Wishful Wednesday – Chat and chew with Nancy of Africa

Here’s a new blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, called Wishful Wednesdays. The page for Wishful Wednesdays says, “What ancestor do you wish you could have met?”

I thought of quite a few ancestors I wish I could have met. Then I thought, why not start from the beginning. I chose my earliest ancestor (that I know of) and my latest find which is Nancy the African, my 4th grand-mother. (Featured once in a prior post called “Thursday Treasure 1855 census.”)

According to the St. Croix Census of the Danish West Indies my 4th grand-mother Nancy was born in Africa, described as one with a good moral character. There are so many moments in her life that I wish I could be a part of for this post. However, I settled on being a part of the “Winter Years” of her life, as Nancy recalls her journey, unlocking her past, I listen anxiously.

Below I attempt to describe my Wishful Wednesday chat and chew (meeting/interview) with Nancy through pictures and text. beginning with the census establishing her birth place.

nancy-1855 St. Croix Danish West Indies Census

nancy-1855 St. Croix Danish West Indies Census

Captured, classified as cargo, departing Africa to the Caribbean. Approximately a 100 day voyage before arriving on St.Croix, the Danish West Indies.



Two girls bet the ages of 12- 14 Nancy and Petronella both of Africa stood on the auction block, and was sold for 800 Rigsdaler to a Danish Sea Captain.



I turned to Nancy and asked did you ever dream of a better day. Then I pulled out the family tree scroll and pointed to her descendants, along with telling the stories about how they overcame the obstacles and challenges despite its limitation, that would shape a legacy that would make her proud.

Bough Family Scroll

Bough Family Scroll

Joy and hope, filled my soul when discovering the life of Nancy that seemingly been closed, has consumed me with a need to engage my grandchildren with creating a project, looking at Nancy’s life from the eyes of a child that would celebrate the memory of Nancy. We cherish and honor her survival.

Almost forgetting the most important yet delicate part of the interview; was when I would ask my Nancy to tell me about her Mama and Papa, and as her eyes watered from the experience of exile and deep isolation, I whispered, say no more. Look and see how your flock has spread across the World. With that Nancy got the pots going and we chewed on some fry fish and johnny-cake.

Bough Family Reunion 2012

Bough Family Reunion 2012

  9 comments for “Wishful Wednesday – Chat and chew with Nancy of Africa

  1. jsmith0105@aol.com
    April 24, 2013 at 7:22 am

    This post is so sweet, so creative, so imaginative, yet so real, and so well written!!. I find myself sitting in a corner eavesdropping on your conversation with Nancy, though not really ’cause she’s the ancestor of so many of us whose 4th great grandmother (and grandfather travel led the same voyage, stood on a similar block on an island just next door. Thanks for the oPportunity to read it at the start of a new day!!!
    Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®


    • April 24, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      You are sooo right “Your story, is my story” Composing this post was heartfelt, and emotionally difficult; and at the same time I enjoyed creating the visit. Your comments reassured me that the thoughts that I wanted to share about Nancy situation was well received. Thank you!


  2. April 24, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    This is such a WONDERFUL Shelley! You are truly blessed and fortunate to know not only the name of your 4x great-grandmother, but to know where she’s from and how she came to St. Croix. I hope to one day be able to tell a rich and engaging story about my ancestors as you have done here today. I LOVE that reunion photo too. You truly have a beautiful family!


    • April 24, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      I feel truly blessed and fortunate. You see, the Danish Officials kept very good records of various documents. Living on St. Croix puts me in a good place in terms of family history. The reunion picture is a Virgin Islands Cultural Blend. Thank you for stopping by.


  3. April 24, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    I am brought to tears by your wishful moment and vicariously exploring such a moment myself . Thank you for this memory.


  4. April 24, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Your very welcome. Im happy that I was able to share my joy and pain. Most of all you that you are a part of this memory.


  5. April 28, 2013 at 11:19 am

    That’s a wonderful interview. I would choose the oldest relative that I know too, she was born about 1800 in SC. I couldn’t read the document, but it tells where Nancy was taken from? Where was it? I would love to find that information.


  6. April 28, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Kristin, Thank you for stopping by.
    Click on the census at the top, then zoom it in. You should be able to read the document. Look under the column “where born” gives place of birth. However, the document does not tell what part of Africa, that missing information is an ongoing process.


    • April 28, 2013 at 9:43 pm

      It did get larger. I don’t know why it didn’t at first.


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