Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Johdao Moniz

Jordan Moniz, was born on September 23, 1911. He was the legitimate son of Rufino Moniz, civil guard and Maria do Rosairo, domestic. He was the paternal grandson of Rufino Moniz and Maria DeFreitas and the maternal grandson of Jose Joaquin Monteiro and Augusta of the Rosary. He was born in Madeira, Portugal. 
As his older brother Henrique writes in an eight page letter to his family: 
"My youngest brother Jordan was born on September 23, 1911. Our mother would die less than a month later. She passed on October 11, 1911. My father would remarry seven years later in 1918. Together they would have seven more children, four girls and three boys, the opposite from our family of three girls and four boys." 
Can you only imagine the pain and sorrow that would befall the family? Grandfather would be left with seven children under the age of eleven years old. One of which was a newborn. How on earth did he endure? It is said that Maria do Rosairo would die due to the complications of childbirth. It is also said that Jordan was cared for by a family friend who was a wet nurse. He was left behind for unknown reasons when the family migrated to America. He would have been around nine years old at that time, happy with his adopted family perhaps or maybe for financial reasons. 
Jordan finally made the voyage to America in 1941. His port of departure was Lisbon, Portugal. He arrived in New York, New York on the ship Siboney, March 27, 1941. He would then move on to California to meet with his siblings. His brother Henrique would sponsor him to the United States. Jordan became a citizen in August of 1948 at the age of thirty six. 
It is said that he came to this country a very bitter man due to the fact that he was left behind in Madeira. 
Cousin Hank writes: "Uncle Jordan worked for General Electric's Transformer Division in Oakland for a number of years making crates for the huge transformers to be shipped in. I can't remember Aunt Helen's maiden name, but I went to her father's and mother's house on many occasions. She worked at a plant that made antifreeze. She died of liver cancer shortly after Aunty Mary Macedo passed. The last time I saw her she was in bed, but showed me the dress that she wanted to be buried in. Very sad! She was a kind and gentle soul!" Hank also writes: "He was so generous to my family. He would give me, my brother and sister $20 each every time we went for a visit. He raised rabbits and would kill 2 or 3, then barbecue them for a real feast. We loved to visit him and Aunty Helen and would always go away with our stomachs stretched to the max. I actually haven't had rabbit since he died. I learned to drive a stick shift on his 1941 Buick, which he kept in great shape. Every time he would come to Tormey for a visit he would let me drive it around town.  As an adult he was difficult to get along with, the only one he really liked was my dad and the back east family. He didn't like Aunty Mary Macedo and Uncle Ralph, even though they treated him very well.  He was so bitter about being left behind that I think it warped his personality. My mom was also very nice to him and he loved her spaghetti."

He was married to his wife Helen and together they had a baby girl who would pass at birth. They resided at 4117 Allendale Avenue, Oakland, California. I am still searching records to determine exact dates of these events without much luck! 
Jordan would pass at the age of 82 on May 14, 1993. 
I met Uncle Jordan and his wife Helen at the age of eleven. My memories are vague! I do remember that he was very soft spoken, tall and very handsome! Aunt Helen very quiet reserved and very sweet!

Jordan Moniz

Helen, Jordan's wife...1956

Jordan's wedding to wife Helen...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mario Moniz

Mario Moniz

In the parish of St. Peter in the year of 02/02/1910 was baptized Mario, who was born on St. Peter's Day, November 11, 1909, legitimate son of Rufino Moniz, civil guard and Maria do Rosairo, a domestic, natural 
of the parish of Santa Cruz, parishioners of St. Peter and street residents in the Ribeira de Sao Joao. He was the grandson of paternal Rufino Moniz and Maria de Freitas and maternal grandson of Jose Joaquin Monteiro and Augusta of the Rosary. Isidore was godfather John Figueira de Araujo, married, owner, resident in Calyada Pico, Henrietta Maria and godmother, single, resident of the Pico Frias. 

Mario arrived in America in April of 1920 at the age of 10 years, via The Black Arrow. He was the third son of Rufino and Maria del Rosairo.

Not much is known about this young man other than he moved to California in 1930 along with his brother Henrique. He worked on his sister Mary Vera's, dairy farm. He did have a girlfriend who was the sister of Henrique's wife Frances. Her name was Mary. Mario would pass in 1930 of possibly lockjaw (tetanus). 

His nephew Henry writes: "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 lockjaw. Grandfather attended his funeral and my Aunty Mary from Crockett said grandfather 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. Hope this adds a little bit to the chapter of our heritage." 

