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Welcome to the Azore Islands site of the World GenWeb Project. This site was designed as a resource for genealogists researching their ancestors; as well as anyone having an interest in the Azore Islands. If you are a genealogist, you will find some information here that will aid you in your research. If you would like to know more about the Azore Islands, hopefully, you will find that information here as well.

There are many resources here that will help you to research your ancestors and to find out more about their lives. There are examples of records here; baptism, marriage, and death. There are maps of each island that show the village locations and list the Churchs and a time frame for the records that are available. Most records are online now and there are links to those here, too. I have included information on Fraternal Societies and Alien Registration forms. Two resources that are very informative but largely unknown by many researchers. There are photos from several islands and information on how our Azorean ancestors were buried on these tiny islands. You will find a Portuguese Paleography here which will help you to read the old records as well as a list of commonly used words you will find in those records. In addition, you will find wonderful resources that will point you in the right direction to be able to find out your own information on your ancestors. While you're browsing the site, be sure to check out the Queries that others have posted.

Good luck and happy hunting!

This mailing list is for anyone with a genealogical interest in the Azores. We discuss genealogy, culture, history, DNA, food, books, and anything else to help the Portuguese researcher.

A Brief History of the Azores

The Azore Islands were discovered by the Portuguese in 1427. At that time, they were uninhabited, but the Portuguese began to settle there in 1439. Then, later under Prince Henry the Navigator, the islands were colonized in some part by the Flemish, which is why so many of the people of the Azores have blue eyes and fair complexions. Later settlers included Jewish farmers, Bretons, and some Italians, English, and Scots. The island of Santa Maria was the first to be discovered and was where Columbus' crews paused when they returned from their first trip upon discovering America. The islands were named after a bird from the hawk family that was found in the area. The Azores are thought by some to be part of the sunken continent of Atlantis.

During the period from 1580 - 1640, the Azores were occupied by Spain and used as a staging base for the Spanish fleets. The seas surrounding the islands were the site of many a fierce sea battle between France and Spain.

The Azores were declared an autonomous, or self-governing, region of Portugal in 1976.

Climate of the Azores

The archipelago's location in the north Atlantic, means that it's climate is controlled by the high pressure areas common in the North Atlantic and the polar and tropical air masses. The European continent is over 1500 km away, so these oceanic conditions are the controlling factors in the climate. As a result, the Azores has a very temperate climate with only a small annual variance. Temperatures generally range from 57 degrees F. (14 C) in winter to 71 degrees F. (22 C) in the summer. There is an average of 77% humidity and regular rainfall throughout the year.

© Kathy Andrade Cardoza 2022