In my last post, I looked at my daughter-in-law Sarah’s Vezina heritage back to France. I also started looking at her Portuguese side. In this Blog, I’d like to look more into the Portuguese side. This is as far as I got in her tree for Sarah’s paternal side:
All the green leaves are hints. However, some are just directory listings. I have that all of Sarah’s paternal great-grandparents were born in Portugal. It would be nice to pin a specific place to these people.
Manuel Pimental Born 1890
I have that Manuel was a barber. Here in the 1930 Census. In that Census, I am interested in the Immigration year and Naturalization status for Manuel and his wife Mary or Maria:
Actually I need the family members also:
That is so I can make sure I have the right family in the 1920 Census:
The daughter Mary was born in Portugal. Now the immigration year is the same for Manuel and the two Marys wich makes more sense. Now the oldest three show as aliens. It may be that Manuel got his naturalization between 1920 and 1930.
In 1920, the family was living at 74 Hope Street in New Bedford:
From the Census, it appeared that many families were living at this address.
Manuel Pimental’s Naturalization
This should be the key to linking Manuel back tot he old country:
As a bonus, there is a photo of Sarah’s great-grandfather.
I believe this is it. Perhaps JJ and Sarah will visit:
The population in 2011 was 436.
It appears that Sarah’s Pimental’s roots were in a remote village on a remote Island.
The naturalization record leads to a shipping record dated 15 April 1910 which can tell us a lot:
First, Maria appears to have been born when her mom was 15. Also the spelling here is Pimentel. I’m guessing that this was the original spelling. Manual’s signature seems to spell his name the same way on his Declaration of Intention above.
These columns can be helpful:
Manuel gave as a reference, his neighbor:
Here we also have the proper spelling of Achada that agrees with the Google Map above. The intended destination after arriving in New York was New Bedford.
Manuel arrived with $15. He noted that he had visited New Bedford twice before the current trip:
Once Manuel got to New Bedford, he planned on staying with his brother-in-law on Coggeshall Street:
Mother and daughter Maria were born in Achada:
On Manuel’s Declaration above he was said to be born in ‘Achado’. Here he appears to be born in Rehada. I’m not sure about the ‘R’. Perhaps they all say Achada but were written differently for some reason.
Records from the Azores
There are records from the Azores but they are difficult to read. I go to this website and find this form:
To get to Achada Baptisms, I made the following choices:
I have that Manuel was born on October 12, 1887:
According to the above, he was also married on his birthday October 12, 1893. According to the findagrave.com website, Manuel was born in 1886:
This cemetery is on Allen Street:
According to this web site on Azores Genealogy, I should be able to find out a lot of information from these records:
I tried looking at some of these records and was having trouble figuring them out. Perhaps marriage records would be easier as suggested above. However, the dates are a bit confusing. Maria is listed as 19 years old when she arrived in New York in 1910. If she married in 1903, she would have been about 12 or 13! Further, Maria’s birthdate is listed as August 30, 1893. Does that seem right? That means that I have a lot of information and dates, but are the dates accurate?
Some 1903 Marriage Discoveries
Here is marriage #4 for Achado:
I’m reading something like Maneul Rego Pimental and Dona Rosada ? Franco. Marriage #6 from November of the same year had a Maria Franco married to someone else, but was Franco her middle name?
Let’s concentrate on Marriage #4. Here is the Achado Church:
The first four lines of the marriage record appear to include the date and information about the Church:
Outubro is October in Portuguese, so the month is right. I don’t know how to read the day.
I would like to find out the names of the parents of Manuel and Dona (aka Maria). Here is my best guess for Manuel’s parents:
Legitimo means legitimate – or we may that Manuel was the natural son of Manuel Rego and Dona Maria de Lur. At least it looks like Lur.
That leaves this for Manuel’s wife’s parents:
Julio de Medeiros Franco and Dona Maria Rosa de Men? Unfortunately, the surname went on to another line. Here is the end of the record:
That would be Manuel’s signature I assume. The others are perhaps witnesses or even the priest? There is a lot of information on the record. I imagine that some information had to do with occupations. If Sarah has some Portuguese-speaking connections, we may get a better read on this record.
Azorean Baptismal Records
Now that I have broken the Portuguese record barrier by getting some basic information from a marriage record, I would like to find birth records for Maria aka Dona Rosa Franco and Manuel Rego Pimentel. I am guessing that the Rego could be an important hint due to the number of Portuguese Manuels.
A Possible Baptismal Record for Manuel Pimental
Here is Record #68 from October 1886:
In the margin, there is a note about America. However, the parents look different than for the marriage record above:
That means that either I had the wrong marriage above or more likely, I have the wrong baptismal record here.
