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Genealogical Resources For Researching in the Azores
by Cheri Mello

GOVERNMENT ARCHIVES/VITAL RECORDS/LIBRARIES
(ONLY if you know the town)

1. The Bibliotecas and Arquivos (generally, write here for information 100 years or older). They do not do research for you. They only issue certificates for the vital events.

SANTA MARIA & SAO MIGUEL: Biblioteca Publica e Arquivo de Ponta Delgada, Rua Ernesto do Canto, 9500 Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Acores

TERCEIRA, GRACIOSA, SAO JORGE: Biblioteca Publica e Arquivo de Angra do Heroismo, 9700 Angra do Heroismo, Terceira, Acores

FAIAL, PICO, FLORES, CORVO: Biblioteca Publica e Arquivo de Horta, Rua dom Pedro IV, 25 Horta, 9900 Faial, Acores.

2. The Civil Registries (generally, write here for the past 100 years or so.)
Address the letters the following way:

Conservatoria do Registo Civil
ZIP City
Island, Acores

Municipal councils that have Civil Registries: (ZIP, city)

SANTA MARIA: 9580 Vila do Porto

SAO MIGUEL: 9560 Lagoa, 9630 Nordeste, 9500 Ponta Delgada, 9650 Povoacao, 9600 Ribeira Grande, 9680 Vila Franca do Campo

TERCEIRA: 9700 Angra do Heroismo, 9760 Praia da Vitoria

GRACIOSA: 9880 Santa Cruz da Graciosa

SAO JORGE: 9850 Calheta, 9800 Velas

FAIAL: 9900 Horta

PICO: 9930 Lajes do Pico, 9950 Madalena, 9940 Sao Roque do Pico

FLORES: 9960 Lajes das Flores, 9970 Santa Cruz das Flores

CORVO: 9980 Vila Nova

For both the Bibliotecas and the Civil Registries, you must send the name of the ancestor, date of event (or at least a span__e.g. 1881_1883), the freguesia (the town) and the municipal council. I believe you can write in English or Portuguese. Enclose $6 U.S. dollars, cash, money order, or personal check (this covers return postage and the document). International money orders do not exist for Portugal.

3. The Family History Center (FHC) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter_Day Saints (LDS), aka the Mormon Church:
Your local phone book should list a local branch or stake. They are open to the general public, free of charge. Records can be found under "Topic List" PORTUGAL, AZORES. Topics include: archives and libraries, biography, church directories, church records, civil registration, emigration and immigration, gazetteers, genealogy, history, maps, minorities, notarial records,
and orphans and orphanages. Although they may not have the topic on site, the film may be ordered (for a charge of $3.50 for 2 months) and viewed at the center. (A renewal is $3.25 and a second renewal of $3.25 will keep the film permanently at your center.) The FHC publishes a booklet to assist you in the reading of documents: "Genealogical Word List, Portuguese."
The booklet "Basic Portuguese Paleography" is now only available on fiche from the LDS and only for use at their libraries. Anyone wishing to have their own copy can get one from the Sacramento LDS who had 100 copies professionally reprinted and is selling this 41 page reference at their cost of $10 each. Doug da Rocha Holmes has agreed to procure this reference
for anyone who purchases his "Portuguese Genealogy Syllabus" (listed below) for the LDS price of $10 plus just an extra $1 in postage, or for $2 in postage for those who already own their own copy of the Syllabus.

4. Portuguese Historical Center (has a library) 2818 Addison St., San Diego, CA 92106. I do not have any knowledge about them at this time.

5. Supreme Council of U.P.E.C. , J.A. Freitas Library, 1120 E. 14th St., San Leandro, CA 94577.
The library has many books about the Portuguese. (510) 483_7676

HISTORICAL AND GENEALOGICAL SOCIETIES

1. American_Portuguese Genealogical and Historical Society, Inc. (APGHS), P.O. Box 644, Taunton, MA 02780_0644

2. Portuguese Ancestry, Rosemarie Capodicci, 1155 Santa Ana, Seaside, CA 93955

3. The Portuguese Genealogical Society of Hawaii, 810 North Vineyard Blvd. #11 Honolulu HI 96817 or chism@hi.net

4. Portuguese Historical and Cultural Society (PHCS), P.O. Box 161990, Sacramento, CA 95816. Contact: Lionel Rocha Holmes E-mail: PortuCal@juno.com
All cost $10 to join. All publish newsletters. APGHS, Portuguese Genealogical Society of HI, and Portuguese Ancestry also publish surname rosters.

