Addendum to report #4 on my 2011 genealogy research trip to Panama
I have to say, things have really been moving on the Cadignan end of things. I also have to admit that I may have gotten so excited about the progress I was making I jumped ahead of myself and went running full steam ahead towards a conclusion based on shaky evidence. I’ll explain. Continue reading
Report #3 on my 2011 genealogy research trip to Panama
Nearly two years ago Alfonso Vallee Cadignan, one of my grandfather Hilarion’s brothers, passed away. This led relatives to go through his old documents and make an interesting discovery. Though we had always known his parents’ names to be Simon and Josephine, they were listed as Francois Vallee and Adele Cadignan on Alfonso’s birth certificate. This lead to an automatic reaction of “Who the heck are they?” from the members of my mother’s generation who had never heard their grandparents referred to as such. In a fairly offhand manner their last living child, Tia Claire, confirmed that these were her parents’ real names. It was quite a shocking paradigm shift for those of us who marveled over this discovery at the time. Continue reading
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
Today Tia Mirna sent an email out to the family reminding us that today is the anniversary of my grandfather’s death, which I’m sure led each of us to take a moment to think about his legacy. This post, the first ancestral profile I’ve put together for this blog, is my own little way of honoring the only grandparent I never had the pleasure to meet.
Name: Hilarion Vallee Cadignan
Date of birth: Oct 21, 1921
Place of birth: Panama City, Panama
Date of death: May 18, 1959
A few random facts:
- Hilarion had two nicknames: Achilo was his French/Martinican nickname, Julio was his Spanish nickname. I don’t think anyone called him Hilarion.
- He was a fluent speaker of French patios, the language of his Martinican parents.
- He was a fluent speaker of English, the language of the larger West Indian community and the Americans who ran the Canal.
- He was a fluent speaker of and was literate in Spanish, the national language of his birthplace.
- He was born a twin. Sadly, the other baby did not survive.
- He was a looker, if I don’t say so myself!
There’ll be much more to come about Hilarion in future posts. For now I invite my family members to add any other interesting facts or stories the rest of us may not know about him. For the rest of you, I’d love to hear a favorite story about one of your grandfathers.
Though this post focuses on one special mother it is dedicated to all moms, especially my other grandmother, Daisy, and my own mother.
In honor of Mother’s Day I dug up a beautiful piece my Tio Lucho wrote a few years ago about my maternal grandmother. I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing it with the world and that my attempt to translate it into English does it some justice. If I remember correctly, the family portraits I chose to showcase just how cute my Nana was were taken at the urging of my Tia Ilka, the youngest and most photo-obsessed of my mom’s siblings. Given that we lost Ilka in 1997 and Nana in 2000, we are truly blessed to have these professional photos of my grandmother with all of her children as adults.