My step-son has asked me to find out more about his grandparents. This set of grandparents were born on Madeira Island (Portugal District). We know only tidbits of information about them. I'll mention Gabriel SANTOS in a minute, but I'd like to start with Mary or Maria Bella SOUZA.
"Bella" reportedly was born on Madeira Island and probably in 1909. She reportedly arrived in Massachusetts as a baby with her parents, so maybe in 1910 or 1911. I posted some queries on the PRT-MADEIRA List, and have received some information from those researchers. And, I went to Somerville City Hall a week ago and found the 1936 marriage record for the couple. Mary "Bella" SOUZA listed her parents as:
Joseph S. SOUZA and Mary F. CABRAL also born on Madeira Island. (They also had a daughter, Ann or Antoinette SOUZA.) I'm told on Madeira they would have been Jose' and Maria SOUZA.
I was not able to find this couple in the 1920 census. There were too many people with the same names. I asked for help with the 1930 census, and a researcher found this family in Fall River:
Joseph SOUSA, 45, from Madeira Island; migrated in 1906; he worked with groceries.
Maria SOUSA, 34, arrived in MA from Brazil in 1909.
Children were born in MA:
Maria, 15, Albertina, 11, and Alfred, 8.
These names and dates don't exactly match the family I'm looking for, but I'm keeping them in mind. As I look at my notes, the couple I'm looking for had 2 daughters that I know of. In 1930, they would have been Mary / Maria, b1909, and Ann or Antoinette, b~1911 ?, and they would have been born on Madeira Island. (I don't know whether the sister was younger or older.)
Mary "Bella" ended up in Somerville, MA, soon after as she was marrying in Somerville in 1936. The couple lived in Cambridge and Somerville and had 2 daughters. Gabriel SANTOS died during 1980's and "Bella" died during the 1990's. But the (now) husband tells me that "Bella" might have moved to the Fall River area with a friend for a few years - after her husband died.
Gabriel was born on Madeira Island in 1898, and he reportedly came over as a young man by himself. A helpful researcher found out that he arrived in Dec. 1920. He said from the Azores Islands to Boston. He said he was coming over to visit an aunt in Lowell, MA. But, the 1930 census had him in the Portland, ME, area with the "US Lighthouse Tender Service." I don't know how long he served there as he was in Somerville a few years later.
Gabriel's parents were: Jose' SANTOS and Maria VIERA from Madeira Island. And, I'm told Gabriel had many relatives in the Lowell area. Two surnames mentioned are QUINTAL and de JESUS.
I'm curious whether "Bella" had relatives in the Fall River area and maybe that is why she moved down there around 1990.
Betty (near Lowell, MA)
(on Lists for almost 9 yrs.; now an Admin for 9 Lists,
including CAN-USA-Migration )