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My parents were both natives of Oakland, Alameda County, California. My Grandparents all met up in Oakland, but came from disparate roots.

My Dad's parents were Jean Lassalle and Anna Madeleine Mazeres.

Jean was born in 1888 in Ogeu les bains, France. He came to America to avoid conscription in France. He arrived at Ellis Island 9 Apr 1907 on the Kaiserin Auguste Victoria. He was going to San Francisco, California to see his cousin, R. Leclerge. I've yet to figure out who that is.

Anna was born in 1897 in San Francisco, California. She was the daughter of French immigrants also from Ogeu les bains. Her parents owned French Laundries. They first lived in San Francisco until around 1902. Briefly they moved to Modesto. Sometime around 1914, they made their way to Oakland. Anna was the oldest of 3 children, but the only one to make it beyond the age of 4.

No one bothered to ask Jean and Anna how they met up. I suspect it was at one of the many French community functions that both attended.

Jean died before Anna at the age of 84. Their marriage lasted a healthy 51 years.

My Mom's parents were Joao "Bohne" Pacheco Smith (aka "John P. Smith") and Anna Hazel Jackson (aka Anna Elizabeth Shellabarger)

Joao beginnings are murky. He gave his birthdate as 28 Mar 1907, but there is some suspicion about that date.

His parents were in California illegally. His father was born in Achada, Nordeste, Sao Miguel Island, Azores. His mother was born in Maia, Ribeira Grande, Sao Miguel Island, Azores. Both had been sugar plantation laborers on Kauai, Hawaii when his father contracted leprosy and was ordered to go to Molokai. His family was smuggled from Hawaii to California. His mother was very pregnant with him at the time.

There are two different stories about his birth. One story says he was born in San Francisco just as they got into port. Yet another says he was born at sea. I have not been able to find a birth certificate for him in either Hawaii or California. Because neither of his parents were US citizens--neither applied for citizenship before leaving Hawaii, my suspicion is he was born at sea and the birthplace was fudged to San Francisco so as to make him a citizen of the United States. Also, since they were here illegally playing around with his birthplace helped cover their tracks.

Whatever the case, the Pacheco Smith's ended up in Oakland by 1907. They spent some time in Spreckels, Monterey County, California, but were back in Oakland by the early 1920s.

Anna was born in 1912 in Oakland, California. Her father was from England and her mother was from San Francisco. The Jackson's had lived in San Francisco prior to 1906. When the earthquake and fire destroyed their home, they moved around a bit, then settled in Oakland.

Joao and Anna met up in Oakland when Anna was about 15. She became pregnant in April of 1929 when she was 16 years old and still in high school. They were married that October. Anna never did complete school.

The marriage was not a happy one. They were divorced when my Mom was 13. Joao never remarried. Anna was married two more times. Her last marriage to Frank Milton Shellabarger a native of Mount Pleasant, Muscatine Co., Iowa.

As you can see, my Grandparents came from very different places and backgrounds. Two were born here, one was an immigrant, and one was possibly an illegal immigrant.

Wait until you meet my Great Grandparents!

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