My Azores Blog: Pico, Faial and Sao Jorge

Azores: Pico

The De Fount (da Fonte Garcia) family genealogist, Heath De Fount (da Fonte Garcia)-Haberlin, enthralled us with tales of his travels from those far away islands of Pico, Faial and Sao Jorge. He described its green hills and mountains populated with dairy herds, stone houses with earthen floors, life lived in villages centered on and dominated by the church. The ocean and Mt. Pico ascending from its deep azure seas dominated every horizon and acted as jailer to the inhabitants isolated from the rest of civilization. They lived, worked and died knowing nothing of the world beyond their own tiny island.

The parish priest, the village doctor and the local school teacher were the most important personages in every hamlet. Life was hard. The fields and cattle needed to be tended to every day. There were frequent natural disasters, seemingly sent as punishment from an offended God and everyday life was a hand to mouth existence. No wonder everyone dreamed of saving enough to someday pay for steerage on a ship bound for America or jump on an American whaling ship bound for America!

Our great great grandfather, Louis De Fount (da Fonte Garcia), was an immigrant from the Azores and grew up in America barely able to speak or write English when he entered the this country as an 12 year old boy in 1876. We were told we were French but we knew that we were different. Later in life, we learned that our great great grandparent came from the Azore Islands (Pico, Faial and Sao Jorge) very far away from a black rock cover volcanic island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean's azure seas. 

Azores: Pico

Day 1:

I arrived safely in the Azores. Mt. Pico is gorgeous and it looks just like a giant Mt. Tam especially from the angle from the airport. There were cows and sheep all over the roads getting to the da Fonte Hotel. There is volcanic rocks everywhere and lizards. The weather is gorgeous today and it feels a lot like Marin's weather. The Azorean people are very friendly and they all speak English 

Breakfast-Carrot soup the best I have ever had ever! Portuguese sweet bread and local Pico  Portuguese butter that tastes unlike any butter I have ever had in my life=amazing! Mini Sagres beers are fun.

I walked to Lajes do Pico and photographed the entire way-Gorgeous!

Mt. Pico follows you around like Mt.Tam and all you want to do is take pictures of it from every angle. The Atlantic Ocean is avery deep blue and all the old folks go swimming in it. Did not need to see that topless.

I went to the whale museum which was very, very interesting and took tons of photographs. Then I found a little Euro bar and again-Mini Sagres beers are fun.

I found a little Euro-style cafe along the the Atlantic Ocean and had a bite to eat. Sweet bread and sourdough breads, local Pico butter, local Pico chorizo (No paprika, somewhat smokey and simple and delicious) and green olives with pits.

I walked back to the Hotel Da Fonte and had dinner and drank local Pico red wine. I ate octopus with garlic, kale, red peppers, red pepper flakes and olive oil. More local Pico red wine and now I am off to bed. Night, night!

Day 2:

Finally slept and then took a long bath in the morning. Grey, rainy day. A good day to go to the churches and cemeteries in Sao Joao, Sao Mateus and in Candelaria.

Amazing breakfast spread: Sao Jorge cheeses, cold meat, many various breads, milk (real milk, unbelievable!), fruits, many cereals, pastries, tomatoes, coffee, tea and yogurts. And mini Sagres beers :)

Day 3:

Rainy day once again so I had to call a taxi. I took photographs and videos.

I visited my De Fount (da Fonte Garcia) family churches in Sao Joao and in Sao Mateus. Unbelievalbly gorgeous churches-very spiritual for me personally. I was sort of in awe and jaw dropped realizing that gyrations of my  De Fount (da Fonte) family were baptized, married and had funerals within these walls of these churches. The cemetery was beautiful and probably full of  De Fount (da Fonte) family relatives: Goulart, Marciel, da Costa, da Silva, etc. but it is very had to tell. The priest was up in Mandelena today. Azorean families buy a burial plot and each successive generation is buried on top of the next generation literally and a "new" headstone then marks the gravesite.

The Atlantic Ocean to the west side of the Azorean islands of Pico, Sao Jorge and Faial feel very much like being west coast in either San Francisco or in west Marin along Highway 1. Both Sao Joao and in Sao Mateus are right along the ocean and Mt. Pico is right behind them looming like a shadow a la Mt. Tam. The coloration and deep fog that constantly surrounds Mt. Pico is very reminiscent of Marin and of Mt. Tam in particular.

The locals in a local cafe where I had yet another mini Sagres beer said that my De Fount (da Fonte) family were more from Sao Cateneo and Terra do Ponto (Pao)? (and there are still De Fount (da Fonte) family there toady) which at one time was just all Sao Mateus. They were dairy farmers, land owners and fisherman who lived and worked on or near the Atlantic Ocean in the Azores.

By a stroke of sure luck I found "THE WOMAN" Maria Noberta Amorim who I am going to meet with tomorrow regarding my De Fount (da Fonte) family genealogy on Pico. She wrote a family genealogy on every family on Pico over the last 60 years and is the islands resident expert. I am so excited. If I could find living, breathing  De Fount (da Fonte) family relatives I would be literally over the moon if you will. A woman who works at the da Font Hotel has a cousin who is a da fonte and at the before mentioned local cafe the woman behind the bar was a da Fonte. Cousins? Could be. Pico's cities are very small even for today's standards.

For dinner I had a tomato salad with Spanish onions, satued veggies, grape in a peach, french fries, grilled local Azorean steak on top of toast with bernaisse sauce, a glass of Pico red wine, 2 shots of Jameson.

Day 4:

Rainy day once again so I had to call a taxi. Umbrella and an adapter were in order for the day which I found in Lajes do Pico.

Luck. Synchronicity. Whatever it was I found "THE WOMAN" I hoped to find on the Azorean Island of Pico. Maria Noberta Amorim is a professor in Lisbon in Portugal, a local genealogist and the author of many Azorean Portuguese genealogy books on the island of Pico. She is the local expert. Walking into her home this morning was a little too much like walking into my office/research room in San Francisco: notes, photographs and books everywhere yet it is controlled chaos. Maria does not speak English so I called in Manuel my 83 year old personal taxi driver/local everything/translator to translate for us. When I told him my name, "Heath" he said, "eath?" that is a bullshit name which made my laugh. He is just like Pops golf buddy Fred.

Upon showing her my own De Fount (da Fonte) family tree, Maria was very, very upset that I paid another Azorean genealogist too much for HER own Azorean genealogical work. She literally did all the work that these other opportunistic genealogist profit from because the information is not quite world wide just yet. Maria was very upset by the simple fact that her hard work which is free and done simply from a place of love and respect was used by another for shear profit which is very un-Azorean approach to life and its kharma.

I bought one book for 50 Euros and she gave me another book. She then proceeded to look up my living De Fount (da Fonte) family relatives in Sao Joao where she lives. One relative produced over a hundred relatives and the next search produced 142 relatives. She said that there are hundreds if not more like thousands of my De Fount (da Fonte) family relatives in just the town of Sao Joao. Absolutely mind blowing! She proceeded to figure out in her head all of the local relatives that lived near by that are cousins (primas) and started to write down names and addresses. 20 feet across the road where she lives was such a cousin who was in Lisbon in Portugal so I could not yet met him. She gave me many leads that I will follow tomorrow. So exciting!

