Finding the missing link


My week at the Family History Library is coming to an end and I feel like I’ve just experienced the grande finale… Today, I broke through two brick walls that have been haunting me for the past ten years.

The first, was discovering the names of my great grandmother’s parents. My great grandmother, Mary Brown Mello, was born about 1877 in the Azores and died in Bermuda on May 1, 1962. It has bugged me for years that her name was listed as Mary Brown. I knew that was not her birth name, but no one was left alive who knew the truth. My auntie Carol, her grand daughter, told me she vaguely remembered her mother telling her it was something like Baum or Braun, but I had never been able to pinpoint what it was actually.

I needed the correct maiden name, because without it, I had no idea of who her parents were.  Out of 16 great great grandparents, I had located all of them except for her parents.

Today, I discovered the last of my great great grandparents.

Antonio de Mello & Maria de Brum on their wedding day.

Antonio de Mello & Maria de Brum on their wedding day.

A few years ago, I came across a wedding photo of my great grandparents taken by a photographer in New Bedford, Mass. I remember that surprising me, because I had only known of them living in the Azores or Bermuda. It even had a date, Sept. 9, 1885, but that still wasn’t enough information to locate the marriage record – looking for Antonio Mello is like looking for Joe Smith and it seemed everyone named their daughter Maria.

But today… today was different. Today, I found my answers. Today, I discovered the elusive marriage record of Maria de Brum and Antonio de Mello, married on Sept. 9, 1885 in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

The marriage record of Antonio de Mello and Maria de Brum

The marriage record of Antonio de Mello and Maria de Brum

And the best part?

It listed the parents for both, the bride and groom, and validating, I had the right couple.

Francisco  & Rosa Emilia de Mello  Francisco & Izabel de la Brum

Francisco & Rosa Emilia de Mello
Francisco & Izabel de la Brum

Today, I discovered the names of my last remaining great great grandparents – Franisco and Izabel de Brum and my family is more complete.

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