Inspired by the Environment
Annotto Bay, St.
Mary: Presence of annotto trees.
Bamboo Town, St.
Elizabeth: Presence of bamboo trees.
Trelawny: Cedar trees once said to have grown there.
Cinnamon Hill, near
Rose Hall, St. James: Cinnamon trees once said to have grown there. In
the 1800s Cinnamon Hill was owned by the Barretts, relatives of famed
English poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
St. Thomas: named after its mineral bath.
Portland: the site of an extinct volcano.
Clarendon: The bull head shape of the 3600 ft. mountain that stands as
the parish's highest point.
Canoe Valley, St.
Elizabeth: Many years canoes were made from the trees there.
St. Elizabeth: Large limestone craters or pits found in the area.
Hanover: When looked at from east to west, the 1789 ft. mountain
resembles a dolphin's nose, face and fins.
Fat Hog Quarter,
Hanover: Large number of hogs that used to populate the area.
Fern Gully, St.
Ann: Large number of ferns found there an amount said to be more
than anywhere else in the world.
Clarendon: The Spanish are said to have washed gold there.
Andrew: Is said to have been named after a large cotton tree that stood
there prior to the 1655 English conquest. The tree marked the half-way
point between Greenwich, St. Andrew a soldier base, to a fort in
Trelawny: The presence of the wait-a-bit thorn, believed to have been
brought to Jamaica by African slaves. As a result of its hardiness, in
Africa it was often used as hedges against wild animals.
Named after Historical Events or People
Arawak, St. Ann:
Named because of Arawak (Taino) remains found there.
August Town, St.
Andrew: The timing of full freedom for slaves, August 1838.
St. James: The killing of whales there.
Bull Bay, St.
Thomas: Once known as Cow Bay, is testament to the island's connection
to the time when buccaneers roamed the island hunting for wild cattle.
Portland: Named for Catherine Long, the wife of famed
pirate-turned-governor, Sir Henry Morgan and the sister of well-known
Jamaican historian, Edward Long. She is believed to have been the first
woman to scale the 5050 ft. high peak.
St. Catherine: Jamaica's 1962 independence from Britain.
Irish Town, St.
Andrew: Originally settled by the Irish.
Manchester,: Named for the title of the Duke of Manchester's eldest
son, William, while the parish itself is named after the Duke who
served as Governor of Jamaica from 1813-21.
Miranda Hill, St.
James: Former Spanish governor Alonzo de Miranda.
Montego Bay, St.
James: Has two possible origins. One has it named for the fact that the
Spanish slaughtered many hogs there and loaded lard in jars to ship to
Columbia. The Spanish word for lard is "mantega." The other has it
named after Montego de Salamanca, an early Spanish colonizer.
Nun's Pen, St.
Andrew: First owned by Haitian Henri D'Aquin whose daughters decided to
become nuns and led to D'Aquin's willing his land to the Catholic
Manchester: Named after Queen Victoria.
Thomas: Capt. Yhallahs, a privateer who frequented the area in the
1670s. Or it could simply come from the word 'yalos' meaning frost,
because the cliffs in that area have been thought to give an appearance
Owner Inspired Names
near Newcastle: Was used by British Admiral Lord Nelson as his country
residence while stationed in Jamaica at what is now known as Fort
Charles from 1777-79.
Appleton Estate in
St. Elizabeth is named after its original owner, James Appleton.
Bannister Bay, St.
Thomas: Col. Bannister, Governor of Surinam, who brought English and
Jewish colonists from Surinam in 1667.
Bowden, St. Thomas:
William Bowden, one of Lord Chancellor Oliver Cromwell's first 500
settlers in 1656.
Clarendon: The Earl of Carlisle, a governor of Jamaica from 1678-1680.
It is known for being the site of the first major battle following
British occupation of Jamaica when Capt. Du Casse of Santo Domingo
attacked the island in 1694 and was defeated.
Originally a property owned by Peter Duncans in 1784.
Sir William Trelawny, Governor of Jamaica from 1767-71 after the place
in England from which he came.
Grants Pen, St,
Andrew: Sir John Peter Grant, said to have been one of Jamaica's most
competent governors, from 1866-74.
Guys Hill, St.
