THE LIVERPOOL DE LA SANTOS STORY
My name is Jim Pedersen, yes I know it does not sound like an Hispanic name, I am a product of the Liverpool melting pot.
Despite my scandinavian name my DNA tells another story. My DNA profile identifies a strong link with the Philippines and compares me at an "Extremely High Level of Confidence" with a Filipino cousin Rodolfo Udani. Rodolfo explained that the ancesters, going back many generations lived in the north of Ilocos Region of Luzon. .
In 1938 my De La Santos family lived in Pitt Sreet, this photo shows the family sitting on the front doorstep of 69 Pitt Street. My mother is the lady on the pavement, half turned to the camera.
My mother May and her siblings were the grandchildren of Francisco De La Santos a Filipino mariner. I understand that the term Filipino was designed by the Spanish Philippine born nationals to difference themselves from native born Creoles.
Liverpool like all big seaports attracted people from all over the world and became a great cosmopolitan city. But new arrivals preferred to be with their own kind so enclaves were sprung up throughout the city. Chinatown in Pitt Street , Italians in Scotland Road, Irish in the Everton area, Park Lane were Scandanavians and of course Filipinos in Frederick Street.
In the 1870s a prominent family in the area was Eustaquio De La Cruz, a Filipino, he and his wife Mary Jane ran a lodging house in 20 Argyle Street which provided accomodation for filipino seamen and their families. Working as a live in domestic servant was my great grandmother Emmeline Bramall she met and married one of the guests Francisco DeLa Santos, her employer Mary Jane De La Cruz was one of the witnesses to the marriage.
Because Emmeline was a none Catholic and her being under 21 yrs of age 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.
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.
In Dec 1878 their first child Rapaella Marie was born. The family were living in 27 Frederick Street.
In Dec 1880 my grandfather, John Moses, was also born in 27 Frederick Street.
But, Rapaella Maria, the daughter, is recorded in the 1881 census as 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.
Rapaella Maria died of Rickets and Pneumonia, at her grandmothers home, shortly after the census was taken.
In 1884 a third child was born Mateo Marcario.
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.
Mateo Macario died of Tabes Mesenterica the following year.
One of the more problematic and worrying aspects of the growing the numbers of Manilamen arriving in the 1870/80s was that they were becoming more noticable in the district. Local troublemakers who resented and disliked foreigners took delight in launching racist attacks on innocent seamen. Also at this time the authorities described Frederick Street as the most violent street in the city.
One nasty piece of work was a local by the name of Thomas Ruddy a local racist thug, the newspaper report describes how after his release from prison for an attack on a Manilaman he then attacked three Manila seamen in Upper Frederick Street. Resulting in one of the victiims ending up in hospital.
Of course the Manilamen were no angels they could dish it out when they had to. The following was dismissed in court on the grounds of self defence.
Even our boarding house owner, Eustaquio De La Cruz, found him on the wrong side of the law when he tried to resolve a dispute with a rival boarding house owner.
The De La Santos men including myself followed the family tradition of becoming seamen, my mother's two brothers John and James were merchant seamen. In 1939 John De La Santos was serving on the ship Eskdene returning from Russia with a cargo of timber when WW11 was declared, the ship was torpedoed off the coast of Scotland, it was john's 21 birthday, a number of newspapers picked up and ran with the story. It was thought at first that the ship had hit a mine but later it was established that it had been torpedoed.
John, on the right, is pictured with his brother James on his return home to Liverpool.
In 1934 the City Council decided that area entire area needed to be redeveloped and that the residents be relocated into newly built tenement flats. The De La Santos family were relocated to a block of flats called Prince Albert Gardens, the garden bit was someone on the council having a bit of a joke. .
The result of this redevelopment meant that people of different ethnic backgrounds become more intergrated. And this is the envirement that I grew up in. In my school St Vincent De Paul the name register was like a map of the world.