52 Ancestors in 52 weeks Week -9 Multiples

This post is a prompt in the 52 ancestor series 2021.   For this prompt,  a family tree search resulted in multiple spouses/partners and births on my family tree. I decided to search for multiple births.  I found the earliest multiple deliveries was a set of male twins  Aaron (1846-1884) and Esram Bough (1846-1900) born on St. Croix, baptized in the Anglican Episcopal Church in Christiansted town, and lived to adult life.   

The most recent twins found on the Bough family tree are twin girls J’Nyra and J’Nyla born in 2014. I was looking for something less common.  I found also in my family tree my grandfather Julius C. Bough; grandmother; Mary Rose,  was born one generation away from slavery in Barbados; she gave birth to triplets in 1883 in the Danish West Indies, St. Croix.

The Barbados Immigrant document recorded Mary Rose at age 13 was accompanied by her mother and siblings as passengers bound for the island of St. Croix from St. Michaels Parrish, Barbados.  As I gleaned  over the passenger listing of  immigrants from various parishes, I noticed a  boat set sail  on  August 27 in 1860  

Source: NARA/RG55/BOX 338

Although there are few firm details of Mary Rose and her family in Barbados Plantation Society and how she lived, the New York Times reported:   THE WEST INDIES.; Destruction by Fire of Bridgetown, Barbados–Losses of Americans–News from Antigua, and Martinique–Rumored Revival of the French Claim to Hayti.     On the night previous, a most terrible conflagration destroyed nearly the whole commercial portion of Bridgetown. March 23, 1860, Page 1.

 There are several explanations why they left on the boat sailing to the Danish West Indies, but the New York Times articles suggest that the inability to work for black Barbadians remained a struggle.  

The path forward for thirteen-year-old Mary Rose and her family was hopeful.   Mary Rose family settled on St. Croix and lived at Estate Little Princess as first and second-class laborers, they most likely worked on  Sugar plantations in the Danish West Indies.  

Google Map Image

Between 1868 and 1878.  Mary Rose gave birth to four daughters and one son, all born on St. Croix and baptized in the Anglican/Episcopalian Church as recorded in the St. John Baptisms Record book.   Among the four daughters,  Georgianna Ogaard is my grandfather Julius Bough’s mother.

Julius Curtis Bough 1889-1936

On June 26, 1883, Mary Rose (36)and James Lucas (43) were the proud parents of triplets  Sarah, Rachel, and Julia, all born on St. Croix and baptized in the Anglican/Episcopalian Church on June 28th (St. John Baptism Record Book 1883-1899)   

In the 1890 census, Mary Rose and James Lucas lived with their two children Sarah and Julia Lucas, both 7 years old.   Apparently, one othe triplets, Rachel, died in childhood.

Photo showing wooden cart was constructed to take strolls with twins.
Photo Credit:  Elizabeth Rezende & Anne Walbom, St. Croix Historic Photos/Danish West Indian Society, 2009,  89

In 1894, Mary Rose died in Christiansted St. Croix as recorded in the Christiansted District Death Register 1889-1895). Two daughters of the triplet set survived, that is,  Sarah Lucas (1883-1908)  and Julia Luas (1883-aft 1940).    

Mary Rose, my Bajan (3xggm)Ancestor, died at age 50 years old.

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. Shelley,
    Thank you for teaching us about our heritage and making it available to us. I pray that God gives you the strength and desire to continue to search until your last day on earth.


  2. Loved this post, Shelly–so many connections you have! This was especially interesting to me–loved the photograph. You are one of a kind, Shelley!


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