Monday, December 30, 2013

Genealogy and the Internet: Looking at the Rivera-Kipping Family Tree

Leonor Rivera, Rizal's great love
(from Austin Craig's book)
Last June I wrote about JoseRizal's genealogy as traced through the book by Austin Craig. Although it would have made better sense to probably write another aspect of Rizal's family history today I believe that his genealogy has been, and still is, discussed ad nauseum that I feel we should go another path on his death anniversary. So today, I think it would be nice to trace the ancestors of the man who eventually married the real Maria Clara, as well as trace the Filipino descendants of this couple.

This again is another exercise at doing genealogy using the internet.

A young Leonor as sketched by Rizal
(from Austin Craig's book)
One of Jose Rizal's lovers, perhaps his truest love among all the women in his life, was Leonor Rivera, the inspiration for the character of Maria Clara in his novel Noli Mi Tangere. Their love story was doomed from the very start. According to the descendants of Leonor Rivera it was Leonor's mother who was a strong opponent of the match between Rizal and Leonor. In an interview one descendant said that Leonor's mother, Silvestra Bauzon Rivera, did not want a “radical” to be her daughter’s husband and preferred that she married Henry Charles Kipping, who was part of the team that laid the groundwork for the Manila-Dagupan railway. This opposition has been confirmed from various sources and written about in almost all the biographies of Jose Rizal.

In Austin Craig's biography of Rizal he wrote that Rizal had thoughts of an early marriage. These, however, were "overruled because his unmarried sisters did not desire to have a sister-in-law in their home who would add to the household cares but was not trained to bear her share of them, and even Paciano, who was in his favor, thought that his younger brother would mar his career by marrying early."

After Rizal left for Europe he and Leonor promised to each that they would continue their relationship through correspondence but few and few letters arrived both ways. The reason for this, according to Leonor's descendants, is that "Silvestra asked the postmaster to hold letters from Rizal to Rivera, and those being sent by Rivera to Rizal." 

Craig's biography confirms this, stating that "Leonor’s mother had been told that it was for the good of her daughter’s soul and in the interest of her happiness that she should not become the wife of a man like Rizal, who was obnoxious to the Church and in disfavor with the government. So, by advice, Mrs. Rivera gradually withheld more and more of the correspondence upon both sides, until finally it ceased. And she constantly suggested to the unhappy girl that her youthful lover had forgotten her amid the distractions and gayeties of Europe."

Leonor eventually succumbed to her family's wishes and married the Englishman Charles Henry Porter Kipping.

The Kipping History

The Kipping family traces its origins to Hadlow, Kent, England and before Charles Henry Kipping sailed to the Philippines most of the Kippings were staying in Hadlow. The Deverell and Beadsmoore Family Tree page in shows that Charles Henry's birth records are not available but his baptism was recorded on February 17, 1860. He was the son of Charles Kipping and Mary Sarah Porter. Both Kipping and Porter families were from Kent, though the Porters came from Chart Sutton rather than Hadlow. They were also first cousins.

Charles Kipping, born in 1829, was the son of William Kipping and Caroline Kettle. Mary Sarah's parents were John Porter and Maria Kipping. Charles Kipping, Sr. and Maria Kipping were the children of Thomas Kipping and Mary Ash. The Deverell and Beadsmoore Family Tree page ends with this couple.

With just a few more searches I stumbled upon an online international directory of grave monuments, similar to Find A Grave which gives us a few more generations of the Kipping family. Added with the data already encoded in FamilySearch, we get a clearer picture of the Kipping family of Hadlow, Kent.

The aforementioned Thomas Kipping was one of 6 children of William Kipping and Mary. His siblings were Elizabeth, Ann, Mary, Easton, and Hannah.

William Kipping was the son of John and Elizabeth Kipping. His 4 siblings were Thomas, Henry, Elizabeth, and Jane. All were born and probably died in St. Mary's Chapel, Hadlow, Kent.

There are many more names available in parish records going back to the 16th century but they are a little difficult to connect to John Kipping for now. So this is where we end the tracing of the Kipping family for the moment.

Leonor’s Descendants

Leonor Rivera and Charles Henry Kipping had two children, though the second child's name has not always been written down in online sources. In fact, it was the birth of this second child which led to the early death of Leonora. Her elder child, Carlos, married Lourdes Romulo. This marriage connected the Rivera-Kipping family to the Romulos of Tarlac whose one member, Carlos, would later become a famous Filipino diplomat, eventually becoming President of the UN General Assembly. Carlos and Lourdes had Carlos, Jr., Linda, Araceli, and Remedios. Remedios Kipping would,in 1933, become the Queen of the Camiling Fair in Tarlac. She later married Cesar Jimenez and had the following children: Miguel, Meddie, Anna, Rita, Jimmy, and Josefina.

The family today continues to be hounded by reporters and historians no matter how far removed they are from Leonor Rivera generation-wise. Each year they participate in wreath-laying ceremonies on the occasion of Rizal's death anniversary.

Despite the failed love affair of Rizal and Rivera their descendants continue to be interconnected. Silvestra Bauzon de Rivera might have succeeded in preventing her daughter from marrying Jose Rizal, but she was unable to stop Rizal from immortalizing his one great love through the character of Maria Clara in a book that is still read by thousands of students every year. Thus, history has guaranteed that the love that Leonor Rivera and Jose Rizal had would never be forgotten by the Filipino people.

View the Rivera-Kipping genealogy here.

Happy death anniversary, Dr. Jose Rizal!

Happy New Year!


1. Austin Craig's Lineage, Life and Labors of Jose Rizal, Philippine Patriot: A Study of the Growth of Free Ideas in the Trans Pacific American Territory.
2. Jo Martinez-Clemente, "Keeping Up With Legacy of Rizal's 'True Love', The Philippines Daily Inquirer, June 20, 2011.
3. Deverell and Beadsmore Family Tree (accessed December 29, 2013)
4. Gravestone Photos Online (accessed December 29, 2013)
5. Wikipedia - Leonor Rivera and Carlos P. Romulo (accessed December 29, 2013)
6. FamilySearch (accessed December 29, 2013)

No comments:

Post a Comment