Category: Blogging Prompts

Surname Saturday-Boughs of US Virgin Islands

Although the Boughs have been in the Danish West Indies (now US Virgin Islands) 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 descendants.

The St. Croix Free Males and Militia Combined document established, during 1807-1808, that George Bough, a White male, was in private business as well as a member of the St. Croix Volunteer Company in Christiansted. It is presumed that he met and had a relationship with Sarah Beaudhuy, (1772-1868) a former mulatto slave of Anthony Beaudhuy, who was set free in 1797.

Together they had two sons: David who died at the age of 10 years old and George Bough who becomes the Patriarch of the Bough family of the Virgin Islands. George Anthony Bough fathered 11 children which includes a set of twins and one daughter.

The Bough surname is an old family name that intertwines with the History of the U.S. Virgin Islands Government, Business and Civic Organizations.

In an attempt to gather and compile surnames I thought I would look at my direct Bough lineage beginning with the Patriarch classified as a free person of color because of his mother’s Free-given status.

Lord God of Saboath Lutheran Church, Christiansted St. Croix where family members attended. Photo  by shelley dewese

Lord God of Saboath Lutheran Church, Christiansted St. Croix where family members attended.
Photo by shelley dewese

My Bough Lineage(CAPS):

Generation 1. GEORGE ANTHONY BOUGH, (1806-1856) born in St. Croix, the son of George Bough and Sarah Beaudhuy. He met Sophia Lincoln she was born in 1804 and died in St. Croix together they had 2 Children: Mary Elizabeth and GEORGE A. BOUGH.

Generation 2: George A Bough (1831-1854) born in St. Croix met Emelia Elizabeth Petersen-Marcus the daughter of Thomas Petersen and Anna Catherina DeWindt. She was born in St. Croix April 13, 1833 and died 15 of February 1897. Together they had 2 Children: AUGUST CURTIS BOUGH and Christine Luce Bough-Jacobs.

Generation 3: August Curtis Bough (1866-1939) born in St. Croix was the son of George A. Bough and Emlia Elizabeth Petersen-Marcus. He had Eleven children including JULIUS CURTIS BOUGH.

Generation 4: Julius Curtis Bough (1889-1936) born in St. Croix the son of August Bough and Georgianna Aagard. He had Eight children including my mother JOYCE FLORENCIA BOUGH.

Resources provided upon request.

Wednesday Child: Elise Marie

In memory of Elise Marie
Daughter of
Emile and Marie Svitzer
Who Died on December 8 1873
Aged 8 months and 8 Days

While doing my own cemetery research at the Christiansted, St. Croix Pubic Cemetery, I could not help but notice the Hourglass carved into the tombstone of Elise Marie Svitzer. A closer look revealed a child’s grave. Without a doubt the last few words written upon the stone “aged 8 months and 8 days” was indicative of a Wednesday Child, the Hourglass, symbolizing a short life, as well as the pain felt when a baby dies.

Military Monday- 761st Tank Battalion

Levi G.”Yogi” Bough (1921-2008) was the son of Julius C. Bough and Caroline Gasper-Bough, and my mothers’ brother. Born on St Croix, US Virgin Islands, later migrated with his family to New York City and enlisted with the US Army in April of 1942. My uncle was a member of the 761st Tank Battalion an independent tank battalion of the US Army, known as the Black Panther Tank consisting of mainly African-Americans. Their motto was “Come out Fighting” The tank unit trained at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, and Camp Hood, Texas. During the Battle of the Bulge Germany, the 761st was assigned to General George S. Patton, Jr. Private First Class, Levi Bough was a member of the 761st fine Orchestra as well as worked with the communications section.

yogi (2)

After the war, Levi enrolled and graduated at St. Francis College, NY. In 1950, his family settled in Switzerland. Once there he attended the University of Lausanne and ultimately became a Swiss citizen. Levi’s many years in Europe somewhat isolated him from the happenings of his army buddies. Although my uncle had taken very few trips to the states, he had not connected with the 761st members.

Thanks to the internet we “stumble upon” the 761st web site. In 2006, I made a contact with the 761st Tank Battalion Historian Wayne D Robinson and put him in contact with my Uncle. I could hear the excitement in Robinson voice to learn about a surviving member of the 761st.  He spoke with Levi often and wished for him to come to the states for the reunion that year. After reconnecting and speaking with Wayne Robinson, much of his conversation was about the 761st he spoke about the particulars, playing the violin in the orchestra, and the battles of racism.


My Uncle began sending me many articles about his life, pictures, including the book “Come out Fighting which I treasure. Wayne wanted him to attend the Reunion in Texas, by 2006; my uncle was too weak to travel stateside. Oh how much I wish he could attend the 761st reunion because I know how proud and how much that part of his life meant to him. I can only imagine how it would have been seeing and discussing the activities of the members of the 761st after over 50 years. Although he was not at the 2006 reunion his heart and mind stayed on the event.

