|Table of Contents
family history researched and compiled by David Genn and his
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2 Anjou, France
3 Yorkshire, England
4 Virginia, British America
5 Maryland, British America
6 Falmouth, Cornwall, England
7 Pernambuco, Brazil
8 Liverpool, Lancashire, England
| THE GENN FAMILY OF CANADA
7 - Pernambuco, Brazil
history researched and compiled by David
Genn and his cousins.
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this story or any other family connection that we may be heir
to, please write to:
Genn, 7894 East Glen Place,
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Maddison Genn, son of James and Peggy Genn, sailed from Falmouth,
Cornwall to Recife, Brazil sometime before 1840, the date is
uncertain. While in Brazil James Maddison Genn married Maria
Severina da Rocha Lins. The Lins family was a prominent and
wealthy family of north eastern Brazil and of Portuguese origin.
James Maddison Genn and Maria had two sons, Carlos Lins Genn,
born 4 January 1843, and Diogo Maddison Genn, born Friday 13
December 1844. References in this chapter to "Carlos"
and "Diogo" in this chapter mean these sons.
for this period is sparse. We have some photographs from Emily
(Genn) Lewis, daughter of Diogo. A letter written at Florence
Cottage, Falmouth, in 1933, has yielded some clues. Of Diogo's
effects, we have his birth certificate, marriage certificate
and death certificate, his travel diary dated 1874 and his passport.
The passport is endorsed by the Consular General for Brazil
in Liverpool, England, in 1874, 1875 and 1876. We also have
the 1916 marriage certificate for Alberto Carlos Genn, son of
Genn, son of Diogo, wrote about what he knew of his family history.
These documents survive and their content is included herein.
Unfortunately, Anthony was two years of age when his father,
Diogo, died and ten years old when he last saw his mother. What
he knew of his past, he would have learned from his sister,
Emily Genn and his brother, Reginald Genn. While Anthony's writing
has given us a trail to follow and has ultimately led to the
following compilation, some of his information is now shown
to be in error. We will be interested in trying to understand
and explain some of the errors.
Emilia Souto Maior Genn, of Olinda, Brazil, granddaughter of
Carlos has more recently provided us with her recollections
of the tellings of her father, Alberto Carlos Genn, son of Carlos.
She has provided a somewhat different picture than the one provided
by Anthony. We have allowed the contradictions to remain as
part of the story. For one reason, it is better at this stage
to protect a few errors than to erase a single clue. Errors
can have a basis in fact and we have an obligation to try to
uncover the fact. Secondly, we may sense some of the feelings
and interpretations of the descendants of Carlos and Diogo as
the different renditions are passed down their respective paths.
birth certificate shows that he was born on 13 December 1844
but that the birth was registered at the British Consulate at
Pernambuco, Brazil, 24 July 1861 (16 years later). The informant
is identified as Jose Jacamo Tasso, Merchant. The profession
of the father, James Maddison Genn is also identified as a merchant.
Birth Certificate also provides the maiden name of Diogo Genn's
mother as Maria Severina da Rocha Lins. Diogo Maddison Genn
was age 16 when his birth was registered with the British Consulate.
He may already have been registered as a Brazilian and this
additional registry may have been necessary to establish his
British citizenship in order to facilitate his relocation to,
and future business ventures in Liverpool, England.
Falmouth, Cornwall, parish church records the baptism, 4 January
1844, of Charles James Genn, son of James Maddison Genn and
Dona Maria Severina da Roche Lins Genn. The date of birth is
given as 5 January 1843. The father's occupation is recorded
as Merchant of Pernambuco, Brazil. It would appear that Charles
James Genn and Carlos Lins Genn are one and the same.
photograph in the Emily Lewis collection is identified as Maria
Lins Genn. This is Carlos' and Diogo's mother. The name is written
in accordance with the Portuguese convention of given name first,
followed by family name, followed by married name. A second
photo of a similar, but older, looking woman we now construe
to be the sister of Maria Lins Genn.
letter written at Florence Cottage, Florence Place, Falmouth,
August, 1933, was to explain the origin of a gold necklace.
