Forgotten Child, Maria

Maria was 10 days old when she was baptized on August 31, 1890 in the church of Nossa Senhora do Monte. She was the daughter of Julio Goncalves and Carolina da Lomba and born at midnight on the 21st of August in Cham de Sousa. Her paternal grandparents were Francisco Goncalves and Angelica Pires and her maternal grandparents were Joaquim da Lomba and Theresa Corrêa.

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I immediately knew this was my ancestor and assumed this was my great-great grandmother. I had vague recollections of my great-grandmother, Bibi, saying that her mother was very young when she was born, but 14???? She was herself very young when her mother died so she didn’t have very much information. But something about this just never really sat well with me. Bibi was born in October, 1904 which would have meant that her mother would have just turned 14 and married when she was 13. Possible, I guess, but it still didn’t feel right.

20140225-171112.jpg These are my great-great grandparents, Rosa Goncalves and Antonio Jose Coelho

Bibi was known as “Nha Maria Rosinha” which meant that she was Maria, the daughter of “Rosinha” or Rosa. This was a baptismal record for Maria. Bibi always told me that her mother was the only child of Julio and Carolina. They both died very young and Rosa was raised by her grandmother, Angelica. So who was Maria?

I found a record for my great-great grandmother, Rosa, born in 1886 to Julio and Carolina. My great-great-great grandparents were married in 1883. Julio died on December 22, 1893 and Carolina died on October 22, 1896. Rosa was orphaned when she was 10 years old. Then I found this….

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On the 1st of June, 1893 a child named Maria, three years old, died at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. She was the daughter of Julio Goncalves and Carolina da Lomba, residents of Cham de Sousa, property owners. She was buried in the parish’s public cemetery. Within three years the family was almost completely gone. Maria was so young. Maybe she died from a fall or disease. There may have been an cholera or malaria epidemic that took the life of her father six months later or maybe it was from hunger during drought and famine.

We’ll probably never know what happened to little Maria. I don’t think Bibi ever knew that she had an aunt with the same name. It was the custom to not speak about dead children and when you combine that with the death of both parents I can understand why the family may not have spoken about it.

Maria was forgotten for 121 years and was found almost by accident. She existed, if only for a short time, and now she is a part of my ever growing family tree.

Author: The Creola Genealogist

My name is Anna Lima. I am the daughter of immigrants, born and raised in Massachusetts. I am the mother of two and a Speech Pathologist. My love of family history began as a child listening to my elders speak of “the old country”. Through their stories grew a love for the culture and traditions of my ancestors and I wanted to know more about who they were. My great-grandmother, our family Griot, was my greatest inspiration as she passed down stories and traditions that have helped me become the person I am today. I believe that remembering our ancestors strengthens who we are. I hope to continue my great-grandmother’s legacy, to continue to pass down the stories of not only my own family history but also the stories of the ancestors of anyone who wishes to remember. My blog is dedicated to the ancestors, those remembered and those yet to be found.

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