STORIES OF OUR FAMILIES
To forget one's ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root.
Amalia Elizabeth (Amy) Sheppard
Edward Oswald Mendes
14 May, 1887 - 4 April, 1975
Amalia Elizabeth Sheppard was the only daughter of Alfred Sheppard and Virginia de Freitas, and the third of their five children. She was my grandfather Charles Sheppard's sister, born on Saturday 14 May, 1887 in St. Joseph, Trinidad where their father was a Sergeant of Police. Amy and Charlie, born two years apart, shared the same childhood experiences, and would become Alfred and Virginia's only two surviving children.
The Sheppard siblings photographed by George Adhar 10a Prince of Wales Street, San Fernando Trinidad
a girl of eight years old
Amalia (seated) with her English cousin
Ivy Sheppard on a family visit to England.
Marriage Register for 1913 showing details of the marriage of
Edward Oswald Mendes and Amalia Sheppard
Photo taken in the Archives of the Registrar General’s Department,
Ministry of Legal Affairs, Port-of-Spain.
When she was twenty-six years old, living at her parents' home in 117 Edward Street, Port of Spain, Amy married Edward Oswald Mendes, a Proprietor, of 49 Jerningham Avenue, Port of Spain. In the marriage register, the witnesses are Oswald's half-brother Hugh Martin Mendes and Edith Edmee Gomez. Edith was a sister-in-law of Amy's brother Charles Sheppard, my grandfather.
Oswald's father was Antonio Mendes, a Madeiran merchant and elder of the United Presbyterian Church of St. Anns. His mother was Trinidadian-born Matilde Gregorio.
As written in the Sheppard Family Bible:
"Amalia Elizabeth Sheppard and Edward Oswald Mendes were united in Marriage in the United P. Church on the 18th January 1913."
Out of their union came a family of seven children, all of whom were born in Trinidad, with the exception of their second son Malcolm, born in New York City, New York. They were:
Oswald Antonio - born 20 February 1914.
Malcolm Arthur - born 30 March, 1915
Olga - born 9th October 1918
Frederick Herbert - born 24 September 1920
Charles Gilbert - born 14 June 1923
Leonard Alfred - born 14 April 1926
Jessie Amalia - born 14 October 1927
The Mendes Family - 1942
Back: l/r Freddie, Malcolm, Osy, Leonard, Charlie
Front: l/r: Olga (Mackenzie) Oswald, Amalia (nee Sheppard), Jessie (Rooks)
Amy and her husband Oswald passed both passed away in 1975 -
Amy on 4 April and Oswald on 17 November, after sixty years of marriage.
They celebrated their Diamond Anniversary with their family
on 18 January, 1973.
Amy and Oswald's daughter Jessie Mendes, pictured at 93 years old, Trinidad.
The Barbados Advocate of January 4, 1950 announced the Christmas Eve (1949) engagement of Jessie to John Rooks, son of Major and Mrs. Courtenay Rooks. The couple were married on 26 August 1950.
Jessie was well known for her beautiful voice, and performed at many weddings and other functions.
These home recordings of her voice made by her brother Malcolm in 1958 are treasured by our family.