Estate Details

Associated People (6)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
- 1822 [LA] → Previous owner
- 1778 [EY] → Owner
- 1809 [EY] → Owner
1817 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Owner

Possibly a mistranscription for John Simpson.

1822 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Executrix
1823 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Owner

Associated Claims (1)

£3,359 11S 1D
Margaret Simpson was also associated with the award on Barbados 3404 (Haggats).


'Little information is currently available on Hanson's early history and this leads to a confusing picture of its early ownership. The original owner, Samuel Hanson, died in 1687 or 1689 and the plantation appears to have been inherited by his only son, also named Samuel. But, as suggested by Mayo (1722), whose map was based on a survey between 1717 and 1721, the Berney family may have become involved sometime in the eighteenth century. A 1766 document, for example, involves one Hanson Berney, son of the late Sir Thomas Berney, and concerns "land in St. George's . . . formerly in tenure of Samuel Hanson"(Extracts 1947:121). Whatever the case, in 1794, when "the tenement and farm . . . formerly the tenure . . . of Samuel Hanson ...deceased," was acquired by Sir John Berney, the plantation contained about 316 acres, with two windmills, assorted buildings and other property, including "Negro hereditments"-- and an unspecified number of slaves (Barbados Department of Archives, Recopied Deeds [RB 1/202, pp. 14-15]). In 1809, Berney sold the plantation, then "commonly called or known by the name of Hansons or Upper Berneys" containing 317 acres and 80 slaves (Barbados Department of Archives, Recopied Deeds [RB 1/247, pp. 65-67, 110-111]), but by 1822, the plantation, then owned by John Simpson, contained 282 acres. In 1847, if not earlier, Hanson's acreage had been slightly reduced to 274 (in 1840 the average size of St. George's 62 plantations was 150 acres; the island average was 186 [Davy 1854:109]), and throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century and at least until 1921, the plantation's acreage was toremain at this figure. Sometime between 1921 and 1935, Hanson was formally joined to its western neighbor, Lower Birney or Birney, the spelling commonly used today. (Traditionally, in parishes east of St. Michael, when an owner had two adjoining plantations, the one to the west or near Bridgetown was usually called Lower [Hughes 1977: 22 ]. ) The combined acreage of the two now became 430 (although the arable acreage is much less), and some of Hanson's fields today were formerly part of Birney.'


Jerome Handler et al. Searching for a Slave Cemetery in Barbados, West Indies: A Bioarchaeological and Ethnohistorical Investigation Center for Archaeological Investigations Southern Illinois University at Carbondale Research Paper No. 59, (June 1989) Chapter 6 'Plantation Research in 1987: Ethnographic and Historical', http://jeromehandler.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/SlaveCemCh6-7.pdf [accessed 21/06/2021]

Estate Information (8)

What is this?

[Number of enslaved people] 152(Tot) 79(F) 73(M)  
[Name] Hansons  

Return of John Simmons, his own property. NB that there is uncertainty about the ownership: John Simpson (and his estate) are listed as owning Hansons 1822-32 but so is John Simmons, 1817 and 1823. And NB too that this return was made in Christ Church rather than St Michael.

T71/521 243-47
[Size] 283  

Inventory of John Simpson, deceased, Hanson’s. Executrix Mrs Margaret Ann Simpson. Taken 18 January 1822.
The estate lay in St George, St Michael, Christ Church.

The total value of the estate: £28,914 10 0d.

Barbados Department of Archives. Inventories.
[Number of enslaved people] 156(Tot)  

Return of Margaret Ann Simpson, Executrix, the property of the estate of John Simpson, deceased. No previous return. There were 10 births and 9 deaths; 155 of the enslaved were bought from John Higginson. The return was filed in St George rather than St Michael.

T71/531 103-7
[Number of enslaved people] 155(Tot)  
[Name] Hanson  

Return of John Higginson, his own property. No previous return. 157 enslaved were bought from John Simmons; there were also 2 deaths. But NB also that a note at the end of the return says, "These slaves sold to John Simpson see his Return." See also the return of John Simmons T71/531, p. 111.

T71/531 56-59
[Number of enslaved people] 157(Tot)  

Return of John Simmons, his own property. The total number of enslaved was given as 157. Previously 165 enslaved. But NB: 5 of the enslaved were removed to Simmons and 3 to Four Square but a note at the end of the return says: "These slaves sold to John Higginson, see his Return". See also the return of John Higginson for the Hanson estate.

T71/531 111
[Number of enslaved people] 150(Tot)  

Return of Margaret Ann Simpson, Executrix, the property of the estate of John Simpson, deceased. Previously 156 enslaved.

T71/535 155-56
[Number of enslaved people] 148(Tot)  
[Name] Hanson  

Return of Margaret Ann Simpson, Executrix, the property of the estate of John Simpson, deceased.

T71/541 180
[Number of enslaved people] 149(Tot)  

Return of Margaret Ann Simpson, Executrix, the property of the estate of John Simpson, deceased.

T71/548 172