Scottish Place Names
- Bridgetown, Barbados

For comparability with other cities around the world, Bridgetown has been defined as the entire urban area from the Grantley Adams International Airport in the east to Holetown on the West Coast (Platinum Coast). This area takes in most of the parish of St. Michael, the coastal section of the parish of Christ Church, the south-western corner of the parish of St. Thomas and the southern part of the parish of St. James. Of the names of the 181 suburbs and neighbourhoods that have been identified to date in Greater Bridgetown, 46 (25.4%) can be found in Scotland or are based on Scottish family names. Of course, many of the names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well, but at least 18 of them (10.0%) are unique to Scotland, or are readily identifiable with places in Scotland that are based on the same names.
Picture of a Bridgetown building via Wikimedia.

Neighbourhoods, districts and outlying suburbs with names that occur only in Scotland and not elsewhere in the British Isles, and/or are definitely, or most probably, of Scottish origin are:

Some of the following localities may also have a direct or indirect Scottish connection but these names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well:

Scottish place names are also found in other parts of the island of Barbados. Obvious examples include Bairds, Carmichael, Castle Grant, Christie, Cleland, Douglas, Moncrieffe, Sterling and Sutherland Road. Names of English origin dominate, however, making both Bridgetown and the whole island of Barbados one of the most heavily English-influenced parts of the former British Empire.

It may interest readers to learn that Bridgetown is one of only a handful of cities in the former British colonies that has no indigenous place names. This is because Barbados was completely uninhabited when the British landed there in the early seventeenth century, though signs of earlier habitation were subsequently uncovered.

Readers interested in learning more about the subject of Scottish emigration to Barbados, particularly during the 17th and 18th centuries, would find the following publication highly relevant: "Barbados and Scotland, Links 1627-1877", by David Dobson, available from the Genealogical Publishing Company and Clearfield Company, Baltimore, Maryland ( ). This book, published in 2005, is of special significance to genealogists since Barbados was the springboard for the settlement of other British colonies such as Jamaica and South Carolina.


© Ian Kendall
Melbourne, Australia, August 2005

If you wish to contact Ian about his research, his e-mail address is

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