Bragança, Bragança, Portugal Genealogy

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This is a historical and genealogical guide to the municipality of Bragança in Northeast Portugal. It is the capital of the district of Bragança.

History[edit | edit source]

  • There are many vestiges of the ancient Paleolithic culture, particularly the Castro culture during the Bronze Age (1000-700 BC).
  • Roman colonization resulted in the establishment of private property and movement away from the forests. What would become Bragança was part of Gallaecia and dependent administratively on the Atlantic axis of a Roman highway from Meseta that controlled the gold, iron and silver trade.
  • The origin of the city of Bragança dates from the 10th or 11th century. King Sancho I signed a foral (a kind of city charter) in 1187.
  • During the 11th and 12th century, the Bragançãos family of Castro de Avelãs dominated Bragança.
  • During the 14th century, wars with Castile result in the destruction of the frontier settlements, and Castellian troops take the city of Bragança.
  • In 1381 the region was again devastated militarily; resulting in famine, epidemics, infant mortality rates, the abandonment of lands, and resulting in an 83% drop in the population.
  • By the middle of the 13th century, Bragança was divided into four parishes: Santa Maria (the main town), São Tiago, São João and São Vicente.
  • King Manuel I reinstated the Braganzas in 1496, but forced their heirs to expel the Jews from Bragança, resulting in the departure of hundreds of the inhabitants.
  • The Portuguese were able to end the Iberian Union with Spain in about 1640. Independence of Portugal was restored, with the ascension of the 8th Duke of Braganza as King John IV.
  • From 1640 to 1910 the House of Braganza was responsible for providing Portugal with kings.
  • The population in 2011 was about 35,300 [1]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

After 100 years, all civil registration records are sent to the municipality's district office.

To view online civil registration records, visit Bragança Civil Registration.

Contact a Civil Registration Office[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of civil registration offices within the municipality.

Conservatória do Registo Civil de Bragança
Pç. Prof. Cavaleiro Ferreira
5300-432 Baçal
Phone: 273300960

Communicate your request in Portuguese whenever possible. For writing a letter or email in Portuguese, use the translated questions and phrases in this Portuguese Letter-writing Guide.

Catholic Parishes[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

In 1910, the Portuguese government transferred all birth, marriage, and death records from all the country's parishes to the district offices. These records are now in either District or National archives. Many of these records have been digitized and can be viewed at the District Archive's website or on FamilySearch.

To view online records, visit Bragança Church Records.

Contact a Parish[edit | edit source]

If you are seeking church records created more recently than 1910, it is possible to obtain them by writing to the parish where the record was created. Writing to a parish is not always a reliable way to obtain information, because officials may or may not respond.

Conferência Episcopal Portuguesa lists websites for the 20 Dioceses of Portugal. Once on the Diocesan website, use the listing of parishes (paróquias) to locate contact information for the parish in question.

Communicate your request in Portuguese whenever possible. For writing a letter or email in Portuguese, use the translated questions and phrases in this Portuguese Letter-writing Guide.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries did not become popular in Portugal until the late nineteenth century. Prior to this, individuals were buried in their parish church cemetery, and their bones were later removed to an unmarked burial place.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Ponferrada Spain Family History Center
Calle Batalla del Salado, 1
Phone: 34 987 415 298
Website: Ponferrada Spain Family History Center

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia Collaborators, "Bragança, Portugal," In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia,ça,_Portugal. Visited 12 August 2017.