Sunday, January 13, 2019

A Marriage Where You Least Expect It

Recently, I was taking a look again at my "Rivera" line. This is my direct line going back to the early 1700s in Toa Alta. Besides my father and my grandfather, every male ancestor (4 in total so far) have been born in Toa Alta. Though 4 may seem insignificant, that's a total of close to 300 years of my family living in this one town. This post is going to be about discovering some new information about my 4th great grandparents!

Setting the Stage

My Rivera family was one of my catalysts for wanting to research my ancestry when I was younger. I wanted to know where my Rivera family was from and wanted to know where potentially in Spain they were from. Though initially it was difficult to find out about this family, I was fortunate to find out that they were from Toa Alta, Puerto Rico which led me to using the Civil Registry and the church records in order to push my ancestors back to the early 1800s. My earliest ancestors were José de Rivera and Gertrudis Román. José passed away sometime between 1824-1844 and Gertrudis passed in 1844, but besides that I had no idea of their parents' names. The "Rivera Román" children were all born during a time grandparents weren't added into baptism entries so I had no idea of their parents' names. I also had no siblings for José and Gertrudis to help with my search for parents or potential origins outside of Toa Alta.

Toa Alta [Google Images]

One day however, while looking through the records for Guaynabo I came across a "Rivera Belén" marriage entry in 1773. The reason this was important was because José was written as "Rivera Belén" in one of his son's baptism record. However, in neither of the other 8 baptism records does José appear as "Rivera Belén". Not wanting to lose the record I attached it to José as a possible brother and moved on.

Recently, I took a look at other marriages in Guaynabo to see if I could find any other "Rivera Belén" siblings and found a new record that completely shocked me!

A New Record

José de Rivera & Gertrudis Román - Marriage [FamilySearch]

José de Rivera & Gertrudis Román - Marriage [FamilySearch]

Searching my way up from the 1770s I bumped into a record that made me gasp - it was a marriage record for a José Rivera and Gertrudis Román. Could these be my ancestors?! The marriage took place on the 2nd of March 1802 and my ancestor's first registered child was in 1806 in Toa Alta so it was possible... So I took a closer look at the record:

José de Rivera was widowed of María Feliz and the legitimate son of Pedro and María Morales, resident of Toa Alta and Gertrudis Román legitimate daughter of Manuel and Margarita Ayala, all pardos libres.

So here we had some new information, José was widowed before he married Gertrudis and now we had the names of both of their parents, interestingly enough José named a son Pedro so having a father with the same name wasn't surprising.

With this I was able to go back into the marriage records of Guaynabo and find José's first marriage to María Feliz in 1791, stating again that he was a native of Toa Alta. Gertrudis herself was probably from Guaynabo seeing as she had other siblings born there, I have yet to find a baptism record for her there though.

At first I was hesitant to believe these were my ancestors, but the lack of a marriage in Toa Alta, the fact it mentions José was a native of that town, and Gertrudis Román's fairly uncommon name was enough to convince me that these were my 4th great-grandparents. The question remains though why José de Rivera lived in Guaynabo for a while and then ultimately decided to move back.

Something else that's interesting is the use of "Belén" in that one baptismal record. Could there be a connection to the Rivera Belén family somehow still?

I recently heard a genealogist say "solving one mystery, means adding two" (sorry I can't remember where I read it, if I find who I'll add credit here!), and this is absolutely true! Having a new generation of the Rivera family is amazing because hopefully I can research some more into these lines and find out more about them. I also have to learn more about Guaynabo, its history, and find out more about the Román Ayala presence there. 

Monday, December 31, 2018

Reflecting on my Genealogical Goals of 2018

Before the year is out I wanted to reflect on my goals which I created at the beginning of this year. My object for this post is to go through my 10 goals and update where I am with them. Mainly this is a self check-in for myself but also it's a way to see how far I've gotten in this one year with my genealogy. I'll categorize each one into either "Yes", "Some", "No" to know where I am with the goal. Maybe some will be extended into the new year!

1. Posting more on my blog - Some/Yes
Looking to how much I posted this year, so far I have 18 posts compared to my meager 9 posts from 2017. 18 is the most I've posted in the last 3 years but looking at 2014 I posted 64 times! Granted, that year I partook in the 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks challenge which forced me to post more. Since then I've discovered more ancestors but I'm not sure I know about their lives to post again for the 52 Ancestors Challenge. My goal moving forward is to continue cataloging the town church records in Puerto Rico that I began this past summer.

2. Test an Avilés male descendant for Y-DNA - No
This goal I haven't been able to accomplish yet but I'm hoping that by visiting Puerto Rico next year I'll be able to meet some Avilés cousins and get one or some of them to test.

3. Search more into my Yabucoa roots - Yes
This summer I spent a lot of time researching my Yabucoa roots. I haven't gotten to post yet about them but I have been fortunate enough to trace most of these branches out of Yabucoa and into nearby towns such as Las Piedras and Humacao. Luckily, Humacao also has church records on FamilySearch so I was able to continue researching them in those towns as well. With these records, my Yabucoa roots have been pushed back to the mid-early 1700s. There's one side of that family however, my Orozco/Santana line, which I've traced to Las Piedras but I haven't been able to find out much more about my 3rd great-grandfather Benito Orozco besides finding his baptism record.

