The new family ties

António Branco Cabral as a child on the right with family in Santarem.

If you are happy with your family tree and perfectly comfortable with your ancestry maybe you should not do a DNA test. In my case, not being specially interested, in coats of arms or any of those motives connected to finding nobility and the likes I am happy to find out as much facts as possible and the DNA path is extraordinary. Anyhow I did the DNA test with Myheritage and met with sensational findings.

As I have, on this blog, previously written about my research on the Henriques Pinheiro connection it feels necessary to put things right. My paternal grandfather was António Branco Cabral (Santarem 1893- Lisbon 1983). My genetical grandfather was not a figure unknown to us in the family, but indeed someone that I met and that was present in the life of my father and of my grandmother Rogéria with whom they secretly shared a son. I am convinced that my grandmother would not be unhappy with this turn of events (it now being known) as she had up to her death in 1977 kept a relation to the man who had another family but was the father of her only surviving child.

Who was then António Branco Cabral?

According to the “Grande Enciclopédia Portuguesa e Brasileira, Vol.2”  he completed is studies as a Civilian Engineer at the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon in 1915. He was then called up for the army and served in the first world war from where he was evacuated in 1919 after being subject to gas. After returning he then started to work for the ministry of Public Works and in 1923, he oversaw the Roads department for his native District. He went on to work for the Portuguese Railway (CP) and placed on the Paris Committee for that company. In 1932 he returned from Paris and became General Secretary for the Portuguese Railway Company in which post he remained until his retirement in 1963. During those 32 years he was involved in the development of many enterprises and in the administration boards of several companies including the Uranium mines in Urgeiriça. It is mentioned that he published texts and poetry in different newspapers and magazines under cover of pseudonyms. A renowned personality in the Lisbon society he received several medals such as St Gregory order, of Civil Merit of Spain, and several commendations for orders such as the British Empire.

This finding om Myheritage was only possible because another grandson to António Branco Cabral namely Pedro Cabral Magalhães, also had done his DNA test there. As far as my dealings with Pedro are concerned, I only have positive experiences since this news were also unknown to him and I really feel that I have gained a cousin that three months ago I did not know existed. I am looking forward to meeting him soon.

I have, in other words, no genetical connection with the Pinheiros from the province of Beira Baixa and that is that. It does not mean that there are no emotional or other ties as my father always considered that his father was João Henriques Pinheiro and he spent time as a child mainly in the region of Rosmaninhal.  

 My extensive research on the family Pinheiro/ Rija in the municipality of Idanha a Nova in the district of Castelo Branco is available ad hopefully useful to anyone wanting to access it.

PS: Please feel free to add to this story on the blog.

António Branco Cabral on the right. First World War

Legendas de João Manuel Pinheiro

1988

Era sem duvida um factor de grande orgulho ver o nome do meu pai nos ecrãs da RTP. Às vezes perguntavam-me se era o meu pai que fazia as legendas, enfim tinha uma celebridade na familia.Sentia-me alem disso participativo pois passava horas ao lado da moviola de trabalho num estúdio do Lumiar onde se fabricavam as legendas, em métodos, hoje considerados artesanais, mas naquelas épocas analógicas era mesmo high tech.

Mas havia mais, quando era miúdo participou na longa metragem “Canção da Terra”. Era pura e simplesmente o João Manuel. Ainda fomos ver o filme num salão qualquer dum bairro popular de Lisboa e guardo memórias do tal sentimento de orgulho e admiração que todos os filhos aspiram ter em relação aos pais.

Não recebi uma educação liberal, longe disso… Aquela geração dele tinha sida formada por ditaduras e intolerancias e consequentemente havia que tomar partido pois ou se estava com os bons ou com os maus, com os pobres ou com os ricos, com o PC ou com a União Nacional, com o Sporting ou com o Benfica. Foram tambem essas intransigencias que registraram as mais fortes memórias, positivas e negativas e que sem duvida contribuiram de forma inequivoca para a minha formação como homem adulto.

Foi sócio do Sporting mais de 50 anos e ía ver os jogos a Alvalade até poder. O marido duma tia levava-o em pequeno e ficou sportinguista.

