The US Lagos-Besteiro Family:

A History-2

1912 to 1921: The New York Years (& a return to Havana)

By Emilito
Rev. 2005-02-08

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1912: the start of the New York years. When Antonio Lagos got off the boat from Havana on 13 February 1912 he listed his destination as "Hotel American, NY City." Where that was, Emilito does not know, and in fact he has seen so many people headed for "Hotel American NY City" on Ellis Island manifests that he suspects it is a synonym for "I don't know."  He does, however, know whither Pepita and her 3 children said they were heading on their September 18 arrival: 290 West 12th Street.  Located in the part of Greenwich Village known as the "West Village," it is near the corner of West 4th Street (Emilito found to his surprise that not all NY numbered streets are parallel (although winding West 4th Street is the only numbered "Street" to intersect with other numbered "Streets" in Manhattan).

The current (2005) location of 290 West 12th Street is shown on the photograph below. The building now there was constructed in 1965; only the tall building at the far corner is the same as in 1912 (Emilito found information which was very helpful in studying old family addresses at  Incidentally, Emilito found, in that tall building which is 302 West 12th Street, condominiums selling in 2005 for more than a million dollars.

290 W. 12th Street on 1/1/2005
The 3rd house from the corner is the current 290-294 W. 12th St. (1/1/2005)
Photo taken facing west from the intersection of W. 12th St. and W. 4th St.
The tall 17-story) building, 302 W. 12th, is the only building that predates 1912.

Emilito adds a quick caveat: although the address as given on the Ellis Island Manifest was 12th Street, Carmen wrote that "
Our first home, I heard, was on 14th Street near Jane and Union Square.."  While the 12th Street house is only a stone's throw from Jane, it is a few blocks from Union Square.  Emilito suspects that the 12th Street address is correct, but as will be made clear later, the Ellis Island manifests are far from perfect.

1913-14: guess what?  If your answer was, "More babies," you'd be right.  When Dolores Lagos was born in New York on 31 July 1913, Emilito's Maina had given birth to 4 babies within a 33-month period.  Perhaps she cried for a brief respite, because Antonio was not born until 31 October 1914, a whopping 15 months and 18 days later. 

By the time of baby Antonio's birth the family had moved uptown to 239 E. 79th Street, near the corner of 2nd Avenue.  We know this because on the 12th of November 1914 Papa's brother Manuel, his wife Victorina (Maina's mother, for those that have been following Emilito's saga), and Victorina's youngest child, Isabel BESTEIRO GRACCIANI (yes, she was GRACCIANI whereas Pepita was GRACIANI; Emilito notes that this spelling issue will be a subject of a future treatise), landed at Ellis Island.  They gave their destination as "239 E. 79th Street for 15 days Bro. Antonio."  The family had moved to the Upper East Side.

Antonio with Carmen and Manuel at 239 E 79th
Antonio Lagos (Papa) with children Carmen and Manuel at 239 E. 79th Street
Probably taken in the Fall of 1914

239 E. 79th Street on 1/1/2005
239 E. 79th St. on 1/1/2005 (far right house, corner of 2nd Avenue)
View to the NW is from the SE corner of 2nd Avenue
This building, now legally "1523-1535 2nd Avenue," was built in 1957.
The former corner lot was 245, and the 4-story building to the left is 237,
so old 239 would have occupied the left corner of the current corner building

E 79th from E - 2nd to 3rd Aves
This is the view, from roughly the same spot, in May 1919.
This is likely very simlilar to that in 1914
Note the 3rd Ave "El" (elevated train), now gone, in the background.
239 would on the right nearest the camera, but poasibly cut off.
E 79th St from SW in 1920s
This is 221 to 245 E 79th from the SW.  The far building is the corner of 2nd Ave.
Photo taken in 1930, the year the tall buildings in the middle were built.
The 5 story bldg (4th from far corner & sticking up one story) is probably the 239 where Lagoses lived.

