Genealogical Resources For Researching in the Azores, Portugal

Version: 4.3, Last update Feb. 6, 2006. Send updates and corrections to Thanks! Copyright 2006 by Cheryl L. Mello. All rights reserved.

Sample form letter:

Below is a sample form letter. Just cut & paste and fill in the blanks!





Faz-se favor mandar-me: Certificado de Nasimento (Please give me: Birth Certificate)

Nome: (Name:)

Nome da Esposa: (Name of Spouse:)

Nome do Pai: (Name of Father:)

Nome da Mae: (Name of Mother:)

Nome da Ilha: (Name of Island:)

Nome da aldeia ou freguesia: (Name of town:) Concelho de (Council of:)

Data do Nasimento: (Date of Birth:) (or marriage or death--change as necessary)

Faleceu: (Death--give date and place.)

Muito Obrigado (Thank you--male) Os meus respeitosos cumprimentos

(Muito Obrigada (Thank you--female) (Respectfully yours)

Your name

Your address

Your city, state, ZIP

Estados Unidos da America

(For a marriage certificate, you'd change the first line to: Faz-se favor mandar-me: Certificado de

Casamento. For death, it would be: Faz-se favor mandar-me: Certificado de Obito. And of course, you'd change the dates to correspond to the certificate you are asking for).


1. The Bibliotecas and Arquivos (generally, write here for information 100 years or older). They do not do research for you. They only issue certificates for the vital events.

SANTA MARIA & SÃO MIGUEL: Biblioteca Pública e Arquivo de Ponta Delgada, Rua Largo Colegio, 9500 Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Açôres (Azores)

TERCEIRA, GRACIOSA, SÃO JORGE: Biblioteca Pública e Arquivo de Angra do Heroísmo, 49 Rua da Rosa, 9700 Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira, Açôres (Azores) (Holds records up to 1911).

FAIAL, PICO, FLORES, CORVO: Biblioteca Pública e Arquivo de Horta, Rua Dom Pedro IV, 25 Horta, 9900 Faial, Açôres (Azores)

2. The Civil Registries (generally, write here for the past 100 years or so). (Established 1 Apr. 1910)

Address the letters the following way:

Conservatória do Registo Civil

ZIP City

Island, Açôres


Municipal councils and their Civil Registries: (ZIP, city)

SANTA MARIA: 9580 Vila do Porto

SAO MIGUEL: 9560 Lagoa, 9630 Nordeste, 9500 Ponta Delgada, 9650 Povoação, 9600

Ribeira Grande, 9680 Vila Franca do Campo

TERCEIRA: 9700 Angra do Heroísmo, 9760 Praia da Vitória

GRACIOSA: 9880 Santa Cruz da Graciosa

SAO JORGE: 9850 Calheta, 9800 Velas

FAIAL: 9900 Horta

PICO: 9930 Lajes do Pico, 9950 Madalena, 9940 Sao Roque do Pico

FLORES: 9960 Lajes das Flores, 9970 Santa Cruz das Flores

CORVO: 9980 Vila Nova

For both the Bibliotecas and the Civil Registries, you must send the name of the ancestor, date of event (or at least a span--e.g. 1881-1883), the freguesia (the town) and the municipal council. Enclose $18 U.S. dollars, personal check or U.S. money order (this covers return postage and the document). International money orders do not exist for Portugal.

3. The Family History Center (FHC) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), aka the Mormon Church:

Your local phone book should list a local branch or stake. They are open to the general public, free of charge. Records can be found under "Topic List" PORTUGAL, AZORES. Topics include: archives and libraries, biography, church directories, church records, civil registration and more. You will want to order the church records. Although your FHC may not have the film at their center, it may be ordered (for under $5) and viewed at the center. (The film may be renewed for a fee, and a second renewal will keep the film permanently at your center.)

Also, the FHC publishes a booklet to assist you in the reading of documents: "Genealogical Word List, Portuguese." The booklet "Basic Portuguese Paleography" is now only available on fiche from the LDS and the fiche may be used only at their libraries. Photocopies can be made from the fiche.