It reads as follows:
Necklace was a Bracelet given to Mother (Ellen Cornish) by Uncle
James (James Maddison Genn), Father's (William James Genn) brother,
who was first Manager of a large Ranch in Brazil & then
married the only child of the owner, he brought her to England
to see his people, she was not much over 12, and brought the
bracelet for a present for Mother. It caught in everything,
& years after Father when he was at Boston had it made in
to a Necklace. The lace is old Irish Point Lace given to Mother
by the late Mr. T??mman, who was a recognised Authority &
Collector of old lace. Uncle James was the great Grandfather
of the Genns in Victoria B.C."
first page of the letter bears no signature and it is likely
that there was a second page. Florence Cottage was the home
of the Genn sisters, daughters of William James Genn: Julia
(Dux) Genn, Ellen (Auntie) Genn, Charlotte (Charlie) Hayward,
after she was widowed. The sisters were born between 1848 and
1857. One of them could have still been living there in 1933
and written the letter. James Maddison Genn was deceased by
1864, so the visit and the gift of the bracelet to "Mother"
was made before this date. Ellen Cornish (Genn) was most likely
the recipient. The letter is partly supportive of, and partly
contradictory to, some of our other information.
Genn Family Tree, written by Anthony Genn, Son of Diogo Genn,
14 August 1955, at the Glenshiel Hotel, Victoria, BC, states
James Genn was born in England. Later he took a sailing ship
to Brazil and bought an estate in Olanda (Olinda), Brazil. The
estate was a coffee and tobacco plantation. The home was large
and built of native stone. There he married the widow of a Colonel
Madison in the early 1800's. (Have no information of Grandfather
Genn's life prior to his arrival in Brazil). The Madison estate
was an adjoining one and the Madisons and Grandfather became
close friends. After Colonel Madison died grandfather married
his widow. Mrs. Madison previous to her marriage to Colonel
Madison was a Miss de Miranda and of pure Spanish blood and
her family name was very well known and highly respected. There
were no children born from the union of Colonel Madison and
Miss de Miranda. Grandfather was a strong Royalist and all Royalists
were very much disliked by the natives of Olanda in that period
and some years later there was a general insurrection took place
and all the Royalists were driven from this part of Brazil,
their estates pillaged, many of them killed and homes burned.
Friendly natives working on the estate notified our Grandfather
in time for he and his wife and son Deogo Madison Genn to collect
what was necessary in clothing etc. and escape on an English
sailing ship that was in port and ready to sail before the insurrection
arrived at Grandfather's estate. Eventually the ship arrived
at its home port of Liverpool where some few years later our
Grandfather Genn passed away. His widow later returned to her
own people in Brazil. There was one son born from the marriage
of James Genn and Mrs. Madison and he was named Deogo Madison
Genn and he was born in Olanda, Brazil and later educated in
second document by Anthony Genn titled, Family History, basically
supports the foregoing but is contradictory on a few points.
Here Anthony claims that his Grandfather James Genn:
in Olinda to a Spanish beauty, a young widow of Colonel de Maranda,
age 26. At this time, she, previous to her marriage to Colonel
de Maranda, was a Miss Madison whose parents were Spanish Grandees.
There were three sons born of this marriage of my Grandfather
Genn with Mrs. de Maranda, viz:- John, William and my own father,
Deogo Madison. Owing to the Revolution in South America about
1850, all the Royalists were obliged to flee the country for
their lives, the Revolutionists seizing all Royalist estates
in the troubled countries.