5. Portuguese Historical Society, 2818 Addison, San Diego, CA 92106 (619) 223_8893. I do not have any personal knowledge about them.

BOOKS AND BOOKLETS

Many of these you can find in a public library (or through interlibrary loan) or your FHC. If not, follow the ordering information for each book. (Thanks to Rosemarie Capodicci for much of the following information.)

"A HISTORY OF THE AZORES ISLANDS" by James H. Guill. 45 years in the making; 662 pages. Only history book written in English on the Azores. Has councils, churches, maps, and surnames. Excellent reference. Order from: Golden Shield Publications, P.O. Box 1860, Tulare, CA 93275. $28, inc. S&H.

"AMERICAN NATURALIZATION PROCESSES & PROCEDURES 1790_1985" by John J. Newman; 43 pages. Excellent reference for naturalization. Order from: AGLL, P.O. Box 329 Bountiful, UT 84011_0329
(801) 298_5358. Order # A0120 $5.95 +$3.50 S&H.

"AMERICAN PASSENGER ARRIVAL RECORDS" by Michael Tepper, 141 pages. An excellent work on the arrival of immigrants in America. Covers colonial to 20th century. Has tables for ALL ports, listing the gaps. Has some info on Canadian boarder entries. Order from: Everton Publishers Inc., P.O. Box 368, Logan, UT 84321_0368. (800) 443_6325. Order # B64. $19.95 + $1.50 S&H.

"AND YET THEY COME: PORTUGUESE IMMIGRATION FROM THE AZORES TO THE UNITED STATES" by Jerry
Williams. General, economic and statistical history of the Azores. Indexed. Order from: Center for Migration Studies, 209 Flagg Place, Staten Island, NY 10304. $14.95 for cloth, $9.95 for paper, plus $3.50 for S&H.

"ATLANTIC ISLANDERS OF THE AZORES AND MADEIRAS" by Francis M. Rogers. Tells about life and their values. (Doesn't say much on the Madeiras). Order from The Christopher Publishing House, 24 Rockland St. Commerce Green, Hanover, MA 02339 (617) 826_7474. Cost is $21 including S&H. They do take phone orders. Or try your local public library.

"AZOREAN FOLK CUSTOMS" by Cecilia Cardoza Emilio, 102 pages. Culture, customs and folklore. Topics: The Killing of the Pig, Terceira's Tourada a Corda, The Festival of the Holy Spirit, Love and Courtship, St. John, The Long Cloak, The Lenten Pilgrims, Old Azorean Festivals, Whale
Hunting, The Folk Songs and Dances, The Azorean Guitar, The Song Contest, The Windmills. Order from the author: 4964 Saratoga Ave #5, San Diego, CA 92107. $13.50 + $1.50 S&H.

"AZOREANS TO CALIFORNIA: A HISTORY OF MIGRATION AND SETTLEMENT" by Robert L. Santos, 149 pages. A scholarly study about Azorean migration to New England and then settlement in California.
Includes history of the islands, migration, culture, religion, etc. Order from: Alley_Cass Publications, c/o Robert L. Santos, 3912 Tanager Drive, Denair, CA 95316. $18.17 inc. tax & S&H. (Make checks out to Mr. Santos)

"AZORES" by Dr. Francisco Carreiro da Costa, Joao da Silva, Jr., and Elsbeth Heinselmann. Mostly pictures, some history, geography, myths and customs. Available through: Furtado Imports, 1412 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose, CA 95116. (408) 293_0401. Cost is $32.50 inc. S&H.

"A BARRELFUL OF MEMORIES" by Pauline Correia Stonehill. 257 pages. Contains families of Cottas, Correias, Linhares and Vargas families of Los Banos, Gustine, Newman, and Patterson CA & MA. Not indexed. Order from Corstone Publishing, 4920 Anna Dr., San Jose, CA 95124_5140. $22.40.

"COMUNIDADE THE PORTUGUESE COMMUNITY IN LOWELL, 1905_1930." 84 pages. Book of pictures (a little text) of the Portuguese at work and play in Lowell, MA. Order from: Lowell Historical Society, P.O. Box 1826, Lowell, MA 01853. $8.95 + $2.50 S&H. MA residents add 5% tax.

