Saturday, October 26, 2013

St Croix Records Back on Ancestry After a Year

SCAN0170cLong 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 and then, a week later, yanked them down. (See Virgin Islands Records Vanished from  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 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:


Source Citation

Volume: 1842 Company St and 1847 Church St, Company St, East St, Fisher St and Hill St

Source Information St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Slave and Free People Records, 1733-1930 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.Original data: U.S. Virgin Islands St. Croix Records. Fredericksted, U.S. Virgin Islands: Virgin Islands History Associates (VISHA).

Source Description
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!


  1. I'm very excited! I was having a look at these records (at 1:00 this morning!) and found an emancipation letter for my 4th great grandmother, Ann Nelson. She paid her former master, Sarah Orr, $96 for her freedom. What a story! Interestingly, in the 1846 census Ann is living with the widowed Mrs Orr. It would seem that their relationship was possibly a warm one.
    I'm not sure where to go from here-- I'd like to find out who Ann's parents are. Now I at least have the name of the family she was owned by and hopefully that will help. Thank you for reviewing these records! I feel like a brick wall is crumbling in front of my eyes!

  2. Hi David, thanks for sharing the pics of my Aunt Karen with Randee Leigh. Our grandparents, Frederik Valdemar/Waldemar aka Walter Frederiksen and Vivienne Eagan Brown had 6 children together. These 6 children were: Vivienne Adina, Karen Maude, Axel Lambert, Randolph Waldemar, Alfred Andrew (my father) and Asta Olivia.My father is the only one still living. In your message to Randee, you stated that Aunt Karen's 2nd gt.grandfather was James Brown from Scotland; however, her 2nd gt.grandfather was George Brown, manager of the Southgate Farm. I have not at this time been able to ascertain his parentage or his racial/ethnic background. You may contact me at I do recall a George Conrad, a grocer in St. Thomas, who was a descendant of the St. Croix Conrad family. He had a niece, named Alma Jensen, who married a Dane and they had a store called Den Dansk Butik in International Plaza. George's grocery was the Criterion Grocery on Kongens Gade; they also had a connection to the Scandinavian Silver Centre on Main Street/Dronningens Gade. Looking forward to hearing from you.