Back in the dark misty times...

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

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Monday, November 28, 2011


Filipe Silvan Alejo was the son of Angel Silvan Martin and Maria Dosales Alejo. He was the brother of Celestino Silvan Alejo. He was the uncle/tio of Victorino (1868), Juan (1875), Geronimo/Jeronimo (1877), Crestencia (1884) and Agustin (1887). He was the God Father of Geronimo/Jeronimo.

We do not know (yet) if there were other siblings or the ancestral tree members for the ALEJO or MARTIN family. There are many Martin names in our family and family stories have mentioned several times that our ancestors traveled from Fuentesauco with 'cousins' related through Martin.

Ramona "Martin" Lorenzo was married to Victorino Silvan Hernandez.
Agustina Hernandez "Martin" was married to Celestino Silvan Hernandez.
So -- the Martins could all be related through Angel Silvan's family --- or was Martin a name such as Smith, Jones in America? Another item for my research list for June 2012...

Solving the mystery of FELICIDADA

Sometimes in the quiet of the night when one's mind is awhirl with suppositions, a moment of clarity sneaks into the mix. Last night, several things dawned on me. Now, with baptismal records from Jeronimo/Geronimo and Victorino as well as the birth record of Juan Francisco, all Silvan Hernandez siblings --- I remembered the letter written in 1969 by my father, Michael Silvan Ruiz, to his mother, Manuela Silvan Trascasas Ruiz. The information he wrote about was a tiny clue and puzzle. FELICIDADA.

In prior postings, i have mentioned her because it seemed unusual in 1911 (to me) that Geronimo would have an 'adopted daughter', which is how my father defined her in his letter. This is what we know so far:

1) Geronimo/Jeronimo was born in 1877 to Celestino Silvan Alejo and Agustina Hernandez Martin.
2) He married Joaquina Bragado Vicente in 1919. She was 43, one year older than Geronimo/Jeronimo.
It is a plausible assumption that this was her second marriage and she very well could have had a child = Felicidada. We can also assume she may not have had Silvan children since she was already in her early 40s at that time.
3) Teresa Gonzales, daughter of Crestencia Silvan Gonzales, told me she remembers hearing her parents speak of Felicidada when she was young and she specifically heard her mother ask her father, Eusebio, "I wonder what will happen to Felicidada now."
4) During my recent research trip to California, I met with Crestencia's granddaughters, Linda and Patte --- who opened a box of memorabilia and we found a postcard written to their father, Eusebio Gonzales, Jr. signed by FELICIDADA. We know they must have met her while on a trip to Spain. We are hoping they have a photo of her in a family album.

During my night-time thought process, my eyes popped open when I remembered Theresa's comment and my questions began in earnest. I realized the conversation may have been based on a recent family event, such as either Geronimo/Jeronimo's or Joaquina's death. Since we do not know the death dates (yet) I loosely calculated that Theresa would have been a child at that time, so who ever died must have been about 1930-1935.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

How did Victorino get to San Francisco?

My cousin, Vicki, and I have reached the end of the tether line trying to find a ship's record for Victorino, Ramona, Felisa and Celestino Silvan's sailing from Hawaii to California in the early 1920s. We know they arrived because they are all buried in California~ I sometimes wonder if it is something we should just let go and focus beyond the trip and concentrate on the ones who came before.

At this point, we have (I hesitate to use the word "unearthed") found many Silvan family members and each generation leads us to more. However, yesterday one of my relatives gave me the distinct impression that she only cared about the family NOW and future generations...wondering why I'm so obsessed in the past?

Well, I sat myself down and asked myself that same thing. And my answer is = I AM WHO I AM TODAY BECAUSE OF WHO THEY WERE THEN. And that's that. I will continue my quest step by step and I know Vicki will also -- The Silvan lineage is important to us and I believe it is also important to many of those wonderful Silvan cousins I have already found across America... so the quest continues!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Farther into the Silvan family we go......

