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Today I obtained the 1836 Will of my 4th great grandmother Martha Chichester (nee Noake) who lived in Old Cleeve, Somerset, England. She mentions two sons living at an Island of ?????? which I am guessing will not be too far away.

Does anybody know what the name of the Island is that is written twice at the end of the third and sixth lines in the graphic below?

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The text appears to refer to the "Island of Demarara" - note spelling.

The "e" occurs in various places (beginning of 3rd line in "equal", end of 2nd line in "transfer").

After the "e" there are 3 verticals of the "m".

The "a" is fairly clear.

The "r" is in "fourth" in 3rd line, and "property" on 2nd line.

Can't see a capital "D" anywhere else but it appears to be one of those where the left-hand vertical is omitted.

If you Google the phrase, then there are several references to the "island of Demarara" - and with that spelling. These references match the history of Demerara, which became part of Guyana. Quite why the word "Island" is there, I am not sure - it's certainly not an island out in the middle of the sea - possibly the area was then surrounded by rivers and marshes.

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I first read the place name as the Island of Jemarara, but can't find any online reference to such a place.

I found several contemporary references to the "island of Demarara", such as a London Gazette chancery notice for a Reverend Benjamin Thomas Williams who died at St Mattthew in the island of Demarara, in the West Indies. I am not sure which of the many West Indian islands it might be, but I think it probably goes by a different name now.

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Updated information on Islands of Demerara (Guyana) from Wikipedia:

Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region 3) is a region of Guyana, split in two by the Essequibo River. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, the region of Demerara-Mahaica to the east, the region of Upper Demerara-Berbice to the south and the regions of Pomeroon-Supenaam to the west.

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  • Thank you for posting this Valerie (I removed your name from the post because it is already signed using your user card where you are free to include it). I'm keen to try and place where the various Chichesters were living in Demerara/Demerara-Essequibo/British Guiana prior to about 1850. So far: estate No. 35 at Corentyne Coast, Plantation Zealand, Mahaica, Yorkshire Hall, Quaker's Hall, Drill, Ruimveld - my email is in my user card, if easier. – PolyGeo Sep 6 '16 at 22:04

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