Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Flags & Coat of Arms!

Moniz Coat of Arms
Madeira Coat of Arms
Madeira Flag 
Portuguese Flag 

Moniz, Portuguese: from a patronymic form of the medieval personal name Munho. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Elvira Antonia Moniz

Elvira Antonia Moniz
As written by Aunty herself: Well folks here I am! The last of the Moniz Clan. I was born June 13, 1929. My birth name is Elvira Antonia Moniz. If you notice there is no Maria attached to my name. June 13th is the feast of Saint Anthony of Padua. My mother decided that I should be named after St. Anthony. 
I had no say in the matter. I very seldom tell anyone my real name, and if I do, I usually substitute "Antoinette" as my middle name. 
My siblings were and are all great! I am still very close to my surviving sisters, Gloria, Alice and Judith! My brother John passed in 2001, baby Joseph before I was born, and Joseph Gregory when I was only eleven! 

I attended Sarah D. Ottiwell Grammar School, kindergarden through third grade. I remember turning around to talk to a friend and my knuckles were smacked with a ruler! I never did that again! I then attended Philips Avenue School for the fourth and fifth grade. I was taught how to write in cursive. Back then we called it penmanship! The teachers always commented on my good handwriting.
For the sixth and seventh grades I attended the Abraham Lincoln School. I took violin lessons during this time. My parents bought me a violin for $5.00. They paid for it in installments of .50 cents a week. I didn't do too much with the violin after that!

 I went to Normandin Junior High School for the eighth and ninth grade. It was a distance from our home. I usually walked back and fourth and picked up a few friends along the way!  
I did get to buy tickets for the bus, but only for emergencies, rain, snow or sickness. I remember my gym class and could not climb the ropes. Needless to say I failed that one! 
I graduated from the ninth grade in 1944 and then attended New Bedford High School. It was too far to walk so I had to take the bus as it was downtown and we lived in the north end of New Bedford. There I joined the "GAMS" which was a girl's auxiliary. I did receive credit for this program. I also worked after school from four to ten PM at the Aerovox to help my parents. I did my homework during every break and mother had supper on the table for me where I completed my homework late into the evening. It paid off, as I was the only one in the family who graduated from high school in 1947. My high school graduation class just had it's 65th class reunion in this year of 2012. Wow!!! I also attended Kenyon Campbell School for additional book keeping classes after graduation. 

I remember as a child we were too poor to celebrate Christmas. My older sister Gloria, would write a letter to Santa Claus and somehow on Christmas morning through the miracle of Christmas, we would receive toys! I remember asking for a carriage and received a two wheeled one! Father surprised us with a Christmas tree he chopped from the farm. To me it was huge, however, we had no decorations or a stand. He just leaned the tree against the wall! Sister Gloria to the rescue! She bought some tinsel and a box of balls, sparse but beautiful. We didn't have much, but we were all so happy with our beautiful tree and each other. Any tree is beautiful to a small child! I do believe that the letter to Santa was delivered to the Salvation Army! 

As you know our parents were very strict, especially "Pa" 
as we called him. Gloria once smiled at a boy she knew in front of Pa and she got in a lot of trouble for showing her pearly whites to a boy! Yikes! My poor sister Gloria, she is the oldest of us four girls. She had to break Pa in slowly. When Pa finally found out about her having a boyfriend, she went through a great deal. When she wanted to go out on a date with her then future husband Tony, there were conditions. They were to bring one of her younger sisters along to chaperone. Guess who???? ME!!! 
The diabolical plan was to drop me off at the theater around nine and then arrange a pick up time and arrive home together no later than 10PM. 
Gloria, Alice and Judith paved the way for me. I had it made! Pa liked my husband, as he knew him well. He was the boy next door and a sports fisherman. Fred bribed my dad with most of his catch. Pa watched us closely all the same.
I do not remember my sister Alice being chaperoned. She was the quietest of all of us. She could draw very well and was artistically inclined. 
Now Judith was a different story. She definitely was the feistiest of all and a bit sneaky as well! She once took my pearl necklace without asking. I pulled them from her neck and pearls went everywhere! She did not mind Pa either! 

When it finally came down to me dating, Pa had softened a bit, thanks to my older sisters. Pa felt that I did not need a chaperone. For my high school prom I asked a friend down the street because he was a good dancer and I love to dance. He had to come inside to escort me to the prom. Pa knew his parents very well and we had to be home no later than 11PM. Wow, those were the days!

I worked at a wholesale company for fourteen years and left as my boss could not afford the two cent raise that I asked for. I found a new job at the Acushnet Company now known as Titleist. I was employed there until my retirement in 1992.

I married my next door neighbor Alfred Correia on November 11, 1950 and we were blessed with four beautiful children. Diane Antoinette Correia was born July 12, 1952. Our second was a son, Michael Anthony Correia, born February 21, 1954. Robert Alfred Correia, was born June 23, 1960. Lastly, Timothy Scott Correia, born July 26, 1968. 

Tragically our thrid child Robert was killed in a motorcycle accident at the age of seventeen. He was to graduate the following year from Dartmouth High School. As I remember he had taken his graduation picture for the class yearbook the day before the accident. My sister-in-law Rosalie, a very thoughtful person, asked that the photos be mailed to her as to spare me the pain of seeing them alone! I am still so grateful for that act of kindness. 