Lunch: Chinese-style grilled octopus with piri piri over fried rice and three mini beers.

Charge the computer, iPhone and camera.

5 mile hike/walk to Sao Joao in the rainy, humid mist. Absolutely beautiful! The only problems when you walk is the narrow roads that cars fly down and Portuguese dogs that bark and snarl at you as you walk past.

I took a ton of photographs and panoramas of Sao Joao. Old mixed with new. Farms with chickens, ducks, pigs  and rabbits. Portuguese fisherman with long fishing poles tried their luck at sea.

I once again visited the church in Sao Joao and walked behind it to the cemetery just as the sun finally came out today for the first time. Two older woman were tending to the old gravesides pulling weeds and planting flowers. I tried to speak with one woman in my broken Portuguese but she was hard of hearing and did not understand me.

When I was looking around inside the church, I once again saw the same two woman and one spoke English well. She said her friend said that I was "Americano" so we started talking. She told me she was a Marciel and I told her that so was I. We went outside and I showed her my De Fount (da Fonte) family tree and the Marciel family member and she knew exactly who it was her 4th great grandfather!

We are cousins! We hugged and kissed each cheek and said, "beju, beju." I asked her if I could take a photograph and she said yes. She then gave me her email and told me to contact her.

This discovery made my day to say the least.

Hitchhiked from a local Azorean Portuguese who thought that we were related today form Sao Joao to Hotel da Fonte-thank God! Very nice guy to say the least. He was a Duarte from Horta, Faial.

Bath and relax for a few hours after hiking/walking to Sao Joao today.

Dinner: Tomato salad with Spanish onions, herbed potatoes with fish, mini beers, two Jamesons and a bottle of Pico red wine split three ways with the lovely British couple I met tonight who love music, drinking and food.

Now it is fucking pouring once again. Hoping for some sunshine tomorrow!

Day 5:

A little hung over from hanging out withe the Brits last night. Got up late and barely made breakfast on time. Gorgeous day! As I walked into the breakfast area an older woman says to me, "Is that Mt. Tam sweatshirt that you are wearing mean Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County?" It's a small world. I sat down to have breakfast with her and discovered that her name was BJ short for Billie Jean. She used to live in the Bay Area years ago. BJ is a sweet lady in her 60's from Hawaii who has been teased about her name for years. I wonder why? She is on the same Azorean Portuguese family journey that I am to Pico. She is Azorean-Portuguese and was supposed to make the trip to the Azores with her mother but her mother died while they were planning the trip. She decided recently that she was going to do the trip by herself like me. She is tying to find her relatives family home in Sao Roque. She had old photos of her relatives and of the family house and an address as well.

The sun was finally shining and the weather was warm. I could see that Mt. Pico which is rare. It is like when you can see the Farallon Islands in San Francisco. I called Manuel to come pick me up at noon.

Manuel is my 83 year taxi driver who listened to my plans for the day and said no we are going up Mt. Pico now to which I replied, "you are true boss!"-never argue with wisdom and he was right as always. For the rest of a clear, gorgeous day I took a taxi around the entire Pico Island for about 6 or 7 hours in total.

I visited a lake which reflects Mt. Pico. There were many hungry ducks looking for a bread handout stalk you around and around. I took more photographs.

The view of Faial whole driving up Mt. Pico is stunning. Faial is beautiful and very small in comparison with Pico. I can not wait to go there tomorrow!

High up Mt. Pico-I took some breathtaking photographs on our way up Mt. Pico. It was hard to focus because the visuals were so stunning! Again, It was like going up to the summit of Mt. Tam (but even higher-3 times as high) on a spectacular "Indian Summer" day in Marin back home. I literally took so many photographs that my camera ran out of battery life upon reaching the summit of what is drivable. At this point on the mountain the weather turns a bitter cold and you can see your own breath when you breath.We the drove very slowly down the mountain again taking in the view.

I visited a statue of sorts which is a cow carved out of out of the black lava rock just above the deep, blue sea.

A short distance away I visited these black lava sound/blowholes at the edge of the sea. Truly, a natural wonder on the island of Pico. The sound was massive and hard to describe. Giant waves would pummel these black lava sound/blowholes and create white water spay up to 20/30 feet high!

Pico's wine museum is a location I had read about and really wanted to visit. It was fascinating to learn about the history of Pico's wine.

Mandelena is Pico's only city that actually feels like a city. It is much bigger that the rest of Pico's cities and the only place I have noticed traffic on any level. This is where my ferry for Horta, Faial is leaving tomorrow at 11.

I visited the Mandelena Church in Mandelena and it was a De Fount (da Fonte) family church. I filmed and photographed it as well.

I then went wine tasting. I got a factory tour from a maybe da Fonte relative Ana from the cafe in Sao Joao. I tasted three different white wines. All were local from the island of Pico. I bought one bottle of the Angelica that probably won't make it home :) She also gave me a free Azorean-Portuguese cook book.

We visited a well known tourist spot which was the red windmill in the historical and protected wine fields. It consisted of miles and miles of Pico's wine fields along the coast near Mandelena. Back in the day the wine was shipped in barrel via boat from  Mandelena to Horta, Faial about 4 miles away and in sight of Pico. Horta, Faial was and still is a major port in the Azores because of it's relatively calm harbor.

I visited the Caldelaria Church in Caldelaria and it is yet another a De Fount (da Fonte) family church. I filmed and photographed the entire church. I met a sweet, little nun. The prize for the cutest nun in the world goes to the tiny nun who has worked in Caldelaria's Church for 40 plus years.

I visited the Candelaria Cemetery across the street. I found two da Font headstones/gravesites in the Candelaria Cemetery. I photographed the cemetery.

Manuel drove us down to meet an Azorean croquet lady/genealogist. She was very sweet as most Azoreans are in their nature. As an Pico island genealogist she reconfirmed that the De Fount (da Fonte) family is mainly situated in Terra do Pao and Sao Caetano. She said that their da Fonte community, tribe or peoples were all located there.

In Terra do Pao I visited the Terra do Pao Church which is and was the De Fount (da Fonte) family church. Mt. Pico is literally right behind it just like Mt. Tam is to Mill Valley back home. The church was strangely familiar like I had been there before. Absolutely gorgeous stained glass that my mother would love. A woman who worked at the church reconfirmed that the De Fount (da Fonte) family is mainly situated in Terra do Pao and Sao Caetano. Terra do Pao's Church had an organ and a Marshall amplifier in it's music section of the church.

Relaxed back at the bar at the da Fonte Hotel and had a Sagres mini beer.

Dinner: Tomato with Spanish onion salad, a grilled mixed meats special with pineapple, french fries and mixed vegetables, Sagres mini beer with a Jameson shot, honey cake with orange sorbet and Sagres mini beer.

A nice warm bath and finally bedtime.

Day 6:

After breakfast I shared a taxi with my older hippie friend BJ who was going that way to Mandalena.

I then stopped at the tourist office in Mandalena which was right next to the ferry. At the tourist office I began asking a lot of questions about my family genealogy search to which the man and the woman both responded that they were both in fact were both Garcias from Sao Mateus and that we were probably cousins. She sand that most of my da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) relatives were from Terra do Pao on Pico. She then told me about a family of Fontes/Garcia musicians that work on Faial but are from Terra do Pao on Pico.

