Danish West Indies
For almost 250 years Denmark was a colonial power in the Caribbean. The Danish National Archives (DNA, the Rigsarkivet) holds a vast collection of archival records including descriptions, minutes, letters and illustrations, which give a unique understanding of the history of the colony. You can participate in the unveiling of the history of the Danish West Indies by helping to transcribe the records and make the content searchable and accessible to everyone.
The DNA has started a pilot project concerning the transcription of records from the Danish West Indies which are of particular importance to genealogists and personal history. You can contribute by indexing (tagging) the personal names, place names and dates that occur in the records. By transcribing these data you make it easier for others to find a certain document that contains the name they are looking for.
The types of records you can help transcribe is for instance censuses, tax records, registers of individuals arriving in and departing from the islands, church records of births, marriages and burials, and registers of soldiers in the West Indian armed forces.
In 2017, it is 100 years ago Denmark sold the Danish West Indies, the islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John, to the United States of America. This is why in March 2017 all the records became accessible to the public through the web site http://www.virgin-islands-history.org/en/
The image to the right is a detail of a painting showing Estate Mary’s Fancy on St. Croix. The artist is probably Fritz Melby and the painting is from around the middle of the nineteenth century. Original held at the Maritime Museum of Denmark, Elsinore.
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