Azores, Portugal Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
(Redirected from Azores)
Jump to: navigation, search

Europe Gotoarrow.png Portugal Gotoarrow.pngAzores


Guide to Azores,Portugal ancestry, family history, and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

History

The Azores are a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, about 1,500 km (950 mi) from Lisbon. They were discovered by the Portuguese in 1427. The Portuguese began to settle there in 1439. Later, Flemish settlers came to the islands, as did Italians, Scots, English, Bretons, and some Jewish farmers. The Azores were occupied by Spain from 1580 - 1640 and used as a base for Spanish ships. Long considered a colony of Portugal, the Azores became an autonomous or self-governing region of Portugal in 1976.

The Azores consist of nine inhabited islands – Santa Maria,Sao Miguel, Terceira, Graciosa, Sao Jorge, Pico, Faial, Flores and Corvo – and a number of smaller, uninhabited Isletas.

Maps of islands and their parishes

To view maps of each island and their corresponding parishes click here, then click on "?Ajuda" in the bottom right corner of the map. A list of islands to choose will pop up along the bottom of the map.

{{{link}}} Ask the Community Button New Version.jpg

Research Methods

Most of your genealogical research for Aveiro will be in two main record types: civil registration (registros civis) and church records (registros da igreja). This article will teach you methods for locating and searching these two record groups.

Civil Registration (Registros civis)

Civil registration records (Registros civis) are government records covering birth, marriage, and death. They are an excellent source of names, dates, places, and relationships.

Time period:1832-present. Registration of non-Catholics began in 1832. Civil registration was mandated in 1878 but only became obligatory in 1911. Priests functioned as civil registrars until 1911. The records are highly reliable.

Civil registration records are kept on a municipal level by local civil registration offices. After 100 years they are moved to the district registration office.

Writing for Civil Registration Certificates

It is possible to obtain civil registration records by writing to the local civil registry in the municipality. Civil officials will generally answer correspondence in Portuguese. Your request may be forwarded if the records have been sent to district archives.

Events Less Than 100 Years Ago

For events less than 100 years ago, the records are kept in the local registration office. Write a brief request in Portuguese to the proper office using this address as guide replacing the information in parentheses:

Cartório de Registro Civil
(postal code), (city)
Azores, Portugal

District Archives

For records older than 100 years, write to the district office at:

Conservatória do Registo Civil de Açores
Pç. Gonçalo Velho 12, 2º
9500-063 Ponta Delgada
Reg. Aut. Açores – Portugal

Telefone: 296302170
E-mail: crc.pd@dgrn.mj.pt

For both types of offices, send the following:

  • Money for the search fee, usually $10.00, and an international reply coupon (IRC)
  • Full name and the sex of the ancestor sought
  • Names of the ancestor’s parents, if known
  • Approximate date and place of the event
  • Your relationship to the ancestor
  • Reason for the request (family history, medical, and so on)
  • Request for a photocopy of the complete original record


Write your request in Portuguese whenever possible. For writing your letter in Portuguese, use the translated questions and phrases in this Portuguese Letter-writing Guide.

Parish Records

Many of the parish records for the Azores have been digitized and put online by the Azorean government. To view these images clic on the following link "Pesquisa de Registos Paroquiais". These records were recorded by the Catholic Church until 1911 when Civil Registration was established. Record types include baptisms/births, marriages, and deaths. They are organized by island, council, and parish. Before beginning your search, it would be very helpful to know which island and parish your ancestor was from.

1. Online Parish Records

  • To search the parish records on the Azorean government website begin by choosing the Island (Ilha). Next choose the Municipality (Concelho) and then the Parish (Freguesia). Once you have made your selections, click on Procurar to view the available record types and their associated year ranges. Next select the record group you wish to view. They will open in a new browser window.
  • The Portuguese website Tombo.pt has parish records as well as several other record types such as passports, wills, census, etc. Start at Tombo.pt On the left side of the page scroll down the page and choose Açores. Next choose the island (ilha). Next you will choose a municipality (municipio). Next choose a parish (freguesia). The number to the right of parish name is the number of books digitized. Choose a book to view from the list of available records. Only the words in blue are actual links to books. The images will open in a new tab in your browser. Use the navigation tools in the image viewer to navigate the books.