In May of 2008, Levi G. “Yogi” Bough died and was buried in Lugano Switzerland. He was 87 years old.

Read more The 761st Tank Battalion at

Shopping Saturday – A.C. BOUGH STORES

My great-grandfather August Curtis Bough was one of the islands greatest merchants on St. Croix. When I settled on St. Croix in the mid 70’s, saw his name boldly posted (AC Bough Stores) on one of the buildings in the town of Christiansted; I made a subconscious commitment to know more about my family history. It would be two decades later when genealogy would take hold of my life.

August Curtis Bough was a popular and respected citizen who owned several establishments in the town of Christiansted dealing in dry goods, hardware, provisions, wholesale, retail and commission. His sons including my grandfather Julius Curtis Bough and many of the vendors went about the town and country selling his goods. The height of his business career may have been the best days of the island. He often talked about the money he made while sending his money to the bank in kerosene tins!!!

While visiting Estate Whim Museum looking through their collection of historic photos, seeing a picture of AC Bough store was pure excitement as well as discovering that he experimented with making and distributing soda pop.

A.C. Bough's Store Photographer  C.E. Taylor circa 1899

A.C. Bough’s Store
Photographer C.E. Taylor
circa 1899

It was particularly disturbing to learn from family members that his establishment was burglarized, but perhaps this was the turning point in his life, when he decided to enter into the ministry with the same zeal he had for his merchandising.

A.C. Bough was a proud and remarkable man who worked very hard for his family and community.

Wedding Wednesday- She was just Seventeen

Alfred Ernest Muckle and Julia Cleopatra Bough married on April 26th, 1885 in the English Episcopal Church in Christiansted, Danish West Indies. (Now the US Virgin Islands) As shown in the Register of Marriages 1867-1901 St. Johns Anglican Church.

St Johns Marriage Register Click for larger view

St Johns Marriage Register
Click for larger view

My 3x great-aunt Julia C. Bough was a 17-year-old seamstress, her husband Alfred Ernest Muckle was a 23-year-old Factory Clerk, both from Christiansted St. Croix.

Witnesses were: Peter Bough, and Alfred Hennerman. Minister officiating was Ch. Brauch, Curate in charge.

St. Johns Anglican Church Bell Tower

St. Johns Anglican Church Bell Tower

The church Bells rang out joyfully for the new couple!!
Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Muckle.

Census Sunday- Tracking the Great Migration

As a tribute to Father’s Day, I decided to take a look at my paternal side. As a young girl and into adult life, this side of my family ancestry was always closed. My siblings and I barely knew of any southern connection. Although the information received was sketchy, I decided to go on a hunt.

Through the US Federal Census records, I discovered that this side of my family is a part of the first Great Migration (1910-1930) of African Americans that migrated from the Rural South to the Northeast. It is through the census records, that I can track my family, as they become a part of the statistics, of this Great Movement.

The 1900 US Census shows my great grandfather John Matthews, (wharf watchman) and his wife Amanda; both of South Carolina, This record provided the birth place of my great-grandparents. They are living together, with their six children all born in Georgia; at Chatham County, Savannah Georgia. as shown in the census below, beginning with line 87 and ending on line 94 with my grandfather Charlie Matthews, the youngest child.

1900 US Census

1900 US Census

My great-grandfather John Matthews (deceased) does not appear on the 1910 US Census. His wife Amanda is listed as a widow, head of household, living together with three of her children, in Chatham County, Savannah Georgia. As shown on the Census beginning with line 88 ending with 91 with my grandfather Charlie Matthews.

1910 US Census

1910 US Census

As I continue tracking the family movements leading up to their migration; I cannot find the whereabouts of my great-grandmother Amanda Matthews in the 1920 Census. Perhaps Amanda was out of the district when the census was being enumerated? Or was she already on the road, with other family members traveling north? The 1920 Census for that district reveals that Amanda’s youngest son my grandfather Charlie Matthews was still living in Chatham County, Savannah Georgia.

1920 US Census

1920 US Census

Eventually, family members left Savannah Georgia; seeking new opportunities during the years of 1921- 1922. I use this range of years, because the 1925 New York State census indicates that my grandfather’s children were all born in New York, beginning with the eldest child Henrietta ,being born in 1923.

Still, all in all, my entire paternal family head to the Northeast and settle in New York City; and become a part of the Mass Exodus that Isabel Wilkerson so eloquently describes in her book “The Warmth of Other Suns.

