Portugal, Porto, Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Portugal, Porto, Catholic Church Records, 1535-1949 .

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. The Portugal, Porto, Catholic Church Records collection is available to the Family History Library, FamilySearch Centers, and to members of the supporting organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The images can be viewed at a FamilySearch Center near you.

Title in the Language of the Records

Registros Paroquiais da Diocese Católica do Porto, Portugal

Record Description

This collection of church records includes the years 1530 to 1908.

This collection includes baptism, marriage, and burial records from the Catholic Diocese of Porto created at several parishes. It also includes an index of parish records for the city of Porto. These church records are housed at the Porto District Archives. Additional images will be published as they become available.

Parish priests performed the baptisms, marriages, deaths and/or burials, and other holy sacraments in their assigned parish or parishes. All the original parish records were kept in the parish archive; however, the older records were centralized in the archdiocesan archive. The records in our collection were acquired from the District Archive of Porto.

Catholic Church parish registers were created to record the church sacraments of baptism, marriage, death, and burial in the life of their parishioners. These and other ordinances were performed by an authorized priest in his area of jurisdiction.

The Catholic Church parish records are an excellent source for genealogical research in the District of Porto. These may also be the only records available before the implementation of the civil registration in 1911.

For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record Collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"Portugal, Porto, Catholic Church Records, 1535-1949." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Porto District Archive.

Digital copies of originals are also housed in different District Archives of Porto throughout Portugal.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

These baptismal records usually contain the following information:

  • Date and place of baptism
  • Child's name and gender
  • Child's date, time and place of birth
  • Father's name, occupation, residence and origin
  • Mother's maiden name, residence and origin
  • Names of paternal grandparents
  • Names of maternal grandparents
  • Godparents names, their civil status, occupation and residence

These marriage records usually contain the following information:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Groom's age, civil status, occupation, residence and origin
  • Names of groom's parents
  • Bride's age, civil status, occupation, residence and origin
  • Names of bride's parents
  • Names of witnesses, their occupation, civil status and residence

These death records usually contain the following information:

  • Date and place of death
  • Name, age and gender of deceased
  • Legitimacy of deceased
  • Residence and origin of deceased
  • Civil status and name of spouse, if married
  • Names of parents if deceased is a minor
  • Parents' place of origin
  • Burial information

How to Use the Record

When browsing this collection it is helpful to know the following:

  • The place where the event occurred
  • The name and surname of the person
  • The approximate date of the event
  • The name of the parents or spouse

To search this collection select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page ⇒Select the municipio where you ancestors lived
⇒Select the appropriate freguesia
⇒Select the appropriate paróquia
⇒Select the record type, and you should see images for those records.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

For example:

  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the parents’ birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • Continue to search the various browse sections to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have lived in the same area or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.

If the locality where your ancestors lived is not listed in the browse choices, check this collection at a date to see if the locality where your ancestors lived has added to the collection.

Links to descriptions of film cataloging for parishes in Porto are found in the FamilySearch Library Catalog.

Known Issues with This Collection

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See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

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Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"Portugal, Porto Catholic Church Records, 1535-1949," digital images FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org: accessed 12 April 2012),Portugal, Porto Catholic Church Records, 1535-1949 > Viana de Castelo > Ponte de Lima >Ganda > Sao Martinho > baptismos 1823-1873 > image 249 of 251, Jose Pereira, 23 July 1873; Several parishes in the Diocese of Porto.Parish records, 1535-1949. District Archive of Porto (Archivo Distrital do Porto), Porto, Portugal. Citing District Archive of Porto (Archivo Distrital do Porto), Parish registers, Diocese of Porto.