Information relating to Portuguese ancestors in India.
"The Portuguese, in the form of Vasco da Gama and his men, first arrived in India at Calicut in 1498. Vasco da Gama told the first Indians that he met that he came to seek 'Christians and spices'. The Portuguese quickly established sea ports on the Malabar coast, and by virtue of their superior seapower, managed to divert most of the European spice trade onto their own vessels.
In 1510, Affonso de Albuquerque captured Goa from the Sultan of Bijapur and made it the capital of the Portuguese eastern empire. A seond important centre for the Portuguese in India was Diu in Gujarat. The Portuguese would not tolerate any faith but their own, and would not allow any Hindu temples in Goa. They introduced the Inquisition in 1560 and persecuted the Syrian Christians of Malabar. Albuquerque encouraged mixed marriages between Portuguese men and Indian women, with the intention that a race would be created with Portuguese blood and Catholic culture, along with loyalty to the home of their paternal ancestors. This would form a permanent self-perpetuating garrison.
The Portuguese were very successful commercially, for about a century. Then in 1580, Portugal itself was taken over by Spain, which was involved in long and costly wars with the English and Dutch. Portuguese resources waned and their maritime supremacy in India was challenged by the English. In 1612, the English East India Company defeated the Portuguese off Surat. In 1618, the English made an agreement with the Mughals to protect sea traffic from the Portuguese in return for important trading privileges. In 1622, the English East India Company's maritime arm defeated the Portuguese at the strong point of Ormuz in the Persian Gulf, and the Portuguese then became a minor political and commercial force in India. They retained control of Goa until 1950, when the Indian Army forcibly united Goa with the rest of independent India."
Places associated with the Portuguese
See also general article: Church records
If your ancestors were baptised, married or buried in a European church in British India, then the church records should have been transcribed and sent to the capital of the Presidency, where they would later have been forwarded on to London. These records were indexed and about 80% of church records in British India are believed to have survived. You can access these records at the British Library, on subscription website Findmypast or at LDS Family History Centres. The FIBIS website has extensive information on locating church records on microfilm for British India.
However, your Portuguese ancestors may not have lived in British India (i.e. that portion of India that was controlled by the British - this grew from a very small area in 1600 to almost all of India by 1947). In this case, the church records will not be kept at the British Library.
Pauline McGregor Currien has transcribed indexes to baptisms in the British Factory at Lisbon, Portugal 1721-1807.
See Calcutta - Churches and missions for Roman Catholic churches with a Portuguese connection, including details of the book published in 1915 in Calcutta The Registers & Inscriptions of the Church of Our Lady of Dolours, Baithakhana (1810-1914) by Fr H Hosten.
Some Portuguese church records have been microfilmed by the LDS and are available at LDS Family History Centres. Records of visits by the Archbishop of Goa or his representative to review the spiritual affairs of each parish and its members, 1747-1927, are available on two microfilms numbered 1566354 and 1566355, which have now been digitised, and are available to view on home computers.
The LDS have also microfilmed records of 146 locations within Goa. These are listed under Goa Church Records.
Records in Goa
- Department of Archives and Archaeology, Government of Goa. Records include "registers of Baptism, Births & Deaths, Deeds & Wills as well as some very useful records from churches in Goa". Most of the records are in Portuguese & Marathi (Modi) though quite a few documents are also in Sanskrit, Persian, English, French & Vietnamese. it is not known whether these records have been filmed by the LDS, refer above, or whether they are different records.
- St. Thomas' Mount Portuguese Mission Church transcription of Baptism Registers 1751 - 1880
- Report to the Secretary of State for India in Council on the Portuguese records relating to the East Indies, contained in the Archivo da Torre do Tombo, and the public libraries at Lisbon and Evora by Frederick Charles Danvers, 1892 Archive.org
|The following books relating to the Portuguese in India were recommended by Cathy Day's Family History in India site, kindly transferred to our wiki|
- The Portuguese in India (New Cambridge History of India Volume One) by Michael Naylor Pearson. Hardcover edition (1988).
- Albuquerque and Early Portuguese Settlement in India by H. Morse Stephens. Hardcover reprint edition (2000).
- Bibliography of Goa and the Portuguese in India by Henry Scholberg. Hardcover edition (1982).
- The Portuguese in India by Frederick C. Danvers. Hardcover reprint edition (1988). Available online, see below.
- Spear, Percival A History of India (Volume Two) (1978) by pp.62-67
- Dutch and Portuguese Colonial Possessions in Asia 1498-1961 - Marco Ramerini has compiled a collection of Portuguese Colonial History Links and has an extensive site.
- Portuguese Genealogist Master List: India from Doug da Rocha Holmes’ Portuguese Genealogy
- "Lost rulers of the Malabar Coast" by N P Chekkutty 10 December 2012 himalmag.com. "Tales of love and loss from the heyday of Portuguese rule in Kochi".