A pequena classe média de Lisboa era principalmente intelectual. Frequentou o Colégio Valsassina onde conheceu outros rapazes do mesmo meio. O meu avo tinha sido advogado e politico, logo era homem de letras e humanista. Segundo o meu pai um pragmático como eu.

A irmã mais velha Maria Rogéria tinha emigrado e residia em Paris logo depois da guerra. O tempo que passou com ela lá, foi descrito como dos melhores da vida dele. Jantou com Jean Paul Sartre e conviveu com pessoas interessantes. A ida para Londrés, para tirar um curso de engenharia, foi-lhe imposto e não o entusiasmava. Foi aí no entanto que conheceu a Pam, minha mãe e casaram. Em 1952 nascia eu, o primeiro filho, em Stafford.

Na vida profissional passou por muitos sitios. Relembro minas da Urgeirica, C. Santos, Holliday on Ice, Ponte sobre o Tejo, Sheraton, Projecto Quinta do Lago, Intituto Portugues do Cinema. Deu aulas de ingles, estudou na faculdade como aluno mais velho.

Mas principalmente tinha sede de saber, de aprender.

Os filhos eram a sua paixão e preocupacão. Gostava da ideia de chefe de familia, sendo que não teve na realidade grande familia. Já em Portugal nasceram o Pedro e a Joana. Fez o que pode e o que soube fazer. As incompatibilidades com a minha mãe cedo se mostraram e as separações materializaram-se para desgosto e drama dos filhos e deles próprios.

Finalmente conheceu e casou-se pela segunda vez em 1988 . A Leonor foi a mulher que lhe trouxe felicidade e estabilidade emocional. Foi a companheira que procurou e encontrou. Interesses semelhantes e viagens conjuntas trouxeram imensa felicidade e recordo o reencontrar dos primos espanhóis e as férias em Fuengirola.

João Manuel Henriques Pinheiro faleceu no dia 16 de setembro 2016 com 91 anos.

Estão convidados a partilhar memórias e acrescentar dados aqui neste blogue.

joaomanuel

Please, turn on the light!

paris

This is, after all, the most appropriate date to recall the events of 1972 on our entrance to France after leaving Madrid. Appropriate as the 14th of July is the day of national celebration. Our Interrail course touched Paris in August. We were not celebrating as we arrived in Paris, that much I can tell you!

Part of the adventure of travelling by train on long stretches was the innumerable encounters of which I already mentioned some! This was particularly interesting in the south as people are more open for new contacts and readily become more familiar. In France we were offered some fruit, I believe it was apples. Of these we ate.

Shortly after arrival in the “City of Light”, the most acute colic pains set in. After that the respective diarrhoea! Paris became a place where the necessity to find toilets became central. The sharp pains gave short notice of what would follow. The strategy was to go in to cafés, restaurants and the like.

On one occasion I did get into the toilet, but could not find the light switch. And it was as dark as could be! Eventually I had to implore to someone in the staff to explain how the light was switched on. The French have always been very technical and ingenuous. The light turned on as the door switch locked. What a relief.

We learned after this not to trust fruit not washed! Paris deserved better so we came back years later.

Our holiday was soon over. Mona would carry on to Sweden and I would find my way back to London. New separations and more problems to solve, before any definition about a lifetime’s future would clear through a foggy dim!

Being tough in Paris

800px-Trocadero_and_cemetery[1]

Two things became clear to me after visiting Paris in 1971.There was family history there and I was capable of taking brave decisions in a strange environment.

It was in 1971 and I hadn’t seen my father since leaving Portugal. He came over and headed to Maximus where we met. He also visited and approved my apartment in Nevern Square. He met a girl I was going out with called Silvia. He was given the opportunity to deliver some advice and see how I was doing!

 

It was decided that I could follow to Paris and stay there for a couple of days and then return back to London. I guess we went by car and I returned by plane.

We found a hotel with Metro connection. We went about trying to find my father’s sister’s grave near the Trocadero. We did not find it! My father had lived in Paris after the war and held very positive memories from this time. My aunt had died later and was buried there.

In the evening I decided to “do the town”. I took the underground to the centre (somewhere around the Champs Elisées) and looked for anything resembling my London world- a disco or night Club. I did find a place went in and took a drink and talked to some of the other youngsters before making my way back to the hotel. Everybody knows that socializing takes some time but I am today rather proud of myself that I could do this all on my own!