Genn got safely back to England with his three sons after considerable
trouble and risk. Our Grandmother remained in Brazil for some
time and later visited England to be with her family for a short
while, then returned to her own people in Brazil and died there,
her husband died in England shortly after this."
goes on to say, "Grandmother Genn's people, the Madisons,
also the de Marandas, were strict Roman Catholics and when Grandfather
Genn refused to have his three sons baptised and brought up
Roman Catholics, the entire Genn family were completely cut
off from any and all interests in Grandmother Genn's estate
in Brazil, and still is. My father, Deogo Madison Genn had a
very considerable business as a general merchant, dealing largely
in importing sugar, coffee and cigars etc. and also his firm
were Marine Insurance Underwriters and had offices in Paris
and other cities at one time."
Genn is clearly in error in the source of the name Madison.
It is not Spanish or Portuguese. His grandfather was baptised
James Maddison Genn in England. It would appear that Anthony's
father had one brother, Carlos (Charles) and John and William
were Diogo's uncles. The Brazilian relatives were Portuguese,
not Spanish. Anthony's grandmother's sister may have been Mrs.
de Miranda. This would account for the cousin of Diogo Genn
who was listed in the Liverpool census for 1871 at Diogo's address,
described as: "Joseph J. de Miranda, age 18, student, born
in Pernambuco, Brazil, cousin to Diogo Genn."
E. S. M. Genn recalls that Sister Miranda had been a nun who
was a member of the Sao Jose School in Recife and of the Doroteias
order. This was possibly the daughter of Joseph J. de Miranda.
Anthony Genn's sister was named Bertha de Miranda Genn.
The Brazilian Empire (1822 to 1889), the only monarchy in South
America, was ruled by the Portuguese house of Braganza, and
was led by Emperor Dom Pedro II de Alcantara, grandson of King
John VI of Portugal. Dom Pedro II was an enlightened and respected
monarch who was able to spare his country from many of the upheavals
which afflicted the Spanish speaking republics of South America.
Civil hostilities were developing in the Province of Pernambuco
during this period between a strong Brazilian nationalist republican
element and the British and other foreign settlers. The Nationalists,
opposed to Emperor Dom Pedro II, strongly resented the pre-eminence
which the British and other foreigners had secured in the economic
life of Pernambuco. Britain and Brazil eventually severed relations
for the period between 1863 and 1867.
insurrection, with xenophobic overtones, took place in the Province
of Pernambuco, Brazil between 1848 and 1850. According to Anthony
Genn, James Maddison Genn, being a foreigner and a monarchist
supporting Emperor Dom Pedro II, had fallen into disfavour with
the local nationalist inhabitants of Recife.
Until the Emperor's forces regained control, monarchists and
foreigners were being driven out, their estates pillaged, homes
burned and many were killed. James was warned by some loyal
employees that his turn had come and he was in imminent danger.
He escaped with his wife Maria and son Diogo on an English ship
and landed at the port of Liverpool, England. They established
a residence near there in West Derby. Anthony Genn makes no
mention of Carlos. James Maddison Genn's brother, John Hawke
Genn, also lived in the Liverpool area at the same time. Anthony
Genn suggests that Dom Pedro II maintained a contact with Diogo
Genn after the Genn family relocated back in England.
to Anthony Genn, his grandfather, James Maddison Genn died in
Liverpool. James' death could not be found in English civil
records. He is reported as deceased in the records of his son's
marriage, 29 June 1864. Chances are that he was deceased by
24 July 1861 when his son's birth was registered by Tasso. His
widow, Maria Lins Genn, according to Anthony Genn, eventually
returned to Brazil and died there. Maria E. S. M. Genn is of
the opinion that Maria remained in England.