After a year of marriage my husband was called to serve in the armed forces. He was a radio operator in Korea. Before he left I became pregnant and would send him side view photos of my blossoming body. He loved that. When Diane was born, brother in law, Tony Tavares would send him a message that he was a father. Diane was four months old when he returned from the service. He was in Korea for ten and one half months. I remember traveling  alone to Utica, NY to meet with him upon his return. It was close to our anniversary! 

After retiring I became active by volunteering at a soup kitchen in New Bedford. I also joined the Ladies Guild at St. Julie's Church and until this day remain very active. I was elected president for one year, 2005-2006, a very busy year! 
I love doing crafts. Along with a  group of friends, we hosted a house party three years in a row to sell our creations. I love being active with my church groups until this day! 

I enjoy my children, grandchildren and great-grand children, along with husband Fred in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. 

Niece Rosemary writes: "Aunty Vera is probably the kindest, sweetest, giving person that I know! She is always happy to see me no matter her health or situation! She is still so helpful to her older sisters and visits them often. She is a true role model for any human being to follow. 

I was there when she opened the graduation photos of her son Robert, after his passing. It was a gut wrenching experience which no parent should ever have to endure! 
I love you Aunty. Your kind heart will always be be cherished by mine!" 
"You are my hero!!!" 

Cousin Hank writes: "I remember the tragedy of losing cousin Robert in the motorcycle accident, as cousin Carole and Tom were visiting California when it happened. They were not told of the accident until they got home.  We all felt very bad, and I remember my mom crying. I also remember Robert from one of our barbecues as a very nice young man, such a horrible loss for the whole family. My first memory of meeting Aunty Vera was in 1953 when my family went east for the first time. It was a wonderful experience for all of us. Although, I had met Uncle John, Uncle Tony Tavares and Uncle Fred while they were in the service and had come to California on furlough.  We have all been blessed with a wonderful family, and as the years go by they just get more and more precious.

Marriage, November 11, 1950

Maria Judith Moniz

Maria Judith Moniz
Written by: Cousin Carol and Aunty Judy herself. 
Maria Judith Moniz was born on April 18, 1926. She is the legitimate daughter of Rufino Moniz and Maria Natalia Moniz. She was baptized in the Immaculate Conception Church, New Bedford, Massachusetts. She is 86 years old. Judith is their sixth child and third daughter.
When I was 6 years old, I attended school in Santa Clara, California. I was taught by nuns. Being quite the feisty one, I was always in trouble and spent a good amount of time in the corner. The nuns certainly earned their reputation! I will always remember the time when I was playing at the railroad tracks with my sisters. My sister Gloria put me in a tire and was rolling me in it. All of a sudden she saw a Hobo. She got so scared. She rolled me down the hill and ran home. Needless to say, she got in big trouble with my parents for leaving me there, crying. This is certainly an event in my life that I will never forget! 
When I returned to New Bedford, Massachusetts I attended Sarah D.Ottiwell School. I had to repeat a grade because the school system here was more advanced. (Later, I caught up with a double promotion.) I attended Phillips Avenue School for 4th and 5th grade and Lincoln School for 6th and 7th grade. It wasn’t until I attended Normandin Jr, High School, that I began really liking school. I wanted to continue my education and graduate from high school, but my parents refused to allow me to. They needed the money, so I had to quit school and go to work to help them. I was very sad because I wanted to finish school and really make something of myself.
A person that stands out in my mind that would have an influence in my life later on was Mr. Motta. He owned a lot of houses in the city. When I was growing up, I use to see him going up and down the street, going to houses, and collecting rent. He was considered quite wealthy at the time, ate very well, and dressed very nicely. I knew someday that I would like to get into real estate. This seemed like a good way to make money. After all, he was very successful, why couldn’t I be? When I met my first husband, John Raffa, I told him that someday I was going into real estate and maybe buy and sell houses. I wanted to make money and live the life like Mr. Motta did. This man would never know the positive influence that he had in my life.
After leaving school I went to work at the Aerovox in New Bedford. I married my first husband John Raffa. We lived with my sister Alice and her husband Joe for a few months. There was a housing shortage after the war. Apartments were hard to come by. We eventually moved to Howland Avenue in New Bedford, Massachusetts, a house owned by my mother-in-law and father-in-law. We later moved to Timothy Street in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, across the street from my sister Gloria and her family.
When I lived on Timothy Street, I decided to study for my real estate license, a desire I always longed for. I finally obtained my dream! While living on Timothy Street my husband and I got divorced after 15 years of marriage. I started to go to Jan’s Hair Salon. It was here that I really got my start with real estate. I worked here part time as a manicurist. This is the place where I met so many nice people and got so many leads. Jan became my very good friend and has remained my best friend. She is like my guardian angel. Jan is very religious and she told me that if I prayed hard enough for something, I would get what I wanted. Truer words were never spoken. It proved to be so true. I’ll always remember my first real sale. It was to a woman that I met there at Jan’s salon. I sold her house and another on the same day.  (The one that she was buying) I began to work at Robin Realty. One month I received a plaque for selling the most houses. I also sold a house to my sister Vera and her husband Alfred in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts. They still live there today.
Another memorable time in my life was when I met my second husband Arthur Davis. One night I went to Meiling’s Restaurant in Mattapoisett, MA for dinner to celebrate my friend Jan’s birthday. While at the bar, I met Arthur, It was “love at first sight”! I thoroughly enjoyed talking with him. He was so smart and so well dressed. He certainly made an impression on me. We continued the birthday celebration at my friend’s house. He told me that he was in real estate---and that’s when it all began. It was all just meant to be. We talked a lot about real estate. We started dating, going out to lunch and dinner constantly. We went out together for 9 years before we got married. We lived in New Bedford for a short while and then decided to move to Florida. My daughter Susan was married with a daughter. My son Paul was living in Florida with his father John Raffa and my son Peter was in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Jacksonville, Florida.
Arthur was in the Baton Death March. He was a POW for 4 ½ years in the Japanese Prison Camp. He made many friends while he was in the service. We travelled extensively to conventions several times a year, making many friends along the way. Some of the places that we travelled to were Boston, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and many many more, too numerous to mention. We had a wonderful life together. We had so much in common. When I turned 64 and he was 68, he passed away from heart trouble. He was buried at the Veteran’s Cemetery in Bourne, Ma. I have so many fond memories of the active life that we shared together. I returned to Florida for a short while, but then returned to New Bedford to be with my family.
I have three children. My daughter, Susan Anne Aillery, was born on October 31, 1949. She lives in New Bedford, MA. She is divorced with one daughter, Dawn Aillery, born on August 15, 1974. My son, Paul Donald Raffa, was born on February 23, 1954. He is married to Deirdre and they have one son, Nathanael Jacksyn Raffa, born on March 31, 2008. They live in Naples, Florida. My youngest son is Peter Francis Raffa. He was born on June 15, 1955. He is widowed and lives in New Bedford, Ma. 
Niece Rosemary writes: "Aunty Judy now resides in New Bedford, Massachusetts with her daughter Susan and son Peter. She remains very active. Aunty always has a smile along with a great story or memory!" I always remember visiting her house in New Bedford as a small child, it was across the street from Brooklawn Park and near St. Theresa/ St. Joseph's Church. She later moved to Fairhaven, MA across the street from my parents. It was always fun playing with my cousins. Although I was a little older, my younger siblings always enjoyed their company.
I am so glad that the Hobo didn't get Aunty Judy, as it was my mother that rolled her down the hill and ran home! Naughty girl, Mama." 

