Monday, January 18, 2016

Plotting Puerto Rican Property

Recently in a Yahoo post, a member from one of the genealogical groups I am a member of sent us a link with the ability to search for property your family held/currently holds. This link allows you to search the island for property and then plots it for you showing you the size of the property. Also, there is information such as name of owner and if it was recently purchased it shows you from who it was bought. It seems to be current property and there is no option to see if property was held in the past, so for example, if your family held land but has since sold it the property won't appear as belonging to your ancestors. The only thing I don't really like about the website is that it shows current addresses for people living on the island still. I confirmed this by searching for aunts, uncles, great-uncles, and great-aunts that still live in Puerto Rico; I guess that information is available somewhere on the internet already but I found it kind of creepy to have that information so easily readily available to whoever wanted to search and see it Google Earth-style.

Nonetheless, I think this website can be useful for people searching for property their family has owned and I was told that with the help of those "parcela" numbers you can search at your local Registro de Propiedad to find out more information about the land, such as who bought it and how it was passed down. I personally haven't done this but I hope to do so when I visit the island. I was fortunate to find some property my ancestor owned in Río Prieto, Lares, Puerto Rico. As you can see below, it is highlighted the property that was under his name, equally you can click on the adjacent property and see who neighbors are, sometimes their own siblings and/or cousins.

Land Property in Lares, Puerto Rico

If you click on the blue binocular on the bottom left hand corner there is a option called "dueño" where you can search for your family ancestors who might have held land. Play around with this because for example I searched for my 2nd great-grandfather without his maternal surname and he didn't show up, but when I searched for him with both he appeared. Equally, if you don't find an ancestor trying searching for their wife or the combined searched of them and their spouse to see if any children held the land. Also, there are other options where you can trace the land and mark it on the map and other interesting options. I haven't played around too much with the site and from my understanding it is fairly new so there is a lot to be learned still. 

Hoping to keep digging and find some more property for my ancestors and hopefully when I'm Puerto Rico be able to learn about how and from who the land was acquired!