Boy, my blogging has been slim to nothing lately. I apologize but a huge project with a deadline was dumped on me at the end of August and I couldn’t do anything else. I’m still in the midst of it.
Of course, right in the middle of this project, the records I’ve been waiting on all summer came online. These are the records for the village of Maia in Ribeira Grande on the island of Sao Miguel. I’ve already worked through Achada and Fenais da Vera Cruz my other main villages. I had researched in Maia in the late 1990s. But, when arthritis hit my neck and shoulders I couldn’t sit at a microfilm reader anymore. I’ve waited some 15 years to pick up where I left off.
So…I have been sneaking peeks at the death records in between the work I’m supposed to be doing. This is one record set I never got to research. I remember when I first started working in Maia people persuaded me from wasting time on them as they found them to be of little value.
However, now that I’m going back to them, I realize death records can answer many questions for me. The most obvious is putting ancestors to rest. That is one box on the family groups sheet no longer blank. But, I have more important questions like “Did my gr gr grandparents leave any other children behind?” “Did their cousin bring all his children to Hawaii?”
For the first question, I already knew that Jozimas and Maria (de Mello) de Braga left their son, Seraphim behind. What about Jose and Jacintho? I now have the answer. Both boys died as babies. It makes me think how much more difficult it must have been to leave Seraphim behind knowing they may never see him again. They’d already buried two of their children.
I came to the same result with Diniz de Braga’s son Jose. Off and on, I have searched for him in Hawaii hoping there was another de Braga line to trace. But, it is not to be. Jose also died as an infant. It ruins any chance of more relatives from that line, but it is a final answer to the question. I no longer have to search.
The records for Maia in this era are impressive. I’ve worked in other villages and they are not as detailed. These give the parents of married people (absent in some other villages). It also lists how many children the person had–something I have not seen in other villages. I suspect since this is the 1870s the records are more detailed. I expect to see less when I go backwards.
Two questions resolved in just one week. I like when genealogy works that way!
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com