How very sad and tragic indeed! More pain and sorrow for grandfather. He had now lost a son and a daughter, Maria Gloria. Mario looks like he was quite the character. look at him on the following page, far right. So sad for the entire family, I wish I could have gotten to know him. I have searched death records on ancestory.com for an exact date but with no luck. He is listed on several ship's manifests, however. I also believe he was in transition to California, as he is not listed in the 1930 census in New Bedford or California. It is fair to say that he died within months after his arrival to California, but not sure.

New information: I recently contacted the Alameda County Recorder's office, for a fee they would search all death records of cities and towns in Alameda County. Today I received information in the mail, Mario's official death record. 

It states that Mario passed on August 22, 1930, of Edema Glottis, (an edema caused by fluid accumulation in the soft tissues of the larynx. The condition, usually inflammatory, may result from an infection, injury, allergy, or inhalation of toxic substances.) 

The record further states that he passed at 12:20PM. There had been an operation and also an autopsy performed. There was no test that confirmed the diagnosis.  The certificate was signed by his brother-in-law, Joe Jardine of Rodeo, CA and Dr. John G. Sa....not legible. Providence Hospital in Oakland, CA was the place of his death, he was buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery on August 25, 1930 by Curry Funeral Parlor in Richmond, CA. He had lived in CA for three years prior to his death. He was 20 years, 9 months and 12 days old. 

I am choked up writing about this as tomorrow, August 22, 2012, will be the 82nd anniversary of his death! Further more there goes that 82 number again! Several uncles and grandfather passed at the age of 82. I will say a special prayer for you Uncle Mario, I so regret that I never got to know you! May you rest in peace! 

Cousin Hank writes: "It was interesting to see what he died from. My dad said he stepped on a rusty nail and it got infected. He is buried in the old part of the cemetery among  many graves with people who passed in their 30’s and 40’. I’m sure Uncle Mario could have been easily saved with the antibiotics that we have today. Very sad.
"I was always told he died of Lock Jaw, but his death left many unanswered questions.  My mother always thought that it was an accidental overdose of anesthesia from his doctor when he was on the operating table....." 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Henrique Anselmo Moniz!

Young Griffo
In this document, and noted that the registration book of the parish church of St. Peter, in Funchal, relative to births in 1907, is in the register 147, the sheet 75, 0: a 05/26/1907, was baptized in that church sayings, Henry, who was born in the parish of St. Peter's Day 05:00 4/21/1907, legitimate son of Rufino Moniz, civil guard, born in Santa Cruz, and Maria do Rosario Moniz, domestic, born in the same parish of Santa Cruz, parishioners and residents of San Pedro Street daRibeira de Sao Joao. Father was the grandson of Rufino Moniz and Maria de Freitas and mother of Jose Joaquin Monteiro and Augusta of the Rosary. Godfather was Henry Bettencourt Tristan da Camara, single, employed by trade, who lives in Santa Luzia, and godmother Mary Belle de Noronha and Agrela, who lives in Sao Paulo, married. 

There seems to be some controversy as to when Henrique actually arrived in America. Although he is listed on the original ship's manifest in April of 1920, age 12. On The Black Arrow, he is also listed on the manifest in October of that same year, on the ship Roma, age 13. In his eight page letter to his family he clearly states that he arrived on the Roma, an Italian ship. I have a theory that Rufino (Uncle Ralph) whose records concerning his arrival to America, are no where to be found, was somehow substituted for Henrique in April of 1920 and Henrique came later. Not sure about this but it lends to the mystery. (This mystery has been solved. You can read the solution under Rufino Nicolau's bio.

His son Henry writes; "I believe my father came over by himself, or with his sister that was buried at sea. He came over on the Roma, an Italian based ship,(photo below). I went to Ellis Island and looked him up on the computer. He told me that he had $20 for his journey to America. When he arrived at Ellis Island he spent the night there and just before bedtime  placed the $20 under his pillow for safe keeping. When he awoke the next morning it was gone. He also told me that during the voyage he tried to befriend an Italian boy about his age and the boy scratched his face. So my dad kicked him in the you know whats. He then ran back to the Portuguese group followed by several Italian women that wanted revenge. This caused a near riot on the boat and when he finally landed he had a great distain for Italians. Obviously those feelings went away later and it is interesting that he should marry one and embrace the Italian culture. Since he was surrounded, he probably didn’t have much choice.
My dad, Uncle Ralph and Aunt Mary sponsored Uncle Jordan so he could come to America. He came here a very bitter man - - angry that he was left in Madeira for so long before coming to America.
He was very close to my dad, but not that close to my Aunt Mary. Due to a minor incident with my Uncle Ralph, they didn't speak to each other for over 20 years. Finally, mainly thru efforts of my dad, they started communicating again.  Uncle Jordan was at my Uncle Ralphs sick bed and was with him until the end." 

