Portugal Church Directories

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Portugal Church Directories[edit | edit source]

The Catholic church kept all records of birth, marriage, and death in Portugal until 1878, and continued to record these events for members of their church until 1911.

All parish records were moved to District and National archives in 1911. Although the majority of these records have been digitized, few have been indexed. Thus, researchers need to know the name of the parish their ancestors attended in order to locate baptism, marriage, and burial records. This can be done through a church directory.

Church directories list all of the parishes in a given area. Once the name of the parish nearest an ancestor's town of origin has been located, the records for that church can be searched at the corresponding district archive.

A church directory lists dioceses, parishes, and possibly ministers. They can provide information such as

  • Parish address.
  • Addresses for church officials.
  • Lists of church jurisdictions and headquarters.
  • Chronological lists of principal church officials.
  • Addresses of church schools or other institutions.

Once the parish has been located, refer to Portugal Church Records for information on accessing and reading the parish records.

Online Church Directories[edit | edit source]

The Conferência Episcopal Portuguesa provides an online index to each of the 20 Dioceses in Portugal, with links to every Dioceses' website. Once on the Dioceses' website, researchers can browse through a list of all parishes (paróquias) in the Dioceses to locate which parish their ancestor attended. Addresses are usually included to help locate exactly where the parish stood.

The Catholic Directory provides a list of all the cities in Portugal that contain a Catholic parish. Once the city is selected, all the parishes within the city are listed with their contact information.

Church Directories at the Family History Library[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library holds various church directories for Portugal. To find these church directories, look in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:


These directories may contain information on parishes that no longer exist, and therefore would not be listed in the online directories.