My son is my uncle’s cousin, lol!

My son is my uncle’s cousin, lol!
I have a new DNA match on ancestry (which is actually my son’s results) – Antonio Lopes… I have an uncle named Antonio Lopes but when I checked my brother’s DNA test results, he shows as a more distant match… so I figure it’s probably a long, lost cousin on the Lopes side. If it were my uncle Tony, the match would should as a closer match to my brother, right???
So, I sent an email explaining who I was and who my father was and that I hoped to speak with him soon to figure out how we’re related.
I got an email back saying “That’s because I’m your uncle, your father is my brother…”, lol!?!?!
So how is it that my son is a closer match to my uncle than my brother? Well, my uncle and father share the same father but not the same mother. My son inherited genes from both me and his father. So it’s most likely that my son’s father is related to my half-uncle’s mother, my step-grandmother. ( I hesitate to write this explanation this way because in our culture there are no “half” or “step” family members, we’re just family).
So my son is his grandfather’s half-brother’s mother’s cousin, making him my…. son/half-cousin??? Or is it that my son is his great-grandmother’s cousin? Or, maybe he’s related to my paternal grandfather through his dad’s side… because why not. This is Cape Verdean Genealogy after all 🙂
Which means my son is my uncle’s cousin 🤔
I’m still dying!
This song seems appropriate, lol!

The Creola Genealogist

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I chose the Dragon tree to represent Cape Verdean genealogy and our family trees. When you look at tree, just as in our family trees, you don’t see individual branches, they look like clusters of strong tangled branches that support green leaves or lily-like flowers. We are the flowers supported by the strength of the branches who are our ancestors.
Like many of us, the Dragon tree can be traced to Cape Verde, Madeira, Morocco, the Azores and the Canary Islands. Like us, it is rare and valued. Like us, it is sturdy. Like us, variations can be found all over the world. And like us, no matter what variation, it is still a Dragon Tree.

Join me on my journey to connect with my roots, discover our history and explore our Caboverdeanidade.

 

CV BLACK HISTORY MAKERS – The Hon. George Neves Leighton

CV BLACK HISTORY MAKERS – The Hon. George Neves Leighton
The Honorable George Neves Leighton is the first Cape Verdean-American appointed a federal judge in the United States by President Gerald Ford.
Born in New Bedford, MA to Antonio Neves Leitão and Ana Silva Garcia, natives of Brava, Cabo Verde, Judge Leighton didn’t finish high school in order to work to help his family.
But through his own studying and attending night school, he was able to make his way to Howard University. Marcelino Charles “Big Daddy” Grace helped fund his first year at the university.
After graduating with honors, he attended Harvard Law. During his studies, he entered the US Army in World War II and achieved the rank of Captain. After the war, he finished Harvard Law and moved to Chicago, Illinois where he served as Assistant State Attorney General. He also co-founded the largest predominantly African American law firm in the country as well as serving as the President of the Chicago NAACP. First appointed a circuit court judge in 1964, President Gerald Ford nominated Mr Leighton to the US District Court in 1975. Judge Leighton retired from the federal bench in 1978.
In 2005, the New Bedford postal office was renamed the “ Honorable George N Leighton Post Office Building”. And in 2012, the Cook County Criminal Courthouse in Chicago, Illinois was renamed in his honor to the “ Hon. George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building”.

CV BLACK HISTORY MAKER – Mathias de Souza

CV BLACK HISTORY MAKER –  Mathias de Souza

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Mathias de Sousa was possibly the first Cape Verdean to set foot in America arriving on the “Ark” as an indentured servant to Jesuit priests who were a part of an expedition led by Lord Baltimore in 1634. I was first introduced to the story of Mathias by Cape Verdean historian, Ray Almeida (1944-2010).

While there isn’t much documented of Mr de Sousa and his Cape Verdean ancestry, I did find some compelling evidence that one of the ships did go through Cabo Verde on its way to Maryland.

The expedition left England in November 1633 with two vessels, the Ark and the Dove. Within a few days, the expedition hit bad weather and the Dove returned to England while the Ark continued. A few weeks later, the ship’s log notes visiting the island of Bonavista/Boa Vista. (Maryland State Archives) It is VERY plausible that Mathias could have boarded the ship in Boa Vista, Cabo Verde. The Ark and the Dove arrived in St Mary’s City, Maryland in February of 1634.

Mathias was one of 9 indentured servants on this expedition and the first Black Marylander. He went on to become the first black man to cast a vote in Maryland and what was to become the United States of America in 1642 as a member of the Maryland General Assembly.

Cape Verdeans have been a part of American History since before there was a United States of America.
I am extremely proud to know that the first black man to cast a vote in this country was a Cape Verdean!

CV Black History Makers: Barzillai Lew.

CV Black History Makers: Barzillai Lew.
 
