Portugal Civil Registration

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Portugal Gotoarrow.png Civil Registration

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Local Research Resources

Civil Registers (Registros Civis)

Research use: Uniquely identifies individuals and links generations.

Record type: Civil records of birth, marriage, and death.

General: Priests functioned as civil registrars until 1911. Civil registration was instituted after the creation of the republic.

Time period: 1832-present. Registration of non-Catholics began in 1832. Civil registration was mandated in 1878 but only became obligatory in 1911.

Contents: Birth, marriage, and death records have the exact date of the event, including time of day for birth; name of principal and parents; occupation and religious preference of parents; name of informant for birth and names of witnesses for marriage; place of residence for parents of new born, of the groom and bride for marriages, and of the deceased for death; age at death, cause of death, and place of burial in death records.

Location: Local registry archive (Conservatória do Registro Civil). They are to be transferred to district archives after a hundred years. Population coverage: 95% coverage of the population.

Reliability: Excellent.[1]

Civil Registration Offices in Portugal

List of the district offices of civil registration

Birth records

will provide:

  • given name of the child
  • gender
  • legitimacy or otherwise
  • date of birth
  • date of christening
  • if this is the first child in that family to be given that name
  • names of the father and mother
  • birthplace of each parent
  • names and birthplaces of the paternal and maternal grandparents
  • names of godparents
  • names of witnesses
  • name of the priest that performed the christening

Marriage records

will provide:

  • names of the bride and groom
  • marital status of the bride and groom
  • if previously married the name or names of the previous spouses
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • ages of the bride and groom
  • names of the parents of the bride and groom
  • birthplace of each parent
  • names of the witnesses
  • name of the priest performing the wedding ceremony


Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:


  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Portugal,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1986-1999.