The Azores DNA Project Needs Your Help


Many people don’t know about the Azores DNA Project.  It is one of the groups developed via’s website.  Azoreans who have their DNA tests done can then join the group.

The purpose of the group is to help Azorean genealogists (whether you are Azorean or one line of your tree is Azorean) connect with other genealogists, work to overcome brick walls, and help overcome the surname practices of the Azoreans. Those who hit a pai incognito (father’s name not given), have one of those families where the parents and the children do not have the same surnames, or are stumbling over female ancestors who are only reported by their religious name can benefit from adding their DNA results to the project.  As more and more Azoreans test, patterns will be seen and it may be possible to overcome these obstacles.

The group is comprised of volunteers who I’m sure many of you know and have run into in online groups.  They spend a great deal of time educating the rest of us on how this whole DNA thing works.  Their patience seems tireless as we all try to understand how each test works.  You can see some of the work they compiled at the top of the project page.  Just click on Y-DNA or mtDNA in the menu bar to check it out.

The Azores DNA Project lives on donations.  Their goals is to get as many people with Azorean roots (that includes us Portuguese Hawaiians too!) as possible to test.  The more that test, the best matching can be done.  Thus, they donate some DNA tests each year to those who cannot afford the cost.  That money comes from the general fund which is entirely made up of donations.

Donations keep this project alive.  If you would like to help out, you can find more information at the Azores DNA Project page.   The link to donate is at the bottom of the page or you may click on it here.  Be sure to select Azores Island, Port so the money is allocated to the correct geographic project.

If you’d like to see some of the things the project is working on, once on the project page, click on the Y-DNA Results tab or the mt-DNA Results tab.  You will see some of the ways they are using DNA results to bridge the gap to genealogy research.

If you are thinking about having your DNA tested, you should order through the Azores DNA Project which automatically adds you to the project.  The Family Finder test, aka Autosomal test, is the one that most family historians will benefit the most from (It’s the test I took!)  And, if you have had your DNAtested  through FTDNA, consider joining the group.  The more individual results in the group the more it will aid genealogists.



Why didn’t I think of this before?

The more I spread my family tree out on the internet the more cousins I drag in (willingly, of course.  Just this month I have had four new cousins find me through Facebook and I’ve made two new ones through my DNA test.

I love finding new cousins, really I do!  But, I’m finding that despite my stellar ability to remember which great great grandparents had which kids, I lack when it comes to, say, remember where I put my glasses 5 minutes after I was wearing them.  I also have trouble in some cases remember which new contact connects to which line in my family tree.

I could keep a list, but then I have to put the list somewhere.  If it’s on my computer I have to remember where on my computer it resides and what I named it.  I also have to include enough information so that I know which Joao Pacheco we’re talking about (I have many).  It is tedious just to think about it.

As I was inputting some information the other day, it dawned on me that there was an easy solution.  Why not make a custom field in RootsMagic where I can note my connections on each individual.  Then, if I designate the field as private only I can see it.

I created the field then tested it out.  I was able to create a simple report that showed me the individual in my database and the researcher who is associated with them.  It took less than a minute.

Why hadn’t I thought of this before?  It’s not like database management wasn’t what I did for a living for 20+ years.  And, it isn’t like I haven’t created all sorts of custom fields on RootsMagic.  Some times I make things so difficult!  I like it when the database does the work for me.


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!