4. Supreme Council of U.P.E.C., J.A. Freitas Library, 1120 E. 14th St., San Leandro, CA 94577. The library has many books about the Portuguese. (510) 483-7676


1. American-Portuguese Genealogical and Historical Society, Inc. (APGHS), P.O. Box 644, Taunton, MA 02780-0644

2. The Portuguese Genealogical Society of Hawaii, 810 North Vineyard Blvd. #11

Honolulu HI 96817

3. Portuguese Historical and Cultural Society (PHCS), P.O. Box 161990, Sacramento, CA 95816 or

All cost $10 to join, with the exception of the PHCS, which is $12. All publish newsletters. APGHS also publishes surname rosters. If you want your information in the surname roster, send your pedigree chart along with your $10 membership fee.


Many of these you can find in a public library (or through interlibrary loan) or your FHC. A large bookseller may be able to order them for you. Publishers are abbreviated as follows:

HQ: Heritage Quest, P.O. Box 329 Bountiful, UT 84011-0329 (801) 298-5358

GPC: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202

Anc: Ancestry Publishing, P.O. Box 990, Orem, UT 84059

BB: Betterway Books, 1507 Dana, Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45207 (800) 289-0963

"A HISTORY OF THE AZORES ISLANDS" by James H. Guill. 45 years in the making; 662 pages. Only history book written in English on the Azores. Has councils, churches, maps, and surnames. Excellent reference. Out of print. Check with your library to see if it can be inter-library loaned.

"AMERICAN NATURALIZATION PROCESSES & PROCEDURES 1790-1985" by John J. Newman; 43 pages. Excellent reference for naturalization. HQ. ISBN: 1-877677-91-4

"AMERICAN PASSENGER ARRIVAL RECORDS" by Michael Tepper, 141 pages. An

excellent work on the arrival of immigrants in America. Covers colonial to 20th century. Has tables for ALL ports, listing the gaps. Has some info on Canadian boarder entries. GPC. ISBN: 0-8063-1380-3

“AMERICANS OF PORTUGUESE DESCENT: A LESSON IN DIFFERENTIATION” BY Francis M. Rogers. A small book, excellent overview of the Portuguese migration. A list of Portuguese "National" [Catholic] Churches; migration statistics to 1973; minority status; etc. Beverly Hills/ London: Sage Publications, 1974. Sage Research Papers in the Social Sciences, Series/ Number 90-013.

"ATLANTIC ISLANDERS OF THE AZORES AND MADEIRAS" by Francis M. Rogers. Tells about life and their values. (Doesn't say much on the Madeiras). Order from The Christopher Publishing House, 24 Rockland St. Commerce Green, Hanover, MA 02339 (617) 826-7474. Call for price. They do take phone orders. Or try your local public library.

"AZOREAN FOLK CUSTOMS" by Cecilia Cardoza Emilio, 102 pages. Culture, customs and folklore. Topics: The Killing of the Pig, Terceira's Tourada a Corda, The Festival of the Holy Spirit, Love and Courtship, St. John, The Long Cloak, The Lenten Pilgrims, Old Azorean Festivals, Whale Hunting, The Folk Songs and Dances, The Azorean Guitar, The Song Contest, The Windmills. Order from Portuguese Historical Center, 2831 Avenida de Portugal, P.O. Box 60749, San Diego, CA 92166. Include the P.O. Box line in the address. $12.75 + $3.25 S&H ($4.65 to Canada).

"AZOREANS TO CALIFORNIA: A HISTORY OF MIGRATION AND SETTLEMENT" by Robert L. Santos, 149 pages. A scholarly study about Azorean migration to New England and then settlement in California. Includes history of the islands, migration, culture, religion, etc. Order from: Alley-Cass Publications, c/o Robert L. Santos, 3912 Tanager Drive, Denair, CA 95316. $18.17 inc. tax & S&H. (Make checks out to Mr. Santos)

"A BARRELFUL OF MEMORIES" by Pauline Correia Stonehill. 257 pages. Contains families of Cottas, Correias, Linhares and Vargas families of Los Banos, Gustine, Newman, and Patterson CA & MA. Not indexed. Order from Corstone Publishing, 4920 Anna Dr., San Jose, CA 95124-5140. $22.40.

