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 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 http://minkyadoo.tumblr.com/ 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.

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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