Saturday, January 28, 2017

Guadeloupeans in Puerto Rico

After having found out that my 4th great-grandfather from Guadeloupe, I was interested in seeing who else came to Puerto Rico from that island. Maybe there were other people from the same town or (smaller) island as my 4th great grandfather. I was also interested in seeing how surnames changed once they came to Puerto Rico and seeing if there was a way to track the immigrants via records and ship manifests. I was able to track a good number of people in Puerto Rico and I imagine there are many more who can be traced with some more leg work. So here I want to talk about some Guadeloupeans in Puerto Rico and just open up that conversation especially for those interested in finding out how to establish connections with their ancestors back to Guadeloupe.

Guadeloupe [Google]

Many of the people I traced back to Guadeloupe was easily down back of ship manifests showing their town or city of origin on their native Guadeloupe. Without that the search can be quiet difficult, like how it was finding my 4th great-grandfather and this can be for various reasons. Guadeloupe is quiet a big island, similarly set up to Puerto Rico, in the sense that there are various towns and even other smaller islands that make up part of the whole of "Guadeloupe". Taking that into consideration and the fact that many surnames were changed, it can take quiet a while to trace someone to their original town.

To start the search, I began creating Excel sheet with the names, dates, and any information available in the Puerto Rican records. With that information I could see where I could head my search. Some death or marriage records of the Guadeloupeans provided information and even birth records of children, though mainly their ship manifests recorded their origins. Guadeloupeans and even Martinicans who appear in Puerto Rico mostly before 1910 are sometimes hard to trace because those ship manifests from that time for Puerto Rico aren't online. 

It's interesting seeing how many people from the island married others who immigrated from Guadeloupe and even though who came from Martinique, which is the same case with my 4th great-grandparents. So far I found one woman marrying a Spaniard in Puerto Rico, her name was Emilia Duteil and I will focus on how I found out more information about her. 

Emilia Duteil first appears on the 1910 Census living in Vieques, Puerto Rico, widowed and says that 6 children were born but 0 are alive at the time of the census. It says her birthplace is Guadeloupe while her parents are listed as "France", and says that Emilia immigrated in 1870. Interestingly enough the it says she is white which I haven't seen too many of since many are mixed, mulatto, or black. Emilia was living in the 1910 census with two "criadas" one being a servant and the other a cook, Leocadia was listed as mulatto while Ana Colberg who was also from Guadeloupe was listed as "N" for negra. 

1910 Census [Ancestry]

Emilia would die in Santurce, living in Miramar on the 29th of April 1918. Here was listed as Emilia Duteil Rosseaux, widowed of Juan Lujan and the daughter of Juan A. Duteil and Adela Rousseaux. The person who came forward to report her death was Salvador Giuliani, listed as sobrino or nephew of the deceased.

Emilia Duteil Rousseaux - Death [Ancestry]

It seems that Emilia wasn't the only one from her family to make it to Puerto Rico. There is a Rose Alsina Duteil Rousseaux who passed away in Vieques, Puerto Rico in 1909 also the daughter of Juan Duteil and Adela, most likely her sister. Both are said to be from Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe where I will need to search for a birth record -- which I haven't found yet. This can be because the years listed as their birth years are incorrect and so I have to expand my search to other years. Also, their town of origin can be listed incorrectly and isn't where they were born if not where they last lived before coming to Puerto Rico.

But this is for the most part the process - using documents to trace backwards their origin. Sometimes some cases are easier than others. Coming from a white béké family can help make the search easier while those were mulatto or black might come from families that were previously slaves and so the search can be harder depending on when they were released and how far into Guadeloupe their time as slaves goes. Also those who didn't know how to spell their name ended up received warped Spanish-ifed names which makes the surname harder. I noticed that more Martinicans received small name changes while though from Guadeloupe necessarily didn't.  In the meantime I'll keep collecting information about those who came from Martinique and Guadeloupe to Puerto Rico and trying to piece together the information. 

If you need help searching or have any of these surnames in your family, give me a shout and I don't mind sharing the information I have! These are the surnames I have for Guadeloupe, I'll probably create another post but dealing with those that came from Martinique. 

Guadeloupe: Ballet, Baptiste, Benjamin, Cognet, Duteil, Harris, Guiougou, Lastor, Manceau, Saint-Paul

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Puerto Rican Look at: 23andMe's Ancestry Timeline

So it's been a while since I've posted and it's already 2017! As the new school year kicked off I saw myself being less and less able to write on the blog, despite having some new blog ideas! So finally I'm back and hopefully I'll continue to post throughout the year evenly and not in chunks. The reason I want to post today is because there is a new feature on 23andme and I'm excited to see how this feature can help discover or clarify more about my past. The feature is called "Ancestry Timeline" and I want to take a look at how this feature works through the lens of a Puerto Rican -- myself and my family! As a reminder, how is what my genetic breakdown looks like:

23andme results [personal photo]

I'm not sure exactly when the Ancestry Timeline feature was released but one of my genetic cousins posted her results on Facebook and so I had to go in and check mine! Here's what it looks like for me:

Ancestry Timeline [personal photo]

There you can see a couple of things you can see. First you can see colored bars which represent various different populations used to test against your DNA. Next on the top you can see various numbers and years, these represent approximately when that ancestor would have been alive in your family tree. There are, however, a few things to take into consideration, of course. Reading their white paper I was able to see a few things I should look out for as I consider these results. 

Translating Generations [23andme]

Not everyone's family follows the same trend of generation years, though the average is 30 and it is usually held that way just to estimate generations it can vary in your family. For example, I have fairly young parents and grandparents but before that it varies. My oldest great-grandparent was born in 1884 while my youngest great-grandparent was born in 1923 - a whole 39 years between them! Just remember that as you look at your own timeline. 

Violations of the "one genealogical ancestor" assumption [23andme]

In my case, I am sure that there are multiple ancestors that carry for example African genes, so I wouldn't be able to know exactly where and when this ancestor would have been alive in my timeline. Besides an 100% ancestor, who would be one of my 4th great grandparents, it is hard to know which of the segments combined or didn't to give me my 15.7% African DNA. 

Nonetheless, the results are very interesting and I think there is some truth to the timeline. Also, it would be interesting to compare my results to my parents' as well. It's interesting that my "Iberian" bar shows up between 1900-1840 while my parents and other tested family members have it at about 1860-1800. Initially I thought it was representing my 3rd great grandfather who lived around 1846-1910 and was from Mallorca, but shouldn't it appear for my father and great-aunt in the same spot since we share that common bar so recently? Equally interesting is my West African bar which appears between 1840-1750 and it states that "you most likely had a third great-grandparent, four great-grandparent, fifth great-grandparent, or sixth great-grandparent who was 100% West African". This does coincide with my 4th great-grandmother who was born in 1844 and was the daughter of two slaves in Martinique. But it's also important to notice that there are more ancestors in my tree somewhere that contribute to that West African bar. Bars like "Chinese" and "South Asian" represent only <0.1% of my DNA and I'm guessing that's just noise so I'm surprised that such a small percentage would show up here. 

It'll be interesting to see how other people can use this to find out certain information about themselves. For us new world people, it's interesting to see where time wise they place these bars and I would like to see how accurate or close to accurate they are for others. For me, I've seen some coincidences and based on what I know about my family they seem to correlate with the information. Excited to see where this heads!