"COMUNIDADE THE PORTUGUESE COMMUNITY IN LOWELL, 1905-1930." 84 pages. Book of pictures (a little text) of the Portuguese at work and play in Lowell, MA. Order from: Lowell Historical Society, P.O. Box 1826, Lowell, MA 01853. $8.95 + $2.50 S&H. MA residents add 5% tax.

"THE CROSS AND THE PEAR TREE" by Victor Perera. A book about the history of the name Pereira (Perera and Perreira). The family name was originally Abendana and when forced to convert to Christianity they took on the name Pereira which means "pear tree" or "pear orchard". The book mostly traces the author's ancestral lines which left Spain, went to Italy, then Salonika, then the middle east (before Israel), and finally Guatemala. There are two chapters of general history of the name in Portugal and Spain and other chapters on Pereira's in the Netherlands and in France. Knopf Publishing. ISBN: 0-394-5851-5

"EARLY HISTORY OF THE ISLAND OF TERCEIRA" from the book by Fr. Jeronymo E. D'Andrade (1845), translated by August Mark Vaz (1990). Order from the author, 3833 Somerset Ave., Castro Valley, CA 94546. $12.65 inc. S&H.

"EVOLUÇÃO DEMOGRAFICA DE TRÊS PARÓQUIAS DO SUL DO PICO" By Maria Norberta Amorim. Lists births and marriages in Sao Joao, Sao Mateus, and Sao Caetano, Pico. Invaluable, if you have ancestors in those villages. Check through inter-library loan.

“FAMÍLIAS ANTIGAS DA POVOAÇÀO: 1444-1944” by the Municipal Council of Povoação. A genealogy of some São Miguel families. Available in public libraries in the U.S.


/SPANISH FAMILY" by George Farias. Order from Borderlands Bookstore, P.O. Box 28497, San Antonio, TX 78228. $50 + S&H.

“FINDING YOUR PORTUGUESE ROOTS” by Cheri Mello. 31 pages. A genealogical guide that Cheri uses at her genealogy workshops. Contains hints on tracing your immigrant ancestor, addresses, and translations of Portuguese documents. Available free online at:

"FOOTPRINTS IN THE SOIL: A PORTUGUESE CALIFORNIAN REMEMBERS" by Rose Peters Emery. The memoirs of a 97 year old Portuguese American who grew up on a farm in the California Bay Area in the early 1900s. Order from the publisher: $14 + 3.50 S&H

“GENEALOGIAS DAS ILHAS DE S. MIGUEL E SANTA MARIA” by Rodrigo Rodrigues. Many families from São Miguel and Santa Maria islands. Check for bookstores on those islands, or ask a list member to buy you a copy. Around $50 USD.


MASSACHUSETTS, RHODE ISLAND, NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY, PENNSYLVANIA" Guia Comercial Portugues, Inc., 108 Warren Ave., East Providence, RI 02914 (401) 438-1740. It's free. Call and give them your name and address.

"A GUIDE TO THE NATURALIZATION RECORDS OF THE UNITED STATES" by Christina K. Schaeffer. Lists each county and state in the US and US territories and tells if records are available and if the FHL in SLC has filmed or put them on fiche and give the number. Gives a short background on the naturalization laws and what to expect on a Declaration of Intent and the Naturalization paper. GPC. ISBN: 0-8063-1532-6

"IMMIGRATION FROM AZORES TO HAWAII 1879-1883" by Robert S. deMello. Lists (in English) of passengers, ships, origin, status. Also has pictures of ships. Portuguese Genealogical Society of Hawaii has ordering information.

"LOCATING YOUR IMMIGRANT ANCESTOR" by James & Lila Neagles. An good

reference book for naturalization records of the United States. A must for anyone searching for their immigrant ancestors' immigration papers. Broken down by pre-1906 and post-1906 records, information on the records and availability of said records in each state. Order from: Everton Publishers Inc., P.O. Box 368, Logan, UT 84321-0368. (800) 443-6325. ISBN: 9996474674