Emilito would like to note that although the Ellis Island manifests have been very useful in his research, this particular ship's manifest illustrates just a tiny number of ways in which so-called "documentation" can be misleading.

The three passengers were listed as "Manuel Lagos," "Victorina Graciana," and "Isabel B. Graciana."  Therefore a search for either "Victorina Graciani," or "Isabel Besteiro," or even "Victorina Lagos" or "Victorina De Lagos" would have come up empty. Only through the good fortune (from Emilito the researcher's point of view, anyway) of traveling with Manuel Lagos were they able to be spotted on this trip's manifest.

Ellis Island Manifest showing misspellings
1914 Ellis Island Manifest Showing Misspelling (and age "error")

Also, one of the items the Ellis Island database ( asks you to enter when searching for ancestors is "approximate year of birth." Well, Victorina put down her age as 42.  Subtracting her birth date (23 March 1862) from the arrival date, we get 52.  An inadvertent mistake?  Read on.

Victorina Graciani: liar! liar! pants on fire!  Victorina is in the Ellis Island database at least five times.  Besides the fact that she is not listed twice under the same name, her declaration of age is no less inconsistent.

Listed as                  Arrival Date   accompanied by   listed age   Actual age   Difference
Victorina Graciana   1914-11-12      Manuel, Isabel          42         52                 10
Victorina G Lagos    1915-08-18      no one                     45         53                  8
Victorina Lagos        1920-04-20      3 Besteiros               45         58                 13
Victorina Graciani    1922-11-21      no one, "single"          48         60                 12        
Victorina De Lagos   1924-04-07     Manuel                     52        62                 10

So, briefly ignoring the name issue, if you knew her year of birth was 1862 and you used this search field and put in the biggest range allowed in the search, +/- 7 years, you would have missed all these arrivals.

Oddly, on the 1922 trip she was listed as "single."  This seems to be an interesting - if confusing - era for Manuel and Victorina, but as it happened after the New York years it will not be dealt with here.  What stories one can imagine, ponders Emilito, if one just reads between the lines.

Perhaps of interest as well, but no longer surprising, given the lack of consistency in Ellis Island records, is that in the 1924 trip Victorina De Lagos was indexed under "L," whereas her daughter on her 1917 trip from Havana (discussed below) was listed as Josefa Delagos, indexed under "D."

1914-17: Tragedies, radical solutions, war.  1914 ended, and 1915 started, with double family tragedies.  On 30 December, baby Antonio died, a day short of 2 months old.  Less than 3 weeks later, Lolita, nearly a year and a half old, died as well.

Their sister Carmen, Emilito's mother, noted that Antonio died of an infection in his navel which was probably caused by a coin the midwife put over it to flatten it.  Lolita died of whooping cough. 

Not leaving well enough alone, Emilito went to NY in early 2005 and was able to track down their death certificates and get a copy at the NY Municipal Archives at 31 Chambers Street.  On the death certificate for Dolores, "cause of death" was listed as "Cardiac Incompetency and Broncho-pneumonia."  Another field, "Contributory," said "Gastro-enteritis."

And Antonio? His death certificate said the cause of death was "Gastro-enteritis."  Contributory? "Malnutrition of mother."

Emilito has no idea if these differing sets of words can be reconciled.  He does admit to initially being astonished at the "malnutrition of mother" phrase.  Then he remembered the story of Uncle Manny's failing health on board ship from Spain to Cuba, and how a wet-nurse found on board was needed to nurse him back to health.

Another reason Emilito wanted to see the death certificates is that he thought to himself, "Gee, they're probably buried somewhere." And, in fact, both children were listed as being buried in Calvary Cemetery.  Emilito looked very hard to find a Calvary Cemetery in Manhattan but his searches for this cemetery were continually cluttered by references to a Calvary Cemetery in Woodside, Queens.  "They would never have had them buried in Queens," thought Emilito.  That is, until he found a Newsday article online entitled "The Cemetery Belt: Why does Queens have so many cemeteries? Answers go back to mid-1800s Manhattan."  It turns out that as early as the 1830s, Manhattan church graveyards were no longer sufficient to bury the dead, and "the churches looked to rural Queens."  In 1852 the Common Council of New York City (then consisting only of Manhattan) passed a law prohibiting any more burials."  Click here to see the article.