So pretty on her wedding day!
Judith on the left with sisters Alice and Vera...

Brother Mario holding Judith...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Maria Alice Moniz Arruda

Maria Alice Moniz
Maria Alice Moniz was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts on February 27, 1925. She is the legitimate daughter of Rufino Moniz and Maria Natalia Neto Moniz. She was the fifth child and second daughter of Rufino and Natalia Moniz. She was baptized at the Immaculate Conception Church on Earle Street in New Bedford, Massachusetts. 
As written by her daughter Carole: Mom grew up in New Bedford and lived in California for a short while when she was very young. She attended the New Bedford school system. She graduated from the Campbell Secretarial School in New Bedford. Instead of pursuing a career in secretarial work, she chose to work as a stitcher at the Colonial Textile Factory on Coggeshall Street and the Grinnell Pajama Factory on Nash Road. She claims the reason for working as a stitcher was because stitchers made much more money than secretaries did at the time. She also turned in her pay to her parents and got a $5.00 a week allowance. This appeared to be the custom at the time. Over the years, her friends at work claimed that she was quite the entertainer. She may have been a quiet lady at times, but she also joked around a lot and always kept them in “stitches”!
There are some childhood memories that Mom and her sisters recall. Having very strict parents they were quite sheltered. If they were playing outside in the yard and boys came in the yard, they had to go inside the house. In the summer time, when they wanted to go to the beach or the pool at Brooklawn Park, they had to wear pajamas, not bathing suits! When their parents weren’t around they would sometimes get the family ukuleles and sing and play them on the front porch for a gathering crowd. One memory that stands out is the 1938 Hurricane. Mom and her sister Gloria were going home to Davis Street from school. They were being blown all over the place from the fierce wind. They were jumping over wires, falling, and laughing and having a grand old time. Not knowing of course, the danger of this hurricane for which they had no warning. When they finally arrived at home, their parents were ready to evacuate to higher grounds with a wagon filled with food and clothing. Fortunately, the water didn’t quite reach their home.
Mom was considered to be the quiet one in the family but did have quite a sense of dry humor. She was extremely close to her mother. She is also credited with helping her mother obtain her citizenship papers. 
Mom met Dad, Joseph S. Arruda from Fall River, Massachusetts at Lincoln Park in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. He was serving in the Navy at the time. They corresponded while he was in the service and she has kept these letters in her “Hope Chest “all these years. They married on June 7, 1947 at the Immaculate Conception Church which was across the street from where she lived on 129 Earle Street. They lived at 75 Hathaway Street in New Bedford for 12 years. My Aunt Judy and her husband John lived with them for a while because it was very difficult to get a place to live after the war was over. There was a housing shortage at that time. They then moved to 191 Cornell Street in New Bedford. Dad held several jobs during his life in New Bedford... He worked at Standard Electric, Walecka Moving Company, and Tavares Upholstering. He also worked in the New Bedford Fire Department as a District Chief before retiring. Dad passed away at the age of 66 in 1992. Mom never really got over her loss. They were so very close and devoted to each other. We all miss him very much.
They had a wonderful life together. They travelled with family and friends, going to Madeira and the Azores, cruises, and many different parts of the United States. They loved going out dancing and received many certificates for the different styles of dancing they had learned. They loved going to family and friend’s parties where there was so much fun and entertainment. Mom is best known for her imitation of Julia Child at these parties, demonstrating how to cook a chicken. She still claims that she taught Julia everything she knew! Besides dancing, travelling, and entertaining, Mom also loved doing art work, especially different types of drawing. She also loved playing cards, macramé, and doing various arts and crafts. She loved her dog, Sparky and Steve’s dog, Kirby and still talks about them today.
I have many fond memories of Mom besides travelling with her. Growing up, we had a summer cottage at West Island in Fairhaven, MA. Dad built this house himself with help of Mom of course. It was a very sturdy house, losing only two shingles during Hurricane Carol. Many of the homes on the island were blown and washed away. We use to bike ride all over the island. We picked blueberries and we made pie and special treats with them. We would ride our bikes to the beach and go quahogging and clamming. Dad would make stuffed quahogs and clam boils. There were many fun times there with friends, cousins, aunts, and uncles. My brother and I also have great memories of camping in NH and Peter’s Pond in Sandwich with our parents and other family members.
Mom has resided at 191 Cornell Street, New Bedford, MA since 1959. My brother, Steven Joseph Arruda, was born on September 11, 1958 in New Bedford, Ma. He lives with Mom now and he is a very dedicated and devoted son and caretaker. He is a barber at the Barber Connection in New Bedford, MA which he has owned for many years. He is very proud of his Niece Victoria and Nephew Andrew and quite loving and generous to them also.
I, Carole Anne Arruda Wallace was born on June 23, 1949 in New Bedford, MA. I graduated from SMU (now UMass Dartmouth) in 1971 and became a school teacher. I married Thomas Arthur Wallace in 1972. We lived in Westport, MA for six years and moved to Mattapoisett, MA where we still reside. Together we have two children. My first child is Andrew Joseph Wallace, born January 27, 1987. My second child is Victoria Alice Wallace, born on April 30, 1991.
Mom is 87 years old now and enjoys watching her TV programs and goes to Brandon Woods Day Care 4 days a week. She also enjoys visits from her devoted sisters, Gloria, Judy, and Vera, and her nieces and nephews. She is very loving, caring, generous, and proud of her children and grandchildren.
 We love you Ma!!! We love you Mimi!!!

