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

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Maria Natalia Moniz

Maria Natalia Rodrigues Neto Moniz 
This document says that the book of registration of births in the year 1889 on the sheet 8, nr. 3, 0 shown following: In the church of San Pedro, Funchal, was named Mary, who was born in that village the day 12:15, 24/12/1888, legitimate daughter of Manuel Rodrigues Neto, laborer, and Mary Elizabeth, domestic, both natural of the parish and county of San Vicente, but were residents at the site of Ribeira de Sao Joao (Funchal) and parishioners of the church of St. Peter. Father was the grandson of Jose Rodrigues Neto and Maximiana of Jesus. Mother was the granddaughter of Manuel Ferreira and Maria de Jesus. The groomsmen were Manuel Fernandes Camacho, dealer, married, and his wife, Helen Camacho, residents of St. John Street. 
Maria Natalia Rodrigues Neto, would become grandfather's second wife in 1918, seven years after the death of his first wife, Maria do Rosario. She bore him seven children as well. She was listed as a domestic on the birth records relating to her children. John, Joseph, Joseph, Maria Gloria, Maria Alice, Maria Judith and Elvira. This was her second marriage. She lost her first husband and three children to the dreaded influenza that swept across Europe. 
Maria Natalia would make the journey to America in 1920 along with grandfather and their one year old son, John and four of grandfather's children with Maria do Rosario. 
Maria Natalia was my maternal grandmother. I remember her fondly and mostly that she spent her life in the kitchen, caring for her grandchildren, while their parents worked and sitting on her front porch in the very little leisure time that she had. In her later years her eyesight would fail and she would sit in a chair, quite close, hunched over to enjoy TV. Quite a novelty at that time. 
Grandmother wore gold wire rim glasses, always in a dress, with nylons rolled around her knees. Her shoes were black leather with a slight heel and laced up the front, usually untied. Her ultimate accessory, a full apron, that slipped over her head and tied in the the back around her waist, with long tails, usually a child tugging at them. 
Her front parlor would open at Christmas and housed old fashioned, large horse haired overstuffed, sofa and chairs. They were navy blue and maroon as I can remember. The fabric was an indestructible mohair, kind of like a coarse velvet, carved wooden panels and legs as a decorative touch in a mahogany tone. A room off limits any other time, closed off by two large mahogany french doors, unless one was going to the front porch for a while. Their home was a three decker. Grandparents lived on the first floor directly across from the Immaculate Conception Church. 
Grandmother would become a citizen of the United States, on June 25th 1942. She was fifty three years old. My mother says that she studied for the test for many hours and received a perfect score. 
It is said that she could read tea leaves and was very intuitive. My mom says she made a table lift in Madeira. Not sure how true this information is, but it was not the kind of thing that anyone discussed in the old days. One might be labeled a witch and she definitely was not. She once asked me for a glass of water and some eggs. She broke the eggs and when they rose to the top it would determine how many children I would have. She told me two, a boy and a girl. She was correct. If I could only have those moments back. As a young teen I did not give her prediction much credence and had no idea of her abilities. 
The arrogance of youth! 
Grandmother would pass in 1965 at the age of 76. A life filled with hardship and sorrow, she would lose two more of her children born here in America before the age of eighteen. Yet, a fruitful life which gave birth to an incredible work ethic instilled in all of her children. 
Cousin Hank writes: I met your grandmother and my grandfather in 1953 when my family, including Uncle Ralph, took the California Zephyr from Oakland, CA to Chicago, then another train from Chicago to Boston, and another one car train from Boston to New Bedford. That was the first and last time that I saw our grandparents. I remember a glorious time meeting the “back east” family for the first time, and all we did on that trip. My cousins were all about 5-6 years old at the time. I was 14. My mother’s brother, Joe Pallotta (Uncle Peep as we called him) wired my dad some money to buy a car for him.  We bought a new 1953 Plymouth station wagon and drove it home to California. I got to drive many miles across the desert of Utah and Nevada with no license, etc. A trip I will never forget. Hank  
Many more stories can be written here and they are all welcomed. If any of my older cousins would like to share a few please let me know!

From left to right: Cousins, Susan, Myself, Carole, David and Barbara, Grandmother looking proudly over. This photo was taken probably at Christmas in 1949. 
Hey, no apron and her nylons do not seem to be rolled down. It had to be a holiday!!!!!!
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