Baptismal record from Achadinha (S. Miguel), 1893
The Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese American Archives at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is pleased to announce the availability of a collection of microfilmed reproductions of thousands of original birth, death and marriage records covering all nine islands of the Azores during the period of 1541 to 1898. These records are available to the general public during normal library hours. Individuals interested in their Azorean roots or other aspects of Azorean genealogy can now access and consult these materials, which are referenced as MC 151/PAA, and located in the microfilm area of the 3rd floor of the Claire T. Carney Library.
The materials in this collection were a gift from FamilySearch, the largest genealogy organization in the world, which is operated by the Mormon Church. The majority are church documents recording births, deaths, marriages, baptisms, and adoptions, but government records and several genealogical books are also included.
In 2012 ABC News reported that although exact numbers are difficult to establish, experts believe that genealogy ranks as the second most practiced hobby in the United States. This rise in popularity can be partially attributed to the fact that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints provides access through FamilySearch, a free and national service, to what has been identified as one of the world’s greatest genealogical archives. Jordan Jones, president of the National Genealogical Society, based in Arlington, VA stated in that ABC news report that “Today people just want to find out where they came from.” With the availability of this collection Southcoast residents of Azorean ancestry can now do that at their leisure, here at UMD.
The Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives actively collects documents and promotes and advocates efforts to preserve Portuguese heritage, identity and representation in the U.S. For more information on our holdings and activities or to donate materials, please contact Sonia Pacheco at (508) 999-8695 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Claire T. Carney Library can be accessed from Parking Lot 13.