The Granados family comes to America

Ramon Granados Marquez

The information on the Granados family coming to America was compiled by Luis Granados, II (aka "Sonny"), son of Luis Granados, grandson of Ramon Granados and Maria Concepcion Rey.

Please visit the links that follow the information below to trace the full story  story of the Granados emigration to America.


Maria Concepcion Rey Capdevila

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While in Cuba, Ramon Grandos had become friends with General Leonard Wood, the U.S. Commissioner there.  The General urged him to move to America, and helped him get a position as a teacher at the Berlitz School in Washington, D.C.

On July 30, 1910, Ramon left Cadiz for New York on the S.S. Montevideo, arriving on August 10.  He worked in New York as a salesman before going to Washington.  In 1911, he sent for his wife and children, ages 7, 5, 3 and 2.  His mother agreed to help them financially.

Before sailing on the S.S. Manuel Calvo on June 30, 1911, Luis gave his Aunt Cha-Cha a ten centavo coin, saying, “Tia Chacha, para que siempre tengas dinero y te acuerdes de mi.”  (roughly, “so that you always have money and remember me”) Cha-Cha saved the coin, and after she died it was returned to Luis.   

When the family arrived in New York on July 11, Concepcion, who stood 4 ft. 9 inches, only had $10 in cash.  They were met by Ramon and went to live at 816 14th St., N.W. in Washington, D.C. 

Concepcion soon  discovered the house had rats and refused to stay there, so they moved to a large house at 14th and K St., N.W.

Neither the children nor their mother could speak English, so a neighbor took them to a store for food.  Concepcion would cut the labels off the food cans, and the children took these to the store for more.  Luis was sent to St John’s College High School (they had a program for young children) but he said, “all they did was beat hell out of me”.  He then went to the Franklin School, the same place Ramon had gone, where he learned English.  Connie attended the Thompson School kindergarten.

On weekends, the children were taken to Keith’s Theater, to the movies to see Charlie Chaplin, or to Glen Echo amusement park. On Easter Monday, they went to the White House to roll Easter eggs. 

Ramon said that on New Year’s day, President Taft stood in front of the White House and shook hands with the people until his hand bled.

Ramon taught at Georgetown University and St. Johns College High School, and in 1913, after developing a unique way of teaching, established the Spanish School of Washington.  When Mr. Willard, owner of the Willard Hotel, became Ambassador to Spain, he asked Ramon to live with him for three weeks to teach him Spanish.  Willard was then able to converse in Spanish when presented to the King of Spain.

Ramon bought a 4-story house near 15th and K St., using one floor for his school, and another as family living quarters.  He rented the remaining 2 floors and garage. 

During the summers, he conducted tours to Spain with American teachers. 

Prior to World War I, Ramon put up large maps of Europe in D.C. hotels on which he updated the progress of the battle in Europe each day.  He also served in the U.S. Naval Intelligence, traveling to Brazil as a salesman from the Pierce Remedy Company.

In 1912, Ramon, Jr. was born, and Ramon Sr. took all of the children to see their brother.  He pointed out a black baby, saying Ramon was born black, but would turn white after being washed.   

In 1913, when Ramon, Jr. became ill, the family moved to Mt. Ranier, MD, for the summer, where he improved.  They moved there permanently, and Maria and Dolores were born there.  

On January 12, 1917, Angelina was born, and only lived for 27 days.  She was baptized at St. Francis de Sales Church in Mt. Ranier, and died on February 7.  Her death was a severe blow to Concepcion, who described her feelings in a letter to her sister in Spain.

On August 6, 1917, the family became Naturalized U.S. Citizens before the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. (Document No. 798847)  The certificate reads: Ramon Granados Marquez,  residing at 1423 G St., N.W., Washington, DC, at a special term of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia held at Washington is admitted as a citizen of the United States of America.

Also listed are: “Concepcion, 36; Louis Leon, Concepcion, Rosario, Clara Maria, Ramon, Maria Carmen and Delores, ages 13, 11, 9, 7, 5, 3 and 1.  



Granados Coat of Arms

Granados Origins in Spain

Rey Origins in Spain

Granados / Rey families are joined

Narrative by Luis Leon Granados on Emigration






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