"THE CROSS AND THE PEAR TREE" by Victor Perera. A book about the history of the name Pereira (Perera and Perreira). The family name was originally Abendana and when forced to convert to Christianity they took on the name Pereira which means "pear tree" or "pear orchard". The book
mostly traces the author's ancestral lines which left Spain, went to Italy, then Salonika, then the middle east (before Israel), and finally Guatemala. There are two chapters of general history of the name in Portugal and Spain and other chapters on Pereira's in the Netherlands and in France. Order from your local bookstore.

"EARLY HISTORY OF THE ISLAND OF TERCEIRA" from the book by Fr. Jeronymo E. D'Andrade (1845), translated by August Mark Vaz (1990). Order from the author, 3833 Somerset Ave., Castro Valley,CA 94546. $12.65 inc. S&H.

"EVOLUCAO DEMOGRAFICA DE TRES PAROQUIAS DO SUL DO PICO" By Maria Norberta Amorim. Lists births
and marriages in Sao Joao, Sao Mateus, and Sao Caetano, Pico. Invaluable, if you have ancestors in those villages. Order from the author, Rua 25 de Abril / 4615, Lixa, Portugal. Send $30 money order or personal check.

"THE FARIAS CHRONICLES: A HISTORY & GENEALOGY OF A PORTUGUESE

/SPANISH FAMILY" by George Farias. Order from Borderlands Bookstore, P.O. Box 28497, San Antonio, TX 78228. $50 + S&H.

"THE FLIGHT OF THE HAWK ISLANDERS: AN AZOREAN EMIGRANT STORY" by Robert L. Santos. The theme is family and their love for one another as exhibited in their struggles on the Azores and in
their migration to California. Order from: Alley-Cass Publications, 3912 Tanager Dr., Denair, CA 95316. Make checks to: Bob Santos. $22.50 including S&H.

"FOLLOWING THE PAPER TRAIL: A MULTILINGUAL TRANSLATION GUIDE" by Jonathan D. Shea & William F. Hoffman. Has a complete section on Portuguese documents with line by line translations. Also, has a section on Latin, and many other languages. Order from: Avotaynu, Inc., P.O. Box 900, Teaneck, NJ 07666. $29 + S&H.

"FOODS OF THE AZORES ISLANDS" by Deolinda Maria Avila. Contains 210 recipes of soups, fish, meats, vegetables, breads, cakes, sweets, jams and cheese, and liqueurs. The amounts have been changed from grams to cups and tested with American products. Order from: Deolinda Maria Avila,
P.O. Box 60237, Palo Alto, CA 94306_0237. $8 + $2 S&H.

"A GARDEN GROWS IN EDEN__THE CENTENIAL STORY OF SAN LEANDRO" by Harry E. Shaffer. No longer in print, but available through interlibrary loan.

"GUIA PORTUGUESE TELEPHONE DIRECTORY SEVING CONNECTICUT,

MASSACHUSETTS, RHODE ISLAND, NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY, PENNSYLVANIA" Guia Comercial Portugues, Inc., 108 Warren Ave., East Providence, RI 02914 (401) 438_1740. It's free. Call and give them your name and address.

"A GUIDE TO THE NATURALIZATION RECORDS OF THE UNITED STATES" by Christina K. Schaeffer. Lists each county and state in the US and US territories and tells if records are available and if the FHL in SLC has filmed or put them on fiche and give the number. Gives a short background on
the naturalization laws and what to expect on a Declaration of Intent and the Naturalization paper. Order from Genealogical Publishing Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202. (800) 296-6687. $25 + $3.50 S&H.

"THE HISTORY OF THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS IN CA 1902_1972" by Dr. Peter T. Conmy. Lists when Councils were organized, founding officers, lists WWI deaths of members, biographies of the CA
state deputies, short biographies on the Bishops of CA, presidents of the CA chapters, by year, much information. No ordering/availability info at this time.

"IMMIGRATION FROM AZORES TO HAWAII 1879_1883" by Robert S. deMello. Lists (in English) of passengers, ships, origin, status. Also has pictures of ships. Portuguese Genealogical Society of Hawaii has ordering information.

"IN SEARCH OF EUROPEAN ROOTS" by Angus Baxter. (2nd ed.) "Tells about records available in each country, where to find them, how to use them. Includes information on church, state, and provincial archives, and describes the archival resources of each country from national to local levels, the location of church records and census returns, systems of civil registration,
and how to find and use such records as certificates of domicile, orphan lists, emigration registers, guild records, internal passports, confirmation records, and even vaccination lists." Has 7 pages on Portuguese. Order from Everton Publishers Inc., P.O. Box 368, Logan, UT 84321_0368. (800) 443_6325. Order number B61. $16.95 + $1.50 S&H.

