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It has long been assumed within my family that we have some Spanish ancestry. This assumption, which is presumably based on the name, has been that Francisco De La Santos was a Spanish sailor who settled in Liverpool and married Emmeline Bramall my great grandmother. To my knowledge there is no evidence to backup this theory that Francisco was Spanish.

My research suggests that there is a weight of evidence to suggest Francisco was not Spanish but more likely Filipino. In this document I will set out my reasoning and the evidence I have found to support this view.

The first piece of evidence to consider is my own DNA profile.


my dna profile


Obviously I can't say definitively that Francisco was Filipino. However I can say that based on the information I have found in relation to the premises in which he and his family lived, the local area and the acquaintances they kept it is far more likely that he was Filipino than Spanish.


The women listed below, wives of Filipino seamen, provided friendship and rental accommodation to Emmeline and her family. They stood as witness to her marriage and godparents to her children.


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LITTLE MANILA OF LIVERPOOL:- Liverpool was the largest and busiest seaport in the world. Which resulted in a vast increase in the population of Liverpool. Many immigrants and sailors from seafaring nations visited and ultimately settled in Liverpool making it one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world.

As with all new immigrants arriving into a community,it is natural for them to want to feel secure and to live in an enviroment that they are familiar with. This resulted in enclaves being formed in various areas,for example:-Chinese in Pitt Street-Italians in Scotland Road-Spanish in Whitechapel,ect.

The sailors of the Philippines settled in Liverpool to form a Filipino community around the Frederick Street area. Although small the Filipino community thrived and was locally referred to as the 'Little Manila of Liverpool'

Most Filipino seamen arriving in Liverpool were employed by the Larrinaga Steamship Company,which was based in Liverpool.

This company had the Manila Mail Contract,which created a regular service between Liverpool and Manila. Most of their seamen were recruited in the Phillipines,and many of these seamen married local Liverpool women and placed down roots in this city.

A prominent name within this community was the De La Cruz family. The De La Cruz family managed a number of lodging houses within the area for the Filipino sailors and their families. A detailed study of the Filipino community in Liverpool and the De La Cruz family can be found on the following website 'Filipinos in Liverpool', you may want to study this site to gain some background information. Also the Facebook page "HISPANIC LIVERPOOL PROJECT" is also of interest.

What is clear from these sites is that there is a tangible record of a Filipino community being prominent within a small area of Liverpool during the mid 1800s. It also clear that a number of lodging houses/properties have been identified as being exclusively (to my knowledge) used by Filipino sailors and their families



Eustaquio De La Cruz, a Filipino, and his wife Mary Jane ran a lodging house in 20 Argyle Street. Emmeline was a live in domestic servant at this address.

Also lodging at 20 Argyle Street was Francisco De La Santos, a mariner. A relationship developed between Francisco and Emmeline and they decided to marry.

Because Emmeline was a none Catholic they decided to marry in the Church of England. This required a license bearing a Bishop's seal that gave permission for a marriage ceremony to be performed.

On the 13th Nov 1877 they applied for and recieved a Bishop's License.


002a bishop's license


On 15th Nov 1877 Francisco De La Santos and Emmeline Bramall married in St Michael church. Upper Pitt Street. The address recorded on the marriage certificate, for both of them, is 20 Argyle Street. One of the witnesses on the marriage certificate was Emmeline's employer Mary Jane De la Cruz.


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In Dec 1878 their first child Rapaella Marie was born. The family were living in 27 Frederick Street.


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In Dec 1880 my grandfather, John Moses, was also born in 27 Frederick Street.

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In the April 1881 census Rapaella Maria, Emmeline's daughter, is recorded living with her grandmother Sarah(Zara) Bramall, in the Dale Street area. It is obvious from this record that Emmeline's mother was still living, making her sworn oath in the Bishop's License an incorrect statement.

005a 1881 census dale street


The reason Rapaella Maria, who was ill with Rickets, was living with her Grandmother was that Emmeline and 5mth old John Moses had become homeless and were admitted into the Liverpool Workhouse. The Workhouse records her name as Emiline Delia Santo.


005b 1881 census dale street


Rapaella Maria died of Rickets and Pneumonia, at her grandmothers home, shortly after the census was taken.


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Emmeline reappears in 1884, with the birth of her third child Mateo Marcario.

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Mateo was born in 95 Upper Frederick Street. This was the home of a Robert Beston. Two of Robert Bestons daughters were married to Filipino seamen. Jane Ann Beston married to Alcadio Qurlonio and Elizabeth Anne Beston married to Domingo Ruis(Reyes). By April when the birth was registered Emmiline had moved and was living at 49 Frederick Street. This is the home of Jane De La Cruz, wife of Santiago, a Filipino seaman.

Despite being married in the Church of England the three children were baptised in St Peter's Catholic Church Seel Street. The names of the godparents have Filipino connections.


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Mateo Macario died of Tabes Mesenterica the following year.


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This brings us to the 1891 census. And just like the 1881 census Emmeline De La Santos goes missing. After extensive searching she is finally traced to Grayson Street. She was living with a Filipino family , but she is now using her maiden name and is claiming to be single. It seems that her marriage to Francisco has ended.

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The census records that her son John Moses De La Santos (my grandad) is living with his grandmother Zara and aunt Sarah in Canning Street.









In 1901 census Emmeline was living in Pitt Street reunited with her son and is reusing the De La Santos name. She is describing herself as a widow. She also has herself a partner, John Mealey.




In 1907 Emmelines son John Moses De La Santos married Mary Ann Fox.




In the 1911 census she is living in 102 Pitt Street, and claiming to be Emmeline Mealey, married for the last eight years. That is an error,they were not married.



In 1917 Emmeline is married to John Mealey in St Peters. Church of England. Church Street. Their address is 88 Pitt St. They were together 17yrs before deciding to marry.

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In 1922 Emmeline died at 107 Rice Lane,Walton. This is the address of the Walton Infirmary which was part of the Walton Workhouse.





Emmeline's daughter-in-law,Mary Ann,sitting on the frontdoor step of 69 Pitt Street in 1939,along with some of Emmelines grandchildren and great grandchildren.



St Michaels. Upper Pitt Street. Where Emmeline was first married.



St Peters. Church Street. Where Emmelines 2nd marriage took place.