecil (Peewee) James have a daughter named Elvira?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fabian on Monday, September 15, 2014 - 02:12 pm: Edit Post

Hi Earl, your great grandfather, Nicholas Parchment was born in 1836 and died on December 1,1924 at Sandy Bank. His wife Eliza had predeceased him and it appears that he was cared for by his daughter Martha and her family until his death.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Earl on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 03:23 pm: Edit Post

Thanks for this, Fabian! Great!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tameika Williams on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 08:12 pm: Edit Post

Hi my name is Tameika Williams and Elvira James was my grandma. I know her father was Cecil James. Is this the same Cecil they called Peewee?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By JonD on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 04:53 am: Edit Post

Hi all,

Quick question for any historians/descendants of Martha Elizabeth Parchment and Joseph Keith James.

I am trying to see if a James on my family tree is linked to these two.

My G G Grandmother was Ellen James b 1861 who was married to Thomas Parchment.

I am (fairly) certain that is is the same Thomas Parchment that Earl mentioned in a previous thread that had a dispute with Joseph Keith James printed in a early Gleaner article.

Ellens father was Richard James (named on her marriage certificate). I have no date of birth for him.

In short, has anyone got any information that could help me fill in the missing links?