The Curious Passport Record

The Curious Passport Record

Research Journal #2, Entry #2

When I started this research project, I knew a little about the Cosma family. They were headed by Jacinto Cosma and Joaquina Rosa. Their children were Manoel, Maria, John, Shandra, Francisco, and Maria. They arrived in Hawaii in 1882 and their twins died on the voyage.

It was time to start comparing the family lore to documentation. Jacinto’s tombstone at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Oakland, California confirmed the family name. It read: Jacint Cosma and he was buried alone. This supported the family story that he was a widower when he came to California. Joaquina was probably buried somewhere on Kauai. The cemetery files didn’t offer anything new, but confirmed what I already knew.

A curious thing happened along the research trail. A cousin came across the passport index entry for the Cosma family. It told a different tale and disputed what I’d found at the cemetery.

The name of the head of the family was Cosme Jacinto da Camara! His parents were Antonio da Camara and Miguelina Rosa. Nowhere was the name Cosma.

Was this an error? Did Cosma somehow get adapted from his first name of Cosme?  Was Cosma an error? Name changing was so common on Hawaii that one has to be careful when researching. Maybe this wasn’t the right family at all.

The children were recorded under their Portuguese names.  Joaquim was John and Alexandrina was Shandra.  The twins were listed as Maria and Filomena.  This meant the family had 3 daughters named Maria.

Francisco and Maria (the third) were not listed.  They must have been born in Hawaii.

The ship index and consulate logs showed the same information.   The passport wasn’t a fluke. In all three documents, Jacinto Cosma’s name was Cosme Jacinto da Camara. Did this mean that the Cosma and Camara families were really blood relatives?

A search for the head of the Camara family, Manoel Camara, didn’t turn up any matches.  More research needed to be done to find Manoel’s family.


Passport Index Record:
Camara, Cosme Jacinto da 34
Father Antonio da Camara
Mother Miguelina Rosa
From Feteiras Wife Joaquina Rosa 39
Children: Manuel 13, Joaquim 8, Maria 9, Alexandrina 4, Maria 5, Filomena 5 (Twins)
#825 Hansa
Source: “Passport Registrations: Portuguese Immigrants from Azores to Sandwich Islands, 1879-1883.” By Robert S. De Mello. Honolulu : De Mello Publishing Co., [n.d.]  View the original passport registration record.
Ship Index
825 Camara, Cosme Jacintho [sic] da, age 34 Hansa82, StM, Sheet 13
With Joaquina Rosa, 39, wife
Children: Manuel 13, Maria 9, Joao 8, Alexandrinha 4, Maria Filomena, 5m (dead) [Maria Filomena written as one name with no comma]

Source: “Portuguese Immigrants to Hawaii”. Compiled by Edgar C. Knowlton, Jr. Kahului, HI : Maui Cultural Club, c1993.


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