This may be why I can’t find the marriage

This may be why I can’t find the marriage

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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,

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