What an amazing story John….as sad as it is, it is a treasure to know this 
piece of history of your family!

Susan

> On Oct 17, 2016, at 2:26 PM, 'John Raposo' via Azores Genealogy 
> <azores@googlegroups.com> wrote:
> 
> Let me give you the true story of my maternal grandfather. Both he and my 
> grandmother had emigrated to Fall River. They were single, did not know each 
> other and came separately, to work in the cotton mills in Fall River. They 
> ended up meeting in the mill where they worked and married in Fall River in 
> 1910. They had 4 children and lived in a 3rd floor cold water flat. After 
> World War I my grandfather became ill and began wasting away. The doctors did 
> not know what was the matter with him but suggested that he could regain his 
> health if they returned to Bretanha. My grandfather was all for it but my 
> grandmother dreaded the idea. She knew that despite the small fortune (by the 
> standards of the island) they had saved and would be taking back, life back 
> on the island would be much more difficult than life in the cold water flat. 
> At least they had cold running water, a coal burning stove and an indoor 
> toilet not to mention paying jobs in the mills. Nevertheless my grandmother 
> returned with my grandfather. The doctors were right; my grandfather’s health 
> was restored.
>  
> So far so good. Several of my uncle’s maternal uncles had gone to Brazil and 
> became vastly wealthy. (I have verified this; they were very rich!) One of 
> them died unmarried and intestate. My peasant grandfather had it in his head 
> that since the uncle had no children, his nieces and nephews were his heirs. 
> (In reality, in Portugal, Brazil and Massachusetts, an unmarried man without 
> issue’s estate would pass to his parents, if still living, then to his 
> siblings, and only if he had no living siblings would the nieces and nephews 
> inherit. Of course my illiterate grandfather was not about to pay a lawyer to 
> advise him.) So, in 1927 grandpa mortgaged everything he owned to finance his 
> Brazilian ventures to claim his fortune. And off he went to Fortaleza, 
> leaving my grandmother with 6 children. Once he got to Brazil his uncles read 
> him the law: he was not an heir; they were. My grandfather became paranoid 
> and imagined a grand conspiracy that included his uncles hiring hit men to 
> kill him. He ended up in a psychiatric hospital. Being illiterate there were 
> no letters back home to explain the situation. There were rumors that he had 
> died, that he had taken up with a mistress and had a new family, that he was 
> living the life of a rich man. My grandmother was the sole support for 
> herself and her children. The mortgage holders were kind: they knew there was 
> no money to squeezed out of my grandmother. My grandmother never believed 
> that her husband had abandoned her or started a new family. In fact my 
> grandfather died in the psychiatric hospital in 1943. The Red Cross was only 
> able to provide that information to the family in 1958. His land and house 
> were sold and half the proceeds went to liquidate his debts and reclaim the 
> family honor. Sic transit gloria mundi (And so ends earthly glory).
>  
> John Miranda Raposo
> 
> 
> 
> On Monday, October 17, 2016 4:21 PM, Cheri Mello <gfsche...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> 
> I'm starting the topic of lost husbands in its own thread since Paul's topic 
> was different. However, when Margaret brought the following up, I had 
> questions.
> 
> Margaret said:
> <<They are all saying the same thing i.e. husband was away, not missing. The 
> number of years gives the reader an insight at this lady's situation. 
> Unfortunately this happened to many women on the islands with immigrated 
> husbands. Some waited for many years, others didn't. Does this answer your 
> question?>>
> 
> I would say it's a fairly safe bet for the man to leave. Why did he leave? 
> Some of my thoughts would be he left to try to make a better life. One would 
> like to think that he went somewhere with the intent of making money to send 
> back for his wife and children, (assuming he had children already). Suppose 
> he was not successful in making enough money. He's in a new county and she's 
> back in the Azores. It must be very difficult for her, and more so if she had 
> children.
> 
> Suppose the husband and wife decided that they could not stand each other. 
> I'm sure very few got divorced back then. He could leave and start up a new 
> family in a new country and no one would know.
> 
> From the couple of ideas I thought of above, the husband could start over and 
> no one would know. He could have a second family! But everyone in the 
> freguesia knew if she had a 2nd family!
> 
> Does anyone have historical insight as to these situations?
> Cheri Mello
> Listowner, Azores-Gen
> Researching: Vila Franca, Ponta Garca, Ribeira Quente, Ribeira das Tainhas, 
> Achada
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