About Orange Tree Valley
Orange Tree Valley was the original name of an estate in what is now the parish of Trelawny on Jamaica’s north coast. King Charles II granted the patent of the property to Edward Drake on 12 July 1678, and by the 1750s as Jamaica was entering its “golden age” as a sugar colony, it consisted of about a thousand acres, making it the second-largest estate in that part of the island after Good Hope.
At that stage, Orange Tree Valley belonged to Robert Allen. He seems to have hit hard times, and on 9 June 1757 he sold the property to Herbert Newton Jarrett, a successful 33-year-old planter, proprietor of Bamboo Estate, further west in the parish of Hanover. A widower with an eleven-year-old son, Herbert Newton Jarrett now based himself at what became known simply as Orange Valley. A year or so after buying the estate, he married its former owner’s sister, Ann Allen, with whom he had five more children – four daughters and a son. Orange Valley continued to belong to Herbert Newton Jarrett’s descendants until the 1920s.
This website is about the generations (see right) of those descendants. The bulk of the information comes from two remarkable works compiled by Herbert Newton Jarrett’s great-grandson, William James Kerr – the “WJK” referred to throughout. He published The Genealogical Tree of the Family of Jarrett of Orange Valley, Jamaica, and Camerton Court, Co. Somerset and History of the Name and Lineage of the Family of Kerr privately around 1900.
Although some of the website is just family tree, in many cases there has been enough material to construct mini-biographies of members of the family, offering intriguing glimpses into other ages and worlds. It is all very much work in progress. Additions, amendments, suggestions, corrections, details of long-lost cousins, interesting snippets of biographical information, extracts from letters and diaries, old portraits and photos (in digital form), links to other websites … all are very welcome.
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