I searched the film that I ordered from the family history library. In preparation for the film I had taken a chronological list report and noted the marriages that had occurred within the year range of the film. Armed with this list of 7 marriages and a night where my wife volunteered to watch the kids (thanks honey), I made my way to the local family history center.
I was really excited. I eagerly began my search. The first item on the microfilm had the cover of the book photographed. I thought I should probably note the name of the book that is on the spine. I also noticed a little sticker with a number on it. I thought to myself that it was probably the numbering system in the archive.
Then things became confusing. I could not find one of the marriages. My first marriage record was Pedro de Melim and Escolastica Drumond’s in 1915; which was the earliest year of the microfilm record. There was an index and I couldn’t find Pedro’s name. I wondered if the index was incorrect, or if I made a mistake.
I searched the Arquivo Regional da Maderia’s (ARM hereafter) marriage database to double check the year. 1915 was right. Then I noticed the database listed the book and leaf (which I take as a bad English translation of the Portuguese word for page). I noted that down thinking the book number might be the number on the little sticker.
I quickly repeated this for my other records then I hit the film. It turns out that Pedro de Melim’s marriage record was in a different book (I guess 1915 was split between two books). That explains why he was not in the index. I was a little sad that I wasn’t going to see his record, but glad I had figured out the secret of the sticker.
It was easy to find the other records. I searched Roberto Luis de Castro’s marriage to Rosa Maria de Sao Jose in 1825 (book 995 page 89), which was the second item on the microfilm and found another generation.
Roberto Luis de Castro’s parents are Antonio Luis de Castro and Margarida de de Vasconcelos. A quick search of the ARM’s baptismal records turned up 3 other children: Antonio de Castro (chr. 10 Nov 1785), Domingos de Castro (chr. 22 Dec 1788), and Escolastica de Castro (chr. 6 Mar 1793). Time was short so I skipped his wife’s side of the family.
I quickly searched three other records and scanned all four using the on-site microfilm scanner. I have some new information to parse through and add to my database. I still have two other records to search out.