The Spanish took possession of [[Curaçao Genealogy|Curaçao]], [[Bonaire Genealogy|Bonaire]] and [[Aruba Genealogy|Aruba]], the Leeward group, in 1527. In 1634 the three islands passed to the Netherlands with which they have remained except for two short periods during the Napoleonic Wars when the British ruled at Willemstad. Curaçao, the center of Caribbean slave trade during the colonial period, lost much of its economic importance after emancipation of the slaves in 1863. In 1986 Aruba was constitutionally separated from the Netherlands Antilles.
As of 1954, the Netherlands Antilles is considered to be an autonomous part of the [[The Netherlands Genealogy|Kingdom of the Netherlands]].<ref name="profile">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.</ref>
== References ==