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.


A Letter from the After the War

I found a gem in the Garden Island Newspaper this evening.  It is a letter from Theodore Pacheco to his parents, Francisco Pacheco and Alexandria de Caires.  Theodore was stationed in Bourges, France in 1919, after the war ended.

The letter details what Theodore experienced in the small town the day the German’s stopped fighting.  I got chills reading it.  I have so few writigns from my relatives.  To have the newspaper preserve this little piece of the Pacheco history is a wonderful find!

Part one of letter from Theodore Pacheco


Part two of letter from Theodore Pacheco

Part two of letter from Theodore Pacheco

The letter reads as follows:

The following interesting letter was written to Mr. Frank Pacheco of Kilauea by his son, Pvt. Ted Pacheco, now in France:

Bourges, France

Nov. 24th 1918,

Dear Father:

This is your day, set aside by the A. E. F. as fathers’ day.

You of course already know that the war is over, a complete victory for the Allies.  I am in a small town, but the day the Germans quit fighting there were more people in town than I thought would be.  They went wild over here, both the men and women.  It was good to see them happy once more.  All stores and business houses closed.  The people paraded up and down the streets for three days and nights.  A fellow couldn’t walk on the main streets they were so crowded with people.  I was on my way home to camp, I met a parade, or better, a singing, noisy mob, and I could not get by, so I went down the street and got noisy with the rest of them.

The people here think a lot of the Americans.  They say we were the cause of bringing the war to such a sudden and successful end.  It wont be long before we will be going home.  Uncle Sam will get us home as soon as he can.

Winter is setting in and its getting pretty cold.  Little puddles of water freeze over during the night.  They say it gets very cold here in the middle of winter.  We have fires burning night and day to keep warm.  They have just issued us another blanket, making it four blankets now.

You will receive this about Christmas time, so I will close wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Your loving son,


(I do not know if the typist messed up or if perhaps he was called Fred.  Who knows with my people!)


Garden Island Newspaper, “Letters from over there”, 14 Jan 1919, page 2, columns 3 and 4.





Garden Island Newspaper online 1902-1922

I was browsing the Chronicling America website today to see if there was anything new.  They’ve added to the Garden Island Newspaper collection.  It now covers 1902-1922.  The Garden Island Newspaper served the island of Kauai.

I didn’t do very well in the early years.  I suspect most non-Whites (the Portuguese were considered Caucasian but not White in Hawaii up through the 1950s) got much newspaper space in the early years.  That was reserved for the wealthy White land and business owners.

After 1914, there is definitely a switch.  More plantation family stories are included.  Baseball was big on the island and there were several teams.  Lots of little news bits of this family visiting that family.  I found several interesting things on my Pacheco family in Kilauea.

I notice a lack of obituaries, birth, and marriage announcements.  You’d think for such small communities these events would have been noted.  It would be interesting to know what year they are added.

Here’s the link for the Garden Island Newspaper:  Garden Island, 1902-1922