Portuguese Newspaper Find: Photo of Seraphim de Braga

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.

Seraphim de Braga newspaper photo

Welcome to the family, Seraphim!  It’s nice to know what you look like.

Next challenge?  Figure out what this organization was.

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Three Free Databases for Hawaiian Researchers to Find Veteran Relatives

Veterans Day is right around the corner.  Familysearch.org has three databases that those researching in Hawaii will find useful.

World War Draft Registrations

Be sure to click Draft Registration (next to birth) and enter Hawaii to limit your results.

World War II Enlistments 1938-1946

You can define by birth, residence, or branch of the military if you know it.

World War II Draft Cards, 1942

This is nicknamed the “old man draft”.  It includes people born 1877-1897.

Now got out and give your veteran relatives some love by finding their records.

 

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Double Pai Incognito

I’m coining that phrase.

I’ve been working on my cousin’s Raposo line. It seemed a simple request. Figure out if Francisco Raposo and Manoel Raposo of Kilauea were really brothers.

To start, the birth place information in some records in Hawaii was inconsistent. I sorted it out and identified they were from the village of Mosteiros on Sao Miguel Island. I had a starting point at least.

I found their marriage records and saw the phrase no Portuguese researcher wants to see. Their father was Pai Incognito. Pai Incognito translates roughly to “father unknown”. Okay, we know the woman knew who the father was, but she wasn’t telling. Pai Incognito is a dead end unless someone gives up the information in a later record.

I decided to search for their baptismals. A fellow researcher found Manoel’s and then I located Francisco’s. What I didn’t expect was this: their maternal grandfather was also a Pai Incognito. This means their father’s line is a dead end and their mother’s father’s line is a dead end.

No matter how much research I do I always come across something I’ve never seen before. This is a case where both the mother and the grandmother were unmarried mothers.  Perhaps more common today, but no so much in the 1840s (or maybe it was but we just don’t hear about it).

It leaves a lot of open questions. Where did their surname Raposo come from? Did Manoel and Francisco have the same father?  How did the single mother and grandmother make ends meet?  I can only hope some record, maybe in Hawaii, provides answers these questions. For now, this is a brick wall with cement poured over it.

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