The Gomes Family of Pleasant Lake, Harwich and Onset, MA

I became very interested in the Gomes Family of Harwich and Onset, MA while researching my Great Grandmother’s life in Onset after she immigrated to the US in 1916. Joana Fortes Lima arrived in New Bedford, MA in 1916 and was able to save and send for one of her sons, Daniel Fortes Lima, in 1918. Daniel was 5 years old when he traveled with his father, Marcelino Teofilo Rodrigues, on the trans-Atlantic trip that would reunite him with a mother he barely remembered.

Joana lived on Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford with her god-mother, Domigas Fernandes, and her husband, Julio. How she made a living is a bit unclear but it would have probably have been in one of the many textile mills in New Bedford. She may have even supplemented her income with seasonal work on the Cape picking cranberries as many Cape Verdeans living in New Bedford at the time did. This assumption is made even more plausible when she met and married Manuel B. Gomes on December 18, 1920. A widower, Manuel lived in the Pleasant Lake area of Harwich and then in Onset, MA at the time.

The 1930 census of Onset, Ma shows Manuel and Joana living with his sons John, James, and daughter, Virginia from his first marriage and twins, Edward and Benvinda, who were 8 years old at the time.

Manuel arrived in the US in 1894 from Fogo, Cape Verde, with four brothers, John (Joao), George (Jorge), Peter (Pedro) and Joseph (Jose). He also had a sister, Amelia (Gomes) Viera, also living in Pleasant Lake, and a sister, Louisa, in Fogo, Cape Verde. His parents were Guillermo (William) Gomes and Maria Monteiro. Guillermo may have also lived in Harwich and died in 1935. Manuel’s brother John, owned a local store in Harwich but was, tragically, killed possibly by the former husband of his wife in 1913.

George, born in 1889, was married to Mary Pena (1891) on April 10, 1909. Peter (1891) was married to Eugenia Gomes Santos on January 16, 1913 and then to Caroline Viera on November 6, 1915. Joseph was married to Mary, date unknown. Joseph and Mary lived in Onset, next door to Manuel and Joana, with their children, including Joseph B. Gomes, who died in the battle of Iwo Jima, I believe, while saving the life of a fellow soldier. There is a bridge located on Charge Pond Rd, Wareham, dedicated in his name.

Manuel married Philomena Pena Dias on August 10, 1895, who was born in Fogo, Cape Verde. She arrived in the US with her sister, Mathilde, to meet their parents in Harwich. Her parents, Joaquim Dias and Julia Pena Dias arrived in the US sometime prior and worked in the cranberry bgs there. Manoel and Philomena, known as Fannie, had a daughter, Mary Gomes Sequira (1897-1930), Albert (1899-1900), James (1901-1901), Benjamin (1902-1971), Julio (1905-?), Amos (1907-1957), John (1910-1977), James (1913-1991), Virginia (1915-1991) and Raymond, known as Boboy (1919-1991). Fannie died on September 13, 1919. Raymond lived with grandmother, Julia, at age 80, as an infant after his mother died. His oldest sister, Mary, was shown to have cared for Benjamin and Raymond after their mother’s death. Her sense of family and caring for them ran deep; all the sibling burial plots had been purchased by Mary shortly after the death of her husband, Joaquim Siquera, in 1819. Grandmother, Julia, died in 1930. Twins, Edward and Benvinda, were born December 14, 1921.

The Gomes family lived on Bertino street in Onset. By 1940, Julio was living in Boston and Virginia was married and living in New Bedford. Benvinda, called Gala, was living with her parents and married to George Miranda (1915-1992), son of Francisco (Frank) Miranda and Justina J. Miranda. George had three sister, Mary, Margaret and Annie, and a brother, Amos.

Manuel died in 1942. His obituary listed a daughter, Irene, in addition to the ones listed above. He was buried at St Patrick’s cemetary where Joana was also buried along side him in 1961.

My Uncle Boboy, Great-uncle, Daniel Fortes Lima, and my grandfather, Raimundo Fortes Lima in December, 1961
My grandfather, Raimundo, with his niece, Dorothy, and his brother, Daniel

When my grandfather, Raimundo, finally arrived in the US in 1959, meeting his mother, Joana and brother, Daniel, (also known as Mochu) for the first time, he lived in the house on Bertino St. My uncles, Boboy and Reinaldo, and my aunt, Stella, lived for a time on the Cape before Raimundo moved the family to Brockton for work. Since then our families have grown apart through years and distance but has never forgotten one another.

