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Records of Irish Families in Brazil




Lancelot Belfort


Or Lourenço Belford as he became known when he settled in São Luís, Maranhão in the 18th Century.  He became wealthy raising crops and cattle and was the first person to introduce the silk worm to Maranhão.  He was a devote catholic and constructed a church on his estate in honour of Saint Patrick.  A town house that he constructed in 1756 near the centre of São Luís is still standing and is known as Solar dos Berford.  It is regarded as “a building of notable architectural merit” and is covered with Portuguese tiles in two tones of green.  A look-out on the top of the three-floor building allows magnificent views of the city.  The Government of Maranhão through its tourism department is trying to determine who is responsible for the upkeep of the building since it is in urgent need of restoration.  Some of the tiles have already become loose.  The precarious electrical installations make the building a high fire risk.  A campaign to raise funds for the preservation of this outstanding colonial building is being considered.  Descendants of the Berford family, who live in Niterói RJ, are writing a book about their ancestors.  Contact: Maria de Lourdes dos Santos Lacorte – Tel.: 0xx21 2617-8387.  Web sites  |  Lancelot Belfort  by John Wilson da Costa Lourenço Belford  |




Narcisa Emília O´Leary


Narcisa Emília O’Leary da Silva Costa  (b. Cork, Ireland, c. 1769, 1770 or 1771) married José Bonifácio de Andrade e Silva  (13/06/1763 – 06/04/1838 – Patriarca da Independência do Brasil) in Lisbon on 31/01/1790 when she was about 20 years old.  There she lived with an aunt.  It is claimed that at marriage she could not remember her parents’ names, or details of her baptism.

She died when she was about 59 years old.  “On the night of the 27 July 1829, the mortal remains of Narcisa Emíla O’Leary

arrived at the Port of Rio aboard a French vessel, the Phoenix  (Ph = f in old Portuguese).  Source:  Jornal do Commercio, 6ª: 31 July 1829 – Parte Política, note. Copy at Rio’s Biblioteca Nacional (National Library. Buried at the Igreja dos Terceiros do Carmo? 

Web sites  |  Family Tree  |  Instituto Camões, Portugal  |  Historical Text Archive  |  Brazzil  |





Families of Irish origin listed in: Dicionário das Fámilias Brasileiras       

By Antônio Henrique Cunha Bueno & Carlos Eduardo Barata           

A copy of the publication is available for consultation at the Honorary Consulate of Ireland, Rio.


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