on October 12, 2019

Step by step to find your Sephardic ancestor: the Torre do Tombo archive

on October 12, 2019

Passo a passo para encontrar o seu ancestral sefardita: o arquivo da Torre do Tombo

The Tombo Tower is one of the main means for the elaboration of your genealogy and to find your Sephardic ancestor, the first step to apply for Portuguese citizenship. Knowing this, we have elaborated a step by step that will help you to use the file.

It is important to highlight that this tool is useful for those who have already found references (name, place where they were born, lived, died, etc.) of an ancestor from the 16th, 17th or 18th centuries and for those who have Portuguese descendants before 1911.

There are two types of research. We use the simple search when more information is missing or we don't have exact information. Already in Advanced Search, we got more accurate results.

Good research!

1. Simple search

1.1. Select the field below "Search documents", enter the name of the ancestor you want to search for and add the word "Inquisition". If you have more data, place the city where you lived and / or the name of your parents in the same field. Ex: Antônio José da Silva + Rio de Janeiro + Inquisition.

1.2. Enter the start and end dates, if desired, that correspond to an interval that is the period that your ancestor lived. Ex: For an ancestor who lived in the first half of the 18th century, insert the start date of 1700 and end of 1750. 

1.3. Select the result that best matches your search terms. If you find a prosecuted ancestor or who was the parent of a defendant sued by Judaism with the status of New Christian, congratulations! This is a great proof that you have a Sephardic ancestor.

1.4. By selecting the case, it is possible to view more data about the defendant. Some processes are digitalized, and it is possible to consult the digital images of the document by clicking on the “view” option shown on the side.

2. Advanced Search

2.1 Select the option “Advanced Search” in the panel above.

2.2. Select the "Title" field and enter the name of your ancestor.

2.3. Fill in the starting and ending dates in the two fields “Between dates”, the interval that corresponds to the period that your ancestor lived.

2.4. Fill in the field “Current quota” (a type of classification of the document) with the term “Inquisition” or “new Christian”, for example. You can also add more precise terms like “Lisbon”, “Coimbra” or “Évora” to better filter the results. Example: Inquisition of Lisbon for defendants in Brazil.

2.5. If you want to add additional information, just click on “Search in other fields” and fill in the “Scope and content” field with information such as location and affiliation of the ancestor to be searched.

2.6. Click on search and if any results match your ancestor select and consult the process data. If you confirm the data as being from your ancestor, congratulations! You have proven Sephardic ancestry!

Now just add that documentation to your genealogical study.

Find out if you are a Sephardic Jew descent

You can find out if you have Sephardic ancestry. To do this, you just have to correctly answer all the fields on our pre-analysis form. There are no costs associated with completing the form.