Lionel Rocha Holmes (1919-2017) was an important part of the Sacramento, CA Portuguese community.
He was one of the original founders of the Portuguese Historical & Cultural Society (PHCS), a former PHCS president, former Cabrillo Club president, author of Portuguese Pioneers of the Sacramento Area, the editor of "O Progresso" which is the quarterly newsletter of the PHCS, and a recipient of the Gold Medal of Merit awarded by the Portuguese government for his active role and contributions to the Portuguese community.
In the last few years of his life, he greatly contributed to the efforts of using DNA testing of people from the Azores in order to discover more of our heritage. He was probably responsible for well over 100 people to get Y-DNA testing to discover more about their ancient origins.
In his honor I have established the "Lionel Rocha Holmes Memorial DNA Fund" to raise money to continue testing people of Azorean origins. I would like to give away a free DNA test to people who represent untested family lines that will further our efforts to learn all we can through DNA about our Azores and Portuguese roots.
It will be an on-going fund that will allow people to get tested each year, with at least two people each quarter. Details of the recipients each quarter will appear in "O Progresso" and in the Azores Genealogy groups on Facebook.
As we head into 2019 I hope we can see a significant amount of donations for continued testing.
Donations will be greatly appreciated.