Saturday, October 29, 2011

Children of Amy McNobney

This week I have been spending considerable time with the Lutheran Church records on the FHC microfilm roll 38861. This is a time consuming process, but I really found a lot of good information.  In particular, I mostly settled a nagging issue I had concerning siblings of two of my ancestors.
Amy McNobney's Slave Tax Document from 1800
The oldest family I found in the censuses (taken in 1841) was the Amy McNobney family.  Amy appears to have been born around 1771 in St. Croix. In all the censuses, she lived at 45 Fisher St. (which I started referring to as “the old family home”) until her death between 1861-1870.  She appears in censuses in 1841, 1846, 1850, 1855, 1857, and 1860 with a rather large and constantly changing family.  I made the assumption that these people were her children, although I had no proof. Her “children” appeared to have all been born from about 1800-1817.

Amy’s filed a Slave and Head Tax record in 1800, listing her address as 11B Queen’s Cross St. (Droningens Tver Gade). The record also states that she had a daughter, Maria Magdalena, by then. Amy states that Maria was the owner of a slave, Henrietta.  I found Henrietta’s baptism record from 1797.  No mother is listed.

Other tax records show 11B Queen’s Cross St to be the residence of one Johannes van Beverhoudt (Johannes is a popular name for these people, second only to Claudius in popularity). Sometime between 1802 and 1809 the family moved to 45 Fisher St. (Fiskergade), which happens to be right around the corner (It’s possible that it was the same property, just a new address).  Amy and Johannes appear on several filings together, so I’m pretty confident they were the heads of the household.

This period is around 40 years before the first census, making it hard to determine all the children. Svend Holsoe’s van Beverhoudt compilation at lists 6 van Beverhoudts on St. Croix who were born at around this time but offers no suggestion that they were related. I found a family tree on Ancestry (from someone who proved to be a distant cousin) that recorded all 6 as siblings.  When I contacted the tree owner about how he knew they were siblings, he told me that he didn’t, and it was supposition and needed proof. Given the confusing nature of the census residences he wasn’t very confident. Well, he turned out to be correct, although the family was actually much larger.  So far, I have found church records of 14 children.  I found baptism records of 13 and a death record of 1. I also found that Amy McNobny’s original name was Nahemi (or Naomey, or Naomi) and she didn’t start going by Amy (or Amey) until around 1800. Naomey/Amy was fairly active in the church and was listed as a witness to many baptisms, both free and slave, starting around 1793.

So, at this point, this is the list of Amy’s children from the church register:

1. Dedrich Michael17908. Peter Berent1806
2. Maria Magdalena17939. Engel Johannes Claudius1807
3. Bertrand Langemach179510. Johanna Amey1809
4. Dorothea Juliana179611. Thomas Mac Nobney1811
5. Anna Margareth179712. Didrich Mogens1815
6. Claudius Guert180213. Adrian Benjamin1817
7. Peter Berent (death record only)1805

The 9th child, Engel Johannes Claudius (Johannes), was my 3rd great grandfather, the father of Claudius (discussed in Case Study: Adelaide’s Maiden Name).

In going through the records I ran into some interesting things.  I had found Peter Berent van Beverhoudt (#8 from the list, b. 1806) in censuses up through 1860, and found that he had 6 children.  Since I had suspected that he was a brother, I wasn’t much surprised when I found his baptism record from 2 Feb 1806 with Amy McNobney listed as his mother.  I was surprised when I found an entry for the death and burial of Peter Berent van Beverhoudt dated 28 March 1805.

IMG_2312-zoom enhanced
Death of Peter Berent van Beverhoudt, March 28, 1805
The text reads (in Danish):
Den 28. Marts Døde et Drengebarn kaldt Peter Berent van Beverhoudt, Berentsen Naomy McNobony og begraven.  (On the 28th of March a boy child called Peter Berent van Beverhoudt Naomy McNobony and buried.) – Thanks to Kaj, in Denmark, for translating this.

So, apparently, there was another child in the family with the same name.  Since I cannot locate a baptismal record for this Peter (#7) prior to 1805, I assume at this point that he died in infancy, although this is by no means certain.  Given prolific nature of Amy and Johannes van Beverhoudt, there aren’t too many possibilities for when he could have been born.

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