Back in the year 2000, Amy Jackson booked her husband, Sandy, a surprise trip from New York to the tropical island of Jamaica. By the end of that vacation, their lives had been changed forever.
As soon as they disembarked the flight, Amy was captivated by the scenery while Sandy experienced an overwhelming sense of having ‘come home’.
Even though he’d spent most of his life in the USA, he had in fact been born in the Jamaican capital, Kingston, and had spent much of his childhood on the island.
As those early memories came flooding back, Sandy took his wife on a tour of Kingston, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. He spoke in patois to the Jamaicans they befriended along the way, recalling the language with ease. One such acquaintance was a realtor who offered to show the Jacksons some properties that were up for sale and a single home captured both their hearts: Jasmin Hill Villa Jamaica. During the site inspection, Sandy turned to Amy and said: ‘My father has a connection to here, I can tell.’ Amy, who is more pragmatic than her husband, smiled at him but thought no more of it.
The Jacksons went on to buy Jasmin Hill Villa, and a few months into the renovations, one of their neighbors came by to say hello. Sandy introduced himself, and as the man heard his surname and looked at Sandy’s features, he did a double take. ‘Your family built this house,’ he said. ‘They bought theland from my grandmother.’
Sandy then began to research his genealogy. He discovered that he was related to the Devon House Jacksons. In 1879, his great uncle, Richard Hill Jackson, had married Theresa Stiebel – daughter of George Stiebel, Jamaica’s first black millionaire. You can still visit his grandiose home, Devon House in Hope Road, Kingston. Sandy also confirmed that his father’s cousin Arthur, and his wife Nora May Jackson, had indeed built Jasmin Hill Villa Jamaica in the 1940s. So, true to his hunch, Sandy’s father Fred could indeed have enjoyed the serenity of this wonderful property, just as Sandy and Amy do now, and as we know you will, too.