The Lobo Family - Barbados
In December of 1942, Clement and Lilian celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary, but Clement passed away 18 days later on 9 January 1943. Lillian went on to live quietly in their home "Raeburn", in Hastings until she was 88, along with three of their children - Arthur, Hilda and Carmen. Arthur married late in life, after his mother had passed away, while Hilda and Carmen remained single all their lives. I was fortunate to have known them all.
These three generations of our Lobo family can be seen in this graphic CHART.
Clement and Lillian's eldest daughter was Esmée Ione D'Azevedo Lobo, my grandmother. She was the only one their children to get married in Barbados and raise their family of five children there.
Our first Barbadian Lobo ancestor was Daniel Lobo. He was born on 13 October 1840 in
St. Michael to Isaac de Moses Lobo and Abigail Cohen D'Azevedo. His parents were descendants of Portuguese Jews who had fled Lisbon at the time of the Inquisition. Daniel was the fourth of their five children. Following in his father's footsteps, Daniel became a merchant. We have been told that he officiated in the Nidhe Israel Synagogue. However, while he was most certainly a congregant there with his family, so far I have been unable to find out the full extent of his participation in the Barbados Jewish community.
Records show that Daniel relinquished his Jewish faith when he was 29 years old.
On 14 June 1870 he was baptized at the Anglican St. Michael's Cathedral in Bridgetown. Moreover, on that very same day, he married Elizabeth Frances Ann Stoute at St. Leonard's Chapel, St. Michael. As further records have shown, Miss Stoute was already six months pregnant with Daniel's child. Oral tradition tells us that for these reasons, Daniel was excommunicated from the congregation of the Nidhe Israel Synagogue and shunned by his people. Only his sister Miriam Lobo, whom he called Sissy, secretly befriended him and allowed him to visit her - so the story goes.
Elizabeth's father was Samuel Stoute - a clerk at the Bridgetown docks who worked for merchants importing goods to the West Indies and exporting colonial goods. According to Barbadian historian Pedro Welch, he came from My Lord’s Hill, St. Michael and married a woman who had a small property. She was Sarah Frances Moore, and their home was in Roebuck Street, Bridgetown. Welch had researched the family for the TV network NBC, tracing a celebrity to Elizabeth's youngest sister, Rosamund. As he explained, being a merchant's clerk wasn't a very important occupation, therefore the family was not well off. Samuel died at age 44 in 1863 and Sarah died just seven months later when she was 42. With the sad loss of both their parents, life became difficult for the children and so their eldest child Martha found passage from Barbados with her youngest sister Rosamund on a merchant ship, hoping to find more opportunities for a better life in America.
Back in Barbados, when Daniel and Elizabeth were married, both of her parents were already deceased, and Daniel's mother Abigail had also passed away the previous year. The marriage register shows Daniel's occupation as Merchant, and young Elizabeth as Milliner. She was living in James Street, Bridgetown and he was also living in the city. On 2nd September 1870, just three months after their marriage, Elizabeth gave birth to their son. They baptized him Isaac Clement Milton Lobo, at St. Michael's Cathedral on 12 October 1870, the same year and place where his father Daniel had been baptised. This infant Isaac would become my great-grandfather. Daniel and Elizabeth's home at that time was in Spry Street, which was a convenient location for traders.
Daniel Lobo died on 27 December 1903, just 22 days after the birth of his sixth grandchild, Lillian Isabel. He and Elizabeth didn't live long enough to know that they would become grandparents to several more children born in Barbados to their only son Isaac Clement through his marriage to Lillian Boyle. Nor would they know that their only daughter Edith would leave the shores of Barbados and settle into a new way of life in America.
My great-grandfather was known as Clement.
When he was in his twenties, Clement Lobo fell in love with Lillian Boyle, a beautiful brunette. Her parents were Thomas Graham Boyle and Elizabeth Frances (Amey) Tryhane.
We're told that not only was she a skilled milliner, Elizabeth was also talented seamstress. Perhaps she made the stunning dress that her daughter is wearing in this photo!
Lillian had a younger sister and brother - Millicent and Milton. Clement and Lillian's romance blossomed into a "Christmas wedding" at St. Mary's Church in Bridgetown, on 22 December 1892 followed by the birth of a son on 26 February the following year. When Clarence was born she was then 20 years old and Clement was 23. For the next two decades their family continued to grow, until their eleventh child, Freida, was born in September 1912. She arrived exactly nine months after her six-month old sister Daphne Freida passed away. That sad day was also Clement and Lillian's 19th Wedding Anniversary.
