Caymans' search for Cornish descendants

By Cornish Times in Other News

A search has been launched to find direct descendants of the Cornishman who was the first inhabitant of the Cayman Islands.

363 years ago, a Cornishman left Portsmouth, part of Oliver Cromwell’s army to invade the Spanish colonies in the Caribbean, but he never returned to his homeland. 

Instead, after the capture of Jamaica the soldier, whose name was either Bodden or Bawden, sailed to the Cayman Islands and settled there. 

Now the Cayman Islands are one of the largest British Overseas Territories with close to 60,000 citizens.

Eric Bush JP, the Cayman Islands Representative in the UK was due in Wadebridge today to explain why Cayman is starting a project which links them with Cornwall covering business, cultural and history. 

He said from aspects of language and dialect, to boat-building, to fishing, to salvage, to inventive cooking – Caymanians, to a significant degree, have been carrying on living like Cornishmen, in the middle of the Caribbean.

He wants to find out if the many Boddens who still live on Cayman have a direct descendant in Cornwall.

And, it is a chance for someone in Cornwall to find out whether their forefather founded a country. 

The initiative is being supported by Cornwall Council. 

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