The Madeira Project

In the winter of 1849, a group of refugees from the island of Madeira, driven by religious persecution, arrived in the unlikely locations of Jacksonville and Springfield Illinois. Today we come to you as descendants of that migration, who, like probably many of the descendants of that event and the many descendants of the many migrations that created this country, grew up unaware of most aspects of it, save the simple fact that our forebears came from Portugal.

The “Madeira Project” is about making that re-connection, in one of several ways, depending on the level of funding we are able to generate.  Here are the projects we would like to produce, in increasing level of cost and value.

  1. A web site that will provide a platform for ongoing research and, collaboration.  One of the areas of the site will be a very extensive family tree.
  2. A "Ken Burns style" documentary about the persecutions and the migration. The basic form of this will be photos + audio + interviews.
  3. Re-enactments of key events to be included in the documentary.
  4. A feature film, telling the story from a very up-close perspective, with historical characters in featured roles.

For those of you who don't know the story, click here to read the account created by Betty Elliot, daughter of Russell Lomelino (brother of our grandmother). 

This is the first step of a fundraising project to put this project in motion. Sign up below for more information.