This Genealogist Has So Much to Be Thankful For

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.
wedding photo ventura vamily


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.

pacheco smith 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!


SNGF: Genealogy Resources and Usage


For Randy’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Challenge this week, he has asked us to  fill out a survey.  Below are the questions with my answers.


1) Answer these questions in my survey about genealogy resources and usage:


a) Which genealogy software programs for your computer do you use (e.g., Family Tree Maker, Reunion, GRAMPS, etc.)?
I use RootsMagic.  I originally used FamilyOrigins and shifted over to RootsMagic.  I’ve very satisfied with it.


b) Which online family trees have information submitted by you – in either a separate online tree (e.g., Ancestry Member Tree) or a universal (collaborative) online tree (e.g., WikiTree)?

My family tree is posted at WikiTree, though only my maternal side is up right now.  This is my Mom’s family tree covering the Azores, Ireland, England, Wales, and Australia, if anyone is interested.


c) For which subscription genealogy record providers (e.g., Ancestry) do you have a subscription?

None.  Money is tight for me, so I stick to the free stuff.


d) Which FREE genealogy record providers (e.g., FamilySearch) do you use regularly?

The websites I work with the most are: (the free version)

San Francisco Genealogy:

The Azores Arquivo:

The French Archives for Atlantique Pyrenees:

The Hawaiian Archives:

The California Digital Newspaper Collection:

The San Francisco Property Map Collection:

The Internet Archive:

Google Books: where my family tree is hosted where my DNA results are and where I spent way too much time since Thursday when my results came in
(I am sure there are more, but that’s where I spend my research time these days)


e) How much time do you spend each week doing actual genealogy research online? [Note: not reading, or social networking, but actual searching in a record provider]. Estimate an average number of hours per week.

7-8 hours, especially now as I’m reading the Azorean church records in the evening after dinner.  Great cure for insomnia translating Portuguese records at 10 pm at night!


f) How much time do you spend each week doing actual genealogy research in a repository (e.g., library, archive, courthouse, etc.)? Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one year period.

Zero time…I’m disabled and don’t drive.  I’m limited to what I can do from home.


g) How much time do you spend each week adding information to your genealogy software program (either on your computer or online)? Estimate an average number of hours per week over, say, a one month period.


h) How much time do you spend each month at a genealogical society meeting, program or event (not a seminar or conference)? Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one year period.

None.  I haven’t attended any events and don’t belong to any societies.


i) How much time do you spend each month on genealogy education (e.g., reading books and periodicals, attending seminars, conferences, workshops, webinars, etc.)? Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one year period.

I would say about 4 hours a month.  It depends.  Right now, I’m heavily invested in learning about autosomal DNA tests since I just got my results.


j) How much time do you spend each week reading, writing and commenting on genealogy blogs, websites, and social media? Estimate an average number of hours per week over, say, a one month period.

7-10 hours a week?   I maintain the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy Group on Facebook, I am co-moderator of the Azores Google Group and the IslandRoutes Google Group.  I also maintain my own Pacheco – de Braga family group on Facebook.  I have my own genealogy blog and website.  And, I read several others via Feedly when I’m eating lunch and dinner.

That was interesting.  I’m wondering when I have time to sleep between reading about genealogy, sharing information about genealogy, and researching genealogy.


My DNA Results are in!

You all may remember that sometime in May I sent in my samples for a FTDNA Family Finder autosomal DNA test.  Well, my results are in!

My roots are as follows:

My father’s side:  entirely French back to at least 1600

My mother’s side:  paternal-Azorean (same island, Sao Miguel); maternal-English, Irish, and Welsh.  My Welsh ancestors made a  detour through Austrlia for a decade or two.


I am not surprised by this break down except for the 3% Finnish.  I’ve been told that this is within the margin of error, so I’m not concerned about it.

After I looked at my origin, I checked out my matches.  I was surprised and happy to see that I had a top match with a known Pacheco cousins (our lines are from Achada and Fenais da Vera Cruz on Sao Miguel Island).  This is good stuff, I think, because we have a known connection.  We share great great grandparents.

I had 16 pages of matches.  Most were 5th and remote.  I had one that was a 2nd-4th.  It’s a woman in England.  Then I have 10 matches of 3rd-5th.  The rest are 5th or remote.

After I looked at my matches, I checked to see if I have any people in common and what chromosome we match in.  So far, I’ve come up with 3 people that I match in the exact same chromosome (all 4 of us the same).  All 3 of them have English roots.

I think it’s interesting that I am part of FTDNA’s Azores DNA Group yet my top matches, except for my known cousin and one other, are all English/Irish.  It kind of gives me hope that I might make a connection with my great grandfather’s roots.

I’m going to be sending out emails this weekend.  Hopefully, I’ll get some responses.

After that I’m going to upload my results to GEDMatch.  I know I have other cousins who have had their DNA done.  Maybe I will find some long lost cousin.