A person living in the Bahamas before the arrival of American Loyalists (See Below). For our purposes, we labeled people as Old Inhabitants if they were in the Bahamas prior to 1780. Old Inhabitants tended to be merchants and lawyers and shopkeepers and subsistence farmers, having a diversified economy in the Out Islands. Many early Bahamians had come from Bermuda—either themselves or their ancestors. By looking through 17th century Bermuda records published by Julia Mercer, Association Oath Rolls (which covered all British Plantation Colonies on the Atlantic seaboard outside the British Isles), and others, we see multiple Long Island names in early Bermuda, and surmise that longstanding family relationships may have lasted for many decades and spanned the distance from Bermuda to Long Island. We labeled the people who were documented as being born/baptized, living, marrying, having babies, being enumerated, being taxed, and listed in wills in the Bahamas prior to 1776 as “Old Inhabitants” (also called “Conchs” by the American Loyalists).
One great example of this is the will of a Bermudian Abraham Adderley, dated 1688. A Richard and Frances Hunt had leased land from Adderley. Although we have not traced this line, we believe that the Hunts and Adderleys remained close, as one hundred years later Robert Hunt and another Abraham Adderley were granted land in adjacent settlements on the north end of Long Island. These types of proven and suspected connections between Bermudian families and the earliest Long Island families are numerous.