The leaves keep growing as if the tree knows it is Springtime! In the past week, I have received documents and pictures from every direction and from various family trees! The Silvan, Gonzales, Hubbard, Chubb, Steele, Williams, Ruiz and Arterburn lines. Wow. With my major focus on the Silvan and Ruiz families over the past couple of years, my genealogical key has been activated to such a degree that I now have 'grown' about 20 family leaves that I didn't know existed.
With the help and hard work of my cousin, Tess, we have managed to dig into our shared family links (through our mother's bloodlines) and found some very interesting stories and new family members as well as generating more questions! My mother is the last of her generation and she has a folder filled with fabulous old letters, pictures, poems, stories and diaries that have us rattled trying to gather, ponder and fill in the blanks.
Yes, sometimes it is an addiction as we try to put all the puzzle pieces together in our family lines but I truly feel our descendants will thank us one day for putting it all together and telling our story from the beginnings in England, Holland, Germany and Spain to where we are today and beyond.
It is gift day each time I receive valuable emails from anyone that are filled with stories and/or attachments..... the most recent being a newspaper obituary for the youngest Gonzales boy, Eusebio, Jr., that was sent to me a couple of days ago by his great niece (Jerilynn). A wonderful surprise and so much information in an obituary!!! Three days earlier, I received a bundle of information from a Gonzales niece (Alicia) and great granddaughter (Julie). When I publish my book, Manuela's Petals, it will be just the beginning of so many petals in the SILVAN LEAVES to follow my book. And the RUIZ book after that..... If anyone has any documents, pictures or stories to share with me about any of our family lines, please, please, please reach out to me and email to me through my web site, www.patriciabbsteele.com --- or ancestry.com or Facebook or email. I appreciate every tidbit and thank you so very much. PS
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Well, what new adventure will happen today, I thought, as I began my morning ritual of tinkering through the family tree in my mind and hoping for a tiny gem to add to my folder of ancestral information. And lo and behold! Alicia G. sent me some stunning documents related to her grandparents, Cristencia and Eusebio Gonzales. Spanish documents like ones I have noted for Cristencia's brothers, Juan Francisco (my great grandfather) and Victorino --- their brother, all of which followed the road from Fuentesauco to Seville and then to Gibralter to get on the ORTERIC and sail to the unknown beautiful islands of Hawaii in 1911. AND a bonus as well = Receipts from the boat tickets that carried the Gonzales family from Honolulu to San Francisco in 1918. $4 tickets!!
My day was jumping and I got a second hit about ten minutes ago. Another Gonzales relative googled their ancestral names and my blog popped up. She contacted me just as ten other descendents have found me and it is my fervent hope to enlarge my family file with more information SOON!
So many families. So many stories. So many documents and so many adventures still ahead. I can hardly wait to walk through the doors of this church, Santa Maria, in FUENTESAUCO in northern Spain and walk along the stone wall beside it to the cemetery within its shadowed realm. To actually see the gravestones of the SILVAN ancestors will be one giant step toward publishing my story. ESPANA IN 2011 ~
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
I have my answer about my great Aunt Christina (Cristencia) and whether she was pregnant on the ship from Spain on her way to Hawaii. No. I was referred to her daughter today and she was named Christina after her grandmother. Cristencia had her first child on Hawaiian soil one year after arriving in Hawaii. Her first girl, named Maria Gloria Gonzales, born April 11, 1912. It was delightful meeting a new cousin and she wants to help me gain further information about her mother and will be in touch. Yay! Another relative. When I visualize our ancestor's exhaustive trip on foot for twelve long days, it was with a frantic heart that I thought Aunt Cristencia may have been pregnant; I am relieved that her main concerns were her two boys, Alejandro and Juanitco, food, rest, and athe overwhelming sadness at leaving her mother and two brothers behind.....not fighting the physical constraints and/or morning sickness from pregnancy thrown in also. I learned from my cousin, Christina, that her mother, Maria Gloria, died in Citrus Heights, California.... so more research is just waiting for me around the corner. AND another Americanized name..... changing the beautiful Maria Gloria to MARIE. I shake my head about that but remember that was a time when foreigners wanted to blend in and be like everyone else. They didn't want to stand out with Spanish names....but some of them were so beautiful. The name Christina is very special to me as it was the name of my first-born daughter....but if I had known it could have been CRISTENCIA..... I may have juggled the letters...
Friday, April 1, 2011
Every time I find a new piece of evidence to add a piece to our family history, I get excited. Today, I spent quite some time putting family information into the SILVAN site of www.ancestry.com and found a 1930 Census in Silveyville, California for Cristencia and "ALFRED" Gonzales. Why oh why did our ancestor's replace those lovely old Spanish names with Americanized versions? This man was Eusebio Feliz Gonzales Hidalgo and he's called Alfred? Well, back to the good stuff. (And I am embarrassed to say I'd received this same census from a distant cousin nearly two months ago and hadn't realized it!). It listed every sibling's age in 1930 so I went backwards and stopped in my tracks! Cristencia MAY HAVE BEEN PREGNANT on the ORTERIC while she traveled from the Rock of Gibralter and Spain to Honolulu, Hawaii in 1911. If Maria Gloria was born in June 1911 as I surmise, this is the case. And if so, it will add such a different dimension to my manuscript as she left her mother and everything she knew behind in Fuentesauco, Spain --- Pregnant! The stubborn and wonderful guts this woman had! Sigh. My story continues to evolve and hope to connect with Maria's daughter, Theresa, to clarify the dates very soon!