Friday, August 26, 2005

Know Your Heritage

It’s genealogy time today at the blog.

Both of my paternal grand parents emigrated from Spain in the early part of the last century. I am not certain of the birthplace of my abuela (grandmother), however I believe she was born near Piedras Blancas in 1896 and immigrated to this country through Ellis Island around 1910. Family lore has it that they financed the trip after winning the National Lottery.

My abuela’s maiden name was Maria Gonzalez, and after landing at Ellis Island the family moved to and settled in St. Louis, Missouri. Around 1915 she married her first husband Enrique Menendez, a world-class soccer player. They had four children who He died of Tuberculosis in 1925.

My abuelo (grandfather), Florentino Fermin Muñiz, was born In Piedras Blancas in 1892 and immigrated to this country sometime around 1908. The manner in which my abuelo entered this country is not entirely clear, some say that he came via Cuba; others say he may have come via Ellis Island. He and his brother Dan, who came over around 1906, settled in Mannington, West Virginia. I have heard many stories from my aunts and my father about visiting relatives in the Mannington area.

While my abuelo’s route from West Virginia to Illinois is not entirely clear, he eventually settled in Fairmont City, Illinois which is located across the river from St. Louis. Many Spaniards settled in and around Fairmont City in order to work at American Zinc Plant. My abuelo married my abuela around 1928 in East St. Louis.

My abuelo was the first Union President that represented the workers of the American Zinc plant in Fairmont City.

Why am I telling you this? Because your family and its heritage is something to be cherished and remembered and taught to your children, your children’s children, and so on down the line.