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Reading Aid for Brazilian Birth Certificates

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Brazil Civil Registration: Birth Certificate[edit | edit source]

Begin by studying the translations of the printed portions of a birth certificate. Learn what information the different sections contain. Pay close attention to the location of the parents' names and the child's name.

Key Words in a Birth Certificate (Printed Form)[edit | edit source]

The highlighted words are clues to important information that follows. The color of the translation in the margin matches the color of the highlighted Portuguese term in the record. These tips should save you from the feeling you need to read every record completely word-for-word. Instead, you can look for key words that immediately precede key information.

Looking for children when you know the parents' names[edit | edit source]

  • Skim the beginning of the record to find the word "compareceu" (in purple). This is followed by the name of the person reporting, or declaring the birth, called the declarant. Most of the time it is the father. Some of the time it is a single mother, a midwife, a doctor, or a grandmother--usually labelled as such.
  • Now skim down to "filho (filha) legitima (Ilegitima" (in green). This signals that the parents names will follow. If the father was the declarant, he will not be named again, just the term "le declarante", followed by the mother's name. Immediately following the mother's name are her occupation, residence, status and other details you can skip for now. By now you will know whether this couple are the parents you are searching for. If not, move on to the next record.
  • If you have found the ancestral couple you wanted, study the rest of the record. Find the child's name, birth date and place, gender, and grandparents. For translating dates, ages, resident addresses, occupations, color (race), relationships, or status terms, refer to the Portuguese Genealogical Word List.


Looking for an ancestor by the child's name[edit | edit source]

  • Skim down the record to the words "que receibeu o nome de" (in red). Following this you will find the child's given name, and sometimes its surname. If this is not the name you seek, move on to the next record.
  • If the given name matches your needs, verify the surname. Immediately following the child's name and the phrase "filho or filha--legitima or ilegitima" (in green), you will see the parents' names.
  • If you see the phrase "le declarante", the father's name will not be listed here, but rather towards the beginning of the record immediately after the word "compareceu" (in purple).
  • The child's surname will be sometimes given with just the father's surname. Sometimes, it will be given as a composite of the father's surname and the mother's surname.
  • If you find the record you want, study the rest of the record. Find the birth date and place, gender, and grandparents. For translating dates, ages, resident addresses, occupations, color (race), relationships, or status terms, refer to the Portuguese Genealogical Word List.


Brazil Birth Certificate

Brazil birth certificate 4.png


Key Words in a Birth Certificate (Version Long-hand)[edit | edit source]

You can find the same key words, with some slight variations, in birth certificates written out without the printed form.
Brazil birth certificate 7.png

Additional Help[edit | edit source]