Tracing Our Roots: Domingo and Carmen Samson Family History

Carmen Alban Jaucian Samson and her 10 surviving children circa 1920s.

The family photo represents my Samson ancestors led by my great-grandmother Carmen Jaucian Samson or Lola Mameng. This picture was taken during the mid to late 1920s since my grandfather, Jose Sr., looks like he was in his preteens or early teens. 

Lolo Ping is the youngest of siblings and never knew his father, Domingo. He was on the left-most part of the picture sitting on the floor. 

Domingo and Carmen had 10 children who survived beyond childhood: Paz Justina, Gerardo, Melania, Felicidad, Anacleto, Macario, Rafel, CUstodia, Agaton, and Jose. 

Based on family lore, our great-grandfather Domingo died at the hands of pirates when he was traveling from Albay to Manila (somewhere in Camarines del Sur). The family was able to recover his ring finger and recognized it because the ring was still intact. 

The photo of Domingo Solano Samson was taken between 1903-1912 during the American Colonial Period. This is the only known photo of Domingo Samson. During the June 12, 1898, Declaration of Independence in Cavite, he was appointed by Emilio Aguinaldo to create an Assembly or Council in Albay. 

Domingo was a delegate to the Malolos Congress of 1898.  I can only imagine how it must have felt for him to be in the same room with Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, Juan Luna, Antonio Luna, Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, etc. 

During the American Colonial Period, he played a large role in Albay Politics. He became one of the first Filipino Civilian Albay Governors. 

Domingo Solano Samson circa 1903-1912

Another fascinating tidbit that connects my Kapampangan roots to my Bicolano roots was during the September 29, 1898, Malolos Banquet. The main chefs or cooks of the banquet were from Apalit, Pampanga. 

Most of my Lolo's brothers and sisters died very young. Some died of cancer, others died of other illnesses like Tuberculosis which was a menace during the early half of the 20th century. They were in their 30s or 40s. Lolo Ping died in 1970 at age 54. His two sisters Paz (Citang) and Nita (Custodia) died in their 80s (1984) and 90s (2002).

My brothers and I have a lot of fond memories of our grandaunt, Lola Nita. Sometime in 2000/2001, I had several conversations with Lola Nita and jotted down our family tree with her help. Her mind was still very sharp considering she was already 89 or 90 years old at that time. She was even able to endure the 12-hour road trip from Albay to Manila with us during those years. 

Her deduction on why her siblings died early from various illnesses or developed cancer was because of the heavy use of Salitre which is a food preservative chemical. In the era of no refrigeration or no electricity in the provinces, preserving meats and other foods were the norm. They would butcher a whole cow and prepare tapa. If it's a hog or pig, they'll prepare tocino or longganiza. 

I'm in the process of researching our family history and will write more about it soon.