Help in finding family from Funchal

Hello all, this is my first post on this forum. I have been researching my family back here in the states and have gotten as far as the first family members to come over from the island. What is the best way to research my family on the island? I have heard that Catholic Churches keep some of the best records as far as their congregation is concerned. What about City Hall (or the equivalent) or hospitals?
I am anxious to find this out because I want to bring my family here in the US over the Madeira for vacation and to see where we came from, meet remaining family from the island etc...

Thanks in advance!


  • Hi Stark Raving Calm, Perhaps a good way to start is to give your family name on the site. Whilst there are a few Stark Ravings on the island it may not help your search. Good Luck
  • Don,
    My main goal was to get info and contacts from where I could look to find this data, but if I could get help in narrowing my search, that would be great as well!

    The people I am looking for are:
    Rufino Freitas and Maria (possibly Gouveia) Freitas
    Charles Gomes and Olivia (Mendes) Gomes

    I am not sure when they came over to Massachusetts, I would guess approx. 1910 since they were all born 1890-1895. I do know they were all from Funchal and that the two couples were all great friends on the island. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

  • could try the new archives at Santo Antonio,just on the outskirts of Funchal. the address is Caminho dos Alamos no 35. Santo Antonio/9000-064. FUNCHAL.
    tel no 291 708 400..
    they have a web site for searches.ARQUIVO REGIONAL DA MADEIRA.. type that into has an english option.
    or try the births,marriage,deaths at Conservatoria do Registo do Funchal.Av.Calouste Gulbenkian.Edificio 2000 R/C 9000-011.
    tel no 291 223 228. i hope this is of some fernando ferreira..UK
  • Hi,
    If your family lived on the Madeira Islands for generations, there is a book called families of madeira that will have your entire family line that stayed on the Island. Mine was in it, until the last ones that stayed on the Island.
    All the best
    Robin Telo Pehle
  • Hi Robin

    I have hunted and trawled the Internet for this book "Families of Madeira" and I cannot seem to find any place that sells it.

    Could you perhaps let me know where or how I could find it?

  • I am told that it is on sale in Funchal, so I have emailed to my cousins there to ask for an address or other way to contact them. When I hear back from them I will post the information.
  • Hi Rich,
    have you read the others that have posts here at families? one is looking for the same family name as you and others have posted very helpful information that you would enjoy to read...just trying to be helpful.

    It has been a joy to find that family has found me here.
    All the best to you in your search

  • Robin,

    I looked at the other posts but they do not seem be exact matches. Very similar though. Families with very similar names that moved to Trinidad and the Hawaii, which I know is not the family I am searching for.

    Has anyone been able to find copies of the "Families of Madeira" book?
    If this is as complete as it sounds, this will be an excellent resource.
    I plan to go to the island (my first time) next year and would love to know where any remaining family members are.
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