Ancestry.com added the California Voter Registration indexes awhile back. They are excellent resource for anyone searching for ancestors between 1900-1950 or so. If you are researching Portuguese Hawaiians who left for California, these records may help you locate where they were residing.
The indexes can be tricky to search. Surname searches are too convoluted. First name/Surname searches often bring up zero results or screwy results. For instance, the search John Pacheco might pull up pages with John on one line and Pacheco on another. It might also pull up Pacheco on one line and John Street on another.
For best results use the keyword search. Here are some examples of how you might conduct your search. The quotes are necessary to limit the number of result matches:
Pacheco + “E. 25th St”
Pacheco + Oakland
What if those searches don’t find the people you’re looking for? Keep in mind that typos exist on the original records. I found the Bonito family under Boioto one year. Pacheco appeared as Pecheco in one section. Algrava was given as Algreva.
One way to get around this is to search by street name. If you know what street your ancestors lived on, you can do a search by street. I had several cousins who all lived on E. 25th Street in Oakland. It was more effective for me to search the street name than by surname. Keep in mind that each index year may have different ways of noting the street name. Here are the searches I tried:
“E. 25th St”
“E. 25th Street”
“East 25th St”
“East 25th Street”
“East Twenty-Fifth St”
“East Twenty-Fifth Street”
Play around with the keyword search. Try different combinations. There are more than way to get at your ancestors. It just takes a little time!
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com