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Guide to Brazil ancestry, family history and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
Brazil is a country in South America bordered by French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay. It was formerly a colony of Portugal. The official language is Portuguese.
Getting Started with Brazil Research
Links to articles on getting started with Brazil research.
Brazil Research Tools
Links to articles and websites that assist in Brazil research.
Finding Your Ancestors' Town in Brazil
- Genealogical records are organized by geographical locality. Civil registration (government birth, marriage, and death records) and church records (christenings/baptisms, marriages, and burials) were kept at the local level. To search these records, you must know the town where your ancestors lived.
- If you do not know your ancestors' town, follow the advice in the Wiki article, Brazil Finding Town of Origin, to search a variety of records that might provide that information.
Online Gazetteers for Finding Your Ancestors' State and Municipality in Brazil
Once you know the town your ancestors lived in, use one of these these gazetteers to find out the state of that town. If the town is small or just a village, the gazetteer will also tell you the municipality if belongs to. You will need to know the municipality to find civil registration records.
- 1991 Ornithological Gazetteer of Brazil, A-L (mis-labeled A-M), also at the Biodiversity Heritage Library.
- 1991 Ornithological Gazetteer of Brazil, M-Z, also at the Biodiversity Heritage Library.
- Cadastro de cartórios do Registro Civil 1981, restricted online except at Family History Centers.
Brazil Clickable Map
Brazil is a republic comprised of 26 states and a federal district (Distrito Federal), which comprises the capital city of Brasilia.
Many of Brazil's records are kept at the state and local level and may include civil registrations, censuses, inventories and wills, land records, notarial records, and military records to name a few. States are also divided into counties, and the cities and towns 'municipios' are in the counties, it is possible that a city, especially the larger ones such as Recife and São Paulo , may have a number of counties in them since a state like São Paulo can have over 200 counties.
Below are FamilySearch resources that can assist you in researching your family.
- Facebook Communities - Facebook groups discussing genealogy research
- Learning Center - Online genealogy courses
- FamilySearch Historical Record Collections
- Family History Center locator map
- Brazil Beginning Research
- Wikipedia contributors, "Brazil," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil, accessed 24 March 2016.