52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #3 –Caroline Gasper-Bough (1894-1970) A Tough Woman.

This year’s challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog for 52 weeks about 52 ancestors  This weeks theme is on “TOUGH WOMAN”

Caroline Elizabeth Gasper-Bough was my maternal grandmother. She was born in 1894 on St. Croix, Danish West Indies, and was the daughter and only child of Victoria Richard (1877-1899) and Stephen Gasper (1871-1925). When my grandmother was about five (5) years old her mother died. Caroline knew nothing about her father, only that he had a wife and that a song was written where the chorus went “Stephen Gasper boy go home to your lawful wife” (Quelbe style) I believe that chorus tells it all

Caroline Gasper Bough Caroline’s mother’s brother Thomas Richard, took responsibility for Caroline’s well being, to include where and with whom she would reside. However unstable Caroline’s young life seemed, her Uncle Thomas made weekly visits each Sunday so that little Caroline would have a sense of belonging. As Caroline matured, she worked as a live-in House Servant with a family on the island, with the surname Lang. My grandmother told me stories about her Uncle’s weekly visit and rides in the buggy visiting friends and family. Every now and then she would sing that chorus about her father. It would be many decades later that I would see her listed in the census with the Lang family. CarolineGasper1901

She later met my grandfather Julius C. Bough who was born and raised in St. Croix. He was a merchant who worked in his father’s dry goods store. They eventually tied the knot in 1926. She appeared to have had about 8 children. However, only 4 lived to adulthood including one who died at the age of 19 in New York.

Julius Curtis Bough

Julius Curtis Bough

After the transfer in 1917 of the Danish West Indies which is now, the US Virgin Islands hopes ran high. But with the economic ills as well as the “strong arm” tactics of the Naval Administration, hopes dwindled. By 1930’s, thousands of natives migrated to New York City for they were considered US Citizens.

danish flags

My grandparents are among the first US Virgin Islanders to migrate and settle in New York. My grandfather went up first and later sent for his wife and children as shown in the New York Passengers List, 1820-1957. JuliusBoughNYPass CarolineBoughpassen

Starting this new life in America was full of hope and dreams. My grandparents were married in New York, and my mother (Joyce Bough) became the first American, born in the family. Ten years after Caroline’s arrival to New York, her husband Julius Bough died leaving Caroline Elizabeth, a widow, with children. Like most people during the depression era, their lives were not easy. Their lives were hard. But in the midst of the struggle she resisted the feelings of uncertainty about the future. Instead, she looked for ways to add to her income. Eventually, the family opened a Newsstand in Harlem in the 40’s on 145th in New York. Out of this tiny newsstand they sold the daily papers, pickles and candy. I have no idea how much one could make selling newspapers. When I listened attentively to these stories I would wonder how much could you make selling papers. I quickly realize it wasn’t about getting rich, but that it was a means to an end.

When I review my grandmother’s life, she appears to be a woman that was certainly acquainted with grief. Her experience of life showed her strength, love and devotion to her family and God. Her home was open to friends and family from St. Croix.  It was at home where stories were shared that taught VI history, family genealogy, and the best native food ever. From her life, one learned resilience, dignity, integrity and commitment.

52ancestors-2015 Sources: Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Virgin Islands Social History Associates (VISHA). US Virgin Islands Census (Danish Period 1835-1911). Virgin Islands Social History Associates (VISHA), PO Box 338, Frederiksted,  US Virgin Islands 00841. Images and index reproduced courtesy of VISHA.

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 35 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Sunday’s Obituary – Miss Sarah O. Bough, 1931

For this blogging prompt: I selected an ancestor who was on the threshold of adulthood, as well as a freshman entering Hampton Institute in Virginia. In my mind, Sarah experienced the feelings of arrival and gratefulness before her life was cut short.

obit edited

Portsmouth VA- September 25 1931 –  Miss Sarah Otella Bough, 18 year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Bough, passed away at the residence of her parents ,  304 Effingham Street Thursday, September 25th after a short illness.  The funeral services were held Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Emanuel A.M.E church, Rev J.A. Young, the pastor officiated, assisted by Rev L.L. Berry, pastor of St. Johns Church in Norfolk.

Papers were read from the Norcom High School Faculty and from the Church Class No. 29.  Miss Myrtle Petrey sang, “When It Comes To The End of a Perfect Day” and Messrs.’ James Driver, George Morgan, Leonard Western, and Wesley Fagan sang,  “Raise Me Jesus To Thy Bosom” The Norcom Fellowship Choir rendered “Crossing the Bar”.  The Choir sang two selections.

