52 Ancestors- week 21 Cemetery

February 15, 1897, Amelia Elizabeth Petersen-Marcus was buried in the New Danish Church Cemetery in Christiansted Town.  Amelia E. Petersen was born on St. Croix in April 1834 died in February 1897 during the Danish Period.  A family member in St. Thomas, USVI  explained that Amelia’s son (August Bough) had a tombstone design and placed it on his mother’s grave.  She further stated that a friend of the family would take me to see the marker.  As I prepared to visit the gravesite, I thought I would get a summary of my 3-great grandmother, as described below. 

Amelia Elizabeth Petersen-Marcus

  • Born April 13, 1834 Christiansted  St. Croix.
  • Amelia had five (5) children.
  • Married Michael Marcus April 2, 1879.
  • She was a lifelong resident of Christiansted St. Croix.

We introduced ourselves and began to walk through the cemetery to see the memorial site.  Lo and behold, it was everything my cousin described without exaggeration.  To my surprise, there were two tombstones side by side.

I was narrowing down my research on August C. Bough to his only wife, Hadassah Summersille-Bough, as recorded in the Lutheran Church Book, and other partners. The visit provided additional information which I did not expect to find.   Most of my research comes from Historical documents/databases/ funeral booklets/family lore.

The tombstone August C. Bough erected, was for his mother, and another tomb stone for his first wife Mary Eliza (Armstrong), who died at the young age of 20 years old.  This visit to the cemetery, got me a gem in the rough. 

Written on Tombstone : “Mary Eliza Beloved Wife of AC Bough who died 26, October 1894 aged 20 years like a flower within its bloom she passed beyond the tomb with a certain Hope of Grace to behold her Savior face to face”

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. Again, Shelly, so great that you can find this information—must be very satisfying for you–I love reading your findings.


  2. Shelley,
    Again, thank you for your diligence and commitment to our family’s genealogy. Every nugget of our history is a appreciated and welcomed. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


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