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Western Cemetery, St. Thomas

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Sep 7, 2003, 6:22:08 PM9/7/03
Been meaning to go for such a long time since my last visit and finally just
went. Unfortunately the day was almost over and I did not have much
sunlight and because I was not prepared, I did not walk with my camera.
HOWEVER, this visit was not "project" related, I went to look around and
happened to find some familiar names and wrote them down in the book I
had.... The condition of the cemetery, well let's just say it's not the
Danish Cemetery. The section I was in was Western Cemetery 2, where most
are not in terrible condition. There are some that had wording that was
completely worn away. (To find out who was buried in the graves with worn
or no makers, I'd have to work with the Dept. of Public Works and their
cemetery records.) Some of the graves are very close to each other,
blocking the markers on the ones in the back so that one has to climb and
maneuver to read what is on the ones behind it. I don't know how
photographing 'each' grave/tombstone is going to work for those congested
sections of the cemetery.

Also, once the actual photographing and transcription is done and we have
obtained a map or official layout from the dept. of public works, I was
thinking the data could be put onto a set of cd's and a searchable index be
created. Any other ideas?? -- I guess this is a question for the
gen-methods newsgroup, huh.

Just wanted to post this because I am still VERY MUCH interested in
conducting a cemetery documentation project and haven't heard much from
anyone else interested. Anyone living on St. Thomas or know someone here
who is interested in genealogy and would like to assist? The cemeteries are
rather large and the project would move a lot faster if a group of us could
tackle sections at a time.

Anyone else taking the ball on this one on their native islands? Any other
Caribbean gen. related projects going on?

(Beretta -- you said there was someone here that might be interested, let me
know or tell that person to contact me.)



Sep 10, 2003, 1:04:19 AM9/10/03

I'm still interested in a project to document Western Cemetery in St.
Thomas, VI by transcribing and photographing grave sites. The
condition of the cemetery has deteriorated from when I was a child.
Again, I think is important to document what is there before more is
lost, and as an aid to eventually towards cleaning and restoring.

I had only a few people respond to the initial idea... not sure what to
make of that, but I suspect there should be some more interest in this
since it is the largest cemetery on the island.

There would be inherent difficulties to this project- the cemetery is
very 'congested' which would make photographing some gravestones near
impossible. I have personally done 'climbing and maneuvering' in this
cemetery, so I know it would be a chore. Also a lot of sites are
overgrown with brush. Many sites don't have a marker, or the stone
can't be read.

Once entered into computer, an index can be easily prepared from a
transcription. I'd like to see something posted on the web in a
similar fashion to the Danish Cemetery in the Hospital Ground area of
St. Thomas. see the site below.
Also, the information could be burned to CD, and copies could be made
available for various libraries.

I'd like to hear from anyone interested in this project, even if it is
just to say that you'd like to see it done. Who else out there is
interested in this project?

St. Thomas Surnames; Beretta, Dinzey, Fontana, Hurtzig, Martis, McBean
St. Croix Surnames; McBean, Michaels

On Monday, September 8, 2003, at 07:49 AM, wrote:

> ______________________________X-Message: #2
> Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2003 18:22:08 -0400
> From: "Monifa" <>
> To:
> Message-ID: <>
> Subject: Western Cemetery, St. Thomas


Sep 10, 2003, 8:18:56 PM9/10/03
Yes... I know what you mean by climbing and maneuvering. Why did they put
them SO close together? It seems it doesn't make sense... many of the
congested areas block the grave markers.... I'd think after someone spent
good money to bury their loved one and place beautiful plaque on the tomb,
it would be upsetting to find it hidden, barely visible. I guess it was
because they were running out of space. Remember they just recently opened
the newest section and have plans to build a new public cemetery out Smith

I'm anxious to get started. I'm heading back again this weekend. I guess
I'll just start out with about 10-20 at a time. My digital camera doesn't
hold more than that and I only have one card (need to get another one). The
way I see it is that "we" the ones who are interested don't START it never
will be done. Sometimes it just takes someone(s) showing interest.

Soooooo, that said, I called DPW this afternoon. I was busy most of today,
and it was only minutes to 4 when I got a chance to call 1. for the names
*wink - haven't forgotten, just really busy* and 2. to ask how I could
obtain some sort of map, layout or records of the layout of the cemetery and
an explanation of the type of burial records the department keeps, the
burial process and how they decide who's buried where, just some general
information etc. I guess they close before four because no one answered but
I'll try again tomorrow. I know the office of Vital Statistics here closes
at three so maybe they close around that time too. I'll call earlier. The
last time I called, it was in the morning, come to think of it.