She walked with me to the ferry and as we got near she says, "There are the da Fontes!" I saw an older man with a guitar gig bag and walked right up to him to say hello. He didn't speak much English bt his son Joao did. Joao was younger da Fonte who was 27 years and had the exact same colored eyes as me which I thought was strange. We shared our music stories and soon al of my da Fonte cousins were standing around laughing a telling stories. It was such a cool moment butbthe ferry was leaving and I had to go. I got Joao's contacts numbers.

I took the ferry to Horta, Faial which was a harsh, bouncy ferry ride but fun to see. Beautiful, beautiful views. Horta, Faial is the 2nd largest city that I have seen in the Azores. A very European city that mixes the old and the new well.

I visited my da Fonte family Church-I then went to my De Fount family church-pretty special moment to say the least.

I ate lunch at Peter's Sport Cafe with yet another British couple. Peter's Sport Cafe was one of the main palces that I wanted to go on Faial because it was featured on Anthony Bourdains shown "No Reservations" and it looked like fun which it was.

Lunch: Sagres Mini Beer, Faial cheese and olives, potatoes, carrots and broccoli with the best tuna (atum) that I have ever had in my life! Pico white wine with a new British couple, chocolate cake.

The Police song "Walking In Your Footsteps" kept replaying in my head as I took many, many photos of that street where I believe that my great, great grandfather Louis De Fount lived as a boy. I saw the beach that he played on in Porto Pim as a child and where his older brother Manuel died in a cave probably from a fall on the unforgiving black, lava rock. I understand where he lived and played as a kid before he jumped on a New Berdford-based American whaling ship in the Horta, Faial harbor to come to America in 1876.

I took the ferry from Horta, Faial to Mandalena which once again was a harsh, bouncy ferry ride but fun to see. 

I then hurried to the bus (was only 3 Euros) that went back to da Fonte Hotel. When I got back to the da Fonte Hotel I ordered a Sagres Mini Beer and walked down to the sea to watch the gorgeous sunbeams and sunset above Atlantic Ocean. Sunset with a Sagres Mini Beer-it don't get much better!


Tomato salad with Spanish onions, two caldo verdes with linguisa and piri piri sauce-one of the best caldo verde soups that I have ever had! I also had three candies for desert made by the hotel's chef. She is a very impressive chef to say to least.

A British couple and I drank gin and tonics, Pico red wine and ports before I went off to bed for some sleep.

This is also short summary of what I wrote about this day: I went on the ferry to Horta, Faial today and meet all of my musician da Fonte relatives, from Terra do Pao on Pico, getting off of the ferry believe it or not. I then went to my De Fount family church-pretty special moment to say the least. Watch Youtube Anthony Bordain "No Reservations" when he goes to Horta to see what I did with the rest of my day. You would love it here and I making all of the connections I need to make and I almost have the three islands dialed. 

Day 7:

After breakfast, the front desk lady Philippa told me that I missed my ferry to Sao Jorge but she was off by a day and gave me a heart attack!

Manuel is picking me up at 11:30pm for my last Pico adventure.

Off to Santa Luizia, Santo Antonio and Piedade, the Whale Museum in Lajes do Pico and to Terra do Pao and Sao Caetano for my last day in Pico.

The trees are very different on this side of the island and they and are used for the wood in building homes.

Santa Luizia is a very small town. The wine corrals are somewhat abandoned now. There are a lot of  abandoned older homes with lots of earthquake damage. There are a lot of summer vacation homes here. The sea is a beautiful azul color and the lava rocks that the sea continually beats upon are very, very black.

Santo Antonio is a much bigger town with larger homes. Some of the most expensive homes I have seen on Pico are located here.

Piedade overlooks the sea and Sao Jorge to the north. The church overlooks the sea and Sao Jorge to the north as well. Unfortunately, the church was closed but I did get to photograph the graveyard.

Lunch in Sao Roque, Pico: Grilled chicken, rice salad, duck pasta, bread and cheese and a grande Sagres. Everyone could tell that I am not a local here and they all smoked during lunch with many young children by their sides.

Manuel showed me his gorgeous home and took me to his local cafe where I had a mini Sagres and he had wine.

I then went to the Whale Museum in Lajes do Pico which was very eye opening and very educational for me in regards to my da Fonte's (De Fount's) families history with fishing/whaling in both Pico and on the California coast during the late 1900's.

Azorean sunsets are stunning to say the least. I sat on the black lava rocks high above the sea with a mini Sagres beer and smiled and took photographs.

Dinner: Tomato salad with Spanish onions. The amberjack tuna with lemon butter sauce was to die for! It was 3 huge amberjack tuna steaks for only 10 Euro! Some Pico wine and some Jamesons and a tequila who to go to bed early.

I leave at 7:00am to get on a ferry to go to Sao Jorge for 2 days then on Sunday I go to Horta, Faial via ferry for 2 days and fly back Monday into Tuesday to Boston.

Boston to New York, New York to Bridgeport, Connecticut to visit our Haberlin family there back to New York and back to home to San Francisco, California on Friday!

Day 8:

I had to wake up very, very early at 6:30 for my ferry ride in Sao Roque on the north side of Pico. A woman taxi driver picked me up with her cute, ringlet haired baby in the backseat who was neither in a car seat or had a seatbelt on for our mountainous, curvy 20 minute drive. Near the ferry building there were many Portuguese fishermen fishing before it was even light out. Azorean sunrises are also very beautiful. In the ocean channels between Pico and Sao Jorge the ferry went up and down over many harsh, monster waves and almost made me seasick. I was glad a ate a huge breakfast….. not!

Two cute Azorean Portuguese girls named Joanna and her cousin Katerina pick me up at the ferry in Sao Roque and they run the unbelievable house/condos where I am staying atop of a hill with a swimming pool and ocean views. There is even a horse named Poly. At this time I was very tired and exhausted so I took a nap for 3 hours.

After I woke up, I walked down to the town of Velas on Sao Jorge, Azores. There were many stray Portuguese dogs running all around the town of Velas.I walked around for hours just taking everything in. I already know that I like Pico the best. Everywhere in the Azores I have encountered the famous "Bolinas hairy eyeball" the one you get when you are not a local and it shows. I am sure it is like watching the Europeans in Sausalito for me but in reverse.

 Lunch: I tried the Sao Jorge cheese with green olives, a simple ham sandwich which I put some cheese on and then I went into some "bizarre foods" territory-snails which was snails in a soup-type broth that was spicy and delicious….. so good and chocolate mousse for dessert. It might be both lunch and dinner. I also had a couple of Sagres mini beers.

Took many photos of the town of Velas. Gorgeous ocean views from the island known as "dragon island." I spent some quality time at the sea and observed many Portuguese fishermen fishing. I then hiked uphill to get back to where I am staying.

I then lounged by the pool and got some sun. The fridge was full of Sagres beer so I am knocking one back while I am writing this right now.

Ancestry just updated my DNA test results that I took a while ago which is now much more accurate and in line with all of my genealogy research that have for both the De Fount (da Fonte Garcia) and Haberlin sides of my family.

Another short cat nap and maybe dinner? Speaking of cats there is a little multi colored Portuguese kitten that found it's way to my lap to snuggle for warmth as I am typing all of this at the computer. Pretty cute.

