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.