Thursday, March 21, 2013

Carmen Segura Calabuig

Finding the information about my great-grandmother's hotel motivated me to do some other web searches.  In addition, the LDS church has committed to putting its entire microfilm and microfiche collection online in digital form and indexed!  Every day more and more is being added, and I had seen where some El Salvador records had been uploaded to their site,  I tried a bunch of names and got nothing at first.  Then I realized I was entering names as if they were American.  So I started entering the double last names that are used in El Salvador. Sure enough, I got a lot of hits!

The first is the entry above - for Carmen Segura Villalva, my grandfather's sister, and daughter of the hotel proprietess, Juana de Villalba.   The transcription and my best translation, plus a reminder to click on the picture to embiggen:

Diciembre 6 PN 1906Carmen Segura Calabuig, hija legitima de Alfredo Segura Villalva originario de Valencia Espana y de Juana Calabuig originaria del mismo lugar y ambro vecinas del  Centro de esta ciudad, nacio a las nueve de la manana del dia veinte y dos de Septiembre ultimo, dando estos datos el padre de la recien nacido y firma.
[Signature of clerk]
[Signature of Alfredo Segura Villalba and below that, possibly Juana Segura Calabuig) 
6 December 1906Carmen Segura Calabuig, legitimate daughter of Alfredo Segura Villalba, originally from Valencia, Spain and of Juana Calabuig, originally from the same place [Valencia, Spain], and both living in a neighborhood close to the center of this city [San Salvador], born at nine in the morning of 22 September last, given this information by the father of the newborn with signature.

This one small birth entry gives us a lot of information and a mystery in a short space.  First, it tells me a lot about my great-grandfather and shows me his signature.  It places his death between 1906 (this entry) and 1916 (when Juana is listed as a widow in the previous entry).  It also gives me his name: Alfredo Segura Villalva (similar spelling but not the Villalba we know today).  If we look at this with American eyes - which would be an easy trap given we know the family continued the Villalba name - we would assume that Villalva was his surname and Segura was just another family name (likely his mother's).  However, this is reversed from the nomenclature used in El Salvador.  Segura is his father's name - his LAST name as we would say - and Villalva was his mother's.  So technically, we should be Seguras instead of Villalbas. Somewhere between this entry and 1916 the family switched names and adopted Alfredo's mother's name.  Why?  Was there something that became associated with Segura?  To avoid debts?  hmmmm.... new mystery!

Other information includes verification of my great-grandmother's maiden name (Calabuig) and that both Alfredo and Juana came from Valencia, Spain.  I also love how the baby was born in September but they didn't do the civil registration of the birth until December!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pension Espana and Juana de Villalba

The above is a picture of the Pension Espana, established by my great grandmother, Juana de Villalba.  This 25-room hotel stood at 8 Av. Sur y 2 Calle Ote in San Salvador and was established by her in 1920.

I don't have much on my great-grandmother, and found nothing searching for her with a last name of Segura, Villalba or Calabuik (probably Calabuig or Calabuix).  Then I remembered that my grandmother Rosie often used "de Villalba" to indicate her married name.  Searching for Juana de Villabla, I found three sources referencing her and her hotel!

The first was Camaro27's Flickr site, where this picture was taken from and where he has a whole set of pictures of El Salvador 1880-1950.  This picture had the following caption:

Pension Espana, San Salvador 1916
Vista de la Pension Espana de dona Juana viuda de Villalba.  Utilizado en los anos sesenta por Boarding House Warletta, este edificio permanecio en pie hasta 1986, cuando fue demolido.  En el presente, es un lote balidio. 
View of the Pension Espana, owned by the widow Dona Juana deVillalba.  Used in the sixties by Warletta Boarding House, this building remained standing until 1986, when it was demolished.  Currently, its former site is a vacant lot.
Camaro27's wonderful set of photos can be view at:

The second was a website devoted to hotels and tourism and contained a table with the Pension Espana listed (I listed the facts in my first paragraph above).  It can be viewed at:

The last one was from the website for the Asociacion Salvadorena de Hoteles and had a little longer write up:

Pension Espana:  Segun relata el Libro Azul de El Salvador, su propietario Juana de Villalba habia logrado que este popular centro de recreo fuera merecedor de la alta estima de que gozaba.  La excelencia de sue mesa habia llamado la atencion de aquellas personas que la vistaban, el edificio tenia dos pisos y el segundo se encontraba las habitaciones de precios mas modicos.  Estaba ubicado a una cuadra de la residencia Presidencial, en la esquina de la 8a avenida y 2a calle oriente. 
Pension Espana:  According to the Blue Book of El Salvador, the owner of this popular recreation center, Juana de Villalba, has earned high esteem which she enjoys.  The excellence of its appointments has garnered praise from those who have stayed there.  The building has two floors and the second floor rooms are more modestly priced.  It is located a block away from the Presidential Residence, on the corner of 8a Avenue South and 2a Street East.

The link for this website is: