11 March 2013

More trouble in Brazil

Joaquim Pedro da Silva, b. 1910, taken Summer 1995 by me
In the summer of 1995 my family traveled to Brazil to visit family. I was 14 years old and had never met most of them. I clearly remember meeting my Great-Grandfather Joaquim. He was an hilarious, albeit crotchety, old man.

Since I've had such trouble with the search for my Grandmother Lindalva's birth record I stepped back and thought maybe she might not have been born in Joao Pessoa after all. Her father, Joaquim, was born in Alagoa Grande, about 100 km east of Joao Pessoa. So, on a lark, I decided to look through Alagoa Grande's parish records to see if I could find Joaquim's birth/christening record.

Here's what I knew* before I started:
* by knew I mean that my father had collected these dates/places from speaking with family members many years ago...but there are very few documents (yet) to support these claims.
Joaquim Pedro da Silva
b. 9 Jun 1910, Alagoa Grande, Paraiba, Brazil
m. 15 Sep 1948, Joao Pessoa, Paraiba, Brazil
d. 24 Dec 2001, Joao Pessoa, Paraiba, Brazil
Note: his marriage date is 14 years after his oldest child, my grandmother, was born. That date comes from a copy of his civil marriage certificate. Perhaps they were married in the Catholic church on another date but didn't register the marriage with the government? As always, more research is needed.
So, I went off in search of his christening record, and here's what I found:
Source: Family Search, "Brazil, Catholic Church Records," digital image, Family Search (familysearch.org : downloaded 11 March 2013), Image 95, page 89, Entry 252; Brazil, Parish and Diocesan Records - ParaĆ­ba - Alagoa Grande - Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem - Batismos 1909, Ago-1911, Maio.
SERIOUSLY!!!???!!! Come on now! Not only is the page torn away but the microfilm-er didn't move over the small stub of the previous page which covered some of what was left. I even tried using the next page (back side of this one) and darkening the bit you could see through the page to see if I could read it. Nope.

Anyway, I believe entry number 252 to be his. Here's what I've worked out:
By looking at a previous entry (from the top of the page) I decided that this particular scribe had a "template" for all his entries. (I double checked that this was the same throughout the previous and subsequent pages.)
Template: Date of baptism, "I baptized in the font of this Parish", Name of child, age of child in days, parent(s) names, godparents names, testify of truthfulness and signature.
So what did I learn from this record?
  • A child named Joaquim was baptized on or around 9 June 1910
  • The child was perhaps 23 days old or even 23 hours old?
That's it!
Researching in Brazil is hard!

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