Thomases Buried in Corozal

Report #2 on my 2011 genealogy research trip to PanamaExactly a week after visiting the Vallee graves I returned to Corozal with my father’s cousin, Enrique, who showed me where my paternal grandfather’s siblings and their mother are buried.  Sadly, the cemetery is not well cared for and the state of the grave sites range from kinda bad to deplorable. Continue reading

Vallee Graves in Panama

Report #1 on my 2011 genealogy research trip to Panama

Last month, in just a matter of days, I went from having no idea when my next trip to Panama would take place to having a ticket booked for a ten day trip in June. The main purpose of this trip was to do genealogical research. This and my next several postings will report on what I accomplished. Continue reading

Hurricane Devastates Soufriere

An important part of my genealogical research involves learning about the places my ancestors came from by learning about their histories, cultural traditions, and contemporary social and political conditions.  As a start, I am posting the following “breaking news” regarding St. Lucia and Barbados.

Not only has a hurricane hit one of my maternal islands of origin, St. Lucia, it has apparently caused the most devastation in Soufriere, the part of the island we believe my great-grandmother once called home.  You can read about what is known of the damage here.

Another one of my islands, Barbados, sustained the most damage.  Even though they the Bajans will have to undergo their own recovery effort, they will also be offering aid to their neighbors that were affected – St. Lucia and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

Kenneth

I’ve been on quite a hiatus, but I’m back! This summer has been a bit of a whirlwind. I finished things up at my previous job, started my new gig at an LA nonprofit, continued with my community college teaching internship, found a new place to live and moved in, bought a new car, and visited a dear friend in DC a couple of weeks before she gave birth to her first child.

Grandpa all decked out in what I suppose was his "heyday" back home in Panama.

Amidst all of this, my family got the news that my paternal grandfather had experienced a slight stroke in July.  Continue reading

Thomases in the U.S. Census Before Ever Stepping Foot in the U.S. (Mainland)

Over the past couple of years I have come across warnings about the disappointments that come with researching one’s family history.  Having conducted research in undergrad and graduate school, I understand that this process will not be linear and every clue I find will not always be immediately or easily understood or verifiable.  In particular, one thing I have come to understand about the task of answering a research question is that almost every discovery you make will lead to several more questions that need answering.  The following is a perfect example.

Continue reading

Spotlight Shift

By now, you may have noticed I’ve paid quite a bit more attention to my maternal ancestry than my paternal heritage on this blog.  I would hate to give the impression to anyone, especially to my father’s side of the family, that I am not interested in exploring my paternal lines as well.  As I mentioned in one of my first posts, I started out researching the surnames of my Martinican and St. Lucian predecessors because theirs were much more unique than those of their Bajan counterparts.  It makes sense to reach into the smaller haystack first, right?

Discovering the names of the places my great-grands most likely called home before leaving Martinique and St. Lucia was an exciting breakthrough.  I have not quite gotten there with the Thomas, Beckles, Lewis and Lewis surnames.  I’ll share more about what I have found in future posts, but here I will just focus on what may have appeared to look like a typo in the preceding sentence.  Continue reading