Cousin Rosemary says: What can I say about my Aunty Alice??? She is my God-mother and I have known her my entire life. My memories are fond  and so sweet! Cousin Carole and I were always together as children. She was the only child for nine years so I was usually invited to sleep over and keep her company. These times were so special for me as I was the oldest of six and to stay with Aunty Alice and Uncle Joe, a mini vacation for me taken over many times! I loved the summers at West Island, many long hours at the beach and just being outside. 
I also remember all the Christmas gatherings with the entire family in attendance! Fun, great food and much laughter!
Aunty always made me laugh with her unique sense of humor. She once told me that birds liked to eat spaghetti because it  was thin and they could swallow it better! I never did put this theory to the test!
They made me feel so special and always had great goodies, such a real treat. Thanks for filling my childhood with such wonderful memories! For this I am eternally grateful! 

Joe & Alice
Wedding Day, June 7, 1947
Sister Gloria & Alice, right
Alice, Grandfather, Gloria
Godmother Alice holding me...Rosemary

Sisters, Gloria & Alice

Sisters...Judy, Alice & Vera
Joe & Alice
Alice with her Mom
Bathing Beauty Alice

Friday, September 7, 2012

Maria Gloria Moniz Tavares!

Mom graduation photo Normandin Jr. High School, about 13 years old...

Maria Gloria Moniz, born in New Bedford, Massachusetts on December 01,1923. She is the legitimate daughter of Rufino Moniz and Maria Natalia Neto Moniz. She was baptized in Immaculate Conception Church, New Bedford, Massachusetts. She will be 90 years old in this year of 2013.  

Well folks here she is my mama! As I write this post she is 88 years of age. She was the fourth child and first daughter of Rufino Moniz with my grandmother Maria Natalia Neto Moniz, three more daughters would follow. 
She was the second Maria Gloria! The first was buried at sea in 1920 and was the daughter of grandfather and Maria do Rosairo, his first wife.

Mom grew up in New Bedford and would attend New Bedford Schools. She would not graduate from high school as it was the custom to pull one's child out of school at the age of sixteen at that time, sending them to work in the textile mills. She would work at the Colonial Textile in New Bedford, MA. She made the grand total of $22.00 a week and her pay was turned over to her father. She was given a small allowance. Times were tough and every penny counted. It was the era of the Great Depression.

Mom met my dad, Antone C. Tavares at the Colonial Textile, a pajama factory. They also worked at the Fiber Leather Company, making luggage, back in the late thirties. They would marry June 2, 1945 after World War II had ended. She wrote to my dad every day that he spent in the South Pacific for four years. Mom has until this day two very large scrapbooks of their correspondence  to each other. Such incredible devotion!

They lived in my dad's, mother's house for the first three years of their marraige. I, the oldest was born on June 3, 1948. Together they would have five more children. 
Mom would quit her full time job after my sister Barbara was born. She helped my dad start his upholstery business in 1952. She would do all the sewing for him. I remember younger siblings asleep in their carriage at his place of business as she sewed away! The business is still in existence. It bares the same name, Tavares Upholstering Company. It is owned and run by my youngest brother James, a master craftsman. 
You can read more here: True Craftsmanship
I became the big sister/babysitter early on.

She is a hoot in her old age and uses the Old Age Card to say what ever she wants and for the most part, that works. She can raise a few eyebrows! One could also add to her descriptive list of titles, Queen Mother of Manipulation and The Empress of Supreme Guilt! 

