|Painting of the Bombardment of Copenhagen|
While Ancestry’s name of the collection certainly appears to be an accurate description (the people listed are free, male, live on St Croix, and it was for the year 1807), this isn’t a document of a census or a complete listing of free people. The list is only adult males, children aren’t recorded. Also it doesn’t appear to be comprehensive. It appears that there are names missing from this document. As a quick check, I looked at some burgherbriefs issued in 1806 and early 1807, figuring that those people would likely still be on island. A Charles Ferdinand Wass, born in London, received his brief in December 1806 yet does not appear in the “List of Inhabitants” a year later. Neither does an Alexander Instant, born in Scotland. I also couldn't find Stephen Wheeler, born in North America, yet he received his brief in July 1807.
How useful is a “List of Inhabitants” that doesn’t show all the “Inhabitants”? Well, not very, until you notice what the list really is. To do that, I need to digress and discuss a bit of Virgin Island history that isn’t as well known as it should be. It is a time when world events reached across the Atlantic to the little Danish islands and brought significant changes, affecting our families and their lives forever.