Another interesting item on the death certificate - under "character of premises,"  it states "tenement."   Emilito always thought that tenements were apartments where only hopelessly poor people lived.  This family, however, from all accounts was not hopelessly poor. Poor enough, he guesses.  Even on the world-wide-web it is not easy to find some clear distinction between tenement apartments and non-tenement apartments.

So - was there any way of finding out exactly where Antonio and Dolores were buried?  Are their graves marked?  Emilito sent a letter to Calvary Cemetery and got a quite surprising response: click here to see it.

At any rate, back to the deaths of the children:
"Fortunately," wrote Carmen, "Aunt Betty (Isabel BESTEIRO GRACCIANI) was staying with us at the time, which made it possible for Maina to stay with us children while she accompanied Papa to each of the funerals."

Speaking of "Aunt Betty," Emilito would like to grumble about just how much the family overcompensated in trying to assimilate to its new country.  Maina's sister Isabel was introduced to us kids, norteamericanos all, as "Aunt Betty,"  and her brother Domingo was "Uncle Dominic."  Tío Domingo's son Ricardo Besteiro was ""Richard."  Etcetera.  And Emilito's father himself, when he became a US citizen, changed his name from "Emilio SIGNES MONFORT" to "Emil Monfort SIGNES."  After some agonizing, his parents listed Emilito as "Emil George" on his birth certificate.  In retrospect, Emilito thinks these were all unfortunate choices.

When Victorina visited in August 1915, she listed as her destination the Lagos family at 344 E. 85th Street, a few blocks uptown in a neighborhood called Yorkville. 

344 E. 85th St on 1/1/2005
Facing west.  The house with the awning is the current 344-348 East 85th Street (1/1/2005)
The house pictured here was built in 1920, 5 years after the family lived at this address.

We have no known photos of either Antonio or the first Lolita. In Antonio's case, it's understandable, as he died at 2 months.  But for Lolita to have lived for a year and half without a photo being taken is surprising.

1915 is a blank.  Besides Victorina's August visit, we have no photos of anyone, no historical tidbits, nothing. 

Maina was convinced that New York was cursed, and refused to have any more children there.  So, when (inevitably, as we must know by now) she became pregnant again in early 1916, she insisted on having her baby born in Havana.  Sometime in late 1916 (we don't know exactly when, because we have no departure records and Emilito is not yet psychologically prepared for repeat days-long examinations of Diario de la Marina) she packed up Carmen, Manny and Vicky and headed to Havana. 

The photos below, taken in late 1916, were shared among the separated family members. The caption of the first is "Antonio Lagos Toledo solito en Nueva York" (Antonio alone in New York). The next two are of Carmen and Vicky in Havana (aged 6 and 4, respectively).

Antonio alone in New York late 1916
Antonio Lagos alone in NY: late 1916

Carmen and Vicky studio photos, Dec. 1916
The two Lagos sisters - L to R Carmen and Vicky - in Havana, December 1916

The 2nd Dolores (the one all of us knew and loved) was born in Havana on New Year's Day 1917.  The name on her birth certificate?
María de los Dolores Emilia Manuela Lagos y Besteiro.

1917 Birth Announcement of Dolores Lagos
Announcement of Dolores Lagos birth and baptism

Emilito remembers, when he was very young,
his Aunt Dee Dee (Dolores AKA Lolita) would tell him that she was celebrating her 21st birthday each and every New Year's Day .  Being quite good at math even at an early age, he was quite impressed by this annual feat, equating it on the miracle scale perhaps with a virgin birth (whatever that might be).