Henrique was a prize fighter in his early years and fought under the name of Young Griffo. 
His professional start was 1927, his last pro fight was November 1929, in Greenwich, Connecticut. 
Total of 20 Professional Bouts: 
6-New Bedford, MA
2-Fall River, Ma
1-Boston, Ma
3-Stamford, CT
1-Greenwich, CT
1-Mitchell Field, Hempstead, NY
1-Yonkers, NY
5-White Plains, NY
Fighting Weight: 143-144 Trim
Fought under the name "Young Griffo" 
He would move to California, from New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1930 permanently to work on his sister Mary Vera's, dairy farm. He would later work in the sugar cane industry. He married Frances V Palotta and together they had three children.
My memories of him are vague, except to say that he loved his family and seemed a very kind and gentle soul!
Henrique would pass on August 3, 1989 at the age of 82. 
Below is an article written in a local newspaper in 1977, not sure of the exact date. A brief description of Henry's colorful life.

By Geraldine Fregoso
"Why should I be so certain that a swing compass needle will lead me to land and safety?"
Why have I dared stake my life on the belief that by drawing a line on paper and measuring its azimuth and length, I can find my way through shifting air to Europe?" 
"Why have I been so sure that I can hold the nose of the Spirit of St. Louis on an unmarked point on that uniform horizon...? 
These words were written by Charles Lindbergh of his historic, thrilling airplane flight 50 years ago. 
For a man in Crockett, though, the celebration of Lindbergh's nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean which began on May 21, 1927 evoked special memories. 
"I'll bet I'm the only person around who can say they were at Roosevelt Field, New York, the night before he took off and who talked to him," said Henry Moniz of Pomona Avenue. A former professional prizefighter at one time in his life. Moniz said he and two friends graphically nicknamed "Wild River and "Guts,"had been to nearby Curtisville Field where they had enjoyed a 15 minute plane ride for five dollars. 
"Coming home past Roosevelt, we saw Lindy standing there talking to another man. One of my friends asked him "when are you going to take off, Lucky Lindy?" 
"He just shrugged his shoulders and smiled at us and said he wasn't sure. You know I don't think there were more than ten people around that whole place. But over at the other field there were great crowds with some other fliers who were planning to take off on a flight across the Atlantic the same day.
"People thought he had  a good plane, but nobody was very sure he would make it, that's why they called him "Lucky Lindy"because of that earlier trip from San Diego to Curtis Field."
Moniz digressed in his recollection to talk about some oh his adventures when he was younger. He said that at one point during prohibition he and a friend were bootleggers who made regular deliveries to speakeasies to earn good money. That activity ceased suddenly, though, "when a good friend of mine was found wrapped in a burlap sack floating on the Hudson River." 
Moniz said there was speculation whether Lucky Luciano was responsible for the deed, "or some of those other guys." 
He ended up coming to Rodeo and joining his sister in business at Jardin's Dairy. "I learned how to milk cows and become a cowboy and a milkman all at the same time." 
Moniz later went to work  at the plant in Selby and performed a variety of jobs there until he retired. He keeps busy these days working occasionally as a lineman for a maritime company in Crockett. 
He and his wife have raised two sons and a daughter. "I have lots of wonderful memories" the 70 year old Moniz said. 
"It seems like it was just yesterday that I saw Lucky Lindy getting ready for his take off and then later when they gave that big parade for him. It was sure a big thing then. It's still a big thing to remember, and I'll still bet that I'm the only one around here who was there 50 years ago."

Henrique... clowning around...March 20, 1937

Henrique Marries, Frances V Palotta
Frances Palotta Moniz, his wife, 7/07/1916 - 12/23/2002
Uncle Henry and Aunt Frances have three children.
Henry Anselmo Moniz, 5/04/1939. He is married and lives in California with his wife, Henry has four children and grandchildren.
Monte Leroy Moniz, 1941
Brenda Susan Moniz, 1949
Hank, left, Brenda, Monte...photo taken sometime in the 1950's

Ship, Henrique arrived on in October of 1920...
Ship Name:
Years in service:
Shipping Line:
Ship Description:
Built by Forges & Chantiers de la Mediterranean, La Seyne, France. Tonnage: 5,291. Dimensions: 411' x 46' (426' o.l.). Single-screw, 14 1/2 knots. Triple expansion engines. Two masts and two funnels.
Launched, August 14, 1901. Had trial speed of 15.9 knots. Passengers: 50 first and 1,300 third. Made her final voyage to New York in 1927. Broken up for scrap in France, 1929.
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