Barzillai Lew, a distinguished American Revolutionary War Hero, was a free born black man from Groton, MA born in 1743 to a “mulatto” slave owned by Capt. Samuel Scripture, named Margaret Lew, native of Cabo Verde.
 
Margaret married Primus in 1742 and had two sons and two daughters, Barzillai being the oldest.
 
Barzillai was an accomplished musician and served as a musician in the French and Spanish wars. Years later he was called to serve as a fifer, drummer and soldier in Capt John Ford’s Chelmsford Militia in the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775!
 
He then joined Capt. Joseph Bradley Varnum’s Dracut Militia that was ordered to the “Tyconderoga” in 1777 where Varnum wrote in his diary, “ ‘Zeal is a fifer and fiddler for the grand appearance the day that Burgoyne’s Famous Army is brought in”.
 
This battle was captured in a portrait that sits today in the US State Department Public Room… Yes, a black man of Cape Verdean descent is memorialized in a portrait in the Capital of the United States!!!
 
Not only that…. Duke Ellington dedicated a composition to him called “Barzillai Lew”.
 
Barzillai went on to marrry Dinah Lew and had 5 children whose descendants still live in Massachusetts!
 
If ya didn’t know… Now you know!!!

CV Black History Makers – Paul Gonsalves (1920-1974)

CV Black History Makers – Paul Gonsalves (1920-1974)

The next time someone asks you what have Cape Verdeans ever done for America, let them know that it was a Cape Verdean-American who single-handedly revived the career of one of America’s most well-known and beloved musicians known as The Duke!

 
Paul Gonsalves was born on July 12, 1920 in Brockton, Massachusetts to Joao Jose Gonsalves (1889-1943) and Maria Vieira Fontes (1888-1973). Mr and Mrs Gonsalves were from Djam d’Noli, Brava, Cabo Verde and arrived in the United States in 1905 and 1913, respectively. The family lived at 50 Sprague St where Paul was the third of four children. He had two older brothers, Joseph and John and a younger sister, Julia. The family moved to 449 Mineral Springs Ave in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in 1930.
 
As children, Paul and his brothers were taught to play the guitar by their father and formed a band that played traditional Cape Verdean music. This changed when Paul was a teenager and he and his brother went to see the Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra in downtown Providence. He became mesmerized by the alto saxophone and decided he was going to find a way to have his father buy him one. For weeks he bewildered his parents by pantomiming playing the saxophone around the house. When one of his friends finally let his parents know what he was doing, Paul’s father bought him a used Melody C Tenor Saxophone for $59 and insisted that Paul pay him back $1 a week until it was paid off. There’s no question his parents were true CV parents!
 
Paul went on to study at the Boston Conservatory of Music and he began a career playing with the Phil Edmund Orchestra and other big bands led by the likes of Duke Oliver and Henry McCoy that were dominated by Cape Verdean-American musicians, including Joe Livramento and others. But as happened to many young men in those days, his career was put on hold when he was drafted into World War II in 1942. Sergeant Gonsalves served in the Quartermaster Corp in India and Burma. When he returned home, he started playing with The Sabby Lewis Band in Boston, where he caught the eye of the one and only Count Basie. After spending a few years playing with Basie he later joined Dizzy Gillespie until he disbanded the group in 1950.
 
The story goes that Paul was down to his last $7 when he decided one night to head down to the Birdland in New York where, as luck would have it, he met Duke Ellington. The next day, Paul Gonsalves was playing in The Duke’s Big Band.
 
At the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival, Paul managed to get on Duke’s bad side by missing practice and being late for the performance along with a few other musicians. The Duke’s idea of punishment took the form of having Paul play a solo to “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue” and not stop. So Paul played… and played for 27 Choruses!!!! The crowd included many of Paul’s family and friends who urged him to keep going and deliver the performance of a lifetime. The Duke was back and within weeks, this recording became the Duke’s biggest selling record and he was even put on the cover of Time Magazine!
 
Paul Gonsalves and Duke Ellington were best friends until they died within days of each other in 1974. His life story can be seen in a stage play by Arthur Luby, called “Paul Gonsalves Life on the Road: A Play in One Act”.
 
The recording of “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue” from the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival can be heard here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vnrNWyvI-U The solo begins at 3:45.
To see Paul Gonsalves play his famous solo during a later TV recording, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbjzfZSmQMM
 
I have to add that in doing research on my daughter’s paternal family tree I found that her paternal great grandfather, John Ellington, was kin to one, Edward Kennedy Ellington, also known as Duke Ellington. Since Paul Gonsalves is related to me on my maternal great-grandmother’s side, my daughter, Nia, is related to BOTH Paul Gonsalves and Duke Ellington!!!
 
If ya didn’t know…Now ya know!!!
 
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