[Fearless Females #20…brick wall ancestor]
One of the frustrating aspects of researching female lines is the lack of information that might be available about female ancestors. This can be complicated by naming practices and customs.
One of my 5th Great Grandmother’s is Francisca Pacheco. Francisca is the last ancestor of my Pacheco line. The surname was carried forward 4 paternal lines, then veered to the maternal with Francisca.
I only have brief details about Francisca. She was born in Fenais da Vera Cruz (now known as Fenais d’Ajuda) on Sao Miguel Island. She had a son, Jose, born in Sao Pedro, Nordestinho, Sao Miguel Island.
And, that’s it. No names for her parents. No name for her spouse.
I know that her son was married in 1791 in Fenais da Vera Cruz. Francisca might have been born around 1760, depending on how many children she had and where she placed in that order.
Knowing so little about her makes it difficult to do research. Will I really find her in Fenais da Vera Cruz? Can her birth information be trusted? Why was Jose born in Sao Pedro? Was that where his father was from? Was Pacheco the surname of one of Francisca’s parents? Or, as in many cases was it the surname of her Godparents, a respected neighbor, or another relative?
As more and more Azorean records become available online, I hope to be able to track the Pacheco’s further. If I am lucky, I’ll find Francisca’s marriage record in Sao Pedro or at least, Jose’s baptismal record. If I’m not lucky, Francisca will be lost amongst the many other Pacheco’s of the island, never to be sorted out.
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com