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. “A PEOPLE WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR PAST HISTORY, ORIGIN AND CULTURE IS LIKE A TREE WITHOUT ROOTS.” -MARCUS GARVEY

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 family research. However, the goal of PFHCH is to combine the information from all these resources in one location.

Portuguese Immigrants. Our Portuguese Legacy Database is a combilation of Portuguese Immigrants, who migrated to Hawaiʻi, prior to 1920. This database includes names of passengers, ages, birth place or residence, name of the ship and year of arrival, Passport Number, Portuguese Citizenship Number, and Alien Passenger List Number. Also included are additional informaiton, such as, ancestors’ and dependents’ names  birth/baptism date, date of marriage, date of death, etc. Media files may also be attached to the record, including photos; birth, marriage and death records; passenger list; census records and other documents of value. This information is helpful in family research and in obtaining passport and passenger list records. 

If you have family history information and media files and would like to have them included in our database, please email them to us at PortugueseCollections@gmail.com.

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

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 and other interested individuals.

Helpful Resources.
On this website, 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. 

How We Can Help You. 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 and provide you with a genealogy report documenting all the information that we have in our database. However, before we can assist you with your family research and provide you with a report, we ask that you make a donation to help defray the cost of maintaining our website and operational expenses. We have no paid staff. To help us locate information for the correct immigrant, please 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. 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.

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