Terceira Island Marriage Database

created by
Doug da Rocha Holmes
(professional genealogist)







After many years of part-time work on this project to extract all the marriages of everyone from the island of Terceira since the beginning of the records, I have close to 12,000 marriages from all the villages which exist on Terceira, covering the years 1559 to 1911. But the project is still not nearly complete.

Recently, I began to concentrate on the marriages from 1850 to 1911 in the 28 parishes which comprised the island then. That now allows me to do island-wide searches for people.

For now, most work has been in the western and southern parishes from Altares through Ribeirinha. Many of these parishes are already fully extracted back to the 1820s, and many with just a few gaps back to the 1500s and 1600s.



If you or someone you know are in the situation that you don't know where your ancestors were born on Terceira, you can request a search for your ancestors by sending me the following information:

  • Name of the father
  • Name of the mother
  • Name & date of birth of their child, your ancestor, who emigrated to the U.S. or Brasil
  • Plus, tell me the name & date (or best estimate) of birth of the oldest sibling of your ancestor
  • Tell me the surnames used by this family. Maybe one sibling used Pimentel and another Machado.


This is enough to allow me to do the search. If you have less information, like no name for the mother, then the search is much more difficult.

I will not charge for my time to do this search. That is free. But when I report back to you that I have found them or might have found them, you have the option to receive a complete translation into English (or if you prefer, a verbatim transcription in Portuguese) of the original marriage document for my standard price as stated below, which I will send by e-mail. The information I will provide is enough to allow you to order a copy of the microfilm for the village and find that marriage so you can make a copy of it for your records. 


The advantages to everyone by using this index are numerous:

  • With 24 villages on the island, there are 24 different films costing about $10 each to rent from the LDS (Mormons), making the cost just to rent them about $240. And then you must now spend hours to find them.
  • If you rented all 24 these films, it might take up to two months, or more, for them to arrive. So in case you are in any hurry or just want quick results, I can often do it by the next few days.
  • Even if you are an experienced researcher and have access to all the Terceira films, the time alone to check such a span of years could easily take a week, since you don't know if your ancestor was the first child or the last of 10 children. So if your time has any value, my price is likely much cheaper than a week of your precious free time.
  • If you are not experienced at reading the old script of the priest or have bad eyesight, it might add a month to your search.


My eventual goal is, of course, to complete all the marriage extractions for all villages of Terceira (and the island of Pico, which is in progress, too). So while the above years were extracted with the thought of Americans of Portuguese descent, eventually, with a complete extraction, even the people in Brasil, whose ancestors tended to have departed Terceira in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, will be able to have me do a search. Though they can still have me search what I have - I do have a large database for Terceira already!



Buy a hand-made
fabric bookmark
by Milan Miguel
da Rocha Holmes

Of course, once I find the first documents of your Terceira ancestors, it is usually now possible to find many older documents of your ancestors you can have me continue the search or start your own search and see what makes doing genealogy research such a rewarding and fun experience! I do have two different minimum fees to do any research, as follows:
  • If you know the village on Terceira, the minimum order is $180 and for that you will receive 3 documents such as baptisms and/or marriages. You choose which ones you want.
  • If you don't know the village on Terceira, the minimum order is $300 and for that you will receive one document such as a baptism or a marriage. Again you choose which.

Finally, in case you are not aware of my ultimate goals, I plan to complete the baptism databases and death databases I have in progress for Terceira (and Pico). Once they are complete, work can done to systematically compile all the families who were ever born on Terceira and connect them all together. And in the end I will have traced the ancestors of every person ever who appeared in the records of this island. And that will allow me to one day write books about the various families on the island and families for each village.

Order some nice and original artwork on Christmas cards
by Natália da Rocha Holmes



That brings me to say that I am interested in all the descendants of these people from Terceira. I always welcome a message from anyone who shares these common ancestral roots with me. Most of the time I can find we are somehow related, though maybe very distantly. It is a fact that anyone whose ancestors were born in the 1800s in the villages of Altares, Raminho, Serreta, Doze Ribeiras, Santa Bárbara Cinco Ribeiras, São Bartolomeu, São Mateus, or São Bento, can always be proven to be my distant relatives (unless your ancestors born there were just "passing through"!!). While I have ancestors from almost every village on the island, often they were born in the other villages in the 16th or 17th century, often before records exist for those villages today. 


I am actively seeking information about all Terceira descendants who settled in the U.S., Brasil or anywhere else, so that once I finally do write books about these people, I will not miss anyone who should be included. So please send me information about your families (only the ones descended from Terceira or Pico  islands, and their spouses).

This ultimate goal is still far off, but work on it continues almost daily.


To place an order for research, I always prefer to be contacted by e-mail at:

Pico Island Marriage Database: www.dholmes.com/pico-casamentos.html

Return to the Portuguese Genealogy Home Page: www.dholmes.com/rocha1.html

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