Did you know that the Direcao Regional da Cultura website includes a number of indexes for various parish (paroquiais) baptismal records? There are many indexes covering a range of years to explore.
What’s Available in the Collection?
Before you get too excited, it’s not every parish every year. What’s available right now is a smattering of villages on Sao Miguel and Terceira.
I don’t know if this is the entire collection or a work in progress. However, it’s definitely of benefit if you have ancestry in one of the churches covered.
The indexes typically range from 1860 to 1911. Some reach into the 1700s. A couple as far back as the 1500s.
What Type of Information Will You Find In The Baptismal Record Indexes?
I have not checked them all, but from what I’ve seen, each index includes this information:
- Year event took place
- Page number record can be found on
- Name of the child baptized
- Name of the parents
You will still need to check records to verify information. I’ve noticed that names are modernized. This can lead to confusion if your ancestors are like mine and left long before spelling was standardized.
You need to be aware that the names we know our ancestors by and the name forms in the indexes may be different. Don’t assume that a different spelling means the person isn’t the right one.
Also, some names are abbreviated. Ma. is Maria. Conc. is Conceicao.
How To Access The Records
Here are the steps to follow to find the index for the village your ancestor lived in:
- Go to this link: Fundos Paroquiais dos Acores.
- Under Ilha, choose Sao Miguel or Terceira.
- Under Concelho, choose one of the six concelhos.
- Under Freguesia, choose the village parish your ancestor was from.
- Select Indices, then click on Procurar.
- Click on the link for the years you’d like to look at (found in the right hand column).
If you aren’t quite sure where your village parish is located, you can choose an ilha (island), then selected indices. You will get a very long list though.
Cheri Mello’s list of Azorean Churches can help you pinpoint where a church is location.
Records up to 1911 are slowly being added to the online collection. You’ll be a step ahead when they become available for your village/church.
So, get your pen and paper out and find your ancestors!