Picking up the Trail of Saffarin De Braga

Picking up the Trail of Saffarin De Braga

Genealogy Journal #1, Entry #2

In working on the problem of Saffarin De Braga,. I came to the conclusion that his name was probably Seraphin or some variant of that name. I would have to go back to the census records to try again. If he was there, I was going to find him.

I had no information on Seraphin other than his name and who is parents might be. He must not have come to California with the others or someone would have remembered him. My only hope was that he made it to Hawaii and left records behind. I also hope his name was uncommon enough that I would know I had the right guy.

Since Maria died in 1938, the 1920 census seemed like a good place to start. I knew there weren’t that many de Braga’s in Hawaii. It shouldn’t be difficult to find him by surname.

It was lucky day! There was a Serafin Braga living in Honolulu in 1920. His wife’s name was Olympia.  He had a son named Joseph.

I checked the 1900 census next as at the time I didn’t have access to 1910 (this was the pre-online genealogy days!) Once again, only one name was close, Sarphine Brago. Was this the guy I was looking for?

Finding proof for people you know fit in your family tree can be difficult. Finding proof that someone connects to your tree is ten times as hard.   Though this was the only person with the right name in Hawaii, I still had to prove he came to Hawaii.

My immigration searches came up empty. He wasn’t listed with his parents and he wasn’t listed alone. Seraphin was not listed in any records connected to my family except Maria’s mortuary record. I was beginning to think ol’ Seraphin was a private joke left behind by my relatives.

I had reached an impasse and wasn’t sure how to get through it. A little intuition goes a long way in genealogy, but you need still need concrete proof before you can be sure of a connection. I needed that proof to prove this Seraphin was my Seraphin.

Proof Found in the Census of the Existence of a Seraphin de Braga
1900 Census – See record on familysearch.org

(Source: 1900 U.S. Census, Honolulu, Hawaii, ED 11, Sheet 30, Line 19)

Brago, Sarphine
Born Jan 1879, age 21, Portugal
Residence: Honolulu, Oahu
Living Alone

1920 Census – See record on familysearch.org

(Source: 1920 U.S. Census. Honolulu, Oahu Co., HI, ED 38, sheet 6, line 11)

Braga, Serafin
Age 40, Portugal
Immigrated 1894; Naturalized 1904
Residence: Honolulu, Oahu
Living with:
Olympia, wife
Glory, daughter
Joseph, son
William, son
Maggie, daughter
Olympia, daughter


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