Documentary sources on the Notarial Office(s) in the Municipal Archive of Vila Franca de Xira




Alhandra notary's office, Alverca notary's office, Povos notary's office, Vila Franca de Xira notary's office, Information recovery


The lack of studies on notaries in Vila Franca de Xira encouraged us to carry out a symbolic piece of research as part of the Postgraduate Course in Historical Archivistics (2021/2022). However, we did locate the following notarial documentation: the "Vila Franca de Xira Notary Office" archive, held at the Torre do Tombo National Archive (1661-05-27 - 1979-06-22), and various notarial documents held by the Vila Franca de Xira Municipal Archive (1776-11-07 - 1929-01-16).

The archival description, which focused mainly on the notarial documentation found in the AMVFX, revealed that as well as the office of notary having existed in Vila Franca de Xira, it also existed in Alhandra, Alverca and Povos, municipalities that became extinct during the 19th century as a result of the Liberal Reforms, which gave rise to a new administrative design for the country.

The 200 records that resulted from the archival description allowed us to take a closer look at the documentation produced by each notary public in these locations: the notaries were obliged to respect the geographical circumscription to which they were attached, they had a diversified client network, the correlation between the place of residence of the grantors and the location of the contracted properties was evident, and furthermore, the documentation held by the AMVFX is complementary to that held by the ANTT. As a result, the documentation found in the AMVFX came to constitute four documentary funds: Alhandra notary's office, Alverca notary's office, Povos notary's office, and Vila Franca de Xira notary's office.

These are undoubtedly factors to take into account in future archival descriptions for the purposes of information recovery, as the likelihood of a particular notarial act being found increases when it is associated with the locality where the notary practiced his office.


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