Portuguese Genealogist Master List
by Doug da Rocha Holmes
(Note: This article originally appeared in a past issue of "O Progresso" when the Master List was still getting started.)
Wouldn't it be great if you knew other people with ancestry from the same villages of your own ancestry? And wouldn't it be even better if some of these people had already done some research on their ancestral lines and knew something of the history and families of your village? Yes, of course, that would be nice!
Well, now you can meet these people. The problem is that they don't yet know who you are and that you even exist.
The solution is a very exciting new project which I've implemented on the Internet. I first had the idea last year and began to collect submissions from people who attended my genealogy workshops. This was expanded to include people I met by computer E-mail. Finally, in September of 1996 I made available to a worldwide audience of Internet users the first version of the Portuguese Genealogist Master List, which has continued to expand greatly ever since.
Here's the idea. You, a person with ancestors from a village somewhere in Portugal, place your name, address, and surnames from that village onto the Internet by being listed as one of the genealogists in the Portuguese Genealogist Master List.
As the name implies, this Master List is intended to be a single, one-stop place to find all the other genealogists with some connection to Portugal. It even includes other places once part of the Portuguese empire: Brasil, Macau, Moçambique, Angola, Timor, and of course, the Açores, Madeira, and mainland Portugal. Any other location can be added once someone submits their names.
You may be thinking, "Well, I don't have Internet service, so I can't participate in this project." That is not true. Anyone can participate by filling out the form below. People who don't have Internet can only list their postal address and phone number so that people can contact them, whereas Internet users will also have their E-mail address listed there and visitors to the Master List will simply click the mouse button to send that person a message. This means that each person on the Master List is contacted directly. There is no need to use some middle-man.
As many people have already commented, this is a truly wonderful opportunity for the genealogist. Making connections with others doing the same research could result in all sorts of great benefits. I, for example, have put in thousands of hours of research in a few villages on Pico and Terceira. If someone were to contact me, it is very likely that I already know their families and could be a distant relative. Where have I done all this research? Visit the Master List to see for yourself!
I have corresponded with many very experienced researchers over the past few years. Many have a similar project of extracting village records. These people are now making their submissions to the Master List. It is conceivable that with enough researchers of a single village, groups could be formed, village newsletters could be founded, genealogy trips could be planned, new friendships could be made, all to further the knowledge of the people and history of the village, and all made possible by simply being one of the many genealogists willing to correspond with others with similar interests.
The only way to make all this possible is to submit your names to the Master List. Eventually, every place where Portuguese was the native language will be represented. Already, there are submitters from Canada, Brasil, Portugal, Macau, Sweden, and all over the U.S.
The Master List is already established. What it needs now is full participation by the genealogists of every Portuguese community to be the most effective. To help achieve this, each of you can help. Not only by submitting your own names, but by copying this article and spreading the word to all the Portuguese groups you are associated with. It should be announced in newspapers and newsletters. The Portuguese consuls in every location should be aware of it and refer people to it. Can you imagine what a great tool this would be if it were to be so well known to everyone?
Please take the time to fill out the form below; one form for one location. Additional locations can be on a separate paper; no need to repeatedly write your name and address. Give the forms to your genealogist friends, too. Then send them to me by E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
SUBMIT YOUR OWN SURNAMES:
To submit your own surnames and locations, send e-mail to: Masterlist@dholmes.com Make the subject "Masterlist" and include the same kind of information you see in the above entries:
1. Your name & address, Telephone No.
2. E-Mail address, and any links you want to your own home page.
3. Surnames in one village (in alphabetical order)
4. Comments you wish to add. This part is very important to include because it allows others to see more about your people and to decide whether or not to contact you about them.
If you have more than one village, submit the surnames and comments for each and every village. If you have surnames from various lugares (locations) within the same parish, send one submission and group the names into the various lugares. Your entry can be in English and/or Portuguese.
Religious "surnames" (like "de Jesus, da Conceição, do Espirito Santo, etc.") of women are not accepted since they're of no genealogical value. Refer to my series of articles on "Portuguese Naming Traditions" on this website.
Return to the Portuguese Genealogist Master List: http://www.dholmes.com/master-l.html
Visit the Portuguese Genealogy Home Page: http://www.dholmes.com/rocha1.html