Thursday, March 19, 2009

A family treasure (...memoria, no plata)

A worn Spanish coin from 1777, featuring the visage of Charles III made its way from hand of Francisco Babilonia Polanco y Lorenzo de Acevedo (son of Capitan Miguel Babilonia Polanco & Benita Lorenzo de Acevedo) to Francisco & Maria Viviana Quinones Vives' son Adolfo Babilonia Quinones. Two generations later, I receive the photograph of it from my cousin Gaspar. He remembers his grandfather with it sometime in the 1950s, on his keychain.

From a website on Spanish milled coinage at Notre Dame, I learned that the hole in the coin functioned like modern checks, and a traveler would pin or sew several of them into the lining of their jacket to be used as needed. What amazes me is how the coin made it from one hand to another linking the 18th century to the present. It is not the intrinsic worth of the coin, which is little, but the chain of connections that caused it to be saved that imbues it with value.


dustbunny8 said...

What a wonderful treasure to have!Something you know your ancestors carried on them and touched, down to the present day.And how kind of your cousin to share a photo to go with your history.

Anonymous said...

My 4th great aunt Andrea Retamar Y Hernandez married to the Babilonia family. Here is the information below.

Andrea Retamar y Hernandez (Born in Moca, PR not sure of her date of birth)
She married Juan Maria Babilonia y Mendez hijo de THE CAPTAIN MIGUEL BABILONIA y POLANCO [FROM PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN] y MARIA MENDEZ on 09 Oct 1794 2nd BOOK OF MARRIAGES 1786-1813 PAGE No. 44 in Moca, Puerto Rico.

We shared a common ancestry!


Mitchell Retamar Jr. 5th Great Grandson of Pedro Retamar Father of Andrea Retamar Y Hernandez

Tim said...

It's rewarding to have such beautiful treasure you got from your ancestor. We do also have one from our great grandma.

family trees