Pico Island Marriage Database

created by
Doug da Rocha Holmes
(professional genealogist)



After years of part-time work on this project to extract all the marriages of everyone from the island of Pico since the beginning of the records, I now have 11,000 marriages from all the villages which exist on Pico, covering the years 1593 to 1876. But the project is still not nearly complete.

Recently, I began to concentrate on the marriages from 1850 to the final year available on microfilm, which varies from 1873 to 1876 in the 15 parishes which comprised the island then. After I completed those, I combined all the separate village databases into one Pico Island Index, which now allows me to do island-wide searches for people.  

The years 1850 to 1876 represent a high percentage of the years when our ancestors who migrated to the U.S. were born, and therefore the majority of the years their parents were married on Pico. I had in mind the people who only know their ancestor came from Pico, but don't know which village. So by completing these years for the entire island, I can rather quickly check for the ancestors who were, until now, so elusive.

The year 1850 is the first year extracted for some villages, but for many other villages I have completely extracted all marriages back much further. São Roque, for instance, is complete from 1876 back to the early 1700s, with just a few gaps back to 1593 - the oldest parish records of the island. Piedade (which includes the relatively recent parish of Ribeirinha) is now complete back to 1742, the first year for marriages in that parish. Ribeiras is almost complete back to about 1777, just a few minor gaps in between. Santa Luzia is complete from 1700 to 1800, with just a few gaps before and after those years. Most all of Santo Amaro is complete, with just a few gaps.

So while 1850 was the year for all villages, there certainly are more records older than those years. And I will next work towards completion back to 1840 for all villages.



If you or someone you know are in the situation that you don't know where your ancestors were born on Pico, 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.



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da Rocha Holmes

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 listed 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 15 villages on the island, there are 13 different films costing about $10 each to rent from the LDS (Mormons), making the cost just to rent them about $150. And then you must now spend hours to find them.

  • If you rented all 13 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 do it by the next day.
  • Even if you are a experienced researcher and have access to all the Pico 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 Pico (and the island of Terceira, which is in progress, too - see www.dholmes.com/terceira-casamentos.html). 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 Pico 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 - 11,000 marriages is not a small database!

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Of course, once I find the first documents of your Pico 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:

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 Pico (and Terceira). Once they are complete, work can done to systematically compile all the families who were ever born on Pico 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.

That brings me to say that I am interested in all the descendants of these people from Pico. 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 Santa Luzia, Santo António, São Roque, Prainha do Norte, Santo Amaro and Piedade, can always be proven to be my distant relatives (unless your ancestors born there were just "passing through"!!). While I have ancestors from every village on the island, some were born in the southern villages in the 16th or 17th century, often before records exist for those villages today.

I am actively seeking information about all Pico 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 Pico or Terceira 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:


Terceira Island Marriage Database: www.dholmes.com/terceira-casamentos.html

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



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