Historical Parish Books - An important source of Genealogy

The Parish of Febres, Cantanhede, Portugal


Historical books can be an important source of history and in some instances of genealogy. When I was in Portugal I bought the book of Febres, which the parish , with the same name, commemorates 200 years of existence 1791 to 1991 (Freguesia de Febres 200 anos de História 1791-1991). Here's information you can find in the book.

  • There are a list of the people who took part in the project of making the book.
  • The process in which Febres became its own parish and split from the more ancient parish of Covoes and also the people who were involved in the process especially the priests and the bishops. There are also notes about the small villages (aldeias) who will be part of the new parish in 1792. This is good to know which villages existed at the time.
  • It also tell you how many houses/families (fogos) were living in each parish at the time: Febres 450, Covoes 550
  • There is a list of the priests since the creation of the parish. If you were related to one of them this could have been interesting genealogical information.
  • Which of the villages were the most ancient in this case Balsas e Arrancada, respectively one was mentionned as far as december 14, 1271 and the other in November 25 of the year1311. Ouch! that is old..
  • The ethnography of the villages.
  • They have an indepth study of five villages which are: Arneiro da Carreira or Carapelhos, Barracao, Boeiro (Febres), Corticeiros and Vilamar.
  • old pictures of the church, people, old documentes, old maps (Borders of the parishs, location of the villages)
  • There is a list of names of people indicating to which parish they belong because they live near two parishes.
  • List of the "mayors" the parish-towns (presidentes of the junta) . From 1834 to1910 they were priests. From 1910 forward they were lay people, regular citizens.
  • Pictures of social and sport clubs. The oldest are from the thirties.
  • Fun stories of the town, yesterday and today.
  • They name the first person who lived near the central square, businessmen, Florindo Jose Frota.
  • History of the town, Febres was first called Boeiro. The oldest mention of the name Boeiro goes as far as 1683.
  • Many pages are dedicated to the most famous person of Febres the writer Carlos De Oliveira . His poems and books were translated as much as six languages. Historical accounts of towns or parishes are often published to commemorate their one hundred years or more of existence. Those books are a great source of genealogy and history. Hundreds of names are often mentioned often going back centuries. It will be possible to find some lost ancestors in those documents. You can order those books through the Junta da Freguesia (parishes office) in Portugal , Brazil and other Luso countries. Do not neglect this great source of information.