Long time readers will remember that back in May 2012 Ancestry posted a large collection of records from the Virgin Islands (see my post, New Virgin Islands Records on Ancestry.com) and then, a week later, yanked them down. (See Virgin Islands Records Vanished from Ancestry.com). Well, mostly, they’re back. Hopefully to stay.
The collection is courtesy of VISHA and, perhaps unhelpfully, titled St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Slave and Free People Records, 1733-1930. It could have been titled “St Croix Stuff”. But don’t let that dissuade you. It is a veritable treasure trove of records from multiple sources. According to Ancestry’s Recently added and updated collections page, the collection is some 33,542 records. Since they are not indexed, each record is a full page which may contain many individual entries.
During the brief time the collection was available back in 2012, I quickly perused the documents, quickly grabbing items of interest and understanding the structure. I wrote a brief post, New Ancestry.com VI Records-First Impressions, as an introduction to the collection. Most of that information is equally applicable today.
The record set posted this week is not quite the same as the 2012 collection; there are a few sets that have been removed. As I discussed in, The Continuing Saga of the VI Records, from 11 May 2012, the original set included records that belonged to third parties (church records, for example), and Ancestry did not have permission to post those. So it came down. The new collection is absent those records so it should stay.
Nevertheless, it is still a large and wonderful collection. Most of the material is from the Danish Archives (RA) and are unavailable anywhere else (besides on-island). This means that care must be taken to source it correctly. Here is an example of source information from Ancestry for an 1847 Tax record for my family:
Volume: 1842 Company St and 1847 Church St, Company St, East St, Fisher St and Hill St
Ancestry.com. St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Slave and Free People Records, 1733-1930 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.Original data: U.S. Virgin Islands St. Croix Records. Fredericksted, U.S. Virgin Islands: Virgin Islands History Associates (VISHA).
This database contains a wide variety of records from St. Croix that document events in the lives of both enslaved and free residents.
See my post form 7 August 2012, Understanding Virgin Islands Records at Rigsarkivet, for some guidance on sourcing the RA collections. I’ll be posting finds and hints on this collection in the future.
So, for those of us with St Croix ancestry, we now have over 33,000 pages to read through, and read through them we must since they are not indexed. Happy hunting!