One of my readers who is suffering with the Hurricane Sandy aftermath asked for some pictures from my recent trip to St Croix. While I had planned to post some of them, as they applied to genealogy, it’s taking me too long to work through them so here’s a start.
Flying Seaborne airlines from San Juan
The flight from San Juan was a lot of fun. We flew Seaborne airlines, a St Croix-based airline. The plane was rather small but had large windows and flew at only about 5,000 ft. We flew over the Puerto Rican coast and so had a great view. Here’s a shot of the window.
The flight took us across the North side of the island and past the city of Fajardo. Off the coast are a chain of small islands and reefs that looked spectacular from the air.
Isla de Ramos
Bahia de la Chiva, Viequez
Our Condo in Princesse St Croix
We stayed in a condo in Princesse, a few minutes to the west of Christiansted. Our unit was right on the water which made for some beautiful and peaceful views.
View from our Patio in Princesse
Sunrise over East End
Christiansted, St Croix
Christiansted is known for some old and beautiful buildings, in particular the old churches. While I had seen them many times, I just walked past, having no knowledge that they held any meaning for my family. On our trip we stopped at the two Lutheran churches in town.
Steeple Building, Lutheran Church 1753-1834
The Steeple Building is another place I saw many times but never gave much thought to. It was St Croix’s first Lutheran church, consecrated in 1753. This was the Lord God of Sabaoth Evangelical Lutheran church until the church moved in 1834.
When my family moved from St Thomas to St Croix, about 1774, they were members of the Dutch Reformed Church. At some point, at least some of their children became Lutheran. The earliest record I have of a family member at the church is my 4th great grandmother, Amey McNobney, who was a witness at a baptism for Christian Friderich van Beverhoudt (I don’t yet know how he fits) on 2 Apr 1790.
Both my 3rd great grandparents, Johannes Claudius Engel van Beverhoudt (born 1807) and Maria Aletta Quickly (born 1808) were baptized in this church. Their son, my 2nd great grandfather, Claudius van Beverhoudt (b. 1829) was baptized there as well.
Dutch Reformed Church/Lord God of Sabaoth Evangelical Lutheran Church
In 1834, the Lutheran church moved from the Steeple Building to the church that had been the Dutch Reformed church.
My family attended this church both as Dutch Reformed members and as Lutherans. My 4th great grand uncle Bertrand Pieter was baptized as a Dutch Reformed member in 1777 in this church. After the church became the Lutheran church, my family continued to attend.
My direct ancestors left the Lutheran church around 1854 and eventually attended the Moravian church, but many other family members stayed. Between these two Lutheran churches, I have records over 200 baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and burials of members of my family from 1790-1910 (I don’t have records after that).
This was just the start of our day in town. In future posts I’ll show the homes I found (or think I’ve found). I also have some beautiful beach pictures I’ll just have to share.