The only spanking my great-grandmother, Bibi, ever got from her father was when she refused to go to the cemetery to put flowers on the grave of her sister, Clara. She said that her father told her that she shouldn’t be afraid to go there because sooner or later we would all end up there. But it wasn’t fear that made her refuse. It was because the cemetery was located on a mountain in Nossa Senhora do Monte named after her great-great grandmother, “Nha Leandra”.

When someone passed and was buried at this cemetery, someone would inevitably recite something like;

“Aye, Nha Leandra! Dja bu toma’m nha mae!”                                                                                                                (Aye, Nha Leandra! You’ve taken my mother!)

Bibi just hated the fact that people said that her ancestor had taken their loved one! I don’t really blame her for taking the risk of a spanking to avoid visiting a place associated with such sadness and knowing you have a more personal connection with its namesake.
Of course, being the genealogy sleuth that I am, I had to find out who Nha Leandra was and why she had a mountain named after her.  

Leandra Pereira Dias  

On December 29, 1811, in the church of São João Baptista in Brava, Joaquim de Barros son of Antonio de Barros and his wife, Maria Pires, married Leandra Pereira, daughter of Angelo Dias and Maria Pereira.

 

My great-great-great-great-great grandparents received a special dispensation by the Bishop of Cape Verde to marry since they shared the same great-great grandparents. In older marriage records, such marriages included a notation such as ” forão dispensado a 4 com 4 grãos de consanguinidade”. There were 4  “degrees” of separation between each of my great x5 grandparents and their common ancestor. Siblings are 1 degree removed from their parents, first cousins have 2 degrees of separation from their common grandparents, second cousins or first cousins once removed have 3 degrees of separation, etc.

Joaquim’s father, Antonio de Barros, left one of the largest wills known to exist in the national archives of Cape Verde. It contains over 650 pages and contains information that includes ownership vast amounts of land in Brava and how it was devided between his heirs. The will also includes information of slaves the family may have owned and probably freed after he died. It was customary in Cape Verde that any enslaved people were to be freed after their master died.  I hope this was the case for my great x6 grandfather. I have not been able to actually read this will as I am still waiting for special permission to receive a copy after proving my descendancy.

This may help to explain how Leandra came to have a whole mountain named after her. In baptism records for her grandchildren, Leandra is listed as the sole grandparent listed without Joaquim which means that he probably died young. I have not seen any information that said women didn’t inherit from the husbands. It is safe to assume that Leandra would have been left with any land and property from her husband.

GENERATION 1 

Joaquim and Leandra had five children that I have been able to find so far;

1. Manuel de Barros (b. 1816- d. 1891)

2. Joanna de Barros (b. April 8, 1825)

3. Alexandrina de Barros

4. Anna de Barros (b. 1816- d. 1889)

5. * Aniceta de Barros married Celestino Duarte, son of Zacharias Duarte and Isabel de Barros.

GENERATION 2

Aniceta was known as “Nha Nicetra de Leandra”. Celestino and Nha Nicetra had at least 12 children, including my great-great grandmother, Clara de Nha Nicetra. I have only found records for 8 of the 12 children.

1. Catherina Duarte married to Antonio Jose Lopes

2. Julia Duarte married to Antonio Tavares, child – Eugenia Tavares ( Jania de Neka)

3. Manuel Duarte married to Maria Pires do Livramento, child – Joaquim Manuel Duarte

4. Carlotta Duarte (b. 1847)

5. Joao Duarte (b. February 20, 1845)

 6. Emilia Duarte married to Joaquim Rodrigues

7. Eugenia Duarte married to Jose Tavares da Silva

8. * Clara Duarte married to Jose Coelho (b. 1845) , son of Marcelino Jose Coelho and Desidaria Rodrigues.

GENERATION 3


Clara Duarte married Jose Coelho on February 12, 1870 which fell on a Wednesday. Their marriage also received special dispensation by the Bishop of Cape Verde as they shared great-great grandparents. They had at least 9 children;

1. Adelia married to Augusto Jose Fonseca

2. Henrique Jose Coelho (b. 1870) aka Henry Rodgers married to Margarida Duarte

3. Joao Jose Coelho (b. 1871) married to Maria Ozorio

4. Carlotta Coelho (b. July 2, 1873)

5. Julia Coelho (b. 1878) married to Francisco Jose da Lomba, children – Maria and Jose

6. Maria Coelho “Ma Mulatta” married to Joaquim da Costa – children Joao, Arminda, Clara and Carlotta (twins)

7. Manuel Jose Coelho (b. June 15, 1881) married to Mariana Jose Coelho

8. Luis Jose Coelho (b. October 7, 1887) married to Amelia Tavares

9. * Antonio Jose Coelho (b. 1879-1918) married to Rosa da Lomba Goncalves (1886-1918), daughter of Julio Goncalves and Carolina Correia da Lomba.

