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Category: Azorean Roots

Book Review: Islands of Magic: Legends, Folk, and Fairy Tales of the Azores

Book Review: Islands of Magic: Legends, Folk, and Fairy Tales of the Azores

Would you like to understand more about your Azorean  heritage? Do you have an interest in all things Portuguese? Or, are you a fan of folklore and fables? Then, you might be interested in a volume by Elsie Spicer Eells titled “The Islands of Magic: Legends, Folk, and Fairy Tales from the Azores”.  This is my review. A Collection of Very Short Stories There are 34 stories in this collection.  Many of them are less than 5 pages.  It’s the…

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Josefa de Mello wasn’t a Mello at all: Or, Why You Can’t Trust Portuguese Surnames

Josefa de Mello wasn’t a Mello at all: Or, Why You Can’t Trust Portuguese Surnames

Curious thing about Portuguese surnames.   They are inconsistent at best and downright frustrating most of the time.  Surname research is out of the question because you can’t depend on any consistency.  I shouldn’t have been surprised that Josefa de Mello’s surname turned out to be completely different than the name on her son’s marriage record. Why I Couldn’t Find Josefa de Mello in the Parish Records Let’s take a walk into the Azores Islands parish records, shall we? Joam de…

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I Didn’t Plan to Research the Whole Village of Maia

I Didn’t Plan to Research the Whole Village of Maia

I didn’t plan on researching the whole village. No, really. I didn’t. I started out following the trail of my great grandmother, Maria (de Braga) Pacheco Smith, in Maia  like a good genealogist.  Maia is a village on Sao Miguel Island in the Azores.   I found more ancestors and added more lines.  I found the siblings and added them.  I found their children and noted them, too. Then, I met a woman who might be related to Maria. We…

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Why Did The S.S. Hansa Carrying Azorean Sugar Contract Laborers Heading for Hawaii Run into Problems in Portugal?

Why Did The S.S. Hansa Carrying Azorean Sugar Contract Laborers Heading for Hawaii Run into Problems in Portugal?

I thought I understood the migration trail the Azorean sugar plantation contract workers took to Hawaii: Azores to South America to San Francisco to Hawaii. After reading an old newspaper article about the voyage of the S.S. Hansa in 1882, the ship my Pacheco ancestors were on, I found that I was wrong. I expected to find an usual article with basic information about the voyage.  You know, date of arrival, length of voyage, number of passengers, and so forth. …

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The Case for Sharing Your Genealogy Work: Proving Manuel Melo Castanho is Related

The Case for Sharing Your Genealogy Work: Proving Manuel Melo Castanho is Related

My mom used to tell me that sharing was good especially when my siblings and I were fighting over over a toy. Not only is sharing good for siblings, it’s good for genealogists. Case in point, I’ve confirmed the relationship of a man on a “Fiche de Emigrante” card all because I posted a link to Facebook. The Fiche de Emigrante Azorean Passport Records Provide Clues The card in question is for Manuel Melo Castanho of Maia, Ribeira Grande in…

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