Who are the Vallee Cadignan Padrinos?

In my last post I reviewed general information I gleaned from the baptism records I found for my maternal grandfather, Hilarion “Julio” Vallee, and some of his siblings. Now I want to take a literal look at each one to figure out who was listed as their godparents. That can only mean one thing….it’s time for another round of “What the Heck Does That Record Say?!”

Below each image I will share what I’ve been able to decipher in bluePlease let me know if you are able to fill in any of my blanks or have different interpretations to my own! Any red font indicates the input of others added after this post was originally published.

Hilarion & Ursula Baptism

Lucky for us, it looks like the same two people were appointed to be the godparents for my grandfather and his twin sister so we get two chances to figure these ones out. In both records the first godparent seems to pretty clearly be written as Luis Eloise.  The next name looks like Juliano in Ursula’s entry but Julian in Hilarion’s.  This is a bit confusing because if we take these spellings at face value it looks like these were two men. But somehow I doubt the Catholic Church or my ancestors were that liberal back in 1921. So here’s what I’m thinking: I think the second name is definitely supposed to be the godfather’s name and that is confirmed by the “o” ending in Ursula’s record entry.  Sure, O can be easily confused with A, but I think this case is not so ambiguous. The fact that the final vowel was dropped in the second entry also suggests the owner of the name is male.  I don’t know enough about French names, but I am wondering if this is a married couple and the first person’s name is actually Louise Eloise.  My reasoning is that Eloise looks more likely to be a middle name than a last name, so the surname that appears after Julian/o’s name could apply to both godparents…Or I could totally have this all backwards! As far as the last name, I think it starts with an L or an S; a friend on Facebook suggested that the initial letter may be an S by comparing it to how “Simon” is written.  She suggested the full name is Soacre.   

Alfonso Baptism

Tio Alfonso’s godparents’ names seem to be a little easier to make out. I read them as Ernesto Solomon and Josefina Marcelina.  SIDENOTE: You can also see the “marginal information” I mentioned in the last post. It records Alfonso’s marriage over thirty years later.

Homero baptism

Tio Homero’s padrino  appears to be a Joseph Armand.  I really got a kick out of reading who his godmother is: his big sister Simona Cadignan!  She was almost 13 years old at the time of the baptism so while it seems a bit young, the uniqueness of her name makes it unlikely it was someone else with the same name. 

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Vallee Cadignan Baptism Records

In last week’s posts I explored the baptism records I recently found online for my maternal grandmother and her siblings. This post will focus on my paternal grandfather and his siblings, the Vallee Cadignans.  The table below lists all nine children but shows that I only found baptism records for four of them.  In the case of the Colomb Mondesis, the earliest indexed record I accessed was for a 1912 baptism. You would expect all of the Vallee Cadignan records to be indexed since the first child, Simona, was born in 1914.  However despite a variety of searches I could not pull up baptism records for the first four children and, most surprisingly, for the youngest.  There are a few reasons this could be, but it will take time and a lot more creative searches to figure out why.  I figure that either these babies were not baptized (but I doubt it), those particular records have not been indexed yet (which blows out of the water my theory for why I couldn’t find some Colomb Mondesi baptisms), or I need to get even more creative with the versions of their names I use when conducting searches. But for now, this is what we have.

Continue reading

Colomb Mondesi Baptism Records

Finding my great-grandfather Simon Vallee’s Panama Canal employment record is not the only exciting discovery I’ve made recently – it just was the one that was so mind-blowing I had to blog about it immediately! The week prior I discovered that FamilySearch added Panamanian Catholic Church records to its ever-growing database of records from all over the world. Since these records are already indexed, I was able to find baptism records for my maternal grandparents and several of their siblings pretty easily. (I think I did not find any records for my paternal grandparents because, having roots in Barbados, they were likely not Catholic.)

There’s a lot to reflect on in the records I’ve found for my French Caribbean ancestors, the Colombs and the Vallees, so I will have to break my findings into at least a couple of posts.  Here we’ll start with my maternal grandmother’s family, the Colomb Mondesis.  Out of the seven children listed below, I found baptism records for the four youngest. Continue reading

To Speak Their Names

When people ask me what I hope to learn from my family history research there are two things I usually say are particularly important to me. First, like most members of the diaspora, I yearn to know where in Africa my ancestors originated.  For at least one ancestor I want to know what tribe they belonged to, the language they spoke, the name they answered to, the exact piece of earth they slept and worked on, and so on. Following from that, I’d also like to know the stories of their descendents that endured slavery. Continue reading

A Closer Look

The discovery of my great-grandmother Adele “Josephine” Cadignan’s birth record is perhaps my most exciting find yet because it contains quite a bit of new information, including some that allows me to fill in a few slots farther back in the family tree than I’ve ever been able to go before.  Let’s review the most important new facts, line by line: Continue reading