(US Virgin Islands) Digitization Project of Early Documents from the National Archives--And Early Jewish Immigrants to St. Thomas #sephardic
Jan Meisels Allen
The Caribbean Genealogy Library has digitized 45 gigabytes of data >from the
National Archives in Washington DC and have placed samples of the documents
on their website. The documents may be found at
http://cgl.vi/pages/indexNARA.html. These include passports issued between
1895-1921; tax lists and citizenship document for Danes and Germans ( the US
did not acquire the US Virgin Islands >from Denmark until 1917); papers of
the Cemetery Commission; Passport Correspondence 1917-1923; Naval records
1911-1927, 1 January-31-March 1917; requests for repatriation and more.
The above records may be found at: http://cgl.vi/pages/indexNARA.html.
Access to the online records is free.
The documents are in preparation for the 2017 centennial of the Virgin
Islands being transferred >from Denmark to the United States.
One of the Caribbean Genealogy Library's online resources is about Jewish
Families of the Caribbean http://cgl.vi/pages/jewish.html including an
published paper >from 2013 on the Port Jews of Charlotte Amalie in 1803.
There were 46 Jewish surnames-69 persons- in Charlotte Amalie at the time.
Names of the first families are included in the paper.
Sephardic Jews -Conversos-- started to immigrate to the Virgin Islands at
the end of the 18th century-mostly merchants. Most were those who had
ancestors who had to flee Spain or Portugal due to the Inquisition. While
their ancestors had fled to the Mediterranean and Western European ports
they subsequently immigrated across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, South
American and New York and later to the Caribbean Islands including St.
Thomas, Virgin Islands-Charlotte Amalie.
Thank you to Dick Eastman, and Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter for
sharing the information about the Caribbean Genealogy Library and their
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee