Thanks so much for the great response to this blog!
A special thank you to those who have passed it on to others. We are heading quickly to amazing page visits to this blog! Welcome to folks from all over the country and other countries as well, including Lisbon!!

The "Village", as it was called, is located in the northwest corner of the city of Taunton, Massachusetts U.S.A. It covers about 1 square mile with the center being School Street. A large portion of the Village population was Portuguese when I was growing up.

This blog covers a lot of the history of the Village, much to do with my years as a child there: 1940 through the late 1950's. I do have many wonderful photos and information prior to that that and will share those as well. Always looking for MORE PHOTOS AND MORE STORIES TO TELL.

If you would like to send photos or share a memory of growing up in the Village
e-mail me at
feel free to comment on the posts. Directions are on the right side of the blog posts. Jump in, the water is fine and it is easy!!!

I will be posting photographs but not identifying individuals unless I have permission or they are a matter of public record. It you wish to give me permission, please let me know.

I am looking for any and all photos of the Village...

Please note: the way blogs work is that the latest post is first. It you would like to start from the beginning of the blog, check out the post labels on the right of the blog and go from there. Thanks.

Monday, April 8, 2013


Early on in this blog we stated that the population of the Village was predominantly Portuguese in origin. We have become more familiar with our parent's lives and the years that my generation was growing up in the Village---going back to the thirties in some cases.  But what about further back than the years of our grandparents and great-grandparents?
There are tantalizing photos that we try to analyze and read, often just becoming
frustrated with a dearth of information.

This is my maternal Grandmother Isobel Bento Correia Motta as she looked when she first arrived in this country in 1915.  The photo was taken in Bristol, R.I., where after obtaining the record of her ship passsage, we found she first lived in the U.S. She had come to live with her sister Anna and Anna's husband.   It took me years and years to research and understand her life. This photograph and everything that happened to her after she
 immigrated here was uncovered slowly over time.

I love noting each detail,: her dress and its tiny pin, her hair.  The dreams still in her eyes.
Her hair was done up in the style of the day, wrapped around a clean rag to form that pompadour.  We will talk about styles of the time later.

We cannot know everything that happened to these long ago loved ones.  But, we can find out more about where they came from, and then what greeted them here,
 what some of their lives were like.

These posts are my tribute to them, to those courageous people whose journey allowed us to have our journey here.  I hope that others will share, too, as we build up a memory and knowledge tree to more
fully understand our origins.

 They were Portuguese but not homogeneous.  I am told by a friend who lived in the Village in the 30's that there was a melange of accents, a symphony, as it were.  As I child, I never took the time to listen to the differences in regional linguistics 
even though all related to the Mother Country.

* There was Lisboan such as that spoken by my Uncle John Bernadino who was born in Lisbon,
capital city of mainland Portugal.

*There was Madeirenses, Madeira from where three of my grandparents came.
To further refine that,
two of them (the Souzas) were from the high volcanic mountain country
in a little town called Arca Da Calheata.
My other grandfather (Motta) was
from the capital of Madeira: the harbor city of Funchal.

*There were the various Island accents of each Azorean island.
 My maternal grandmother was from
Sao Miguel, St. Michael's.  She was from the coastal city of Aqua d'Alto
on Sao Miguel.
But, there were other islands in the Azorean chain:
Santa Maria, Pico, Faial, Terceira, Flores, Graciosa, Sao Jorge and Corvo.

Let's pretend that we are on a whaling ship bound for all those places...exploring, learning, perhaps staying for a while or forever.....

and listen to the Fado music of Dulcie Pontes
embodying the saudade
which stayed in the hearts and memories of all of those
who came to America following a dream, and yet
leaving so much behind.


  1. Gilda Mello LynchApril 9, 2013 at 7:22 AM

    Wonderful ~ Brings back so many memories of growing up in the Village. Thank you for the publishing this blog of times gone by.

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