Woman Searching for Her Fall River Dad After 40 Years
Maria Rodrigues will turn 43 this summer. She has never met her dad.
Her mother and father had a very brief relationship in Fall River back in 1978. Her mother, Denise Rodrigues (pictured above), was 21 years old at the time and became pregnant. Her father, who was several years older, didn't remain in the picture after the couple broke up three months before Maria was born. Her father never laid eyes on her.
"It was just something that you didn't talk about when I was growing up," said Maria. "My mother was really sensitive about it. She absolutely refused to talk about my dad. She just said that it was best left alone. They were a very strict Portuguese family and things were a lot different back then."
Now that her mother has been deceased for nearly 20 years, Maria has been doing her best to piece together the mystery of her father and is trying to track him down. He would be roughly 70 to 72 years old now. The only solid pieces of information that Maria knows for sure are his name and hometown.
She pressed her godparents to find out more.
"His name is Antonio Dos Ramos," Maria said of her father. "He was born in Sao Miguel, but moved here to Fall River where he met my mother back in the late '70's."
Rodrigues knows this because of baptismal records from St. Anthony's Parish in Cambridge, where her mom ended up settling after Maria was born. Maria requested a copy of the baptismal certificate from the church to confirm, which she received weeks ago.
"I remember I used to sing in the church choir, and we were scheduled to sing at a Fall River festival for the church in the '90s," Maria said. "I specifically remember my mother adamantly refusing to let me go to Fall River. She was throwing a fit. It just didn't make any sense to me, until I found out years later that my father lived with his sister in Fall River at the time."
Maria is hoping that someone might recognize a photo of her mother from back when her mother and father were spending time together in Fall River in 1978. She's also wondering if anyone knows a Fall River man in his 70s by the name of Antonio Dos Ramos. It's possible the man has moved back to Sao Miguel.
"I'm just looking for closure," Maria said.
Anyone with information can email firstname.lastname@example.org.