4. Learn more about my Correa family - Some 
Ugh! If you've been reading my blog then you know my struggle with this family. I recently posted about this branch and the lack of motion I've gotten in researching them. I'm still stuck and ultimately I'm going to take a break and come up for some air since I haven't been able to find out anything new. However, I did realize in a few documents - whether by coincidence or not - that "Correa" wasn't written in the document and he was written just as "José (de) León" - his first and middle name. Coincidence? We'll hopefully see soon!

5. Read more books in relation to Genealogy, Genetics, Puerto Rico, etc. - Some
This summer I did get a chance to read more but I also tried to diversify my readings in order to not get stuck in the same genre. In terms of genealogy and related topics I got a chance to read: "Victoire" by Maryse Conde,  "Reunion" by Ryan Littrell, and "The Social Life of DNA" by Alondra Nelson. They were all pretty good books and from different realms of genealogy, "Victoire" dealt more with the story telling/learning about an ancestor and retelling their story. "Reunion" had a mix of story telling with discovering ancestors and making connections through DNA, while "The Social Life of DNA" was mainly based in DNA. My goal is to continue reading this year some more especially since I've purchased some new books recently!

6. Continue to help others discover their ancestors - Yes
This one I think just comes naturally to me since I love to work on genealogy. I've been able to help fellow Puerto Ricans extend their lines and helped out with some American research that goes back to countries such as Ireland, Germany, and Iceland to name a few. This is always rewarding because I can see the happiness and awe of people who are learning about their family without having known much about their roots prior to research. Being able to give them names, towns, or even ship manifest information about their ancestors has been pretty cool.

7. Find an ancestor from Spain - Yes
I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to answer "yes" to this goal! Going in, I knew that this goal was going to definitely be a tough one and honestly speaking I would have guessed the Correa goal to be much easier than this one... but alas, I was able to get this checked off the list! Recently (in October) I posted about my Dávila Cantos family who I was able to trace out of Puerto Rico to a town in southern Spain - San Juan del Puerto. It took a bit of sleuthing and with the help of some indexed records I was able to use what I knew about the family and find their origin. Hoping that 2019 brings more ancestors' origins to light and more names of towns and villages outside of Puerto Rico!

8. Continue researching the Puerto Rican church records - Yes
This one is tied to a few goals above, but luckily during my summer break I was able to do some more research into the church records that have been placed online and have been able to crack some walls. For example, I was able to clear up a confusion between siblings and learn the names of my 7th great grandparents through the death record of Francisco Pérez de la Cruz. This all thanks to the records from FamilySearch and I know there is more out there to research as well!  

9. Begin planning a trip to Martinique and Guadeloupe - No
I'm not too mad about this one haha. This is definitely a long term goal that will go on for some years but I should definitely start an excel with places/towns I want to visit along with monuments, museums, etc. I love planning travels so this is definitely something I'll look forward to but I have some other things I want to get down first before I go, for example practicing and learning some more French!

10. Research more into my African/Taíno roots - Some/Yes
This is something that though I haven't been able to read about, I know I have learned more about through research. For example, learning that many of my ancestors were labeled pardo libre is interesting and eye-opening, especially for a fairly light-skinned Puerto Rican who gets weird stares sometimes when I say I'm Puerto Rican. I was able to breakdown my African percentages based off my parents' and some family members' results on AncestryDNA, but I still would love to learn the name of some of the countries in Africa my slave ancestors came from, but again, this is something that will take time. However, with learning more about my Yabucoa roots I have been able to trace my direct maternal line to an ancestress that lived in the early 1700s and she carried my current haplogroup which is an indigenous group found in the Caribbean. So this is something that though I have been able to accomplish I hope to continue learning more about through my research.

Overall, I think it's been a pretty good genealogical year! There have been other things that have occurred this year that don't fit into my goals but have been good milestones nonetheless. Using new tools to learn about my ancestry such as DNA Painter and Geno 2.0, as well as connecting with a genetic cousin (and friend!) with roots in Sóller, Mallorca (Magraner line) have been pretty memorable things from this year as well. I'm thinking of creating some new goals for this upcoming year to help guide me for what I want to get accomplished. What did you get to accomplish genealogically this year? 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

A Puerto Rican Look at: DNA Painter

This summer I began to play with a tool called "DNA Painter" but with school starting up I didn't get a chance to write a blog post about it. Now that I'm on winter break, I can take sometime to talk about the tool and how as a Puerto Rican it has worked for me so far.

What is DNA Painter? 

DNA Painter is a tool currently in beta that allows you to take a look at your chromosomes with a bit of a more "microscopic" view into your exact segments and who you match with, also known as chromosome mapping. The tool was created by Jonny Perl and the application won the DNA Innovation Contest for 2018 at RootsTech. Take a look at this video about how he came into creating the tool and its uses!

DNA Painter Homepage [DNA Painter]

Taking a look into the homepage you can see what it does, breaks down your DNA into various segments matched to certain ancestors. You have to register for an account in order to use the tool and as always make sure the read the terms and agreements before you create your account.

Also, take a look at Blaine Bettinger's DNA Painter Video about how to use the tool as well.

How does it work? 

After creating an account you have to create a profile for yourself (or whomever you will be chromosome mapping for) and that is where you can keep track of your matching segments and cousins. You can create various profiles if you'd like and it has actually been interesting creating ones for my brothers and seeing where they match with certain people and the genes they inherited that I might not have.

