Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Well, Monday was a holiday for me but not for my wife, so I figured I’d surprise her and spend my day off cleaning out and organizing the years of junk, rather than “chillaxing” in front of the TV like most sensible people. Since the ceiling is 3' high and I'm 6' 1", it was pretty cramped, and I'm still quite sore, but it was worth it. Not only did I complete a task we’ve been putting off for years, but I found that box of old papers. That night, I started going through them and made quite a find: the Royal Appointment of my great grandfather, Christian Andreas Conrad, to the office of Toldskontrølor (Comptroller of Customs) of St Croix in 1907.
Monday, December 23, 2013
|Painting of the Bombardment of Copenhagen|
While Ancestry’s name of the collection certainly appears to be an accurate description (the people listed are free, male, live on St Croix, and it was for the year 1807), this isn’t a document of a census or a complete listing of free people. The list is only adult males, children aren’t recorded. Also it doesn’t appear to be comprehensive. It appears that there are names missing from this document. As a quick check, I looked at some burgherbriefs issued in 1806 and early 1807, figuring that those people would likely still be on island. A Charles Ferdinand Wass, born in London, received his brief in December 1806 yet does not appear in the “List of Inhabitants” a year later. Neither does an Alexander Instant, born in Scotland. I also couldn't find Stephen Wheeler, born in North America, yet he received his brief in July 1807.
How useful is a “List of Inhabitants” that doesn’t show all the “Inhabitants”? Well, not very, until you notice what the list really is. To do that, I need to digress and discuss a bit of Virgin Island history that isn’t as well known as it should be. It is a time when world events reached across the Atlantic to the little Danish islands and brought significant changes, affecting our families and their lives forever.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
The best online collection was the St Croix census. There were indexes at the Danish Demographic Database (http://www.ddd.dda.dk/ddd_en.htm) and VISHA (http://stx.visharoots.org/db.html) and images on Ancestry.com.
There were a few church records on FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/) and the copy of NARA’s Colored People records M-1883 on Fold3 (which has since been posted to Ancestry.com).
That was about it.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Long time readers will remember that back in May 2012 Ancestry posted a large collection of records from the Virgin Islands (see my post, New Virgin Islands Records on Ancestry.com) and then, a week later, yanked them down. (See Virgin Islands Records Vanished from Ancestry.com). Well, mostly, they’re back. Hopefully to stay.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Genealogists tend to live in the past. A very distant past. Few of them take the time, or have the interest, to document their own lives. After all, our lives are recent. There is no mystery. Besides, our lives aren’t interesting unless we are movers and shakers, captains of industry or politicians. Somehow we feel that the life of anyone from the 18th century, no matter how dull, is far more interesting than our own.
Well, one day, the 2013 will be “long ago” and our descendants (avid genealogists, of course) will be building their family history. Of course, they will have all of our wonderful research to build on, but it will suddenly end with us. How will they find out about us? Can you think of a better gift to leave them than a detailed account of our lives? About when and where we lived? What we liked and disliked, our hopes and dreams? About how we were affected by the events of our times? What would you give to find such an account of one of your ancestors?