Mystery Photo of the Week: Are These Three People Portuguese Hawaiians?

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This week’s mystery photo comes from the collection of Marie Gloria (Bonita) Medeiros thanks to her granddaughter.  The Bonita’s were from Kauai, Hawaii, Monterey County, CA, and Oakland, CA.  They had de Braga family in Honolulu, Hawaii. We have three individuals.  The two men appear to be middle aged, the woman elderly.   Given the … Continued

Mystery Photo: Who is This Little Portuguese Girl?

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This week’s mystery photo is actually two photos involving the same unknown little girl. These were in the collection of Marie Gloria (Bonita) Medeiros, my grandfather’s cousin.  They were shown to me by her granddaughter, Barbara. The girl has Portuguese roots and was born in either Hawaii (most likely Kauai) or California. The first photo … Continued

Mystery Photo Solved: Jose Medeiros and Bertha Pacheco

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I’m excited in a way that only genealogists will understand. In Mystery Photo of the Week, I posted a photo of an unidentified bride and groom. I am happy to say that the photo has now been identified! It took a little detective work and a forgotten photo of two small children to sort it … Continued

Mystery Photo: Who are the Bride and Groom from Oakland?

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This wedding photograph came my way a few months ago.  The photograph was taken around 1910-1915 in Oakland, California.  We do not know who the bride and groom are but there are some clues.     The Clues It’s pretty obvious that the groom and the best man are related, most likely brothers.  They have … Continued

Recovering Family Photographs through School Yearbooks

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I have very few photographs from my maternal grandmother’s side of the tree.  While there are plenty of photographs of my grandmother, Anna (Jackson) Shellabarger, there are only a handful of her siblings.  I have four of her mother and none of her father.  There are no photographs of her many relatives from San Francisco. … Continued

One of the Highest Wage Earners in 1940

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Another entry in my Labor Day photo series… One of the interesting things about going through the 1940 census is seeing how much money my relatives were earning in 1939.  For the most part, my relatives were earning between $500 and $1500 a year.  So, I was surprised to see that my great uncle Joe … Continued

My Grandma Was a Working Woman

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Long before women burned their bras, my Grandma Shellabarger was a working woman.  In fact, she worked most of her life.  At first it was because her family couldn’t survive during the Depression on the 33 cents an hour my Grandfather made.  After their divorce it was necessity.  She needed to feed herself and her … Continued

Before He Became a Painter and Writer

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Another entry in my Labor Day photo series… Frank Milton Shellabarger was my grandmother’s third husband.  My software’s relationship calculator says that we are not related by blood. I will always know him as Grandpa Frank even though he died when I was 1 year old. When my grandma met him in the late 1950s, … Continued

They Owned Laundries


Another for my Labor Day photo series… My great grandfather was Charles Mazeres .  Charles was from Ogeu les bains, France.  He made his way to San Francisco in the early 1890s.  He and my grandmother, Brigitte Breilh, owned French Laundries. The earliest laundry I’ve documented is the one he owned in Modesto, California, 1903.  … Continued

Women Working in the Factories

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Here’s another entry for my Labor Day photo series.  I found this photograph in the Oakland Tribune [Oakland, Alameda Co., CA], 15 May 1942, Front Page.  The article was titled “Women Now in War Plant in Emeryville.”  The article documented local women who were moving into manufacturing jobs as men headed off to war. This … Continued

Laborers at the Sugar Plantation

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As it is Labor Day weekend, I thought I’d post the one photograph I have that links my relatives to their sugar plantation laboring roots.  This photograph is in my cousin Ted’s collection. It was taken on one of the sugar beet farms in Monterey County, CA.  It’s most likely King City, Soledad, or Spreckels.  … Continued