You may use your genetic matches from various companies such as 23andme, Gedmatch (transferred results), and/or FamilyTreeDNA to name a few. Unfortunately, if you have AncestryDNA you can not use your segment data unless you have transferred them into Gedmatch and you'd have to hope (or convince that person) to transfer their results as well to see on which chromosome you match. This is important because this is how you begin to establish connections with those cousins and which ancestor(s) in your tree they match. Without the knowledge of the segment, you'd be lost as in where they match you and others.

Seeing as I have mainly used my 23andme information, this is what I'll mostly be referring to when it comes creating matches on DNA Painter.

If you take a look at how my grandfather and I match you can see that of course there are fairly large chunks. All of these segments below I got from him, so when I map these segments on my DNA Painter profile I can attribute them to him using his name or the name of his parents, my great-grandparents. Remember, these genes can be from any of his parents, so you'd have to use both of their names when you set the segments.

Me vs. My Maternal Grandfather [Personal 23andMe]

Under your DNA Painter, every time you want to set new segments or matches you have to click on "Paint a New Match". There, you can use the start position and end position of each chromosome you match on and upload that into the box (look below).

"Painting a New Match" [Personal Screenshot] 

The box will look something like this! Depending on how many times you match that person across various segments you can continue to pile on the segments on new lines in the same box. Once you have placed the segments and are ready to save the match you can decide what color to save the match and what name they can go under. For example, I chose to use my grandfather's name and anytime I match someone through him they go under the color yellow and attached to his name. For me, this allows me to see the matches that I have through him.

A Look at Comparisons

By using various of my own cousins, confirmed paper trail matches, and even unknown matches I have begun to map my chromosomes, currently they look like this!

My DNA Painting

As you can see there are various colores across my chromosomes and some gray areas. Overall, I have been able to map ~91% of my DNA through 489 segments of mapping. Some of the larger chunks such as yellow (maternal grandfather) and red/blue (paternal matches) are attached to just my great-grandparents while smaller chunks to older ancestors. It's definitely a work in progress and not so straight forward in the sense that you won't always have a match to help identify a grey zone or to go back further a generation. It also depends on how much the match knows about their family and how willing they are to talk about shared your genealogy.  

As I had mentioned each color is set to different ancestors in my family tree, a cool feature on DNA Painter is that you can limit it to maternal or paternal depending on who you are looking at or focusing on at the moment. 

Once you start matching up cousins they sort of begin to stack over one another. Taking a look at just my maternal side of chromosome 1, I'll break down what the colors means and the stacking: 

Maternal Chromosome 1

This view of my maternal chromosome 1 is an expanded view of the different matches I have, as you can see I have turned off the "show match names" to provide anonymity. However based off the colors you can notice a few things. 

The chromosome starts off with two shades of green but quickly jumps to a long yellow segment. Then again to a dark green segment. As you know the yellow segment represents my maternal grandfather, while the dark green represents my maternal grandmother. Weirdly enough you can see how my maternal grandfather's DNA just cut in between and left a small segment in the beginning from my grandmother. The light green segments belong to my great grand-grandfather who I was lucky to test before he passed. This means that from the long dark green piece (grandmother), the light green piece (great grandfather) marks what I inherited straight from him. You can deduce than that the other sections from the long dark green piece are from my great grandmother (red boxes added by me). Marked below: 

Chromosome 1 - Maternal Great-grandparents

Within the red boxes I added you can see there are purple segments, the segments are from matches that match my 2nd great-grandparents Pedro Dávila and Francisca Orozco, parents of my great-grandmother. Any match that falls in between the dark green lines match my maternal grandmother and then from there I can deduce if they match me through my great grandfather or great grandmother. 

On the flip side, there are the yellow segments. As you can see I only have yellow there, which means that I don't have other family members to help narrow where along my grandfather's family these matches are from. However, it's interesting to see who matches me there. 2 years ago I wrote about genetic Ashkenazi Jewish matches that had segments with me on chromosome 1 and they all overlapped one another. Read here! As you can see below, these matches are from my maternal grandfather and they are all stacked one on top of the other meaning that they along with my maternal grandfather somehow share an ancestor. The segments are fairly small so I would imagine this match is rather far back. 

Chromosome 1 - Jewish Matches

As you can see, there are a couple of ways to use DNA Painter. The cool thing is that it technically helps matching others a bit easier since you can deduce where exactly they match you along your family tree a bit quicker, especially if that cousin is unaware of much of their genealogical history or just quiet about your connection. 

As I mentioned early having siblings allows you to see where you matches might differ. A quick example below is the maternal side of Chromosome 8. My entire chromosome comes from my maternal grandmother where as my older brother inherits most of it my maternal grandfather. Lastly, my little brother gets good sizable chunk from both of our grandparents! 

Chromosome 8 - Older Brother

Chromosome 8- Me

Chromosome 8- Younger Brother

Another step can be adding your ancestral ethnicity information which overlap your segments and you can get a better idea who from your ancestors gave you certain ethnic segments. This however can be a harder task for those of us who have choppy pieces inherited from our ancestors which aren't inherited in longer pieces and we might have no idea exactly who they are from. However, if you take the time and with a bit of luck you might be able to piece together where some of these pieces came from. 