1925 NYS Census

1925 NYS Census

In 1928 my great-grandmother Amanda Allen Matthew died in New York and was buried at Flushing Cemetery Queens,NY.

Since that Great Migration, it would be over 85 years before a direct descendant would return to the South.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – A Fearless Female Blog Prompt

From Randy over at Genea-Musings:

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) Read Lisa Alzo’s blog post Back for a Fourth Year: Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month on her blog, The Accidental Genealogist.

2) Choose one of her daily blog prompts from the list (this is March 9th, do that one if you don’t want to choose another), and write about it.

3) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, in a Facebook post or a Google+ post.

Here’s mine:

I selected the March 9th prompt – Take a family document (baptismal certificate, passenger list, naturalization petition, etc.) and write a brief narrative using the information.

New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 Record list my grandmother Caroline Bough and my mother Joyce Bough departing St. Croix and heading back to New York in April, 1933.

New York Passenger Lists, 1820-19574 (jb)

Growing up in New York, and hearing stories about St. Croix, was very common in my household. One such family story, was when my mother, went to St. Croix when she was 2 years old. It was a difficult time for the family, my mother was very sick with a chest cold with symptoms of bronchitis/pneumonia.

During the 1930’s; pneumonia was considered the leading cause of death. Apparently, her parents were fearful that the rattling on her chest would lead to pneumonia. As a result, my grandmother who is native to St. Croix, took her daughter back home for healing. The combination of warm weather, and I assume the local herbs, proved to be very beneficial.

When I told my mother about the passenger record, showing her and my grandmother returning to New York, after spending time in St. Croix as child; she recalled the experience through her mother’s eyes high lighted by the fact that she was thankful to God for recovery.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Ancestor Roulette!

From Randy over at Genea-Musings:

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along:
1) What year was one of your great-grandfathers born? Divide this number by 100 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your “roulette number.”

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an “ahnentafel” – your software will create this – use the “Ahnentafel List” option, or similar). Who is that person, and what are his/her vital information?

3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the “roulette number.”

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook status or a Google Stream post, or as a comment on this blog post.

5) NOTE: If you do not have a person’s name for your “roulette number” then “spin” the wheel again – pick a great-grandmother, a grandfather, a parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, yourself, or even your children!

Here’s mine:

1) My great-grand father, August Curtis Bough (1866-1939) was born in 1866 by dividing my 100 gives me a roulette number of 18.66 my roulette number is 18.

2) Number 18 on My ancestor name list (ahnentafel list) is Sophia Lincoln , August Bough Grand Mother. Her vital information includes:

• Born in 1804, Christiansted St. Croix
• Baptized in 1805 in Anglican Church
• Died in 1884 on St. Croix

3) Three + facts about 3rd gg mother Sophia Lincoln
• She had three children:
Ellen Kelly (1829-?) George Bough (1831-1884) Mary Bough( 1837 -1913)
• Her occupation was listed as a Baker
• By 1846 she was listed on the “Free Inhabitants of Christiansted Town Register St. Croix.
Sophia Lincoln died within the same year as her son.

4. Done!

Readership Award Nomination


I humbly accept the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award and pay the honor forward.

When I was notified by Liv Taylor-Harris, at Claiming Kin, that she nominated me for the Readership Award I was quite taken back; shocked and speechless best describe my reaction. I read about the award on Twitter, and thought to myself, “What a wonderful award to receive,” and at the same time felt I was not yet in that league. When I began sharing my ancestors story just under 6 months ago; I was almost terrified in getting my stories out. Taking the big step of blogging appeared intimidating. However, Liv comments and others, gave me a greater confidence in blogging.

Being honored by Liv Taylor Harris at has so much meaning. Her attractive blog is filled with family stories/research/pics of her Texas kin as well as tips, and bits. I often visit to catch up with the latest in the gene-world, as well as catch a glimpse of her visitors from around the globe. Whenever you stop by, browse, and leave a comment, she always takes the time to respond. Liv’s heart is as big as the state of Texas. Thank you again for your nomination.

Those who created this award wrote, “As bloggers, we are also readers. That is a part of blogging as listening is a part of speaking.”

Those bloggers nominated for awards are expected to “pay the honor forward.”

Here are the rules to follow:
(i) Don’t forget to thank the nominator and link back to their site as well;

(ii) Display the award logo on your blog;

(iii) Nominate no more than fourteen readers of your blog you appreciate and leave a comment on their blogs to let them know about the award;

(iv) Finish this sentence: “A great reader is…”

This is my sentence:
“A great reader is one who approaches every word with an openness to learn, question, and comment with words of encouragement, laced with kindness.”

As I pay the honor forward
My nominations are those gene-bloggers who have commented on my blog “time after time”:
David @
Sheryl @
Heather @
George @
Sandra @
Liz @


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