Family genealogical memory: formation, cleansing and social reception: (Portugal-16th to 18th century)

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This study looks at the importance of genealogical knowledge during the Early Modern Era in Portugal, and the way in which it influenced the various interests that marked everyday social life, not only in the field of the appraisals that were necessary for a person to hold a title in the courts, but also in regard to the ennoblement mechanisms and the economy of reward (economia da mercê) Thus, the activity of genealogists became incisive and prominent during a period in which it was deemed vital to prove purity of blood and nobility for appearance’s sake, paying great attention to origin, birth and kinship. It therefore does not come as a surprise that such activity was to have quite an impact, nor that such widespread manipulation and abuse should arise from it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalE-Journal of Portuguese History
Issue number1, Summer 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • genealogical literature
  • genealogists
  • family records
  • nobility
  • purity of blood
  • Inquisition


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