Here you can see on my X-chromosome I've inherited some native Indigenous ancestry but also some European from my grandmother and her X-chromosome ancestors. These segments came from 23andMe and I overlapped them onto my grandmother's side seeing as how they all fall under the dark green line. 

X-Chromosome Inheritance

Conclusions

There's definitely a lot to play with and learn from on DNA Painter. For me, it's helped provide some clarity to matches especially when it seems that everyone matches everyone in my family. Knowing which lines they match through DNA Painter allow me to say "okay, now I can specify this conversation to my ancestors from this region/town/surnames". However, don't be fooled! Some matches share segments with both of my parents and therefore I save them twice, once under my maternal matches and again under my paternal matches when mapping my chromosomes. This way I don't associate incorrectly that segment to another ancestor. So you definitely have to be alert to how you match and use various cousins or profiles if you have them to confirm that match. I'm far from being an expert with DNA Painter but knowing the few things I know it has allowed me to become a bit more confident with genetic genealogy and using it to the best of my ability! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

At a Complete and Utter Standstill...

Recently, I've taken another stab at researching my Correa side of the family but as the title suggests I am going nowhere! Though I haven't be able to move much further into the family tree, I've decided to post about them and what I do know about the family and hopefully get some clarity or ideas for new places to search.

Salinas

Back in 2015 I visited Salinas, Puerto Rico. Here I was able to meet some cousins who were Correa distant cousins as well and was able to chat with them about our history. Since this is the more recent town in our family's history finding baptism, marriage, and death records has been fairly easy. My great-grandfather was born there in 1920 along with my 2nd great-grandfather born there in 1895. My 3rd great-grandfather Manuel Correa Ortiz, was either born in Salinas or Coamo, I have yet to find a baptism record for him. His siblings born before and after him are registered in the baptismal books of Salinas yet my Manuel is estimated to have been born around 1858 and he doesn't appear in the 1st baptismal book of Salinas which covers the years 1854-1867. Maybe he's a bit older than I expected or maybe he was actually born in Coamo?

Coamo

My 4th great-grandparents married in Coamo in 1850, They were Juan (Nepomucino) Correa and Bibiana Ortiz. They're both listed as "pardos libres" and being natives of that town. Their parents are listed as José León Correa and María de la Cruz Rodríguez for Juan Correa and Antonia Ortiz for Bibiana Ortiz. It is possible that the first children from this relationship were baptized in Coamo and honestly I'm not sure if I've ever checked the first years after their marriage to see if any children were born in Coamo. However, by 1854 they had registered their daughter María Asunción Correa Ortiz.

A quick look at the baptismal book of Coamo between 1851-1855 show no "Correa" children indexed at the end of the book.

Marriage Nº 193- Juan Correa & Bibiana Ortiz [FamilySearch]

Moving up to my 5th great-grandfather José de León Correa, he married twice in Coamo - once in 1809 to Rosa Ortiz and a second time in 1819 to my 5th great-grandmother María de la Cruz Rodríguez Ruiz. In his first marriage in 1809 it seems that the church in San Juan was aware of his marriage seeing as how it mentions ... "Santa Yglesia Catedral de Puerto Rico". It seems that José León Correa had permission or was approved by the church in San Juan to marry and the priest in Coamo was aware of that. No race is mentioned here for them but in other records José León Correa appears as "pardo libre". 

Marriage- José León Correa & Rosa Ortiz [FamilySearch]

The question now is: Where in San Juan are they registered? 

San Juan

In San Juan for the 1700s there was one church that appears on FamilySearch which is the "Iglesia Católica, Nuestra Señora de los Remedios". What's interesting is that in the notes it states: "La iglesia también se conoce por las denominaciones Catedral de San Juan, Basílica Menor o Sagrario de la Santa Iglesia Catedral" (FamilySearch). Here we see the same terminology of Catedral de San Juan and Santa Iglesia Catedral, so my hunch is that my family should be somewhere within these books.

But unfortunately... I can't find ANYTHING!

I've searched between 1783-1800 in the San Juan pardos baptisms searching for José León Correa. According to the records I have he would have been born around 1790, so technically this range of years should be enough to find him... Nothing!

Next I checked marriages for Juan Francisco Correa and María Eugenia Carcaño - my 6th great-grandparents. I searched the white marriages from 1772-1778, the pardo weddings between May 1797-1818... Nothing! I even checked in Guaynabo which is nearby between Aug. 1771-Dec. 1790 and nothing there as well. I know there is a chunk missing before 1797 in the pardo marriages so it's possible that they're in there somewhere.

I've also checked the confirmations of San Juan between 1792-1808 for any Correa Carcaño children... nothing! Here there are a mix of white, mixed, and slave children so I would technically catch one of their confirmations one way or another, but still no hints of a Juan Francisco Correa or María Eugenia Carcaño.

My last searches were the death records of San Juan, I've searched between 1803-1809, 1820-1834 for my 6th great-grandparents and of course... nothing!

Something I do suggest is keeping track of these searches in the notes of your family tree, I have mine on Ancestry and so I have notes on what and where I have searched. That way I'm not searching in circles for their records, especially when you stop and pick up searching months later.

Notes on José León [Personal Family Tree]

Elsewhere?

