Back in the dark misty times...

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

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Immigration and the Statue of Liberty

This article (September, 2015) hit home for me because of so many immigrants who came through San Francisco, New York, New Orleans, Boston and down from Canada into America in the early 1900s.

This was written by Rosemary LaBonte to the editors of a California newspaper in response to an article written by Ernie Lujan who suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the immigrants of today aren’t being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry. The paper never printed this response, so her husband sent it out via internet.

Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented.
Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.

They had waved goodbye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.
Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought alongside men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France and Japan. None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan. They were defending the United States of America as one people.

When we liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the French American, the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.

And here we are with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900's deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.

And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn't start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Perseverance pays off in Hawaii for Spanish Descendants

Over the past fifteen years, family folklore has told me repeatedly about one of my great, great grandfather's sisters who immigrated from Spain to Hawaii.  During my quest to find our ancestors during their flight from Spain, I learned this great, great aunt's name was Dolores "Glory" RUIZ Garcia.  She and her husband, Antone RUIS Martos, were on the FIRST ship which left Malaga in 1907, the SS Heliopolis along with five of their children. (Francisco, Juan, Maira, Delores, and Carmen).  Once in Hawaii, they eventually began a dairy business and had five more children. (Emily, Adelina, Antone, Manuel and Alfred.)

Folklore in the Ruiz family said "Uncle Tony" married Sarah, who was full Hawaiian and played a ukulele and sang like a bird.  "Aunt Lily (Carmen)" married Joe Saucedo and had two children.  They lived on different parts of Oahu and both had dairy farms.  The family stories became convoluted over time and I did not know where to begin.

One day, I learned "Freddy Ruis" was a friend of my dad's cousin, who had a dairy years ago on Oahu and maybe some of his descendants still lived?  I tracked Freddy's (Alfred Ruis) descendants to the big island, but hit a brick wall.  By then, the Ruis name (I thought) had disappeared due to marriages and later descendants.

A man named Miguel Alba is writing a book about the Heliopolis descendants in California and Hawaii and he asked me about the Ruiz/Ruis link in Hawaii.  So, I got on the internet once again and hammered it like a freight train.  And it paid off!

I found an obituary for Sarah Ruis, the Hawaiian cousin --- and nearly cried when I saw she died only seven months ago.  She was alive when I was on the big island in February, 2014.  I browsed the RUIS name and found Kaimi Kaupiko, sent him an email and PAYDIRT~  His Aunt Sarah did, indeed, marry Antone Ruis, Jr.  He is asking his uncle Wilbert Kaupiko to contact me.

Honolulu Star*Advertiser Newspaper OBIT
Feb. 5, 2015
SARAH KA‘AWA LAU O PUNA KAUPIKO “UKULII” RUIS, 85, of Waimea, Hawaii, a fisherwoman, owner of Sarah’s Ranch, dairy farmer and co-owner of Ruis Enterprises, died in Kohala Hospital. She was born in Milolii, Hawaii. She is survived by sons Wayne and Wilbert Kaupiko, five stepchildren, brother Wilfred Kaupiko, sisters Winona Tahara and Naomi Naipo, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Visitation: 9 a.m. March 28 at Hauoli Kamanao Church, Milolii. Services: 10:30 a.m. Aloha or casual attire. Lei and loose flowers welcome. Condolences may be sent to P.O. Box 959 Kamuela, HI 96743.
Sarah Ruis
Sarah Kaawa Lau O Puna “Ukulii” Kaupiko Ruis of Waimea died Feb. 5, 2015, at Kohala Hospital. Born Sept. 22, 1929, in Milolii, she was a fisherwoman, owner of Sarah’s Ranch, a dairy farmer, co-owner of Ruis Enterprises Inc., member of Waimea Hawaiian Civic Club, Waimea Hawaiian Homesteaders Association, Kaahumanu Society, Kawaihae Canoe Club, Imiola Congregational Church, Hauoli Kamanao Church, Hale O Na Alii O Hawaii and Halau O Kelii Ahonui.
Friends may call at 9 a.m. March 28 at Hauoli Kamanao Church in Milolii for a 10:30 a.m. service. Family requests aloha or casual attire be worn. Lei and loose flowers are welcome. Condolences may be sent to the family at P.O. Box 959, Kamuela, HI, 96743.
She is survived by sons, Wayne (Jackie) Kaupiko of Kailua-Kona, Wilbert (Marie) Kaupiko of Waimea; five stepchildren; brother, Wilfred (Anita) Kaupiko of Milolii; sisters, Winona Tahara, Naomi (Anli) Naipo, both of Hilo; five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, numerous cousins, nieces, nephews.
Arrangements by Cremation Services of West Hawaii.

The late Sarah Ka‘awa Lau O Puna “Ukulii” Kaupiko Ruis was a member of Hale O Na Ali‘i O Hawaii and Halau O Keli‘i Ahonui. That information was not submitted for an obituary published Sunday

Friday, September 11, 2015


Spain is where my DNA awakened, where family folklore from the past came to life, where forgotten and unknown relatives embraced, where tradition and culture became real...and where the Tortilla Espanola is perfect.  I have researched all four sides of my family tree and extended branches in several directions.  I know it is never ending, just like the family tree is never ending.  The romance, charm, thrill, amazement and sparkle of finding one's ancestors --- well, there are just no words.  Here is a toast to Spain and my family left behind and the family in America that make me feel so blessed.

My PROJECT for the brand new year of 2016, STEPPING BACK IN TIME, will be another exciting journey for me, where I will gather Spanish genealogy for others and share the bliss.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Stepping back in time has been a litany for me since 2008, ever since my addiction to Genealogy rose up and bit me as I tried to "find" where my grandmother came from in Spain.  Since that time, I have published two books and created several family histories for others.  It has, since then, sprouted wings.  Not only have I put together family trees for my own family members, but I've accumulated history, photos and stories for non-family members as well.  And I enjoyed doing it for free...

Recently, I created two extensive family history packets; one for my granddaughter's other grandmother that filled about fifty hours of my time as well as a financial investment.  I also gathered photos, historical information and researched my son in law's family and created a personal family history scrapbook. I knew this could make me feel happy to help others, but wasn't sure how to proceed.   There was no doubt in my mind that I loved these projects!

Since that time, I have been approached by two different people who have asked me to create their family histories and I had to step back and consider the implications of putting "more on my plate." My immediate reaction was to say, "I just don't have the time.  Yes, I am the self-appointed family historian in my own family, but could I do this as a business?"  Now I am reconsidering the option, thinking about the possibility of reinventing my author's platform and stretching my wings.  

Since researching, cataloging, listening to family folklore and offering personal family histories is a job I love to do,  I made a decision.  I am going to make a plan to launch my new STEPPING BACK IN TIME Family History site.   Although I am an amateur genealogist who has learned where to find information.  I want to fill others with the excitement and exhilaration of finding their family.  

Stay tuned for more information that will include a Stepping Back in Time Family History package that will include a basic option and a more in-depth option.