I have such great memories of Ti Gala and George. Much of my summers were spent taking rides with my family to the Cape, going to Ti Gala’s house which was across the way from a field that my grandmother and other family members tended and harvested all types of vegetables. We would walk over to Ti Doris’ house, a cute blue cottage built by her husband, my great-uncle, Daniel, to have lunch, sitting in her front yard on her white garden furniture in the shade of a large tree. I will always remember her cat-shaped glasses and her white dog that I’m sure spoke English. If you said “hi” to him it really did sound like you got a “hi” right back! Nho Frank would come running from his house whenever he caught a glimpse of my great-grandmother – I think he had a crush on her and she never gave him the time of day…. I think, lol!

My daughter with Ti Gala at the Cape Verdean festival on Onset Beach in 1994

It’s my hope that we will be able to gather the family at an annual family reunion at Onset Beach. So if you’re a Gomes, Lima, Miranda and Baptiste (or related to one) from Harwich, Wareham and Onset, expect an invite for next summers reunion!

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20 Comments on “The Gomes Family of Pleasant Lake, Harwich and Onset, MA

  1. Hi there! I'm so excited to see this post. I know about these families and would like to share what I know. Is it OK if I ask some questions too? My email is HarwichCapeVerdeanGenealogy at hotmail.com.

  2. Two of the most loved people that I was blessed to have in my life, nana gala and papa George Miranda. I miss them til this day, it would be a terrible mistake for me to miss an event such as reunion to celebrate so many great influences that helped many of us be what and who we are today. So without any hesitation, please keep me informed of the specifics so that I can make arrangements to attend, I live in Dallas, Texas,, along with my sister Wendy, my half-brother Tristain, and half sister Tierny. I am very sure they would love to be informed as well. Thanks for including me a d hope that all of you continue to have a blessed day/evening.

  3. Hi Paul! Please save the date -June 29, 2013! We will be having it in Onset at the beach. Please let everyone know. Our family has such a great and interesting history and I would hate to let it be forgotten. It's been a long time coming and i just can't wait to see the Lima family come together again for this.

  4. OMG! I cannot beleive my eyes, I cam across this by accident. These are all of my family. Raymond (Roogie) was my great uncle and gala my great aunt. My Grandmother was Minnie Gomes (my mother Lorraine). It's amazing I see this now since I have not lived in Onset for over 35 yrs. I just bought a house in Onset and move back in one week. I have goose bumps right now. You've made my family relevant with this. I love this!Leo (Daley-Gomes) Venuti

  5. Paul, we are related, If your dad is Manny (he used to be a cop) He is my cousin. When he was a lot younger he was a wrestler. Our Uncle raymond even set up a wrestling ring in his back yard for him. This whole article has giving me the chills (good chills). I'll be moving back to Onset after 35 yrs. as of Oct. 1, 2012. I cannot wait to reunite with all of my family

  6. Who ever wrote this article please get in touch. Baboy was my grandmother's brother. Minnie (Avseveo) Gomes. We need to continue to put the pieces together for our next generations. This is so eye opening. There is more family spread out from Florida, to Michigan to New Hampshire and back to Onset that I will be sharing this with. The need to see this.

  7. This is the most spookiest thing ever. My grandmother Minnie and her mom Mami and Baboy raised Leo and I. My mom always wanted us to know where we came from but she never had the resources. My body is trembling right now. I wud love to read see or hear anything u have. Like did my great grandma come from Portugal. Contact me on my facebook page. Thank u and God Bless u for this. My heart is so full. Thank u

  8. This is awesome,I'm colleen-Raymond was my father-his nick name was roogie not bouboy and he was born in 1918 and past away in 1995.you are welcome to contact me for questions,Sharon will give you my number.Hi Leo,long time no see.How are you