It's possible that they were registered somewhere else and that José León Correa really wasn't from San Juan. Usually when someone says they're from another town, jumping into those records I have been able to find them. This is the first time that I'm having such a hard time finding even any hint of them. There are actually very little mentions of "Correa" in San Juan to begin with. Some people have suggested that he might have been from Arecibo where there are a good number of Correas, but seeing as how the records for this town aren't online I haven't been able to search their church records.  Coamo is another town with Correas, but as you can see my family is from there and I have searched those years to no avail.

Conclusions

Really there aren't any! My next guess would be to push back the years and see if possibly José León was born before the 1780s. This would make him a bit older than Rosa Ortiz when they married seeing as how she was born about 1791 but honestly in this time and even recently, men could be older than their wives and no one would blink any eye. Another theory is that they were not consider pardo in San Juan but "mulato" or even "blanco" but I feel that might more of an off theory. Still, it's important to keep an eye open for changing of races across documents which definitely happened back in the days.

Also, I'd have to continue searching in nearby towns for any hints of Juan Francisco Correa and María Eugenia Carcaño. Hoping that sooner rather than later I'm able to crack this wall once again and push these lines further back! 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

A DNA Connection to Sóller, Mallorca

My journey to discover more about my Mallorcan roots has been a long one! It started with a simple story about an ancestor from Spain (Part I & II), learning about the surname Magraner, going to the archives in Puerto Rico to learn about a man named Damián Magraner and ultimately traveling to Mallorca to learn more about his life. All links above are to old blog posts throughout the years with different forms of research I have completed to learn more about this family branch.

My first time to Mallorca was back in 2015 where I visited Sóller for the first time. Two summers ago I traveled again to Mallorca to complete some more research into this branch. I spent a little over a week in Palma pouring over records from Damián's family in Sóller from the 1800s-1700s. The rest of my time in Mallorca was spent traveling around the island getting to know other towns such as: Fornalutx, Manacor, Pollença, Sineu, and of course Sóller.

Completing research through microfilms [Personal Photo]

Traveling around the island - Fornalutx, Mallorca [Personal Photo]

On Facebook I am a part of a group of people who have ancestry from Sóller and there are ton of people from different parts of the world - but mainly there are a bunch of people from different parts of France whose ancestors from Sóller immigrated over. In asking for advice about research and records, I began chatting with someone who like me had ancestry on the island and like me was a young researcher - his name is Jérôme. Since Jérôme had been living in Madrid at the time and I was completing research over the summer, we decided to meet up for some drinks and chat about Sóller. While in Madrid we chatted about our heritage; his a mix of European countries and mine a mélange of ethnicities found/brought to the New World. He had been interested in DNA testing to help with research and we chatted about that as well. That evening we parted ways but kept in contact about research, Sóller, and the prospects of traveling to Mallorca for more research

A few months later, Jérôme had told me that his brother had tested on 23andme and he was excited to receive his results, but little did I know that I would become excited about these results as well! 

Surprisingly, Jérôme's brother matched some of my profiles on 23andme! He matched my father, two of my paternal uncles, and my paternal great-uncle - all of them connected to my paternal grandmother who was a descendant from the Avilés Magraner line. I was shocked to see this connection! Jérôme's family is a mix of Italian, French, and Spanish ancestors but specifically his grandmother was from Sóller, Mallorca! So here was DNA proof that along my paternal grandmother's line there was a definite connection to Sóller, Mallorca confirmed through a match to Jérôme's family.

Comparing his brother to my dad, my paternal uncles, and my great-uncle you can see that all of that DNA shared overlaps on Chromosome 2!

DNA Match on 23andme [Personal Photo]

Jérôme and I chatted about our connection and our surnames, since we share such a small amount of DNA we imagine our connection is far back, probably somewhere in early 1700s. Sóller is a fairly small town (pop. 13,791 in 2016) and a lot of surnames repeat themselves in our family trees so we're fairly sure if we sit down and start tracing our lines to find this ancestor we would find them buried in our older branches.

Since the match is far back, my brothers and I did not inherit this piece of DNA but it seems to have made it all the way down to my dad's generation. I am wondering if I test other cousins who are related to the Avilés Magraner line, will they also have this piece of DNA? 

Interestingly, on AncestryDNA I did match Jérôme's family again and this time it was my paternal great-aunt, sister of my grandmother. If I had to take a wild guess, this set of 8.2 shared centimorgans would be found on Chromosome 2 as they were on 23andme. 

AncestryDNA Match [Personal Photo]

So here we see that the DNA was picked up by two separate companies - both 23andme and AncestryDNA. Again, though it is a small fragment of DNA the fact that four members of my family connect with two separate members of Jérôme's family I think it is much more than just a coincidence or statistical noise.

We were pretty surprised to see that we shared ancestry and the fact that we had decided to meet up in Madrid while our time overlapped and then months later found out that we were related was pretty funny! It's definitely a small world and technology has made it much smaller for genealogists. 

Moving forward my goal is to test other cousins on my paternal side, especially those along the Avilés Magraner line to see who else matches with Jérôme and potentially new matches in Sóller will appear as well. Hoping that one day I am able to establish a connection again with the Magraner line that returned to Mallorca. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Tracing a Line to Spain - The Cantos Dávila Family

Recently, I've been out of the "blog game". And to be honest, with school starting up again I always find it hard to balance personal time and work time, though I try to continue searching here and there when I can. I also want to continue cataloguing towns as I was doing this summer and I'm hoping to crank out some more when I can soon.

