Looking for assistance with Portuguese ancestry

+5 votes


I have been gathering information on my Great-Great-Grandparents and I have pretty much taxed out all my abilities at the moment.  My current method of research is FamilySearch.org and Google when it comes to this part of my search.  I know there must be a better way to search; however, most of the other resources are in Portuguese which I cannot read. 

I would appreciate any direction that could help me further my research. 

This is what I have currently on my ancestors.

            Manuel Francis Arvilla – Born ~December 1836 in Pico, Western Islands, Portugal.  He is the son of Joseph F. Arvilla and Jacinta (Unknown).  He lived in Boston after immigrating in 1857 and was in the employ of some type of boating (Unsure if it was Fishing, Shipping, Military, or other).  I’ve found a few records at Ancestry.com about back and forth travel from the Azores to Boston.  He was married in Boston on December 12, 1870 to Rozella Felicia Currier, they had one child in Boston before morning to Gloucester, MA where they had 15 other children (I have found all but one of the 16 children in records at this time).  Manuel and his wife did not know how to write and based on the records it also seems they were not very versed in the English language.  This language barrier has caused records to widely vary in spelling of names and mixing of last and middle names on documents.  He passed away on May 14, 1922 in Gloucester, MA.

            Rozella Felicia Currier – Born ~ August 1853 in Faial, Western Islands, Portugal.  She is the Daughter of John Currier and Amelia (Unknown).  She immigrated to Boston in 1870, the same year she married her husband Manuel.  She passed away after 1930 in Gloucester, MA.

This is pretty much all the information that I have been able to gather on them.  I do not know anything other than the names of their parents which was found on the Marriage Record in Boston.  The last names may not even be the same spelling from Portugal. 

WikiTree profile: Manuel Arvilla
in Genealogy Help by Tim Burke G2G1 (1.5k points)
When I'm researching my ancestors from foreign countries I find the genealogical word lists on FamilySearch really helpful.

Here is the one for Portuguese: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Portuguese_Genealogical_Word_List

1 Answer

+2 votes
Hi Manuel.


Have you tried to find their baptism in Açores? Are you able to read Portuguese?


If so, you can try to find their documents (you might need to know in what parish they were baptized).


For example, for Faial there are 13 Parishes and for Pico only 3.

You can find the digital documents from these web pages (parishes are the link on the left):




Or let me know if you need any help with your search.


by Nuno Silva G2G Rookie (260 points)

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