Brazil Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article contains countrywide information about various collections. See the FamilySearch Historical Record Collections to learn more about each individual locality, and to access the records.
Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Map of Brazil
First Mass in Brazil by Victor Meirelles (Primeira Missa no Brasil)

Contents

Title in the Language of the Record

Registros Paroquiais da Igreja Católica em Brasil

Record Description

This collection includes records from 1598 to 2013.

The collection has baptism, marriage and death records for parishes throughout the states of Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Paraíba, Pará, Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, Santa Catarina, Sergipe and São Paulo.

Each type of record is bound in separate registers. Most records follow the same format; in earlier years, however, the records were written in narrative form and later in formatted records. Some of the older registers may appear to have some physical damage; therefore some data may have been lost or may be very difficult to read. However, in general they are in good condition to extract genealogical information.

Catholic Church records began in Brazil with the arrival of the ministers from Portugal. Parish priests performed the sacraments of baptisms and marriages and other holy sacraments in the parish under their jurisdiction. All the original parish records were kept in the parish archive and a duplicate copy was sent to the diocesan archive. These records are a reliable source for doing genealogical research in all of Brazil.

The Catholic Church parish records are an excellent source for genealogical research in Brazil. These may also be the only available records before the implementation of the civil registration in about 1888.

For a list of available church records by province, see the section FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

Record Content

Baptism records usually include the following information:

  • Date of baptism (Select image to enlarge)
  • Place of baptism
  • Name of child
  • Child's birth date
  • Child's place of birth
  • Legitimacy
  • Parents' names
  • Godparents' names

Marriage records usually include the following information:

  • Date of marriage (Select image to enlarge)
  • Place of marriage
  • Names of groom and bride
  • Groom's place of birth
  • Groom's age, baptism date and residence
  • Groom's legitimacy
  • Groom's parents' names
  • Bride’s place of birth
  • Bride's age, baptism date and residence
  • Bride’s legitimacy
  • Bride's parents' names
  • Witnesses' names

Death records usually include the following information:

  • Date of death (Select image to enlarge)
  • Place of death
  • Name and age of deceased
  • Marital status of deceased and spouse’s name
  • Burial place

How to Use the Records

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following about your ancestor:

  • Name
  • Parish of residence
  • Estimated birth, marriage, death year
  • Parents' or other relatives' names

Search the Collection

Some collections are fully or partially indexed, so you can search by typing in the name and/or other identifying information you know about your ancestor.
To search by index:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

Some collections are not indexed.
To browse by image:
To search the collection images, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page. Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

For Help Reading these Records

These records are in Portuguese. For help reading the records see the following guides:

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about other people listed in the record. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example, use the residence and names of the parents to locate civil and land records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile the entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born, married and died in the same place or nearby.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.
  • You should also search for your ancestors in the civil registers. Then compare your findings against each other.
  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Check for variant spellings of the names.
  • Check for an index. Some records have indexes at the end of the volume. Frequently, these indexes are arranged by the given name of the individual and sometimes use the Latin form of the name. Those volumes without indexes need to be searched chronologically for the individuals sought.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby parishes.

FamilySearch Historical Record Collections

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Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citations for this Collection

For each province listed in the section, FamilySearch Historical Record Collections, the citation is available with the source from which the records originate. See the respective articles for these citations.



 

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  • This page was last modified on 29 September 2014, at 17:48.
  • This page has been accessed 37,969 times.