Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – A Fearless Female Blog Prompt

From Randy over at Genea-Musings:

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) Read Lisa Alzo’s blog post Back for a Fourth Year: Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month on her blog, The Accidental Genealogist.

2) Choose one of her daily blog prompts from the list (this is March 9th, do that one if you don’t want to choose another), and write about it.

3) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, in a Facebook post or a Google+ post.

Here’s mine:

I selected the March 9th prompt – Take a family document (baptismal certificate, passenger list, naturalization petition, etc.) and write a brief narrative using the information.

New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 Record list my grandmother Caroline Bough and my mother Joyce Bough departing St. Croix and heading back to New York in April, 1933.

New York Passenger Lists, 1820-19574 (jb)

Growing up in New York, and hearing stories about St. Croix, was very common in my household. One such family story, was when my mother, went to St. Croix when she was 2 years old. It was a difficult time for the family, my mother was very sick with a chest cold with symptoms of bronchitis/pneumonia.

During the 1930’s; pneumonia was considered the leading cause of death. Apparently, her parents were fearful that the rattling on her chest would lead to pneumonia. As a result, my grandmother who is native to St. Croix, took her daughter back home for healing. The combination of warm weather, and I assume the local herbs, proved to be very beneficial.

When I told my mother about the passenger record, showing her and my grandmother returning to New York, after spending time in St. Croix as child; she recalled the experience through her mother’s eyes high lighted by the fact that she was thankful to God for recovery.

By shelley dewese

As I continue to search out my history, I am discovering how much I did not know. The more information that is disclosed about my ancestry, the more I learn and understand how I am the person that has evolved today. As a native New Yorker, with roots in Coastal Georgia and deep roots in the Danish West Indies, now the Virgin Islands of the United States or commonly referred to as the United States Virgin Islands, I have always had a yearning to return to my maternal homeland. In September of 1976, my family and I relocated back to St. Croix. While living in New York, I was always telling my friends about my trip back home, but here I was actually waking up every day, walking among the streets and people that I have identified myself with all of my life. At the time, I was not involved in any genealogical work, but I knew there was a missing link that became completed after I was offered the opportunity to transfer Danish documents into a database. That opened up my world and I realize that this was my niche. I now had the tools to explore and document my ancestry. Growing up, my mother always impressed upon her children the pride in being a “Bough”, which was her surname. Now I was able to track where that pride came from, through participating in family history projects and meeting new family, as we gathered together for the Bough Family Reunion on St. Croix in July of 2012. As I continued to research, I found my passion extending to photography. Sunsets and street art are my favorite features, as shown in my tumblr blog I also began blogging, and found that it has help me to improve my writing skills. Through the comments and well wishes, I have been encouraged to continue to write the stories and events of my life. Whether or not your roots trace back to the Danish West Indies, you will find a beautiful tapestry of life that reflects our “baseball and apple pie”. This site affords you the chance to transform yourself to a time during the Danish period (1734-1917) where life was both simple and complex. If you have any questions, comments, or need assistance in searching for a Danish West Indies ancestor, I invite you to drop me an email.


  1. Even though pneumonia is still something that we have to be careful about with regards to our elderly and very young children, the deadly consequences of it is not so much of a threat as it was back in the 1930’s. So I can certainly understand why your grandmother took the necessary precautions to see that your mom got away from NY and went to where better health and healing was possible during those times.

    You know there’s something to be said about local herbs and their healing power. I find that the older I get, I prefer natural products and local herbs for health and healing than any over the counter medicine any day! Excellent story and I am thankful to God for her recovery as well!


  2. Liv,
    I too prefer natural products. One of the benefits are basically no side affects. By the mid 70’s my mother and I relocated to the Virgin Islands from New York where the warm weather and herbs are 24/7. Thank you for your warm words and well wishes.


  3. That’s an interesting story from a document. When I was 6 I had pneumonia. I was in bed so long the downstairs of the house looked new and interesting when I finally recovered. I wish I had been able to go St. Croix for sun and herbs and health before it took a hold. Both my grandmother’s were in Detroit though so no such luck. I am thankful I recovered, even without the tropical trip.


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