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Joseph and Mary Baptista family photographs and Madeiran embroidery

Identifier: MC-035

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of photo and travel albums, loose documents such as passports, identification cards, and Certificates of Citizenship, as well as several pieces of embroidered table and dresser linens.


  • 1911-1967

Language of Materials

In English and in Portuguese

Conditions Governing Access

No known restrictions

Biographical / Historical

Joseph Baptista was born in Camacha, Funchal, Madeira Islands in 1893 to Antonio Baptista (1867-1950) and Genevieve Neves. One of five sons and two daughters, Joseph immigrated to the United States, and became a citizen in 1930. He settled in New Bedford and was the proprietor of Liberty Market on Dartmouth Street, an early self-service style grocery store. It operated from 1935-1985. Antonio later immigrated to the United States, arriving in Providence, Rhode Island in 1934. Joseph’s wife Mary was born in 1903 and was granted United States citizenship in 1941. An accomplished needlewoman, Mary embroidered the pieces in this collection in the Madeiran style of embroidery. In 1952 Mary and Joseph Baptista traveled to the Madeira Islands, Portugal and Europe via the Queen Elizabeth, with Mary’s cousin Manuel Viera and his wife Josephine. They had an audience with Pope Pius XII, spent five weeks in Madeira, and visited other European cities, such as Rome, London, and Madrid. Mary and Joseph had a son, Joseph Baptista, born in New Bedford in 1926, and a daughter, Mary Alice Baptista. Joseph graduated from New Bedford High School in 1944, attended MIT and the New Bedford Textile School (1946) and graduated from the Campbell Secretarial School with a major in accounting. He was a partner with his father and uncle, Joseph Ferreira of Liberty Market. He died unexpectedly in November 2003 and did not have any children of his own.

Family historian Oren Baptista has traced the Baptista family as far back as Tristão Vaz Teixeira, the man who sailed the ship for Prince Henry the Navigator, who discovered Madeira in 1420 and claimed it under the Portuguese flag (see CS71.B233 1990).


3 Linear Feet (2 oversize boxes, 2 small flat box)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Joseph Baptista in 2003.

MC 35, Joseph and Mary Baptista family photographs and Madeiran embroidery
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the UMass Dartmouth Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives Repository

Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
285 Old Westport Rd.
N. Dartmouth MA 02747 USA