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English-language version of Luistxo Fernandez's blog

Monolingual Basques in Ellis Island

Luistxo Fernandez 2007/09/25 17:33
The New York Times opens its content. No more paid access to their archives. Good news, and already people have put it in use. I see references in Kottke. A similar attempt was carried in the Basque newspaper Berria: they found and portrayed a curious story from 1911, of a group of 150 inmigrants that arrived into Ellis Island with Basque as their only language spoken. Somehow, they manage for communication, hopefully, and then they headed for Idaho.

Attracted by the story, I researched a little bit more in And I found partial records and names of those monolingual Basqques that arrived in that ship, La Touraine, in March 1911.

It's not easy to search for people arriving on a certain date. You have to search for a name... Try with Bustengorry here.

Basques arriving at Ellis Island, 1911

In the results, the ship manifest lets you see the list of people arriving, but I doubt if you get the whole document or the portion where the given name (Bustengorry in our case) appears. But, well, I found people that arrived that day of march, unnamed in the NYT, but now finally public
  • Jean Bustengorry (we would write Buztingorri now, in normalised Basque), from Baigorri
  • Jean Etchegarray (Etxegarai), of Banka
  • Marie Indiana (probably it's Inda), from Aldude
  • Benito Maya (Maia), of Senpere
  • and more
I visited Ellis Island ten years ago, on a trip to the US with my wife. It's an emotive place, worth a visit if you go to New York City. My ethnic impulses were gratified when I saw that the big map in the main hall, listing inmigrant communities in the US by ethnicity, lists Basques distinctly.

Share code snippets and tips with Kelpi

Luistxo Fernandez 2007/09/04 16:43
Kelpi is a new web service and project created by a coleague of mine, Nando Quintana. It's an application to share code snippets, recipes and tips, all free software, with an API and else. Here are some things Nando himself has posted regarding a very promising web project, Freebase.

I'm not a programmer, so I could hardly make any use of it, but nevertheless I sent Nando my wishlist:
  • RSS versions for all pages (already in the workings, as I've learned afterwards)
  • Let the posting interface also show a field for description. Something's coming in this sense.
  • .po based i18n, and then l10n based in so people may contribute with translations.
  • A non-code version. For users like me, of course, but also with some practical uses: Kelpi for haiku exchange, famous quotes repositories... clickable URLs (just another free delicious clone? yes, why not?)
  • Follow list: user and/or tag aggregation: add usernames or tags to a list, and that becomes your "follow list": subscribe to that single RSS to view your personal Kelpi setting. Possible uses: free Twitter clone: in a non-code version where people post "status messages", "presence notes" or any short notices, the follow list becomes a river of tweets that you follow.

Luistxo works in CodeSyntax, tweets as @Luistxo and tries to manage the automated newssite Niagarank. This Cemetery is part of a distributed multilingual blog (?!). These are the Basque and Spanish versions:

Ingelesen hilerria

El cementerio de los ingleses


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