Miss Bough is survived by her parents and five sisters, Roslind V., Katryn Y., Italina A., Charlotte and Mrs. Gwendolyn Fortseque.  She was a graduate of Norcom High School and entered as a freshman at Hampton Institute last September to pursue college work.  Intermit was in Mt. Olive Cemetery.

Sarah Otella Bough is my first cousin 3x removed.

New Journal and Guide (1921-2003) Oct 3, 1931

ProQuest Historical Newspapers Norfolk Journal and Guide (1921 – 2003)
Pg. 8

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Surnames

Surnames:

My Mother’s Family, St Croix, US Virgin Islands

BOUGH

My mother is Joyce Bough-Matthews.  I have traced the family back five generations to the baptism of George Anthony Bough in 1805.   An 1816  Danish Census was the starting point for my interest in family history.

Gasper

My grandmother was Caroline Gasper who married Julius C. Bough in 1932, New York City.

Beaudhuy

The Beaudhuys’ was a line to my Bough family (George Bough, Sr. had children with Sarah Beaudhuy daughter of Slave-holder Anthony Beaudhuy) I have developed and published a family tree on this line at ancestry.com

Holstein

My great grandmother’s sister was Erroline Johnson, she had a child with Major Casper von Holstein.  Although oral family history supported the relationship with the Bough family, it was while researching on-line my African ancestor, I discovered the Holstein-Bough  connection through census records of the Danish West Indies.   Casper Holstein-Joseph Philanthropist, Gambler, Activists of the Virgin Islands.

Muckles

This is another line to my Bough family.  Recently, through cousins I met via my blog we were able to take down a Genealogical Wall that had been up for decades.  With their assistance brick by brick that wall tumbled down. Prior to this excavation, I had given up on ever finding the record of Julia Bough- Muckle  father.   I was satisfied with family oral history.   As a result of team collaboration, we now know that we share the same 4th great grandfather in George Anthony Bough.   Ever-grateful.

Surnames to be continued

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“Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – What date was your Grandfather Born?”

2014 has been one of twists and turns.  Oddly enough, I’ve learned to embrace some of those adventures in life with quiet time.  However, as I slowed down I missed my genealogical journey.  It is a pleasure to participate in Saturday Night Genealogy fun from Randy at Genea-Musings.

Mission:

1)  What day of the week was your Grandfather born (either one)? Tell us how you found out.

2) What has happened in recorded history on your Grandfather’s birth date (day and month)? Tell us how you found out, and list five events.

3)  What famous people have been born on your Grandfather’s birth date?  Tell us how you found out, and list five of them.

4)  Put your responses in your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or in a status or comment on Facebook.

Here’s mine:

1)          I picked my maternal grandfather, Julius Curtis Bough who was born                 on 2    November 1891 in St. Croix, Danish West Inies now the US                           Virgin Islands.  

            2 November 1891 was a Monday

2)  Important things in recorded history that occurred on 2 November include:

           * 1898 – Cheerleading is started at the University of Minnesota with                         Johnny Campbell leading the crowd in cheering on the football team.

            *1920 – Warren G Harding elected 29th president of the United States

            *1938 – Babe Ruth applies for job of St Louis Browns’ manager

            *1983 – President Reagan signs bill establishing Dr Martin Luther King                 Jr. holiday

            *2003 – Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs ran in the New York City Marathon. He                  finished in 4 hours, 14 minutes and 54 seconds. He raised $2 million                    dollars for children.           

3)  Here are some of the famous people born on 2 November:

             *In 1734, Daniel Boone, was born (died 1820).

              *In 1865, William Harding, 29th President of the United States was                            born (died 1923)

               *In 1877, Aga Khan III, President of the Assembly of the League of                             Nations was born (died 1957) 

                *In 1929, Amar Bose, Electrical Engineer and Sound Engine was born                   (died 2013)

                 *In 1974, Nelly, Actor/Singer American Rapper was born

Sources:   Lutheran Church Book Records, St. Croix  (1890-1895), websites:                                              timeanddate.com, historyorb.com, braineyhistory.com, onthisday.com,                                    famousbirthdays.com

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Freedom in the Danish West Indies

Today, July 3rd is Emancipation Day a Holiday throughout the US Virgin Islands formerly the Danish West Indies. Emancipation Day commemorates the day in 1848 when enslaved Africans on St. Croix demanded their freedom and won their freedom, and for all slaves throughout the territory.

This day is full of activities beginning with the annual 5am Freedom walk of about 15 miles commemorating the day the slaves walked to demand their freedom.

Quadrille dancing is a cultural part of the celebration, the official dance of the US Virgin Islands, presentations from various schools, historians as well as a reading of the Proclamation of Emancipation.

This year marks the 166th anniversary of the proclamation.

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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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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