Archive for November, 2011


Fishpots were one of the tools of the fishermen of French heritage, especially those of the Carenage. Fishpots were NOT made of wood in a Triangular shape as some people believe. The shape was Hexagonal.


Fishpots were constructed of lianas called Whist. These lianas grew wild in the wooded areas of the islands, on Honduras Hill and on Hassel Island and other nearby islets.

The fishermen would go into the hills to harvest the lianas. These thick vines were debarked and split into thin strips, which were then worked smooth. The strips were then soaked in sea water to make the pliable so that they could be easily woven.

Fishpots were constructed of two panels, each in a hexagonal shape. (6 sided). A long narrow panel was woven to connect to the two hexagonal sides. The three panels were sewn together to make a box-like trap. very small lianas or twists of silk palm straw were used to sew the pieces together. A short, narrow panel was woven to make the funnel which would allow the fish to enter the trap. This also was “sewn’ onto the trap,
using twists of silk palm straw.

Once constructed, the fishpot was re-enforced with young saplings that had been debarked. Buoys of light wood were attached to the trap by a length of rope The bouys marked the spot where the fishpot was located, making easier to find them..


Some interesting marriage data

I decided to look into my records and figure how how many persons got married on St. Thomas, since persons from Saint-Barth started migrating to St. Thomas.

First 100 years.

Between 1799 and 1899.. there were 91 marriages performed and 426 children were born. There were 187 burials.

From 1900 to 1929

Between 1900 and 1929, there were 146 marriages and 596 children were born. This data was for the Carenage and the North Side. Till the end of 1929, there were a total of 1002 children born, Carenage and Mafolie combined.

I have no data for Mafolie area after 1928. Records were not available to me.

From 1799 to 1929, this is the breakdown of the marriages:

In 137 marriages, both persons were Saint-Barth migrants.

In 83 marriages, one partner was from Saint-Barth, the other from St. Thomas.

In 14 marriages, both partners were born on St. Thomas.

In 3 marriages one partner was from somewhere else, not Saint-Barth.

Between 1930 and 1939, there were 50 marriages.

In 7 marriages, both partners were from Saint-Barth.

In 23 marriages, one partner was from Saint-Barth, the other born on St. Thomas.

In 20 marriages both partners were born on St. Thomas.

There were 187 children born.

This is as close to a census as possible for that period where marriages are concerned.