This work completes the trilogy on the Azorean immigrant. It began with the historical narrative entitled Azoreans to California: a History of Migration and Settlement. Next came the historical fiction, The Flight of the Hawk Islanders: an Azorean Emigrant Story, where the migration experience of one Azorean family was told. The third work of the trilogy is the present book, Stories of California Azorean Immigrants, where the reader can learn about numerous Azorean individuals and families who settled in California.
The conception of this final volume was formed when I began to receive orders for Azoreans to California. Along with the orders, my customers would enclose short accounts of their family's experiences. I found many of them so interesting that I knew then an anthology of these experiences must be published for all to read. I sent out a call for such stories and was supplied with many which are found in Part I. I have not changed the wording or punctuation in any of the stories. They are left as submitted because it is important for the styles to remain personal in keeping with the purpose of oral historical tradition. At the end of each story, the reader will find the name and address of the person who submitted the piece. This information is supplied in case the reader wants to contact the writer for more information.
In Part 2, the reader will find completely rewritten biographies of Azoreans taken from California county histories published roughly from1875-1925. These histories are the only real record of persons who were prominent at the time and who contributed to their local region. These biographies are in detail and provide much genealogical information.
Part 3 is the "Autobiography of Charles Peters" a native of Faial who was an Azorean '49er. He wrote the short piece at the age of ninety in 1915. Not many copies are in existence and the work was never reprinted. Since this is the sesquicentennial (150-year anniversary) of the California Gold Rush, I thought it fitting to reprint in this book the entire autobiography of an Azorean gold miner. He writes in an amusing style, quite witty and colorful. I believe you will enjoy it. Part 4 contains two indexes which are extremely important if one is doing genealogical or historical research.
If you want to continue reading about California Azoreans, I draw your attention to these excellent recent publications:
Allen, Margaret Souza and William Ray Allen. Tracing Their Portuguese Footsteps . . . Family, Ancestors, and Countrymen of Frank Souza and Mary Avila. Wyandotte, OK: Gregath Publishing Co., 1997.
Emilio, Cecilia Cardoza. Azorean Folk Customs. San Diego: Portuguese Historical Center, 1993.
Guill, James H. Azores Islands: A History. Tulare, CA: Golden Shield International, 1993.
Holmes, Doug da Rocha. Portuguese Genealogy Syllabus. Sacramento: Portu-Cal Press, 1997.
Holmes, Lionel and Joseph D'Alessandro. Portuguese Pioneers of the Sacramento Area. Sacramento: Portuguese Historical and Cultural Society, 1990.
Jerome, Tony. Memories of a Portuguese Immigrant. Stevinson, CA: San Joaquin Publishing, 1991.
Oliver, Lawrence. Never Backward: An Autobiography. San Diego: Privately Published, 1972.
"Portuguese Ancestry." (Rosemarie Capodicci, 1155 Santa Ana, Seaside California 93955 - This is a quarterly genealogy newsletter)
Stonehill, Pauline C. A Barrelful of Memories: Memories of My Azorean Family. San Jose: 1996.
Valim, Anthony Terra. Valim Valine Valin: Family History. Modesto, CA: Privately Published, 1988.
I dedicate Stories of California Azoreans to all of my new Azorean friends who have purchased my works and have contributed to this anthology. It is a pleasure to know these wonderful people who have telephoned, written, or emailed me. It does my heart good to realize that the fabric of our nation is made up of such people who are positive individuals and want to connect with others by sharing their heritage. This is America, folks! A great nation of immigrants! So let's celebrate our legacy by reading about our Azorean kin and neighbors.
Cover from: "They Who Knock at Our Gates"
January 28, 1998
Table of Contents
Part 1 - Submitted Stories
Part 2 - Stories from County Histories
Part 3 - The Autobiography of Charles Peters