Double Pai Incognito

I’m coining that phrase.

I’ve been working on my cousin’s Raposo line. It seemed a simple request. Figure out if Francisco Raposo and Manoel Raposo of Kilauea were really brothers.

To start, the birth place information in some records in Hawaii was inconsistent. I sorted it out and identified they were from the village of Mosteiros on Sao Miguel Island. I had a starting point at least.

I found their marriage records and saw the phrase no Portuguese researcher wants to see. Their father was Pai Incognito. Pai Incognito translates roughly to “father unknown”. Okay, we know the woman knew who the father was, but she wasn’t telling. Pai Incognito is a dead end unless someone gives up the information in a later record.

I decided to search for their baptismals. A fellow researcher found Manoel’s and then I located Francisco’s. What I didn’t expect was this: their maternal grandfather was also a Pai Incognito. This means their father’s line is a dead end and their mother’s father’s line is a dead end.

No matter how much research I do I always come across something I’ve never seen before. This is a case where both the mother and the grandmother were unmarried mothers.  Perhaps more common today, but no so much in the 1840s (or maybe it was but we just don’t hear about it).

It leaves a lot of open questions. Where did their surname Raposo come from? Did Manoel and Francisco have the same father?  How did the single mother and grandmother make ends meet?  I can only hope some record, maybe in Hawaii, provides answers these questions. For now, this is a brick wall with cement poured over it.

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