- "Survivors of Time: The spirit of an era" by Anusha Parthasarathy June 4, 2013. Part 2: "Remains of the day" June 12, 2013 The Hindu. The Portuguese in early Madras.
- "Beyond "Cotton Mary": Anglo-Indian Categories and Reclaiming the Diverse Past" by Adrian Carton The International Journal of Anglo-Indian Studies Volume 5, Number 1, 2000. Includes mention of the Portuguese.
- Portugal Genealogy includes Portuguese Genealogical Word List. Family Search (LDS) Wiki.
- Rudy Schmidt’s Portuguese/English Glossary of Causes of Death and other Archaic Medical Terms
- "The Portuguese Influence on Bengali Cuisine" by Colleen Taylor Sen. Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 1996. colleensen.com
- A Culinary History Of The Portuguese Eurasians: The Origins Of Luso-Asian Cuisine In The Sixteenth And Seventeenth Centuries by Janet P. Boileau. Thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, School of History and Politics, University of Adelaide, 31 August, 2010. The Indian content is in the latter parts: Part 2 "The Luso-Asian World" page 120. Part 3 The "Development of Luso-Asian Gastronomy" page 164.
Historical books online
- The first booke of the Historie of the discouerie and conquest of the East Indias : enterprised by the Portingales in their daungerous nauigations in the time of King Don Iohn, the second of that name : vvhich historie conteineth much varietie of matter, very profitable for all nauigators and not vnpleasaunt to the readers by Hernan [Fernao] Lopes de Castanheda, translated into English by N L [Nicholas Lichefield] 1582 Archive.org. Google Books version
- The travels of Pietro della Valle in India : from the old English translation of 1664, edited by Edward Grey (late Bengal Civil Service) 1892 Archive.org Volume I, Volume II. Pietro della Valle arrived in India 10 February 1623 at Surat, embarking from Goa 16 November 1624. Includes
- The Portugues Asia: Or, The History of the Discovery and Conquest of India by the Portugues; Containing All Their Discoveries from the Coast of Africk, to the Farthest Parts of China and Japan; All Their Battels by Sea and Land, Sieges and Other Memorable Actions; a Description of Those Countries, and Many Particulars of the Religion, Government and Customs of the Natives, &c. ... by Manuel de Faria e Sousa, a Portuguese historian. Translated into English by Cap. John Stevens 1695
- Volume I Google Books; Volume II Archive.org mirror from Kerala State Central Library Rare Books Online; Volume II, Volume III Qatar Digital Library. Transcribed version, Tomes [Volumes]I-III, note however, the contents of some of the various Tomes (Volumes) are listed out of chronological order. lib.umich.edu. There was a three volume reprint edition published in 1971.
- Rise of Portuguese Power in India 1497-1550 by RS Whiteway 1899 File 1 Archive.org; File 2 Archive.org. Mirror files from Digital Library of India.
- The Portuguese In India Being A History Of The Rise And Decline Of Their Eastern Empire. Volume 1 by Frederick Charles Danvers 1894 Archive.org. Volume 2 Archive.org . Index for both volumes. Additional Vol.2 file Archive.org. Two of the digital files are mirror versions from Kerala State Central Library Rare Books Online. Reprint edition Volume I Archive.org/DLI Collection.
- History of The Portuguese in Bengal by J J A Campos 1919 Archive.org. File appears to be originally from the Digital Library of India, Archive.org mirror version.
- Portuguese Possessions in India Handbook prepared under the direction of the Historical Section of the Foreign Office-No 79. Reprint edition. Originally published 1920 London: H.M. Stationery Office. Hathi Trust Digital Library
- Malabar And The Portuguese by K M Panikkar 1929. Full title: Malabar and the Portuguese. Being a history of the relations of the Portuguese with Malabar from 1500 to 1663. Archive.org, Public Library of India Collection.
- Portuguese Voyages 1498-1663 by Charles Ley 1943 Archive.org/DLI Collection.
- Portuguese Colonization in the Sixteenth Century - A Study of the Royal Ordinances (Regimentos) by A. Da Silva Rego 1957. British Library EAP Digital EAP636/4/61 .
- The History of the Church of Malabar, from the time of its being first discover'd by the Portuguezes in the year 1501 : giving an account of the persecutions and violent methods of the Roman prelates, to reduce them to the subjection of the Church of Rome : together with the Synod of Diamper, celebrated in the year of Our Lord 1599 : with some remarks upon the faith and doctrine of the Christians of St. Thomas in the Indies, agreeing with the Church of England, in opposition to that of Rome. Done out of Portugueze into English by Michael Geddes 1694 Archive.org.