Jose Mendes Born 1892
I’ll take a break from Sarah’s Pimental side and look at the Mendes side. Jose was Sarah’s great-grandfather:
In 1940, Jose was a weaver at the Sowle Mill living at 55 Collette Street.
There were more children on the next page.
Sowle was the Ancestry transcription. It was actually the Soule Mill on Sawyer Street:
Here are Collette Street and Sawyer Street on a map:
Jose’s WWII Draft Registration Card is helpful:
I am looking for Jose’s European roots. Here, he reports he is from Melo Portugal. Here is what Google Maps shows me for Melo:
The Draft Card also gives a different name for Jose’s wife. The Census had her as Elvira. Here she is Elrida. The 1930 Census shows much the same information. However, the immigration columns are important:
Jose, his wife and eldest daughter are listed as aliens. This also shows that Jose came to the US first and his wife and daughter came the next year which would not be unusual.
Next is the 1920 Census:
In 1920, Sarah’s grandmother Isabel was a baby. This shows that Jose had immigrated in 1916 and that he was an alien. They lived at 381 Coggeshall Street:
Here is 397 Coggeshall, so I guess the building is no longer there:
Here is Jose’s burial marker:
It looks like the Elvira name stuck for his wife. They were buried in St. John’s Cemetery where Manual Pimental was buried.
More on Jose Mendes
There area 10 trees at Ancestry that mention Jose Mendes. Two have parents for Jose:
Passenger Lists for Jose Mendes
This looks like Jose’s record:
This was from May 12, 1913 on the Caledonia. Note that Jose’s middle name was Augusto which is what the tree above had for Jose’s father.
Jose gave his last address as Mello Portugal. He lists wife Maria as his closest relative. I think it says her address is d’Annuciae? Sousa, Mello. His destination is New Bedford. The ship left from Scotland and landed in New York City. Jose’s plan was to stay with a friend on Coggeshall Street:
Jose was five foot three and gave his birthplace as Mello:
That is good news, because that menas that this WWI Draft Registration is also Sarah’s Jose:
However, Jose gives a different birthday here than he does on his WWII Draft Registration. Also here he gives Cambezes, Portugal as his birthplace. He also says he is single, so possibly there were two Jose Mendes? [Note: This was the wrong guy – see below.]
Three Joseph Mendes on Coggeshall Street
I was a little surprised to find three Joseph Mendes on Coggeshall Street in the 1919 New Bedford Directory:
Isn’t that confusing? Clearly Sarah’s Joseph was living at 381 Coggeshall Street. Soon after he moved to Collette Street because that is where we find the family in the 1925 Directory:
In the previous column there were a Jose and Joseph living on Coggeshall:
That means that the WWI Registration Card for Jose Ahes Mendes is not for Sarah’s great-grandfather. Also the shipping record for the Jose Augusto Mendes from Villa Cortez, Portugal was also the wrong person. I can weed out that record.
Here is the correct record again in context:
The second M in the column menas that Jose was married. The no and no meant he could not read or write. Antonio Viegias may have been a relative as Jose’s wife name was believed to be Elvira Conccica Viegas. However, his Portugal contact from this record appears to be his wife listed as
Maria d’Annuciaedo Souza. Confusing. He was from what looks to be Nabaes:
However, it is actually Nabais:
By the way, one of the other Joseph Mendes’ was from Vila Cortez Da Serra. Also note Melo not far from Nabais. Probably less than a mile and a half away. Here is a photo of Melo now that I’m sure I have the right place:
I’m sure the area is rich with history:
Melo is part of the municipality of Gouveia in the district of Guarda.
Melo was known for farming and historically for sheep and weaving. When Jose Mendes came to the New Bedford, he was listed as a weaver in a cotton mill there.
Melo Vital Records
FamilySearch has records here:
It looks like my only choice for Melo is the Parish of Santo Isidoro. I have that Jose was born on 5 March 1891, so let’s give that a shot:
When I choose Batismos, Matrimonios 1787-1910, I get this message:
It appears that I am out of luck as far as at-home research for Melo, Portugal.
Summary and Conclusions
- I was successful in getting Sarah’s Pimental line back to the Azores and her Mendes line back to Portugal.
- Parish records exist online for the Azores but the specific records that I was looking for were difficult to find
- I couldn’t find Parish records online for Melo, Portugal
- Sarah had heard about her background from mainland Portugal but was unaware of here Azorean roots.
- Both of these places look like they would be interesting to visit.