GENERATION 4

My great-great grandparents, Antonio and Rosa, lived in Tome Barraz and had four children;

1. Julio Antonio Coelho (b. 1908 – d. 1971) married to Rovilla Fern Youle, children – Myrtle and Rose Coelho and their descendants live in Northern California

2. Carolina Coelho (b. 1912 – d. 1998) married Joao dos Santos, children Antonio, Joaquim, Arthur, Irene and Idilia dos Santos and their descendants live in Cape Verde, California, Massachusetts and Rhode Island

3. Clara Coelho (b. Unknown)

4.  * Maria “Bibi” Coelho (b. 1904- d. 2003) married to Avelino Rodrigues (b. 1900 – d. 1929), had one daughter Rosa Rodrigues (b. 1923 – d. 2003) married to Raimundo Fortes Lima, son of Marcelino Teofilo Rodrigues and Joanna Fortes Ramos Lima (b. 1876 – d. 1961). Their descendants live in Massachusetts … Except for one who lives in Maryand and calls herself the Creola Genealogist 😃.

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4 Comments on “Aye, Nha Leandra! # 52 Ancestors

  1. This is FASCINATING historical data…do you know of any records of Cabo Verdeans who may have been captured/sold into slavery to the Caribbean and/or the United States? This would explain some of the millions of African-american families of Portuguese descent.

    • Hi- Cape Vereans have been in America since before it was America, lol! Matias de Souza was one of the first inhabitants of St Mary’s city in Maryland in the early 1640’s. He came as an indentured servant but soon thereafter became Maryland’s first black state senator. Cape Verdeans also came after the 1750’s on whaling ships. Cape Verde’s history is, of course, steeped in the Atlandtic slave trade. Of the enslaved people who went through Cape Verde, most ended up in Brazil, Central America and the Caribbean. There are accounts of Portuguese slave ships wrecking off the coast of North Carolina in the 1700’s, as well, so I would assume that the final destination was the U.S. The numbers here aren’t as great as Brazil and the West Indies. One of the most well-known descendant of an enslaved person from Cape Verde is Barzelei Lew from Groton, MA , a veteran of the Revolutionary War, whose mother was Margaret Lew, an enslaved Cape Verdean. Barzelei is in a portrait that hangs in the Massachusetts state house as he fought
      There are records in Cape Verde of enslaved African’s who were transported to the Americas and while the trade across the Atlantic was illegal by 1811, clandestine voyages continued well into the 1860’s. So there may be many African Americans who have Cape Verdean ancestry that reaches as far back as the creation of this country and through the slave trade.

  2. Muite obrigada, Anna, for all the information you have provided! 1. How could I access these records of enslaved Caboverdeanos who were sent to the Americas during the slave trade? The Portuguese genetic history showed up on my brother’s Y-DNA ancestry test. We have a rumor of an “Irish” ancestor on my father’s side, but I suspect this man was probably of Afro-Portuguese
    descent (and possibly Caboverdeano). I was able to speak to my grandfather in the early 1980’s, who informed me that his grandfather was a slave–also with the last name of Dell–and this man was praying on the auction block for God to take care of his family. (As I suspect that the bulk of
    African slaves were of Hebrew/Israelite/Jewish descent and many were Christians as well,
    this would explain the growth and stability of the slave church of Africans here in the United States.) 2. Is there a library or church source in Cabo Verde where I could research the slave
    records of those Africans shipped from the Caboverdean archipelago? 3. There are many southern African-Americans with Portuguese surnames, such as Andrade, Coutinho, Barriera and Pegues. We know that any Euro-Portuguese who came to the southern United States were all
    Sephardic Jews, who established colonies in Georgia and the Carolinas. Do these names I listed correspond with Cabo Verdean surnames? Muite orbrigada for any information you have….!

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