Census Sunday – USVI 1857 (danish period)

Whenever I look at the 1857 census which I retrieved from ancestry.com, I recognize that the composition of the household is of a different time; a time when families lived together. Today, the ancestors could not possibly conceive in their minds, how most families are not living together and rather live apart in distant places. Then again, they could not possibly conceive the birth of the “internet” with the capability of bringing families together for company sake.

My 4x great-grandmother, Sarah Beaudhuy lived in the household of her son, George Bough, daughter-in-law and grandchildren most of her life. George died one year before the 1857 census .

US Virgin Islands Census 1857 (Danish period)
US Virgin Islands Census
1857 (danish period)

The 1857 census shows Sara Beaudhuy living in the household that once was headed by her only child, now belonging to the children of George Bough. Sarah continues to live with her family at 13&14 Fisher Street Christiansted St. Croix.

Susan Crow-Bough 42, born in St. Croix , Episcopalian widow, seamstress
David W. Bough, 17, born in St. Croix, Lutheran, Taylor
Benjamin Bough, 15, born in St. Croix, Episcopalian
Sarah Beaudhuy, 84, born in St. Croix , Moravian, Pensioner

This census is a reminder that families near or far need to make meaningful connections so that a legacy of caring can be established and passed down to the other generations.

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 GlynnGen.com; 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. Its.sheldew@gmail.com I especially appreciate the followers' encouragement.

5 comments

  1. I simply marvel at the fact that you have a census record like this of your family that date as far back as 1857! The institution of slavery that was in place here in the southern half of this country in 1857 has definitely made it a challenge for many of us researching our African/African-American heritage.

    I also noticed that each family member listed does not attend the same church. There’s a variety of religious beliefs here — Episcopalian, Lutheran, and Moravian!

    This is excellent indeed!

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  2. Liv,
    The Danish government kept meticulous records during their occupation of these islands from 1672 thru 1917 when the United States purchased these islands. Ancestry.com has now released the slave records and other documents relating to those days. If your lineage goes back to the Danish West Indies, one can find a goldmine of information.

    Religious affiliation differed according to the parent. In this matter, the father was Lutheran and the Mother was Anglican/Episcopalian. Sometimes some of the children belong to the church of one parent as opposed to another. Although Sarah baptized Dutch reform at birth, in her later years she changed her religion to Moravian.

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      1. Shelley … just found this site and been following it with interest. Can you tell me anything about Susanna Crow… apparently significant other of George A. Bough. Presently researching the Crow connection. rayh28@verizon.net

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