Resolving Lost Children in My de Braga Line

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!



My Relatives At Work: A Labor Day Photo Series

I posted this series in 2012.  Since I haven’t written anything on Labor Day I thought I would repost it.  Happy Labor Day Everyone!


Yesterday, I got the idea to search out some photographs of my relatives at work.  I turned it into a series of blog posts to honor them on Labor Day.

While it’s easy to notice the contribution to our country by those who have made money, we often forget that they would not have gotten there had it not been for the laborers, seamstresses, bricklayers, construction workers, accountants, field workers, office workers, and others who labored daily to build up business.  Just like everyone else, my relatives played their part in making America what it is today.


These are the blog posts telling you all about what my ancestors did for a living…

Manuel Bonita and Joao Pacheco SmithWestinghouse Electric, 1938

Anthony Correia and Anton “Dean” SouzaLaborers at the Sugar Plantation

Charles and Brigitte (Breilh) MazeresThey Owned Laundries

Lorraine (Pacheco) MartinWomen Working in Factories

Jose Pacheco (aka Joe P. Smith)One of the Highest Wage Earners

Anna (Jackson) ShellabargerMy Grandma was a Working Woman

Frank Milton ShellabargerBefore He Became a Painter and Writer

Happy Labor Day, Everyone!

Remember to celebrate your relatives and the work they’ve done!



Eureka! I Have Found It!

Feast your eyes upon a beautiful sight…

marr fvc jacinto pacheco anna jacinto mello 1856 match

This is my great great grandparents, Jacinto Pacheco and Anna Jacinta de Mello’s marriage record.  It is the culmination of 3-5 years of searching, a good 10 or more years of not being able to search because of my arthritis, and the end of a whole lot of frustration.

Why is this record so special?  The reason is that I had several unanswered questions about this couple and I was beginning to think I had made an error.  Good thing I got that DNA test and prove my cousin and I are related. Before I stopped researching, I found all but one of their children’s baptismal records.  I found information on their siblings and parents.   But, I couldn’t find anything on them.

A few months ago, the records for Achada, Nordeste went online.  I scoured through and found Anna Jacinta de Mello’s baptismal record.  An awesome find as I now could narrow down the range of years for my search.

I didn’t have any luck.  No marriage record, no death record for Jacinto, and the oldest son’s baptismal record was still missing.

Last week, Fenais da Vera Cruz went online (aka Fenais d’Ajuda).  This is the village Jacinto was from.  I began searching for his baptismal record.  I found several of his siblings, but not him.  In fact, I’m about 2 years from the end of group and I suspect Jacinto will be on the last page.

I did better with the marriage index.  The genealogy gods were showing me favor.  They are indexed.  In less than 5 minutes, I went through the Jacinto’s and I found my couple.  It was a bit anti-climatic after 15 years of waiting.

The marriage occurred 25 Dec 1856 in Fenais da Vera Cruz.  It’s a little unusual, though not rare, for the couple to be married in the groom’s village. I’m sure they did it just to throw me off the track.  The most important tidbit in this document is that Jacinto is record as Jacinto Pacheco Ferreira.  Ferreira was his mother’s maiden name.  No one else used this combination that I’m aware of.  Some did use Pacheco Grande, but not Pacheco Ferreira.

Now I’m wondering if I completely missed his death record because I was not looking for a Pacheco Ferreira.  The death records are slim on information for the most part.  They include the name of the deceased, their date of death, where they died, some times the village their were born in, and if you are lucky the Priest wrote down the informant and their relationship to the deceased.  It is very possible that I saw his death record and thought “Well, I’m not looking for this guy” and moved on.

Slowly but surely I’m putting together the pieces.  I now have Anna Jacinta’s baptismal record, Jacinto and Anna’s marriage record, and the baptismal records in Achada of their children Manoel (1863) to Theodoro (1876).  I’m down to the death record and the two baptismal record.  At least I know now that they did get married and I can throw out all my other theories of multiple marriages and step children.

Score one for tenacity!