She can also be forgetful at times. At 88 I hope I can say the same. She takes only one medication by prescription, and loves her daily glass of wine. She would make my sisters and I clothes for our dolls without a pattern. I can remember her sewing little snaps on a red jacket for my Genie Doll! Mom and dad also made small wooden beds for our dolls! Oh how I wish I knew what happened to that little bed? It was blue and white! Gosh where did she find the time? You can read more about her antics here: Peace Out Mama!

She is a doll though and would never hurt a fly. She is dearly loved by all of her children and grandchildren. She lives alone in an apartment attached to my sister's single family home. She still cooks up a storm and is excellent at that task. I definitely did not inherit that gene. Her house sparkles and a meal is always ready to eat if anyone should stop by. A better mother I could not have. Love you mama!

Dad would pass at the age of 84 in 2003. Her courage would shine through during this difficult time. She speaks of him fondly and says that she has had a very good life. "He was so proud of all of us," she often says! 

I was born 6/3/1948, married 6/02/1968 to Wilfred N. Aubut, together we have two children, three grandchildren and one on the way. Our daughter Katherine Elizabeth, born 8/27/1969, married 11/28/1992 to Brian Michael Leavitt. Together they have three children, Michael James, 4/11/1996, Hannah Rose, 5/02/1999 and Sophia Katherine, 1/31/2002. 
Our son Christopher James was born 1/25/1974. He married Allicyn Cote on 9/16/2011. They have one son, Miles Stephen, 2/18/2013. 
My sister Barbara Jeanne was born on 11/28/1949 and is married to John Pettengill Davis. Together they have two children, Jenny Ann, 3/28/1982 and Jonathan Alden, 5/8/1984. 
Anthony Michael Tavares, my brother was born on 10/25/1954. He married Kathleen Bancroft on 8/27/1977. Together they have two children, Kevin, 11/4/1985 and Andrew, 8/22/1988. 
My sister Theresa Marie, was born in 4/26/1959. She is married to Paul Dawson and together they have four daughters and one grandchild. Jessica, 3/25/1983. Kristen, 12/18/1984 married 10/13/2007, to Russell Alphonse. They have two children, Charlotte Rose, 6/26/2011 and Benjamin 6/4/2013. Katelyn, 8/21/1988 and Jenna, 2/26/1996. 
My brother Ronald James Tavares born 7/17/1961. 
James Edward Tavares born 02/07/1963. Married to Julie Isaksen. Jim has three children, Joshua, 7/14/1990, Courtney, 7/28/1992 and Sadey, 1/2/1996. 

Cousin Joann writes: "I remember how wonderful my Aunt Gloria was to me especially when I was a child. I loved to go to her home because she had a large family and I loved all the activity that goes with having 6 children. Even though she had six children she always had time for me. My happiest childhood memories are because of my Aunt Gloria who took her role as Godmother very seriously. I spent many Saturdays at her house. She would give her children some money to go buy something at the store, she gave me money as well. She always treated me as if I was her own. She was medicine to my heart. There are many other stories I have but i'll never forget her warmth, kindness and generosity towards me. Thank you so much Aunt Gloria for your compassion, love, generosity and graciousness you have given to me over the years. Thank you for letting me share in your family and your home. You are a wonderful person and have been a positive influence to all who know you. You made a difference in my life. I must mention what a great cook you are. It was a delight to sit at your table. Thank you, Aunt Gloria!"
I think your mother was like our Grandmother! I do remember our Grandmother, (Maria Natalia Moniz). She passed when I was six. I remember her staying at my house for a short time. I would run from one side of her chair to the other and she would reach to where I was. It was a game. I knew she could not see well so I would move around and ask her if she knew where I was, which she did. At the time I didn't realize it was because of all the noise I made plus I don't think she was fully blind. She could probably see shadows or very blurry. I gave her a kiss on the cheek when I saw her and remember her having whiskers on her chin. She was never cross with me so I know she liked children. I recall her as pleasant, a child knows when an adult doesn't like them. I remember her funeral, I was so sick at it and I think Diane or Carole tried to help my mother by taking me out." 

Thanks for your inspiring comments Joann. It is amazing to me how much we can impact a child with small acts of kindness. 

Cousin Hank writes: "When I was working in Connecticut every weekend I got the chance I would come to New Bedford to visit my “back east” family. I remember the wonderful Sunday dinners your mother would cook with the entire family in attendance. It was great to see so many of the family at one place.  Your mom and dad always treated me so nice, as did all of my Aunts and Uncles. I have fond memories of all of my trips to New Bedford and surrounding areas. I was very fortunate to see them at a time when they were in good health." 

“We are the guardians of all that has passed. We keep the flames of memory alive for the nourishments of future generations...” ~P. Louis Bump Jr.~

Mom & Dad on their honeymoon, New York City, June 1945

Me & Mom...nice hairdo mom!!! I can just feel those Bobby Pins now!

Photo that my dad kept in his wallet! I'm wiping the tears away! 

A cute story! Mom's brother John had a large white dog named Prince, who he loved dearly! One day mom, around age eleven, decided to give Prince a bath as he had rolled around in something awful! Not getting him clean enough she decided to throw some bleach in the water, this turned the Prince bright yellow! What was she to do? "Bluing," she frantically thought, "I'll throw in a little bluing!" Well you guessed it, the dog was now a very nice shade of blue! She was scared but she and her sisters thought it funny and hid under the bed!
John came home, saw the dog and she says, he had a fit. He found the girls and chased them around the house. Blue dog joined in the chase.... 
Somehow the dog survived, so did mom and her little sisters too!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Joseph Gregory Moniz!

