Trinidad and Tobago History
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Columbus discovered Trinidad and Tobago on his third voyage in 1498. Trinidad was inhabited by the Arawak Indians, who were killed by early European settlers. It was colonized by the Spanish in 1592. It continued under Spanish rule until 1797, when it was captured by the British. Trinidad was formally ceded to the United Kingdom in 1802.
Tobago was ruled intermittently by the Dutch, French and English in its early colonial history before it was ceded to the United Kingdom in 1814.
Trinidad and Tobago were merged in 1888 to form a single colony. Full independence was gained in 1962.
1509 - Under jurisdiction of Spain 1777 - French settlers arrived
1797 - Under jurisdiction of Great Britain
1889 - Trinidad and Tobago joint colony
1962 - Became independent. 
Tobago changed hands 33 times—more than any other Caribbean island, including:
1532-1534 - Spain
1569-1570 - Spain
1592 - Spanish permanent settlement
1595 - English raid
1628-1637 - Netherlands settlement
1637, 1639, and 1642 - failed Courland colonies
1639, 1642, and 1647 - failed English colonies
1654 - successful Courland and Netherlands colonies
1658 - French colony
1659 - Courlanders surrendered to the Dutch
1666 - English-Jamaican pirates captured Tobago, but surrendered to France later that year
1667 - The Netherlands reclaimed their forts
1672 - Dutch wiped out by the English who captured Tobago
1674 - The Netherlands regained control by treaty
1677 - France captured Tobago
1679 - Restored to the Netherlands
1705 - Tobago became a no-mans-land
1715 - Claimed by Great Britain in 1715
1733 - Sweden sent settlers, but they were repelled by natives
1748 - France and Great Britain declared Tobago neutral
1762 - Great Britain captured Tobago
1763 - France left control of the tiny European population to Great Britain
1781 - France re-invaded
1797 - Tobago surrendered to Great Britain
1814 - Tobago was ceded from France to Great Britain
1889 - Joined with Trinidad as one colony
1962 - Trinidad and Tobago were granted independence   
- Williams, Eric. History of the People of Trinidad and Tobago. Port-of-Spain: PNM Publishing Co., 1962.
- The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: West Indies,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1999.
- Trinidad in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia (accessed 8 October 2015).
- Christina K. Schaefer, Genealogical Encyclopedia of the Colonial Americas: a Complete Digest of the Records of All the Countries of the Western Hemisphere (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing, 1998), 128. WorldCat 39622039; FHL Ref Book 929.11812 D26s.
- History of Trinidad and Tobago in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia (accessed 8 October 2015).
- Tobago in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia (accessed 8 October 2015).
- History: 1700-1799 in MyTobago: the definitive visitor's guide to Tobago (accessed 8 October 2015).