Surname Saturday-Boughs of US Virgin Islands

Although the Boughs have been in the Danish West Indies (now US Virgin Islands) since the 18th Century, family lore has it that the ancestors were living in County Cavan, Ireland before coming to St. Croix. As was typical during the 18th and 19th Centuries, the St. Croix population was mostly of English, Irish and Scottish descendants.

The St. Croix Free Males and Militia Combined document established, during 1807-1808, that George Bough, a White male, was in private business as well as a member of the St. Croix Volunteer Company in Christiansted. It is presumed that he met and had a relationship with Sarah Beaudhuy, (1772-1868) a former mulatto slave of Anthony Beaudhuy, who was set free in 1797.

Together they had two sons: David who died at the age of 10 years old and George Bough who becomes the Patriarch of the Bough family of the Virgin Islands. George Anthony Bough fathered 11 children which includes a set of twins and one daughter.

The Bough surname is an old family name that intertwines with the History of the U.S. Virgin Islands Government, Business and Civic Organizations.

In an attempt to gather and compile surnames I thought I would look at my direct Bough lineage beginning with the Patriarch classified as a free person of color because of his mother’s Free-given status.

Lord God of Saboath Lutheran Church, Christiansted St. Croix where family members attended. Photo  by shelley dewese

Lord God of Saboath Lutheran Church, Christiansted St. Croix where family members attended.
Photo by shelley dewese

My Bough Lineage(CAPS):

Generation 1. GEORGE ANTHONY BOUGH, (1806-1856) born in St. Croix, the son of George Bough and Sarah Beaudhuy. He met Sophia Lincoln she was born in 1804 and died in St. Croix together they had 2 Children: Mary Elizabeth and GEORGE A. BOUGH.

Generation 2: George A Bough (1831-1854) born in St. Croix met Emelia Elizabeth Petersen-Marcus the daughter of Thomas Petersen and Anna Catherina DeWindt. She was born in St. Croix April 13, 1833 and died 15 of February 1897. Together they had 2 Children: AUGUST CURTIS BOUGH and Christine Luce Bough-Jacobs.

Generation 3: August Curtis Bough (1866-1939) born in St. Croix was the son of George A. Bough and Emlia Elizabeth Petersen-Marcus. He had Eleven children including JULIUS CURTIS BOUGH.

Generation 4: Julius Curtis Bough (1889-1936) born in St. Croix the son of August Bough and Georgianna Aagard. He had Eight children including my mother JOYCE FLORENCIA BOUGH.

Resources provided upon request.

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Friday Faces From the Past- J.C. Bough

Friday face of the past: My maternal Grandfather Julius Curtis Bough (1889-1936) born on St. Croix, son of August Curtis Bough, and Georgiana Ogaard, both of St. Croix.

Julius Curtis Bough

Julius Curtis Bough

My grandmother and other family members would often speak about my grandfather working in his fathers’ grocery store. (Featured in a previous post “Saturday Shopping”) Selling goods from a cart, around St. Croix, as well as on St. Thomas, made him a successful Sales Rep. The “1923 United States Federal Census” verifies oral history, showing Julius Bough’s occupation as a salesman working at a grocery store.

Just as the “First Great Migration of African-Americans “ moved from the rural south, to Northern states between 1910 and 1930’s; Virgin Islanders also emigrated to New York and other parts of the mainland when the Americans bought the Danish West Indies. Not out of fear of segregation issues, but for economic advantages.

“Passenger Record” Manifest, SS “Guiana, 30th of September 1923, list Julius Curtis Bough arriving at the Port of New York on October 6, 1923. He did not travel with his family. His soon-to-be wife and two children would follow later. “New York Passenger” Manifest, SS “ Maraval” 8th of June 1926, list Caroline Gasper and children arriving at the port of New York on June 14, 1926.

I decided to dig into the directories to map out their residencies, “Manhattan New York City Directory, 1931” showed my grandparents Julius and Caroline Bough living together on 626 West 140th Street Harlem, New York. They were among the “first Virgin Islanders, to arrive in America”.

Before Julius C. Bough untimely death, he worked outdoors as a Porter with a Sanitation Company. Unfortunately, he caught pneumonia and died at the age of 47. Thereafter my grandmother returned to St. Croix to bury her husband. Julius Curtis Bough was eulogized by his father, Reverend August C. Bough of the AME Church of Christiansted St. Croix and buried at the Public Cemetery.

As I look into this face of the past, take a genealogical journey into his short span of life, I come away with the impression that the transition of culture, weather, etc. had its toll. Still, all in all, providing for the family was foremost.

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Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” ― Oprah Winfrey

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Best Wishes for the New Year to all my followers/friends/family. Thank you for following “My Genealogical Journey” as we continue to “stir the pot”

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Blog Caroling- Jingle Bells- 2013

BlogCaroling

Merry Christmas to all. It is a pleasure to participate with footnoteMavin Blog Caroling Tradition. My choice: Jingle Bells from Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Nights from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.

