Tracing my ancestor’s life in the Danish West Indies, St. Croix in particular has been a genealogical journey over many years. Although, I have not been able to obtain family history or any oral history, it is through my research into the census, church records, genealogical resources, along with the help of other researchers. I am able to re-create my 4 great-grand mother, Sarah Beaudhuy.
Sarah was born into slavery in and about 1772 in St. Croix, Danish West Indies, baptized at the Dutch Reform Church, her race listed as Mulatto. (offspring of a white and black) Sarah’s early years in slavery were not entirely worked out. However Sarah was listed in the Estate Inventory of valued at 400 rd (source: Betsy’s Jewels Inventory)
Anthony Beaudhuy, presumed the father of Sarah was a White planter, half owner, and slave owner with Jacob Boffron of Sugar Plantation Betsey Jewels on St. Croix 1772-1776 , from 1790-1799 half owner and slave owner with William Wood of Estate Betsey Jewels, St. Croix. (Source: Colby files)
Securing any information on Sarah mother birth date or place of birth has been unsuccessful. It remains unknown, and perhaps I will never know, whether Sarah’s mother was amongst those in the middle passage of the slave ships that arrived in the Danish West Indies from Africa; or whether she was transported in from another Caribbean Island.
In November 28, 1779, shows a baptismal record at St. Johns Anglican Church, Christiansted, St. Croix where Adam, Peter and Sarah, three mulatto children belonging to Anthony Beaudhuy were re-baptized, and took on the Beaudhuy name. (Source Christiansted ,Anglican Church Baptisms & Birth) It is assumed that the father of these three children is Anthony Beaudhuy. Sarah grew up together with her brothers and remained with the Beaudhuy family.
By 1800, Mr. Anthony Beaudhuy freed his children Peter, Adam and Sarah. Sarah Beaudhuy received her freedom certificate from then Governor Malleville as recorded in Christiansted City Court April 24, 1797. (Source: Christiansted, panteprotokol 1749-1801)
Anthony Beaudhuy dies the beginning of 1802; his 26 slaves were gifted to his daughter Anna Beaudhuy-Wood. (Source: interisland movements 1802-1830)
Genealogical sources, suggest that Sarah’s adjustment to freedom was not altogether difficult. She supported herself as a seamstress, resided in the town of Christiansted between Queen, Prince, Market Street all properties belonging Anthony Beaudhuy. (Sources: St. Croix Census 1815, 1832)
Following Sarah Beaudhuy and her children through the census and church records indicated that by 1806, she had given birth to three (3) free-born children, Peter, David and George, because of her free legal status. Two of her sons died in childhood while one survives into adulthood that gives rise to The Boughs of US Virgin Islands.
Sarah lived with her son George Anthony Bough at the family home Christiansted, St. Croix. In the records of death Sara Beaudhuy died at the ripe old age of 96 in December of 1868. (Source: MM1884/roll 18/NARA 601 Records of death 1865-1874) She out-lived her son, and was living with her daughter-in-law and grand-children, at the time of death.
In an effort, to bring my family Matriarch, Sarah Beaudhuy, lineage forward I submitted a public family tree “Beaudhuy”on ancestry.com. Receiving a genealogy chart, by another researcher, of Anthony Beaudhuy and his wife Catherine Thomas, with their off-springs (Sarah’s half siblings and cousins) was a gem, it peaked my interest to see where the results would lead.
By looking into the Danish and US Federal Census records I found additional surnames. Such as: Wood, Moth, and Beverhoudt all of which are branches on the tree. I discovered through the passenger records, as well as public family trees on ancestry, that during the 19th Century, most had migrated to New Orleans USA, or returned to Denmark.
At times hints and sources appear on the Beaudhuy tree with prompts to connect to other public trees. I suppose that anyone, who submits a public family tree on ancestry, with similar data receives the same hints and prompts. Therefore, I have hesitated to reach out. Well frankly, I intend to give it some time before I share the story of my 4th great-grandmother.