Looking For The Aikmans Of Jamaica - St. Andrew, Stoney Hill
Letter I Wrote To The Aikman Family Website Back In 2001
I could use your help. My mother was an Aikman... Vida Feliceta Aikman Robinson. She was born in Jamaica, West Indies. Her family always told stories about the Aikmans coming from Scotland... and that they were shipbuilders/merchants. The name was very rare in the islands. So rare, that everyone with the surname Aikman was related in some way, shape or form. At one point most of the Aikmans lived "compound-style ala the Kennedys" in a section of Kingston called Cross Roads. The area was dubbed "Aikman Yard." Many of them were teachers, choirmasters, nurses etc.
Anyway... I began research on the family history... and this is what I got so far -- and I'm going by memory....
I went to Scotland and got General information on the Aikmans. The family decended from ancient tribes - The Celts and The Picts. They supposedly came over from Brittany (France) and finally settled in Scotland... Fast Forward a couple of hundred of years... There was a Aikman who gave up all his lands and went off to Italy to paint. His name was William Aikman.
He was very famous. He even painted members of the Royal Family In Scotland... supposedly most of the Aikman settled in the Glascow area... which I guess makes sense since it's more of an industrial center... and according to stories I always heard some Aikmans were into shipbuilding. The last I heard there weren't that many Aikmans left in Scotland. There were something like 500 in the phone directory.
My research then led me to a John Aikman who came to America from Scotland some time around the 1750's, I believe. He supposedly settled in Charleston, South Carolina first... And sometime around the Revolotionary War he picked up and moved to Jamaica, where he reportedly began a newspaper. That's as far as I've gotten. I'm assuming that he's one of my ancestors since because of the rarity of the Aikman name in Jamaica.
At one point, my mother stumbled unto cousins from what use to be Spanish Honduras. She saw her maiden name... and asked them about their history. And they told a similar tale about the Aikmans coming from Scotland etc. I also found out years ago that some Aikmans also migrated to Australia.
Oh... another piece of information... in Jamaica, there were intermarriages between the Aikmans and the Forbes, The Berrys and the McGeechies (sp?). Especially the Forbes... a very Scottish family. That's everything I know so far. A cousin of mine Dr. Noelle Aikman practices in New Jersey as an OB-GYN. That's about all I know on my family history.
My Grandfather's name was Nathan Aikman. He married Ritinella Morrison and had four children: Evadne, Nathan, Oscar and Vida (who was my mother)..
Does any of this ring any bells for anyone?