The address in Havana where Lolita was born was given as San Lázaro 198, an oft-referenced family address in Havana.  When Emilito was there in 1999, however, there was no 198: either it was torn down or - what Emilito thinks is more likely - the house numbers in Havana changed sometime during the 20th century.

Pepita and kids were certainly in no hurry to leave Cuba as March 1917 found them still lollygagging around Havana.  Late that month, however, they received a letter (or possibly a telegram) from Antonio in New York advising them to return home immediately.  According to his information, the US was about to declare war on Germany, which would likely make it impossible for them to return during its duration. 

When she and her children (Carmen, Manuel, Victorina and the baby Dolores) prepared to depart from Havana, it was discovered that Manuel had pink eye and he was forbidden to leave.  Afraid to delay their trip because of her husband's admonition, she boarded the boat with the other kids and left Manuel in the care of his grandmother and tía Isabel (Aunt Betty) for approximately 2 years.  The boat, the S.S. Mexico, left Havana at 29 March 1917 and arrived in New York on 2 April.  The US declared war on Germany on 6 April.

April 1917: return to NY.  When they arrived, they headed to 12 E. 46th Street - the Lagoses were now in Midtown.

12 E 46th from West of 5th Avenue
12 E. 46th Street is across 5th Ave, on the right, 4th building from corner
Photo taken 1/1/2005.   Heide Ruppel (Signes) is buying a pretzel.

Or were they? 

Or were they?

Emilito has always suspected this address, although it is clearly the one given in the Ellis Island Manifest.  It didn't make sense (although it was possible) for them to briefly move from the Upper East Side to Midtown and then back.  More importantly, Emilito's mother never mentioned this address.  Finally, this is not a residential neighborhood, and Emilito was pretty sure that it wasn't back then either.

Emilito had a bright idea!  A work address!  Early in 2005, remembering that his Papa had worked for the Cortina Academy of Languages while in New York, Emilito took to Google.  Somehow (and he has not found his way there since!) he found a list of City Directories of the United States. There it was - from R. L. Polk & Co's Trow General & Business Directory of the Boroughs of Manhattan & Bronx City of New York, New York for 1917 - Cortina R D Academy of Languages (R D Cortina Co) 12 E 46th!   Emilito considers this one of those rare strokes of genius that sometimes surprise him.

Cortina location - 12 E 46 St - in 2005
12 East 46th Street (David Electronics sign) in 2005
Built in 1915, this building is where Cortina was located in 1917

So - one hopes they didn't sleep on the floor of Papa's office.  Emilito can imagine a couple of scenarios; he favors the following.  344 East 85th Street was too small for 4 children. 
Poor procrastinating Papa promised Pepita larger Lagos living quarters, but with the sooner-than-anticipated US involvement in World War I, couldn't deliver in time. He therefore instructed them to put the Cortina address on the manifest. By the time they arrived he promised he would have a place to stay.

This may be the place to discuss the question of Antonio's employment in New York.  Emilito does not have an entire 1912-1921 employment history, but it appears that for most of those years Antonio was employed by the Cortina Academy of Languages.  The Cortina Academy of Languages was founded in 1882 by Professor Rafael Díaz de la Cortina and originated the recorded method of language learning, using early cylinders developed for Cortina by Thomas Edison.  The company continues today as Cortina Learning International, located in Wilton, CT (

Antonio's daughter Carmen wrote that Antonio was "
chief instructor and manager" at the Cortina Academy of Languages. "Papa taught at Cortina," wrote Carmen, " . . . and sold their language records at seminars of big business Boards of Directors, which were trying to encourage their managers to learn foreign languages so as to broaden their business base abroad." As well, it appears, as teaching foreigners coming to the US.  Emilito also notes that in his inherited record collection he has several 12" diameter 78 rpm Cortina instructional records.