Jacamo Tasso became closely involved with the Genns while they
were in Brazil. Tasso owned an adjoining estate. Tasso's magnificent
grave monument at Santo Amaro Cemetery, Recife, revealed that
he was born in Lisbon, Portugal, 10 October 1796 and died in
Pernambuco, 5 June 1859. His wife was D. Helena Joaquina Tasso,
born in 1800, died in 1855.
second Jose Jacamo Tasso died on 18 July 1876 and we assume
this to be the son. He was described as single, age 58, (born,
1818) an Italian born in Portugal. Cause of death was stated
as being the consequence of a monkey bite. It would have been
this Tasso that was the informant when Diogo's birth was registered
in 1861 and who Maria, Diogo's mother, maintained a close association
with after the death of Diogo's father. Tasso's will disclosed
a considerable fortune and identified a brother, Jorge Jacamo
Tasso and three sisters. The will left a house to a certain
Madame Melane and also freed all Tasso's slaves. Emperor D.
Pedro II had offered Tasso the Order of the Rose for his war
service, further supporting the Royalist alliance.
after returning to England, operated as an importer of Brazilian
produce. It is believed that Jose Jacamo Tasso was also involved
in the business. In 1870, Diogo named a son Hubert Tasso Genn.
A signed photo of Tasso appears in the Emily Lewis collection,
and Tasso is mentioned six times in Diogo's diary.
connection to Jose Jacamo Tasso may prove to be the main source
of the trouble in reconciling the stories we have from their
various sources. All the evidence suggests that after the death
of Diogo's father, Tasso became somewhat of a step father to
are led to believe that Tasso was involved romantically with
Diogo's mother "the widow of James Madison". Anthony
Genn's brother, Reginald had suggested that Diogo or his father
had died in Brazil from a jaguar bite. Tasso died of a monkey
bite. Diogo was not in Tasso's will.
of what Anthony Genn says better applies to Tasso than to his
actual grandfather, James Maddison Genn. He was writing more
than 100 years after the events took place and with no direct
connection to them. These switches and discrepancies, on consideration,
become quite believable. For this theory to have substance,
Anthony Genn's grandmother, Maria Lins Genn, would have had
to have spent much of her remaining years in Brazil rather than
passport records visas for Brazilian and Portuguese ports on
the following dates:
Para ? February 1874
Maranhao 28 February 1874
Para 10 March 1874
Para 16 March 1874
Rio de Janeiro 6 April 1874
? 30 August 1875
Para 4 February 1875
? 12 April 1876
Maranhao 14 April 1876
Ceara 22 April 1876
Maranhao 15 March 1876
Ceara 18 March 1876
Pernambuco 19 March 1876
Lisbon 15 February 1877
to England 25 June 1877
The visa dates are compatible with those noted in the diary.
Enclosed in the passport was a document titled, Commercial Review
and Current Prices of Herques & Co., P. O. Box 1073, No.
85 Pearl St., New York, 7 March 1876. The document appears to
be a cargo inventory for the steamer, John Bramall, and provides
quantities and pricing for such goods as cotton, sugar, borax,
coffee, jacaranda, Florida Water, pitch, rice, codfish, pork
lard, biscuits, tar, rope, cinnamon, meat, kerosene and flour.
The document is printed in Portuguese.
in the pocket of Diogo's passport was a two line obituary notice
from a newspaper: “POTTER ? On May 30 at Para, Brazil,
William Ero Potter, of Oxton and Liverpool, aged 4?”.
The name Potter is also noted at the end of Diogo's diary in
Emily's hand. A search for Potter may yield some additional
diary describes Diogo Genn's travels, leaving Liverpool by rail
on 8 January 1874, sailing from Southampton via Portugal, Canary
Islands and crossing the Atlantic to St. Vincent, then arriving
at Recife on 25 January 1874. The rest of the diary describes
Diogo's travels from Olinda (near Recife) north along the coast
to Ceara (Fortaleze), Maranhao, Para (Belem), back to Pernambuco
(Recife), then south to Bahia (Salvador) and Rio de Janeiro
by 21 April 1874, Diogo returned to Pernambuco on 28 April 1874
and left the same day for England, arriving about 12 May 1874.
note in the diary written by Diogo Genn's daughter, Emily Genn
(Lewis), reads, "The next voyage after this Papa was so
ill, nearly dead, and never went away again. Emily".
