Portuguese Family Histories



The following people have been added here from the pages of the book Portuguese Pioneers of the Sacramento Area. If there is anything marked with red text, it indicates new information about a person's origin or something not in the original text, either discovered by me or one of the visitors to these pages. I encourage everyone to help correct any inacurracies or typos. I have an ongoing project to identify the native village of each person mentioned in Portuguese Pioneers of the Sacramento Area. I would be happy to learn more from what each visitor knows.

Frank G. Amaro, of Madeira to Sacramento, CA

Surname Câmara, Five Centuries Old

Sobrenome Câmara, Cinco Séculos de Idade

Família Câmara, Pioneira em Minas Gerais (Brasil)

John Dias, Sr., of Madeira to Taunton, MA and Sacramento, CA

Albino Augusto Freitas, of Arco de São Jorge, Madeira to New Bedford and Sacramento, CA

Frank Perry, of Madeira to Hawaii and Folsom, CA

João Alves Pescaia, of Madeira to Hawaii

You can add the story of your ancestors here. Send E-Mail to: Family-Histories@dholmes.com

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These are the stories of people from Madeira:

From page 181 of Portuguese Pioneers of the Sacramento Area:

FRANK G. AMARO was born in Madeira on January 12, 1878, the second of four children of Manuel and Refina (Franca) Amaro. Frank attended school in Madeira, and then in 1892 went to Brazil where he worked on ranches for about seven years before going to New York. He stayed there a week, and then traveled to San Francisco, and then shortly thereafter to the Sacramento area.

His father, a farmer, died at age 65; his mother at age 38.

On December 15, 1906 in Hayward he married VIRGINIA QUINTEL, the daughter of Manuel and Julia Quintel, both natives of Madeira who had come to California in 1886. They had three children: George, Matilda, and August Amaro. Frank was a member of the IDES of Isleton, having served as vice president of the lodge.

Upon coming to the area, Amaro leased 40 acres near Isleton, and raised fruit and vegetables there until 1915, when he moved to the Courtland area where he established his home on 40 acres, growing pears and asparagus. Around 1923 he built a new home on the levee of the Sacramento River, and erected a packing shed for shipping fruit on the river boats.

[History of Sacramento County, 1923]

From page 214 of Portuguese Pioneers of the Sacramento Area:

JOHN DIAS, SR. was one of five children whose parents came from Madeira. His mother was the former Mary Gomes. John's siblings were Joe, who died around 1973; Tony, who also died around 1973; Manuel, who died around 1974 and lived in Bryte; and Julia, who married Anthony Sousa.

John married PAULINE AMARAL who was from Agualva, Terceira. Her siblings included Mary Cordeira, John Amaral, and Carmelita Sylvia.

John and Pauline first lived in the Taunton, Mass., area, doing farm work, and upon coming to the Sacramento area had a Grade A dairy of 75 cows around Florin and Bradshaw. They had previously lived in the Natomas area, working on farms there.

John died in 1963, Pauline on September 27, 1979, at age 78. Their children: John Dias Jr., who married Hilda Lopes; Tony Dias, who died in 1978 at age 45, and whose wife name was Shirley; Alfred, who was a fireman in Florin; and Margaret, whose first husband was LeRoy Simas.

[John Dias Jr.]

From pages 235-236 of Portuguese Pioneers of the Sacramento Area:

ALBINO AUGUSTO FREITAS was born November 19, 1895, at Arco São Jorge, Madeira, the son of Casimiro Augusto de Freitas (1853-1928) and Jesuina de Jesus (1865-1958). He left Madeira when he was 17 because his family didn't want him to enter military service. He went to Lisbon, and traveled through Spain, France, and ended up at Bremen, Germany.

There he paid a sea captain on a tramp steamer to take him to the United States, eventually ending up at New Bedford, Mass. He had no family or friends to meet him. He stayed in a Portuguese boarding house and found work as a weaver in the cotton mills in New Bedford.

In 1916 in the boarding house he met MARIA JARDIM PINTO (1900-1944), also born in Arco São Jorge, Madeira, daughter of Antonio Pinto (1871-1908) and Johanna Jardim (1880-1933), who ran the boarding house. They were married in New Bedford. She also worked in the mills as a spinner.

Maria's mother, Johanna Jardim Pinto, left Madeira for the U.S. when her husband Antonio died, and settled in New Bedford where she established a boarding house. She and Antonio Pinto had six children: Maria, Eduard, Angelo, Angelina, Antonio, and Laura. Johanna married again after Antonio's death, to Antonio Ramos, in the early 1920s, and this new family came to Bryte where they established a small general store. Ramos had four sons by a previous marriage: Antonio, David, Noe, and Jordan.