Label of Cortina Instructional Record
An English Lesson on a 12" 78-rpm Cortina record

Speaking of old 12" 78 rpm records, Emilito also inherited a bunch of music on this medium, among which are found several early Pablo Casals performances.  He reckons that these, too, were part of Antonio's acquisitions during the New York era.

Label of Pablo Casals 12" 78 rpm record
Early Pablo Casals performance on 12" 78 rpm record.
Note Casals' "signature" impressed into the label margin.

So anyway, where was the new family household? The next address on record is that which tía Joaquina (see below) listed on the Ellis Island manifest on her August visit, 526 East 83rd Street, another house in the Yorkville neighborhood.  As no other address was mentioned, Emilito reckons that this was the family's most likely destination.  If true, it would mean they lived there for more than 4 years, nearly half the family's stay in New York.

Carmen Lagos wrote that "our last home in that city was at 526 East 83rd Street.  This was near the East River where there was a park where we went roller skating. . . Uncle Mannie said the house had been torn down to build a highway." 

From Emilito's perspective, this would have been a sad fate. But Uncle Manny had been wrong.  The house is still there, between East End and York Avenues; the highway - the FDR Drive - is more than a block away.  The park in question may well be the Carl Schurz Park on E. 86th Street adjacent to the East River, which was dedicated in 1902.

Not only is there a building there, it is the same building in which the family lived, as it was built in 1900.  Emilito could not find a picture of the building from those years, but right now it is a beautiful house in a very beautiful neighborhood (see below).  It is also the very first place that the entire family - Maina and Papa and their six surviving kids - ever lived together.

526 W. 83rd on 1/1/2005
Last NY address - 526 E. 83rd (blue house on right) - between East End and York Aves
Photo taken 1/1/2005.  The East River is one block to the left.
This house was built in 1900, so is the one in which the family lived.

Carmen Skating in Park on E 86th Street
The caption on this picture reads
"Carmen skating in New York on East End Avenue and 86th Street."
Surely this Carl Schurz Park, and the year is approximately 1920

For a map of the family addresses in Manhattan, click here.

1917-18: Tía Joaquina visits.
  The "US Lagos family" is but one branch of three families that moved to Cuba in the early 1900s.  Not all of its connections are Lagos or Besteiro descendants.  One of these is tía Joaquina Lorenzo.  Emilito will deal with these "outliers" on the tree in a chapter on his Cuban family.  At any rate, Maina's Aragonese grandmother, Joaquina LORENZO BLAS, had a brother Baltasar, whose daughter Joaquina LORENZO GÓMEZ joined the family in Cuba at some as-yet undetermined time in early the early 1900s (her presence at Maina and Papa's wedding in Havana was a topic in the previous chapter).  Joaquina joined her relatives in the US for about a year in 1917-1918 during which time she was "in charge of" Dolores.  Besides the wedding story, there are a couple more tía Joaquina stories that have survived to this day.

One is that, after Charlie's birth in 1918, she was reputed to say (according to the story as smilingly propagated by Dolores),  "¿Por qué has tenido que dar luz a éste? Le está molestando a mi pequeñita."  (Why did you bring him into the world?  He's annoying my little one.)

Also, there was a time while she was in New York that there was a bread shortage, but as she walked down the street one day, she smelled bread, and sighed longingly, "Hmm . . . bread."  A man who had been "secretly" making bread found this amusing, and gave her a loaf.  Antonio Lagos was amazed that she, who couldn't speak English, could procure bread, while he had had no luck in his efforts to do so.
Joaquina Lorenzo Gómez in 1910s
Joaquina Lorenzo Gómez, Victorina's 1st cousin, Dolores' "guardian"
Picture was in Carmen Lagos's 1910 decade book

1918: The family continues to grow.  As noted, Pepita arrived in New York on 2 April 1917. An Emilito pop quiz: when do you think her next child was born?  I'm sure you're not far off: Uncle Charlie was born on 16 January 1918, just 9 months 14 days after her arrival.  Yes, I know: it's not really a surprise, is it?

