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History and Culture

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Macau History

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Macanese Language

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Macanese Geneaology Project

 

The following piece by Henry (Quito) d'Assumpção first appeared in the September 2008 Casa Downunder Newsletter

Are we related?

Most people, at some stage in their lives, take an interest in their roots, asking: “Who were my ancestors? What sort of people were they? What were their triumphs, trials and tragedies? Who are my relatives?”

We Macanese are fortunate that some years ago the Fundação Oriente commissioned Jorge Forjaz to produce his monumental three-volume work “Familias Macaenses” which documents many of the families of Macau, and which provides a great deal of information on people’s occupations, life histories, addresses, etc., with 44,000 names. For this work, which was published in 1996, Forjaz earned the accolades of his peers and the gratitude of Macanese all over the world. Generations to come will treasure these books.

These books however, are in Portuguese, and the information not readily accessible to the many Macanese dispersed all over the world, therefore some years ago I embarked on a project to put the information of Macanese families onto a computer database in English - names, births, marriages and deaths. Many people all over the world have collaborated by sending in updated information, corrections, photos and narratives. The database continues to grow rapidly.

I am pleased to report that the entire database (now with some 44,500 people) is in a (draft) restricted website; it can be accessed by using a password. I am not sure at this stage how the passwords will be managed all over the world: at present I am giving access only to individuals but shall be writing to the various clubs – Casa de Macau, UMA, Lusitano Club, etc. – to see if some arrangement can be made. If you are a financial member of one of the Macanese Clubs and are interested in collaborating or gaining access to the website, please contact your local Club.
Casa Australia members can
click here.

Here are a few samples from the website:

The 'Welcome' Page

Welcome Page

 

Part of the 'Help' Page

Help Page

Every one of the 44,500 people in the website has an individual page giving essential details such as name, date and place of birth, marriage and death, and names of spouse(s) and children, but occasionally including narratives.

An example of a person's page (Note the relationships, reference to charts and photos)

Person Page

 

A Descendant Box Chart

There are also “box charts” of ancestors of some people and, for each of the principal progenitors in Forjaz’s books, box charts of all their descendants. Also shown are relationships to a few of my friends and collaborators.
The major advantage is that one is able to navigate around easily and find people, and then to look up further details in Forjaz’s books. For example, clicking on the name of a child will take you instantly to that child’s page. (Pink boxes for females, blue for males)

Descendant Box

 

An example of a group photo - Clicking on a face takes you to that person’s page

Photo page

The website is not limited to genealogical data: it can include articles about Macau or its people, music, cooking recipes, and links to other websites – really, the only limitations are one’s imagination and the time and effort to put it all together. Surprisingly, cost is not a significant issue.

With the cooperation of many, I hope to establish a permanent record of Macanese culture and history and engender a sense of pride in Macanese heritage, particularly among the newer generations.

If you have an interest in collaborating on Macanese genealogy, please contact me.

Click here to email