Back in the dark misty times...

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

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

MORE Silvan Siblings ~ Baptismal Documents!

Several minutes of serious study, a little confusion and I'm off and running. Today, the packet arrived and I will list the siblings in order and then add the questions at the bottom...
1. Agapita born 18 September 1864 (godfather: Agapito Lamera)
*Witness to Agapita's baptism: Juan Santos Zambrano and Juan Alvarez)
2. Matias born 18 September 1867 (godfather: paternal abuelo: Angel Silvan)
3. Victorino Luciano born 21 July 1868 (godfather: Luciano Prieto)
4. Edmundo born 20 November 1870 (godparents: Brother: Felipe & wife, Lorenza Lorenzo)
*Witness to Edmundo's baptism: Tomas Alonso and Cipriano Lorenzo (cousin??)
5. Angel born 5 October 1873 (godfather: Pablo Torrecilla)
6. Juan F. born 10 June 1875 (I have birth record, not baptismal record)
7. Geronimo 4 October 1877 (godfather: Brother: Felipe Silvan)
8. Lorenzo born 8 September 1880 (godmother: Teresa lema Baquero)
9. Cristencia born 15 June 1884 (I have copy of translated birth record only)
10. Agustin born in 1887 (no document except ship manifest listing age)
QUESTIONS:
1. The Diocese of Zamora told me there was a son named DOMINGO PEDRO. No baptismal record received. I asked my genealogist to look for it.
2. Two baptismal documents indicate FELIPE was a natural brother and a Silvan Hernandez. No baptismal record received. I asked my genealogist to look for it.
3. Listing 10 siblings above, where do Domingo and Felipe fit in? Based on the dates of birth, there is a space between a few siblings. Maybe Felipe was the first born?
This is far too exciting to linger over questions. I will be anxious for a response about these two missing/lost/question/siblings... Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

More documents on their way from España ~

My fingers are itching to touch the documents currently on their way to me -- Six baptismal documents to prove additional great aunts and great uncles existed in Fuentesauco so many years ago. The Spanish documents are cursive, detailing the family lines both maternal and paternal and include birth dates and Godparent names. Sometimes the expectation is like the ketchup bottle advertisement....... AN-TIS-AH-PASHUN...... (See how giddy I am?)

Not only will these documents be proven documention for the existence of Felipe, Agapita, Domingo Pedro, Agustin and Matías (Victorino's record is included) but it will give me a starting point to gather speed to investigate a family story that has been flitting around the Silvans for many years.

I've been told, "One of the brothers didn't go to Hawaii but instead went to South America." The story said it was Agustin but I found him on a ship manifest in 1931 leaving Cuba and returning to Spain. Another story said it was "Hermano" which took me a couple years to realize this brother's name was really Geronimo, pronounced Hermano with the Spanish intonations and dropped letters... I also found him (and his wife) on a ship's manifest --- also leaving Cuba to return to Spain in 1930.

So, who went to South America? Felipe? Matías? Domingo? Where in South America...Argentina? Brazil? Where would I find that ship manifest? Was he turned away due to poor health on the initial trip with the Silvans who rode the Orteric and got dropped off in South America? Did he take a later ship? Earlier? I will have my investigative hat on (with bells on) while I proceed with this batch of questions and maybe...... just maybe I'll find answers!!

So far, in my quest, I have had amazing success and have jumped over several brick walls. For now, I wait for the mail.... any day now!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Deciphering the SS ORTERIC Manifest ~

The ship's manifest that lists our family leaving Gibraltar at LaLinea, Spain in 1911 was an exciting find. It also produced questions and curious confusion because some people thought it was completed at point of departure and others thought it was completed at point of arrival in Honolulu 48 days after sailing away from the Spanish coast.

We know several babies were born onboard and also that many children died onboard due to measles, scarlet fever and possibly dehydration caused from the rampant seasickness. However, I still couldn't put my finger on when, where, how....and I also knew that several different people input the data.

My best imagined scenario was there were several lines of immigrants waiting to show their documents and proof of good citizenship and passing health exams. Since there were so many people, there were obviously several points where the pages of the manifest were completed. Several tables possibly. I do not think they were in alphabetical order though. Our Gonzales family names are shown several pages ahead of both of the Silvan families.