Carlos Antonio Lagos (although Emilito was not able to get his actual birth certificate, he found him in the index to Manhattan births, where he is listed as "Carlos A J.," at the New York Public Library).  A.J., huh? We're missing his second middle name.  Carlos was born in New York, and as he lived to the age of 80 finally broke the Lagos NY curse (a NY curse broken in the same year, Emilito is curious to note, that the Red Sox NY curse was born . . . )

Given her disenchantment with NY, why didn't Pepita go back to Cuba to have Charlie?  Emilito does not remember ever discussing this with her daughters, but it is certainly possible that one reason was the fact that World War I was still raging with the US was now a full participant. And also, geez, she had just gotten home!

After the death of their two children, Antonio and Pepita named their next daughter Dolores (AKA Lolita) just as they'd named their earlier daughter (sometimes referred to within the family as "the first Lolita"). When it came to their next son, however, he was not named Antonio, but Carlos - a name that can be found nowhere within either Lagos or Besteiro lines.  Emilito asked his aunts Dee and Jo "Why?" The answer he received was that they were told that Charlie was named after one of Antonio's co-employees at Cortina.

1919: Manuel returns?  There was no child activity in 1919, which in fact from a documentation point of view is a very quiet year.

Although not documented, it is the general consensus that late 1919 or early 1920 marked the return of Manolo to the US.
While in Havana we know that he attended the "Colegio Besteiro," a school run by his tío Domingo.

Manuel Lagos at Colegio Besteiro 1918
At Colegio Besteiro, 1918.  Manuel Lagos is front center, right in front of his tío Domingo

While in Cuba, Manolo also made good friends with Oscarito González, a relative of Mario García, Aunt Betty's fiancé. Oscarito would later (1924, at age 14) come to Paterson to spend some time with the family and at school where apparently he charmed the girls. When last heard from (in the 1970s, although we know he is now dead), Oscarito was living in difficult circumstances in the US.  He had escaped Cuba on the same plane as Fulgencio Batista and was later sentenced to death in absentia by the government of Fidel Castro.

Family history has it that Uncle Manny's tío Manuel brought him back, but they apparently didn't go through Ellis Island and Emilito has found no documentation for the return.

1920: The first census and the last child.  The first census to list the Lagos family (all but Josephine, who was born on 13 January 1920, 4 days after the enumerator arrived) found them still living at 526 E. 83rd Street. 

Facade of 526 E 83rd in 2005
Facade of 526 East 83rd Street on 1/1/2005

Emilito has yet to see his Aunt Jo Jo's birth certificate, but she has told him that it is virtually useless, as her name as spelled looked like "Bogos." In fact, a search of the Manhattan birth index at the New York Public Library uncovered no Lagoses, but there was an index entry to a "Josephine T. Bogose" born on January 13.  Emilito has been spoiled by Spanish and Cuban documentation, which is orders of magnitude better than that he has found in the US.

Also documented in 1920 was the first "mass visit" of Cuban family members to visit the US relatives, visits (both ways) that would continue unabated until the 2nd year of the Castro era.  Emilito will dedicate an entire chapter of this web site to "the Cuban cousins."

At any rate, the visitors arrived on 24 April 1920 (Emilito's daughter Heide's "minus 50th" birthday).  They were headed by Victorina and bound for 526 East 83rd Street. Curiously, Victorina listed that she was going to visit her husband there, so it is possible that when tío Manuel brought Manolo home, as noted above, he just stayed in New York.  This might argue for a 1920 Manolo return date, but one never knows.  Emilito will pursue this mystery (there are no Ellis Island records).

Other members of the traveling party were Mercedes LORET DE MOLA BETANCOURT, tío Domingo's wife, and her children Ricardo (age 3) and Miguel Ángel (age 1) BESTEIRO LORET DE MOLA,. They listed their length of stay as 5 months.