"THE LIFE AND TIME OF MARY RERO _ PORTUGUESE IMMIGRANT TO HAWAII" by Larry Rodriggs. About the
author's grandmother who left the Azores in the late 1800s and went to HI. Work is in progress. Contact: Larry Rodriggs, 5333 Stirling Ct., Newark, CA 94560 (510) 792_1598.

"LOCATING YOUR IMMIGRANT ANCESTOR" by James & Lila Neagles. A good reference book for naturalization records of the United States. A must for anyone searching for their immigrant ancestors' immigration papers. Broken down by pre_1906 and post_1906 records,
information on the records and availability of said records in each state. Order from: Everton Publishers Inc., P.O. Box 368, Logan, UT 84321_0368. (800) 443_6325. Order #B26, $12.95 + $1.50 S&H.

"MEDLEY OF HERITAGE COOKING" Not only does it contain Portuguese recipes, but also those of other ethnic groups in Hawaii. The Portuguese Genealogical Society of Hawaii, 810 North Vineyard Blvd. #11, Honolulu HI 96817. $12.50 inc. S&H.

"THE MELUNGEONS, AN UNTOLD STORY OF ETHNIC CLEANSING IN AMERICA" by N. Brent Kennedy with Robyn
Vaughan Kennedy. 156 pages. Interesting case study for proving the Melungeons of the Cumberland Plateau area of VA, KY, NC, WV and TN were indeed of Portuguese ancestry. Order from Mercer University Press, 6316 Peake Re., Macon GA 31210_3960. $20.74 inc. S&H.

"MORTON ALLAN DIRECTORY OF EUROPEAN PASSENGER STEAMSHIP

ARRIVALS 1890_1930" by Morton Allan. 268 pages. "Contains the arrival dates of passenger steamships arranged by calendar year and indexed by steamship line. The port of arrival and port of departure are shown at the top of each column." Order from the AGLL, P.O. Box 329, Bountiful, UT 84011-0329 (801) 298-5446 Order # E0014 $20 + $3 S&H

"NOVO MICHAELIS ILLUSTRATED DICTIONARY" published by Melhoramentos (Brazilian publishers). Vol. I is English_Portuguese, Vol. II is Portuguese_English. Better than any pocket edition. Order from Franch & European Publications, Inc., 610 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10020. (212) 581_8810. $75 + S&H each volume.

"THE ORIGIN OF THE HOLY GHOST CELEBRATIONS" a video by Duarte Santos. An excellent video about the origin of the Holy Ghost story that began in Portugal and was carried into the Azores and then into the United States by the Portuguese immigrants. Well worth the price. Order from: 4188 Loganberry Dr., San Jose, CA 95121. $25 plus S&H. English or Portuguese.

"PORTUGAL _ A COUNTRY STUDY Foreign Area Studies, The American University by E.K. Keefe, D.P. Coffin, S.M. Hicks, W.A. Mussen Jr., R. Rinehart & J. Simon. A sociological, political, economic description and analyzation of the country. A VERY good general information book on
Portugal, Azores, Madeira & Cape Verde Islands. Available through the FHC.

"PORTUGUESE BERMUDIANS__EARLY HISTORY & REFERENCE GUIDE 1849_1949. by Patricia Mudd. I have no ordering information at this time.

"PORTUGUESE CUISINE HAWAII" by Jon M. Peru. 212 pages. Old fashioned Portuguese recipes. Order from the author, Box 1113, Kailui, HI 96734. $13.95 + $2 S&H.

"PORTUGUESE GENEALOGY SYLLABUS" by Doug da Rocha Holmes. Over 20 pages of how to go about doing research. A must have for the genealogist. Doug da Rocha Holmes, 2701 Corabel Ln, #34,
Sacramento, CA 95821. Or Internet: doug@dholmes.com $5 + $2 S&H.

"PORTUGUESE HAWAIIAN MEMORIES" by J. F. Freitas. It lists Portuguese immigrants coming to Hawaii. Order from The Portuguese Genealogical Society of Hawaii, 810 North Vineyard Blvd. #11, Honolulu HI 96817. $40 including S&H.

"PORTUGUESE HERTIAGE JOURNAL" a newspaper published bi_monthly. Articles about the Portuguese in America, Brazil and continental Portugal. Written in English. P.O. Box 144620, Coral Gables, FL 33114_4620. 25 issues/year for $30. (305)661_1582.

