52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #5 Family lore; Ireland to the Danish West Indies

52ancestors-2015
The theme of this week’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge is “Plowing Through”

Plowing through and documenting census, church, and immigration records in order to find supporting evidence to confirm a family lore, has been tedious, yet a quite interesting task.

Although the Bough family has been on St. Croix, Danish West Indies since the 18th Century, family lore has it that the ancestors were living in County Cavan, Ireland before coming to St. Croix. As was typical during the 18th and 19th Centuries; the St. Croix population was mostly of English, Irish, and Scottish descent.

The St. Croix Free Males and Militia Combined 1807-1808 report; listed a George Bough as a White Male in private business and a member of the St. Croix Volunteer Company in Christiansted. Nothing in genealogy research is so exciting as discovering a link. Looking at this document and seeing the name of the patriarch of the family led me directly to my 4th Great-Grandmother. I was satisfied that the search led to a George Bough, but disappointed that it leads no further. Still, without the mere vital facts (date and place of birth) the search continued. Seeking a clue, I searched through Irish databases, Irish Genealogy guides, and bits of history on County Cavan, Ireland. Thus far, the plowing has not reaped many fruits. Therefore, I set my plowing tools down.

Not until my Gen-Friend Ricki Marshall called me to watch “Who Do You Think You Are” which featured Kim Cattrall who was searching for an ancestor, with the same name I was searching “George Baugh”, did I pick up my plowing tools again. Although the spelling of the name was different by one letter, the name variations rule applied. I watched intently her search, which eventually led to Liverpool England. I’ve watched this “wdytya” episode a couple of times for hints and clues. However, there was no mention of her ancestors heading to the Danish West Indies but the possibility exist.

If anyone runs into Kim Cattrall please text/email and inform her that the Bough family, of the US Virgin Islands formerly the Danish West Indies, arms are open wide to welcome her to St. Croix. We can simply sit under the palm tree on a sugar sandy beach with a tall cool glass of coconut water and have a chat about the Bough/Baugh ancestors.

Resources:

Virgin Islands Social History Associates (VISHA), comp. U.S. Virgin Islands Census, 1835-1911 (Danish Period) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.

Virgin Islands Social History Associates (VISHA). St. Croix Free Males and Militia Combined 1807-1808 (Danish period)

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 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 data base. 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 with 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 question, comments or need assistance in searching for a Danish West Indies ancestor, I invite you to drop me an email.

6 comments

  1. I am so impressed with your perseverance as you continue to research and then report your findings with these lwonderful & very informative posts. Thank you so very much for helping to establish our ROOTS 🙂

    Like

  2. Hi

    I dont know how I ended up on this thread. Anyway I am from Cavan in Ireland. A little town called Virginia. Anyway the story goes that there were two Baugh families living across the river from each other. This caused issues with post so my grandfather Charlie changed his last name from Baugh to Bough. He was born 1914 or something so it was after your George. So some of my cousins are Baugh and some are Bough.

    Like

    1. Hello Stephen:
      I am very happy that your search landed you on my genealogical journey. I’m so excited to read about two Baugh/Bough brothers and the reason for the letter change. The link and the information are quite helpful and perhaps this is the support I need for the oral history that was passed down throughout the generations. Thank you for the visit and stop back anytime.

      Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s