Looking at Resilience

2019 marks the commemoration of 400th Anniversary of the African American Story in the United States.  The history includes the “forced migration” of Africans into North America.  Gloria Brown-Marshall, Associate professor at John J College, so eloquently described on cable network; what happen 400 years ago, that is, the separation of families, is the discussion today.

Families continue to be separated the Border.  When we look back at the African’s journey, we have to acknowledge the atrocities, slavery, violence, victimization and discouragement.  However, I see perseverance and resilience.   A people that felt there was a need to inspire and achieve some measure of sanity outside of the madness that was going on in their surrounds.

In commemoration of the 400th Anniversary of the African American story in the United States and Black History month, I realize that history makers can be found in our relatives also.  Therefore, I decided to shake my tribal tree and catch those history makers and reclaim them for the purpose of inspiration.  I hope that this will inspire us to do our best regardless of the odds that are against us.

History Maker

1798 – Nancy born in Africa.  At approximately 12-14 years old, most likely walked through the “door of no return” from West Africa; survived the transatlantic slave trade, shipped and stopped in the Danish West Indies; (now USVI) sold to a Danish Captain Thomas Petersen.  Nancy received freedom in 1848 when the slaves were emancipated in the Danish West Indies.  (St. Croix Census, 1841)

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.

1 comment

  1. Thanks Shelley for this (and for the trivet of Stanley and my dearest friend Bronco—showed him this, and guest what? He has the original painting—how cool is that! Loved seeing you, was too short. Maybe soon in Florida. Mary

    On Thu, Feb 28, 2019 at 9:18 PM My Genealogical Journey wrote:

    > shelley dewese posted: ” 2019 marks the commemoration of 400th Anniversary > of the African American Story in the United States. The history includes > the “forced migration” of Africans into North America. Gloria > Brown-Marshall, Associate professor at John J Colleg” >


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