And so for my first post back (and a rather long one!), I want to talk about a line I've recently starting digging into again, and this is my maternal Dávila line. In the past I have blogged about this family various times, recently I talked about this family in the post "A Family's Move Through Paper Trail" where I traced my 5th great grandparents from Maunabo back to the town of Coamo. 4 years ago (wow, time flies!) I posted about my 5th great grandfather Bartolomé Dávila Cantos (one of the ancestors I traced back to Coamo).

Back when I posted about Bartolomé I knew that he lived in Maunabo, probably died there as well and that was it. Fastforward 4 years later I found him in records, along with his wife Cándida Rodríguez in Coamo where their first four children were born. Because the surname Dávila was tied to "Cantos" I figured it would be easy to distinguish them from other Dávila families - though mine go back and forth dropping and adding the "Cantos" bit. So I started digging around Coamo to see what I could fine.

A Family Presence in Coamo

One of the most important things when researching your family is paying attention to who else the family was surrounded by in records. For example, who declared a birth or death? And especially important, who were the child's godparents? While researching the children of Bartolomé Dávila and Cándida Rodríguez, I took note of who the godparents were. In chronological order, these where the godparents that were either "Dávila" or "Cantos". These are godparents that both appeared in Coamo and Maunabo:

1808- Bernardino Ramos + Marcelina Cantos Dávila (Coamo)
1809- Hilario José + Josefa Gracia Cantos (Coamo)
1814- José Hilario Cantos + Inés García (Maunabo)
1820- Félix Rodríguez + Catalina Dávila (Maunabo)

Notice the usage of Cantos, Dávila, and Cantos Dávila - as you can see there was a lot of back and forth with the surname, which wasn't too uncommon for double-barreled surnames of the time. From this you can see that there were other Cantos Dávila living in Coamo besides Bartolomé.

Equally, Marcelina was married in 1806 to Bernardino (Aponte de) Ramos, and it states her parents were José Cantos Dávila and Josefa García Rodríguez Bonilla, which is interesting to see all of these surnames together. When Marcelina marries, none of the parents are listed as deceased.

Marriage Record, 1806 [FamilySearch]

Equally, Hilario married in Maunabo in 1815 to a María del Rosario Ortiz. Again, the parents are listed as José and María Josefa García. Also underlined in red, notice that the parents are listed as "white" in this record.

Marriage Record, 1815 [FamilySearch]

Finally, there was one more record to help add to this clan. A marriage record between José Gabriel Sánchez and Catalina Cantos in 1796 in Coamo. This record is very hard to read so I won't post it above but playing around with the image you can make out "José Cantos" and "Josefa García" as the parents as well.

So now we have new names to search - José Cantos Dávila and María Josefa García Rodríguez Bonilla.

Proving Relations - My 6th Great-Grandparents?

Finding Marcelina's and Hilario's marriage record opened up a new possibility, that these two new names of José and María Josefa could be my 6th great-grandparents. Seeing as how Marcelina and Hilario were godparents to Bartolomé's children, it's easy to see how these two were uncle and aunt to their brother's children and were chosen as godparents for them. 

I wanted to find out more about them. Thanks to some members of the genealogical community, a good number of the early records in Coamo have been indexed into charts which are easily searchable. By searching the surnames "Cantos" and "Dávila" I wanted to see what I could find. I was able to pick them out a few times through various years as godparents - the years being 1775, 1777, 1796, and 1799. There was a year they appeared as godparents in Cayey in 1787 but they mentioned they were residents of Coamo. We can see that José Cantos Dávila and María Josefa García were pretty well established into the life of Coamo having been there since the mid 1770s and probably still living there when their daughter Marcelina married in 1806. 

Baptism Record, 1777 [FamilySearch]

Baptism Record, 1796 [FamilySearch]

As you can see above, they were serving as godparents for a span of 20 years. In the 1770s they were probably in their late 30- early 40s and in the 1790s around their late 50-early 60s. Notice in red in the second record that they are godparents for the son of a Esteban Rodríguez García Bonilla, I am imagining he is the brother of Josefa.

My last piece of evidence to seal the deal is a baptism record that I am pretty sure is for my 4th great grandfather. The year this child is born, in Coamo, and then to José Cantos Dávila and Josefa García in my mind helps to prove that Bartolomé was the son of José and Josefa, brother of Marcelina, Hilario, and Catalina which again helps to explain why he would choose them as godparents. The only caveat here is that the son is registered as Bartolo instead of Bartolomé, however in my paternal side of the family in the early 1800s I had a similar situation with an ancestor who was both Bartolomé and Bartolo. Here is the record! 

Baptism Record, 1776 [FamilySearch]

The only extra piece I would need to help to back up this claim is finding the marriage record between Bartolomé Dávila and Cándida Rodríguez, I have searched in Coamo in the late 1790s and early 1800s around the time frame their first child was born in Coamo, but so far no luck!

This last piece of this puzzle is the most interesting, in Hilario's baptism record in 1785 it mentions: "Joseph Cantos Dávila natural de los reynos de españa en Sn Juan de Puerto..." [sic]. I was pleasantly surprised to see this! We now had a town of origin for José Cantos Dávila, and it was in Spain! (Checking off New Years Resolution to find a direct Spanish ancestor!) 

