Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Anniversary to 200 Years in Paradise

It was one year ago today that I began 200 Years in Paradise.  Through this blog I have been introduced to a passionate and knowledgeable community of Virgin Islands history enthusiasts and professionals.  I have been able to share my research, what I have learned about genealogy, and the continual unfolding of my family’s Virgin Island history.

I started this blog with modest goals.  I wanted to share my research with family and friends, without the eye-glazing that often accompanies my energetic discussions of “interesting family facts”.  In addition, I was frustrated at the almost complete lack of on-line references and research aids to Virgin Islands genealogy.  I wanted to begin to fill that void.  I wanted to bring the Virgin Islands into the world stage of genealogy as a full member, not simply as a curiosity.  I wanted to bring the history alive with people, places, society, pictures, and poetry, connecting these little islands with their Danish roots and their century of American ties.  I hope that I achieved at least some of that with my posts.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Radio Show Announcement–October 25, 2012

BTR FlyerWell, it’s official.  I received the October Line-Up for Blog Talk Radio’s Research at the National Archives and Beyond. I will be appearing on the show on Thursday, October 25, 2012 to discuss my Island Research. 

The show is on Internet Radio.  It will be broadcast live and archived for later listening, either from the web or by podcast through iTunes.  Research at the National Archives and Beyond is structured as an interview program, with the host, Bernice Bennett, asking questions and opening lines of discussion.  For those who listen live, there will be a chat facility that allows listeners to ask questions or make comments live.  Bernice usually makes time in the show to read and respond to the listeners’ questions.

If you haven’t listened to this program before, you’re missing out.  Go to and listen to some episodes.  And be sure to mark your calendar for October 25, at 9pm Eastern Time for the entry of the Virgin Islands into the consciousness of mainstream genealogy.  It’s about time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Who’s In the House–Agnes Carrington

Most of my research has been on my maternal grandfather’s line.  I have not done much work at all on my grandmother’s line, mostly since I have a couple of cousins who have been working it for a long time.  My grandmother, Olga Lagonterie (1899-1986), was from St. Lucia, another small island.  Of course, she eventually came to St Croix, or she wouldn’t have met my grandfather.  In fact she came to St Croix in 1927, with her mother, Blanche Lagonterie (b. 1867) and sister Blanche Lagonterie (b. 1901).  In the 1930 census, all three were living in Christiansted, renting a house belonging to my grandfather’s family.
Section of 1940 Census showing household of Blanche Lagonterie
By 1940, the younger Blanche had moved to New York and Olga had married my grandfather, Ludvig. The elder Blanche, age 74, was living in Christiansted but had moved to 47 Company St. My cousin pulled the 1940 Census page and noticed something very strange.  In Blanche Lagonterie’s household there was listed another person, Agnes Carrington, age 16.  She is listed as an Adopted Daughter.  Since I had never heard of an adopted daughter, I asked my family.  No one had ever heard the name.  So we wondered: 

Who’s Agnes Carrington, and what is she doing in my great-grandmother’s house in 1940?

Monday, September 10, 2012

A New St Croix Family History Blog

I’d like to welcome a new member to the blogging community and the only other Virgin Islands genealogy blog I know of.  My Genealogical Journey traces blogger Shelley Dewese’s experience researching her family.  Like this blog, she shares her personal discoveries as well as bits and pieces of Danish West Indies history as she uncovers them.  Her family, the Bough and Beaudhuy families, have lived in St Croix for over 200 years, in paradise!

Although I don’t know of a connection between our families, there is one person whom I ran across with a very interesting name:  In Oct 1874 a child of one Ernst McNobney Beaudhuy and Mary Duncan was baptized in the Lutheran Church.  The middle name suggests that there may be a maternal relationship with my ancestor, Amey McNobney.  We’ll have to wait and see.

Anyway, please welcome Shelly to the community!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

So, What’s Interesting to You?

I’ve just returned from a short vacation to the sand and sun of southern Florida.  While I was away, I got an email from Bernice Bennett, the host of a genealogy oriented Internet Radio Show, Research at the National Archives & Beyond.  Ms. Bennett asked me if I would be a guest on her show on October 25, 2012 to discuss my research and the interesting topic of Virgin Islands genealogy.  Of course, I can’t refuse such an opportunity.

The show is a live broadcast web-feed show, with listeners commenting and asking questions through on-line chat.  It airs every Thursday at 8pm Central Time. The shows are available as podcast on iTunes for those, like me, who listen to the show later.  The show covers virtually all aspects of genealogy and family history.  I listen regularly.

Ms. Bennett asked me to send her an outline, or at least talking points, for what I want to discuss.  That’s where you can help.  What topics are interesting to you?  Was there a post you would like me to talk more about?  A topic I’ve not addressed you’ve been interested in?  Records I should discuss?  Island history?  Let me know and I’ll see if I can talk about it on the air.  What should we tell the rest of the community about our heritage? All ideas and suggestions are welcome.

Leave me a comment or send me an email at and let me know the kind of things you want to hear about, or things you think the other listeners would be interested in.  After I firm up the outline, I’ll post links to the show and information on how to get the podcast.  I hope you’ll tune in.

It’s not often the Virgin Islands get mentioned in mainstream genealogy circles, much less get a whole broadcast episode devoted to them.  Let’s make the most of it.