Discover our top 10 tips and tricks for getting started on your Portuguese genealogy project today. From researching Portuguese archives to family connections, this comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know to get started.
Are you interested in tracing your Portuguese family history but don't know where to start? If you are facing difficulty with how to start or complete the project, here is a solution for you all, you can get help from these steps.
Record and findings of ancestral hometown:
First of all it is essential to be aware of the ancestral hometown in advance because Portuguese documents are stored at the state and local levels. Portuguese records should be a simpler task if you already know where your ancestors originally came from in Portugal. however, look for Portuguese ancestors who traveled over the ocean and made their homes in Brazil, the United States, or other countries.
The general rule for a professional genealogist is to move from known to unknown. Find records that were created in areas where you know your ancestor lived to begin your study. These records frequently offer hints that will lead you to your ancestor's hometown in Portugal
If you are facing difficulty to find the records and names of your ancestor’s hometown in Portugal, here is a great tip for you, find if your ancestor had relatives, parents, neighbours and siblings
If a person Jumping from Brazil to Portugal:
Finding ancestors who immigrated from Portugal to Brazil may be more difficult, even though U.S. records frequently have centralised, indexed systems that make U.S.-to-Portugal research easier. The majority of Brazilian documents are either not internally indexed, have not yet been digitally indexed, or call for page-by-page searches via microfilms with more than 1,000 pages. Similar to Portugal, Brazilian records are kept at the local level, thus knowing where in Brazil your ancestors were born is necessary while looking for them there.
Other Records in Portuguese:
After finding the residence where your ancestor lived then the next step is finding the records of the ancestor that are available. These records can help you in finding the ancestor genealogy. Here are some common record types you may find in your Portuguese genealogy search.
Portugal has been conducting censuses since 1260. Researchers can use these records to identify ancestors and family groups and determine the gender, approximate birthdates, jobs, and relationships of each family member.
These records contain the residence history, family members, social, and economic conditions locally and nationally. This record contains rich information about ancestors and helps genealogists the Portuguese ancestor's history.
Catholic church records plays the important role in Portuguese genealogy research. In 1562, as part of reforms made during the Council of Trent parish priests were required to record marriages, deaths, and records of birth. The Portuguese Republic which was newly established in 1910 ordered that all births, marriages, and death be transferred to the government that was created by the Catholic Church.
You can get the following types of records from church records:
From the Catholic tradition, it is necessary to be baptised for salvation because babies were usually baptised soon after they were born. It includes the
Baptism birth and death date
In the Bride’s parish usually, the couple married and their marriage records contain
Name of both bride and groom
Date of Marriage
Residence of both
When you are searching as a genealogist for a military record in Portugal, you must start with the volunteer or regular army. Military record help in your family history that can be richly recorded. They provide essential details like name, place of residence, age, and occasionally even a physical description.
Also, they share information on their military service, such as muster-in and muster-out dates, the unit they served in, a list of injuries they experienced, and others, that might help you better understand their experiences. But this information is not provided online.
Military records contain the following records:
Compiled service records:
Compiled Military Service starts in the 1890s the War Department. Compiled service records consist of an envelope containing card summaries taken from the muster rolls, returns, pay vouchers, and other information that makes up compiled service records. They will provide you with details about your ancestor's rank, unit, muster-in and muster-out dates, basic biographical details, medical details, and military details.
For veterans, their widows, and other heirs, the National Archives also maintains pension applications and records of pension payments.
For Marriage records contain the date and place of the marriage which usually consist of a parish church. Marriage records help in finding both the bride and groom's names but it is rare to find other information like occupation, parents, or siblings.
The groom's last name is spelled in two different ways in the parish register and the archdeacon's transcript examples: Wasy and Acye or Wacye. Amie and Amye, as well as Cots or Cottes, are variant spellings of the bride's given and last names. Because these data are for the person now known as Thomas Wise, it is advised genealogists use the "Name Soundex" option.
So these marriage records can tell about the marriage detail with the name of the bride and groom.
Civil Registers records:
The Portuguese government passed a law requiring the local civil registration to keep a record of all citizens' births, marriages, and deaths in 1832. Only churches kept such records before this law. Catholic priests served as the civil register for the Catholics when civil registers were originally established as a mechanism for non-Catholic people to record their births, marriages, and deaths. Yet, it wasn't till 1878 that this system became active. Civil registration experienced an important change in 1910 with the establishment of the First Portuguese Republic. From 1911 all citizens were required to have their life events recorded in the civil registrar, regardless of whether this information was also recorded in the parish of their church. Civil records contain the following information and records:
This record is created for the Gender and name of the child, date of birth, parents and grandparents' name, Birthplace of parents and grandparents, and legal status.
The legal relationship between parents and unmarried children is established through legitimation. This typically happened when the parents were married or not and when the father recognises a child legally as his heir. These records are created for children who are born out of wedlock and for those whose parents are married after childbirth. Contain the information of legitimisation date court order legitimisation.
Also, known as Matrimonios, this record contains information related to the marriage marital status, name, age, and residence of both bride and groom.
This contains the records related to the death, death records include the name, age, date, place, and parents' name. Parish registers and civil registration records will most likely be your primary needs when doing your research into Portuguese genealogy and the availability of records will always depend on where your family was from in Portugal and when they lived there.
Immigration and Emigration records:
If you are going out of the country it is called immigration and if you are going into the country it is immigration. An estimated 800,000 Portuguese have moved to Portugal since African independence in 1975. Portugal has one of the highest migration rates all over the world. In the 15th century, his trend dates back to when Portugal began overseas exploration and colonisation and many Portuguese moved to colonies in Africa, South America, and the Pacific Islands.
This immigration process help in finding the records of a person's name, age, nationality, and residence through airplane passenger list, passport copies, and through foreign registration. So, you can get the basic ancestors' records through the immigration and emigration process.
Notarial record means the records made by an area’s notary. These kinds of records include land records, attorney power, marriage and death registry, and Evidence prepared for a court case. These records provide information about the person's relationships and possessions.
There are three kinds of notarial:
Public notaries: These are referred to as contracts, transaction Ancient Wills, and Codexes, Inventories.
Ecclesiastic notaries: These are referred to as a member of the Catholic church.
Court notaries: These notaries are referred to as performing several functions within the court system.
You can get the information as a genealogist from the notarial record.
9. Online Record:
It includes the following types of record
A record of the distribution of property on the death of the testator. It contains the information of the testator like name, residence, and family member
Contain the personal records and property owned by the deceased person. It contains the information of name, residence, and all detail of all personal and property of the deceased.
Purchases and Sales:
Contain the purchase and sale of real estate, it contains the information like name of the seller and buyer and all the given detail about the real estate.
10. Periodicals Records:
Periodical records include regularly published magazines, journals, and newsletters. There are several excellent publications for researching Portuguese genealogy. Many publications and newsletters are published by historical and ethnic groups like:
1) Family genealogies and pedigrees
2) Current and historical maps
3) Interesting articles about social life and customs
4) Book advertisements and book reviews
5) Advertisements of professional researchers
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