Records of the Danish West Indies

St. Croix, St, Thomas, St. John, any other Danish possessions
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Records of the Danish West Indies

Postby bimjim » Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:31 pm

Dante C. Beretta wrote:

I found this site recently and I wanted to make sure everyone interested in the records of the Danish West Indies knows about this- the Danish archives (Rigsarkivet) has put many of the Danish West Indies records . in the hopes of getting these records transcribed as part of a project making these records more accessible by the time of 100th anniversary of the transfer of the islands to the U.S in 1917. The Danish West Indies have since been known as the U.S. Virgin Islands. <>

There are over 200,000 pages of records covering census, slave lists, Baptism, marriage, deaths, property tax records. Some of these records such as census were available through LDS but many of the records have only been available in Denmark until now.

It definitely will take time… There is a lot at this site, and there are definitely some shortcomings.
1. Website instruction is all in Danish, but the records themselves are generally in English so that helps.
2. There is no index or table of contents- that is actually the purpose of the site- they are trying to get volunteers to index the records, but there are no instructions in English.
3. Each record type has its own organization and unless you know the secret it may be difficult to find things. But, these are the same limitations that we have when we search through a microfilm (although microfilm in some ways would be faster)
4. The sheer number of records, over 200,000, makes it impossible to do the brute force method of looking through each and every page of the records in the hope that you find a few tidbits on your family. Besides, the pages load somewhat slowly.
5. I haven’t figured out a way to download the record beyond a screen capture which means to have good resolution in each document you have to screen capture pieces of a document and reassemble.

Despite these hurdles, the records are . finally and this availability is big news. I’m not doing the brute force method, but I am honing in on records of interest and I’ve had some luck. It is evident to me that there needs to be some sort of ‘finding aid’ in English to help in this research and I’m in the process of creating a rough outline of some of the record types I’ve looked at so far. I’ll post this type of information as time permits.
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Re: Records of the Danish West Indies

Postby AWiewall » Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:05 am

Thanks for posting this. It'll be nice to do some of my research in my bunny slippers. :lol: I at least know where some of my family was on the islands and dates but it'll be nice when it's indexed.
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Re: Records of the Danish West Indies

Postby Don Kennedy » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:00 pm

Adding my thanks for posting this, I'll have my eye open for anything further.
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Re: Records of the Danish West Indies

Postby AWiewall » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:50 pm

Just a heads up - some of the records are jumbled together. For instance, I found rural St Thomas census records mixed with St John records for the 1910 census. I also found marriage records mixed in with birth records.
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