Joseph Gregory Moniz
Born, March 12, 1922, legitimate son of Rufino Moniz and Maria Natalia Neto Moniz. Baptized in Immaculate Conception Church, New Bedford, Massachusetts on April 15, 1922 according to the Rite of the Roman Catholic Church by J.N. Almedia.
 Sponsors being Manuel d'Araujo Sol and Libania Fernandes Sol. 

Such a handsome young man, Joseph would pass at the age of 18 from a tragic accident. Joseph Gregory, was the second Joseph in the family. I believe it was a tribute and custom to name the next male child Joseph after the baby that had passed.
My mom, his younger sister writes: "He was such a kind person, always helpful and so good to his parents. They had moved into their new house and he was going to paint and wallpaper for them. He slept in the new house only one night before his death. He loved to dress and would pay me a quarter to iron his shirts. He worked at the Colonial Textile in New Bedford, MA. He had just come back from a date when the accident occurred.
The night he died the police came to the house. My parents were devastated. I woke to my brother John's voice screaming, "it should have been me!" We all drove to the hospital to identify the body and my mother passed out. The wake was held in my parents house. My mother says that she had a vision of her mother the night before he died and somehow she knew that this visit wasn't a good sign." 

After all these years my mom Gloria, has kept the newspaper clipping below. Joseph Gregory would pass on December 8, 1940 at the age of eighteen. 

Cousin Hank writes: "My dad, Uncle Ralph and Aunty Mary
drove all the way from California to attend Uncle Joe's funeral. My dad spoke of him often and the tragic way he died." 

Cousin Jo-Ann writes: "Now I can see another reason my father drank, tormented by the death of his brother. I know he drank prior to that but he felt he the bad son should have been the one to die and not Joe, the good son. Sometimes I wish I could have understood this earlier in my life, maybe I could have comforted or encourage him to know that there was a purpose to his life. I don't think he ever knew that." 

Once again such tragedy had befallen the family! 
I have visited his grave and in some odd way mourned his loss even though I never knew him! A young life taken way too soon! What could have been!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Joseph Moniz!

Joseph Moniz 
To you baby Joseph, I will try to give a voice. Joseph was born sometime between late 1920 to 1921. He would pass at the age of one year from pneumonia. I believe that my grandmother was pregnant on the voyage to America. My belief lies in the fact that her first child John, was born January 31st 1919 and her third child, another Joseph was born March 12, 1922. So lets do the math...

Where do I begin? There were only a couple of facts about this child that I knew for sure. First that he existed and second what cemetery he was laid to rest. Mom always said that he passed from pneumonia at the age of one but only a theory on the illness! I wrote the above sentences about two weeks ago. After weeks of searching online, I decided to call New Bedford City Hall. I spoke to a pleasant woman and asked if I could come in and research. She asked if I could hold while she checked for a Joseph Moniz born somewhere between 1920 and 1921. 
S A Y  W H A T!!! She would check while I waited, are you kidding me right now! "I will hold for as long as it takes," I said. Could he have been named Jose? Were his parents Rufino and Maria Natalia Moniz? Yes! Yes! I knew he had passed at about thirteen months but that was all. "He passed September 19th 1921, at the age of one year, five days old. His birthdate September 14th, 1920," she reported. This proves my theory that Grandmother was pregnant aboard ship when she arrived in the United States on April 2nd of 1920. Be-still my heart, the hardship and lets not mention sea sickness coupled with morning sickness! Gosh, find me a bucket now!!!

Cousin Carole went downtown and picked up a birth and death certificate the following Monday. The death certificate clearly states that he passed from acute gastro-enteritis. Which is intestinal flu and dehydration. This would be a rare occurrence in this day and age in America.

I was on a roll! I called the cemetery and asked if they could pinpoint his place of burial. Keep in mind that this was late on a Friday afternoon. "Hold," said a very pleasant voice, "and I will look for you. Do you mind holding?" 
SAY WHAT!!! "I have very little information but I can tell you that he is buried in the Saint Agnes, section lot number 387. The date of his burial  was September 21st 1921," she said. She also mentioned that he was a member of Immaculate Conception Church.
I was overwhelmed at this point. "Go to the cemetery and look for one of the workers on lawnmowers. "Sh said that they speak English and will help you find it. "Pardon my ignorance and for lack of better terminology, was he buried a pauper" I asked? "No," said the kind voice, "they paid for his burial," but she could not tell me how much back in 1921. This news gave me a chill as I knew their resources were limited! I was so proud of them and once again they had endured such a great deal!

 Cousin Carole went later the following Monday, earlier than our planned expedition on Thursday. She found the area, but she was not sure of the exact location. I went with my friend Mary on Wednesday. Again trying to narrow it down to save some time as my Mom and Aunty are in their eighties and would attend on Thursday. 
My friend Mary has very strong intuitive abilities. As we drove into the cemetery, she said "look for a bird and he will give us a sign." No birds! All of a sudden a large black bird flew over several men on lawnmowers. She also said that plot 387 would be near a large tree! 

