I have begun researching my family's Portuguese ancestry and ran across a family legend that states my g-g-g-grandfather, Francis Sylvest, came from an island off Portugal that was owned jointly by the Irish and the Portuguese.  Other records indicate that he was from Lisbon, and worked a vineyard with his father, then came to the US in the early 1800's aboard a whaling ship.  I have not been able to confirm any of this.  I have never heard of an island jointly owned by Portugal and Ireland, and other relatives have said that the Sylvests came from the Azores.  Do you know of such a jointly owned island? Thank you for all of your research and your wonderful website! Sincerely,
Jennifer Parker-Ortiz.


Dear Jennifer,
There are no (or ever been) Islands jointly owned by Ireland and Portugal, however it is a well known fact that Madeira Island, the closest one to Portugal main land has been heavily influenced by the United Kingdom, even with Protestants missionaries. There were so many from the English Isles that at one time it was said that "they might as well own the place". Today is still the island of choice for many from the UK due to its mild year round climate. 

he name Sylvest, short from the Portuguese Silvestre, it is very common in the Azores Islands. Most whales ships in the 1800's stopped at the Islands to obtain supplies and men. Most whalers in the 19th century were Portuguese.
Hope the above helps and wish you good hunting.


Hello Mr. Mira, Can you please send me your new email address.  I have read your book and admire your work. Thank you,
Tony Branco


Hello from Toronto, Canada
I was just browsing through your list of famous Portuguese people and it made me feel real proud to be Portuguese. Thank you for making my day.
Raul Novo

I would like to thank all involved in this fine web site for their wonderful work. I am a first generation full blooded Azorean American and a family genealogist. My wife also is half Azorean American. I would like to respectively submit two of my relatives of Portuguese ancestry for your consideration. The first one in the field of Science and Medicine is Dr. Lester Vargas who was my cousin. The second one in the field of Education is my oldest daughter, Dr. Jeanine Silveira Stewart. Information to be sent separately.
Thank you.
Emil Silveira

From Sacramento, California we receive the following email: Great web site! I have the book.
Lionel Rocha Holmes, Sacramento CA
Dear Sir, I don't know if this will reach Manuel Mira, but in any case, is it possible for me to get the email address of the lady below named Sherry L. Rosa? I am interested in her link to the island of Terceira, as described in her message found on your website.
What an incredible site! I stumbled across the Melungeon Home Page accidentally while doing genealogy research. I am half Portuguese--ancestors from the Azores Island of Terceira, and also Cherokee. I would love to get your book. Will there be any information on the Portuguese in the Azores? In Terceira? How much do you know about the Cherokees and their racial mix? I find this area so fascinating and would love to learn more. Thanks so much for yours and related sites! I am glad I found them! Sincerely, Sherry L. Rosa.
Dear Sherry, please contact
holmes@softcom.net .
Dear Portuguese-American Research Foundation Recognition Committee:
This morning, while researching for a project on Portuguese businessmen, I found your website page http://www.portuguesefoundation.org/famous.htm. On the page you wrote:
"Readers are invited to send names of notable people who may have Portuguese ancestry, and may have contributed to Canada and the United States in the fields of Government, Entertainment, Education, Literature, Science, Media and Business with public recognition by the social community."
I would like to offer a remarkable addition to the Distinguished Portuguese in Business section of the list.
Joe A. Silva, born on the island of  San Miguel in the Azores, arrived on the Central Coast of California to join his widowed Portuguese mother and scant resources yet with the promise of America in his heart. He worked in many unskilled and skilled agricultural jobs in Monterey County for years before he and his wife, Virginia L. Silva, created a succession of produce-related businesses in Salinas: Salinas Valley Produce, Silva & Sons Distributing, Inc., and Premium Valley Produce, Inc. Joe has sold millions of cartons of Salinas Valley produce to the North American and Japanese  markets while employing dozens of workers and contributing to the health of the local economy--WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF A HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION!
Today he has been nominated to the Presidential Business Commission for the State of California. He was selected based on outstanding contributions as an Honorary Chairman of the Republican Party's Business Advisory Council, a position he still holds. Congressman Tom DeLay of Texas said, "I am thrilled to have Mr. Silva's expertise and input as a (business) resource." What sterling achievements for a kid from San Miguel, nao?
I would like to nominate him to your discriminating database, Distinguished Portuguese in Business in America. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. 
Kate Kane
831 754-3804
831 753-7891 fax
P.S. Congratulations on a great Internet resource!


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    November 18, 2011