Monday, June 25, 2012

Obituary: Joan Marilyn van Beverhoudt Thorne

One of my regular readers, Rachel, sent me this obituary from the Virgin Islands Daily News.  It is the obituary of Joan Marilyn van Beverhoudt Thorne, who is my 4th cousin once removed.
Joan Marilyn van Beverhoudt Thorne

Former North Carolina resident Joan Marilyn van Beverhoudt Thorne, 74, died June 11, 2012.

Per her wishes, there will be no service held.

"Joanie" was born in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, on June 24, 1937. Joan lived, worked and raised her family in Farmville, N.C., before deciding to move back to Montrose, Colo., in 2005. She was residing in Colorado at the time of her passing.

Like her father before her, Joan's love of plants and flowers showed in every plot of land that she touched. She also loved spending time with family, especially her grandchildren.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents, Arnold Edward van Beverhoudt (aka Chief) and Henrietta Olga Creque van Beverhoudt; ex-husband, Leonard F. Thorne; and granddaughter Brandy Nichole Smith.

Joan is survived by her children, Pamela Stewart, Leonard A. Thorne, Elaine Stewart and Emily Andrews; sisters, Marion Miller and Jacquelyn Templin; brothers, Arnold van Beverhoudt Jr. and Steven van Beverhoudt; grandchildren, Adam Stewart, Tiffany Stewart, Corey Stewart, Natalee Stewart, Allen Smith, Arthur Jacob Thorne and Ashley Nicole Andrews; and four great-grandchildren.

You are at peace and free of all that kept you here.

- Obituary written by the family.
Joan’s half-brother Arnold Jr. is a regular reader of this blog. Please accept the heartfelt condolences from “200 Years” and our whole community.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Christiansted Cemetery-Like the Good Old Days

131My grandparents, Ludvig Conrad (1894-1972) and Olga Conrad nee Lagonterie (1899-1986), are buried in the Cemetery in Christiansted.  Their grave is in the Danish Consulate’s Historic Danish Cemeteries list for the Danish Cemetery in Christiansted.  They are located in Grave #131. The consulate has a photo of the tombstone on their website. In 2000, I visited St Croix with my wife and my son.  Although this was long before I developed any interest in genealogy, I nevertheless visited the cemetery to pay my respects to my grandparents. 

The cemetery was clearly unkept, with grass growing untrimmed and weeds unchecked.  In fact, it took considerable searching to locate the grave.  My wife was astounded at the sad state of the cemetery.  We lamented the obvious decay that the cemetery had suffered over the last few decades.

Monday, June 18, 2012

St Croix Census Responses–Creative Occupations

USVirginIslandsCensus18351911DanishPeriod_169716807 (Large)It’s always interesting to read old census forms because they often have amusing entries.  Occupations, in particular, are interesting.  In the St. Croix census, the Occupation field held either a person’s job or other information on what they did or how they were supported.  Sometimes they provided extra information or even commentary that gives a modern reader, who is used to the “just the facts” responses, a chuckle.

Here is a set of responses I collected that struck me as unusual, either in the way the occupation was put (quill driving or bookkeeping), the extra information provided (principal stock keeper, an excellent man), or by the many ways a person can be described as unemployed (sitting down, nothing) and (lives by what he can obtain).  Some of these people are having a hard time finding work (House servant; has given up and will leave this place) or are in some way poor (no support and very destitute). 

It is also interesting that the problems with cheap imports are hardly new.  William Betts is listed in 1841 as a “shoemaker, but at present can scarcely make a living by it in consequence of the great importation of foreign shoes”.  I’m also wondering about Mr. de Silva who is listed as a “Schoolmaster, Lutheran clerk, gravedigger and inviter”.  I don’t think I want to accept one of his invitations.

If anyone has a clue what Carl P Dick did in 1841, let me know.  Kind of looks like candidate philosopher.  Not much call for that still.

