Around two weeks’ ago, we put out a request on our Twitter account to find out more about ‘Cricpante Rego’ – and as well as receiving some helpful ideas very quickly, one of our project volunteers, Chris Jolliffe, was inspired to dig further. She came up with this guest post, which reveals a fascinating story.
Once again, this post shows the importance of looking at an individual’s life in the round and searching across multiple sources and record types. It is a great demonstration of the way the project brings together railway, family and social histories. It also shows how wide-ranging the project’s coverage can be: though we cover British and Irish railway employee accidents, other nationalities and roles appear.
Chris’ earlier post, demonstrating a similar wealth of research, is available here – looking at the fortunes of Shunter J Moore’s family after his death.
As ever, we’re grateful to Chris for her work on the project – including this excellent post!
As a volunteer transcriber for the Railway Work, Life & Death project, I often come across unusual names or entries. This was the case for one of my colleagues, Rosemary Leonard, working on records at The National Archives. [Rosemary has also blogged for us – here recounting how she found her Great Grandfather in the Welsh railway accident records.] Project co-lead Mike put out a request for more information on the record above, created by the Cardiff Railway Company. Here is what I found out.
Cricpante Rego doesn’t appear in any U.K. records but I have found a possible match: Crisanto/Cresanto Rego. [I’ve used the name as it appears on each record, so it changes throughout this post, depending on how it was shown.]
Cresanto Rego was born February 13/14 between 1890-1893 in Balboa or Lugo, Spain. His parents were Ramon Rego and Carmen Boza. In 1914, Cresanto’s first career was as a sailor. Crew lists show that he travelled from La Coruna in Spain to Liverpool on board the Orita. He left Liverpool on 7 April 1914, arriving in New York 2 weeks later. His full name was Cresanto Rego Bouza and his age was 23. He was single and his last permanent residence was St Juan de Cabas, Spain.
Crisanto Rego married Ellenor E. Williams in 2nd quarter 1915 in Cardiff. He seemed to have settled in Cardiff for a few years. Not long after his dockyard accident, his first son, Frederick Thomas, was born. Between 1916 and 1929, Crisanto and Ellenor had 8 more children. Sadly, five of them died in childhood.
|Frederick Thomas Rego||Bet. October-December 1916||November 1918;
Buried St. Dyfrig, Cardiff 13 Nov. 1918
|Raymond William Rego||Bet. April-June 1918||November 1918;
Buried St. Dyfrig, Cardiff 13 Nov. 1918
|Arthur Rego||8 October 1919|
|Carmen Elizabeth Rego||2 January 1921|
|Crisanto Rego||Bet. April-June 1923||Bet. January-March 1925|
|Antonia Veronica Rego||14 July 1925|
|Anthony E. Rego||Bet. October-December 1926|
|Bernard Rego||Bet. July-September 1928||Bet. July-September 1928|
|Leonardo Rego||Bet. January-March 1929||Bet. July-August 1929|
Another possible child of Crisanto and Ellenor appears in the birth indexes, though the place of birth is Pontypridd and not Cardiff. Dennis L Rego was born between July and September 1932.
The next record for Crisanto is a passenger list for the ship, the Demerara. It poses a number of questions. He was working on board as a fireman but, curiously, he was accompanied by Arturo (Arthur) age 8, Antonio (Anthony) age 2, Carmen age 6 and Antonia age 4! No wife or anyone who could obviously look after the children. The Demerara left Liverpool on the 31 August 1929, bound for Villa Garcia in Spain. Had Ellenor died? I haven’t been able to find a death record. Were they visiting their Spanish family? How could Crisanto work and look after young children at the same time? The family, without Antonia and Anthony, arrived back in Liverpool on 27 February 1930. The address given for residence was 98 Orsell Street, Cardiff.
There is a little evidence to show that the family stayed in Cardiff until the end of the 2nd World War. Carmen appeared in a newspaper article in 1934. She married Walter Heggarty in Cardiff, in 1939.
Crisanto and his son Arthur both appear in the 1939 register. Cristanto was living in 22 System Street, Cardiff, working as a steel erector. Arthur lived in 76 Llanelly Street, Cardiff, working as a horse driver.
Towards the end of the Second World War, Cresanto appears to have gone back to his first job as a sailor. He was engaged to work on board the U.S. Delnorte at Cardiff on 16 April 1945. He sailed from Falmouth arriving in New York on 29 June 1945. His age was given as 53 and he worked as a fireman/water tender on board ship.
Between 1945 and 1953, Cresanto travelled the world. Here are some of the trips he made:
- 13 October 1945; Naples to New York; on board U.S. Delnorte,
- 26 January 1946; Le Havre to New York; on board the William B. Giles,
- 1 November 1946; New York to Italy; on board S.S. Grover C. Hutcherson,
- 1 May 1948; New York to Piraeus, Greece; on board the Pontus H. Ross,
- 9 December 1948; New York to Japan; on board S.S. Zebulon Pike,
- 28 January 1949; Japan to Honolulu; on board S.S. Zebulon Pike,
- 11 November 1950; Le Havre to New York; on board S.S. Harry T.,
- 12 June 1952; Norfolk, Virginia to Bremen, Germany; on board the Nikos,
- 1 July 1952; Germany to New York; on board the Nikos,
- 17 February 1953; New Jersey to the Far East; on board S.S. Mother M.L.,
- 21 June 1953; Japan to Portland, Oregon; on board S.S. Mother M.L.
In July 1945, Cresanto Rego made two U.S. social security applications. Ramon Rego and Carmen Boza were named as his parents on both but his date of birth was given as 13 February 1890 on one claim and 1893 on the other.
On 24 March 1949, Cresanto Rego married Beatrice Consley in Brooklyn, New York.
Crisanto’s final appearance in the records is as a passenger on the Marques de Comillas. He travelled from New York to La Coruna, Spain on 27 July 1953. I haven’t been able to find a death record for Crisanto.
As I was putting this post together, I found one final record; probably the most exciting discovery of all.
This is the merchant navy index card for ‘Critante Rego’. The Board of Trade issued these cards during the First and Second World Wars to merchant seamen. Could this be ‘Cricpante Rego’? I hope so!
Of course, unless I look at original records, I can’t be 100% sure that the Crisanto Rego living in Cardiff in the 1910s or the Cresanto Rego who travelled around the world in the 1940s/1950s is the same ‘Cricpante Rego’ in the Cardiff Railway accident report but I’m willing to put good money on them being one person!
We’re delighted to have been contacted by some of the descendants of Crisanto Rego! It turns out he and Ellenor/ Eleanor have a number of descendants in Cardiff to this day. One of the grandchildren noted ‘this has brought back so many memories and filled in so many unanswered questions’ – a wonderful comment to receive. Similiarly one of the great grandchildren wrote: ‘This is my great grandad – this is so so interesting! I really enjoyed reading this, thank you so much for your research’. We’ve heard from another two grandchildren. Maureen, the wife of Antonia Rego’s son, told us ‘our family were fascinated by your research’. A lovely touch was that she and her husband had been over to Spain, to see the house Crisanto grew up in, and to meet a Spanish cousin. Really like this!
Chris Jolliffe retired from teaching to focus on her passion for genealogy. She has recently completed a PG Diploma in Genealogy, Palaeography and Heraldic Studies with the University of Strathclyde. She is a volunteer transcriber for the Railway Work, Life & Death project.