summary of the diary appears in Appendix II. Diogo Genn died
in Liverpool, 23 October 1877, age 32.
to Anthony Genn, "Father died in Liverpool, England in
1877 from the effects of giving up his seat on the inside of
a coach journey in France to a lady and then being obliged to
ride outside on top of the coach and got soaking wet in a rainstorm,
which resulted in his getting congestion of the lungs, from
which he died shortly after reaching home in Liverpool".
family story passed on by Maria E. S. M. Genn of Olinda, Brazil,
granddaughter of Carlos has added a little warmth and family
comfort to the rather harsh picture presented by Anthony Genn.
In Maria's rendition we first find James Maddison Genn on board
a ship from England bound for Brazil.
first port of call was Fortaleza in the State of Ceara where
it was boarded by Maria da Rocha Lins who was on her way to
visit relatives in Recife. Maria's parents lived in Ceara. James
Maddison Genn and Maria Lins met on the ship. As James later
related to his son Carlos, he had dreamed during the voyage
that he would meet a girl and fall in love. And so he did. This
story was carefully passed on by Carlos to his son Alberto,
then to Maria E. S. M. Genn. This version tends to refute that
Maria was the daughter of a rancher that employed James.
E. S. M. Genn recalls that after their marriage, James Maddison
Genn and Maria Lins Genn went to England to live. The christening
of their son, Charles James Genn in 1844 in Falmouth would suggest
that Falmouth is where they lived at that time. We make the
assumption that Charles James Genn is Carlos.
Charles James Genn could have died and Carlos could have been
born later. Finding Carlos' death record in Brazil should resolve
this. Diogo's birth certificate states that he was born in Pernambuco,
13 December 1844. The family appears to have maintained homes
in both countries.
Maddison Genn appears to have maintained his ties with the Church
of England. At the same time he escorted his wife, Maria, to
the Catholic Church. As Alberto related it, on their way to
church, James would lift Maria on his arms to cross large puddles.
This story tends to take the edge off Anthony Genn's rendition
regarding religious conflict. Maria maintained a strong sense
of belonging to Brazil. During her time in England she kept
with her a small bag of Brazilian sand as a memento.
Lins Genn was schooled in England in Engineering. He took an
engagement with the Beberibe Water Company which supplied the
potable water for Recife. As with other service and utility
companies in Brazil, the Berberibe Water Company was a British
firm. Carlos was engaged by them in England and his knowledge
of Portuguese may have created the opportunity for him to locate
in Brazil. Although Carlos was baptised in the Church of England,
when he arrived in Brazil to work, he had converted to Catholicism.
is not mentioned by name in Diogo's diary so we might assume
that he had not yet arrived in Brazil by 1874. Alternately,
Diogo may have known his brother by a nickname. For example,
he mentions sleeping at Zaza's in Olinda several times. Carlos
didn't live in Olinda. Only once in the diary does Diogo mention
going to Mother's. He makes no direct reference to her, only
her place. She may have still been in England. Alternately she
may have been deceased by this time. In the years following
Carlos is not known to have visited his mother, nor did he mention
his mother's house in Recife or Olinda. This reinforces the
theory that she lived and died in England.
Lins Genn married Emilia (Emily) Vianna. They had four children:
Jose Carlos Genn, born about 1879.
Alberto Carlos Genn, b. 28 Nov. 1885, d. 31 Mar. 1964.
Maria Matilde Genn, b. 2 April 1887, d. 1981.
Diogo Genn, died in childhood.
and his family lived in a house owned by the Beberibe Water
Company in the district of Dois Irmaos, Recife, near the place
of his work. Carlos maintained a deep connection to England,
evidenced by his attempt to persuade his son, Alberto Carlos
Genn to study in England, then join the British Navy. Carlos'
wife Emilia Vianna Genn did not visit England.
Lins Genn met his death at his place of work in 1897. A conflict
with a disgruntled employee resulted in the employee dumping
a dead goat in the city water system. When Carlos made the discovery
he became so enraged that he suffered a heart seizure and died.
