Portugal Emigration and Immigration

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Emigration and Immigration

Immigration/Emigration (Imigração/Emigração)

Historically, Portugal has one of the highest emigration rates in the world. The trend reaches back to the 15th century, when Portugal began overseas exploration and colonization. Many Portuguese individuals moved to colonies in Africa, South America, and Pacific archipelagos. In the twentieth century, a large number also settled across the United States, drawn by the shipping trade in New England, California, and Hawaii.

Ship passenger lists, passport registers, emigration proceedings, citizenship papers, registration of foreigners, and similar migration documents can prove a vital link in tracing an individual back to Portugal. Such records may contain the individual's full name, age, civil status, birthplace, former residence, destination, and sometimes race or nationality. They are contained in the National and District Archives, and some have been digitized. [1][2]

Online Migration Records

Passenger Lists


Further Information

Wiki Articles Describing Online Collections


  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Portugal,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1986-1999.
  2. Jorge Malheiros, "Portugal Seeks Balance of Emigration, Immigration," in Migration Policy Institute, http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/portugal-seeks-balance-emigration-immigration/. Visited 7 June 2017.