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Sao Tome and Principe Church Records

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São Tomé and Príncipe Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
São Tomé and Príncipe Background
Local Research Resources

For information about records for non-Christian religions in Sao Tome and Principe, go to the Religious Records page.

Online Resources and Websites[edit | edit source],, and can be searched free of charge at your local family history center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

In the 1970s, there were two significant population movements—the exodus of most of the 4,000 Portuguese residents and the influx of several hundred São Toméan refugees from Angola. The islanders have been absorbed largely into a common Luso-African culture. Almost all belong to the Roman Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, or Seventh-day Adventist churches, which in turn retain close ties with churches in Portugal. Roman Catholic 55.7%, Adventist 4.1%, Assembly of God 3.4%, New Apostolic 2.9%, Mana 2.3%, Universal Kingdom of God 2%, Jehovah's Witness 1.2%. [1][2]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Different denominations, different time periods, and practices of different record keepers will effect how much information can be found in the records. This outline will show the types of details which might be found (best case scenario):

Baptisms[edit | edit source]

In Catholic and Anglican records, children were usually baptized a few days after birth, and therefore, the baptism record proves date of birth. Other religions, such as Baptists, baptized at other points in the member's life. Baptism registers might give:

  • baptism date
  • the infant's name
  • parents' names
  • father's occupation
  • status of legitimacy
  • occasionally, names of grandparents
  • names of witnesses or godparents, who may be relatives
  • birth date and place
  • the family's place of residence
  • death information, as an added note or signified by a cross

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage registers can give:

  • the marriage date
  • the names of the bride and groom
  • indicate whether the bride and groom were single or widowed
  • their ages
  • birth dates and places for the bride and groom
  • their residences
  • their occupations
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • parents' names (after 1800)
  • the names of previous spouses and their death dates
  • names of witnesses, who might be relatives.

Burials[edit | edit source]

Burial registers may give:

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date and place of death or burial
  • the deceased's age
  • place of residence
  • cause of death
  • the names of survivors, especially a widow or widower
  • deceased's birth date and place
  • parents' names, or at least the father's name

How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on the records of Sao Tome and Principe.
b. Click on Places within Sao Tome and Principe and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

You will probably need to write to or email the national archives, the diocese, or local parish priests to find records. See Portuguese Letter-writing Guide for help with composing letters.

Assembly of God Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Roman Catholic Diocese of São Tomé and Príncipe (Latin: Sancti Thomae in Insula) is a diocese, immediately subject to the Holy See, with its seat in the city of São Tomé in São Tomé and Príncipe.[1][2] It covers the territory of the Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe. As of 2015, 112,000 or 57.4% of the inhabitants of São Tomé and Príncipe were catholic. The diocese was established on 3 November 1534 as the Diocese of Tomé from Metropolitan Archdiocese of Funchal in Portugal. The diocese initially included the Portuguese controlled or Christian areas of southwestern Africa. In 1596, it lost territory to the new diocese of São Salvador do Congo (today's Angola). in 1818 it lost territory to the new Apostolic Vicariate of Cape of Good Hope (today's South Africa). In 1842 it lost territory to the new Apostolic Prefecture of the Two Guineas and Senegambia (much of central and west Africa). In 1924, the diocese was renamed Diocese of São Tomé. In 1957 it was renamed to its current name Diocese of São Tomé and Príncipe.[3]

Jehovah's Witnesses Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Mana Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Igreja Maná - São Tomé E Príncipe
3 de Fevereiro
Ao lado da Embaixada de Angola
São Tomé

Telephone: +239 222 4655

New Apostolic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Seventh-day Adventist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Demographics of São Tomé and Príncipe", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, Tome and Principe, accessed 14 March 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Sao Tome and Principe", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 26 March 2020.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Roman Catholic Diocese of São Tomé and Príncipe", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 26 March 2020.