Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Do you search the holdings of a library before visiting it?

Researching the holdings of a library can cut in a half your time searching for your family ancestors precious records. It is always wise to check the archival records description of your preferred library before a trip to it.

My preferred library is the Biblioteca Pública and Arquivo Regional Luis da Silva Ribeiro - BPARLSR - in Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira Island, Azores. It offers several ways to check their holdings, one of them is through their online guides providing record group level descriptions of the materials.

Terceira Island is where my maternal ancestors belonged. Most of them lived there for about 500 hundred years! Can you imagine how much you will be able to find if you have an ancestor from the Azores archipelago?

Click here to access the holdings of BPARLSR:

Sunday, June 10, 2018


As I do my family research, I’m always questioning how life was in the time of my ancestors. How did they live? What did they do everyday? How religion affected their lives? Those are questions that are constantly popping in my mind, especially when I am reading and translating birth, marriage, and death records.

I think for a better understanding of my family and how we get to where we are now, we also need a better understand of all the social aspects and history of the country they belong.

My research took me back to the beginning of the 1600’s on my mother’s side. I’m an avid history reader, and I’m always trying to go deeper on what I find in my investigations, and try to bring to life what I read on the books and documents that I come across.

I found a documentary from BBC on Youtube in three episodes, written and presented by the English historian Helen Ruth Castor. They enlightened so much the concept of religion for the society of that time, and how it ruled their lives back to the pre renaissance time. Although the documentaries represent the life in the 1400’s England, while it was still a Catholic kingdom at the time, I noticed several aspects of the Portuguese culture on the births, marriages and death covered by the series.

The three episodes below are online on Youtube. A new window will open for viewing them. I hope you will enjoy as much as I did.


                             A Good Birth

A Good Marriage

                             A Good Death