Tag: genealogy

Black History celebrates the narrative of Harold G. Bough, Merchant Marine.

We are one week in the celebration of Black History Month, a month of recognizing the achievements and contributions of African-American people in the diaspora. For those of us who value our ancestry and history, join me in focusing on your family’s contributions that made a meaningful impact to your community and the larger society.

As we do our research, we will discover the many small and large influences that our family members have made to enhance the quality of life of others, and which still remains an impact today.

So get to work, dig into the wealth of information out there, then document and share your proud heritage weekly.   Be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments of this post.

I have already started and so far, I have uncovered that My great, great, great-uncle Harold Bough had served 24 years in the US Navy when the Spanish-American War was being fought.

A 1932 St. Croix Tribute Newspaper Article also indicated that he was in Chinese waters for the Boxer Rebellion with the Party of American Surveyors in 1894, he crossed the proposed route from the Atlantic to Pacific of the Nicaraguan canal, a project that was considered before the present Panama Canal Route had been decided upon, and from 1879-83 he was stationed in the Pacific during the Peruvian and Chilean War.

haroldarticletribune

Printout about Harold Bough from G. James Fleming Article “Journal and Guide of VA

Harold Bough was the son of Ida Rosalie Keutsch and George Bough both of St. Croix US Virgin Islands formerly the Danish West Indies.   He met and married Maggie J. Keeling of Norfolk Virginia and settled in Portsmouth Virginia together they had eight (8) daughters known as the “Bough Girls”

Harold Bough who left the shores of St. Croix to St. Thomas and sailed around the World twice as a Merchant Marine was honored to serve.  Harold Bough died in Portsmouth, VA at the age of 84 years old.

haroldboughmili-headstoneapp

Rosalyn Bough applies for Military Headstone for her father Harold Bough.

 

As Bell Hooks explains, “reclaim their history, call their names, state their particulars,  gather and remember, to share our inheritance”

The theme:   Weekly Black History Narrative  (from your family tree.)

I look forward to reading your story.  Don’t forget to leave a comment with a link to your weekly Black History Narrative.  Or contact me by email at its.sheldew@gmail.com

 

52 Ancestors #15 Isabella Barzey of the Danish West Indies

As you may know, I am participating in Amy Crow’s 52 week ancestors with the 52 week Challenge. http://www.nostorytoosmall.com/ Although this is the 18th Week; I am posting #15  and hope to catch up with the rest of the bloggers before the month is over.  52ancestors-2015

I was recently given a letter that was written by Isabella Barzey (1820-1890) that had me puzzled as to the conditions of life of the population since  July 3, 1848 when the Danish Governor General Scholten proclaimed freedom for all slaves in the Danish West Indies.    Why were people bound to the plantations that enslaved them and why were they still being physically assaulted by the managers?    I discovered that the author of the letter is my ancestor through marriage, and  I needed to research in detail the facts of this ancestor.

By using Ancestry.com and stx.visharoots.org, I gathered information on birth, death and marriage dates.  But I needed to look further at the past history to obtain a real sense of time in which Isabella Barzey lived, when she wrote a letter in April of 1849 to the Danish King, pleading to be transferred from Estate Cane Garden Plantation on St. Croix after being flogged in order to join her husband in St. Thomas.

Estate Cane Garden

Estate Cane Garden photo by sdewese

My findings from the VI History books led to the Labor Act of 1849 in which I will point out two portions of the Act that shaped the early years following emancipation:

  1. The great majority of the newly-freed Blacks were to remain unfree on the estates with no recourse open to them but to submit to the bondage imposed by the 1849 Labor Act.
  2. The amended 1849 Labor Act.- The Act created a new institutionalized system of serfdom base on contract labor, in place of slavery.  The law fixed the contract year from October to October, renewable each August.  Engagement’s made by heads of families were to include their children.  Laborers were divided into three classes with meager wages.  No laborer could refuse the work he might be ordered to do.  To assure that a laborer remain bondage to his former owner, the law placed him in a no-win predicament by providing:

The laborer shall have given, or received, legal notice of removal from the estate where he serves, before anyone can engage his service; otherwise the new contract to be void, and the party engaging in tampering with a laborer employed by others, will be dealt with according to law.  The contract was inviolable except by mutual agreement between the master and laborer, or by order of a magistrate.

The Letter I have transcribed is from Mrs. Isabella Barzey, describing the bad treatment she received from Manager Maloy of Estate Cane Garden, and her request to be sent to St. Thomas to meet her husband.    Isabella letter is as follows:

BarzeyLtrpg1

Transcribed verbatim:

May it be pleasing to your Excellency

I humbly state that I have attended Mr. Maloy the manager of Estate Cane Garden three years as Cook, House Attendant and Seller.  Always faithful obedient and attention to my business. On Monday the 16th of April last I was constrained from bad feelings reasoned by a Cold and hoarseness, to beg Mr. Maloy for a dose of oil which he refused to give when I was obliged to seek for it elsewhere and remained my house until Thursday, the 19th.  When Mr. Maloy called me before Dr. Johnson who said I was not sick when my feelings were really sick as did not allow me to work the following day.  I was sent to Kings Hill and their flogged in a shameful manner, the first time since I arrived at the age of maturity which is painful to my feelings.  July next will be 10 years since I was married indorsed medals with accompanied certificates will prove my character it was from life and exemplary life and laudable conduct which was pleasing to Priest O Kennely

Courtesy of Camilla Jensen

Courtesy of Camilla Jensen

who honored me with this mark of distinction from other married women.  I was always respected from the managers who preceded Mr. Maloy, it is bad feelings in him to treat me in this manner, to expose me, to cut my flesh and humble my becoming pride which was always govern with markings of obedience to my superiors, and friendship to my equals.  Mr. Maloy has without cause inflicted a wound which he cannot remedy.  My husband is now in St. Thomas a Mason of trade.  I humbly beg that your Excellency will after mature deliberations be graciously pleased to grant myself and children to follow my husband according to the 2nd paragraph of your excellency Regulation of the 26th January last as I cannot remain to be further exposed under the powerful control of Mr. Maloy; my first child is 13 years old and my last 9 years old, your excellency’s compliance to the above will be ever gratefully remembered by your most humble servant.