"THE MELUNGEONS, AN UNTOLD STORY OF ETHNIC CLEANSING IN AMERICA" by N. Brent Kennedy with Robyn Vaughan Kennedy. 156 pages. Interesting case study for proving the Melungeons of the Cumberland Plateau area of VA, KY, NC, WV and TN were indeed of Portuguese ancestry. Order from Mercer University Press, 6316 Peake Re., Macon GA 31210-3960. ISBN: 0-8655-4516-2


ARRIVALS 1890-1930" by Morton Allan. 268 pages. "Contains the arrival dates of passenger steamships arranged by calendar year and indexed by steamship line. The port of arrival and port of departure are shown at the top of each column." GPC. ISBN: 0-8063-0830-3

"PORTUGUESE BERMUDIANS--EARLY HISTORY & REFERENCE GUIDE 1849-1949. by Patricia Mudd. I have no ordering information at this time.

"PORTUGUESE GENEALOGY SYLLABUS" by Doug da Rocha Holmes. 23 pages of how to go about doing research anywhere in Portugal (with Azorean samples). Doug da Rocha Holmes - Internet: $10 + $2 S&H.

"PORTUGUESE HAWAIIAN MEMORIES" by J. F. Freitas. It lists Portuguese immigrants coming to Hawaii. Order from The Portuguese Genealogical Society of Hawaii, 810 North Vineyard Blvd. #11, Honolulu HI 96817. $40 including S&H. Index online at:

"PORTUGUESE IMMIGRANTS: THE CENTENNIAL STORY OF THE PORTUGUESE UNION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA" by Carlos Almeida, Supreme Council of U.P.E.C., 1120 E. 14th Street, San Leandro, CA 94577. (510) 483-7676. A history of the U.P.E.C. giving a picture and short biography of all the past presidents of the Society. Also has an index of Portuguese names in California and their English equivalents. $11.75 inc. S&H.

“PORTUGUESE IMMIGRANTS TO HAWAII” by Edgar C. Knowlton, Jr. Listings of passengers arriving in Hawaii. Published by the Maui Portuguese Cultural Club. 1993

"THE PORTUGUESE IN CALIFORNIA" by August Mark Vaz. This book has a full chapter on Portuguese Societies, when they were founded, and the persons who founded them. It also has the same information on the Portuguese Press (not necessarily newspapers) and who founded them. Also, the same information on churches in CA. Available through inter-library loan.


Surfside Way, Sacramento, CA 95831 (916) 392-1048 Published by the Portuguese Historical & Cultural Society. History of the Portuguese in the Azores and in California, specifically, in the Sacramento area. Also has a listing of pioneer families and their descendants. Being reprinted (Fall, 2002). Write to: PHCS, P.O. Box 161990, Sacramento, CA 95816

"OUR PORTUGUESE HERITAGE, 1860 - 1990: AN INFORMAL GENEALOGY OF 3,000 FAMILIES ON MARTHA'S VINEYARD", by Marianne Holmes Thomas. This is a two-volume, 1,052-page, hard-cover genealogy of the principal Portuguese families on Martha's Vineyard island in Massachusetts. The work, which includes a 263-page, every-name index, was published in the summer of 1996 by the Community History Project (CHiP), a non-profit organization located on Martha's Vineyard in the Town Of Edgartown. The post-publication price of the genealogy was $95.00, but only 300 sets of the first edition were issued and the work is now out of print. As of January 2000, the plan is to publish a revised (corrected, expanded and updated) second edition of the work around 2004. For information on the availability of the first edition of the genealogy (in U.S. libraries) or for corrections and additions to the first edition, contact Ann C. Allen, Director, CHiP, P.O. Box 575, Edgartown MA 02539. Phone: (508) 627-9428.

"ROOTS & BRANCHES OF PARKER & VIEIRA" by Eva Parker Newton and assisted by David P. Parker & Edmund K. Parker Sr. About Parker and Vieira families of Hawaii. 286 pages. Hardcover, $65. Order from Mrs. Leilani Parker, 1250 S. Los Robles, Pasadena, CA 91106.

“SAUDADES DA TERRA” by Doutor Gaspar Frutuoso. This muli-volume set can be purchased at many bookstores in the Azores. It covers prominent families from the middle ages to about the 1700's. Cost is over $100 USD for the full set. And English translation for book 4 (São Miguel island) can be obtained from Edna Phillips Kern, 12760 Perris Blvd, A-8, Moreno Valley, CA 92553-2339.

