Joe Silvey ( Joseph Silvey Simmonds), the original “Portuguese Joe” of British Columbia was born on April 23, 1828 in Calheta de Nesquim, parish of Lajes, Pico, Azores; son of Joao Jose de Simas and his wife Francisca Jacinta, paternal grandson of “pay incognito” and maternal grandson of Antonio Silveira Quaresma. He had four brothers and four sisters. Skilled as a fisherman, Joe Silvey was the first one to engage in seine fishing and taught local men and women how to mend and make the nets on seine boats. He is sometimes called the father of seine fishing in British Columbia.
Portuguese Joe’s first wife was Khaltinaht, the daughter of Chief Kiapilano (the one pictured here). They had two little girls when Khaltinaht died in 1871. His second wife, whom he married in his mid 40’s, was Kwahama Kwatleematt, or LucyShe was in her teens and they had 11 children. To learn about this amazing story, visit the library os the Portuguese Pioneers.