November 16, 2012

Family History

 This dapper fellow is General Jose de Fabrega. I really don't know how many great, greats it would be, but this is my gr. gr. gr...........grandfather from my mom's side. My mom's family is a very prominent one in Panama, and as you would imagine there are a lot of colorful stories and people that make up this family tree. I sometimes compare it to a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel.  Here is the link from the family page. This gentleman's ancestors are from Spain. He helped liberate Panama from Spain along side Simon Bolivar. If you know Spanish, you can read a bit here on him, and in English, there is a little bit on him here.
My family descends from this gentlemen, one of his 11 children. I believe he was the eighth son, and 10th child. His name is Wenceslao.  There is a family member in Panama who put up the page that I gave the link to above, and she has done a fabulous job. I found my name on the family tree and I am the eighth generation. You have to scroll pretty far down to see it, but I'm on there. While my dad's family is still kind of a mystery in spots, my mom's is an open book!  I remember as a kid looking through an old history of Panama book, that was my moms as a child, and seeing the picture of the general in it. When I saw the name, I ran to my mom and said, "This guy has the same name you do!" She very nonchalantly said, Yes, he is our ancestor.

So prominent is this family, that I remember going to visit when I was in third grade, and a shop keeper looked at me and said, "You are a Fabrega, aren't you?" I still remember that incident as if it were yesterday. You see, if you look at the painting of the general, you will notice that he has a very distinct chin. My mom has the exact chin, and I think I have it a little but not as much, so I remember being very impressed that the shop keeper could see it in me. Nicole has the chin, so it still lives on!!!

Aside from the chin, the name is still a big deal over there.  One of the funniest stories I have to tell is the one when I was in University. I originally was a Spanish major, and my advisor and professor was from Cuba, where some of my mom's family resides as well.   I really don't recall ever telling him about my family, only that my mom was from Panama, he came up to me with my entire family tree one day, which floored me. He said, "Don't you know who your are?" I still have that page he gave me, and I ran across it not too long ago.  He went on and on about how amazing it was that I was in his class, then told me about various family members etc.
He was devastated when I came to him and told him I was switching majors. He even shed a tear, no kidding! I  felt a bit creeped out, and glad I was leaving the department I must say. I think he was a little too into it.

My brother was born in Panama, and decided to move there back in 1993. One day I would love to go visit him there. I also have a cousin who lives near me, which is pretty neat, considering most of my relatives live over there.

I hope this wasn't too boring, I just didn't want to leave you all hanging after I mentioned it the last time I did a retro Friday.

From this Friday on, I may rename retro Friday, to just "Family photos." I don't have many pictures following the ones of me that I left off on. So I'll just jump around and put up random ones that spark a funny story or something.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I'm off to finish the little jacket with the bunnies on it. It is turning out really cute, and all I need are the buttons to sew on , and it will be in the shop very soon.


  1. Okay, that is really cool. How nice too that you know your family history. Have a great weekend!

  2. That's so neat. My great, great grandfather was a senator - and that's about as far back as I know, but we've always been really proud of that. :-) My mom pressured me to join facebook recently mostly because of the family group that she's a part of, where everyone posts old photos and information they find about our ancestors and stuff. It's pretty cool.