52 ancestors in 52 Weeks # 6 From Danish West Indies, to The Philippines

The Theme of this week’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge is “So Far Away”
Week No. 6 challenge: So Far Away. Which ancestor is the farthest from you, either in distance or in time/generations? Which ancestor have you had to go the farthest away to research?

Irvin Gustavus Bough
Irvin Gustavus Bough

Dr. Irving G. Bough, the brother of my 3rd great-grandfather was born on November 18, 1872, on St. Croix, Danish West Indies. In 1892 he left St. Croix to complete his education in Boston, Massachusetts. After earning his medical degree he joined a missionary group bound for The Philippines. He settled in Carigara Leyte, The Philippines where he married and fathered about 9 children. Although he never returned to his native St. Croix, he kept up constant communication with his siblings. In 1944 Dr. Irvin G. Bough died in Leyte, The Philippines at the age of 72.

1900 US Census Dr. Irvin Bough living in Boston MA
1900 US Census Dr. Irvin Bough living in Boston MA

In July 1997 the descendants of Dr. Irvin Bough traveled to St. Croix, their father’s ancestral home to attend a family reunion. I had heard stories about the family and the Philippines connection and now I was meeting them for the very first time. The family historian read a heartfelt letter from her great-grandfather in which he asked his children to never forget his beloved family of St. Croix. Stories of the migration of their ancestor from St. Croix to The Philippines were told with so much emotion. Love and happiness as well as tears of joy filled the room as we embraced, danced and shared stories of the history and genealogy.

Bough fam-3-imp

In 2012, the Boughs came together again on St Croix. The love and comradely displayed by all brought a closeness that continues even today. The descendants of Dr. Irvin G. Bough my great, great, great-uncle are certainly carrying out his wishes that is, to keep their beloved relatives of St. Croix in their hearts and mind. Today, most of the family lives between California, Hawaii, and New Jersey.

The descendants of  Dr. Irvin G. Bough
The descendants of Dr. Irvin G. Bough

52ancestors-2015

Resources:
US Census Ancestry.com
Bough Family Reunion Booklet 1997

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.

3 comments

  1. That is so exciting, Shelly !!!! I havn;t been able to keep up with all the weeks. Will figure out how to go back and read them now that I’m settled for a couple weeks.

    Like

  2. Hello, So nice to read about my grandfather, Irvin Gustavus Bough, whom I have not met yet. Thank you and I will share with my brother and sisters, Gina Lucille Bough Sisti.

    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