"ST. JOHN'S CEMETERY GRAVESTONE INSCRIPTIONS" by Gil & Pat Amaral. 230 pages. A nearly complete listing of all the gravestone inscriptions in St. John's (São João Baptista) Cemetery in New Bedford, MA. Order from: APGHS, P.O. Box 644, Taunton, MA 02720-0644. $39.95 + $3 S&H.

"THE SEARCH FOR ANTONIO AND MARIA" by Doris Machado van Scoy. Author's search for her Azorean ancestors, who settled in Washington Township, Alameda Co., CA and the island of Faial. Many local families are mentioned. Order from the author, P. O. Box 1143, Los Altos, CA 94022. $16.95 inc. tax, S&H. Almost sold out, I was told.

“STORIES OF CALIFORNIA AZOREAN IMMIGRANTS” by Robert L. Santos. Contains 166 stories of California Azoreans. Order from Alley-Cass Publications, 3912 Tanager Dr., Denair, CA 95316. $24 includes S&H.

"THEY CAME IN SHIPS" by John P. Colletta, PhD. Useful guide for searching ship's passenger lists. Anc. ISBN: 0-916489-42-6

"A TRIP TO THE AZORES OR WESTERN ISLANDS" by M. Borges de F. Henriques. (1867, Boston, MA, written in English). Tells about Boston and visiting all the islands. Makes you feel as if you are there. Available through inter-library loan.

"TWO WEST ISLANDS--FLORES AND CORVO" by Mateus L. Fraga. In English. A

homespun tale written as a tribute to the land where the author was born. Some genealogical information on early settlers and their plight. Order from the author, 252 William Reed Drive, Antioch, CA 94509 (510) 757-1050. Cost is $10

"U.S. CATHOLIC SOURCES - A DIOCESAN RESEARCH GUIDE" compiled by Virginia Humling. Gives addresses, phone numbers and other information on each Diocese in Catholic churches all over the U.S. Anc. ISBN: 0-916489-60-4

"VALIM FAMILY HISTORY" compiled by Anthony Valim. Family history of the

Valim/Valin/Valine family from Lajes do Pico, Azores and Alsace Lorraine, France to America (mainly CA). Available through Modesto FHC and the Taunton, MA library.

ART COEHLO has published little booklets of Azorean Stories that he wrote--he will send you his publication list on request: Seven Buffaloes Press, Box 249, Big Timber, MT 59011.

Many books (cemetery records; birth, marriage, and death records; voter's registration) from the counties in CA that were populated by the Portuguese exist. Contact the genealogical society in that county.

Also, if your ancestor lived in a heavily populated Portuguese community, you may wish to look into county or township history books. (Many have indices).


Azores World GenWeb Project:

Cyndi Howell's Lists: (general and links to Portuguese interests)

Destination Azores: (general info and history)

Family History Library:

LUSAweb: Good genealogy site. Contact:

Portuguese Genealogy Chat Group, Mondays at 9 pm Eastern time at Contact:

Mailing List: Send email to: (Write “subscribe” in the “To” box and in the body of the letter. Nothing else.)


TAP Air Portugal, 521 - 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10017 (800) 221-7370. They have travel brochures which may be used to learn more about the Azores or Portugal.

The Bureau of Portuguese Tourism, 590 - 5th Ave., New York, NY 10036 (800) PORTUGAL. They will furnish informational booklets at no charge.

The Portuguese Consulate of New Bedford, Consulate of Portugal, 628 Pleasant Street, New Bedford, MA 02740 (508) 997-6151. If you have ancestors that lived in New Bedford, they can search their database. $13.50 per certificate.


If your paper trail in the USA doesn't give you a town (most commonly used sources are the U.S. Census, death and marriage records, and city directories; and in CA, you may wish to check the California Death Index--many other states have them also, such as MA), you may want to try the following sources: ship's passenger arrival records, naturalization records, alien registration records, Social Security records, World War I draft registration records, and fraternal societies.

Note: This information was originally compiled by Cheri Mello for America Online's Genealogy Forum.

© Kathy Andrade Cardoza 2022