Albino and Maria came to Sacramento in 1926, where Albino eventually went to work at the Southern Pacific shops as a molder in the brass foundry. They settled in Bryte (now part of West Sacramento) where there were other Portuguese from Madeira: Carvalho, Ramos, Silva, Sequeira, Frates, Cardoza, Bettencourt, Avila, Andrade, Jardim, Pinto, Dutra, Simas, Lawrence, Neves, Sousa, Baeta, and Rodrigues families.

Albino was very active in the 1930s in the Portuguese acting group which held plays at St. Elizabeth's Church, at the Tuesday Club House, and Portuguese halls. Usually he was the leading man in the plays. He was also one of the organizers of the San Pedro Festival held in Bryte.

Albino and Maria Freitas had nine children: Dorothy, Cecilia, Inez, Celestino, Valentino, Albino, Daniel, Mary, and Dionizio (Dennis).

[Celestino Freitas]

From pages 278-279 of Portuguese Pioneers of the Sacramento Area:

FRANK PERRY was born in Madeira in 1847. He had been a baker in Madeira. There he married CAROLINA NUNES, who was born in Madeira in 1865. From Madeira they went to the Hawaiian Islands on a two-year contract to work in the sugarcane fields. Two children, Manuel and Mary, were born there, Mary in 1885 and Manuel in 1887. They came to California around 1888 and settled in Folsom where two more children, Carolina (Cora) and Rita, were born, Cora in 1889 and Rita in 1892.

Carolina planted inhames which she sold to Portuguese from the Bay Area. Frank worked for the PG&E Railroad. He was a musician and played the concertina and castanets. At 86, Carolina passed her federal naturalization examination at the courthouse in Sacramento and became a citizen of the U.S.

Frank Perry died in 1927 and Carolina in 1953. Both are buried in the Folsom Catholic cemetery, as are most of their children and their spouses, and some of their grandchildren. Their children:

MARY FRANCES PERRY, their daughter, married MANUEL FRANCIS CASTRO, who was born in Madeira in 1870. He worked for the PG&E Railroad here. Mary Frances died in 1976 and her husband in 1958. They had two sons, Alfred and Billy.

MANUEL JOSEPH PERRY married ALVINA FERRERA, who was born in Folsom in 1892 and died 1960. Manuel celebrated his 96th birthday in 1983. He worked at the Gray Wing Mine in Blue Ravine as a young man, for Natomas Gold Dredgers, and for Folsom State Prison as a guard.

CORA PERRY married JOHN JOSEPH CASTRO, son of Antoinette and Joseph Castro of Madeira. He was born January 25, 1880, and died May 28, 1940. Their children: Ruth A., Edith M., and John Robert.

RITA PERRY married ANTONE AUGUST SOUZA, who was born in 1881 in Villa Cortez, Lisbon, and who went to Folsom as a young man. There he worked first in the Gray Wing Mine in Blue Ravine, and then for Natomas Gold Dredgers. They were married at St. Johns Catholic Church in Folsom in 1910. Tony Souza died March 18, 1977. Both Rita and Tony are buried at St. Mary's Cemetery, Sacramento. Their children: Theresa Caroline, Clarence, John Thomas, Alyce Ruth, and Robert.

[Adeline E. Serpa]

Submitted for this website:

JOÃO ALVES PESCAIA married MARY MONIZ and moved to Maui, Hawaii in 1889 from Maderia. They lived near Paia, Maui. They had 2 sons and 5 daughters. Sons John Pescaia and Antone Alves Pescaia, daughters Mary (Garcia), Virginia (Harmon), Minnie?, Rose ? and Carrie? João worked in the sugar plantation and died at age 45. Mary then moved to Honolulu. She died in 1942. John died in Pacifica, Ca, and Antone died in Denison, Texas in 1963. John's two sons, Lawrence and George, both deceased, lived in Hawaii. Antone's sons Andrew "Ray" Weaver, Las Vegas, NV and Linn Anthony Pescaia, West, Tx. One daughter, Dora "Dottie" Bennett. Linn Pescaia's sons: Lee Anthony and John Anthony. Lee Anthony Pescaia has one son, Ryan Lee Pescaia.

[Sue Pescaia, pescaia@webtv.net ]

You can add the story of your ancestors here. Send E-Mail to: Family-Histories@dholmes.com

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Visit the Portuguese Genealogy Home Page