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Guide to Macau ancestry, family history and genealogy parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.
Macau is one of two Special Administrative Regions of China,together with Hong Kong. Macau lies on the western side of the Pearl River Delta across from Hong Kong, and it is also bordered by Guangdong Province to the north and the South China Sea to the east and south. The population is about 650,000 living in an area of 31.3 km2 (12.1 sq mi), and as such it is the most densely populated region in the world.
Macau is a former colony of Portugal, and was administered by Portugal from the mid-16th century until late 1999, when it was the last remaining European colony in Asia.
Portuguese is still one of the official languages, but is slowly being replaced by the native Cantonese, and the official Mandarin dialects of China.
Portuguese traders first settled in Macau in the 1550s. In 1557, Macau was rented to Portugal by the Ming Dynasty as a trading port. The Portuguese administered the city under Chinese authority and sovereignty until 1887, when Macau became a colony of the Portuguese Empire. As a former Portuguese enclave, it is uniquely Portuguese in character, with a legal system, architecture, and administration all reflective of that European country.
Sovereignty over Macau was transferred back to China on 20 December 1999, following the same reversion to China of Hong Kong. The Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration and the Basic Law of Macau stipulate that Macau operate with a high degree of autonomy until at least 2049, fifty years after the transfer.
Uniquely for Asia, the Macau economy is largely built on the gambling industry, and a number of USA gambling Corporations have set up casinos of the American style to cater to the largely Chinese and Hong Kong thirst for this type of activity.
Getting started with Macau research
The following is the address for the Macau Department of Vital Statistics: Conservatoria do Registo Civil Rua do Campo No. 162 15 Andar EDF Administracao Publica Macau.
Several useful web sites for getting started on Macau genealogy follow:
Information on Macau cemeteries can be found via the following Wikipedia reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cemeteries_in_Macau
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