During the first week of August members of the Archer family made their way to Abaco to celebrate another family reunion. They had come from many places; most of them from New Providence and Grand Bahama but some had traveled from Florida and Georgia.
They met at The Bae Restaurant on August 3, 2019 to share an evening of eating, reminiscing and sharing stories.
At eighty three years old, Louis Archer Hanchell, was very willing to share the family’s exciting history which brought them to The Bahamas and Abaco in particular.
“We are celebrating the two hundredth anniversary of the Archer family,” he stated, explaining that they were the descendants of Thomas Archer, a free black man from Bostic County in North Carolina.
Thomas was a Loyalist, he added, who settled in North Carolina and was given land to farm. He soon married his wife, Nogie.
Together they came to Abaco where the first son James was born in 1820, one of nine children (three daughters and six sons) they had together.
Thomas , however, also had two other sons, Benjamin, born in Inagua and Robert, born in Cherokee Sound; Robert was the ancestor of the Cherokee Sound Archers as well as the Pinders and Bains.
Thomas and his family settled around Marsh Harbour where they were given land to farm.
Over the decades, the Archers became very prominent in their community. Mr. Hanchell explained that they were pillars of the Methodist Church in Marsh Harbour and that James Archer was a trustee of the St James Church in Hope Town.
He said that Ancestry.com can trace 4000 Archers. He proudly named a few famous Bahamians who made a name for themselves such as Italia Johnson, first woman speaker of the Assembly. Abaconian Captain Sherman Archer, Winnifred Ferguson, mother of Lester Ferguson who headed the Salvation Army for years. And Danny Johnson, the former Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture.
Among the crowd gathered at The Bae, he pointed out lawyers, doctors, dentists and business owners.
Mr. Hanchell, a lively, friendly man lives in Nassau; said he did not know if he will make the next family gathering, but expressed his pride at having been born in a family who can trace their history to 1760.