Crying Joanna- a little strange but she said that there was an family emergency and that she would be back in an hour or so. Joanna comes back crying at 2:00am. Drama to say the least. Crying and door slamming….. not exactly what I paid for…..

I think that I am the only one staying at this place-kind of weird. The beds are way too soft. I'm not complaining because I am in the Azores after all but….. and the WiFi does' work in the rooms which sucks. It only works inside the main house.

Note: I f you have heard of the "freshman 20" there has to be the European equivalent "Euro 10" because of all the excellent food, wine and cheese that is over here. I don't want to miss anything or miss eating and drinking anything.

Day 9:

A sweet lady named Amelia made me breakfast this morning: eggs, bread, Sao Jorg cheese, coffee, cereal and tea. She and I spoke for about a 45 minutes after my breakfast about Azorean-Portuguese culture and surnames

Lunch at O' Baralto: Cabbage soup I asked for cup but got an enormous bowl-enough for 4 people, Squids and giant prawns on a skewer with garlic and green peppers in an almost kung pao type of sauce that we have in the states, incredible! more bread and french fries. two mini Sagres beers and a shot of Jameson my little taste of home :)

I walked all around Velas all day long. I could finally see Mt. Pico which is always shrouded in Mystery and in white pillowy, clouds. I took many photos of the sea and Mt. Pico.

I walked around an Azorean-Portuguese supermarket for the first time-you are not in Kansas anymore. Everything is different…. everything!

I then walked around the boat/ferry harbor. On Saturdays and on Sundays there is not much going on at all hence hanging out at the local cafe watching soccer.

In a cafe in Velas in Sao Jorge, my first espresso! I took a picture because it was so funny and rare. In my 43 years I have never had one. It Was pretty good. It was better than the coffee I sipped this morning. I turned into an old Portuguese guy in the cafe: watching European futbol, drinking coffee, breathing in second-hand smoke from all of the cigarette smoking and watching all the people as you pass away the day. It was pretty fun to say the least.

I walked around another Azorean-Portuguese supermarket for the second time and once again you are not in Kansas anymore. Everything is different…. everything!

As I was walking home I could see the rain coming towards me in the channel in-between Pico and Sao Jorge. I started hurting up the hill and eventually running to beat the rain which I did.

I am supposed to go to the Azorean-Portuguese theatre tonight in Velas. I'll give you an update when I get back from it. Azorean-Portuguese theatre tonight in Velas was a trip and all in Portuguese except for the music which was in English. Both young and old attended. It was a highly sexualized play with scantily clad woman parading around the stage much to the delight of many of the older Portuguese gentlemen in the audience who clapped wildly at the end of the play. Comedy!

A glass or two of Pico red wine is coming my way after watching a sunset over Pico and Faial to the west.

I went to a bar/disco tech in Velas on Sao Jorge tonight. It was a very different experience than the States. Early in the night it was kind of mellow drinking a bunch of mini Sagres beers and talking. All of the Azorean-Portuguese people that I have met think it is so cool what I am doing in terms of my genealogical journey to the Azores. When we have a common surname in common we laugh and wonder if we are related and joke that we are cousins. I was meeting all kinds of new friends the Azoreans are very sweet and very sincere generally. We were all drinking blue Brazilian drinks that make your tongue blue, laughter and photographs ensued. The "band" which consisted of one guy playing a sitting drum and another guy playing bass to pre-recorded tracks of music. Both musicians sang together as well. The music was very, very loud to say the least but dancing was very, very fun! We all were dancing and drinking more blue Brazilian drinks that make your tongue blue, laughter and photographs ensued. I peed the world's smallest bathroom next to other way to close for comfort in the American sense. Dudes talking to me in Portuguese and trying to steal my hat. I got home at 3:00am ad took a bat because everyone in the bar/club was smoking. Comedy! Kind of like a strange Fellini movie. My ears are ringing with joy!

Day 10: 

I woke up at about 10:00am slowly. I then had an amazing Azorean breakfast: eggs with hot sauce, Sao Jorge cheeses, ham, cereal, tea and another espresso. I played my music on YouTube for my friends where I am staying. They thought that I looked hotter and "more Portuguese" with my longer hair that I had a few years ago. Once again, I am going to take a taxi and go see where my da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) family lived in the next town up from here. On Sundays in Velas everything is closed because it is a religious day and everyone spends time with their families on Sundays. It might be another cafe day watching futbol once again with the older Portuguese men. Tonight, I take a late night ferry from Sao Jorge to Horta, Faial. I hope I don't get seasick from what I experienced the other day.

Lunch: I ate snails, Sao Jorge clams (which are some the best I have ever had in my life!), bread, Pico red wine, a couple of Sagres mini beers.

I took a taxi ride around Sao Jorge visited my da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) family church and cemetery in Rosias just north of where was staying. Rosias is very spread out and consists of 4 cafes and tons of cows grazing fairylands. You can see why the Sao Jorge cheese is world renowned. 

I visited the old, abandoned light house that reminded me of the bunkers in the Marin Headlands. I went back to where I was staying and packed up, had a glass of Pico red wine and a shower. The taxi driver Antonio picked me up and dropped my off at my favorite cafe in town. I once again watched futbol. I saw a old Portuguese guy who looked just like my Portuguese grandfather, Eugene De Fount, struggling to walk with his walker. So when I paid my bill, I asked my sweet server to buy him (old Portuguese guy who looked just like my Portuguese grandfather) a glass of red wine when he got out of the bathroom and I left.

Dinner: A ham sandwich and the Sagres mini beer I had for dinner

How do I describe this ferry ride from hell…. You know its going to be bad 1) When you ask your taxi driver exactly how bad the ferry ride from Velas, Sao Jorge to Horta, Faial is and all he does to answer is laugh. 2) The workers on the ferry hand out barf bags before the ferry has even left the dock. 3) When the ferry has only gone half way to the island of Pico in between Sao Jorge and Faial and you are seriously thinking about getting off the ferry and flying instead. 

Imagine the very worst airplane turbulence you have ever experienced and then times it by 10….. but no it gets worse, now make it last for 1 hour and forty-five minutes. It was a never ending hell. My mom would have barfed within the first 5 minutes of the ferry ride.

Of the 100 or so passengers aboard this ferry, I would say about 90+ of them barfed. The whole ferry reaked and I gaged a couple of times. But like car crash behind me, I did not turn around to see the carnage. It was a disgusting symphony of young and old barfing into personalized barf bags the entire trip. Barf, barf, barf, barf…. barf, barf….. imagine it to a melody of classical music if you would just for a moment. I was laughing my ass off the entire time and I made a short film on my camera just for your viewing pleasure. I white knuckled it the entire time, healed on for dear life and rode the waves like riding the waves on a surfboard….. up and down and up and down.

I didn't barf but i did think about how bad it would have if I did….. snails, Sao Jorge clams, bread, Pico red wine, a couple of Sagres mini beers  and a ham sandwich and the Sagres mini beer I had for dinner….. it would have been very colorful to say to very least. In the end, after a long, grueling 1 hour and forty-five minutes of hell….. I didn't barf. Handing my barf bag back to the ferry worker, smiling and nodding was, in fact, my badge of honor.

