Sarahs Journey to Freedom

On today’s journey, I decided to take a look at Sarah Beaudhuy’s (1773/1774 – 1868) Free Person of Color status.    Although Sarah Beaudhuy was listed on the “Register of Free Inhabitants Living in the Town of Christiansted, 1794-1811”,


1811 Census, St. Croix, DWI

I was curious about how long was Sarah in slavery.  What was the reason she was given her freedom?   I wanted to know her journey. These questions prompted me to search for answers.

Sarah was presumed to be the master’s child.   She was the property of Anthony Beaudhuy, the planter, estate and slave owner of the sugar plantations “Betsy’s Jewel” and “Little Princess” in St. Croix, Danish West Indies.

The 1789 St John’s Anglican Church baptism records indicate that 3 mulatto children – Peter, Adam and Sarah, all the property of Anthony Beaudhuy, were baptized.   With that information I wanted to know whether they were freed because of paternal concern, faithful service, or under conditions.

I needed to know who was the mother of these children, in particular, Sarah’s mother.   No records or clues were found identifying a name, or whether her mother arrived from Africa, the Caribbean or like her daughter was born in St. Croix, or whether she died in childbirth.  All that was known of Sarah’s parentage was that she was classified as mulatto.  This meant that she was the offspring of a Black and White.

I have concluded that her journey to freedom was one of dedication and faithful service.

In my search for Sarah’s freedom papers, I went to the library and was directed to freibrev of “free brief “ records on Microfilm.   The freibrev images written partially in Danish contained categories such as: Name, Physical Condition, Age, Birthplace, Religion, Occupation, and Year Recorded.

I don’t know how long I scrolled through the images before I came across my 4th GG mother, Sarah.  It was a wonderful experience to find her name among many.  This document answered some of my questions.

The freibrev indicated: Anthony Beaudhuy freed Sarah on April 22, 1797. She was in her mid-twenties, born in St. Croix.  This historic event was recorded in the Christiansted Town Court on April 24, 1797.  Sarah received her freedom Certificate on July 27, 1797 from Governor Malleville.   When she was freed, Sarah took the Beaudhuy surname.

By 1811, she was living at Market Street, Christiansted with her 3 sons, supporting herself by sewing.  It was exciting to see the free brief on the Microfilm that documents Sarah‘s freedom.  I would like to have the actual freedom certificate.  I am sure I will probably stumble upon it, unexpectedly.


By shelley dewese

As I continue to search out my history, I am discovering how much I did not know. The more information disclosed about my ancestry, the more I learn and understand how I am the person that has evolved today. My family's research efforts have taken me on an enlightening journey back through the past in the U. S. Virgin Islands (formerly Danish West Indies) and Coastal Georgia. As with most people of Afro-Caribbean descent, my ancestry stems from peoples brought together by colonialism and conquest; it stems from people thrown together, albeit forcibly, by the throes of enslavement. As a result, my DNA tells me that my people originate in Africa, Europe, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Lesser Antilles, and Leeward Caribbean Islands. Two collections made my dream to research my ancestors in the Danish West Indies a reality. I have conducted extensive research using the St. Croix Population Database 1734-1917, a St. Croix African Roots Project product, and a research and document transcription effort sponsored by the Virgin Islands Social History Associates (VISHA). The other catalyst has been accessing the extensive photo, manuscript, and microfilm collections at the Library and Archives of the St. Croix Landmarks Society at Estate Whim in St. Croix. My heartfelt thanks go to all my cousins, extended "cousin-family," friends, and research colleagues from the St. Croix-based Virgin Islands Ancestry Discovery Group, for their input and collaboration. I also want to thank the UJima Genealogy Group in Coastal Georgia and; webmaster Amy Hendrick has introduced me to Southern History and its people. This site allows you to transform yourself to a time during the Danish period (1734-1917) when life was both complex and straightforward. If you have any questions, comments, or need assistance searching for a Danish West Indies ancestor, I invite you to drop me an email. I especially appreciate the followers' encouragement.

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