If you are happy with your family tree and perfectly comfortable with your ancestry maybe you should not do a DNA test. In my case, not being specially interested, in coats of arms or any of those motives connected to finding nobility and the likes I am happy to find out as much facts as possible and the DNA path is extraordinary. Anyhow I did the DNA test with Myheritage and met with sensational findings.
As I have, on this blog, previously written about my research on the Henriques Pinheiro connection it feels necessary to put things right. My paternal grandfather was António Branco Cabral (Santarem 1893- Lisbon 1983). My genetical grandfather was not a figure unknown to us in the family, but indeed someone that I met and that was present in the life of my father and of my grandmother Rogéria with whom they secretly shared a son. I am convinced that my grandmother would not be unhappy with this turn of events (it now being known) as she had up to her death in 1977 kept a relation to the man who had another family but was the father of her only surviving child.
Who was then António Branco Cabral?
According to the “Grande Enciclopédia Portuguesa e Brasileira, Vol.2” he completed is studies as a Civilian Engineer at the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon in 1915. He was then called up for the army and served in the first world war from where he was evacuated in 1919 after being subject to gas. After returning he then started to work for the ministry of Public Works and in 1923, he oversaw the Roads department for his native District. He went on to work for the Portuguese Railway (CP) and placed on the Paris Committee for that company. In 1932 he returned from Paris and became General Secretary for the Portuguese Railway Company in which post he remained until his retirement in 1963. During those 32 years he was involved in the development of many enterprises and in the administration boards of several companies including the Uranium mines in Urgeiriça. It is mentioned that he published texts and poetry in different newspapers and magazines under cover of pseudonyms. A renowned personality in the Lisbon society he received several medals such as St Gregory order, of Civil Merit of Spain, and several commendations for orders such as the British Empire.
This finding om Myheritage was only possible because another grandson to António Branco Cabral namely Pedro Cabral Magalhães, also had done his DNA test there. As far as my dealings with Pedro are concerned, I only have positive experiences since this news were also unknown to him and I really feel that I have gained a cousin that three months ago I did not know existed. I am looking forward to meeting him soon.
I have, in other words, no genetical connection with the Pinheiros from the province of Beira Baixa and that is that. It does not mean that there are no emotional or other ties as my father always considered that his father was João Henriques Pinheiro and he spent time as a child mainly in the region of Rosmaninhal.
My extensive research on the family Pinheiro/ Rija in the municipality of Idanha a Nova in the district of Castelo Branco is available ad hopefully useful to anyone wanting to access it.
PS: Please feel free to add to this story on the blog.