  9. Greetings: My Name Is Omisoore Asabi Romera E Henderson…..I have chills running down my back since I've read your post. I have been searching for my Great Grandmother & Grandfather for the past few day's and was guided to your post. Let me start by saying that as a little girl I was told that my *Great Grandfather* & *Great Grandmother* was Manuel Baptiste & Philomena (Barboza) Baptiste they came from the Cape Verde…..They die before I was born in 1965…. My "Grandmother Fannie"(Barboza) Baptiste left MA and marry Mr.Leroy Anderson and they had 5 Children and lived in Charlotte NC….Where she later moved to New York City with her children. If by any chance some of this sound like family to u please reachout: (asabidejesus@aol.com)…..What Are The Chance That The Family Presented Here Has The Same Names of 2 People That Got Marry { Manuel married Philomena Pena Dias on August 10, 1895, who was born in Fogo, Cape Verde.}

  10. Hi! I will email you with some information. My Fanny Gomes died in 1919 in Wareham. I did find information regarding your Manuel and a possibility why your Fanny remarried and moved to NC!

  11. Hi Creola,Your site is very enlightening & interesting. I am not related to any people that I've read about or seen pictures of, BUT I believe my cousin Margaret (Margie) Andrade, originally from Cedarville,(an area of Plymouth, MA) may be related to you. Her mother was Beatrice Lima Andrade, from Onset, MA,whose mother was Palmira Lima. Palmira was married but I don't recall her husband's name, and they had children Doris (maybe Dorothy), Joseph (Joe)m, Louise and another son, who I think was named Daniel (Dan or Danny) Lima. Doris' children are Carrie, Dorothy (Dot), Donnie (maybe correct name is Donald) Danny and another son (?name?). Carrie was married to a person named = Mudja (? his real name??) then she married Joe, who was a guitar player with various Cape Verdean bands, and they moved to Florida, where I believe Joe passed away. To my knowledge, Dot lives in CT. ALSO, DOT'S daughter lives in Onset or Wareham, MA, and she has a son = Trey Rezendes, who is my cousin Claire & Louie (passed away) Rezendes' grandchild. Trey's father is Jeffrey Rezendes from/lives in Marion, MA I hope this information is helpful, IF THESE PEOPLE ARE RELATED TO YOU. I can be reached at Teechaesol@aol.com. Keep up the good work.

  12. Awesome! I am looking to trace my family steps in America. You name it in the Cape… and they lived, worked, or stayed there. Contact me with tips or words of wisdom… mariocabral@hotmail.com

  13. I am from pawtucket and very much interested in finding out about more about who I am….this is amazing.
    . Pease help! Where do I begin? All I have is pictures and names ending at my great grand parents.

    • Hi Sonia. Start by asking your family lots of questions. Find out who your ancetsors were who first came to the US. Where did they live? What year did they arrive? Which islands did they come from? What village or town were they from? Then go to sites like Ancestry.com ($) or FamilySearch.org (Free) and look up their names. Immigration records will sometimes have the name of the person they’re meeting here and their realtionship. They may also include the name and relationship of the person they left in Cape Verde. Family Search, through the Mormon Church has now posted a link to all the records that archived from the Arquivo Historico Nacional- the archives of Cape Verde. If you know the island and parish your ancestors lived in, you can search for their names in baptism, marriage and death records. Let me know if you have any other questions or if I can help with anything else. ~ Anna

  14. Hi,
    My name is Jeremy Thomas (Miranda). My father is Melvin Miranda… Paul who posted earlier is my cousin and Gala and George are obviously my Grandparents. However, I was adopted by my Mother’s first Husband and raised outside of the family, so I know nothing about my people. Could you provide me insight into what seems to be our mutual family? It seems I must somehow be your cousin.

    Thankfully,
    Jeremy

    • Hi Cousin!
      Melvin is my mother’s first cousin! Gala was my grandfather’s sister. We are definitely family and I would love to help you get all the information you want about the family.
      Our great grandmother was Joanna Fortes Ramos Lima Gomes and she was born on the island of Boa Vista then lived in Brava where my grandfather, Raimundo, and his brother, Daniel, were born. She came to Anerica in 1917 and sent for Daniel but my grandfather stayed back because he was still very young. He finally came in 1959, two years before Joanna (Ma Juana) died. Daniel was married to Doris. Ms Juana married Manuel Gomes and had Edwin and Gala. That’s how we’re all related. I will send you an email with contact info.

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