19 January 2011

How are the Brandon and Maduro families related?

Judith Maduro Brandon
David Henry Brandon
In July 1879 Judith Maduro married David Henry Brandon in Panama, Republic of Colombia. (Panama was part of Colombia until 1903.) At different times during their marriage they lived in Panama or New York City. They had 13 children, five girls and eight boys. One child died at age two, and the other twelve had a total of 39 children.

Judith Maduro (1862-1940) was born in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. She was the third of eight children born to Esther Piza and Salomon Levy Maduro, both from St. Thomas and with roots in Curacao.

David Henry Brandon (1855-1903) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Esther Athias and Jacob Brandon of Jamaica. The Brandon family, descendants of Portuguese Jews, had migrated to Jamaica from England in the middle and late 1600's.

The Brandon (Brandón) family name sometimes used the original Portuguese spelling of Brandão - pronounced nearly the same as Brandón since the "ão" in Portuguese sounds something like a nasalized "ow" in English.

David Henry Brandon with his brothers Nathaniel and Isaac Brandon founded finance and import firms. He was also elected Commander-in-Chief of the Panama Fire Department, the Cuerpo de Bomberos, to reorganize and modernize that volunteer fire brigade. He was honored a half-century after his 1903 death with this postage stamp. 

Judith Maduro eventually moved to New York with her ten youngest children, and some years later to Havana, Cuba where several of her grown sons lived. She died in Havana in 1940. 

Today there are Brandon-Maduro descendants throughout the U.S. and in Canada, Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, and Israel.


  1. Hi Sita:

    Esther Athias's brother, Joseph, married Amelia DePass and one of their daughters, Sarah Amelia Athias, married Reuben Alexander Alexander, thus tying into the Alexanders who married into the Rodrigues Da Costa family. But you probably know all that!


  2. Thanks, Dorothy. Actually I didn't know that! I don't have any siblings for Esther Athias, and there had also been some question whether her father was of the Athias Robles or Athias Silveyra family.

  3. did david henry brandon have a daughter named rose or diane who died in panama and was married to a george hanbury

  4. Claudia, that wasn't one of his children, and I don't have the name Hanbury in my database.

  5. thank you my mother was born in panama city,her mother was a brandon but we do not know her first name. but we know her famly came from jamaica.my daughter is ill with a blood disorder,and we are trying to find out what my grandmother died of

  6. As Sita knows, i am related to many of those names. My paternal grandmother was a Robles, My maternal grandfather was a Sasso, and maternal grandnother was a Halman