Follow-up on my Great-Grandmother, Joana Fortes Lima Gomes

I previously wrote about how I was a bit uncertain on when my great grandmother, Joana, was born. On some documentation, she is listed as having been born in the 1886. Her obituary reads that she was 75 years old when she died in 1961. But her headstone says that she was born in 1876! In doing more research, I actually saw paperwork that shows 1886 crossed out and someone writing in 1876. This paperwork was corrected by her son, Daniel.

So this means that she was the child and not the grandchild of Luis Antonio de Lima and Camilla Fortes Ramos Lima. This also means that her name was originally Querina and that she was born in Rabil, Boa Vista on March 25, 1876. She was one of five children,including, Palmira, Manoel, Maria, and Antonio. Their father, Luis, died in 1882, at the age of 56. There are no further records for Camilla after this time.

Boa Vista was devestated between 1883-1886 and between 1896-1898, when crops failed there. It was around this time that Joanna was sent to Brava to live with relatives who at the time were being sustained by money and goods being sent from America. She had an uncle, Francisco Lima, living in Brava at the time. It is probably the case that she was brought there as an orphan because of the droughts.

According to Richard Lobban in the Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Cape Verde, there was a total of 58 years of famine and over 250,000 deaths between 1747 and 1970. Learning more about my great-grandmother, Joana, has made me realize that we, her descendants, are so lucky to be alive today.

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