The Austins of Jamaica

James Robertson’s Maps of Jamaica | National Library of Scotland
The map of Jamaica was produced by James Robertson from land surveys of Jamaica
between 1796 and 1799 and published in 1804.

The story of my Austin family begins with Charles Austin, sr. (d. 1794 or 1797) who married Mary Ann Hanley (d.1795) on 20 Jun 1778. He was the grandfather of my 3rd great-grandmother Mary Ann Kellerman, née Austin. Charles, sr. practiced in Jamaica as an attorney. He served as a lieutenant in the Kingston Regiment foot militia in 1784 and as a major in the Port Royal Foot Regiment in 1787 and 1790. His will declared that:

I Charles Austin of Kingston, Attorney at Law... I give and devise and bequeath unto my dearly beloved wife Mary Ann Austin all my Estate real and Personal for her life and for the purposes of maintaining and educating my beloved son Charles Austin now residing in England... I nominate my wife Mary Ann Austin my executrix, John Sims of Kingston Attorney at Law and Hugh Barnett of the Parish of Trelawney Esquire my Executors. In trust to maintain and support my mountain plantation, Real and Personal property until Charles is 21.

At the time of his father’s death, Charles, jr. (b. 29 Dec 1801 - d. abt. 1824) was living in England, but by 1801 he had returned to Jamaica and was living with his “house-keeper” (a term sometimes used to describe a mistress or common-law wife). Her name was Mary, and the couple had three daughters Mary Ann Austin (b. 11 Dec 1801- d. 1897), Charlotte Austin and Alicia Kendal Austin, and two sons Horatio Campbell Austin and Charles Barnet Austin. In 1809, the latter two children were baptized.

James Robertson’s 1804 map of Jamaica from land surveys of Jamaica between 1796 and 1799 lists Austin’s Galloway House coffee mountain—on the upper-right corner of the above map, next to “Kellerman’s”. It is listed as “Burton’s,” the previous owners. We know from his will that Galloway House was a coffee “mountain.” Another property (a livestock “pen”) Barbecue River was also listed on the map. Barbecue River Pen is located just above the “P” in Port Royal at the top-centre of the map. Jamaica Almanacs listed his ownership of enslaved people on Stafford Hall and Galloway House.

Charles, jr. served as an ensign in the Bull Bay Company, Port Royal Regiment, Foot Militia in 1808 and later in 1817 as a Lt. Col. Port Royal Regiment of Foot.

In a book by Benjamin M’Mahon—Jamaica Plantership: Eighteen Years Employed in the Planting Line on that Island. (London, Effingham Wilson: J. Matthew Printer. 1839). The author, a young Irishman, tells of working as a bookkeeper on the Bloxburgh Estate. He writes an extremely uncomplimentary account of Charles Austin’s character. M’Mahon writes that he was “a monster in human shape,” who used “seductive and treacherous arts” to rin his son-in-law, Thomas Penny Kellerman, who I’ll write about at a later date.

Austin’s daughter Mary Ann (1801-1897) became attached to Thomas Penny Kellerman—they may not have ever married. When Mary Ann died aged 98, though, the death register at Half-Way Tree Jamaica described her as the “widow” of Thomas Penny Kellerman. The couple had seven children: Ellen, Charlotte, Jacob, Ann, Elizabeth Matilda, Sophia, and Thomas Kellerman. 

Charles Austin died in about 1824 or perhaps 1826. Mary Ann died in 1826. I’ve seen both their wills, and I’ll tell you it is heart-breaking to see human beings passed on as inherited property, especially when they are specifically named in a will—it is all so dehumanizing.

I’ll tell a more detailed story of the Kellerman family at another time.

Austin Family

1-Charles Austin Sr. d. 1794
 + Mary Ann Hanley d. 15 Aug 1795, Kingston Jamaica, WI
...2-Charles Austin Jr. b. 29 Dec 1780, Kingston Jamaica, WI, d. Cir 1826, 
     Jamaica, W.I.
    + Mary d. Abt Jun 1826
......3-Mary Ann Austin b. 11 Dec 1801, Kingston, Jamaica, WI, d. 1897, 
        Tankerville, St. Andrew, Jamaica, WI
       + Thomas Penny Kellerman JP b. 1788, c. 19 Jun 1788, St. Mary's, 
        Lambeth, Surrey, England, d. 21 Sep 1834, Philadelphia, Penn., USA
.........4-Ellen Kellerman 
          + John Spence 
.........4-Charlotte Penny Kellerman d. 1907
          + Thomas Norman Cripps b. London, England, UK, d. 30 Mar 1897, 
           Kingston, Jamaica, WI
.........4-Jacob Kellerman b. 5 Jan 1820, Kingston, Jamaica, BWI
.........4-Ann Kellerman b. 28 May 1822, Kingston, Jamaica, BWI
          + George Grant Scotland b. 1818, d. 21 Nov 1868, Anotto Bay, Jamaica
.........4-Elizabeth Matilda Kellerman b. 11 Feb 1826, M K Penn, Kingston, 
           Jamaica, WI
          + Donald Binnie Campbell b. 14 Nov 1825, Water Lane, Kingston, 
           Jamaica, WI, c. 31 May 1826, Kingston Jamaica, WI, d. 6 Jul 1855, Kingston, 
           Jamaica, WI
.........4-Thomas Kellerman b. 1831, USA?, d. 9 Aug 1835, USA
.........4-Sophia Kellerman b. 1833, USA, d. 28 Jul 1835, USA
......3-Charlotte Austin 
......3-Horatio Campbell Austin 
......3-Charles Barnett Austin 
......3-Alicia Kendall Austin