PoWI - About the Site

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Welcome to a world of information on Portuguese communities all over the Caribbean!

This site aims to explore the history and genealogy of Luso-West Indians, that is, West Indians whose ancestors hailed from Portugal, especially from the archipelago of Madeira.

The Portuguese and their descendants have been a vital part of the Caribbean landscape for over 150 years. Today, Portuguese communities represent very small minorities in several (mostly Commonwealth) West Indian territories. Despite their limited numbers, the contribution of Luso-descendants to the development of our region, in all spheres of life, is of great and lasting importance


Your hosts are Jo-Anne Ferreira and Dean de Freitas, both from T&T. As you can see from our surnames, we are descendants of Portuguese immigrants, both on the paternal side. While researching our roots, we noticed a real lack of internet-based information on the Portuguese of the Caribbean, and so we decided to change that situation. To learn more about your authors, click here.

We are very interested in how we can make this site more valuable to you, our fellow researchers. We promise to make this effort an ongoing one. In return, we ask you to please visit our guestbook. There you can contribute your comments, criticisms, and suggestions that can help us make this site better. In addition, please let us know what surnames you are researching so we can post them on our surname page, which is (still) in preparation.

We eventually hope to make this site available in Portuguese as well.


This site is divided into three main areas, the Portuguese Diaspora in the West Indies, Genealogy and Research Help.

The Portuguese Diaspora in the West Indies*, provides information on the history of Portuguese migration to eight different territories in the Caribbean.

This section will look at the circumstances under which various groups of Portuguese nationals came to the West Indies, such as Sephardic Jews, Azoreans, Madeirans - including religious refugees, immigrant labourers and entrepreneurs - and others.

For each Caribbean territory to which the Portuguese migrated, we will focus on the background of Portuguese migration. These territories are: Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Curaçao, Guyana (formerly British Guiana), Jamaica, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. Please note that we are working on this section territory by territory, and Trinidad and Tobago is the country that we are currently working on.

We will also focus on the people who made it happen and the culture that they brought with them and adapted locally. We will include profiles of prominent Caribbean Portuguese in their various home territories.

Genealogy is sub-divided into the following sections. They are:

Methods, a section which gives tips and guidelines for general genealogical research.

People, which deals with fellow researchers, surnames and naming practices of the Portuguese.

Places, which provides links to genealogy related sites sorted by country.

Research Help, a section which we hope will assist you in your research, and which comprises:

Sources - this section lists our main sources of information. It provides helpful and thorough bibliographies, and there is also useful information on National Archives, national record keeping, and relevant Library catalogues and special collections. You will also find information on online bookstores, as well as information on published material such as books, newspapers and other documents.

Our Archives, which include reproductions of all kinds of interesting historical documents, such as 19th century newspaper extracts and articles, invaluable information such as immigrant registers and the like, and other articles and essays.

Internet Links that are valuable to your research efforts, especially TriniGenWeb, Deb Kleber's MadeiraExiles, Bob Coraor's Exiles site, and Jim Lynch's CanDoo.com Caribbean Genealogy Site. Links that are specific and relevant to each section will remain in those sections, but you will find internet links of general interest such as online telephone directories, maps, and newspapers.

*Also referred to as the Caribbean and the Antilles.


We have included many ways for you to get around the site:

To get back to this page at any time, click on the "Portuguese of the West Indies" bar at the top of the page.

The button on the top right will get you to the Site Index.

The buttons below the Site Index button show you the main sections of our site.

The text on the bottom of the page provides convenient links, and also allows you a quick way back to the top of each page.

Some pages have a bar on the right side of the page with additional links for you to try.


This site is dedicated to all of our ancestors.



Please pardon our dust (and our broken / missing links) this site is


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