[Fearless Females-Women’s History Month, March 20th: Female ancestor who is a brick wall]
My female ancestors have been good to me. They have left pretty good trails despite being woman. There is one female ancestor I consider a mini brick wall. Despite the fact that I can go back beyond Ana Jacintha de Melo Pacheco, I can’t seem to find out details of her life.
Ana Jacinta was my Great Great Grandmother. Her parents were Jose Francisco de Melo and Rosa Pimental. She married Jacintho Pacheco, a shoe maker.
I can take Ana’s line back five generations. Technically, she is not a brick wall. Yet, she leaves me somehow bereft. Though the records for Sao Miguel Island have revealed many details about my family, I can find when and where Ana Jacinta was born. Nor can I find when she married Jacintho. The birth of her first son, Antonio, is also a mystery.
It is peculiar to say the least. I have Jacintho’s information. In fact, I have information on her parents and two of her siblings. I’ve search the records for Achada, Fenais da Vera Cruz, and other nearby villages. Ana Jacinta seems to be invisible.
She does appear 27 Feb 1863 to give birth to Manoel Pacheco, their second son. His birth took place in Achada and was recording in the town records. From there, Ana is everywhere, popping out babies left and right. I can track her to her last child born in Jun 1876.
She goes on to get a passport in 1882 and makes the voyage to Hawaii with six of her eight children. She then manages to avoid being recorded once again until her death. She died 4 Dec 1902. Beyond a story that she contributed to the death of one her grandchildren by accidentally dropping him, her tombstone is the only proof she was ever on the island of Kauai. She wasn’t even recorded in the Kauai Death Register book.
I don’t know why the lack of information bothers me so. I feel like I’ve let Ana Jacinta down somehow. Her life story can’t be written because their are too many holes in the narrative.
I hope someday to find her birth, baptismal, or marriage certificates. Then I will feel I’ve done right by her. For now, she is family group sheet with alot of blank spaces.
Note: I wrote this post last year for Fearless Females. In that time, I am still stuck, but their is hope! Slowly but surely the church archives for Sao Miguel Island are becoming available online. Someday, they may post the churches that I need. When they do, I hope that the secrets about Ana Jacinta’s life will be revealed.
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com