June 18, 2009 - They're Sisters - Great-Grandmother Marie - Part 5

17 June 2009


Supper last night, Cauliflower and Mushroom Gougère and a fresh salad... Took a bit of time, about an hour prep-time, and about an hour baking. Mr. Green Jeans got the thyme out of the garden... Not bad.

And I left off in Part 4 asking the questions "Who is Celestine St. Philippe? Is Mrs. St. Philippe related to great-grandmother Marie? Is she a younger sister? Is she Aunt Cotoche?" Was she the reason that great-grandmother Marie and her daughter, Cécile ended up in San Diego?

Well, when I checked out the information on the 1920 US Census page, the same page that included both great-grandmother and Mrs. Celestine St. Philippe, I couldn't help but notice that great-grandmother immigrated to the United States in 1919. I also remarked that the widow St. Philippe immigrated to the United States in what appears to read "1908". Okay, that is at least 11 years before great-grandmother Marie... but at the same time one could say that it could be a viable reason for her being in San Diego. Thinking about it, I knew that I could look for some immigration paperwork: Marie Abraham in 1919; and Celestine St. Philippe around 1908. And off to the races... sorry... Ancestry.com.

Deborah, it may have been that great-grandmother Marie wanted to go either of the two World's Fair hosted by San Diego... I'll never know, but she was about five years too late for the Panama-California Exhibition in 1915... and a wee bit too early for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition... though she may have attended. Thanks.

Bingo! I discovered a two-page passenger manifest for a "Marie Antoinette Abraham" and "Cecile B. Abraham", Lines 2 and 3 respectively, which indicates that they sailed from British Guiana & The West Indies on the 28th of September 1919, (on the left). And hallelujah, the manifest was typed! This means that I do not have to learn an author's script and decipher his writing idiosyncrasies. The ship was the S.S. Parima and had arrived in New York on 10 October 1919, (on the right). The brochure inserted above is of the "Quebec Steamship Company" which owned the S.S. Parima which I believe was scrapped in 1925.

New York? October? Quite a distance from San Diego. But the identified 1920 Census was created on the 3rd and 5th of January. That would mean that great-grandmother Marie and grandaunt Cécile would have two-and-a-half months to get to San Diego. Not impossible, but one hell of a distance more after traveling about 2600 miles, 4100 kilometers. Their trip would be another 2400 miles, 3900 kilometers, which means that they were only halfway to their intended destination. And on page 2 of the Passenger Manifest there it is, in response to "Whether going to join a relative or friend; and if so, what relative or friend, and his name and complete address." Great-grandmother Marie was going to join her "Sister, Mrs. C. St. Philippe, 1108 East St. San Diego Ca."

Mrs. Celestine St. Philippe was my great-grandaunt and her daughter was my 1st cousin twice removed. Great-grandmother Marie was going to visit family. She and grandaunt Cécile were going for a "3 Months" stay... and she intended "to return to country whence he (they) came after engaging temporarily in laboring pursuits in the United States." Well I know that that's not true, the letter, inserted in Part 3, great-grandmother Marie wrote from San Diego to my grandmother Jeanne was dated "April 26 1920".... and it doesn't read like she intends to return shortly back to British Guiana... but then I could have misread something in the translation?

I've included another update to great-grandmother Marie's Descendant Chart. All new additions, changes, and/or insertions are highlighted in red.

And there are a couple additional bits of information, her daughter, my grandmother's name is indicated as "Janet" in Column 12 of the Manifest, and great-grandmother's place of birth is included as "Bordeau, France" on the immigration page. (Please note that information can always change and one source does not necessarily stand alone.)

To be continued...




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