Povoan fishermen, supported by 19th century scientific theories, believed they were a separate race, named "Raça Poveira" (Povoan Race).Anthropological and cultural data indicate the colonization of Nordic fishermen during the period of the coast's resettling.Then the king asks if they were Portuguese, and the Povoans replied once more they were not, they said they were "(Little) Povoans by the grace of God".Then the king asks from which kingdom they come from, they replied they were from the Kingdom of Póvoa.In his study he noticed Póvoa had immigration since very early periods and noticed that some farmers were integrated in the fisher community.Immigration from Galicia to Póvoa de Varzim is ancient. The Povoan surname "Nova" is believed to be derived from Galician "Nóvoa".Ramalho Ortigão when he wrote about Póvoa in the book "As Praias de Portugal" (1876), The Beaches of Portugal, stated that the main curiosity of Póvoa was the Povoan fishermen, that was a special "race" in the Portuguese coastline; completely different from the Mediterranean type typical of Ovar and Olhão, Povoans are of "Saxon" type: they are "fair-haired, clear eyes, wide shoulders, athletic chest, herculean legs and arms, round and strong faces." The local popular expressions "Poveirinhos pela graça de Deus" (Little Povoans by the grace of God) and "Reino da Póvoa" (Kingdom of Póvoa) trace their origin to a maritime trip by King Luis I of Portugal when the king's ship, near the coast, saw a lancha poveira boat.
In the end of the century, there's observable immigration from Eastern Europe, China, Brazil and Angola.In a research published in O Poveiro (1908), using 19th century scientific methodology, the anthropologist Fonseca Cardoso considered that an anthropological element, most noticeably the aquiline nose, was of semitic-Phoenician origin.He considered that Povoans were the result of a mixture of Phoenicians, Teutons, and mostly, Normans.This use occurred in Povoan and Danish fishermen but also in the Baltic, in the area of Dantzig.The similarity of siglas poveiras and the Viking runic characters show immediate associations.
Since the 19th century, the visible ethnic differences when comparing with the surrounding people, led to different theories over the origin of the population: Suebi, Prussians, Teutons, Normans and even Phoenicians.