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An Introduction to Documents of Early 19 th Century Danish West Indies: The NARA M1883 Microfilm Publication with a focus on St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands. A Brief History. Danish West Indies from 1672 - 1917 Danish Archives removed records of the Virgin Islands back to Denmark

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An Introduction to Documents of Early 19th Century Danish West Indies:

The NARA M1883

Microfilm Publication

with a focus on St. Thomas

U.S. Virgin Islands


A brief history
A Brief History

  • Danish West Indies from 1672 - 1917

  • Danish Archives removed records of the Virgin Islands back to Denmark

  • NARA received copies of records from Danish Archives, originals in Maryland – Record Group 55

  • http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/055.html


Nara record group 55 and archivist vernon paul rood
NARA Record Group 55 andarchivist Vernon Paul Rood





The m1883 selection
The M1883 Selection

  • Eleven rolls of films in the publication

  • Mixture of records were filmed for the M1883 collection related to slavery and emancipation.

  • The M1884 collection is more extensive

  • CGL has 2 copies of each film roll for both publications


The finding aid
The Finding Aid

  • NARA archivist Vernon Rood, author

  • Finding aid available online and at CGL

  • Indexed by roll number & frame number



Sample documents from the m1883 publication
Sample Documents from the M1883 publication

  • St. Thomas focus

  • Genealogical interest

  • Record locators identified




Manumission documents
Manumission documents

  • Primarily St. Croix documents

  • Similar wording in each document

  • Interesting family history can be found

  • Index to names available within the record



St. Croix Know all men by these presents that I , Elizabeth von Beverhoudt, Free Coloured woman of this Island, for and in consideration of the Sum of Twenty Iois(?) paid to me by the Negro Man Leata (Father of my Negro Girl Kitty) belonging to William Newton Roq(?), I do hereby manumit, enfranchise and set free from all kinds of Slavery, the said Negro Girl Kitty, the daughter of My Slave Mary purchased by me from Cornelius Hendericks…as of Bill of Sale bearing date the 4th September 1786. And I the said Elizabeth Von Beverhoudt, for myself, my Executors, Administrators and Assigns, do hereby warrant and defend the Manumission and freedom of the aforesaid negro Girl Kitty, from the claims or Claims of any person or persons whomsoever. In witness whereof…my hand and Seal this nineteeth Day of May, One thousand Eighteen hundred and … Her - Elizabeth Von Beferhoudt


St. Croix 11 April 1822Know all men by these presents that I the underwritten, for and in consideration of the sum of three hundred pieces of right cash to me in hand … the receipt thereof. I do hereby acknowledge, as also from the many good services, and faithful attention on me from my “youth up”, have this day granted a full Manumission, and release from all slavery, whatsoever, unto my Negro woman named Betsey, and for her future … forever, warranting and defending the … from all claims for myself, my heirs, executors and assigns unto her and her heirs and offspring for ever as … my hand and seal as above. - Charles Daly


More about people mentioned in these examples
More about people mentioned in these examples:

  • http://www.sandcastlevi.com/facebook%20-%20the%20van%20beverhoudt%20family%20-%20part%201.pdf

  • http://www.sandcastlevi.com/facebook%20-%20the%20van%20beverhoudt%20family%20-%20part%201.pdf

  • http://www.candoo.com/surnames/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2647&p=3895

  • http://www.vifamilies.org/images/Hendrichsen.doc



Roll 2 frame 120
Roll 2, Frame 120

To His Excellency the Governor General; May it Please your Excellency,

In humble compliance with your Excellency’s request I now state what happened on the 7th December at the United Brothers Station. Friedensfeld, whilst RevdGardinghad a meeting with the Teachers. Lieutenant Holstein made his appearance;, and demanded a young man whom the missionaries had employed. This young man is married to a woman named Welhelmena who was born in town… December 1848








Roll 4 st thomas register of free blacks 1803
Roll 4 – St. ThomasRegister of Free Blacks - 1803


Crossroads of the diaspora
Crossroads of the Diaspora

David Knight, Little Nordside Press


Roll 4 frame 21 see page 41 of knight
Roll 4, ~Frame 21 (see page 41 of Knight)


















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