I could sit here and bore you with my long list of blessings: my family, my dog, my continued ability to walk, fresh air, voting rights…and on and on and on. But, I’d like to use this space to give thanks to a couple very special people who really made a mark on my genealogy world in 2014. What they added to my family tree is immeasurable and I appreciate them greatly.
1. The CCA archivists at the Azoreas Arquivo website.
They worked tirelessly to get the Azorean church records online. In April my first village, Achada, was online and I worked furiously all the way back into the 1600s. Then, Fenais da Vera Cruz came online and I finally found my great great grandparent’s marriage record. And, then Maia came online in the Autumn and that made my year. As a disabled genealogist who cannot travel or work microfilm readers or write much with a pencil, they are to be thanked for bringing Azorean genealogy back into my world by bringing it into my home
2. Cousin Cecilia.
She is related to my great uncle, Anthony Correia. Cecilia has shared stories of what the other half of the family on Kauai has been doing all these generations. She has shared photos that I have not been privy to. She solved a photo mystery by presenting a younger photo of a woman who I had an middle aged photo of. Her photos and stories have added to my rich heritage.
Not only does this photo solve one of my mystery photo problems, the girl on the left is my great aunt, Minnie (Ventura) Pacheco Smith, and this is the first photo I have seen of her as a teenager.
3. Cousin Melissa.
Melissa is connected to my de Braga’s through the Bonita line. Melissa found me through another cousin. She has shared many photos with my Pacheco de Braga group and in that way I saw photos of my two great uncles that I had never seen before. She also has shared her Mom’s remembrances which is really special.
This photo shows my great uncle, Theodore Pacheco Smith, on the right. It was taken around 1917. I am not 100% but the more I compare photographs, the more I think the young man on the right is my grandfather, Joao “Bohne” Pacheco Smith, and the man in the middle is their brother, Jose. I need another photo from this era to confirm. If it is them, it is the only existing photograph with all three brothers.
4. Cousin Rita.
The greatest gift in genealogy is finding a family member who not only shares your passion but researches too! Rita was my first connection to the East Coast of the US (a line I was completely unaware of until I met her). She and I have been working through the records of Maia together and it’s a blast to share our discoveries. It is invaluable having someone who knows how to read the records who you can bounce stuff off of. It’s so much fun to make discoveries together!
5. Cousins Jan and Anna.
They took a trip back to our French ancestral homeland and shared the whole adventure in a blog. While I know many of the names, dates, and places for my French ancestors several generations back, I didn’t really know where they lived, if you get my drift. Jan and Anna posted photos of ancestral homes and the landscape in Ogeu les bains and other places. It’s incredible to see homes that were built in the 1700s (especially for someone whose roots in America only go back to 1849). It was great sharing their adventure with them!
6. FTDNA Testing Crew and Cheri Mello
I got a donated autosomal FTDNA kit this summer. I tested and got my results. With Cheri Mello’s help, I’m learning the various aspect of DNA research and how it can benefit a genealogist.
To everyone else I have worked with, shared stories with, who sent me photos, and so forth throughout the year…the many cousins who respond to my blog and those who read my tales on Facebook…and to those researchers willing to share their knowledge and help all of us understand our family trees…a very big THANK YOU!