Clara Nóbrega’s Birth vs Christening

I am trying to reconcile two different records.  In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census for the Jose and Clara Soares family in Waimea, Kauai, Hawaii Territory give the birth date of Clara as June 1861 (see line 47 of the following image).

1900 U.S. Census

I searched the Arquivo Regional da Madeira’s christening database searching for Nobrega and then sorting by the child’s names and scrolling down to “Clara.”  There is only one Clara christened in 1861.  She was christened in April.  But then I thought the christening could happen after the birth so I looked for 1862.  There is only one Clara christened in 1862 but she was christened in December.

So was Clara christened in April of 1861 and the 1900 census got the month wrong?  Or  was she christened in December of 1862 (1 year and 1/2 latter)?


Marriage Record of John Paul Silva and Rosa Soares

I have had a major find today.’s hints found the marriage record for John Paul Silva and Rosa Soares.  I am certain that this is their marriage record because the facts corroborate with information that I have researched.  For example the record states this is John’s second marriage.  The parents of the couple also mostly match. And by mostly I am alluding to the major find.  Rosa Soares’ parents have proven to be a brick wall in my research efforts.  Especially that I had the name of her mother as Clara Delae (from Rosa’s death certificate).  This has always not been strange because Delae is not a Portuguese name.  Well in this marriage record Clara’s surname is Nóbrega.

SILVA, John & Rosa Soares - Marriage Certificate

John Paul Silva’s Naturalization Record


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I took advantage of’s free search of their immigration records today and I found John Paul Silva’s naturalization record from their U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992.

ImageI am very confident that it is my ancestor because the address matches the address of census records.

Searched 1940 Census for John Silva



I searched the 1940 Census for my great grandfather.  I knew the enumeration district the family was in during the 1930 census.  Using this information I was able to page through the scanned images and I found him.  The link is here:

It is interesting because it looks like his 14 year old son was the respondent.  I was extra lucky because my great grandfather was one of the few who were asked supplementary questions.

I am very excited by this find and will need to take some time to parse the document.

People of Porto Santo: New Genealogy Search Tool

I am proud to announce a new resource for those who are doing genealogical research for Porto Santo.  The People of Porto Santo project has just been launched!  It allows people to search the baptismal and marriage records by name and sorts it by the relevance. Try it now at:

Most common first names of the Porto Santo da Silva Family

I have been working with the Arquivo Regional da Madeira’s databases and was able to put together some stats on the most common first names of the da Silva family in Porto Santo.  The following table summarizes the top 5 names with the counts in parentheses:

Ranking Female Male
1 Maria (73) Manuel (55)
2 Júlia (14) João (41)
3 Rosa (7) José (29)
4 Catarina (6) António (22)
5 Luzia (6) Domingos (10)
All Others (119) All Others (90)

Maria is the most common female name of the da Silva of Porto Santo and Manuel is the most common male name.

There is also more variety in female name than in male names.  These top 5 names represent 64% of all male names and 47% of all female names.

I came to this conclusion by analyzing a database of baptismal records for children whose father has the surname of da Silva.  I assumed that records with a surname other than da Silva preceding the da Silva  (i.e. Simão de Melim da Silva) were not da Silva’s.  I classified the names into male and female categories.  I also counted records with two first names in the first of the two (i.e. Domingas Maria counted as Domingas not Maria).

Paulo da Silva and Ana de Vasconcelos

I was recently searching the Arquivo Regional da Madeira’s judicial proceedings database and came across something interesting.  I searched for records containing “%da Silva” in the Inventory Author/Accuser field and Porto Santo as the parish.  At the bottom of the first page of search results I came across this record for Paulo da Silva and Ana Joaquina.  I recognized this couple as Paulo da Silva and Ana Joaquina de Vasconcelos.

I wondered if I hadn’t found their marriage records because it was not under de Vasconcelos.  I searched for “Ana Joaquina” as the wife and Porto Santo as the parish and sure enough I found their marriage record.  They were married in 1826.

I hopped over to the baptism records and searched for records with the father as Paulo and the mother as Ana and the parish as Porto Santo.  I didn’t want to limit any last names.  The first three search results are children for this family.  Here are the search results:

Son (*) Father (*) Mother (*) Parish (*) Date (*) Book (*) Leaf (*)
Paulo Paulo da Silva de Melim Ana de Vasconcelos* Porto Santo 22-03-1835 987 40 VIEW
Manuel Paulo de Melim Ana Joaquina de Vasconcelos Porto Santo 25-07-1830 986 59 VIEW
Maria Paulo da Silva de Melim Ana Joaquina de Vasconcelos* Porto Santo 20-05-1827 985 104 VIEW

So we have Paulo who is my ancestor and his two siblings.  The data all are plausible given a marriage date of 1826.

Now going back to the judicial proceedings we have this record which lists Paulo da Silva Melim and “Maria Antónia de Vasconcelos, sua segunda mulher.”  At first glance it appears the Paulo remarried.  However this is not the same Paulo.  If you view the baptismal record of his son Paulo, it is clear that he married in 1886.   A quick search of the marriage records turns up a result  Paulo da Silva and Maria Antonia de Vasconcelos married in 1886.  The second judicial proceeding is for his son.


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