Mercedes Loret de Mola in 1919
Mercedes Loret de Mola in 1919, the year prior to visiting NY

1921: Goodbye, New York.  Sometime during the year 1921 the family packed up and headed to Paterson.  The circumstances of how they ended up there are unclear, but as in many cases, Emilito's mother had written the "official family" story which goes something like this, as transcribed by Emilito's cousin Chipilina in the 1992 family reunion book.

"A colleague of Papa's at Cortina applied for teaching positions in Paterson High School and at the University of Indiana at the same time.  He was accepted at both of them.  Very embarrassed, he said to Papa, "I told both of them that I would be available for the coming term, and now I have to let one of them down.  Antonio, the honor of Spain is at stake!  Won't you take one of them?

"Because of the fragmented hours at the Cortina Academy, they had no problems finding teachers, so that they would not be hurting the school.  Papa knew he couldn't even think of moving to Indiana with six children, but said he would consider the Paterson offer.  After an interview and a review of credentials, he was accepted and for several years he commuted by train."

Another story from the Lagos family oral collection. Take it for whatever it may be worth.

Emilito can shed a little documented light on the chronology at least.  He has a letter to Antonio Lagos from the Paterson Superintendent of Public Instruction, John Wilson, that indicates Antonio was appointed on a substitute basis on September 1, 1919 and as a regular teacher on February 1, 1921. Antonio would have had only five children at the time he made this commitment, but Emilito supposes he knew a sixth was "on deck."

This chapter, vivíparo as it is, continues to grow out of Emilito's control, but he would like to briefly mention one more piece of information.  Emilito has in his possession another letter, this one a "To Whom It May Concern" letter from A. Edward Wupperman of Cortina, a glowing recommendation for Antonio.  Emilito's mother comments at the bottom of this letter "My note of an interesting fact: Mr. Wupperman was a brother of a then famous actor, a very urbane gentleman who, I think, went by the name of Frank Morgan."  Well he may have been famous then, but he remained famous and is still famous now: Francis Philip Wupperman, alias Frank Morgan, was the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz.  But enough of other people's family connections. We have plenty of our own to explore.

As Emilito believes the family moved to Paterson somewhere around mid-1921, this would mean Antonio commuted from NY to Paterson for about two years.  Whether he continued to work part-time for Cortina, we don't know.  Most likely not, as his 1921 MA from Columbia suggests he must also have been studying part-time in that time.

Antonio's MA picture follows, and Emilito has a copy of the Columbia diploma, awarded on 23 February 1921.  Emilito, by the way, has absolutely no idea where (if) Antonio got his bachelor's degree.  But why sweat the small stuff?

Antonio Lagos in cap and gown - 1921
Antonio Lagos in cap and gown as a Columbia MA recipient

It is still unclear as to exactly when they left New York, but a picture taken of Dolores on April 13 indicates that it almost certainly was after that. 

The older Lagos kids remembered the trip well.  Carmen writes that "the moving presented a problem.  [Papa] hired the Lombardo movers, relatives of a former student.  Upon seeing what was to be taken, the mover came up with the idea of setting up the living room furniture in the truck and having the family sit in it.  Thus the Lagos-Besteiro family made its entrance into Paterson comfortably seated on their own sofa and chairs, seeing everything through the iron fence-like back of the truck."  Furthermore, Emilito notes that as the Holland Tunnel, the first Hudson River road crossing, was not built until 1927, the family would have had to cross the river by ferry.  Emilito thinks it sounds like a hoot. 

Lolita in NY 13 April 1921
Lolita in NY, 13 April 1921
Caption: "Para mi maina"  (to my Maina, i.e. Victorina Graciani)

Is this the last picture taken while the Lagos family were still New Yorkers?

The New York era ended as the Lombardo truck rumbled towards the Lagos family's first house in Paterson (321 Market Street).  From that time, for more than 40 years - well into the 1960s -, the entire Lagos nuclear and extended family lived in or within 5 miles of Paterson.  The saga continues, just 20 miles away from 526 E. 83rd, in part 3 of Emilito's US Lagos series.  The Paterson era begins.