Baptism Record, 1785 [FamilySearch]

San Juan del Puerto, España

Of course at first after finding this I thought, "oh darn! This record must be wrong, I think the person is trying to say the city of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico!" But a quick Google searched proved me wrong! 

San Juan del Puerto, Spain [Google]

There actually is a town named San Juan del Puerto and it's in southern Spain! Looking at the map, it seems to be a pretty small town near Huelva and Palos de la Frontera, other towns in southern Spain my ancestry is said to go back to. As you can see below, it's a fairly small town!

 San Juan del Puerto [Google Maps]

San Juan del Puerto [Google Maps]

In 2016, the population was just near 9,000 people - funny enough that this town is named after Saint John the Baptist the same way Puerto Rico was in the beginning of its history. Reading its Wikipedia page in Spanish it mentions that the town's founding dates back to 1468.

Conclusions

I wonder when José would have made his journey to the new world and under what circumstances. Also, something interesting to note is José's last name "Dávila". Most sources say that it is a combined surname for "de Ávila" meaning from the town of Ávila. Which makes me wonder if ultimately their family was from there. In my linguistics class we learned that some Spaniards moved to the south before venturing off to the New World, ultimately acquiring a southern Spanish accent that was brought to the New World. Which makes me wonder if José Cantos Dávila would be one of those men. 

For now, with all of the research and different information collected, I am rooting for the fact that José Cantos Dávila and Josefa García are my 6th great-grandparents. I've mulled it over the past few weeks and writing it all out helps to clarify for me the strength between the documents. Ultimately the icing on the cake would be finding the marriage record of Bartolomé to see if his parents listed there are José Cantos Dávila and Josefa García. Onwards to searching more! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Juana Díaz - Iglesia San Ramón Nonato

Town Name: Juana Díaz
Demonym: Juanadinos
Founding: 1798
Church Name: San Ramón Nonato

San Ramón Nonato - Juana Díaz, Puerto Rico [DiocesisdePonce]


Record Names
Nombre de Archivos
Start Page
Página Inicio
End Page
Última Página
Index?
¿Índice?
Film Nº
Nº de Rollo
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1796- 1810 (Vol. 1 ó 2)
No
820746,
Item 3
White Baptisms/ Bautismos Blancos
1813- 1819 (Vol. 1)
No
820746,
Item 4

White & Mixed Baptisms/ Bautismos Blancos & Pardos
1810- 1820 (Vol. 2)
5
No
820728,
Item 1
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1820- 1834 (Vol. 3)
820728,
Item 2
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1819- 1835 (Vol. 4)
No
820728,
Item 3

Baptisms/ Bautismos
1835- 1841
No
820746,
Item 5

Baptisms/ Bautismos
1835- 1849 (Vol. 5)
820728,
Item 4

Mixed & Black Baptisms/ Bautismos Pardos & Morenos
1841- 1846 (Vol. 5)
820730,
Item 1

White & Mixed Baptisms/ Bautismos Blancos & Pardos
1850- 1851 (Vol. 6)
820728,
Item 5
White & Mixed Baptisms/ Bautismos Blancos & Pardos
1851- 1857 (Vol. 7)
820728,
Item 6
White & Mixed/Slave Baptisms/ Bautismos Blancos & Pardos/Esclavos
1846- 1861 (Vol. 6)
820728,
Item 7
White & Mixed Baptisms/ Bautismos Blancos & Pardos
1857- 1858 (Vol. 8)
No
820728,
Item 8

Baptisms/ Bautismos
1858- 1860 (Vol. 8)
4
820729,
Item 1
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1860- 1861 (Vol. 9)
820729,
Item 2
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1861- 1863 (Vol. 10)
820729,
Item 3
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1863- 1865 (Vol. 11)
820729,
Item 4
White & Mixed Baptisms/ Bautismos Blancos & Pardos
1865- 1867 (Vol. 12)
820729,
Item 5
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1862- 1873 – hijos naturales
820729,
Item 6
White & Mixed Baptisms/ Bautismos Blancos & Pardos
1867- 1869 (Vol. 13)
820729,
Item 7
White & Mixed Baptisms/ Bautismos Blancos & Pardos
1869- 1871 (Vol. 14)
820729,
Item 8
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1871- 1872 (Vol. 15)
820729,
Item 9

Baptisms/ Bautismos
1872- 1874 (Vol. 16)
820730,
Item 2
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1874- 1876 (Vol. 17)
820730,
Item 3
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1876- 1877 (Vol. 18)
820730,
Item 4
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1878- 1879 (Vol. 19)
No
820730,
Item 5
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1879- 1880 (Vol. 20)
820730,
Item 6
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1880- 1882 (Vol. 21)
820730,
Item 7
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1882- 1883 (Vol. 22)
No
820730,
Item 8

Baptisms/ Bautismos
1883- 1884 (Vol. 23)
5
No
820736,
Item 1
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1884- 1885 (Vol. 24)
820736,
Item 2
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1885- 1886 (Vol. 25)
820736,
Item 3
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1886- 1888 (Vol. 26)
820736,
Item 4
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1888- 1889 (Vol. 27)
820736,
Item 5
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1889- 1890 (Vol. 28)
820736,
Item 6
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1890- 1891 (Vol. 29)
820736,
Item 7
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1891- 1892 (Vol. 30)
820736,
Item 8