I have a new found respect for Azorean-Portuguese sailors, fishermen and whalers because these rough, unforgiving seas off the coast of Pico, Faial and Sao Jorge were their everyday work environment. It is unbelievable and an extremely difficult task to hunt whales in these seas let alone to sail in them.

A taxi driver picked me up and drove me and a German couple to our respective hotels. The German girl was still green from her ferry ride. She said to the taxi driver, "If you want to keep the back of your taxl nice, you better drive slow." Once we arrived at my hotel at about 11:00pm at night nobody was there. I kept ringing the bell over and over. Finally, the taxi driver got someone to answer his multiple phone calls and I was in. The owner tells that someone in my room before let the water overflow from there bath tub and damaged all of the expensive wood flooring. So I was put in a different room downstairs without a second story view over Horta, Faial. Great. I will be drinking water and going to bed now thank you very much. Good night.

Day 11: 

Horta, Faial-Cemetery, Porto Pim, Church of Angustias, Peter's Sport Cafe and probably more tuna steaks and gin and tonics before I go.

A fantastic last day!

The taxi driver named Luis just like my great, great grandfather Louis De Fount picked me up at 10:30 and off we went.

Castelo Blanco is a "mystery" of a volcano that created a natural wonder for the Azorean people. I took some gorgeous photos in the howling wind at the coast.

I then went to Porto Pim which is my absolute favorite place on the island. The views and the deep, blue waters. Porto Pim was the original harbor in Angustias, Horta, Faial. It is surrounded by three ancient fortresses.

Monte do Guia is where Louis De Fount's older brother, Manuel da Fonte Garcia (De Fount), died at the age of 15 in a cave on the east side of the volcano of Monte do Guia. I that maybe he fell and hit his head on the black, lava rocks but my taxi driver who was born here said that it was more likely that Manuel da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) and was thrown against  by a powerful Atlanic Ocean "creeper' wave and he then fell and hit his head on the black, lava rocks and was rendered unconscience and drowned. It happens all the time here on the volcano of Monte do Guia in Angustias, Horta, Faial. I took photos of the Porto Pim harbor down below from a high vantage point above from a church on the hill.

The taxi driver then dropped me off at the older part of the Horta, Faial-Cemetery. I searched extensively for two hours and took a copious amount of photographs. I found the Garcia family mosuleum. I found many, many gravesides with Azorean-Portuguese surnames that are related to the da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) family but no da Fonte family grave sites.

Lunch:  At Peter's Sport Cafe I had clams as an appetizer, tuna steaks with veggies and and mini Sagres beer and a go and tonic. 

I visited Horta's main library that has all of the church records for Pico, Faial, Corvo and Flores. I found and was able to view Louis da Fonte Garcia's (De Fount's) original birth and baptism church records! The library let me video the  original birth and baptism church records and the librarian took a photo of me holding the book that contained them all. It was dated from 1860 to 1870 ( Louis da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) was born in 1864) from Angustias, Horta, Faial. 

With the help of several librarians and a local Azorean historian, I was able to find the da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) family home in Angustias, Horta, Faial. This is the location where my great great grandfather, Louis da Fonte Garcia (De Fount), was born. It is literally across the street in front of the Church of Angustias. Talk about growing up Catholic! Sadly, it is abandoned but old and beautiful. I took a ton of photos and videos!

Lunch: At Peter's Sport Cafe I had clams as an appetizer, tuna steaks with veggies and and mini Sagres beer and a go and tonic. 

I then went back to Porto Pim for sunset which again is my absolute favorite place on the island. The views and the deep, blue waters against the sun going down were incredible. I walked the beach of Porto Pim and collected some black, lave stones to take home with me. I watched some boogie boarders for awhile too. I stopped into a cafe and had a beer and relaxed.

I walked around the harbor of Horta, Faial for a while looking at all of the fishing boats and their catches of the day.

Dinner: At Peter's Sport Cafe once again I had a fish soup that was other worldly and a steak with veggies, a Jameson whiskey, a chocolate cake, an espresso and a farewell gin and tonic. I did walk about 10 miles today in total :) I talked to the owner of Peter's Sport Cafe, Jose, and asked him about who owns my da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) family home. He said he wasn't sure but to email him and he would find out. He also said that I should talk with an ancient priest who lives nearby the home and that he would probably know more information about the house and who lived there over the years.

I took a taxi back to Quinta do Vale my hotel at which I am the only one staying here….. weird. Off the bed and to get some rest before I travel to Boston tomorrow.

Day 12: The taxi picks me up at 8:00am to go to the airport. I fly from Horta, Faial to Sao Migeal to Boston. I will probably stay in a hotel in Boston that night and go back to New York on Wednesday to stay with Liberty in Brooklyn once again.

Terry taxi

Fail to San Migeal flight late very Azorean way of life

5 wait 

inch: Salad, Azorean steak and ice cream 2 beers

San Migeal flight to Boston light delayed for 1 hour beer

Paul from San Jose 6 hour fight

Boston in the World Series no hotels

rent a car drive to Connecticutt Hotel in Hartford-funky, cool Elvis, 50's dinner, video games, etc.

Bridgeport in the morning! Haberlin gravesite, meet Bill Haberlin, Grandfather Earl Haberlin's childhood homes

Azores Summary: 

Everyone in the Azores thinks that look "very Portuguese" and that I have very "Portuguese features" like my dark, black hair and goatee. I told them that my "crazy Portuguese eyebrows came from my Portuguese grandfather. Eugene Aloysius De Fount and the all laughed. They all comment on my green eyes and my "youthful" looking skin. We talked about our Portuguese sunspots that we have from being out in the sun to much and about having olive colored skin. To paraphrase what cousin Erna Salvini always says, I joked that, "I was born with a tan." Everyone in the Azores thinks that I am about 10 years younger than I am in age which nice to hear. It's the eyes and the skin they kept saying. They could not believe that I was 43 years old! They would get closer to me and look at my up close. No smoking, my mom's Portuguese skin and genetics? I guess I must be doing something right :)

Many of the older Portuguese men walking around look just like my grandfather, Eugene Aloysius De Fount. They all have big, Portuguese bellies just like he had toward the end of his life. I also see it in their faces and in the way the comb back their hair like my grandfather. I have also seen many older Portuguese woman that look like my mother, Donna De Fount as well with their jet black long hair, olive skin and Portuguese sun spotted skin.

I figured out that the Azores are basically California in the 1970's when I was growing up but with cell phones, computers and small, fast mini Euro cars zipping by. The way of life is very similar: everyone is relaxed, everyone knows each other, you leave your doors unlocked, you leave your car doors unlocked, no baby seats in cars, Azoreans drink and drive and the local policia don't cafe, there are no parking meters, you respect your elders, kids don't wear bicycle helmets, Azoreans are less money hungry, Azoreans are fun and like to joke around and laugh a lot and yet somehow just like it did in California in the 1970's for me it all works out at the end of the day.

This trip to the Azores has given some very invaluable perspectives into understanding my Azorean-Portuguese da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) heritage. There are just certain things that you cannot get or from by just reading a book or studying something. You have to see, touch, feel and live something to understand it fully and to ultimately understand yourself fully. It has answered questions that I just didn't know or understand before this amazing trip/vacation/journey.

I've tried to absorb everything up (the sites, the people, the sounds, the smells, the language, and the food, the wine and the cheese) again in learning all that I can about my da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) heritage and family name and my people: the Azorean-Portuguese. The simple understanding of the everyday way of life of the Azorean people is worth its weight in gold, if you will.

