SNGF: Best Find 2014, Hopes for 2015

This is my entry for Randy Seaver’s weekly Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge.  This week we’re to write about our best find of 2014, then write about an ancestor we want to work on in 2015.

2014 was a year of many discoveries.  The records in the Azores went online, Portuguese Hawaiian newspapers went online, I had my DNA tested, etc.  It’s difficult to narrow this down to one best.  However, I think the one that stands out the most is finding the marriage record for Jacinto Pacheco and Anna Jacinta de Mello.

Jacinto was from the village of Fenais da Vera Cruz and Anna from Achada.  When I left off researching around 1999, I had spent many months searching for their marriage record with no luck.  I had all their children’s baptismal records but one.

This spring Achada came online.  I worked diligently through the records.  I found many relatives and got my lines back into the 1600s.  Yet, that marriage record eluded me.

Sometime in summer, Fenais da Vera Cruz came online.  I decided to start at the beginning of the marriage set rather than the end.  Bingo!  A couple pages in I found my couple.  Contrary to norms they were married in his village.  But, the real reason I missed this record was that when I originally searched FVC and Achada in the 1990s I was searching the wrong years.  I assumed that since second son Manoel was born in 1863, that Antonio was born around 1861.  I searched back to 1859.  Then, I went searching for Antonio’s bapstimal thinking I’d have a better handle on the marriage date if I had that. I never found it.

Anna and Jacinto were married in 1856.  I had stopped my search to soon.  I still haven’t found Antonio’s baptismal which leaves me with a problem.  Between the marriage and Manoel’s birth is almost 7 years.  Where were they during that time?  It’s frustrating not to know.  At least now, I know Antonio could have been born as early as 1857.

This is their marriage record.

marriage record achada azores

As for 2015, I’d like to say that I’ll work on Harry Kenneth Jackson, my great grandfather.  But, he is an impossible ancestor and I might spend all year looking for that needle in a haystack.  So, I think that I would like to form two goal:

1.  Find the immigration information on John Joseph Jones and Mary Jane Haywards for their migration from Australia to San Francisco.  I’m not sure if those records are available but I’d like to work them backwards so I can maybe establish their roots in Australia and then some day get them back to Wales.

2.  Find early information on my Kelly Dolan family.  I would like to either find Margaret (Kelly) Jones’ birth/baptismal in Manchester, Hillsborough Co., NH 1849 and/or Patrick Dolan’s naturalization records in 1854, Boston, MA.  I think that either could provided the information I need to make the just to County Roscommon, Ireland.  I’m hoping anyway!

Thanks for the challenge, Randy!  Happy New Year to All!





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.


SNGF: Santa Brought Me RootsMagic7

Randy Seaver’s new Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge asks what I got from Genea Santa.  Well, I’ll show you what I got…

RootsMagic 7 genealogy software

Yes, I got RootsMagic 7!!!!  Woo hoo!!!

I’m excited because I was still using RootsMagic 5.  More importantly, I got RootsMagic 7 right after it was released.  When I got RootsMagic 5, they upgraded to 6 two months later.  Grrrr!  So now, I get to have the brand spanking new version.

Of course, I installed it Christmas night.  Did you expect me to be able to wait until the next day?

The look and feel is the same as the previous version.  The big thing that I am thrilled about is the little warning symbol on entries.  I have arthritis and although I type almost as fast as I did before arthritis I do not type as accurately.  (Don’t tell me to slow down.  The slower I type the worse it gets.)  I can now easily see the inconsistencies in dates, missing gender, and so forth.  This is a wonderful addition!

I’m not all that thrilled with the light bulb MyHeritage suggestions.  I don’t have a subscription to MyHeritage.  But more importantly it has to do with my immigrant ancestors.

I’ve mentioned before that I have what I call New Immigrants.  What I mean by that is I have no roots in America prior to 1847 (that I know of at this time).  The majority of my immigrant ancestors came between 1882 and 1907.  Many of the databases at MyHeritage besides the census aren’t much use to me.  The light bulb does link to show links to my WikiTree entries.  There’s some comfort in that.

There is still much to explore with RM7.  I saw something called “web tags” that I need to figure out.  I’m excited as all get up and have already done some input just to play around.  I think I will watch some of their webinars to familiarize myself with the changes.  They are free, so what the heck!

Thank you Genea Santa!  I am very happy with my gift.