I am a believer in going back to databases from time to time and rechecking my searches. Sometimes I’ve learned things since the last search. Sometimes there have been updates to databases. Whatever the reason, it’s a good practice to get into.
The University of Massachusetts has been adding Portuguese newspapers to it’s collection for sometime now. Recently, they began uploading newspapers from Hawaii and California. These are of the most interest to me.
The database is a little clunky to work with. I often have to exit and restart before looking at a new page or doing a new search. It’s cumbersome, to say the least. But, persistence can pay off and this week it did.
This is from the 18 May 1912 “O Luso” newspaper. The article took up the entire front page. It’s all about an organization called “A Real Associacao Beneficente Autonomica Micaelanese”. I have never heard of it in my 24 years of researching Portuguese Hawaiians.
Most important is the photograph. The man sitting in the second chair from the left is my great great uncle, Seraphim de Braga. This is the first time I’ve gotten to see what he looks like–and that makes me very happy!
Seraphim had an interesting story. My great great grandparents, Jozimas de Braga and Maria da Conceicao de Mello, came to Hawaii in 1882 on the Monarch. They brought all their children but one, Seraphim. It was a fairly common practice for the Azoreans. They feared not making it to Hawaii or calamity striking them once they got there. Some families left a child behind “just in case”. Seraphim was that child.
I was completely unaware of Seraphim until about 5 years after starting my research. The Pacheco Smith’s had no memory of him. It wasn’t until I found his sister, Marie Grace (de Braga) Bonita’s obituary that I had even heard of him. And then, I thought it was a mistake. I wrote about Seraphim’s story in this article “The One They Left Behind“.
This photograph speaks volumes. I only know that Seraphim was a carpenter by trade. He was also a musician. But, now I know he was elected representative in this organization. To me that means Seraphim was establish and he had moved up in society.
Welcome to the family, Seraphim! It’s nice to know what you look like.
Next challenge? Figure out what this organization was.