Starting a genealogical study may be easier than it looks. It is through genealogy that you will be able to investigate your connection with a sephardic ascendant (and with other ascendants, of course) and, consequently, will allow you and your family to apply for Portuguese citizenship. Read this post carefully and at the end of reading you can start your study immediately!
1. Start within House.
The first document of a genealogical study is your birth certificate. In it are basic information about its history: their affiliation and the names of their grandparents, both maternal and paternal. After that, research your parents’ documentation: birth, marriage and death certificates. Do the same with your grandparents’ documents and great-grandparents. Talk to older family members, as some of them assume the role of guardian of these documents.
Tip: The birth certificate as a rule informs us two more generations: parents and grandparents. Marriage and death certificates inform the names of the immediately preceding generation, for example, their grandparents’ marriage certificate also bears the names of their great-grandparents.
2. The notaries and parish seats.
In the absence of these certificates discover the place of birth, marriage or death of their ancestors. Thus, you can consult the registry offices of these regions and request such documents. Many Brazilian and Portuguese notaries are already completely digitized. As a rule since January 1, 1889 all civil records have been recorded by the Brazilian State. Before that these records were made by the Catholic Church through parishioners. So it will be in the parish seats—nothing but books where baptisms, marriages, and deaths are recorded—that you can find information about your ascendants before 1889.
3. Explore the sites genealogy.
There are sites that provide genealogical records and help build your family tree. Some even connect you with other distant relatives. The best known is the familysearch.org,but there is also the myheritage.com and the ancestry.com,just to name a few.
4. Participate in genealogy groups on Facebook.
There is a large offer of virtual communities on Facebook that are dedicated to discussing and exchanging information and documents about genealogy. Some are specific to sephardic genealogy and others for sephardic families. Join these groups, read what is published, and share your questions and achievements. These are some groups you can know: Sephardic Genealogy, Documented Sephardic Genealogy and Portuguese Jewish Genealogy.
It’s time to start! Genealogical research can give a little work, but it is rewarding. And if you seek Portuguese citizenship by the sephardic route it is inevitable. Good luck!