These come from the St Croix censuses on the VISHA Database (

Year Name Age Sex Occupation
1835 Peggy 60 F small gang, minding sucking children
1841 Alexander 2 M house servant, infant incapable of working
1841 Carl 50 M keeps the yard & street clean and brings wood
1841 Carl P. Dick 24 M candid. philos., looking for employment in the island
1841 Isabella Hodge 39 F mother of a sick woman and in poor circumstances, lives by needlework
1841 Jacob 35 M Cleans candle sticks, knives & forks etc. etc..
1841 Lucy Ruan 59 F Ensane, and can give no explanation whatever either with regard to herself and her two leprous children, who are supported by the Land Treasury. They all belong to the English Church
1841 Sophia Abraham 62 F employed to take charge of the house, which is unoccupied and out of repair
1841 William Betts 28 M shoemaker, but at present can scarcely make a living by it in consequence of the great importation of foreign shoes
1846 Francis Armstrong 35 M no employment, living upon what he has worked for
1846 Henry Malleville Francis de Silva 29 M Schoolmaster, Lutheran clerk, gravedigger and inviter
1846 I. N. Meinche 20 F not specified; presumably Prison warden, as he signs the form
1846 Isabella Charles 62 F Celebrated fruit seller
1846 J.C. Krause 50 M lives by what he can obtain
1846 Jim Keating 22 M No situation, being an Idiot
1846 John G. Krause 58 M on good cheer, no title, no office
1846 Peter Teal 62 M no support and very destitute
1846 W. von Bretton 60 M quill driving or book keeping
1850 Ann Norager 36 F constantly in the hospital occasioned from an incurable sickness
1850 Betzy Andrew 34 F Said to be doing nothing
1850 Caroline 52 F takes care of her family which is very large
1850 Eliza Mitchell, Miss 56 F living by economy & industry
1850 Elizabeth Hansen 59 F charity, by Gods help
1850 Isabella Gowan 24 F don't know what she does
1850 J L Wittrog 47 M burgher, support his family as he best can
1850 Johannes 64 M fisher on his own hook
1850 John Slate 40 M stopping without permission
1850 Madlane 41 F does nothing since the revolt
1850 Mary Lucas 57 F trafficking fruit, assists her husband in making a living
1850 Rachel Gordon 18 F little or nothing, supported by me
1850 Rosanna 60 F renter of a house but cannot say how she lives
1855 Albert 15 M caring stock and to do what he is told
1855 Andreas 32 M principal stock keeper, an excellent man
1855 Barsheba James 55 F sitting down, nothing
1855 Elisabeth Elskau 58 F minding her husband
1855 Leah Nickson 49 F not employed but minding her mother
1855 Martha Ruan 51 F attending to her husband by permission
1855 Rosina 16 F washer apprentice to Sophia Dyer by order of the judge
1855 Sarah 32 F allowed to live with her husband being delicate and not fit to work
1855 William Alexander 16 M going to America I believe
1857 James J. Grant 10 M employed in various ways when he returns from school
1857 Paulina Edwards 11 F apprentice, attends the Anglican church & school by the request of her mother
1860 Caroline Daniel 60 F does what is in her power
1860 Sue 42 F skulking
1880 Alexander Sanders 30 M former cartman; given up and will leave this place this week
1880 Mary Peterson 27 F House servant; has given up and will leave this place

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Family Tree Magazine: 40 Best Genealogy Blogs for 2012

Family Tree Magazine 40 Best Genealogy Blogs 2012Earlier this week I posted the news that 200 Years in Paradise was selected as one of the Family Tree Magazine’s 40 Best Genealogy Blogs for 2012 in the article “Around the World in 40 Blogs” (“200 Years” Gets Mentioned in Print).

If you don’t have a subscription and want to see the full list of international blogs, or if you just want to use a clickable list, you can view it on the Family Tree Magazine website at

The van Beverhoudts Take Manhattan

Bloomingdale, to be specific.

Regular readers may know that the van Beverhoudt line is my longest family line in the Virgin Islands.  While no one is sure when exactly they arrived, my 7th great grandfather, Claudius (Claudi) van Beverhoudt is recorded in the St Thomas landlister as residing on St. Thomas in 1693.  Descendants of Claudi are still living there today (and one of them is a regular blog reader!).  This is an unbroken string of van Beverhoudts in the Virgin Islands for 318 years!  So imagine my surprise when I discovered that Claudius’ son, my 6th great grandfather, Johannes van Beverhoudt, Claudizoon, and his entire family, shows up in the records of the Colony of New York around 1750.  In fact Johannes and his sons (including my 5th great grandfather, Claudius) were naturalized citizens of the Colony of New York.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

“200 Years” Gets Mentioned in Print

For my birthday last year, my sister Jill bought me a subscription to Family Tree Magazine.  Today the July/August issue arrived and I quickly snatched it up and started reading it.  Advertised on the cover was: “Top 40 Genealogy Blogs Worldwide”. As a geneablogger (definition-n. one who can bore the entire internet with his family history research at the same time) this caught my eye immediately.  The article, titled “Around the World in 40 Blogs”, by Sunny Jane Morton, discusses what genealogy blogs are and what they are used for, highlighting geneablogs far and wide in a sort of Question & Answer format.
I started reading through the article looking for interesting blogs I may be missing when I ran across this entry on page 29:
Q. Will I find relatives mentioned on a Blog?
A. It’s not common, but it’s not impossible, especially if the blogger writes about the same small town your ancestors are from.  Within about two months from Dave Lynch’s first post on 200 Years in Paradise <>, a long-lost relative said hello in a comment.
Sunny Jane must have seen my post Blogging for Cousins, back in October where I mentioned this very thing!

Following the Q&A, Sunny Jane details her "40 Blogs" by location.  200 Years is highlighted as the representative for the US Virgin Islands:
200 YEARS IN PARADISE <> introduces readers to historical and genealogical sources for Virgin Islands research, particularly those that have informed the blogger's family research on St. Croix. (Did you know the 1920 US census data for the Virgin Islands was actually taken in 1917?)
Getting mentioned in print in the world’s largest genealogy magazine is a real treat.  I’m also proud to have 200 Years in Paradise chosen to represent “small town” geneablogs as well as getting the US Virgin Islands represented in a national genealogy magazine (when have you seen that?).  While technically not a “town”, the Virgin Islands is certainly a little place. Although there’s an awful lot of history there for such a little place.

Thank you Sunny Jane Morton and thanks to all my readers for all your support.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Captain Conrad–More from Flensburg

Tidselholt 1844-IMG_3885 (Large)
Drawing of the Tidselholt, 1844
Today I received some wonderful documents from the Flensburg archive.  As I wrote in Captain Christian Andreas Conrad (1802-1875), I have been in contact with a kind soul in Flensburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany who has done some research for me in the Flensburg archives.  Earlier we located the records of my great-great grandfather, Christian Andreas Conrad and are seeing what other information about him, or his family, we can find.