[I am working my way backwards through Amy Coffin’s 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy because I wasn’t paying attention the first half of the year. This is week #31…Cousins.]
I have had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of a few cousins online through my genealogy. In some cases we have been able to meet in person. I think one of most memorable meeting with my Pacheco cousin, Marian (Catanio) Shaieb, who I met within the first year or two of beginning my tree.
It is kind of funny how I came to know Marian. I had contacted a cousin, Shirley (Pacheco) Rose, whose father was my Grandfather’s first cousin. Shirley was not close to the Pacheco family at all. Her parents had divorced by 1927 and her mother left Hawaii with Shirley in tow. When I contacted Shirley, she was willing to talk to me on the phone. She didn’t know a lot about the family. However, she gave me my next lead.
Years earlier, she had become friendly with a woman in her neighborhood. I can’t recall which way it went but one was the Avon Lady and the other was the customer. Through the course of their visits, it came out that they both had roots in Kauai. Further delving showed that they were first cousins. This cousin was Marian.
Shirley gave me Marian’s address, so I wrote her a letter. I explained how I found her address and how we were related. I received a response very quickly. We shared a couple of phone calls and letters.
One weekend, Marian had to come down to the Bay Area for a family function. She called me and came to the house. We sat and talked for a few hours about the Pacheco’s and our history. I showed her some family photos and she gave me a photo of her family that was taken at a reunion.
It was through Marian that realized the diversity of Hawaiian family trees. Marian’s line descended from Antonio Pacheco and Alexandrinha de Jose. This line stayed in Kauai until around 1915 and the early 1920s. Some are still in Hawaii.
These Pacheco’s were the first to marry outside the Portuguese race. They married Filipinos and Japanese natives. Marian’s mother was Portuguese and her father was Filipino.
While these marriages were perfectly acceptable in Hawaii in 1920, they were frowned upon in California including among their own cousins. I’m not sure of all the reasons but I think this may be why this family did not stay in Oakland or Monterey Co. Instead they migrated up to the Stockton region where they set down roots.
Meeting Marian made me realize just how diverse the Pacheco family tree was. I have cousins who come from many different backgrounds, each with their own history. It’s made me appreciate our history even more. I can see the historical and cultural aspects that played on different parts of my family tree.
I think it would be an interesting exercise to plot out the Pacheco family tree just to see how many countries our lines touch. You will find the Azores, Madeira, Portugal, France, England, Ireland, Wales, the Philippines, Spain, Japan, China, Australia, Mexico, and many other nations among the leaves. I am thankful to Marian for showing me how rich and varied our family history is.
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com