2. Microfilm Copies of Church Records Searched at a Family History Center

If the locality and time period you need are not included in the online records, the next step is to find them in the microfilm collection of the Family History Library. These microfilms may be viewed at Family History Centers around the world. To find a microfilm:

a. Click on this link to see a list of records for Portugal, Açores.
b. Click on "Places within Portugal, Açores" and a list of towns and cities will open.
c. Click on the town or city you wish to search.
d. Click on "Church Records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Choose the correct event and time period for your ancestor.
f. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. FHL icons.png. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm. Clicking on the microfilm reel will lead to information on how to rent the film. Family History Center staff will assist you in ordering the film.

3. Writing to a Catholic Priest for Church Records

Baptism, marriage, and death records may be searched by contacting or visiting local parish or diocese archives in Portugal. Portugal has no single repository of church records. Write your request in Portuguese whenever possible. This method is not always reliable. Officials might or might not respond.

Write a brief request in Portuguese to the proper church using this address as guide replacing the information in parentheses:

Reverendo Pároco
Paróquia de (name of parish)
(postal code), (city)
Azores, Portugal


When requesting information, send the following:

  • Money for the search fee, usually $10.00, and an international reply coupon (IRC)
  • Full name and the sex of the ancestor sought
  • Names of the ancestor’s parents, if known
  • Approximate date and place of the event
  • Your relationship to the ancestor
  • Reason for the request (family history, medical, and so on)
  • Request for a photocopy of the complete original record


Write your request in Portuguese whenever possible. For writing your letter in Portuguese, use the translated questions and phrases in this Portuguese Letter-writing Guide.

Reading the Records

  • You do not have to be fluent in Portuguese to read your documents. Genealogical records usually contain a limited vocabulary. Use this Portuguese Genealogical Word List to translate the important points in the document.
  • Online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:


Search Strategy

  • Search for the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find his birth record, search for the births of his brothers and sisters.
  • Next, search for the marriage of his parents. The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
  • You can estimate the ages of the parents and determine a birth year to search for their birth records.
  • Search the death registers for all known family members.
  • Repeat this process for both the father and the mother, starting with their birth records, then their siblings' births, then their parents' marriages, and so on.
  • If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes.


Tips for finding your ancestor in the records

  • Births were usually reported within a few days of the birth by the father of the child, a neighbor, or the midwife. A search for a birth record should begin with the known date of birth and then searching forward in time, day by day, until the record is found. It might be found within a few days of the actual birth date, but in some instances, it might be weeks or months later.
  • In the larger cities of Portugal, there are several registration offices located throughout the city. If you know in which part of the city your ancestor lived, you should begin your search in the records of the office nearest their home. If you do not know, you will need to search office by office.
  • Some civil registration books have indexes in the front or back of them. These indexes are often by the given name of the child. You may have to check every entry in the index if your ancestor had more than one given name.
  • Marriages typically took place in the hometown of the bride.
  • Death records can be particularly helpful for people who may not have had a civil birth or marriage record but died during the period when civil registration had begun.

Other Records

Grupo de História das Populações

Grupo de História das Populações is a website which contains some genealogies for the islands of Pico, Faial, and Sao Jorge as well as a few places on mainland Portugal. Here you can find extensive family genealogy information that has been extracted from parish records and placed into family groups.

  1. To begin your search you must first know the parish where your ancestors lived. Click on the name of the parish.
  2. Next you will click on the arrow next to the words Clique aqui para aceder ás Genealogias.
  3. Change the page to English by clicking on the British flag at the top of the page. It is the 8th one over starting on the left side of the page.
  4. Begin searching. The recommended method is to search by surname. Click on the radial button next to the word surname and then the surname you wish to search.
  5. Click on Ok.
  6. The results are now in alphabetical order by first name. Click on the name of interest.
  7. On the page you will see the name of the person you chose at the top of the page followed by other information about his parents, spouse, and/or children. Each name is a link to more information.
  8. If you find family information, you will want to verify its accuracy by checking the parish records.

Passports

  • Passports were issued by the Civil government. They originate from three places: Angra do Heroísmo (beginning in 1832), Horta (beginning in 1836), and Ponta Delgada (beginning in 1875, with some records missing). Beginning in 1917 the passports contained photographs. To view passport records click on "Pesquisa de Passaportes". Your ancestor may have lived on a different island but received his passport from one of these three islands.
  • There are some ships' passenger lists available on the Internet, as well as helps to write to government offices and archives on the island.

External Links