We waved the men down. A very nice young man named Kenny, asked us to follow him. He led us, right to the exact spot while riding his lawnmower. It was all grassed over. I asked if he had a metal probe to see if there was a stone underneath. Remember, it has been 92 years since his burial. He did hit something and said it was probably a rock but he had no shovel with him. "So if I come back tomorrow and start digging, you're not going to start screaming at the old lady with the shovel are you," I asked? 
"No, no" he said laughing. "In fact you can do whatever you would like," but mentioned a few restrictions.  
Oh Boy! Green Light, now I can build the Taj Mahal. Mary and I checked a few stores to see if we could find a statue of some kind as my budget was small. No luck! I called my mother-in-law as she always has a statue or two hanging around! No luck! On the ride home Mary and I agreed that the right object would be found! A few seconds later we both at the same time said, "Kathy's garage or yard!" Kathy is my daughter. 
I ran into my son-in-law first. Without hesitation he mentioned a statue way out in the backyard. My grandson knew immediately where it was, as he used to use it for target practice. KIDS!!!
He brought me the perfect specimen... a small boy with a dog at his side carrying a bucket. He was about twenty four inches tall! 
PERFECT, I tried to contain myself! I'm sure my kids are going to send me away soon but at least it's never boring! Mike, my grandson, helped me clean him up. The statue was sturdy and heavy and looked like it had been around for a hundred years or so. Perfect, Perfect, Perfect! 

Once again, overwhelmed, I knew higher powers were working here! Mike looked at me puzzled and asked if I was going to dig Uncle Joseph up? Roaring I explained that we were going only to mark the spot and make for Baby Joseph a fitting tribute.

How cute is he? Just perfect, have I already mentioned that?

I left early the next morning and stopped to buy some perennials and mulch. Had with me every tool I thought we needed except a pitchfork which turns out was the one tool we really needed. Carole and I tried to dig in the dense rough grass. It was so dense that we nearly wore ourselves out. The sun was blistering hot! Mom and Aunt Vera had chairs, water and were sitting in the shade under the large tree, that Mary had mentioned, looking at old photos that Aunt Vera had brought!

no markers were found...spot was verified...
Cousin Carole digging...

We found our friend Kenny, lawnmower free, and asked if we could borrow a pitchfork. He gladly obliged and lent us two. Now we were in business. We cleaned out a small oblong patch, found a few rocks and a foot long piece of old metal which Kenny told us was probably part of the original cement marker that had by now disintegrated. 

We edged out a small oblong patch, nice and neat and planted some stonecrop. Then buried the statue up to his ankles. Aunty brought some flowers in a vase and I some hydrangea which I placed in his bucket. The mulch was spread evenly.

we buried him up to his ankles...

added some mulch...

Mom and Aunty were tearful and Carole and I were proud of our laborious task and a little pooped, no a lot pooped! We were there about three hours all total. We hope to get some sort of nameplate in the future.

Mom and Aunty Vera watering...
so proud their baby brother has been finally acknowledged... 

My mom kept saying how proud her mother and dad must be. The family had totally lost track of his whereabouts, but at least they knew the cemetery where he was buried. 
We all enjoyed a wonderful lunch and spent the rest of the day looking at old photos with my two sisters and cousin who joined us later at cousin Carole's house. 
She is such a gracious hostess!
 It is amazing to me that I thought I only had a couple of things to say about this little guy. He has now been given a voice and has sent us on an incredible journey. He was born and loved by his parents and now will be remembered by all of us who never knew him. He was the second child of grandfather's second seven and had passed before my mom was born. He has brought us all closer together as a family and I will never ever forget this day! 
I also now have his baptismal records, sent to me by Father Reis from Immaculate Conception Church: 

"This is to certify that Jose Moniz is the Child of Rufino Moniz and Maria Natalia Moniz. He was baptized on September 26,1920 at Immaculate Conception Church, New Bedford, MA, according to the Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, by the Rev. J.N. Almeida. 
The Sponsors being:
Francisco Raposo Mendonca and Maria Isabel Mendonca"

Thank You Uncle Joseph, our journey continues......
I just got a call from cousin Carole, she has located an engraver who will make Baby Joseph a nameplate for a very reasonable price.......and the gifts keep coming...!!!!!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

