Shopping Saturday – A.C. BOUGH STORES

My great-grandfather August Curtis Bough was one of the islands greatest merchants on St. Croix. When I settled on St. Croix in the mid 70’s, saw his name boldly posted (AC Bough Stores) on one of the buildings in the town of Christiansted; I made a subconscious commitment to know more about my family history. It would be two decades later when genealogy would take hold of my life.

August Curtis Bough was a popular and respected citizen who owned several establishments in the town of Christiansted dealing in dry goods, hardware, provisions, wholesale, retail and commission. His sons including my grandfather Julius Curtis Bough and many of the vendors went about the town and country selling his goods. The height of his business career may have been the best days of the island. He often talked about the money he made while sending his money to the bank in kerosene tins!!!

While visiting Estate Whim Museum looking through their collection of historic photos, seeing a picture of AC Bough store was pure excitement as well as discovering that he experimented with making and distributing soda pop.

A.C. Bough's Store Photographer  C.E. Taylor circa 1899
A.C. Bough’s Store
Photographer C.E. Taylor
circa 1899

It was particularly disturbing to learn from family members that his establishment was burglarized, but perhaps this was the turning point in his life, when he decided to enter into the ministry with the same zeal he had for his merchandising.

A.C. Bough was a proud and remarkable man who worked very hard for his family and community.

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.

4 comments

  1. Shelley, I can certainly understand the motivation behind you wanting to know more about your family and especially about your great-grandfather, A. C. Bough! WOW! What an amazing ancestor you have in your family tree. You mention that he went into the ministry . . . I am looking forward to hearing more about that are of his life as well. Is this your paternal or maternal great-grandfather? Thanks for sharing him with us and it’s mighty good to see you blogging again too!

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