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Home: Surnames: DeSoto Family Genealogy Forum

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DeSoto fighting in Anglo-Boer War
Posted by: Theys Radmann Date: March 18, 2002 at 08:37:42
  of 142

This information is for whoever is interested, and is quite peculiar:

Nivaldo Soto (he dropped the 'De'), son of Feliciano De Soto y Valenzuela of Peru (probably Arequipa) fought in the Anglo-Boer war in South Africa, siding with the Boers.

Nivaldo's father emigrated to Chile, and Nivaldo became an officer in the Chilean Army. He fell in love with a Welsh girl, daughter of a Welsh Mining Engineer in the Coal Mining region in southern Chile. Her father would not let her marry a Chilean army officer, so he had to wait until she was 25 years old. Apparently, because of this little difference in opinion with his father-in-law, Nivaldo wanted to get quits with the British, deserted the Army and went to South Africa to give the British their hiding, which he eventually did, according to an account, where he captured a British flag.
Nivaldo returned to Chile and his "desertion" was pardoned, as he had a very close relationship with the Chilean President at that time, Gen. Carlos Ibañez.

Nivaldo was an adventurer. He left his family in Chile time and time again to pursue his businesses. He also founded the Concepción Lottery in Chile.

On one occasion, he received the city keys of New Orleans on a visit to that city, on account of his descent from Hernando De Soto the Explorer. In New Orleans there is a statue of Hernando de Soto whose face looks strikinly similar to Nivaldo. In fact, a grandson of Nivaldo, who was my father-in-law, could not beleive it when he saw his Grandfather posing as Hernando de Soto, on a visit to New Orleans.
The fact that the city authorities of New Orleans believed in his claim of being descended from Hernando De Soto, gives us the most powerful hint that indeed my wife's family are descendants of him. If anyone can shine more light on this, it would be appreciated.

For what it's worth, I find this at least amusing.

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