Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Maria Vera Moniz Macedo

Maria Vera Moniz Macedo
Maria Vera, was the first child of grandfather and Maria do Rosairo. She was born at 16:00 in the year 1900 on 11/28. She was baptized Maria Vera, in the church of Savion, Santa Cruz, Madeira. Daughter of Rufino Moniz, and Maria do Rosario, domestic, natural and residents of Santa Cruz to the site of Calada of San Gil. She was the paternal grand-daughter of Rufino Moniz and Maria de Freitas, and maternal grand-daughter of Jose Monteiro Joaquim and Augusta of the Rosary. Angelo was godfather, Alvares de Freitas, widower, clerk of the Chamber of Santa Cruz, a resident in the village, and godmother Maria de Freitas, widow, domestic, resident of the site Calada Sao Gil. (I think this means that her paternal grandmother was also her god-mother and was a widow at that time.) 
Maria Vera made the voyage to America from Funchal, Madeira, on the Black Arrow in 1920. She is listed on the ship's manifest as a domestic at the age of 19. She was able to read and write, was in good health with no marks of identification. She was 5' 4",  with light complexion, brown hair and brown eyes. Documents were signed stating that she was single, with no criminal record. 
Maria Vera, would reside with her father and step-mother for several years in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Sometime in the 1920's she would move cross country to California where she would marry twice, never having any children. 
Her husband's names were, Joseph Jardin and August Macedo. She owned a large farm in California which she would later sell.
Maria Vera, would pass in Alameda, California, at the age 79 on 3/28/1979. 
Cousin Hank, son of Henrique writes: 
"I knew Aunty Mary as “Aunty Mary from Oakland”. We always identified her in that manner because I also had an Aunty Mary from Crockett (my mom’s sister). We would enjoy our visits to Aunty Mary (from Oakland) as kids, but she was very fussy about her house. We were always told not to touch anything or track any dirt in the house. My dad often went to Oakland to help her in the garden, paint and other chores that she couldn’t do. She was a wonderful cook and we loved her marinated tuna, rice and other great Portuguese dishes. Her first husband, Joe Jardin, owned a dairy and when she married him she worked very hard. I’m not sure that it was an “arranged” marriage or not. My dad came to California to work on the dairy. He milked cows, rode horses, and delivered milk. My Uncle Ralph followed him to California later. It was during his milk deliveries that he met my mother and her family in the small village of Tormey. Aunty Mary from Oakland, hired Aunty Mary from Crockett to cook and do other chores at the dairy. My Aunty Mary from Crockett, became fluent in Portuguese, as did my mother. Aunty Mary (Oakland), became a widow soon after that when her husband Joe died at the age of 40. She remarried later to August Macedo and he died soon after in his mid 40’s from cancer. My Uncle Ralph (Rufino) had a pet monkey named Patsy. He would take the monkey everywhere and it usually caused quite a commotion wherever he went. He stayed at Aunty Mary’s house in Oakland for a while. Then moved to Tormey with my dad where they both shared a small cabin. My Aunty Mary from Crockett would tell me all about life at the dairy and how Aunty Mary from Oakland would protect her from all of the rowdy ranch hands. She also told me that she had a huge crush on Uncle Mario, who was working at the dairy for a while. She was devastated when he died at the young age of 21, in 1930. He is buried with my Uncle Ralph and Uncle Jordan’s first born daughter in the same grave. He died allegedly of lock jaw. Grandfather attended his funeral and my Aunty Mary from Crockett said he asked the funeral director to open the casket at the grave site one more time so he could see his son for the last time. Very tragic for the whole family. I visit their grave site often, as well as all  of my other relatives that are buried there. On a happier note, I have a photo, if I can find it, of my father and grandfather both on horseback at the dairy. Hope this adds a little bit to the chapter of our heritage." 
Thank you, thank you, for such wonderful memories! 
Uncle Ralph, riding a horse at Aunt Mary's dairy farm. The young man standing could be her husband but not sure!
 I met Maria Vera, at the age of eleven. My memory of her is vague. However, I do remember that she was very stern. Maybe that's because my parents put the fear of God in me and told me that I had to behave or else!!! Meeting older relatives was not something an eleven year old appreciates. If only I could have those precious moments back!!!
Maria Vera along with brother Jordan enjoying some leisure time!

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