Ancestry.com has a fully indexed collection, with images, of the St Croix censuses from 1841-1911. The census was indexed by VISHA, the Virgin Islands Social History Association (http://stx.visharoots.org/), and the images were made by the Danish Archives, Rigsarkivet, in Copenhagen from originals there. Rigsarkivet doesn’t have the full set, however. There are some images missing from several censuses, particularly the 1890 census. I discovered this when I pulled up records of my 2nd great grandfather, Claudius van Beverhoudt. Here’s the page from Ancestry:
Notice the red “X” where it says to “View original image”. That “X” is because Ancestry doesn’t have the image. Ancestry’s collection is only 625 images for 1690 but they have 1,427 from 1680. Seems like half the collection is missing. Odds are, if your family was in St Croix in 1890, half of the census documents (both plantations and towns) will be unavailable.
That’s because the originals aren’t in Copenhagen. They’re in College Park. Notice at the bottom of the page under Document Reference it says:
NARA/RG55/Box189; MicrofilmThat means that the original is at NARA, in Record Group 55 (which is in College Park) Box 189. It has been microfilmed on publication M-1884, Roll 1, Section 3. Here’s that missing page:
Quite a lot of census images are there. Frames 269 to 938 or Roll 1 are all pages from the 1890 census. That’s 551 pages. The roll also includes the census report for 1890 showing population statistics for all three islands. Of course, the book is in Danish, but when you do Virgin Islands research, you get used to Danish. Thank God for Google Translate and kind folks in Denmark who have been helping me along.
The other Sections of Roll 1 are devoted to supporting documents and statistics of earlier censuses, but they’re fragmentary. Section 1 contains fragments of the 1840 census, Laborers leaving the Countryside 1853-54, 1860 census, and List of Men Eligible for Service in the Fire Department for 1863. (The NARA index for M-1884 says that this list is for 1879, but the documents clearly say 1863. I’ll trust the originals here). Section 2 is mostly statistical data for several censuses
Of particular interest is the Fire Department list of Section 1. This lists persons, age, occupation and address. One frame shows what appears to be Claudius’ brother Johannes (b. 1827), age 36, laborer, living at 5 Kirkegade (Church St.). Since Johannes doesn’t appear in any census after 1846, this may show that he was still alive in 1863. Bears further investigation.
Claudius isn’t listed, although it appears that the requirements were for men between 20 and 50, Claudius was 34. Of course, there are several others that don’t appear to be in the list, so I will have to find out the qualifications.
So, that’s a quick rundown on what’s on Roll 1 of M-1884. Only 129 more rolls to go!