MAPPY MONDAY Free-Gut, Christiansted St. Croix

St. Croix Plan of Town Properties   Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI

Free Gut area of the Christiansted Town

The town property map shows:  Queen Cross Street and Fisher Street, these streets are a part of the Free Gut area  in the Christiansted Town.  Fisher Street as shown on the map drawing is where my ancestors Beaudhuy/Bough resided, as members of the Free Colored community.   “According to the building code of November 27, 1747, the Free Negroes had to build their houses in Neger-Gotted, locally known even today as Free Gut. “  The houses and grounds were not to exceed thirty Danish square feet each.

Town Register (1841) of Free inhabitants living in the town of Christiansted, enumerated the names of all free people, living in the household , the sex, place of birth, the religion they belonged to, when baptized, how they are supported themselves and their status in the militia.

Census 1841     The Census of 1841, showed George Bough living on his own property at Fisher Street, Christiansted.  Living in the household, was his mother, Sara Beaudhuy, who was given her freedom in 1797 and his son Edward Bough.  From this register, I was able get a better picture of the family composition and lifestyle.   It also explained why they were  townspeople.   The census  led me to further search through church and other historical records for additional facts as well as verification.

George Bough, and his off springs, continued to live at the family home on Fisher Street.  From one generation to the next, the family continued living throughout the Town.  Through census and land deeds, I discovered that the family lived in town of Christiansted totaling over 125 years.  Today, there are a few family members that have remained in Christianstiansted Historic District.  

Boughs Everywhere!

This past summer, the Bough Family Reunion was held in St. Croix, with the theme rediscovering our roots.  At the “Meet and greet” event, where family members were being introduced and socializing; the Boughs Family History was on display in a separate area.   Besides tree charts, family scroll, pictures, and stories on display; a Map was placed on the wall to identify the Boughs that were living off island, throughout the states and internationally.

It was quite interesting, to see by the map pins, how far the family had spread around the world.  From that once segregated area, in Christiansted town known as “Free-gut” for the Free-Colored, to the outskirts of the town, throughout the country, and the world.  The Boughs of the US Virgin Islands were becoming a global family that we coined a “V.I. Cultural Blend”.

Source:  Eva Laweatz, /free coloured in St. Croix, 1744-1816.  Census 1841 V.I.S.H.A  1835-1911 (Danish period) data-base


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.


    1. In effort to get a better understanding of this area, I made contact with St. Croix leading historian on the subject “Free Colored of Christiansted”. I inquired as to the exact boundaries and the historical significance. In sum: The first reference, to the residential area for the free colored, is in the 1747 Building Code. (Ordinances, 1744-60 St. Croix Pocket Companion, CPH 1780) There are no boundaries delineated. The Free Gut area for the Free-Colored is: Bounded on the south by Fisher Street, on the north by Hill Street, on the East by Queen Cross Street and the West by King Cross Street. It was interesting to discover that the name “Free Gut” is not a legal entity, and therefore is not on any legal census or matricules.


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