"PORTUGUESE IMMIGRANTS __25 YEARS IN CANADA" by Domingos & Joao Medeiros. I have no ordering information at this time.

"PORTUGUESE IMMIGRANTS: THE CENTENNIAL STORY OF THE PORTUGUESE UNION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA" by Carlos Almeida, Supreme Council of U.P.E.C., 1120 E. 14th Street, San Leandro,
CA 94577. (510) 483_7676. A history of the U.P.E.C. giving a picture and short biography of all the past presidents of the Society. Also has an index of Portuguese names in California and their English equivalents. $11.75 inc. S&H.

"THE PORTUGUESE IN AMERICA 590 B.C. _ 1974, A CHRONOLOGY & FACT BOOK, by Manoel da Silveira Cardozo. Has a 9 page bibliography and a surname index. Available through inter_library loan.

"THE PORTUGUESE IN CALIFORNIA" by August Mark Vaz. This book has a full chapter on Portuguese Societies, when they were founded, and the persons who founded them. It also has the same information on the Portuguese Press (not necessarily newspapers) and who founded them. Also,
the same information on churches in CA. Available through inter_library loan.

"PORTUGUESE PIONEERS OF THE SACRAMENTO AREA" by Lionel Holmes, 6430 Surfside Way, Sacramento, CA 95831 (916) 392_1048 Published by the Portuguese Historical & Cultural Society (see above for information.) History of the Portuguese in the Azores and in California, specifically, in the Sacramento area. Also has a listing of pioneer families and
their descendants. Now out of print, but available in many libraries.

"OUR PORTUGUESE HERITAGE, 1860 _ 1990: AN INFORMAL GENEALOGY OF 3,000 FAMILIES ON MARTHA'S VINEYARD", by Marianne Holmes Thomas. This is a two_volume, 1,052_page, hard_cover genealogy of the principal Portuguese families on Martha's Vineyard island in Massachusetts. The work, which includes a 263_page, every_name index, was published in the summer of 1996 by the Community History Project (CHiP), a non_profit organization located on Martha's Vineyard in the Town Of Edgartown. The post_publication price of the genealogy was $95.00, but only 300 sets of the first edition were issued and the work is now out of print. As of winter 1997, the plan is to publish a revised (corrected, expanded and updated) second edition of the work soon after the turn of the century. For information on the availability of the first edition of the genealogy (in U.S. libraries) or for corrections and additions to the first edition, contact Ann C.
Allen, Director, CHiP, P.O. Box 575, Edgartown MA 02539. Phone: (508) 627_9428.

"ROOTS & BRANCHES OF PARKER & VIEIRA" by Eva Parker Newton and assisted by David P. Parker & Edmund K. Parker Sr. About Parker and Vieira families of Hawaii. 286 pages. Hardcover, $65. Order from Mrs. Leilani Parker, 1250 S. Los Robles, Pasadena, CA 91106.

"ST. JOHN'S CEMETERY GRAVESTONE INSCRIPTIONS" by Gil & Pat Amaral. 230 pages. A nearly complete listing of all the gravestone inscriptions in St. John's (Sao Joao Baptista) Cemetery in New
Bedford, MA. Order from: APGHS, P.O. Box 644, Taunton, MA 02720_0644. $39.95 + $3 S&H.

"THE SEARCH FOR ANTONIO AND MARIA" by Doris Machado van Scoy. Author's search for her Azorean ancestors, who settled in Washington Township, Alameda Co., CA and the island of Faial. Many
local families are mentioned. Order from the author, P. O. Box 1143, Los Altos, CA 94022. $16.95 inc. tax, S&H. Almost sold out, I was told.

"THEY CAME IN SHIPS" by John P. Colletta, PhD. Useful guide for searching ship's passenger lists. $9.95. Order from Ancestry, P.O. Box 476, Salt Lake City, UT 84110. Or try ordering from your local bookstore.

"TRADITIONAL PORTUGUESE RECIPES FROM PROVINCETOWN" by Mary Alice Cook. Order from LusoAmerican Bookstore, 88 Ferry St., Newark, NJ 07105. $7.50 + $3 S&H. NJ residents add 6% tax.

"A TRIP TO THE AZORES OR WESTERN ISLANDS" by M. Borges & F. Henriques. (1867, written in English). Tells about Boston and visiting all the islands. Makes you feel as if you are there. Available through inter-library loan.