Before the sun rises you will hear this popular scratch band serenading throughout the streets of St Croix with Christmas music in quelbe style. As played on this Youtube link.

Find out more about quelbe music and the band from the WTJX US Virgin Islands Public Television System on facebook.

source: Youtube.

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Wednesday Child: Elise Marie

In memory of Elise Marie
Daughter of
Emile and Marie Svitzer
Who Died on December 8 1873
Aged 8 months and 8 Days
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While doing my own cemetery research at the Christiansted, St. Croix Pubic Cemetery, I could not help but notice the Hourglass carved into the tombstone of Elise Marie Svitzer. A closer look revealed a child’s grave. Without a doubt the last few words written upon the stone “aged 8 months and 8 days” was indicative of a Wednesday Child, the Hourglass, symbolizing a short life, as well as the pain felt when a baby dies.

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Military Monday- 761st Tank Battalion

Levi G.”Yogi” Bough (1921-2008) was the son of Julius C. Bough and Caroline Gasper-Bough, and my mothers’ brother. Born on St Croix, US Virgin Islands, later migrated with his family to New York City and enlisted with the US Army in April of 1942. My uncle was a member of the 761st Tank Battalion an independent tank battalion of the US Army, known as the Black Panther Tank consisting of mainly African-Americans. Their motto was “Come out Fighting” The tank unit trained at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, and Camp Hood, Texas. During the Battle of the Bulge Germany, the 761st was assigned to General George S. Patton, Jr. Private First Class, Levi Bough was a member of the 761st fine Orchestra as well as worked with the communications section.

yogi (2)

After the war, Levi enrolled and graduated at St. Francis College, NY. In 1950, his family settled in Switzerland. Once there he attended the University of Lausanne and ultimately became a Swiss citizen. Levi’s many years in Europe somewhat isolated him from the happenings of his army buddies. Although my uncle had taken very few trips to the states, he had not connected with the 761st members.

Thanks to the internet we “stumble upon” the 761st web site. In 2006, I made a contact with the 761st Tank Battalion Historian Wayne D Robinson and put him in contact with my Uncle. I could hear the excitement in Robinson voice to learn about a surviving member of the 761st.  He spoke with Levi often and wished for him to come to the states for the reunion that year. After reconnecting and speaking with Wayne Robinson, much of his conversation was about the 761st he spoke about the particulars, playing the violin in the orchestra, and the battles of racism.

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My Uncle began sending me many articles about his life, pictures, including the book “Come out Fighting which I treasure. Wayne wanted him to attend the Reunion in Texas, by 2006; my uncle was too weak to travel stateside. Oh how much I wish he could attend the 761st reunion because I know how proud and how much that part of his life meant to him. I can only imagine how it would have been seeing and discussing the activities of the members of the 761st after over 50 years. Although he was not at the 2006 reunion his heart and mind stayed on the event.

In May of 2008, Levi G. “Yogi” Bough died and was buried in Lugano Switzerland. He was 87 years old.

Read more The 761st Tank Battalion at http://www.761st.com/

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Slave Revolt in the Danish West Indies

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s extensive research on African-American lives was revealing, and now his new series “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” is reaching across to a mass audience in the diaspora, invoking us to tell our story.

After watching “The Age of Slavery” Episode 2 of the six part series, I felt a need to revisit the history of my Virgin Islands – then the Danish West Indies, on how freedom came here in 1848, including a summary on the resistance and rebellion to slavery by those in bondage.

This series inspired me to look to such authors as Isaac Dookhan, William Boyer, Harold Willocks, Arnold Highfied and George Tyson who wrote about slavery as the economy of the day in the Danish West Indies. They spoke about the common thread of all slaves – separation, isolation, mental anguish, being stripped of dignity, language and culture. These emotions, foreign in nature to men and women who were up-rooted from their homeland, caused the Africans to rebel against this institution of oppression.

In 1746 and again in 1759, African descendants in the Danish West Indies revolted to try to regain their freedom. Although the hunger and thirst for liberation never faded, it took careful planning to execute the Revolt of 1848 against their owners. “By any means necessary” a modern-day phrase reflected the mood of the time. Fires were set; bells tolled all over the islands and conch shells blew, transmitting messages from one estate to the next; refusing to work; and demolishing homes on the plantations were some of the actions taken by the slaves. This went on over a span of about two days throughout St. Croix. Large crowd gathered on the West end of the island demonstrating and demanding their freedom.

Craft by Rosie Mackay (wood, fabric, mixed media)

Craft by Rosie Mackay
(wood, fabric, mixed media)

On July 3, 1848, Governor Peter von Scholten delivered a proclamation “all unfree in the Danish West Indian islands are of today free”. It was the strength, sacrifices and determination of the Africans, and not the generosity of the Danish Government, which could not be ignored as they brought freedom to their people and their descendents. Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last.

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