John Peter Moniz

Joao Pedro Moniz
Ten hours of the day 01/31/1919 was born on Rua Dr. Vieira 290, in the parish of St. Peter, an individual male who was named Joao Pedro Moniz, legitimate son of Rufino Moniz, civic guard, 44-year-old native of Santa Cruz, and his wife Maria Natalia Moniz, domestic, 29 years old, born in Sao Pedro, Funchal. He was the paternal grandson of Rufino Moniz and Maria de Freitas and maternal grandson of Manuel Rodrigues Neto and Maria de Jesus. There were witnesses in this registry, Luis Sequeira Dias, married, civic police and Abel Ascension de Vasconcelos, married, civic guard, residents Rua do Comercio. 
John would make the journey to America at the age of one year on the Black Arrow. He was grandfather's eighth child, first born with my grandmother, Maria Natalia.
Grandmother holding John, about 14 months old. Picture copied from her passport.
I remember Uncle John fondly! He was a robust man with a hearty laugh and always a kind smile! He lived on the second floor above Angelo's Market, right next door to his parents. He and his family would later move to a single family home in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. His wife Cecilia, lives there until this day. I also remember that he was an avid coin collector. 
His oldest son David, who is a year younger than I and cousin Carole, also a year younger, would play for many hours as young children. Mischief would always ensue and giggles abundant. I remember a time when we hung grandmother's underwear on a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling and were saluting them while laying on her huge feather bed. The heat burnt a hole in the huge pink nylon elasticized, bloomers and sent them flying clear across the room. The lightbulb exploded. We were scared and of course in huge trouble. As I remember Uncle John, was the only adult who found this event funny and it was! It still makes me chuckle.  
His youngest child and only daughter Jo-Ann writes:
"I've got plenty of stories but they might not be printable. However, I can tell you that my father was a very generous man. I can still hear him say, "sweetheart get what you want." I would ask him if I could have a banana split when he took us to Frates Bottle in the north end of New Bedford. He sometimes would say, " you like that, get that" especially when choosing my Schwinn bicycle. Even until this day when I'm trying to choose something I hear in my head "sweetheart, get what you like!"  
He always made me special food treats like a fruit cup with sherbert that he made with the utmost care. He was a perfectionist and he would tell me loudly with the most urgent concern, "NEVER put tomatoes in kale soup!" He had very strong opinions about food. 
He would take us on long Sunday drives. We would stop at roadside fruit/vegetable stands and I would ask him if we could get strawberries and he would buy a whole case or flat of strawberries and if I wanted to eat the whole thing I could. He loved it when I ate a lot of food and my cousins can attest to my appetite. Just ask Aunt Gloria how many hamburgers I ate. (In my opinion she is the best cook on the planet).
He had a strong love for all of his sisters. He was extremely proud of being a Madeira descendant and would speak of it like it was the finest land in all the world, even though he never returned. He repeatedly would tell me stories of its beauty and I must say, after visiting Madeira myself, he was absolutely right. I made the grievous error one day and asked him if Madeira was part of the Azores, bad question???? After asking me what was the matter with me, I got a very long explanation of the geographical location of Madeira. I don't think he spoke to me for a week after that.
My mother's family was from Azores. My father would insist that we, his children, were Madeiran because he, our father, was Madeiran. I guess the mother didn't count. It was who your father was that determined your nationality. He didn't have many nice things to say about St. Michael, when it came to food.
He was very supportive of my mom's sewing skills and bought her, her first power sewing machine. He would take her to fabric stores far away and wait patiently while she shopped. He was very proud of her and would boast about her abilities. 
When I learned how to play guitar he would listen to me sing to him and would think I was the greatest, which was pretty amazing to me because I would sing to him songs about Jesus and that could be a touchy subject. He didn't want to talk about it. But I could sing about it and he thought I was great! 
I really miss my father and I wish I could have lunch with him.  I had a rocky relationship with him due to his frequent drinking but through my becoming a born again Christian, God helped me to forgive him and we had a great relationship in the latter part of his life. I really love him, and when I think of him, it brings a smile to my face. As all of you are aware of, I am a lot like him. I know he loved me and his entire family and the country he was born in and the country he fought for. He was loyal and he did know right from wrong and often spoke up about it, not necessarily in the most tactful way. 
My father worked at Kay Windsor as a shipper for more than 20 years.
He was born in Funchal, 1/31/1919 and died at 82yrs old, Monday February 5, 2001. 
He married my mother, June 5, 1948.  
He was in the Army in Battery A, 276th Coast Artillery Battalion. He received the Good Conduct Medal, Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon and Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign Ribbon. 
Certificate of Nationalization, age 23 on the 30th December 1942 in the State of Texas, county of Galveston when he was at Camp Hulen, Texas, (sounds like this happened when he enlisted in the Army becsuse he completed his service in 1946.
My mother's maiden name was Cecilia Rodericks. It was probably spelled Roderiques, but they maybe changed it in America, just a guess.
1st born, David John Moniz, 4/4/1949 wife, Shirley Moser divorced one natural daughter Marsha Moniz, who is now married but she is not in contact with our family. 

 2nd born, Ralph Anthony Moniz, 9/2/1953, no children, estranged wife Olivia. 
3rd born, Jo-Ann Moniz (myself), 9/17/57, married to Charles J Carey 5/1/1980. 
I have three children, Cecelia M. Carey, 9/28/81 single. 
Monica F. Carey, 9/28/84 married with two sons, Isaac C. Barros and Elloit Nathanael Barros, born Christmas Day, 2012. 

Nathanael R. Carey, 11/4/87, single, military served in Afghanistan and is now training for Special Forces selection in September." 
Thank you cousin Jo-Ann for this wonderful and very honest account of your dad. His memory shall live on forever. 
Jo-Ann has visited Madeira twice now and absolutely loves it there. She has taken many beautiful pictures, which I will share in a later chapter. She has a very dry sense of humor and always makes me laugh! 
Cousin Hank writes of Uncle John: "I have a nice picture of my mom and dad, Uncle Ralph, Uncle Jordan and Uncle John sitting around a table in a night club in San Francisco on one of Uncle John’s visits to California. It was during the War because Uncle John was in uniform.  He told us a lot of war stories and we just loved them - - especially the one about killing a shark with his .45 pistol. I remember him and his talent for barbecuing meat. He took control of all situations and when he and my Uncle Ralph would get together the beers would fly. He looked up to my Uncle Ralph. They had a lot in common. He probably named his son Ralph after him. I also remember him as a very generous man that when he spoke, we all listened. What is unusual is that my dad, Uncle Jordan, Uncle Ralph, Grandfather Moniz and Uncle John all passed away at the age of 82. For those of us going around once in this world, we better have a good time while we’re here, because when we’re dead, it’s for a long time."

John Moniz in uniform. 

John visiting California...left, Jordan, Francis, Henrique, John, Hank Jr., Monte, Ralph
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