Back in the dark misty times...

Back in the dark misty times...
Genealogy, joyfully discovered ~

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lynda solves the mystery men's identity

Good news! After Victoria Gonzales Weber told me she recognized the men in the family photograph of Victorino, Ramona, Theodora (Dora) and Felisa (Alice) but couldn't remember who they were, I contacted Alice's granddaughter, Lynda E. She immediately recognized the man in the left bottom corner --- and I'm unsure why I didn't!!
Seeing the family photograph and knowing it was approximately from the 1912-1917 time period, AND assuming the men's photos in the bottom corner were placed there by the photographer, I had the old-slap-in-the-face "ASS-U-ME" syndrome and did not study the photograph properly until Lynda pointed it out to me...
The man is their son, all grown up! Upon closer inspection, I realized the tiny photo had been slipped behind the corner of the matting on the framed photograph, not printed on the original photograph. In my mind, everyone's photo was in the 1912-1917 era --- which was incorrect.
The right bottom photo was my next focus. Despite my wish NOT to assume, I believe that is also their son only at an earlier adult age. CELESTINO MARTIN SILVAN was five years old when he sailed from Spain on the Orteric with his twin brother, Jacinto Martin Silvan. Jacinto died on the voyage. Celestino lived to be in his 70s. What a wonderful feeling to solve mysteries! T-H-A-N-K ___ Y-O-U, L-Y-N-D-A ~

Monday, July 25, 2011

Meeting Victorina Gonzales Weber in Hawaii

What a wonderful feeling to imagine my son, Frank, and his girlfriend, Reimi, sitting in "Auntie Victoria's" living room in Aiea, Hawaii where she lives with her daughter, Sally and her family. It was an exciting phone call during their visit and afterward, I received a picture text message....showing this lovely lady with my family.
Another exciting aspect was my conversation with Victoria during their visit --- I'd sent her a copy of the family photograph of her Godfather, our Uncle Victorino Silvan. The photograph included him, his wife, Ramona, and their children, Theodora, Felisa and Celestino. For many months, I have wondered who the 2 men in the bottom corners of that photograph could be? YES! She told me she'd seen these men often during her youth. The bad news was she couldn't remember who they were but since we know they were not SILVAN men, I am assuming they were MARTIN men...related to our Aunt Ramona Martin Lorenzo Silvan.
With that in mind, I have written emails to two cousins who are Martin descendants from that family and I am hopeful the mystery will soon be solved!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Liaison in Hawaii

As I sit here in 102 degree heat (outside, not inside), my mind jumps to Aiea, Hawaii where my son is on holiday --- and hoping to call and/or meet my 2nd cousin, Victorina, better known as Victoria or Vic Gonzales Weber. I am hopeful they can connect --- a little piece of the missing relationship puzzle that my son is so interested in and wants to feel his own connection.
Earlier today, I attended a writer's workshop and was told Manuela's Petals should be classified as a Non Fiction Narrative. Since it is a blended Fiction / Non Fiction, it threw me a bit but it will help me decide if a small publisher or an agent and a small publisher would be better than self-publishing. I know that eBook publishing is taking the world by storm but had not realized eBook publishing jumped 202% in one year but traditional book publishing dropped 24% in the same year. After seeing a book proposal and the complexities within the pages, I jumped back to get my brain's marbles organized. Is it possible? Smiling here. Of course it is... it just won't be easy but I've heard somewhere that the best choices aren't always the smooth ones.
Since July 1, 2011, I have sent 7 request-for-information letters to various people regarding my SILVAN quest for family history. I'm like a little postal fairy waiting by the mail box or peeking in my email box every day. Liann is sending me a package of her mother's research from Washington state. Geri has sent me fabulous stories, documents, dates and pictures. I found a family tree of pictures my cousin, Tess, and I couldn't see beyond a postage stamp size and the lady was kind enough to send me BIG pictures and more than I asked for. Wow... people are wonderful.
But good news! Over the past couple of weeks, I received very good information and photographs from genealogical kindred spirits and I am related, albeit from afar. AND I asked for fish tacos at a Mexican restaurant yesterday in Spanish! "Quiero tacos de pescado por favor." And the man smiled and answered me in Spanish..."Si, Senora." On the way out, I snagged a free Hispanic newspaper to study, practice and read although I was sad to see the front page telling me Jennifer Lopez and her husband are separating... big picture and I read the caption and understood it. So, guess the good news was I understood it. The bad news was...well, the bad news.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Finding the last SILVAN sibling at last!

Until now, I had stories, contacts, pictures and copies of documents to prepare the dossier of 5 of the 6 Silvan siblings, children of Juan Francisco Silvan Hernandez and his wife Eustoquia Rita Marzo Trascasas Silvan from Fuentesauco, Province of Zamora, Spain.
1 - Manuela Silvan Ruiz, sometimes known as Mildred, who is my grandmother (abuelita)
2 - Agustin, better known as Gus who loved to fish and spent his last days in AK doing just that.
4 - Maria, known as Mary Silvan who married Frank Cuellar and always had a smile on her face.
5 - Juanita Silvan who married several times but I knew her as Aunt Jenny.
6 - Celestino, known as Cel who married Mary Louise. I never knew Uncle Cel but had a wonderful phone conversation with Aunt Mary not long before her death. I am still hopeful to receive pictures and copies of documents from her daughters.
No, I didn't forget child number 3 = Jose Marzo Silvan -- better known as Joe. With the help of a surprising link to our family --- Judy from Rocklin, CA (thank you!!!) I was able to recently connect with Uncle Joe's only child, his son Joe A Silvan. As it happens, Joe is not only my cousin but Judy's cousin on his mother's side. It is a very small (and fabulous) world out there.
So, I can happily begin the dossier for Uncle Joe, the elusive uncle whom I thought would remain a very slim little paragraph with 2 pictures -- Now, I have hope once again. Joe hopes to unearth photos and maybe even a document or two.
As I continue to plan my genealogical research week in California for September, I can happily add more family members to my 'must see' listing. And then there's my son, whom I have volunteered to act as my liaison in Hawaii this coming week to meet and visit with Victoria Gonzales Weber --- to add to the fun and excitement of FAMILY!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Another family member's box opened and shared with me by a granddaughter included a colorized photo of my great uncle Victorino and his wife Romana/Ramona Martin Silvan. After careful study, I realized a photo specialist had taken each head shot from the family picture I had in my file and I was amazed at how nice it looked. Here it is to compare and enjoy!
Now if only someone somewhere could help me recognize and name the two men in the bottom corner of the family picture ---- it would be a another real find!
Victorino was the oldest of 5 Silvan Hernandez children from Fuentesauco, Zamora, Spain. He died in 1925 so many of my aunts and uncles did not know he existed until now. What a wonderful way to bring our family into one amazing scope of recognition as I place each new person on our SILVAN family tree!!! One by one, we will do it!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


