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Story of Surnames in Grenada

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

The surnames used in Grenada are of a reflection of our colonial past in which both the British and French ruled over Grenada, and were our masters. To date, the transatlantic slave trade and chattel slavery had the most impact on the origin of surnames in Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique. There is also evidence of African names in surnames as well.


Common British surnames in Grenada:

  • Charles

  • Joseph

  • Thomas

  • Williams

  • Alexander

  • Lewis

  • John

  • Phillip

  • Noel

These surnames are all British in origin, indicative of the last names of British slave owners.


According to an article: Marking an "X" Exploring the history of Grenada's surnames by John Angus Martin, "the plurality of Grenadian family names today, and the most popular ones at leas, are derived from the first names of the last enslaved male ancestors."



Common African surnames

The presence of African surnames can be most seen on the sister isles of Carriacou and Petit Martinique. Most are reflective of the Akan tribe which is one of the three tribes known to be the homeland of our ancestors: Yoruba, Igbo and Akan.


Examples of surnames:

  • Quashie

  • Quamina

  • Cuffie

  • Cudjoe

Source: Marking an "X" Exploring the history of Grenada's surnames by John Angus Martin


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