Carlos' body was carried by fellow workers to his home.
death left the family without a means of support. His eldest
son, Jose Carlos left home and probably went to Rio de Janeiro.
The second son, Alberto Carlos, age 12, went to live with relatives,
the Acioly Lins family. Here he was required to wear a suit
and tie to partake in meals, which suggests a touch of aristocracy.
Living conditions were good and he received an education. Alberto
Carlos Genn then worked in an office and his earnings allowed
him to support his sister, Maria Matilde. Alberto Carlos then
opened his own office in international business. He married
Maria Adalgisa. She was well educated and cultured and was able
to correspond in French with an associated company, Grasse Essence.
Genns of Recife evolved as follows:
Jose Carlos Genn married Adelina Fernandes. They have children:
Emilia, Costorina, Yvone, Carlos Nelson, Alberto Lins, Ligia
and Filda. This branch of the family has established in the
area of Niteroi, near Rio de Janeiro.
Carlos Nelson Genn has children: Marcia and Marcus.
Marcia Genn has children: Leonardo, Monica and Flavia.
Alberto Lins Genn has children Eneida Genn and Luiz Gustavo
da Costa Genn.
Carlos Genn married on 2 December 1916 to Maria Adalgisa Arruda
Souto Maior, born 17 October 1895, died 17 May 1955. They had
one child, Maria Emilia Souto Maior Genn, born 21 September
E. S. M. Genn married 6 June 1959 to Manoel de Barros Neto,
born 14 July 1926, died 15 July 1985. Their children are:
Andre Genn de Assunção Barros, born 12 March 1960,
married 12 July 1990 to Valeria Gondim Sampaio, born 9 June
Antonio Carlos Genn de Assunção Barros, b. 15
March 1962, married 23 May 1987, to Edna Natividade da Silva,
6 August 1962.
Joao Mauricio Genn de Assunção Barros, born 23
married, 27 February 1994 to Cristiane Ferreira Gomes, born
29 May 1964.
Manuel Genn de Assunção Barros, born 15 February
married 3 May 1997 to Regina Maria Fotin Barros, born
27 January 1971.
1923 Alberto Carlos Genn purchased a residence at Av. Conselheiro
Rosa e Silva, 1616. Maria E. S. M. Genn was born at this address
and the house, now converted to medical offices, is still owned
by the family.
Matilde Genn married Jose Cassimiro Fernandes Salgueiro. Their
three children are:
Antonio Carlos Genn Salgueiro, born 1922, died 1931.
Maria do Carmo Genn Salgueiro, born 28 January 1924, married
to Goncalo da Silva Aguiar.
Fernando Genn Salgueiro, born 8 July 1926, married to Rosilda
Maciel, and their children are:
Roberto Maciel Salgueiro
Carla Maciel Salgueiro, born 22 June 1963, married to Jhones
Carvalho de Barros.
Paula Maciel Salgueiro, born 22 June 1966 and has a daughter
Fernando Jose Salgueiro, born 3 January 1969.
Renata Maciel Salgueiro, born 12 January 1977.
Diogo Genn (2) died during childhood.
new generation is evolving as follows:
Genn de Assunção Barros and Valeria Barros have
Diego Gondim Genn de Barros, born 6 November 1995.
Carlos Genn de Assunção Barros and Edna da Silva
Barros have a daughter:
da Silva Barros, daughter, born 3 September 1995.
da Silva Barros, son, born 3 September 1998.
Mauricio Genn de Assunção Barros and Cristiane
Ferreira Gomez have children:
Gomes Genn, daughter, born 16 October 1995
Arthur Gomes Genn, son, born 13 April 1997.Manuel
Genn de Assunção Barros and Regina Maris Fotin
Barros have a daughter:
Bruna Fotin Genn Barros, born 10 December 1998.
19 Feb 2004