My grandparents Henry Garnet St. Hill and Esmee Ione d'Azevedo Lobo
on their wedding day - 18th December 1913.
They are at the Lobo residence "Moorehouse", 9th Avenue, Belleville.
Esmee's parents Lilian and Clement Lobo are standing behind her at the right, while Garnet's parents are on the left of the picture, behind the bridesmaids.
All of the bride's siblings are here, the youngest being the baby in the arms of her nanny.
Various records show Clement's occupation as Merchant's Clerk and as Merchant. In any case, he made a very successful career in the shipping business, and by all accounts, was well respected in the community. He traveled with his wife and daughters to the U.S.A on more than one occasion to visit his family who had emigrated there. Certainly before the time of their last child's birth, he had bought their spacious family home called "Morehouse" in 9th Avenue Belleville. He later purchased "Raeburn" on the Hastings coast, where he and Lillian lived with their unmarried children, and where he died on 9 January 1943 when he was 72. According to my mother, when Isaac Clement died, he left Lillian a very comfortable estate which comprised several properties. These included "Kalkachima" - a seaside property located on the south coast where the Accra Hotel is now, "Raeburn" in Hastings, "Moorehouse" in Belleville, as well as another property at the corner of 10th Avenue Belleville and Pine Road called "Govan." There are many entertaining tales to be told about cocktail parties and family gatherings by all of us who knew our Great-Grandmother Lillian Lobo and our great aunts and uncles whom we met at "Raeburn". We all remember that trap door in the kitchen floor of "Raeburn" that led down a dark, dank staircase of worn stone steps, finally opening on to the beach, close to the Ocean View Hotel. It was exciting for all of us who experienced with trepidation feeling our way down, the odd red crab scurrying away, and finally seeing the strip of bright sunlight and sound of the ocean, indicating we'd reached the beach!
For now, I shall recount just one small but significant memory told me by my mother, Betty (St. Hill) Sheppard. My mother fondly recalls her visits to her Lobo grandparents when they lived at "Raeburn", Hastings and would spend a lot of time with them. She loved all the fuss and attention showered on her by her grandmother and especially her great-aunts, who had no children of their own.
As a young child, she vividly remembers seeing a mahogany bookcase with shelves of several "special looking" leather-bound books which were written in Hebrew. Fascinated and curious about them, she asked what they were all about. She was told that they were her great-grandfather Daniel's Jewish books that he used at the Synagogue. Excited to think there was some precious heirloom somewhere in our family's possession, I asked my mother what ever became of the books. The story goes that nobody understood what they were about, and Judaism was not their faith. The old books were just sitting there, collecting dust. Around that time, there were Jewish peddlers who would come regularly to the Lobo's door in Hastings selling their goods. My great-aunts who lived there, thought it would be a nice thing to give away the books to these friendly Jewish itinerant salesmen. After all, the Lobos certainly had no use for them and they thought that one of these men might like to have them. Knowing my great-aunts Hilda and Carmen, I am sure they had struck up a friendly rapport with these gentlemen, and also purchased laces, ribbons and other notions from them, as Aunt Hilda was a gifted seamstress. She knitted, did fancy embroidery work and sewed most of my mother's clothes and various costumes when she was growing up. She even sewed her pretty organza wedding dress in 1943.
Daniel Lobo's 19th century Jewish books might very well have ended up in the homes of such gentlemen as Mr. Kreindler or Mr. Altman and are no doubt long gone. Now that I have learnt more about our family history, I rather love the idea of those Hebrew books belonging to my Sephardic Jewish ancestor being passed on to one or more of the first Ashkenazi Jewish settlers in Barbados. My dear, sweet old great-aunts would have been unaware of the significance of their gesture, but to me it was quite serendipitous.
Ripe Old Age
My great-grandparents Lilian and Clement Lobo at their home, "Raeburn", Hastings, Barbados
The family at Raeburn, Hastings, Barbados
Above: l/r standing: Colin Lobo, Beryl (Toppin) Lobo, Arthur Lobo (aka Shortie), Marilyn Lobo, Richard Lobo Hilda Lobo, Evan Lobo
l/r seated: Clarence Lobo, Lillian (Boyle) Lobo, Frank Lobo, Carmen Lobo
Below: The four Lobo brothers - l/r Colin, Arthur, Clarence, Frank