Place:Porto Santo, Madeira, Portugal


NamePorto Santo
Coordinates33.066667°N 16.333333°W
Located inMadeira, Portugal
Contained Places
Nossa Senhora da Piedade
Vila Baleira
Inhabited place

Porto Santo
Porto Santo
Porto Santo Island is a Portuguese island 50 km northeast of Madeira Island in the North Atlantic Ocean. Administratively, it is part of the Autonomous Region of Madeira. The main urban area in which is one of the five Portuguese municipalities that have only one parish is the city of Porto Santo, also known as Vila Baleira. The population in 2001 was 4,474. The density was 106.1/km². The island also has an airport which serves flights to Funchal, which is only a 15-minute flight away. It is the northernmost and the easternmost island of the Madeira Archipelago. The municipality has no land boundaries and is encircled by the Atlantic Ocean. The nearest place is Machico in the island of Madeira to the southwest which serves as its port to Funchal. The length of the island is about 9 km. The main industry is tourism.[1]



João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira discovered the island of Porto Santo in 1418 during the reign of Dom João I of Portugal. According to records the island was at first named ‘Holy Port’ by its discoverers as they found shelter here from a storm that was chasing them. Its first donee was Bartolomeu Perestrello, appointed by Prince Henry the Navigator, who started with the first settlements. Then cattle breeding and the cultivation of cereals and vines were undertaken successfully, however the sugar cane cultivation did not find favorable conditions.

The house of Christopher Columbus in Porto Santo
The house of Christopher Columbus in Porto Santo
The discovery of this island was an important first step for other discoveries made later along the west African coast down to the Cape of Good Hope and from there to the East Indies and eventually Japan. Christopher Columbus, who was married in Porto Santo to Donna Filipa (daughter of the first donee Bartolomeu Perestrelo), lived on this island for some time.[2]

In the first centuries of settling, the development of this place knew some difficulties due to scarcity of water and to the assaults of Algerian and French pirates.

The discoveries of Porto Santo and Madeira were first described by Gomes Eannes de Azurara in Chronica da Descoberta e Conquista da Guiné. (Eng. version by Edgar Prestage in 2 vols. issued by the Hakluyt Society, London, 1896-1899: The Chronicle of Discovery and Conquest of Guinea.) Arkan Simaan relates in French these discoveries in his novel: L’Écuyer d’Henri le Navigateur, published by Éditions l’Harmattan.[1]

Research Tips

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Found online at:

Title: Registros paroquiais, 1572-1911[3]
Authors: Igreja Católica. Nossa Senhora da Piedade (Porto Santo, Funchal) (Main Author)

Notes: Microfilme de manuscritos no Arquivo Distrital do Funchal. Alguns tomos incluem índice. Porto Santo é sede do concelho do mesmo nome.
Catholic church parish registers of baptisms, marriages, and deaths from Porto Santo, Funchal, Portugal. Text in Portuguese. Some of the registers include an index.

Subjects: Portugal, Funchal, Porto Santo - Church records
Portugal, Porto Santo (ilha) - Church records

Format: Manuscript (On Film) Language: Portuguese Publication: Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmado pela Sociedade Genealógica de Utah, 1976-1979 Physical: em 16 rolos de microfilme ; 35 mm.

  • Casamentos 1572-1574 Nascimentos 1600-1621 (desordem de datas) FHL INTL Film 1111009 Item 1
  • Nascimentos 1600-1621 Casamentos 1630-1635 Nascimentos 1654-1657 FHL INTL Film 1111009 Item 2
  • Óbitos 1647-1659 Nascimentos 1651-1656 FHL INTL Film 1111009 Item 3
  • Nascimentos 1658-1688 FHL INTL Film 1111009 Item 4
  • Nascimentos 1691-1757 FHL INTL Film 1111009 Items 5-8
  • Nascimentos 1757-1806 FHL INTL Film 1111010
  • Nascimentos 1837-1851 (para adultos nascidos entre 1806-1813) FHL INTL Film 1111011 Item 1
  • Nascimentos 1813-1833 FHL INTL Film 1111011 Items 2-7
  • Nascimentos 1833-1859 FHL INTL Film 1111012
  • Casamentos 1631-1815 (falta anos) FHL INTL Film 1111013
  • Casamentos 1815-1859 FHL INTL Film 1111014
  • Óbitos 1691-1807 VAULT INTL Film 1111015
  • Óbitos 1807-1839 VAULT INTL Film 1111016
  • Óbitos 1839-1859 (inclui uma lista das pessoas que morreram na epidemia de cólera de 1856) VAULT INTL Film 1111017
  • Nascimentos 1860-1865 FHL INTL Film 1162299 Items 27-31
  • Nascimentos 1866-1884 FHL INTL Film 1162300
  • Nascimentos 1885-1900 VAULT INTL Film 1162301
  • Nascimentos 1901-1911 FHL INTL Film 1162302 Items 1-11
  • Casamentos 1860-1873 FHL INTL Film 1162302 Items 12-25
  • Casamentos 1874-1910 FHL INTL Film 1162303
  • Casamentos 1911 FHL INTL Film 1162304 Item 1
  • Óbitos 1860-1893 FHL INTL Film 1162304 Items 2-35
  • Óbitos 1894-1911 FHL INTL Film 1162305 Items 1-18


  1. 1.0 1.1
    the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
    Porto Santo Island is a Portuguese island northeast of Madeira Island in the North Atlantic Ocean; it is the northernmost and easternmost island of the archipelago of Madeira, located in the Atlantic Ocean west of Europe and Africa.
  2. source: "Porto Santo - The story so far..." <>
  3. source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Porto Santo Island. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.