Portuguese Immigration to Hawai'i

I am bound to them, though I cannot look into their eyes or hear their voices. I honor their history. I cherish their lives. I will tell their story.  I will remember them.

About Us

Our Story

Portuguese Family History Collections of Hawaiʻi (PFHCH) is a US 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to helping the descendants of Portuguese immigrants, who came to Hawaiʻi, connect with their culture by researching their family history, and learning about their Portuguese heritage.


Our Mission

The mission of PFHCH is to acquire, organize, preserve, digitize, interpret and make accessible to the general public the materials of enduring historical value that document the lives of the Portuguese immigrants who migrated to Hawaiʻi and made Hawaiʻi their home. PFHCH is also providing workshops and classes and offering support to those who are researching their family history.

Our Resources

There are numerous resources, websites, archives, and databases with information to aide in your family research. However, the goal of PFHCH is to combine the information from all these resources in one location.

Portuguese Immigrants. We have a database of  40,500+ Portuguese Immigrants, who migrated to Hawaiʻi, and their descendants and ancestors. This information may include their given and family name upon arrival, their age, nationality or residence, single or names of family members, name of the ship and year of arrival, Passport Number, Portuguese Citizenship Number, Alien Passenger List Number, birth/baptism date, date of marriage, date of death, etc. Media files are also be attached to the record, including photos; birth, marriage and death records; passenger list; census records and other documents of value.

Workshop: “Researching Your Portuguese Heritage” workshop. Please contact us to find out the schedule for our next workshop.

Passenger Lists. We have the Passenger Lists and Portuguese Citizenship Registration for 26 ships that brought the immigrants to Hawaiʻi from the Açores, Madeira and mainland Portugal from 1878 to 1913. We also have a list of other Portuguese men and women who migrated to Hawaiʻi and lived and died in Hawaiʻi.

Newspaper Articles. Our collections include newspaper articles and newspaper clippings of obituaries. The obituaries are gathered from websites, mortuaries, cemeteries, and old newspapers. Many have been sent to us by relatives.

Helpful Resources. You will also find a list of churches, plantations and cemeteries that can help you gather more information about your ancestors to help you complete your family tree. 

Our Future Goals. Our goal is to develop a searchable database that can be accessible to everyone who visits our website. Until then, we will search our database at your request. Complete the contact form with as much of the following information as possible:

  1. Name of the ancestor (remember that names change over time)
  2. Names of family members
  3. Place of departure
  4. Ship and/or date of arrival
  5. Ages of passengers (can be approximate)
  6. Other identifying information

We Love Stories. Please share your family history and stories with us by completing the contact form. We will be compiling the stories and creating a book to share with others.

How You Can Help. Your generosity allows us to keep this website active and updated and to achieve our goal of providing you with more resources. It will also go toward developing a searchable database. Please consider making a donation.

 A Work in Progress. Since we are constantly adding resources and information, please check back with us often.

Portuguese Immigrants

Our ancestors bravely left their family, friends and beautiful motherland to seek a better life for themselves and their family in a foreign country.

There were twenty-six ships that brought Portuguese immigrants to Hawaiʻi from Madeira, São Miguel and continental Portugal between 1878 and 1913.

Hawaiʻi Plantations

The massive production of sugar cane in Hawaiʻi demanded many laborers to work on the plantations. The Portuguese were recruited along with other ethnic groups.

The majority of Madeirans are Roman Catholics. Every major village in Madeira has at least one Catholic church. In order to locate baptism, marriage and death records, you will need the names of the villages your ancestors lived in at the time of the event.

The Catholic religion remains at the heart of the Açores islands. In order to locate baptism, marriage and death records, you will need the name of the villages your ancestors lived in at the time of the event.

Hawaiʻi Churches

Since, the Portuguese were devout followers of the Catholic faith, most attended the Catholic churches in Hawaiʻi. The Archdiocese in Honolulu kept the church records, which included baptism, marriage and death records.

Hawaiʻi Obituaries

Obituaries can provide essential details about the person’s date of birth, life events, date of death and family members. The names of relatives can be added to your family tree.

Grave markers and gravestones not only honor our ancestors but they also provide information that can help in your family research. 

Passenger Lists

Passenger Lists were prepared before and after departure to ensure that passengers listed were placed on board at the beginning of its passage and continue to be on board when it arrives at its destination.

Donate Now

Your donation is needed and appreciated.

Leave a legacy

We Need Your Help

Board of Directors

Contact Us


(808) 430-0510

Mailing Address:
74 Malia Street
Hilo, Hawai’i 96720

We love our supporters!