My Spanish Pearls began as a blog to update Spanish relatives as I research information on our ancestors but my genealogy bug has taken over my life. With the help of my dear cousin, Tess, on my mother's side, she has turned the ON button inside my head to that on position and it is stuck. Therefore, Spanish Pearls now encompasses the CHUBB and HUBBARD family quest as well.
I have been accepted into an Advanced Genealogy Class at the College of William & Mary where there will be only ten students. I am esctatic because last summer, I missed the registration and was number 13 in the waiting line in case anyone canceled. And of course, nobody did. Therefore, my mission is to use the SILVAN families and their extended families that include SOUZA BENTO (Theodora Silvan & John Souza) and GONZALES (Cristencia Silvan and Eusebio Gonzales) as my class project. They promise to help us jump over those brick walls.
I wait with bated breath to leave for Madrid in May or June of 2012 with my brother, Esteben (Steven) and I study laboriously over the Spanish language program, the Rosetta Stone. Once in Madrid, it is only 90 miles to FUENTESAUCO, where our families began --- or at least as far as we know they began. Maybe I can extend our family from there? Yes! I hope so.
I have created a NEW blog that is specific only to these Silvan families in the hopes of finding other silvan descendants and/or give the family members who have helped me already a chance to comment, add, refer to others and read as we go along. I encourage all the Silvan descendants to please look at it from time to time.
It can be found at and we are ready to roll!

Meeting more of the Gonzales Family ~

As I turn the pages of my Silvan notes, I realize how many Gonzales cousins I have found and who have befriended me and our quest to learn more about our ancestors all the way to Spain. As I look at the most recent picture from one of Cristencia Silvan Gonzales's children, I smile. She is Victoria or Vic to some of the closer family members, born in Hawaii in 1917 and as a swaddled four-month old baby, entered the bay to San Francisco into Angel Island with her parents, Cristencia and Eusebio and her five siblings. Now, in the Winter of her life she is again in Hawaii, wearing muu muus and listening to Ukeles and smelling the heavenly scents of the tropical flowers. My hopes are to sit and talk with her one day just as I hope to sit and talk with her sister, Theresa, in September who lives in Winters, California.
Their siblings are gone now. Their children and grandchildren look at pictures and have their own memories. Some have shared them with me and I am so appreciative for every tiny bit of information and pictures they so willingly share. Our SILVAN LEAVES book will be filled with stories, documents and pictures.... but first, I must finish MANUELA'S PETALS. Such a cache of information to share!
The wonders of finding family members like these --- who were first cousins to my Abuelita Manuela Silvan Ruiz, never turn cloudy but remain sharp, clear and a living adventure.
We have the Souza family and the Gonzales family on the Silvan side. AND we have the Martin family and more on the Ruiz side. I am trying to concentrate on the Silvan family for now because I don't want to get them mixed up in my head, but line each person up like marbles in my head. Then, the Ruiz family --- look out! I'm on my way there too.
Since I moved away from Woodland when I was 9 years old, I wasn't able to know the cousins, aunties, uncles and those relatives beyond but I am definitely trying to make up for lost time.
I look in the mailbox and my eMail box daily, hoping for stories, pictures and documents to add to my files. One day, we will all have them in a book to share with our own descendants. If only Abuelita could be part of the fun!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Hawaiian cousin

I am looking at a photograph of 4 people standing on the beach in Hawaii, wispy clouds against a blue sky and turquoise water behind them. In the middle is a white-haired lady in a muu-muu and she is my cousin. Her mother was Christina Silvan Gonzales. She is Victorina Gonzales Weber and she is delightful. At 93, she is one of two daughters left of my Great Aunt Christina's children and I am thinking of another 'Beam Me Up Scotty Wish'... to meet with her. I will not post the picture as I do not have her approval but trust me --- it's very special.
This week filled me with more excitement --- working beyond my Silvan and Ruiz family quests. I received a picture of my mother's Great Aunt Clara Myrtle Chubb from a woman I found (or she found me?) on some time ago. She found a trove of pictures in a large envelope that didn't have names on the back except for a few and bingo! Thanks, Jodi ~ One was the elusive Clara Myrtle Chubb at age 2 years and 16 days. She was adorable. She was my great grandfather's sister. We found her husband. We found her children. We found her grandchildren. But we couldn't find her. This was like GOLD!!
Between spreading mulch on the gardens, pulling weeds and helping my husband with property projects, I am not able to work on my genealogy 24/7 as I would like.... but as in life, it's quality more than quantity? Well, we will see what next week brings and I'll let you know.
Hope everyone has a nice birthday celebration for America...Happy 4th of July, 2011.