This week I decided to concentrate on the early 1700s in Achada to see if I could take my tree back any further in that village. It’s becoming clear to me that many of my lines originate in other villages. I wanted to focus my work on the lines that I know stayed in Achada so as not to waste my research time.
I wanted to find out who the parents of Estevao Correia were. I could not find Estevao’s marriage record, which could make it difficult to find his baptismal record. The reason is that Azorean naming practices don’t mean that a child will necessarily have the surname of either parent. If the first name is common, it may be impossible to determine which record is the right one. The name Estevao was pretty uncommon in the 1700s in this village. The surname Correia was rare as well. With any luck, I would find the right combination and be 99% sure I had the right guy.
I started with 1734 and worked back. I found my guy baptized in 1730. But, as these early records have proven, the quality was not the best. Estavao’s father’s name was easy to read: Antonio Correya. His mother’s first name was in the section of the page that was folded. I could read that her maiden name was Almeyda, so that was helpful.
I found a sibling born in 1727. In this case, the child’s name was missing and Antonio’s first name was partially visible. But, once again, his mother’s first name was lost to time. That fragment torn from the page.
I kept searching. I hoped they were a typical Azorean couple and had a sizable brood. One of their children had to leave behind a record that was readable.
It was the third baptismal record that provided the details that I needed. In 1725, Estevao’s sister, Maria, was born and baptized in the church in Achada, Nossa Senhora d’Annunciacao. Her parents were listed as Antonio Correa and Barbara Almeyda. Finally, I had her first name!
This is an example of why it’s so important to research the siblings as well as the direct line. There can be details on a sibling’s record that might be missing from your ancestor’s record. In this case, it was important information. It was the mother’s first name.
I feel better now that I can put a first name in the little box in my database. It doesn’t feel right when I have to leave the name field blank.