Posted by Bill Principe on 03 JUL 2003 00:44:07
▀▀▀Man oh man, your story is SO CLOSE to my family, but different enough!
▀▀▀My Yankee GGGF Moses Allen Lewis of Rhode Island arrived in Columbia at the gold fields in 1849. He did OK at mining, but later opened a general store in nearby Gold Springs. His family removed to Oakdale about 1875. Maybe your GGGF knew Moses and his store.
My GGF Vincenzo Messina, GGM Anna Barraco, and GM Cami lla Messina Silva arrived in San Jose in 1892, directly from Ustica. He owned a fruit orchard in the Evergreen section of town. Vincenzo and Anna died in the 1930s and are buried in Calvary Cemetery in east San Jose. Camilla died in 1962 and is buried in the Santa Clara Mission Cemetery.
My Azores GGF Joseph Silva and GF Anthony Silva also lived in San Jose after 1875.
Moses Lewis, of course, never knew the Silvas and the Messinas, but your GGF Joseph Desimone may well have known all of them! I have to believe that all the usticesi in the small usticese community in San Jose must h ave known one another. I know this is not a direct familial connection, but it is still interesting to think about.
BTW, I looked Joseph Desimone in "Saga of Old Tuolumne" by Buckbee, the standard Gold Rush history of Columbia and Tuolumne County, and he is not listed. I want to look him up on the California pioneer lists, but the server is not responding tonight.