Research Journal #2, Entry 1
One of the most frustrating aspects of genealogy is learning that someone may be related to you, but no one remembers how! Take the Cosma’s and the Camara’s. They appear to be two different, distinct families. Yet, you can’t touch one family without finding the other.
They may have been related through a series of marriages or by blood. Whatever the relationship, it was close. People often told me things like “I don’t think we were related, but every summer we went on vacation to Centerville with the Camara family”.
Those who knew them couldn’t decide where they belonged. Comments like “Oh, I think they were my mother’s cousins” and “Oh, I don’t think we were related at all. They must have been my Grandfather’s friends” made the connection difficult to discern.
You can add to the pot a healthy dose of confusing characters. There seemed to be no ends to this group! They went by the surnames of Remoaldo, Santos (but they were really de Jesus!), Ornellas, Spirou, Pavao (later changed to Pavon), Furtado, Raposo, Gabriel or Medeiros (or were they Gabriel Medeiros?) There were too many many crossed lines and marriages to sift through.
One thing was clear to me. All of these families were related in some way. The questions was how–or better yet–how many times?
None of my relatives born before 1920 remember the connections. It was going to take some doing sorting through stories and conflicting information especially with a common surname like Camara.
I made notes on the separate families. Hopefully, documents would reveal who was related to who. Would the early 1900 Hawaiian records reveal the families secrets?
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com