H. D. Cerqueira de Souza
Centro de Estudos Vilaverdenses, 2016
ISBN 9781326869540
Brochado, 128 p.

ABSTRACT: One of the most important proceedings to emanate from the Council of Trent (1545-63), as part of the Catholic Counter-Reformation, was the decree to keep a thorough register of all baptisms, marriages and burials being performed in every parish. This practice, prevalent in Portugal until 1910, would generate one of the most prolific archives in history: the parish records. Its contents provide a multitude of information that exceeds its genealogical or family history interest, and allows us to dive into the complex social, ritual, economical and geographical connections. The aim of this book is to provide a clear transcript, in alphabetical order, of the oldest known records in deposit at the Braga District Archive (Arquivo Distrital de Braga) from the 59 parishes of the Municipality of Vila Verde (Minho, Portugal). Even though the documents are now available online, their antiquity (340-480 years), advanced deterioration due to wear and tear (usually the first pages of the books), humidity and corrosion from iron gall ink acidity, combined with difficult and archaic calligraphies, and enigmatic abbreviations, makes their interpretation very difficult or in some instances virtually impossible. Thus the need for an accessible, contextualized and commented version of these records. The criteria was to reproduce the oldest record available for each parish, regardless of its type (baptism, marriage or burial). Compare the time interval (1578-1673), chronology, seasonality and geographical distribution. Identify and characterise those who intervene, socially and professionally. No obvious conclusions were expected, given the nature of the work, but a certain disdain for social status and occupations become apparent (p. 33) as well as a large investment in the salvation of the soul (p. 31). In the back matter we provide also a comprehensive list of all the books in deposit at the Braga District Archive from the 59 parishes of the Municipality of Vila Verde (Minho, Portugal).

Como citar: SOUZA, H. D. Cerqueira de (2016). Os Assentos Paroquiais mais antigos do concelho de Vila Verde. Braga: Centro de Estudos Vilaverdenses.

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