Baptisms/ Bautismos
1893- 1894 (Vol. 31)
6
No
820737,
Item 1
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1894- 1895 (Vol. 32)
820737,
Item 2
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1895- 1898 (Vol. 33)
No
820737,
Item 3
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1898- 1900 (Vol. 34)
No
820737,
Item 4
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1900- 1904 (Vol. 35)
820737,
Item 5
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1904- 1906 (Vol. 36)
No
820737,
Item 6
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1906- 1908 (Vol. 37)
820737,
Item 7

Baptisms/ Bautismos
1908- 1911 (Vol. 38)
5
No
820738,
Item 1
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1912- 1913 (Vol. 39)
No
820738,
Item 2
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1915- 1918 (Vol. 40)
No
820738,
Item 3
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1918- 1920 (Vol. 41)
820738,
Item 4
Baptisms/ Bautismos
1920- 1922 (Vol. 42)
No
820738,
Item 5

Record Names
Nombre de Archivos
Start Page
Página Inicio
End Page
Última Página
Index?
¿Índice?
Film Nº
Nº de Rollo
Confirmations/ Confirmaciones
1798- 1799? (Vol. 1)
No
820746,
Item 2

Record Names
Nombre de Archivos
Start Page
Página Inicio
End Page
Última Página
Index?
¿Índice?
Film Nº
Nº de Rollo
Marriages/ Matrimonios
1787- 1813 (Vol. 1)
No
820742,
Item 7
White Marriages/
Matrimonios Blancos
1813- 1816 (Vol. 2)
No
820742,
Item 8
Mixed Marriages/
Matrimonios Pardos
1813- 1838 (Vol. 2 ó 3)
No
820742,
Item 9

White & Mixed Marriages/
Matrimonios Blancos & Pardos
1819- 1851 (Vol. 3)
820738,
Item 7
Marriages/ Matrimonios
1838- 1840
No
820738,
Item 6
White & Mixed Marriages/
Matrimonios Blancos & Pardos
1851- 1869 (Vol. 4)
820738,
Item 8
White & Mixed Marriages/
Matrimonios Blancos & Pardos
1870- 1877 (Vol. 5)
820738,
Item 9

Marriages/ Matrimonios
1877- 1889 (Vol. 6)
820739,
Item 1
Marriages/ Matrimonios
1889- 1898 (Vol. 7)
820739,
Item 2
Marriages/ Matrimonios
1898- 1907 (Vol. 8)
820739,
Item 3
Marriages/ Matrimonios
1907- 1913 (Vol. 9)
No
820739,
Item 4
Marriages/ Matrimonios
1913- 1932 (Vol. 10)
No
820739,
Item 5

Record Names
Nombre de Archivos
Start Page
Página Inicio
End Page
Última Página
Index?
¿Índice?
Film Nº
Nº de Rollo
Deaths/ Defunciones
1787- 1797 (Vol. 1)
4
No
820746,
Item 1

Deaths/ Defunciones
1797- 1806 (Vol. 2)
No
820742,
Item 6

Deaths/ Defunciones
1806- 1829 (Vol. 2)
No
820739,
Item 6
Deaths/ Defunciones
1829- 1833 (Vol. 3)
No
820739,
Item 7
Deaths/ Defunciones
1843- 1850 (Vol. 5)
No
820739,
Item 8

Deaths/ Defunciones
1850- 1857 (Vol. 6)
5
No
820740,
Item 1
Deaths/ Defunciones
1857- 1863 (Vol. 7)
820740,
Item 2
Deaths/ Defunciones
1863- 1866 (Vol. 8)
820740,
Item 3
Deaths/ Defunciones
1866- 1869 (Vol. 9)
820740,
Item 4
Deaths/ Defunciones
1869- 1872 (Vol. 10)
820740,
Item 5
Deaths/ Defunciones
1872- 1875 (Vol. 11)
820740,
Item 6
Deaths/ Defunciones
1875- 1876 (Vol. 12)
820740,
Item 7

Deaths/ Defunciones
1876- 1878 (Vol. 12)
4
No
820741,
Item 1
Deaths/ Defunciones
1878- 1880 (Vol. 13)
820741,
Item 2
Deaths/ Defunciones
1880- 1883 (Vol. 14)
820741,
Item 3
Deaths/ Defunciones
1883- 1885 (Vol. 15)
820741,
Item 4
Deaths/ Defunciones
1885- 1886 (Vol. 16)
820741,
Item 5
Deaths/ Defunciones
1886- 1888 (Vol. 17)
820741,
Item 6
Deaths/ Defunciones
1888- 1890 (Vol. 18)
820741,
Item 7
Deaths/ Defunciones
1890- 1892 (Vol. 19)
No
820741,
Item 8
Deaths/ Defunciones
1892- 1894 (Vol. 20)
820741,
Item 9

Deaths/ Defunciones
1894- 1895 (Vol. 21)
820742,
Item 1
Deaths/ Defunciones
1895- 1901 (Vol. 22)
820742,
Item 2
Deaths/ Defunciones
1901- 1906 (Vol. 23)
820742,
Item 3
Deaths/ Defunciones
1906- 1911 (Vol. 24)
820742,
Item 4
Deaths/ Defunciones
1911- 1914 (Vol. 25)
No
820742,
Item 5