Portugal has an excellent collection of Parish records, census records, and Notary records. Most Parish records start in the years 1542, when the Catholic Church began keeping Parish registers. Census Records are a wealth of information that can be searched throughout the country.

Notary records can be found from as early as the 1300’s containing details about any aspect of a person’s life, from sale of property to consent for marriage.

Heraldry of the surnames is an exciting way to learn about the origin and history of the surnames. This topic is very well documented in both Spain and Portugal. Most surnames have a coat or arms that belongs to a lineage of that surname.

The Azores have been part of Portugal since 1427. They are a set of islands in the Atlantic Ocean, about 800 miles west of the coast of Portugal. The inhabited islands are Corvo, Fail, Flores, Graciosa, Pico, Santa Maria, Sao Jorge, Sao Miguel and Terceira.

Many Azoreans migrated to the United States in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, establishing a large community in California.

The Azores have excellent Parish registers, some starting in the year 1542.

Madeira has been part of Portugal since 1418, and consisting of two islands, Madeira and Porto Santo.

Many Madeirans migrated to the United States in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, establishing large communities in both the East and West Coast.

The Madeira islands have excellent Parish registers, some starting in the year 1542.

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