My Great Great Grandmother, Ana Jacinto de Melo Pacheco, came to Hawaii in 1882. She was widowed bringing her children with her. If I hadn’t seen her immigration records, I would have no evidence that Ana stepped on Hawaiian soil. She isn’t listed in any census, vital records, or church records that I have come across so far. She left no photographs behind.
One day, I was looking through a book on cemetery transcriptions for Kauai. There, under St. Sylvester’s (aka Kilauea Catholic Cemetery), was an entry for my Great Great Grandmother. The name in the entry was Anna Jacintha A. Pacheco.
A couple of years later, an internet friend who lived on Kauai, visited the cemetery. He took photographs of the Pacheco plots. He found Ana Jacinta’s gravesite and took this photograph:
The stone has crumbled and fallen over. The grave seems abandoned.
Yet, this shot gave me the chills. This is my proof that Ana Jacinta de Melo Pacheco, the daughter of Jose Francisco de Melo and Rosa Pimentel of Achada, Nordeste, Sao Miguel Island, Azores existed. The widow of Jacintho Pacheco boarded the SS Hansa in 1882 with six of her seven children aged 6 years old to 18 years old beside her. One child had died young and another was already an adult living on his own, though his whereabouts were unknown. She left the only home she and her kin knew for a strange place called Hawaii.
She lived on the Kilauea Sugar Plantation where she and her children labored. She watched her children grow up, raise families, and adapt to their new homeland.
On the 4th of December 1902 on that same sugar plantation Ana Jacinta died. She was about 72 years old. She left 8 children on Kauai–her oldest son somehow met up with the family in the mid 1880s. At the time of her death, she had 33 living grandchildren (45 total would make it to adulthood from that generation!)
That cemetery plot isn’t very pretty, but it’s beautiful to me. That crumbled tombstone tells me Ana Jacinta really did exist. She really was there!