Sunday, May 26, 2013

Cemetery of Vila de São Sebastião, Terceira Island, Azores

The original cemetery of Vila de São Sebastião was in the atrium of the Matriz of the same name. I know my Drummond ancestors were buried there, as mentioned by my 3rd great grandfather, Francisco Ferreira Drummond, in his book Apontamentos para a História dos Açores, including himself, buried later in 1859.When I visited the church, I wasn't able to figure out where in the atrium they were buried as, through the years, they removed all the tombstones, paving it partially with cement and grass, what I think it is sad not having the graveyard there anymore.

At some point, between, 1859 and 1891, dates I have from my family burials, they stopped using the atrium of the Matriz as a cemetery. I knew there was another cemetery, which they used to call Cemitério Público, where my 2nd great grandmother and grandfather, Adriana Drummond and João Valadão, were buried. So when I met the Provedor of Santa Casa de Misericórida of Vila, Paulo Gonçalves de Melo, I showed him my interest in visiting this cemetery mentioned in their death certificates. That's when I learned that Cemitério Público also did not exist anymore. A new one was built for the Freguesia and the remains of those buried there were transferred to this one, which I could saw from far, on the slope of a small mountain, on the outskirts of São Sebastião, in 1949.

So the cemetery I have on the photos is their third one. I visited it to try to find some of my ancestors, which unfortunately I didn't, founding only some Drummond’s that are not in my direct line, probably distant relatives. From the top of the hill, we have a beautiful bird’s eye view from Vila de São Sebastião, one of the oldest towns in Terceira and Azores (1480), and the Matriz.

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