I’m sorry it’s been a while since I’ve added anything new to my blog. Life can sometimes get in the way of a really great blog entry.
In the past couple of months I’ve managed to grow my family tree back at least a generation in a couple of my branches and I have learned a lot more about what life may have been like in the tiny little village of Cham de Sousa in the parish of Nossa Senhora do Monte, Brava.
It seems that the same families have lived there for at least 300 hundred years and in fact, I seem to be a descendant of ALL of them. This is some of what I have so far;
My great-grandmother’s maternal and paternal sides have lived in the parish of Nossa Senhora do Monte since probably before it was created in 1828. Her mother, Rosa, was the the daughter Julio and Carolina. Julio’s mother was Angelica and his father, Francisco. I was able to get a copy of his baptismal record from 1859 which gave me absolutely no extra information since it doesn’t list grandparents. Unfortunately, Francisco and Angelica remain brick walls for me.
On the other hand, Carolina’s branch goes back a little further and includes many siblings and cousins. She had at least 5 of them, which include twin girls. Her parents, Joaquim and Theresa show up in many records as parents and grandparents where we intertwine with many other families I have researched from Brava, including the de Senna family, descendants of the first island military governor of which Eugenio Tavares, writer and poet belongs to, the do Valles, who were actually de Senna’s before the two brothers, Eusebio and Jose Pedro, had a falling out and split the family, as well as the Cosme’s, dos Reis, and Gilmette’s.
Carolina’s father, Joaquim, was the son of Maria Pereira, which is like “Jane Smith” in Cape Verdean genealogy. I probably have 100 Maria Pereira’s, Maria Pires’ and Maria de Pina’s in my tree! He had a brother, Antonio, who married his wife’s sister, Joanna. Carolina’s mother, Theresa, was the daughter of Victorino and Isabel, who must have been born around 1800 since they have their first child in the late 1820′s. They are my brick wall in this branch. I haven’t been able to find anything thus far to tell me who they were or who their parents were, not even obituaries, but I know they were alive in the late 1840′s when they have the youngest of their children which I have been able to find.
My great-grandmother’s paternal side is a bit more interesting and goes back further. I was able to find many more records for these people. Her father was the son of Jose and Clara. Jose was the son of Marcelino Jose, who was the son of Francisco and Claudina, whose marriage record I have from 1811.
Clara was the daughter of Celestino and Aniceta. Celestino was the son of Zacarias and Isabel, married in 1817, who are the children of Luis Goncalves and Maria de Pina(!) and Joaquim and Leandra.
Joaquim and Leandra were married in 1811 and were probably born between 1780-1790. He was the son of Antonio de Barros and Maria Pires(!). Leandra was the daughter of Angelo Dias and Maria Pereira(!). Antonio, Maria, Angelo and Maria were probably born between 1740 and 1750.
Not bad considering I started my research with nothing more than memories of names in stories my great-grandmother told me when I was younger. Almost everyone I have in this part of my tree is identified as being a natural of this parish which is interesting considering they were born much earlier than 1828, when the Bishop of Cape Verde decided to make Brava his residence and headquarters. The church of Nossa Senhora do Monte began construction at that time and wasn’t completed until the late 1840′s when the first marriages begun being held there.
In the last few months, I have also gotten more DNA matches with people of Cape Verdean descent and my tree has continued to grow tremendously! I am still trying to make sense of my African DNA information, specifically, the Bantu people. Turns out, there are many tribes within the Bantu’s. Without a record showing someone as a natural of one of the mainland countries, I haven’t been able to narrow it down to any specific region of the continent of Africa but I am keeping my fingers crossed!