Research into the genealogy and history of Antillean families

In 2006, CM98 created a 'Genealogical and Historical Working Group for Antillean Families' ('Atelier de généalogie et d’histoire des familles antillaises', or AGHFA). The purpose of this working group is assist Antilleans in researching their family history by discovering links to their ancestral past and its roots in the history of slavery and emancipation. In doing so, they aim to create family connections and engage in a process of healing by creating a clearer sense of Antillean identity in the present. To access information relating to specific geneologies, AGHFA uses archives that date from 1848 (the year that France abolished slavery and in which the former slaves were given a civic status) and offers to its members lessons concerning the history of slavery and slave society. Through its work, members may discover their ancestral links to slaves, freed men and women, and plantation owners. The information supplied may inform them about: whether their ancestors were born in Africa or on the plantation, and details of their original names; any tasks to which they were assigned on the plantation; the colour of their skin; their links to freed slaves who may also have possessed slaves; and their links to working class, white European families ('les petits blancs'), as well as to plantation owners. This is described as an emotional journey of discovery that serves to uncover a history linked to trauma and suffering, but one that is also constructive in its aims to honour ancestral memory and recreate identities today.  

Links to associations (collaborations): 
Outcome: 
Ongoing