Isabella Barzey

Christiansted 5th May 1849

It is not yet known whether Isabella’s request to follow her husband to St Thomas was granted.  The 1855 Census revealed that she was no longer living at Estate Cane Garden. She was then living in the town of Christiansted with her two daughters.

St. Croix Census 1855

St. Croix Census 1855

By 1860, the St. Croix Census showed that Isabella Barzey was then divorced from Henry Barzey, and living in the town of Christiansted with her daughter Virginia and grand-daughter Theresa Chabert.

St. Croix Census, 1860

St. Croix Census, 1860

Isabella’s grand-daughter Theresa Chabert married my 3rd generation Uncle Esram Bough,  on February 26, 1884 at Holy Cross Catholic Church on St. Croix.  Together they had four children.  (see my post on Esram Bough the  Cigar Maker)

Holy Cross Marriage Book 1884

Holy Cross Marriage Book 1884

Isabella Barzey died on April 11, 1890 she was 70 years old.

After the 1878 revolt on St. Croix, the Labor Act came to an end after thirty (30) years on October 1, 1879.

Sources:

Letter:  National Archives of Denmark -Courtesy of Camilla Jensen

Willocks, The Umbilical Cord, page 192

Boyer, America’s Virgin Islands, page 58-59

St. Croix Census 1855, Available from Ancestry.com Virgin Islands Social History Associates (VISHA), comp. U.S. Virgin Islands Census, 1835-1911 (Danish Period) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.

St. Croix Census, 1860, Available from Ancestry.com Virgin Islands Social History Associates (VISHA), comp. U.S. Virgin Islands Census, 1835-1911 (Danish Period) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.

http://stx.visharoots.org/ St. Croix Population Database

Holy Cross Catholics Church, Christiansted Marriage records 1855-1898

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.

Friday Faces From the Past- J.C. Bough

Friday face of the past: My maternal Grandfather Julius Curtis Bough (1889-1936) born on St. Croix, son of August Curtis Bough, and Georgiana Ogaard, both of St. Croix.

Julius Curtis Bough

Julius Curtis Bough

My grandmother and other family members would often speak about my grandfather working in his fathers’ grocery store. (Featured in a previous post “Saturday Shopping”) Selling goods from a cart, around St. Croix, as well as on St. Thomas, made him a successful Sales Rep. The “1923 United States Federal Census” verifies oral history, showing Julius Bough’s occupation as a salesman working at a grocery store.

Just as the “First Great Migration of African-Americans “ moved from the rural south, to Northern states between 1910 and 1930’s; Virgin Islanders also emigrated to New York and other parts of the mainland when the Americans bought the Danish West Indies. Not out of fear of segregation issues, but for economic advantages.

“Passenger Record” Manifest, SS “Guiana, 30th of September 1923, list Julius Curtis Bough arriving at the Port of New York on October 6, 1923. He did not travel with his family. His soon-to-be wife and two children would follow later. “New York Passenger” Manifest, SS “ Maraval” 8th of June 1926, list Caroline Gasper and children arriving at the port of New York on June 14, 1926.

I decided to dig into the directories to map out their residencies, “Manhattan New York City Directory, 1931” showed my grandparents Julius and Caroline Bough living together on 626 West 140th Street Harlem, New York. They were among the “first Virgin Islanders, to arrive in America”.

Before Julius C. Bough untimely death, he worked outdoors as a Porter with a Sanitation Company. Unfortunately, he caught pneumonia and died at the age of 47. Thereafter my grandmother returned to St. Croix to bury her husband. Julius Curtis Bough was eulogized by his father, Reverend August C. Bough of the AME Church of Christiansted St. Croix and buried at the Public Cemetery.

As I look into this face of the past, take a genealogical journey into his short span of life, I come away with the impression that the transition of culture, weather, etc. had its toll. Still, all in all, providing for the family was foremost.

Tombstone Tuesday- Christiansted Cemetery, St. Croix

Of all the children of George Anthony Bough; the Patriarch of the Bough Family of the USVI, only two were not buried in the Christiansted Cemetery, St. Croix.

Christiansted Cemetery, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

Bough Family Record
Names, date of birth, date of death, of the children of
George Anthony Bough. (born 1806 and buried 1856 in St. Croix, DWI)

1. Edward Curtis Bough – Born 1829, died in St. Croix, 1861
2. George Anthony Bough – Born 1831, died in St Croix, 1884
3. Mary Elizabeth Bough – Born 1837, died in St. Croix, 1913
4. David Welbrin Bough – Born 1839, died in St Croix, 1906
5. Benjamin Curtis Bough- Born 1841, died in St. Croix, 1875
6. Esram Bough – Born 1846 died in St. Croix, 1900
7. Aaron Bough -Born 1846 died in St. Croix, 1884
8. Joseph Bough- Born 1849 died in St. Croix, bet 1870- 1880
9. James Bough – Born 1854 died in St. Croix, before 1880
10. Peter Walter Bough -Born 1855 born died in New York before 1930
11. Harold Gustavus Bough- Born 1856 –died Portsmouth, Virginia, 1941

Source: church, vital statistics, burial, and census records of danish west indies.

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