Lewis Hamilton Family History
Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton was born on January 7th, 1985 to Anthony and Carmen Hamilton in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. His given names are Davidson from his grandfather and Carl Lewis after the American sprinter.
He is mixed race, his father being black from Grenada in the Caribbean and his mother English and white. Lewis’s parents separated when he was two. He lived with his mother and two half-sisters in Stevenage until he was twelve and then with his father, step-mother Linda, and a half brother Nicholas. Although Lewis is mixed race, he identifies with his father’s black Grenadian side.
Lewis was given a go-cart at the age of eight and his prowess as a driver soon became apparent. His go-carting successes in the junior categories soon led to him being signed to McLaren’s young drivers’ program. This eventually led to his Formula 1 debut in 2007 and to his first F1 world title win just a year later. Throughout this time his father served as his manager and mentor. In 2010 Lewis broke up the partnership and he went on to win the F1 world title a further six times with Mercedes.
Hamiltons in Grenada
Grenada is an island country in the Caribbean northwest of Trinidad and southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The British seized control of the island in 1763 and held it until 1974. The population today is 110,000, the majority of whom (over 80 percent) are the descendants of enslaved Africans.
The Hamilton name arrived in Grenada with Robert Hamilton in 1778. He was a well-connected Scotsman from Saltcoats in Ayrshire who had money and enterprise to start a sugar plantation. His 300 acre plantation at Samaritan relied on African slave labor, the number ranging between 100 and 120. There was a larger plantation in Grenada at Mount Gay with around 200 slaves that was owned by the Davidson family, also from Scotland.
Experts think it highly likely that some of these slaves adopted the surname of their former master (a common practice) when they were freed in 1834. The owner of the plantation at that time was Alexander Hamilton, Robert’s nephew, who would have gotten compensation from the British Government.
It is a big jump from 1834 to 1930, the year that Lewis’s first known ancestor – his grandfather Davidson Hamilton – was born in Grenada. Unfortunately all earlier records were destroyed by hurricanes so that any linkage to former Hamiltons must remain conjectural.
Davidson Hamilton was born and grew up in Grand Roy, a picturesque small town on the west coast of Grenada. In 1955, when storms destroyed the nutmeg trees he had planted, he decided to leave the island and try his luck in England. He moved to west London, getting a job as a bus driver with London Underground. He lived in London through the 1958 Notting Hill race riots, the birth of his three children, and the death of his wife Agnes in the 1970’s. But then he decided to retire from London Underground and to return to his Grenada hometown.
He was driving a local minibus between Grand Roy and Gouyave in his seventies. Affectionately known in the community as Uncle Dave, he lived to be eighty-seven, dying in 2018. His grandson Lewis called him the “godfather” of the family.
Hamiltons in England
His son Anthony remained in England. He was educated in England, got qualifications in IT, and met and married an English girl. In the early 1980’s he moved outside of London to the new town of Stevenage in Hertfordshire. His wife Carmen had an English ancestry that could be traced back to the Larbalestiers on Jersey in the Channel Islands in the early 17th century. Their son Lewis was born in 1985. Lewis attended the same white school in Stevenage that his mother had.
The marriage did not last and they parted in 1987. Anthony married again to Linda around 1992 and they had one son, Nicholas. But his focus would be very much on Lewis. He was soon juggling work commitments so that he could be taking the young Lewis to go-carting competitions around the country. He was to be Lewis’s manager and mentor as Lewis progressed to F1 motor-racing stardom.
Lewis Hamilton’s Family Tree
- Davidson Augustine Hamilton from Grenada (1930-2018) m. Agnes Davidson (died in 1975); rem. Uelisia (Sammie) Samuel
- – Diane Hamilton (1959-2012)
- – Anthony Hamilton (b. 1960)
- – Vanessa Hamilton (b. 1961)
- Anthony Hamilton m. Carmen Larbalestier (b. 1955), divorced; rem. Linda (b. 1964) around 1992
- – Lewis Hamilton (b. 1985)
- – Nicholas Hamilton (b. 1992)
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