Most of all I am stress fee and very relaxed doing what I want to do in my life:)

This journey was to honor and to pay tribute to my mother's (Donna Florence De Fount's) and her father's (Eugene Aloysius De Fount's) Azorean Portuguese da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) side of the family and their heritage. My De Fount grandparents, Eugene Aloysius and Edna May De Fount, had a massive influence in my upbringing and who the man I tuned out to be in life as a person. I was raised by my parents during the week and then we would take an exciting trip over the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco to stay with my De Fount grandparents, Eugene Aloysius and Edna May De Fount and back to Marin on either Sunday or Monday.

Like the dense fog clearing away from the summit of Mt. Pico, my understanding of the Azores, tis people and its ways of life and of my own Azorean family roots have become demystified and abundantly clearer to my eyes and within my mind as well.

 Azores and Japan-

The Japanese are buying up a large majority of the tuna fished in the Azores. The tuna is shipped fresh daily to Japan.

The Japanese are buying up a large majority of the native wine in the Azores. A Japanese politician feel in love with Pico's white wine on a political trip to the Azores and has been buying it up ever since.

da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) Azorean-Portuguese: 

My Azorean-Portuguese surname of da Fonte Garcia was anglicized to De Fount in America. There are about 15 different variations of the De Fount family surname that I have found in my research.

I am the first da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) back to the Azores since 1876 when my great great grandfather Luis da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) illegally immigrated to America on a New Bedford whaling ship in the harbor of Horta, Faial. He did this to avoid an 8 year mandatory military service in mainland Portugal. Whaling didn't come about in the Azores until 1876 so for Luis (who had fishing and sailing skills) it was an on the job training for years.

Luis' older brother Jose Garcia (De Fount) had already illegally immigrated to America on a New Bedford whaling ship from the harbor of Horta, Faial as well two years prior. Jose was based in New York, New York where he had met and later married a Azorean Portuguese girl named Maria whose parents were both from the Azores.

The da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) family lived on the street directly in front of Church of Angustias. Angustias is the oldest part of the the city of Horta, Faial.

Men who grew grapes for wine production, produced their own wine and were land owners were considered very wealthy by Azorean island standards.

Manuel da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) was both dairyman and a fisherman as well. Whaling didn't come about in theAzores until 1876. I believe that Manuel da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) who was a land owner in San Mateus, was involved in the Pico wine industry in some capacity because he met his future wife, Maria Leonor de Sousa, in Angustias which is the oldest part of the the city of Horta, Faial. 

Men who grew grapes for wine production, produced their own wine and were land owners were considered very wealthy by Azorean island standards. Wine was made all over the island of Pico but it was mostly in Mandalena and San Mateus. In the late 1800's, San Mateus included San Mateus, Terra do Pao, Sao Caetano and Lajes do Pico. Wine at this time was barreled in either Mandalena or San Mateus and put on a cargo boat in wither city and transported to the safe harbor of Porto Pim, Faial and later, after 1876 to Horta, Faial.

Faial governed Pico for many years during this time as well. Depending on what day of the week one was born on the island of Pico and you could not file your papers of your son or daughter's birth on Pico the papers would be filed in Horta, Faial saying in essence that your son or daughter was born in Horta, Faial and not on the island of Pico. This could be the case of Luis da Fonte Garcia (De Fount).

New Bedford, Massachusetts

Several da Fonte family relatives have been documented following in the exact same footsteps as Louis De Fount (and his older brother Jose) in 1876 by later, on May 31, 1910, leaving Horta, Faial on the USS Britannia and having the final destination of New Bedford, Massachusetts list on the passenger list.

New York, New York

Louis De Fount's older brother Joseph De Fount (Jose da Fonte Garcia) mets his future Azorean-Portuguese wife, Mary (Maria da Fonte) in New York, New York where she was born and raised. Maria is always the name of the first born daughter in the Azorea-Portuguese culture. United States Federal Censes Records show that both of Maria's parents were born in the Azores as well. Joseph De Fount (Jose da Fonte Garcia) and Mary De Fount (Maria da Fonte) were probably married in about 1880 when Maria was about 18 years of age. the De Fount's later moved to Misssouri and ran a grocery store.

During the 1870's a train across the United States is most likely but da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) family lore assertions that Luis da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) was "a great (Azorean-Portuguese) sea captain" which leads me to believe that Luis paid off his passage on the New Bedford whaling ship and re-boarded another whaling ship that sailed to Brazil then to Lima, Peru and then to San Francisco, California in 1878. Because Luis doesn't show up in United States Federal Census Records it is believed that Luis like his father (Manuel da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) before him was both a dairyman and a fisherman (whalers) as well. Like father like son.

da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) family lore assertions that Luis da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) was "a great (Azorean-Portuguese) sea captain" could be an exaggeration or it could be that Luis rose up the ladder if you will from a sailor to a sea captain and this (plus his youthful non-voting age and dairy farming skills on remote Azorean farms in Southern Main) would account for why he doesn't show up in any official records from this time period (1878 until October of 1884 in Fremont County, Iowa).

The mastery of English (both reading and writing) was very challenging for Luis da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) (he could speak it well but with a Azorean-Portuguese accent) because if he went to school at all in the Azores it was probably for only a limited amount of time at best.

San Francisco/Marin County: Dairyman and  "a great (Azorean-Portuguese) sea captain" of both the Atlantic and later, the Pacific Oceans.

da Fonte Garcia (De Fount)

da Fonte family in Southern Marin

Rosie da Fonte and her da Fonte parents on the Reed family Ranch.

Richardson/Throckmorton "Rancho Sausalito" "Throckmorton Ranch"

Reed Ranch 

Fremont County, Iowa in the early 1880's (earliest record of Luis da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) is from October of 1884 when Luis applied for American citizenship)

San Francisco, California in 1894

Luis the great earthquake and fire in San Francisco, California in 1906. Rancho Sausalito and the Reed Ranch

Joseph De Fount (Jose da Fonte Garcia) Rancho Sausalito and the Reed Ranch, Sonoma and Oakland. cousin Antonio da Fonte who was the president of the UPEC in San Leandro and he had many connections within the Azorean Portuguese community. He helped Joseph get back on his feet and helped  hin get work once again in the East Bay.

Luis headed for the safety of his da Fonte cousins diary ranch and the "Throckmorton Ranch" that was once "Rancho Sausalito" in Marin County, California where he had lived and worked with his older brother Jose. Luis cousins were (Rosie da Fonte's parents), Manuel and Maria da Fonte, who were Azorean Portuguese immigrants who worked as diary farmers in the Reed Ranch both in Strawberry and in Tiburon. According to Census records, they immigrated to America in 1876. Maria da Fonte's Azorean Portuguese surname was Rodrigues.

I think it is ironic that Luis da Fonte Garcia's (De Fount) left the Azores, where there was earthquake activity, to go to California where there was an equivalent amount of earthquake activity.

