Igmar at the St. Lucia Jazz Festival

Somewhere in the family DNA lies the talent for things musical.  While I did not demonstrate overwhelming proof of it during those few years I played the clarinet in middle school, my younger brother Igmar has definitely gone much further ever since he discovered his love for the trumpet.  His music has taken him all over the country and world, including destinations as exciting and far away as Shanghai and Paris.  This weekend he will be performing with a fellow Berklee College of Music alum, Esperanza Spalding, at the St. Lucia Jazz Festival.

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Soufrière

“There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

During one of many aimless and seemingly endless web searches (you know, click on this link which leads you to this link where you discover another link…) I came across a genealogy site called CousinConnect where you can submit queries in hopes of connecting with others researching the same surname. I took all of two seconds to type up and submit a couple of queries, knowing from previous experience not to expect a response any time soon, if at all. The query contained everything I know about the Colomb line of my mother’s family, which as you see below, is not much at all.

“My great-grandfather Louis Joseph Colomb/Columb left St. Lucia and immigrated to Panama in the late 1800s or early 1900s. Unfortunately I do not have any other information about him at this time.”

That was it. I sent my message off into cyberspace and resumed feeling unsuccessful in my search for new information about my predecessors.

Connecting the Dots

Now let’s fast forward a few months to March 27, 2010 when (drumroll, please) a response arrives in my inbox! It read as follows: Continue reading

Where It All Began

This is somewhat old news…but at least it’s new to you!  Since this blog is a research log and I’ve caught a new wind in updating it, I’m catching up on some entries.  Here, I visit the Panama Canal, where my family story in that part of the world began.

Puente del mundo, corazon del universo

When shopping for souvenirs in Panama, you’ll find keychains, decorative plates, coffee mugs, and all the other usual suspects emblazoned with the phrase “puente del mundo, corazon del universo” (bridge of the world, heart of the universe).  Continue reading

Where Do I Go Now?

*Sighs* I had basically promised my long-lost Cadignan cousin in Martinique, Christian, that I would come visit this July.  And when I said it, I totally meant it.  But now that next summer is around the corner, my financial situation has not miraculously resolved itself in the way the naive Anulkah v2009 had hoped.  It’s hard to justify another big trip just months after going to Panama for the holidays, so I just sent Christian an e-mail letting him know I would not be able to make it to Martinique anytime soon. But I want to make progress in my research, so where do I go now? Continue reading

Birth Certificates

As stated in the first post, the purpose of this blog is to serve as a log or journal of my family history research.  Before I describe the first few encouraging steps I have taken on my genealogical quest for knowledge, I feel the need to detail the background information I have gathered informally over time.  I guess that should be expected from someone who is interested in researching her family history – how can I tell you about where I am without describing the events that brought me here?

In the 8th grade one of my teachers arranged a potluck in which each student was to bring in a dish from their culture and explain where it came from. When I asked my mom why our Panamanian family eats fried plantains (pronounced plantin’ NOT plantanes, thank you), she talked about how everyone in Panama eats plantain.  As some sort of afterthought she mentioned that that her grandparents, who were from St. Lucia and Martinique, and my father’s grandparents, who were from Barbados and Jamaica, came from countries where plantain was also widely consumed. 

This was the first time I had ever heard of most of these places in any context, let alone in my own family tree!  Continue reading