Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Johdao Moniz

Jordan....1935
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...

3 comments:

bettyl said...

Interesting blog posts. They are very personal.

Nancy Claeys said...

My paternal grandmother passed 6 months after my father was born. He was left to be raised by relatives and left home at 14.

Love the story and photos, Rosemary. xo

Jeanne said...

Think it is very interesting to research your roots, and I myself love looking at my own family photos like this. So fascinating.

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