We not only have learned names of deeper-family-tree-ancestors, we have also learned where they came from. When I began this quest, I knew abuelita's name was Manuela Marzo Trascasas. Since that time over two years ago, I have found where she was born, where her grandparents lived on San Salvador Street in Fuentesauco, and today I deciphered the baptismal documents I received from the diocese in Spain to walk deeper into the Silvan family tree!!

My great great grandmother was Agustina Hernandez and she was born in Villamor de los Escuderos in the Province of Zamora, Spain. Her father was Miguel Hernandez Hernandez also from Villamor de los Escuderos. Her mother was Margarita Martin from Villaescusa, which is a village farther north near San Sebastion near the sea.

My great great grandfather was Celestino Silvan Martin. His father was Angel Silvan who was born in Fuentesauco. His mother was Maria Dosales Alejo. It is unknown (yet) where they were from and I am working on that.

The God fathers to Victorino Luciano Silvan and Jeronimo Silvan were new names also: Felipe Silvan Hernandez -- I believe may have been Angel Silvan's brother? And the other was Luciano Prieto -- obviously Victorino was named after him but this is a brand new name and I am working on that too.

I learned that Jeronimo's wife, Joaquina Bragado Vicente, was from Arcenillas and their marriage date. These Spanish documents are filled to the brim with so much wonderful genealogy and I can't help but touch them and re-read them daily.

All it all, it was a very constructive day.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NEW Baptismal Records from Spain

Returned home from my trip to find my desk piled with mail --- Always an adventure.....

Today, I hold in my hands --- two baptismal records from Spain. And after translating the documents, I found new information and happily share it as well as copies of both documents upon request.
1. VICTOR LUCIANO SILVAN HERNANDEZ - aka Victorino, was born 21 July 1868 and baptized in Santa Maria del Castillo de Fuentesauco. His parents are listed as Celestino Silvan and Agustina Hernandez. His paternal grandparents are listed as Angel and Maria Dobales (I believe this name is Dosales) and his maternal grandparents are listed as Miguel and Margarita Martin. His godfather is listed as Luciano Prieto.

2. JERONIMO SILVAN HERNANDEZ - aka Geronimo, was born 30 September 1877 and baptized in Santa Maria del Castillo de Fuentesauco. He joined his parents on Salvador Street in Fuentesauco. On this document, his paternal grandparents are listed as Angel Silvan Martin and Maria Dobal Alejo. His maternal grandparents are listed as Miguel Hernandez Hernandez and Margarita Martin. His godfather is listed as Felipe Silvan Hernandez, casado, hermano consanguineo del bautizado. After careful translation, I believe Felipe Silvan Hernandez was the brother of Angel Silvan.

The name, MARTIN, has come up several times through various blood lines. When abuelita told us over the years that she came from Spain with her cousins, I believe these "Martins" were related through several people unless the "Martins" in Fuentesauco are like the Smith and Jones' in America? As always, receiving documentation often adds more mysterious pieces to the Silvan puzzle.

HOWEVER, another piece of the puzzle was in the margin of the baptismal certificate for Jeronimo Silvan Hernandez~ It listed his marriage to Joaquina Bradado Vicente on 30 August 1919. She was listed on the ship manifest as Geronimo Silvan's wife sailing from Cuba back to Spain in 1930. This is the first piece of documented evidence of their marrage. Was this their first marrage since Geronimo was 42 and Joaquina was 43 when they married? Was he married before? Did he have children? His siblings left in 1911 when he was 33. Did he wait to marry after his mother, Agustina Hernandez died?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Helpers in Spain

More good news!

The priest at the Diocese of Zamora has found baptismal records for two of my great uncles from Fuentesauco, Province of Zamora, Spain: VICTORINO Silvan Hernandez and JERONIMO Silvan Hernandez. He has mailed the documents to me already and I am so anxious to SEE them.

So, another tip -- his name was spelled Jeronimo, not Geronimo :)

With these baptismal documents in hand, we will have MORE information soon. If I can scan and attach photo, I will do that. Each step gets more exciting as we follow the Silvan's footsteps!