FamilySearch Goes Viral in Brazil

March 1, 2016  - by 

In November 2015 nationally recognized economist and social media personality Pedro Afonso Gomes posted a link on Facebook showing the Brazilian immigration cards (Brasil, São Paulo—Cartões de Imigração, 1938–1980) project on FamilySearch. The post quickly went viral with over 61,000 shares, generating a wave of interest in finding Brazilian immigrant ancestors.

Here’s what Pedro wrote:

“Thanks to my brother Décio AG I came to a fantastic site containing immigration cards recorded in São Paulo between 1902 and 1980. In these pictures you can see my mother’s and my father’s cards. But I have found cards for other relatives and acquaintances also. If anyone is curious to look for theirs, here’s the link:”

Two days after the post, Mário Silva, FamilySearch’s relationship manager for Brazil, was interviewed live on a popular São Paulo radio talk show (Jovem Pan Radio). Many followed the discussion on the Jovem Pan Facebook page and blog. This resulted in thousands of people visiting and sharing Brazil immigration cards with information about their own ancestors.

The interest generated by Mr. Gomes’s single Facebook post has been substantial. In one week the number of unique visitors to jumped from about 50,000 to more than 700,000, with 45,000 individuals opening new FamilySearch accounts.

This demonstrates more than ever the value of our indexers who are helping to “Fuel the Find” so others can experience the joy of discovering their ancestors. Thanks to all who helped work on the Brazil immigration cards project as well as all other indexing projects! To learn more about how you can help index the world’s records, go to

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  1. My husbands grandfather Aleksey Lubczynskyj ? went to Brazil in 1939 according to the records”Relocations of Germans from Russia in 1939.” And I never could find any information about him or his family.Im LDS member and would like to help my children find any information about they grandfather.Please help me. Thank you.Julien.

  2. That’s amazing! It really shows that family history is for everyone. Now we just have to get those foreign language projects indexed. Thanks for all you do, FamilySearch.

  3. My grandfather died in Pernambuco in Brazil Michael Patrick Gillespie 1925/1926 but I cannot find any information about his death. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

      1. My Grandfather Michael Patrick Gillespie married Eliza Sophia de Maceo at Pernambucco, Estrada de Limoeiro W2 in Sept 1913
        A daughter was born in August 1914 Dorinha Patricia Gillespie – I am looking for her Birth Certificate.
        Her father Michael Patrick Gillespie came to England and returned to Pernambucco Port in September 1924 and he died in Brazil 1925/1926 – I am looking for his Death Certificate.
        Any help would be appreciated.

  4. no matter who I search in my father’s family, even w/known data, I can find no information on anyone. My father Jorge Henrique Meissner was born in Rio de Janeiro, Aug 20, 1902; he married Alma Stensmann, in Porto Alegre, RGdS on Feb 27, 1924; they had a son Rene Ralph Meissner, dob Nov. 30, 1924, in Porto Alegre. He emigrated to NYC, NY, USA in 1927, foilowed by Alma and Rene. I am interested in getting his birth certificate, marriage license and my brother’s b.c. but I only get a notice that there is no record of any of them. My paternal gf was Ernst Meissner dob 2/4/1864 ? and gm was Emma Elsner Meissner dob 8/19/ 1869 ? Ernst died in P. A. and his ashes are interred there along w/his youngest son Rudolph.. no known info How do I find the information and documents I would like to have?

    1. Patricia, personal records are held by town. Pernambuco is a state, with the capital in Recife. Without knowing the city/town there is no way to get the records. I have found that there is a town in the State of Pernambuco called Limoeiro (lemon tree), it is close to Recife. It is said to be a beatiful place, you might want to visit, lots of sunshine.
      unfortunately, it seems that the Port records are not online yet.
      In your case, it might be possible to get the documents via internet.
      You might have to pay some fees. Email me and we can arrange for you to send me the fee amount via paypal or some other method.

    2. Marilyn, the best bet, given the dates would be to contact the Registry in Rio de Janeiro. It would be best if you had a copy of the old record. The registry in big cities is separated in districts, covering one or more neighborhoods. One would need to contact the registry for the district where the record is archived, otherwise there is no central record. This situation seems to be changing, but for older records (anything before 2000), everything is still on old books. Please email me and we can workout a solution.

      1. This is the first I am seeing this info. Thank you for replying. My hard drive crashed in Jan of last year and I am not able to access any of my family tree sites because all the pws were stored on the drive, not my head. I know my father mentioned an area in Rio and if I heard it I might reconize it. I am almost 82 years old in a few weeks and would like to find out something about that side of the family. I have extensive info on my mother’s side, if that helps w/getting documents such as marriage info for my parents and my brothers birth certificate. He is deceased as of Sept 27, 1977. My father also died in 1977, in CA

  5. To those that are looking for records of relatives that were born, married or died in Brazil, I offer my help to locate the certificate. But in order to do that, I need the name and place where the event happened (or is presumed to have happened). Please contact via email.

  6. There are some projects that would particularly like to dedicate my time. How do I search for ancestors in the far west of Bahia, I would like to offer to
    index the records of Correntina and other cities in the region such as Côcos, Carinhanha, etc.

    I know there are records on microfilm about Correntina. The others I do not have such information.

    Posting here because I found no means of contacting the staff responsible for the projects. If someone (Paul Marcondes) know more information about these cities would be wonderful.


  7. Interesting since I inquired years ago and never heard a word. Searching for info on my Father’s relatives in Porto Alegre. Paulo Meissner (deceased), Oscar Meissner (deceased) Daisy Meissner, Enio Meissner, Rosily Meissner (northern Brazil)