"TWO WEST ISLANDS__FLORES AND CORVO" by Mateus L. Fraga. In English. A homespun tale written as a tribute to the land where the author was born. Some genealogical information on early settlers and their plight. Order from the author, 252 William Reed Drive, Antioch, CA 94509 (510) 757_1050. Cost is $10

"U.S. CATHOLIC SOURCES _ A DIOCESAN RESEARCH GUIDE" compiled by Virginia Humling. Gives
addresses, phone numbers and other information on each Diocese in Catholic churches all over the U.S. Order from: Ancestry, Dept. Q115, P.O. Box 476, Salt Lake City, UT 84110. $14.95 + $3.50 S&H.

"VALIM FAMILY HISTORY" compiled by Anthony Valim. Family history of the Valim/Valin/Valine family from Lajes do Pico, Azores and Alsace Lorraine, France to America (mainly CA). Available through Modesto FHC and the Taunton, MA library.

ART COEHLO has published little booklets of Azorean Stories that he wrote__he will send you his publication list on request: Seven Buffaloes Press, Box 249, Big Timber, MT 59011.

Many books (cemetery records; birth, marriage, and death records; voter's registration) from the counties in CA that were populated by the Portuguese exist. Contact the genealogical society in that county.

Also, if your ancestor lived in a heavily populated Portuguese community, you may wish to look into county or township history books. (Many have indices).

COMPUTER SOURCES

America Online (AOL) Portuguese Special Interest Group (SIG) Wednesdays at 11 pm Eastern time or Sundays at 8pm Eastern time in the Golden Gates room. Contact: gfscherim@aol.com

Azores Islands Webpage: http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/2140/azores.html

Doug da Rocha Holmes' Genealogy Homepage: http://www.dholmes.com/rocha1.html Contact: rocha@dhomes.com

LUSAweb on the internet: http://www.lusaweb.com Contact: jms@lusaweb.com

MISCELLANEOUS

TAP Air Portugal, 521 _ 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10017 (800) 221_7370. They have travel brochures which may be used to learn more about the Azores or Portugal.

The Bureau of Portuguese Tourism, 590 _ 5th Ave., New York, NY 10036 (800) PORTUGAL. They will furnish informational booklets at no charge.

The Portuguese Consulate of New Bedford, Consulate of Portugal, 628 Pleasant Street, New Bedford, MA 02740 (508) 997_6151. If you have ancestors that lived in New Bedford, they can search their database. $13.50 per certificate.

OUT_OF_AREA (OR UNUSUAL) RESOURCES TO TRY, PARTICULARLY IF YOU DON'T HAVE A TOWN

If your paper trail in the USA doesn't give you a town (most commonly used sources are the U.S. Census, death and marriage records, and city directories; and in CA, you may wish to check the California Death Index__many other states have them also, such as MA), you may want to try the following sources (refer to Doug da Rocha Holmes' booklet "Portuguese Genealogy Syllabus" for a more detailed description): ship's passenger arrival records, naturalization records, alien registration records, Social Security records, World War I draft registration records, and fraternal societies.
                                   *********
On the next page is a sample form letter. If you write in Portuguese, you'll receive an answer in Portuguese. If you write in English, you'll receive an answer in English. (that has been my experience).

BIBLIOTECA PUBLICA E ARQUIVO DE

ZIP and CITY Date

Podia dar_me: Certificado de Nacimento (Please give me: Birth Certificate)
Nome: (Name:)
Nome da Esposa: (Name of Spouse:)
Nome do Pai: (Name of Father:)
Nome do Mae: (Name of Mother:)
Nome da Ilha: (Name of Island:)
Nome da aldeia ou freguesia: (Name of town:) Concelho de (Council of:)
Data do Nacimento: (Date of Birth:) (or marriage or death__change as necessary)
Faleceu: (Death__give date and place.)
Muito Obrigado (Thank you__male) Os meus respeitosos cumprimentos
(Muito Obrigada (Thank you__female) (Respectfully yours)

Your name
Your address
Your city, state, ZIP
Estados Unidos da America

(For a marriage certificate, you'd change the first line to: Podia dar_me: Certificado de Casamento. For death, it would be: Podia dar_me: Certificado de Obito. And of course, you'd change the dates to correspond to the certificate you are asking for).

                                 *************
Version: 3.0, Last update December 22, 1997. Send updates and corrections to gfscherim@aol.com or Cheri Mello, 4113 W. 184th St., Torrance, CA 90504_4713. Thanks!
Note: This information was originally compiled by Cheri Mello for America Online's Genealogy Forum.