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