You never know who will have your family’s photos

This week I was reminded of the importance of networking on the web.  It’s not a term you usually see associated with genealogy.  But, we have to reach out on forums, blogs, message boards, and whatever sources we have because you never know who might have the tidbit of information you need or a forgotten photograph that you’ve never seen.

This week I was sent the photograph below…

wedding of mamie and john correia minnie ventura smith manuel ventura with them

It is the wedding photo of Mamie Ventura and John Correia, ca 1918.  The person who sent it to me is a new found cousin and is related to the Correia’s.  As I was reading the notes I made an astonishing discovery.  I immediately recognized Mamie’s brother, Manuel Ventura.  But, I would have never guess the young woman on the left was my own great aunt, Minnie (Ventura) Pacheco Smith!

I have one photo of her take maybe 5 years after this one.  It is Manuel’s wedding photo (to Isabella Pacheco de Braga).  All the other photographs of Minnie come from the 1930s and 1940s.  You can imagine how excited I was to get this one from her teen years.

The person who had this had no idea of my relationship to Minnie.  When she sent it on, she was filling in my gaps on the Correia family.

It makes me wonder how many photographs might be sitting in dusty boxes in Hawaii or California that have my relatives pictured.  I suspect it’s many.  By 1970, my great aunt, Maria (Pacheco Smith) Souza/Correia, her second husband, Anthony Correia, and my grandmother, Anne (Jackson) Shellabarger, were the only ones left from that generation in the Pacheco Smith clan.  My Grandma had cut ties in the 1960s.  I am sure most of the Pacheco and de Braga cousins have forgotten about this side of the family–especially those in Hawaii who probably hadn’t heard the surname in decades.

This makes me want to redouble my efforts to find cousins.  As each year goes by we lose another part of a generation.  There are fewer and fewer people to pass down stories and there are even fewer who can name the people in old photographs.  It becomes even more important to compare what we have so we can save whatever there is of our heritage.


San Francisco Passenger Lists 1893-1953

I don’t know how I miss this one! now has the San Francisco, California Passenger Lists 1893-1953 Collection.  The collection is indexed and linked to the original ship manifests.

Be aware that the index is not complete.  I did a few surname searches and found that it covers roughly 1916-1953 at this time.

The collection includes ship manifests coming from Hawaii to San Francisco.  This should be very helpful for Hawaiian researchers who are looking for relatives who left Hawaii (even on vacation).  You may also find those already settled in California returning from vacations to Hawaii.

Well worth keeping an eye on this one!



There is still more to learn about Thomas Augustine Jones

I thought I knew pretty much everything that there was to know about Thomas Augustine Jones given the documents that are available.  So, color me surprised when I was going through San Francisco voting registers the other night and I found Thomas where he shouldn’t have been.

I knew that Thomas Jones lived with his daughter, Margaret, in 1900.  I knew that he lived with her in 1906, the follow up and aftermath of the earthquake, and in 1910.  I knew that he lived with her in 1920.

What I didn’t know is that he didn’t live with her all the years between 1910 and 1920.  In analyzing the information on the 1912 and 1913 voter register logs, I realized that for those years, Thomas lived at 167 1/2 Chattanooga in San Francisco.  That is where his daughter, Josephine (Jones) Pohley, and her family lived.  He was 62 at the time and still working as a Blacksmith.

Now I have to wonder why?  Was there something going on in the Jackson household that made Thomas step out for a couple of years?  Was it because he had trouble finding work after the earthquake?  Was this the case of a elderly family member going to live with various children for the last years of their life?

I don’t recall finding this information in the San Francisco city directories.  I suspect that means that I assumed Thomas was in Oakland with Margaret and family during those years and never bothered to look.  I’m going to have to do another pass through those books to see how long he stayed in San Francisco and if it was the Pohley’s the entire time.

Here I’ve been researching this may since 1990 and I did not know this.  Genealogy has a way of humbling you and reminding you that new information may be out there.  All you have to do is find it.