Friday, June 14, 2013

Hints to the Past?

Things have been pretty slow on my end here! I've been searching through church records in different towns in Puerto Rico trying to locate more ancestors and documentation. Just two days ago I found two sets of maternal 5th great grandparents which is awesome to add to the tree.

But more interestingly, the 23andme feature called "Countries of Ancestry" has given me some new interesting matches. Way back in the beginning I mentioned this feature and some of the interesting matches I've received. For example, my great grandfather tends to get some Irish matches while my dad's side has some Eastern European matches. Recently though, on my mom's side (specifically my maternal grandfather) I've gotten two very interesting matches.

Both are from Africa! Which is why I've titled this post "Hints to the Past"; the question mark, however, shows my uncertainty. The two places I've gotten in my grandfather's matches are Angola and Cape Verde. This was very interesting and a great surprise to me because these are my first matches to a Sub-Saharan area in Africa with their 4 grandparents born there. I've gotten Morocco but that isn't as surprising with my Spanish roots.

Angola and Cape Verde are very surprising for many reasons. We know that slaves were exported out of many parts of Africa, especially the western coast where they were taken to many different countries in the Western Hemisphere (as well as to Europe!). Angola was a Portuguese colony and gained independence in 1975. Cape Verde was also another Portuguese colony and also gained independence in 1975. Cape Verde on the other hand are a set of islands off the coast of Africa but were also important in the Atlantic slave trade because of their geographic location.

Here's a picture of the matches on the chromosomes!
Angolan cousin on Chromosome 7

Cape Verdean cousin on Chromosome 6

What's interesting to me is that these countries could be potential hints or clues to an ancestor's past. What I found the most interesting was that these cousins only matched me on my maternal side and specifically on my maternal grandfather's side who has Martinique ancestors. Could these be distant cousins to my slaves ancestors from Martinique? We know that Eglantine Lautin was from Africa, but whereabouts? If only these cousins were public so I could communicate with them about their families. What worries me though is that they'll be just Portuguese settlers who have stayed- but only time will tell! It would be amazing to find out that I have Angolan and Cape Verdean ancestors through my maternal family whether through Martinique or even through Puerto Rico.

This genetic genealogy adds SO much more interesting stuff that can not be seen through paper trails! Hopefully I'll learn more soon!!