Catherine: First owner, Richard Guy, said to have taken part in the
1655 Penn and Venables expedition that captured Jamaica for the English.
Manchester: Alexander George Heron who owned the estates of
Williamsfield, Chudleigh, Shooters Hill, Spitzbergen and Wigton. His
wish was to be buried at the top of Heron's Hill so that he would
remain in sight of his estates.
Trelawny: Named after its first settler, a man called Joe who built a
Clarendon: Samuel Long, who arrived with the Penn and Venables 1655
expedition, its original owner. Long was appointed Speaker of the House
of Assembly and later, Chief Justice.
May Pen, Clarendon:
Once part of an area of land owned by the Rev. William May, who came to
Jamaica as rector of the Kingston Parish Church in the 18th century and
was then transferred to Clarendon.
Rose Hall, St.
James: Rose Kelly, the first mistress of the infamous estate.
Clarendon: First owner, Jacob Sanguinetti, an Italian Jew.
Temple Hall, St.
Andrew: First owner, Thomas Temple. Temple Hall is where Sir Nicholas
Lawes, governor of Jamaica from 1718-22, who married Temple's daughter
in 1698, introduced the cultivation of coffee to the island in the
Inspired by Other Places around wth World
Elizabeth: Area in Scotland where owner Alexander Forbes came from.
Mandeville: Named after a place in Ireland.
Portland: Named after Bangor, Wales.
Bengal, on the
border of St. Ann and Trelawny, after a region in India.
Berlin, near Munro
College in St. Elizabeth: Named after the German capital, home city to
its first owner, Henry Bleinheim.
Calabar, St. Ann:
The name of a place in southeastern Nigeria from which many slaves came.
Elizabeth: Named after a place in Egypt, listed in the Bible as meaning
the "best of the land". In Jamaica it was first used as a church site.
Elizabeth: Name found also in Moravia, possibly used by Moravian
Missionaries to name a church there, in 1754.
Llandovery, St. Ann
and Llanrumney, St. Mary (once owned by Sir Henry Morgan): Llan means
holy place in Welsh, Morgan was Welsh and both are place-names found in
St. Ann: Region in India, a reminder of the number of indentured East
Indians who came to Jamaica in the mid-19th century to work on the
St. Elizabeth: Newmarket in England as is Newcastle in the Blue
Mountain Range named after the English, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
Manchester: the birthplace of National Hero, the Rt. Hon. Norman
Manley, is Scottish.
St. Elizabeth: Sir Donald Sangster, Jamaica's second prime minister.
Stoney Hill, St.
Andrew: Name of old house in Scotland.
Elizabeth: A popular London tavern.
Wai Rua, St.
Andrew: comes from New Zealand and means 'place by the river.'
Portland: A place in Wales. Its first owner, William Espeut also owned
Spring Garden Estate in Portland where he was believed to begin
breeding mongooses (imported from India) to kill
rats on sugar plantations.
Funny and Not-So Funny Names
Corn Puss Gap, St.
Thomas: For the actions of hikers, who, lost in the hills, caught a
cat, 'corned' it and ate it.
Clarendon: Comes from the phrase "far enough from courts and kings,"
credited to a Scotsman.
Manchester: Flogging as a method of punishment was meted out there.
Westmoreland: The site of a Scottish Missionary Society conference in
Grateful Hill, St.
Catherine: Baptist missionaries in gratitude for having been granted
land by an English squire to establish a church.
St. Elizabeth: Comes from the Maroon policy of maintaining a
comfortable distance from those outside Cockpit Country.
Judgment Cliff, St.
Thomas: Burial of the house of an evil Dutchman after the 1692
St. Elizabeth: The annual drought said to afflict that area.
St. Andrew: Name of a tavern that used to be located there.
Mary: comes from the Spanish for 'aura' meaning 'air or breeze' and
'cabeza' meaning head, resulting in a phrase that could be read as
Westmoreland: Spanish meaning 'plain by the sea.'
Tan an' See,
Trelawny: means literally 'stand and see' a beautiful view of open land.
Unity, St. James:
derived its name from the story of two brothers. The younger of the two
asked the elder to borrow £1000 in order to purchase land and the
elder refused and their relationship deteriorated. Sunday came and the
two went to church, encountering a sermon on the importance of unity.
The elder brother felt it was a sign and raised a loan to help his
younger brother purchase the land. They named it Unity.
Sibley (1978). Dictionary of Place-Names in Jamaica. Kingston:
Institute of Jamaica.