And Beretta, I'm guessing at this one, but it is always baffling to us
genehunters why EVERYONE is not enthusiastic about genealogy. I guess this
is one of those cases.

STILL LOOKING FOR PEOPLE TO VOLUNTEER. There are a lot of folks living off
island that are interested, sadly can't find any here. I will try the
sources you suggested Beretta and see if any of the people at those
organizations can suggest people interested.


"Beretta" <> wrote in message

Richard Bond

Sep 12, 2003, 4:55:16 AM9/12/03
Interest will probably pick up as people start recognizing surnames.

Henry N. Hassell

Sep 27, 2003, 8:03:32 PM9/27/03
Monifa: I have been reading your post with much attention as St. Thomas is
a Brick wall for me..
Gosta Simmons (Sweden) and I are sitting here in Virginia looking at a 1860
Census for St. Thomas and would like to know if 25 Regjerings Street is
still in existance..North corner of Market place stretching west ..second
lot from corner .. My Great Grand father is listed in the 1860 census as a
lad of 14 years with an Ester Mardenborough... I am trying to
find his parents ,,, maybe a John Hassell and an Elizabeth .. they possibly
died before this census.. I can not locate them or John Mardenborough
Hassell before 1860..

I have found an Elizabeth Hassell listed in the Catholic Death records as
dying in Sept 1854.. This could be the correct one but it does not further
identify her or her husband... she was 50 years old and born on St. Thomas..

I know that you have been to Western Cemetery.. would you remember if you
have seen two graves covered in Shells.. They would be for a James Anthony
Hassell and a Rebecca Hassell... ?

Henry N. Hassell
17251 Ingram Lane
Amelia, VA 23002


Sep 28, 2003, 6:07:12 PM9/28/03
Hello Mr. Hassell!!!

Yes, Regjerings Gade (Danish name for 'street') is still in existence. It
is one of the older parts of the Savan community. My grandfather, great
grandmother and her children lived there as a boy. There are some row homes
still there; his was torn down and an empty lot stands where his house used
to be. I have found them listed on that same street in the 1930 census. If
you are looking at the 1860 census, that is the Danish census taken. I have
never seen those. I have only just gotten through searching the 1930 St.
Thomas island alone MANUALLY. It was "fun!" But like I said, that street
is one of the older areas of Savan. It is not kept up much today at all, as
sadly is the case for many areas in that neighborhood.

I don't know if you are familiar with this, but a fellow subscriber to this
list, Dante Berretta, has been dedicated to trying to get some form of
cemetery documentation project going here on St. Thomas. I have volunteered
for this effort, but if you have ever been to the cemetery, you know it is a
huge task for one person to take on. Much of the cemetery is overgrown with
thick bush and nests of bees. To read some of the plaques towards the back
end, you must do some skillful maneuvering (while trying not to feel guilty
for "disturbing" someone's place of rest). Also, some of the graves are
worn by weather and storms and are illegible. There are also some large
plaques placed up against the wall nearest to the street and some of the
writing is not legible. (On a personal note, I think it is dangerous how
those large slabs of concrete are standing there not secured to the wall or
anything else for that matter.) I have covered most of the Western Cemetery
I, but not for documentation purposes -- I was searching for family members
who I knew were buried there and I had no date of death/birth for them
(hoped their tombstone could provide some clarification). I do remember
seeing some Hassell's but the first names I did not record. I've only
glimpsed around #2 (one of my great grandmothers is buried there) and have
not made it to #3 yet. As an aside, I noticed a lot of the French
(Quetels/Questels) buried in WC #1. The Hassell families that are here on
St. Thomas are primarily of French descent. I am interested in the family
too as they appear frequently in my search for my
French line, a small family known as Zingue (many variations of spelling).

