52 Ancestors Week 38: One Large Azorean Family

52 Ancestors Week 38: One Large Azorean Family

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These Azorean men produced a heck of a lot of offspring!

Large families…the definition has changed over time. When I was growing up, my family was considered large. There were 7 of us…5 kids born in 7 years.

My family is nothing in comparison to my Pacheco kin. Jacintho Pacheco and Anna Jacinta de Mello married on Christmas Day in 1856 in the village of Fenais da Vera Cruz on the island of Sao Miguel. It’s in the Azores Island chain. Jacintho and Anna had eight known children: Antonio, Manoel, Maria, Jose, Joao, Francisco, Marie, and Theodoro–most, if not all, born in the village of Achada on the same island. Maria was the only one that did not survive.

The Pachecos were prolific.  I remember my mom’s cousin once telling me “Well, they didn’t have television.  What else were they supposed to do?”

I am pretty sure they were attempting to populate Kauai, Hawaii on their own.  They certainly held their own on the Kilauea Sugar Plantation where they all raised their families.

When they began migrating to Oakland, California, they bought up parts of E. 25th Street and for decades they dominated their section with one family moving in as another moved out.

Let me show you just how big a family it was:

  • Antonio married Alexandrinha Jose. They had 11 children. 8 reached adulthood.
  • Manoel married Jacintha Rosa Moniz. They had 13 children. 12 of them reached adulthood.
  • Jose married Francisca Bonita first. They had 4 children and 3 reached adulthood.  She died giving birth.  His second marriage was to Maria Nunes da Souza.  They had 9 children.  8 reached adulthood.
  • Joao married Joana Gonsalves Cardoso. They had 8 children, all of them making it to adulthood. Joana remarried when Joao died from tuberculosis in 1906 and had 6 more children. We’ll just count the ones with Joao for this exercise.
  • Francisco married Alexandria de Caires. They had 10 children.  7 reached adulthood.
  • Marie married Joao Jacinto da Camara (aka John Cosma). They had 9 children. 7 reached adulthood.
  • Theodoro married Maria d’Espitiro Santo de Braga. This is my line. Theodoro and Maria had 6 children. One died as a baby and their son, Willie, died at 13. They only had 4 children who made it to adulthood and only 2 of them had children of their own.
My large Azorean family, the Pacheco's
The Pacheco Smith’s…one small family in a much larger one

My math skills being somewhat circumspect, I calculate that my grandfather, Joao “John” Pacheco Smith had 44 first cousins who made it to adulthood not counting the children from his Aunt Joana’s second marriage. That would have made it 50.

Those first cousins produced a plethora of offspring.  Not all of them had children.  But, many of them had several children.  Even if each couple had only 2 children, the next generation would have numbered at least 88.

You don’t have to take my word for it.  I  ran this statistical report on my great great grandfather, Jacintho Pacheco.  It tallied only the direct descendants of the line.

The Pacheco Family was huge. This statistical report from Rootsmagic proves it.
RootsMagic Descendants Statistical Breakdown


I can only think of what it must have been like in Kilauea and later on E. 25th Street.  They were really a community unto themselves. They never had to go far to find a friendly face.  Family get-togethers must have been something.  Where would they put all those people???

The Pacheco’s are by far the largest family in my tree. Although my side of the tree is small (4 children, with 2 children having 2 children each), the grandchildren of Jacintho and Anna reached adulthood in large numbers for families at the turn of the 20th century. I can safely say that the descendants are spread out across the country and even into other parts of the world.

It makes me wonder if any of my neighbors belong to the Pacheco family. It wouldn’t be surprising if they were!

Aren’t these family wall decals neat?  What better way to show off your family tree than to dedicate a wall to family photos!  I’d love to show off my old photos like this.  Though, I think I’d need a few more decals to highlight the Pacheco side.

4 thoughts on “52 Ancestors Week 38: One Large Azorean Family

  1. My grandfather’s mother was Antoinette or Annie Pacheco who married Joseph Pila Kona both from Kauai. Is Annie related to this Pacheco family?

  2. Mona, My people were primarily settled on Kauai and mostly in Kilauea. I don’t recall an Antoinette Pacheco in my tree, but if you have roots on Kauai, it’s a possibility. Thanks for stopping by!

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