Search billions of records on

Sights and Sounds of the Azores

As of this time, I have not yet made it to the Azores, the land where many of my ancestors originated from. I hope to be able to go there someday, to walk where they walked, and to be able to see the sites they have seen. Until then, the sounds you hear and the pictures you will see on this page, were kindly donated by friends who wanted to share them with all of us.



Terceira photos -- Misc. including Church photos contributed by Rick Bart

Sao Miguel photos -- Misc. photos contributed by Rick Bart

Faial Photos

These postcards were donated by Brandee C. Kingery and are of the view overlooking Pedro Miguel, Faial and one showing the Capotes worn around the beginning of the 20th century.

These postcard photos were donated by Sheila Casper, They include photos of costumes, money, scenery on various islands, etc. and are all from the early 1900s, before about 1920.

These photos are of Prainha, Pico and show the Church, Nossa Senhora da Ajuda. They were contributed by someone wishing to remain anonymous.

This photo is of an early Holy Ghost festival in Flamengos, Faial, possibly in the 1880s. Contributed by Margaret Garcia H.

These photos are from Susan Vargas Murphy,

These postcards of Graciosa were contributed by Susan Vargas Murphy,

The sounds are Azorean music, contributed by Susan Vargas Murphy,

Now .......

See The Sights

These photos were donated by my friend, Susan Vargas Murphy. She has made several trips to the Azores with her family and taken the photos that you see here. Together, we chose these photos to try to give you the "flavor" of the island. Although there are plenty of our modern conveniences on the islands, there are also certain parts of their culture that have remained much the same as it was for our ancestors.

These are just small, thumbnail images that represent the photo in the description beside it. To see the full-size image, just click on the thumbnail.

Band from Castelo BrancoCan you identify anyone in this photo? Susan has donated this photo of a band from Castelo Branco, Faial. In the second row from the top, the fifth person from the left, or the fourth person from the right was Serafim Pereira Vargas (the brother to her paternal grandfather) who was born in 1893 in Lombega, Faial (parish is Santa Catarina, Castelo Branco). He died April 11, 1968. He married before 1919 and later lived in Capelo. He married Maria da Conceicao and had children: Jose, Maria, Serafim, Olivia, Narciza, Francisco, Florinda, Manuel, Gabriel, Dora and Eduardo. She also thinks the man on the far left on the row below Serafim is Manuel Pereira Vargas, born March 5, 1884 in Castelo Branco. The time period may be around 1910 to 1915 more or less

This is Susan standing beside a Hydrangea or "Hortensia" that grow wild on Faial, giving it the name "Ilha Azul", or Blue Island.

WindmillThis is one of the many windmills on Faial, thought to be evidence of the early Fleminsh influence. This one is on the property where Joe Maciel was born in Pedro Miguel, Faial.

Sao Mateus ChurchThis is the church of Sao Mateus, Pico, established in 1842, where many of my ancestors, as well as Susan's, were born, married, and attended services.

Cobblestone streetHere is an example of one of the cobblestone streets of Faial. The workmen take great pains to preserve these designs.

FarmerThis picture was taken in 1986, near Feteira, Faial, where some of the farmers still use this method of plowing their fields.

Farmer and cartThis picture was taken in Terceira and is of a farmer and his old cart filled with the pumpkin harvest.

Making breadThis is one of Susan's Faial cousins with her bread rising in the tub. She is wearing black out of respect for her father's death. They wear black for one year after the death of a parent. Widow's wear black for the rest of their lives or until they remarry.

Outdoor ovenHere, she is putting the bread to cook in an outdoor oven which are common to have in a small house detached from the main house. Note the ears of corn drying above the oven for corn bread. I don't know about you, but I'll take my bread machine any day!!!

Hear the Sounds

This is a short sound clip of Susan's grandfather, Joe Maciel, playing his banjo. The recording was made in 1950, so the quality is a little scratchy, but the sweetness of the song comes through anyway. By the way, Joe was my 5th Cousin, one time removed.

sound buttonMacintosh format, approx 539K, 25 seconds in length

sound buttonWindows format, approx 550K, 25 seconds in length

Back to the Top of this page