US Lagos History 1 - 1909-1912: Cuba and Spain
US Lagos History 2 - 1912-1921: The New York Years
US Lagos History 3 - 1921-1934: Paterson - the single years
US Lagos History 4 - 1934-1947: Paterson - the Lagos kids get married
US Lagos History 5 - 1937-1961: Paterson - grandchildren
US Lagos History 6 - The Lagos Diaspora

<------ Am looking for any pictures of Carlos and/or Josephine, in New York  --------------->
<------ Am looking for any pictures of Pepita AND Antonio together in New York  --------------->

Chapter END

Appendix 1
Cast of Characters

Antonio LAGOS TOLEDO - AKA Papa - the grandfather of Emilito's generation
Josefa (Pepita) BESTEIRO GRACIANI - AKA Maina - the grandmother of Emilito's generation
Victorina GRACIANI LORENZO - Maina's mother and "the first Maina."  This was a name given her by her eldest granddaughter Carmen Lagos, who mispronounced "Mama Victorina." 
Manuel LAGOS TOLEDO - Papa's brother and Victorina's husband
Carmita LAGOS BESTEIRO - Emilito's mother and Maina and Papa's first child
Manuel (Manolo) LAGOS BESTEIRO - AKA Manny - Maina and Papa's second child.
Victorina LAGOS BESTEIRO - AKA Vicky - Maina and Papa's third child
Dolores [the first] LAGOS [BESTEIRO] - Maina and Papa's fourth child (1913-1915)
Antonio LAGOS [BESTEIRO] - Maina and Papa's fifth child (1914-1914)
Dolores (Lolita) LAGOS BESTEIRO - AKA Lola, Lolita, Dee, Dee Dee - Maina and Papa's sixth (fourth surviving) child
Carlos LAGOS [BESTEIRO] - AKA Charlie - Maina and Papa's seventh (fifth surviving) child
Josephine LAGOS [BESTEIRO] - AKA Jo, Jo Jo, Piti - Maina and Papa's eighth (sixth surviving) child
Joaquina LORENZO GÓMEZ - Victorina's first cousin who appears in both the Cuba and New York parts of this narrative.
Domingo BESTEIRO GRACIANI - AKA tío Domingo and Uncle Dominic - Maina's older brother, lived in Havana
Isabel BESTEIRO GRACCIANI - AKA tía Isabel and Aunt Betty - Maina's younger sister, lived in Havana
Mercedes LORET DE MOLA BETANCOURT - Maina's sister-in-law and Uncle Dominic's wife
Ricardo BESTEIRO LORET DE MOLA - AKA Richard.  Domingo and Mercedes' oldest son
Miguel Ángel BESTEIRO LORET DE MOLA - Domingo and Mercedes' second son

Emilito - Emil SIGNES, son of Carmen LAGOS BESTEIRO.  Emilio SIGNES LAGOS in his Spanish incarnation, Emilito to his parents and to all his Cuban relatives, and also Emiliet to his Valencian father.

Appendix 2.  Addresses in New York: a timeline

1912   from 18 Sep          290 West 12th Street (or was it 14th? - see text)
1913   entire year              possibly split between W. 12th Street and E. 79th Street.  Or one or the other. No data.
1914   before Oct to end   239 East 79th Street
1915   split                         year began at 239 East 79th.  By 18 August they were at 344 East 85th Street
1916   entire year               either 344 East 85th Street or Antonio moved by himself at year's end
1917   entire year               first part unclear, from April on it was 526 East 83rd Street
1918   entire year               526 East 83rd Street
1919   entire year               526 East 83rd Street
1920   entire year               526 East 83rd Street
1921   split                        until mid-year, 526 East 83rd Street; later 321 Market Street, Paterson, NJ

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