This weekend I decided to redo the work another researcher did for me on Francisco de Medeiros and Josefa de Mello. The town of Maia isn’t on the Azores Archives website yet, so I thought Povoacao was as good as any place to research.
I found their son, Joao de Mello’s, baptismal record first. Then, I went searching for his brother, Apollinario. Found him relatively easily. It helps when you already have the dates.
I wanted to see if they had any more siblings and began to work backwards from Apollinario. I started at 1767 and got back as far as 1762 before calling it quits. 6 years between children with a Portuguese couple seemed too many years. I decided to look for the marriage. As both couples and the children were from Povoacao, it was as good as place as any to start as any.
I went from 1767 back to 1762 without a nibble. I started to suspect maybe I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. So, I went to my database to verify and the first thing I realized was Apollinario was born in Maia, Ribeira Grande, not Povoacao where he was baptized. That seemed weird to me. These people didn’t travel all that much.
I couldn’t make out mention of Maia on Apollinario’s baptismal record. What did jump out at me was “Nossa Senhora da Graca”. This was not the church I was working in. So, I followed the line. It told me that Josefa de Mello was from the parish of Nossa Senhora da Graca and the village of Porto Formoso! I did a quick check on Jose’s record and sure enough, it said the same thing. She wasn’t from Povoacao after all.
This leaves me with a quandary. I have one parent born in Povoacao, one in Porto Formoso, both children baptized in Povoacao, but one might have been born in Maia. Sigh…where do I look for the marriage?
I think I’ll go back a year or so in the Povoacao records. Then, if nothing comes up, I will switch to deaths and see if I can find their death records. Though, it might be better to see if their are any other children born to this couple listed in the baptismals after Joao in 1771. I know that both died before 1796, but that’s a wide range from 1771-1796 to be looking for a death record especially without an index. I could look for Francisco de Medeiros’ baptismal record, but I’m a little leery. I found two other Francisco de Medeiros’ having children baptized at the same time as Joao and Apollinario. Since I don’t have the names of Francisco’s parents, I can’t determine if any record I find is for the right person. The records for Porto Formoso and Maia are not online yet, so I can’t go that route either.
This may explain why I haven’t found a marriage record. The couple might have been married in Josefa’s village. And, they may have even been married where Apollinario was born. Looks like I have my work cut out for me. At least I figure out the discrepancies before I went through the records twice.
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com