Silva Family Genealogy Research Log

A blog to help me not to ask "now where did I find that?"

Alfred Soares Possibly found in the 1940 U.S. Census

I had the rare opportunity to resume work on my Genealogical research today.  FamilySearch suggested a record match for Alfred Soares that I found intriguing.

This relative was last found on in the 1930 U.S. Census in Oakland CA living with his adopted parents.  In the 1940 U.S. Census record, this Alfred Soares is living in Sonoma California. He is listed as a ward.

His mother would be about 80 years old in 1940 and his father would be over 85 years old.  It seems plausible that they could have passed away and Alfred was left as a ward of the state.

Further research will be needed in order to determine if the Alfred Soares listed in this record is indeed a match with my relative but it is an interesting possibility.


António de Melim Possible Marriage

I was searching the Madeira Archives for information related to my 2nd great uncle António de Melim.

All I currently know about him is from his christening record (  He was christened on 24 March 1869 and based on the note died 26 June 1949 at age 80.  I knew his parents were a match due to his parents marriage record ( which gives the name António Pedro de Melim e Vasconcelos as the husband.

I searched for his name in the marriage record database assuming the parish would be Porto Santo because why would his death be noted in the christening record if he didn’t stay there all his life.

There were 33 results matching the criteria.  I sorted by name and looked for a marriage that seemed plausible.  To reproduce the search go to:

Looking over the results I found one that seemed to be a match:  The record is:

  • Ano:
  • Data: 1893
  • Paróquia / Conservatória: Porto Santo
  • MARIDO: António Pedro de Melim
  • Pai:
  • Mãe:
  • MULHER: Maria de Oliveira
  • Pai:
  • Mãe:
  • Livro: 6327
  • Folha: 12 v.º
  • Obs:

A quick search of the baptismal records suggests that António Pedro de Melim and Maria de Oliveira had at least 5 children

Pai Mãe Filho Paroquia Ano Livro Folha
António Pedro de Melim Maria de Oliveira João Porto Santo 16-12-1894 9008 A 50 Link
António Pedro de Melim Maria de Oliveira Manuel Porto Santo 20-06-1897 9011 A 28 Link
António Pedro de Melim Júnior Maria de Oliveira António Porto Santo 02-02-1902 9016 A 3 A v.º Link
António Pedro de Melim Júnior Maria de Oliveira Pedro Porto Santo 13-02-1910 9024 A 9 v.º Link
António Pedro de Melim Júnior Maria de Oliveira* José Porto Santo 09-02-1908 9022 A 5 Link

To confirm that this is indeed a match I would need to request film 1162303 from the Family History Library and review the marriage record details to see if his parents are listed.

Clara (Nóbrega) Soares Found in the 1930 Census

This find begins with searching for information about Clara’s husband, José Soares. I am concerned with the accuracy of Jose Soares birth year in my research.  I have reviewed the evidence that I have and have yet to find where the date I currently have came from.

I was using the Ancestry app on my smart phone and I noticed that José and Clara’s son Joseph had a “hint.”  When I looked at the 1930 hint it was clear that I had found Clara.  The piece of information that was a giveaway was the presence of their adopted son Alfred Soares.  Here is the record:

1930 Census - SOARES, Joseph jr

A couple of things are very interesting with this record.  She was living in her son’s home at 1812 East 15th Street in current day Oakland California.  The Zillow listing for this house states the home was built in 1903.  The family was living at 1912 East 14th Street (present day Marin Way) in 1920, which is about a 2 minute walk away.  She is listed as married (not widowed) though her husband is not in the household.  Her son Manuel is also living in the household.  

She is listed as immigrating to the United States in 1875 which is something that is inconsistent with other records.  She has an “Na” in the naturalized column which I am interpreting as short for naturalized.  This gives another possible source to research to learn more about Clara.  

Her son Joseph worked as a tin-platter in a can company and Manual was a salesman at a cigar store.

A Second Look at José Soares Immigration Story

I decided to take a second look at José Soares’s immigration to the United States.  First I started with the things that I know.

According to the 1900 U.S. Census José Soares was born in April of 1853 and married to his wife Clara in 1883.  This marriage date is corroborated by the 1910 Census.  The 1900 Census has his immigration year as 1884 as does the 1910 Census.  The 1920 U.S. Census has his immigration one year earlier.  Clara (José’s wife) had the same immigration year on all three census records so it seems that they came over at the same time, possibly together.

According to the Hawaiian Roots website, there are five ships that fall within the time period:

  1. S.S. Abergeldie (British ship arriving 4 May 1883)
  2. S.S. Hankow (British ship arriving 9 Jul 9 1883)
  3. S.S. Bell Rock (British ship arriving 1 Nov 1883)
  4. S.S. City of Paris (British ship arriving 13 Jun 1884)
  5. S.S. Bordeaux (French ship arriving 3 Oct 1884)

Given that the voyage lasts between 60 and 70 days it is not possible for a ship to leave in 1883 and arrive in 1884 so one of the Census records are incorrect.

Now I think the Abergeldie and the Bell Rock are less likely because it looks like they traveled from the Azores to Hawaii.  It would be highly unlikely for this Madeira native to be on these ships.

When I first looked into this question I found a possible passport record match.  This is the only record for in 1883 with José Soares so I think it is highly likely that this is a match.

José Soares and Violante de Freitas applied for a passport in 1883.  Violante was the widow of João de Freitas. Violante and João were married in 1875 in the São Gonçalo parish.  The passport record states José’s is from Caniço.  Both of these are neighboring cities in Southern Madeira.

The passport record for this José Soares states his parents are António Soares and Antónia Rosa de Jesus.  I searched for their marriage and it looks like they were married in 1843.  When I searched for José’s christening record with these parents I didn’t turn up anything.

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 of Manuel Mello and Mary Soares

I found the marriage certificate for Mary Soares who is the sister of Rosa Soares.  This marriage corroborates the fact that her mother’s maiden name is Nobrega.

Mary Soares Marriage Certificate

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

Margaret Guerrero 1920 Census Possibility

I was searching a different family line and discovered what might be my ancestor in the 1920 census. Margaret Guerrero may be found in the 1920 here:

John Paul Silva’s Naturalization Record

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.

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