Luis da Fonte Garcia's (De Fount) advice to his favorite son Irl Joseph and Theresa De Fount's was the impetuous for their decision to spend their honeymoon on top of Mt. Tamalpais which was Luis' nod to his Azorean-Portuguese heritage and his past on Pico and its beautiful, majestic mountain Mt. Pico. Mt. Pico was his and his da Fonte Garcia's (De Fount) everyday view from his childhood upbringing in Angutias, Horta, Faial until the time he left on a American New Bedford whaling ship by himself at the young age of just 12 years old.

da Fonte to De Fount name change and ethnicity change because of racism from Azorean-Portuguese to French. After the  great earthquake and fire in San Francisco, California in 1906 the De Fount family lost it's home and almost all of their posessions (except for two da Font paintings and some da Fonte family photographs) so for the De Fount family children it was simply a matter of survival. A French immigrant boy would simply be chosen over a "dirty Portagee" Azorean-Portuguese boy for work which at the time was probably picking up bricks and debris in the aftermath of the disaster. Luis probably did this for his De Fount children

All of the San Francisco city records were destroyed re-invent oneself as a French immigrant (who at the time were probably less discriminated against) instead of a Azorean-Portuguese immigrant (who at the time were probably more discriminated against). My grandfather Eugene Aloysius De Fount was known as "Frenchie" during his entire 34 year career in the San Francisco Fire Department. On my father's side of the family, his half brother Earl "Bill" Haberlin was Portuguese on his Hawaiian-Portuguese mother's side of the family and has described how bad the racism was towards the Portuguese in both Oakland and in Hawaii during his childhood in the 1930's.

Mt. Tamalpais is a miniature version of Mt. Pico and the coastal part of west Marin lands look just like Pico's coast and Sao Jorge's as well. The fog is also a constant in both areas. The fog and the coastal wind both make for ideal conditions for dairy farming. In Marin you trade black/grey lava rock walls for wooden posts/fencing and barbed wire.


The da Fonte surname mainly hails from the Azorean island of Pico specifically in São João, São Mateus, Terra do Pão and São Caetano. This information comes from Maria Noberta Amorim who I met when I was in the Azores in October of 2013 doing family research. Maria Noberta Amorim who is a professor in Lisbon in Portugal, a local genealogist and the author of many Azorean Portuguese genealogy books on the island of Pico. She is the local expert. She wrote a family genealogy on every family on Pico over the last 60 years and is the islands resident expert.

On Pico, everyone is and was very, very religious and were a Roman Catholic. They attended church on Sundays and even saturdays as well.

Pico is and always was a very poor island. The early "roads" were just basically trails. Later, that became one lane gravel roads which only taxis and the cars of men of wealth could afford.

On Pico people from the south hate the people from the north and visa versa. Pico was always believed that it is the best island in the 9 island archipelago known as the Azores or western Islands back then.

The church in San Mateus was destroyed by a earthquake/volcano/fire and later rebuilt in 1890? as it still remains today.

There were many, many strong earthquakes that older locals recall happening during their youth. The older Azorean homes are generally all built with black/grey lava rock that is whitewashed and the roofs are generally tiles. These black/grey lava rock walls that support these homes cave in on themselves during earthquakes and even today there is all kinds of evidence on Pico to support this assertion. Many of these ruined homes are left abandoned and in need of repair.

Older locals recall volcanic eruptions happening on Faial during their youth (1958-1960) that it killed all the trees and vegetation on Pico.

It was very common to work as a dairy farmer and to be either a whaler (during the whaling seasons) or a fisherman as well. These are generally occupations that were passed on from Azorean father to Azorean son from generation to generation. Occupations included: dairy farmer, whaler (during the whaling seasons), fisherman, construction worker, boat builder, wine maker, 

People generally never left their city or if they did it was very, very seldom. If they did leave their local city it would be for an other towns celebration or Festa.

On the island of Pico, locals would travel by row a boat from one city to another or walk for days one city to another. 10 miles in day was not that uncommon for this time in the late 1800's/early 1900's.

Many Azorean families are only known the family "nickname" and sometimes that might the best and only way to find them in the Azores.

There has never been a proper hospital on Pico. If someone was hurt or sick on Pico they would literally signal Horta by starting a fire and sending "smoke signals" if you will.

In the 1930's having a bicycle was considered a luxury item. The roads at this time were extremely narrow and only taxis or people of wealth (doctors, lawyers wine makers) would drive cars on these roads. If an other car was coming towards you you had to pull off to the side of the road in order for them to pass.

During the 1940's on Pico, it was very common to grow up working in the whaling industry. Working long hours, barefoot in whale blood, while cutting up whale meat was the most common of the jobs.

There many water wells or water fountains of the side of the road all over the island of Pico which draw water from nearby springs. Locals stop by for a drink and/or fill up water jugs for home use later for free. I tasted the water and it pure and magical.

The da Fonte Hotel was named after a nearby fountain hence the name da Fonte which means "of the fountain" in Portuguese.

Military Service-

Azorean Portuguese families would name their sons a female name such as Maria or ? to keep them out of the mandatory military service in mainland Portugal.


Even today, there are no hospitals on the Azorean island of Pico. I witnessed an elderly woman in need of medical attention be transported in a gurney to be able to catch a short half hour ferry from Mandalena to Horta on the island of Faial. There is a hospital in Horta on the island of Faial.

The Azores-Pico

According to Manuel my 85 year old taxi driver/translator/Azorean guide who has been a resident of island of Pico since he was born in about 1928:

Manuel still works 7 days a week driving a taxi everyday.

On the island of Pico the two main modes of transportation on the island of Pico was ether walking a great distance between city to city (often camping in the jungle and sleeping overnight) or rowing boats a great distance between the port of one city to the port of of another city. Many Azorean families never left their hometown city for hundreds of years or for many generations.

A bicycle was a luxury item during the 1920's and 1930's on the island of Pico.

Only wealthy doctors and lawyers were able to afford to buy and drive automobiles during the 1920's and 1930's on the island of Pico.

On the island of Pico most residents had a small farm on their properties that included pigs, chickens and goats/sheep. Sometimes they would also have a small "corrales" of wild grape vines to be able to produce their own wine as well.

Most young Azoreans worked in the whaling industry often fleecing the whales barefoot.

Whaling, the wine industry and farming were the usual occupations of young Azorean men on the island of Pico.

De Fount  (da Fonte Garcia) family tradition-

According to De Fount family lore, it is a De Fount (da Fonte Garcia) family tradition to get married in a Roman Catholic Church and then to celebrate by scaling up Mt. Pico on the Azorean island of Pico from which the da Fonte Garcia hail from.

In the summer of 1912, in keeping with his father's (Louis De Fount's) De Fount (da Fonte Garcia) family tradition, Irl Joseph De Fount and his beautiful, young bride Ethel Theresa Breiling were married in a Catholic Church at the Mission in San Rafael, California and then the couple celebrated by scaling up Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County, California that is replica (1/3 the size) of Mt. Pico on the Azorean island of Pico from which the da Fonte Garcia hail from.

Sao Jorge:

Sao Jorge headstones of the wealthy are very tall and ornate as are the Azorean-Portuguese headstones in the Sausalito Cemetery (now the Fernwood Cemetery). All of these very tall and ornate headstones in the Sausalito Cemetery belong to Portuguese immigrants from Sao Jorge who worked hard enough and were wealthy enough in America to replicate what they saw the wealthy do on their home island which is to have a very tall and ornate Azorean-Portuguese headstones celebrating ones family name and heritage as well for eternity.