I am not deterred by the condition of the cemetery, just would like to note
that it would take a LOT more time if one person is doing it. I have not
been there in two weeks (my schedule is crazy). I will more than likely be
back in there very soon as I have some time off coming up. I'll be back in
WC #1 (with my camera this time) and will start at the beginning and move
up. I plan to share what I find - which will include any Hassell's found.
(How, not determined yet... need to confer with Beretta. I can make Web
sites so if this is the medium decided this is no problem.) There is an
excellent example of what can and should be done: (This is the Danish Burial
Ground, located at what is locally referred to as 'Round the Field).
Beretta has spearheaded this USVI Cemetery project; I am a foot soldier if
you must ;-). I know we are both anxious to get it up and running.

I know brick walls are frustrating - I have a few myself. If I find
anything I'll let you know. Good Luck!


""Henry N. Hassell"" <> wrote in message

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Richard Bond

Sep 28, 2003, 5:54:56 PM9/28/03
I just asked my Mother if she knew of what families were living on
Regjering Strret as my grandparents lived there from around the end of
WWI to 1959. She gave me these names.

Schulterbrandts & Whites
Rothschild Francis


Sep 28, 2003, 7:02:15 PM9/28/03
My family's surnames were George and Potter (not married). Ask her if she
remembers Casilda George known as Miss Cassie. Two of her five children are
listed here - Ethel and Zelma (her last two boys were not born as yet, one
of them is my grandfather). Casilda's spouse was Morris Potter of Tortola.
Cassie was also from Tortola.

Microfilm No: T626-2668, Page 150A
Recorded April 13, 1930
Line 10

Interesting that this is where Rothschild Francis Lived, very near the
Market Square huh. Do you know why they named it after him? Also the
Schneider's...some old names there, the Millin, Schulterbrandts, Whites,
Swan, Harris... all still here.


"Richard Bond" <> wrote in message



Oct 20, 2003, 9:58:08 PM10/20/03
SHELLS! They were in Western Cemetery I, which is where I have spent most
of my time so far. Hopefully I will go back in there soon. There are a few
Hassells buried in the Western Cemetery I by the way. Also some Vanterpool.
There is one section where a lot of the French of St. Thomas are buried.
How I'd love to get a start on this cemetery project. There is much to be
done. Perhaps, soon...

By the way, my great grandfather Morris Potter and my great grandmother
Casilda George lived at 24-B Regjerings Gade on April 19, 1930 (date
according to census enumerator). They were family number 245 (one of six
families living in that row home). My grandfather tells me where that house
once stood is an empty lot now. According to the 1930 Census, the addresses
go as such:

22 Regjerings Gade
24 Regjerings Gade (two families)
26 Regjerings Gade (six families)
27 Regjerings Gade (seems as if four families lived there, etc.)

This is on page 150A of Microfilm No: T626-2668 --------1930 Census. I
don't have the 1800's census.


""Henry N. Hassell"" <> wrote in message

Katrina Overstreet

Aug 11, 2017, 11:01:03 AM8/11/17
Hi I am very new to google groups and not really sure if my reply is in the right place but I had to comment because my maternal great grandfather and family lived at 15b Regjerings Gade. They were the Swan's. Is it possible to post pictures of the actual street here or can you send it to me via email?

Katrina Overstreet

Aug 11, 2017, 11:07:09 AM8/11/17
On Sunday, September 7, 2003 at 6:22:08 PM UTC-4, Monifa wrote:
Also, I remember my grandmother talking about the George's. More specifically a Deborah George who I have a picture of with my mother (both toddlers). Grandma Swan (born in Saint Thomas) said Deborah's parents' name was Allen & Carmen George. They were from Saint Thomas and Allen was actually in France at the same time my grandfather was there on assignment for the army. Do these names sound familiar to you?

Linden Harrigan

Sep 9, 2020, 2:20:03 PM9/9/20
On Sunday, September 7, 2003 at 6:22:08 PM UTC-4, Monifa wrote:
Hi Monifa,

Hoping this email finds you well!

My name is Linden Harrigan, currently living in Hackensack, NJ . I found your name and contact information on an old Google Group chat from 2003 regarding documenting the cemetery. I have been searching for information on my family from St. Thomas and going back to my ancestors, who came from the BVI. Was this project ever completed? I just learned that I have several family members buried there and I am planning to visit soon. The surnames in my family are Harrigan, Hodge, Vanterpool, Petersen and Wells by marriage. My aunt and cousins do live in St. John and St. Thomas, most people have died off.

If you do receive this email and have any information you can share it would be greatly appreciated. I am also very interested (if not already completed) in documenting the Western cemetery.

Thank you in advance!

Warmest regards,

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