Free Villages were usually large tracts of land purchased by the missionaries and then subdivided into smaller plots for sale to their members. The church founded free villages were established after the passage of the Ejectment and Trespass acts. For the Former, the entire population or any portion of it could be ejected at a week's notice from the homes in which they had been born and in which they had lived in while they were slaves.
The Trespass Act allowed the police of any country to catch hold of and to imprison any individual who was found in his former home after he had received notice of ejectment. This was done to compel the labourer to work for whatever wages they chose to give and to perform as much work as they required.
The first village that was established was Sligoville, its founder was Rev. James Phillippo, the Baptist Minister at Spanish Town, on the 10th of July 1835. The following is a list of free villages by parish:
- St. Ann - Moneague, Clarksonville, Wilberforce, Buxton Bethany, Salem Brown's Town, Happy Valley, Pleasant Valley, Harmony, Philadelphia, Sturge Town and Endeavour
- St. Thomas - Delvery, Airy Mount (Mount Airy), Navarino, Greenwood, Beldona, Spring Mount, Elmwood, Bachelor's Hall, Pigeon Hill, Unity Valley, Leith Hall and Bath Castle
- St. Elizabeth - Spring field, Lacovia, Kilmarnock, Cairn Curran, Commer Pen, Lititz, Ipswich, Carisbrook, Cruze and Ballard's Valley
- Clarendon - Rhyme's Bury, Howell's Content, Halse Hall, Hayes, Mitchell's Town, Farm Colonel's Ridge, Nairne Castle, Crofts and Cross.
- St. James - Goodwill, Irwin Hill, Mount Carey, Maldon, Shortwood, Sudbury and Salters Hill
- Manchester - Bethabara, Beaufort, Beulah, Vale, Porus, Hillside, Maidstone, Mizaph and Walderston.
- Trelawny - New Cargen, Albert Town, Stewart's Town, Gilbraltar, Kettering, Clarkson Town, Granville and Refuge
- Westmoreland - Carmel, Bethel Town and St. Leonard's Gurney
- St. Catherine - Sligoville, Kitson Town, Sturge Town, Victoria Township and Clarkson Town
- Portland - Cedar Valley, Belle Castle and Happy Grove
- Hanover - Mount Horeb and Sandy Bay
- St. Andrew - Trinityville
- St. Mary - Islington
Contributed by Marcia Frith-Kohler, Board Member, Georgian Society of Jamaica
Excerpt from the National Library of Jamaica