I found several images that recorded the Dutch family of Claudius and Guertruy van Beverhoudt. They listed their children in what appears to be descending age order. From that, I was able to associate a Johannes van Beverhoudt to my known 4th great-grandfather, the common-law husband of Amey McNobney. Claudius is listed in my Ahnentafel report based on the findings from the Head tax listings.
Since then, I have found further evidence that not only increases my confidence in the kinship, it also helps me better understand his life. It appears that they arrived in St Croix around 1773 from St Thomas. So, new to St Croix, but not new to the Danish islands.
|1754 Dutch Reformed Church Register showing Guertruy Magens (highlighted)|
There were many van Beverhoudts in the Dutch Reformed church, so Claudius was probably baptized Reformed and so would have already been a member of the church. The Magens family was another established St Thomas Family (they probably lent their name to Magens Bay, one of the world’s most beautiful beaches to this day). They were Anglican, so Guertruy was probably baptized Anglican. The registration is therefore likely to be a conversion following marriage of Gertruy. I would suspect that it was soon after marriage, possibly immediately. Based on this, and the fact that the document is dated 14 December 1754, I conclude that they were likely married in 1754 on St Thomas.
Further, since the custom then was for men to marry aroud 18-20, it is reasonable to guess that Claudius was born around 1730-35 and Guertruy to be a year or two younger, say 1731-36. This of course is a guess, but mothers under 17 were rare.
|1777 Slave Tax for Claudius van Beverhoudt in Dutch|
2. Zoon (son) Thomas Magens
3. Zoon (son) Joannes
4. Zoon Claudius
5. Zoon Bertrand Pieter
6. Myn vrouw (my wife)
7. dogter (daughter) Dorothea
8. dogter Juliana Susanna
9. dogter Maria Elizabeth
It then lists slaves owned by each family member. It is signed C. v. Beverhoudt. I noted that the tax form was written in Dutch, and that Dutch was never widely spoken on St Croix. The official language was Danish but the language most people would learn growing up would have been English. I had concluded from this that Claudius was not born on St Croix. Since the unofficial language of St Thomas was Dutch, he could have grown up speaking Dutch there. Finding him on St Thomas in 1754 fit well with this conclusion.
The only baptismal record I have found to date is Bertrand Pieter’s. He was baptized in the St Croix Dutch Reformed church on 3 Sep 1777, so he was only 3 months old when this tax list was filed. I reviewed the FHL microfilm of the Dutch Reformed Church on St Croix from 1764-1814 (FHL 38865) and see no reference to any van Beverhoudts prior to this date. This suggests that the other children were all born on St Thomas, and that Bertrand Pieter was the youngest. In fact, at the baptism, Thomas Magens, Johannes, and Dorothea are all listed as godparents.
|1777 St Croix Baptism Record of Bertrand Pieter van Beverhoudt|
The property at No 5 King St from 1773-1775 was owned by Claudius, he lived there with his family
There is no 1776 matricul, either at NARA or in the Danish Archives. From 1777-1787, Claudius is listed at No 4 King St, but it is likely that this was still the same house, as the house numbers were not strictly used at this time. In 1788, the house at No 5 King St was listed as belonging to Guertruy van Beverhoudt. This suggests that Claudius had died and that Guertruy took over as head of house. I happen to have the Slave Tax papers for 1788 and Guertruy is listed as the head and Claudius’ name does not appear. This tells me that Claudius died between Nov 1777 and 1778. Guertruy maintained ownership of No 5 King St from 1788-1790.
Claudius was listed as a merchant, which would make sense as the family held no plantations in St Croix. It is possible that he was co owner of a dry goods shop in Christiansted called “Ebbesen og Beverhoudt” with a Mr. Ebbesen. Hugo Ryberg, in “A List of the Inhabitants of the Danish Westindian Islands 1650-ca 1825” states that Danish Archive records show this firm in Christiansted in 1776. That would be about the right time.
|1791 Slave Tax at 47 Queens St|
Dorothea Vogelsang,Dorothea had married Peter Vogelsang and, according to the Matriculs, they lived at 21 Hill St from 1785-1788. Peter declared bankruptcy and lost his property at this time. While he worked as an estate manager at Green Key. During some of this time, Dorothea lived with her mother. Dorothea is out of her mother’s house by 1794.
Juliana Susanna van Beverhoudt
Maria Elizabeth van Beverhoudt
Bertrand Pieter van Beverhoudt
|Nearly Illegible 1802 Slave tax Record|
Two compilers have indicated that Guertruy died on 21 Mar 1813, and this is supported by the Matriculs. In 1913, the house at 52C was listed as belonging to Johannes van Beverhoudt C.Z. It was common for Dutch people to sign formal documentation by giving the first initial of their father, in this case Claudius. C.Z. means “Claudius Zoon” or “Claudius’ Son”. This is extremely helpful to the genealogist as there was a second Johannes van Beverhoudt in Christiansted at the time. He signed his name E.Z., or “Engel’s Zoon”. Claudius E.Z. was the Royal Bookkeeper (Bogholder) and so appears on numerous official documents (including the pages of the Matricul; he apparently was an enumerator).
Johannes C.Z. held the property for only a couple of years and sold it in 1815. During this period, he was living with his family at 45 Fisher St with Amey Mc Nobney and their 12 children.