Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Not So Wordless Wednesday- Found under a Washing Machine in Spain

While we were visiting my in-laws in Madrid, they gave us a list of things to do around the house. "Can you reach this lightbulb?" "Can you help flip the mattress?" etc. Just like my Mom does when we visit, but she's only an hour away. Then the washing machine broke, and when it was pulled away from the wall my mother-in-law found a small plastic envelope full of family photos. It's a good thing it was a plastic envelope! This was a small treasure trove of pictures, going way back in time. She gave the envelope to me, and I took it home to scan the photographs. Each was tiny- the size of passport photos, school pictures or wallet sized snaps. Here are a sampling of some of the photographs....

Manuel Martin (abt 1880 - 1971) My husband's great-grandfather
Probably photographed in the village of Villar de Ciervo, Salamanca, Spain

Josefa Rivero (1884-1937) Manuel's wife

Orofila Gonzalez - Josefa's Mother
(I have no dates for her, even though I have her parents and grandparent's names,
she was born in Villar de Ciervo)

Jose Garcia (1908-1994) Sargent in the Guardia Civil
my husband's grandfather, born in Bouza, Salamanca, Spain

Maria Josefa Garcia (my mother-in-law) in a school uniform
She was born in Orbaiceta, Navarra, Spain during the Spanish Civil War

Maria Josefa Garcia - as a young woman in Madrid
Maria Josefa Garcia- in her Iberia Airlines uniform in New York City
where she moved to after marriage in Madrid
(probably a photo from an ID badge)

Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Treasure trove it is. Boy are you lucky in many aspects. It was thoughtful of her to let you take them to scan. I'm thinking they might have been in a pocket or shirt, and when the laundry was being put in, she found it, put it next to the washer, then it slipped in back. All was forgotten about until earlier this month. Glad they didn't move. Lucky, lucky you.

  2. simply wonderful -- I just finished scanning in the only remaining old snaps of my family (woods/pierce/forsythe).. gonna make a photo book with them for my mom and aunts. Congrats on your find!

  3. What a find! And your mother-in-law is GORGEOUS. I love the airline photo. So glamorous.

  4. Wow! What an unexpected gift! Those are some great pictures.

  5. What an incredible find! and so fortunate that you got to bring them home and scan them. Had your husband ever seen photos of his great grandparents and gg grandmother?? Talk about being in the right place at the right time! :-)

  6. Thank you so much for your comments, everyone! Yes, I'm afraid these could have been lost, or even thrown away after finding behind the washer. They were tiny postage stamp sized photos, and I scanned them at a high resolution. My mother-in-law was able to identify everyone for me, too, because only one was labeled.

  7. I bet everyone was so excited....I found a cousin in Germany and email her some pictures. The elderly mother was able to identify everyone and she said she had not seen those pictures in 60 years, hers were destroyed in the war.

  8. Wow, is that a cool find! Heather, you were so lucky to be able to get them identified! And that they weren't all damp and moldy!!

  9. Nice document
    my grandfather served with Jose Garcia in the Guardia Civil , he was the command of Villar de Ciervo.
    don't know how many years were comrades by Jose Garcia after was destined for another site

    1. It is very nice to meet you, Javier! How interesting that your grandfather knew Jose Garcia. He died in 1994, and had lived in Madrid for many years. What was the name of your grandfather?

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  11. My grandfather was called Manuel Morocho Garcia. He was born in Sancti Spiritus, near Villar de Ciervo.He was born in 1914.
    But my other grandfather, Felipe Vicente was born in the same village as José García, Bouza. AND would be approximately the same age, I am sure that both knew.
    This is a people that currently has 75 residents (in 1910 277 residents)

    1. Javier, I was in Bouza about five years ago, and it is very small indeed. Jose's wife was born in Villar de Ciervo. Her name was Consuelo Martin, daughter of Manuel Martin and Josefa Rivero. Jose was the son of Sebastian Garcia and Maria Ribero (from over the border in Portugal).