Porto Pim was the main harbor/port of Faial and was an internationally known sailing harbor/port around the world. Later, after 1876, the main harbor/port of Faial slowly became Horta.

Since Faial was such an internationally known sailing harbor/port, the island was grated control over it's neighboring island of Pico. Records for both islands were recorded in the city of Horta on Faial. If you were born on Pico but the birth papers were filed in Faial, your birth certifcate would state the you were born in Faial even though you were born on Pico. The same dilemma presented itself for both marriage and death records as well.

Azorean-Portuguese Graveyards:

It is almost impossible to find the gravesites of family members in the Azores. Azorean cemeteries are so small that one family plot could contain as many as 10 generations of family members within the one grave. The headstone being the only thing that was updated after each burial but only saying the most recent person to be buried there and maybe the name of the family plot. There are no cremations yet in the Azores.

My De Fount-Haberlin Family:

DNA Testing :

DNA Testing for my father and mother, Dave Alvan and Donna Florence (De Fount) Haberlin would help me have a more complete picture of both my paternal and maternal heritage and how they both breakdown in terms of percentages.

Notable De Fount-Haberlin Relatives:

Brian Jon Haberlin:

My father's (Dave Haberlin's) brother's (Earl "Bill" Haberlin's) son, Brian Jon Haberlin, is known as one of the most famous Portuguese-Americans in the United States. He is well known for creating the internationally known comic book series and movie series "Spawn." His Portuguese-Hawaiian ancestry hails from the Portuguese island of Meidrera off off the coast of Africa.

Brian Haberlin, writer and comic book artist. Co-creator of the Witchblade franchise and former editor in chief for Spawn, of Portuguese (Madeira, Portugal) and Native Hawaiian heritage on his mother's side of the family and of Azorean Portuguese on his grandfather's Haberlin side of the family.

Brian Jon Haberlin and I share the same grandfather, Earl William Haberlin, who married Mary Constance "Connie" Ferreira, who was of Portuguese-Hawaiian decent, in 1925.

The Haberlin's had one son named William Earl Haberlin in 1925 and were divorced soon after. William Earl Haberlin was later married to Mildred Copley and they had their youngest child a son named Brian Jon Haberlin who was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Haberlin's also had other children as well (James, Judy, Laura and Brian).

Brian Jon Haberlin is an Portuguese-American comic book artist, writer, editor and producer. He is best known as the co-creator of the Witchblade franchise, as the former editor in chief of "Spawn", and for his digital art style. He regularly included on lists of notable Portuguese-Americans. He is of Portuguese (Madeira Islands, south east of the Azore Islands, off the coast of north west Africa) and Native Hawaiian heritage.

Rosie da Fonte of Pico:

Rosie da Fonte's parents, Manuel and Maria da Fonte, who were Azorean-Portuguese immigrants who worked as diary farmers in the Reed Ranch both in Strawberry and in Tiburon. According to Census records, they immigrated to America in 1876. Maria da Fonte's maternal Azorean-Portuguese surname was Rodrigues.

The da Fonte's daughter, Rosie da Fonte, was born in California on the Reed Ranch in Tiburon, California. The Reed Ranch included: Mill Valley, Larkspur, Strawberry and Tiburon.

Rosie da Fonte was a beautiful, young woman that caught the grandson of Reed's eye. They had a love affair. Reed's sister objected. she was very racist against the fact that Rosie was an Azorean portuguese immigrant and forbade Rosie even to be able to enter the Reed family home let alone her her to date her brother reed.

Against all odds, Reed's love Rosie was a lifetime one. In his will, when he passed away he gave Rosie her own shoreline 11 acre da Fonte property to take care of her even after he was gone. Talk about love!

Rosie da Fonte's claim to fame in Marin County is an enviromental one. Her donation of her shoreline 11 acre da Fonte property donation to the Aububon Society in 1962? saved Richardson Bay from being landfilled and sold as parcels of property. Rosie da Fonte's shoreline 11 acre da Fonte property has been assessed in todays money at about 30 million dollars. Unbielievably, all that Rosie da Fonte got from her massive donation was a few years of health care and a bench named after her in front of the Lyford House with a view of San Francisco.

Sadly, Aububon Society changed the name form the original Rosie Rodrigues da Fonte Verall ? to the Richardson Bay Wildlife Preserve.

Hopefully, the name will be changed back to its original name which would honor, tribute and pay respect not only Rosie but her Azorean-Portuguese family name and it heritage which was the pioneer backbone, if you will, of all that is Marin's agricultural (dairy farming, etc) even today but rarely acknowledged. Through efforts of her da Fonte family (who still lives in Marin County to this very day), the strong Azorean Portuguese community of Marin County and Sausalito's Portuguese Hall will eventually right a wrong.

The Marin County history books tend to remember as the Rosie da Fonte '"Goat Lady" of Tiburon. As cute and as endearing as the nickname is I believe it greatly diminishes her outstanding environmental contributions that are unequaled in the long history of Marin County.

My relative Rosie da Fonte's family like my own hails from Sao Mateus which included the cities and towns of: Sao Mateus, Sao Caetano, Terra do Pao and Sao Joao on the island of Pico. In my own personal da Fonte family research, I have discovered that there are literally over a thousand of da Fonte and Fonte family relatives located in this area (specifically in both Sao Caetano and Terra do Pao) of Pico according to leading genealogical expert and professor Maria Noberta Amorim. She has written many genealogical books about each of the cities on the island of Pico.

Antonio da Fonte:

My da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) family are also related to Antonio da Fonte who was the founder and first president of the U.P.E.C. in San Leandro, California. The U.P.E.C. is an Portuguese-American? Antonio da Fonte who was the president and the primary founding member of the Independent Order of the Portuguese Patriots (Ordem Independent dos Patriotas Portugueses) which was founded on May 1, 1875. In 1877, the name of this organization was changed to Irmandade Portuguesa do Estado da California. In 1880, the name was changed once more to Uniao Portuguesa do Estado da California (aka UPEC as it is now known).

The UPEC was founded in 1880 to protect Azorean-Portuguese immigrants by providing assistance to them when they fell ill or had an untimely death in the family. The preamble to the constitution of the UPEC (Uniao Portuguesa do Estado da California) reads: "We the undersigned declare that we met in assembly and from our own free will unanimously adopted this constitution of the society 'Portuguese Union' as the first founders. Praise to the Lord so that we progress and serve as am example and memorial for the future sons and compatriots: and when we no longer exist, be it known to all men, that the purpose of this 'Portuguese Union' is for the benefit or our homeland, heritage, honor and glory or our Portuguese nationality."

Antonio da Fonte's family like my own hails from Sao Mateus which included the cities and towns of: Sao Mateus, Sao Caetano, Terra do Pao and Sao Joao on the island of Pico. In my own personal da Fonte family research, I have discovered that there are literally over a thousand of da Fonte and Fonte family relatives located in this area (specifically in both Sao Caetano and Terra do Pao) of Pico according to leading genealogical expert and professor Maria Noberta Amorim. She has written many genealogical books about each of the cities on the island of Pico.

Irl Joseph da Fonte Garcia (De Fount):

Irl Joseph da Fonte Garcia (De Fount) was both a professional baseball player for the San Francisco Seals in the early 1900's and a professional boxer as well.