Friday, December 16, 2011

Accepting your roots

So it has been a long time since I've posted but now that the semester is over I can add some posts to the blog!

This post is about something I've been noticing and kind of just wanted to write about from my point of view as someone that has been doing genealogy for a while.

I find it a little sad or distasteful (I don't know if this word sounds too strong) when people don't acknowledge ancestors whether or not they are aware of the possibility of them. For example, I've come across a few people who I've tried to connect with either through paper trail or even through DNA. Some are Puerto Rican, just like myself, which means that there background can be a hodge podge of different things. Yet every time I try and figure out a connection I would get a response that sounds like "Hi, my family are from X and X towns. Our roots go to Spain." ...What about your other non-Spanish ancestors? And what is most bothersome is that the only "research" or information they have goes to their grandparents! There are a TON of years before them! Puerto Rico is known for 3 main branches that contributed to the culture: the Taino (natives of the island), the Spanish settlers and the African slaves brought over. Yet there are sooo many different people that came to the island. Among them to give you just are taste are: French, Germans, Corsicans, Italians, Sephardic Jews, Venezuelans, Cubans, Dominicans, even some from as far of as Russia! So how could we be so sure all of our ancestors go back to Spain when there are multiple possibilities!!

Granted, when I first started my ancestry search, I myself wanted to find roots to Spain and kind of still do. Who doesn't? We grow up hearing about the Spaniards this and the Spaniards that, so somewhere inside we want to connect. Yet, as I kept going through with my ancestry I became more aware of myself and my roots. From the ancestors written down as 'mestizo' or 'de color' (both referring to people of varying color) to a pair of ancestors with the race of 'indio'. What rocked my world the most is the possibility of having ancestors from Martinique. I would have never guessed in a million years that I (bolded for emphasis) could potentially have ancestors from Martinique. And still there are so many other links out there that I haven't made yet. Maybe I have an Irish 10th great grandfather or Portuguese 9th grandmother? Granted, okay, they are WAY back to really consider them a contribution to my identity but in a way they are. These are the people not from Spain that have stories as well, the ones who contributed to your ancestry and pedigree with their lives.

So hopefully, one day, people will realize that 'not all branches go to Spain' and the same goes for most people. I guess once people begin to do more research and begin to discover their past will they realize what history has in store.

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