Portugal, Viana do Castelo, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Portugal, Diocese of Viana Catholic Church Records, 1587-1880 .
Title in the Language of the Records
Registros Paroquiais da Igreja Católica da Diocese de Viana do Castelo, Portugal
This is a collection of church records from parishes in the Diocese of Viana do Castelo for the years 1537-1909 it includes baptisms, marriages, and burial/deaths. These parish records have been preserved relatively well. Some of the older registers may have some physical damage due to natural causes; therefore, some data may be difficult to read or some even may be lost. However, in general, they are in good condition for extracting genealogical information.
The original parish records were kept in the parish archive under the custody of the priest and a duplicate register was regularly sent to the diocesan archive where the records were centralized and kept at a higher state of preservation. The text of the records is in Portuguese. Earlier records were handwritten in narrative style, but newer records were handwritten in formatted registers.
The key genealogical facts found in most birth records are:
- Date and place of the event
- Name of child
- Date of birth and gender
- Parents’ names, their residence and/or place of origin
- Names of witnesses or godparents’ names
The key genealogical facts found in most marriage records are:
- Date and place of the event
- Names of the bride and groom
- Civil status (widowed, single, divorce) of bride and groom at time of the event
- Place of origin and/or residence of bride and groom
- Names of parents
- Names of witnesses
The key genealogical facts found in most death/burial records are:
- Place and date of death
- Name of the deceased
- Civil status of deceased person at time of death
- Civil status and name of spouse, if married at time of death
- Cause of death
- Sometimes parent’s names and that of children if any left behind
- Sometime if the deceased left a testament (will)
- Place of burial (cemetery)
How to Use the Records
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.
Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Use the locator information in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the records. Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination. Be aware that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.
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.
- Use the baptism date and place to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents to locate civil and land records.
- The father’s occupation can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- The parents' origin places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- Marriage date and place may help you find their children.
- Burial place may also help to show their migration pattern.
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 baptism entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the baptism 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.
Keep in mind:
- The information in church records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- 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.
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Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Examples of Source Citations
- "Delaware Marriage Records," index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org): accessed 4 March 2011, entry for William Anderson and Elizabeth Baynard Henry, married 23 November 1913; citing marriage certificate no. 859; FHL microfilm 2,025,063; Delaware Bureau of Archives and Records Management, Dover.
- “El Salvador Civil Registration,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org): accessed 21 March 2011, entry for Jose Maria Antonio del Carmen, born 9 April 1880; citing La Libertad, San Juan Opico, Nacimientos 1879-1893, image 50; Ministerio Archivo Civil de la Alcaldia Municipal de San Salvador.
Citations for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
Portugal. Igreja Católica. Arquivos paroquiais da Diocese de Viana do Castelo. Registros paroquiais, 1537-1909. Braga District Archives at the Universityof Minho, Portugal.
Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.