With the help of my new internet genealogy friend, Steve A., I believe he has the answer! The manifest was started in Gibraltar when our families began the boarding process and then the second page or at least the final check and balance input was completed at point of arrival. He reminded me that since babies were born (or died) on board, the general accounting was done in Honolulu. Oh, I am relieved to have that figured out! And it makes perfect sense.

It has been one of my genealogical dreams to put the list of family names from the Orteric ship on a spreadsheet so other family historians will have access to the listings to find their family information. Steve A. has offered to help me and jumped right on the task. THANK YOU, STEVE. So many genealogists and Spanish descendants have reached out to make the tasks we so enjoy easier for those who come after us!

Not only that, I now have more Spanish cookie recipes. I believe what we thought were "Roquettes" all our life, making those wine cookies at Christmas time, are really "Rosquetes". Since my dear abuelita couldn't read or write, my mother guessed at the spelling based on the sound. Now, with the cookie recipe in front of me, I smile in anticipation --- I will add the orange juice (not shown in our recipe) and bake up a batch to 'test'. And I just happen to have some Marsala in the cupboard, just waiting for me to whip begin baking.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Moving through the Gonzales family ~

I feel as if I have been sitting on Great Aunt Christina Gonzales's verandah this past week as I have "met" children through their children and siblings. I spoke with Auntie Vic in Hawaii a few days ago and yesterday I received a packet of photographs from her sister, Theresa along with a completed interview questionnaire. More information! Since I am in the throes of biography creativity, I was quite happy to have more information to fill in those blanks!

And then, I heard from cousins, Felix, Alicia, Julie and Judy. I am overwhelmed with the lovely welcome I continue to receive from my long-lost and newly-found families across the country. Thank you all!

I feel as if I can visualize Aunt Sally, Aunt Marie and still hope to better meet Aunt Tina. For now, I am satisfied that another week's research has come to fruition and then there are the pieces of information I received that generated more questions!

Red had another child named Clara Dean. I found her birth certificate.
Her mother, Lena, was an enigma and I believe I found her --- Adeline "Lena" Faria Fernandez. The reason I want to find Lena is because I would like to find little Clara that none of the Gonzales family saw after she left the family farm so many years ago!

And now, there are others who have eagerly connected with me who aren't related at all. Steve A. has shared documents, newspaper articles, Spanish recipes and his burning desire to connect with his Spanish heritage as I do. Thank you so much, Steve!

Another week of adventure ahead and by the end of this month, the 1940 Census lists will be available!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The 'sugar boat' book

I have a mile of web sites to research for further genealogy searches but one of the pieces of information I found was a book about the 'sugar boat people' which essentially means our Spanish ancestors who left their homes and traveled to Hawaii (and/or Cuba) to work in the sugar cane at the expense of the sugar cane plantation owners.

When I was led to the European and Hispanic Reading Rooms in Washington DC, I was delighted to meet the man on duty; a Spaniard from Galicia. He helped me learn the search routine by putting in at least 3 'key words' and ten books popped up! He printed out his findings and those I have added to the many web sites I have on another listing.

One of the books was actually in that specific reading room and I recognized the sugar boat name because one of our cousins in San Leandro area named Julie E. told me about it last year... she was sure her family had a copy but could not find it, so I kept the information logged into my brain's message center and the book was in my hands within minutes!

When one is at the Library of Congress, it is similar to being in a court house or other library where you purchase a print/copy card, load it with $ and then use it like a debit card in the copy machines. When I arrived in the Hispanic Reading Room, it was on a different floor as the Main Reading Room where the cards are purchased. Instead, I was given approval to use my cell phone to take photographs of the pages! And they turned out pretty well. I can definitely work with the photos and read the information. Much of the information I'd already learned but some specific details were quite noteworthy and I thank Julie for telling me about it!!

I will post findings in bits and pieces as I go one site at a time. I learned that the LDS Church has slowly digitized many documents in small villages of Spain. I had hoped Fuentesauco was included but not yet... The Spanish man who helped me in the reading room also said notarios are being digitized. What was that, I asked... He said they are copies of land documents and when they are finally available, I will see if I can find Silvan land documents!

For now, I am waiting to receive word that the four sibling's baptismal documents have been found and copied for me. When that happens, I will post one on this site.