Cape Verde, Catholic Church Records, 1787-1957 

About five years ago, I became a volunteer at the local Family History Center at the Mormon Church located in Annapolis, MD.

YES, you read it correctly, I spent many Saturday mornings and occasional evenings during the week at a Mormon Church just so I could get direct access to genealogical records! When I first learned the Mormon Church had archived Church records for each of the islands in Cape Verde and the only place I could see them was at the Center I did what any logical genealogist would do to get unfettered access.

I spent countless hours ordering then scanning each record for the islands of Brava, Fogo and Boa Vista. I felt like the luckiest person in the world armed with quite a few flash drives painstakingly filled with baptism, marriage and obituary records of my ancestors. Life was good. But now it’s gotten better!

Had I known that one day ALL of the records would be available online I could have saved some money and spent my Saturday’s doing something a bit more exciting. Now anyone can have access to these vital records though the Family Search website available through the Mormon church.

Once you have been able to determine who and when your ancestor came to America, their immigration and/or naturalization records should include native island and sometime town name. It may also include parent names and the name of a relative who still lived in CV at the time of their migration to the United States.

The search feature on the FamilySearch page is only useful for records from Santiago at this time. To view the records for all the islands, scroll to the bottom of the page to the link “Browse through 105, 781 images”. Don’t let the number scare you! The records are sorted by island, parish and then date ranges.

Cape Verde Church Records, 1787-1957



Author: The Creola Genealogist

My name is Anna Lima and I was born and raised in Massachusetts. I have an obsession for all things Cabo Verde, genealogy and history. I was fortunate to have known my great-grandmother, Maria Coelho Rodrigues, who inspired my love and interest in my family history. I hope to share and inspire others to discover their own family histories.

14 thoughts on “Cape Verde, Catholic Church Records, 1787-1957 ”

  1. That is so interesting, considering how there are not very many Cape Verdeans in Maryland! I visit Annapolis to see my father’s side (non- Cape Verdean) of the family often. I still find myself having to explain to my father’s side (from VA, MD, GA) of the family about Cape Verdeans lol. They do not know much besides some of the older people meeting my great-grandmother who had a thick accent, although she spent many years here. Growing up in Virginia, people would tell me that I made Cape Verde up, as if it were a place that didn’t really exist lol. That is life outside of New England for you though (the heavily populated CV places anyway). You also gave me a new piece of information as I did not know that you can have direct access to records from Cape Verde through that website. This will definitely help to expand my search! Thank you.

    1. Hi – Cape Verdeans have been in New Bedford for a very long time. Whalers originally settled around the Nantucket Island area and around the rest of the Cape. New Bedford was very much a part of the whaling migration of CVs in the country. As the whaling industry started to die down, CV’s would migrate seasonally to places like Wareham/onset to work in the cranberry bogs and go back to New Bedford to work in the factories. I am not specifically knowledgeable about those particular islands but wherever whaling ships stopped there were probably Cape Verdeans!!

      1. I have many questions as there is a great disconnect between my family and our cape Verde an roots. As a matter of fact my grand father never referred to cape Verde but mearly told his children we were Brabas. It wasn’t untill i came along and dug into it. Many cape Verdeans and came to Hawaii on whaleing ships like my great grand father and assimilated into Polynesian culture. I’d love to find out more about my lineage.

  2. Hello, my name is Phillip Delgado and I live in Philadelphia PA. I’m 49 My grandfather came to the US in 1911. I have some info about him. His parents names and I believe he was born in Santo Antao. I have a copy of the manifest from the ship he sailed to the US on. I dont have much info about him like his family there(brothers or sisters). I really want to find my relatives still living in the Cape Verde Islands. Please let me know what I can do.
    thank you in advance

  3. My ancestors went to New Zealand. They were mariners & we know nothing about their time in Cape Verde. Any help or suggestions??

  4. My ancestors were mariners, and may have traveled to the US, but settled in New Zealand. We know nothing more about their time in CV- about 1840-and don’t have any female names. Plus their name is Soares, very common!! Any suggestions about how or what to search?

  5. My family last name is Araujo. Im currently working on my tree with Ancestry and will be getting the DNA done. My grandmother says we are Cape Verdean but records show her father was born in Portugal. I would like to find out more but I’m not able to find family past her father so I’m stuck now. This info you give could possibly help me with my family heritage. Many thanks in advance.

    1. Hi. The Araujo surname can be found on the island of Fogo. Prior to 1975, every Cape Verdean was technically a Portuguese citizen through colonial rule and therefor records will show Portugal as a place of birth keep looking in Caoe Verde. And let me know if I can help more

  6. Mine was from fogo and brava grandfather came to New Bedford in 1800’s had children and left trying to find some of them Monteiro’s last name

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