On the 100 Years in America blog, the question is asked “Where was my family 100 years ago”? For my nomadic ancestors, the answer is never simple. Unlike my brother-in-law’s La Grange’s who stayed in one place for 200+ years, mine were migrated all over the place.
1. My maternal great great grandfather, Thomas Augustine Jones was living on Aztec Street in San Francisco, CA in 1908 with his daughther and son-in-law, Margaret (Jones) and Harry Jackson. They were getting their lives back together after the 1906 earthquake and fire. A year or two later, they’d move across the bay to Oakland.
2. My maternal grandfather, Joao “Bohne” Pacheco, had been born a year earlier somewhere along the way from Hawaii to California. He was living in Oakland, Alameda Co., CA with his parents, Theodoro Pacheco and Maria de Braga. They lived on E. 25th Street under the name of Smith as they had fled Hawaii when Theodoro was diagnosed with leprosy and given his deportation papers to Molokai. Living with the family was Maria’s father, my great great grandfather, Jozimas de Braga.
3. My paternal grandfather, Jean Lassalle, arrived in America a year earlier from France. He was 20 years old in 1908. It’s unclear where he was at first, but in 1908 he was most likely living somewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area. His parents, Pierre Lassalle and Elizabeth Segalas, were back home in Ogeu le bains, France.
4. My paternal grandmother, Anna Madeleine Mazeres, was just 11 years old. She and her parents, Charles Mazeres dit Salanave and Brigitte Breilh were living in San Francisco in 1906, but it’s unclear where they were in 1908. It’s possible they had already moved to Oakland and were running their French laundries.
Brigitte (Breilh) Mazeres’ parents (my great great grandparents) had migrated to California in 1900. They were living somewhere in Oakland in 1908.
It’s fascinating to see that my ancestors had come from all over: Australia, the Azores, France, England, and Ireland. Some stopped in Hawaii and San Francisco. Disease and disaster sent them scattering in 1906-1907. Somehow they all ended up in Oakland, Alameda Co., California, living in the same neighborhoods. And, there my grandparents and parents would meet. Our families joined.
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com