Monday, January 8, 2018

Genealogical Resolutions of 2018!

2018 [Google Images]

It's been a while since I've posted but I wanted to start out the New Year with some genealogical resolutions that hopefully will kickstart my 2018 genealogical year! So here's a list of 10 things I would love to accomplish throughout the year, whether it's a one time thing or progressively done throughout the year, I've added it to the list in no specific order!

My 10 Genealogical Resolutions of 2018

1. Post more on my blog ─ Looking back on previous years, I've noticed that I've posted much more. With trying to balance work and a personal life, it's hard to add a genealogy blog into the mix. My goal is to hopefully write more about my genealogical searches. Even though something might seem mundane, it could be helpful for someone else to read or even a good note for myself in the future looking back on a search or theory. I want to post in Spanish as well and open up my audience more but also trying to find an easy way of separating yet combining both of those worlds. Any ideas are surely welcomed!

2. Test an Avilés male descendant for Y-DNA ─ I've been wanting to do this one for a while now! I have a few great-uncles and cousins that fall into this category. Problem is most of them still live in the mountains in Lares, Puerto Rico which means I have to make my way over there to see them and ask for some help with the research. Ultimately my goal is to try and find out whether or not Damián Magraner Morell is truly my 3rd great grandfather and use Y-DNA to confirm this. I would need a Magraner descendant to test as well but I'm taking this one step at a time 😉

3. Search more into my Yabucoa roots  This one is tied into another goal a bit more down but I want to search more about my roots in the town of Yabucoa. I was fortunate to visit the town with my grandmother (her birth town) and look around a bit but I want to take a deeper look into my ancestry there. Most of my family is labeled "mestizo", "mulato", or "pardos libres" in this town so I want to see if I can start to identify ancestors that specifically carried these genes and even some who were previously slaves or natives from Yabucoa. With the recent release of Yabucoa church records, I've been slowly but surely making my way through some of the records but since they're mostly not indexed it takes a painstakingly one-by-one view of them to make sure I'm not jumping over any important ones!

4. Learn more about my Correa family ─ Similarly with the release of the Coamo church records on FamilySearch, I need to peruse these books as well for my Correa ancestors. These are a tricky bunch of ancestors because they've moved from San Juan to Coamo and then Salinas, but luckily I've been able to mainly track every generation in those towns. Now the challenge becomes finding them in San Juan and figuring out where their origin lies. Especially since my grandfather's Y-DNA haplogroup is commonly found amongst Jews/Arabs, I'm interested in learning more about this specific line and their journey to Puerto Rico.

5. Read more books in relation to Genealogy, Genetics, Puerto Rico, etc. ─ With work being work, it's been a bit difficult trying to add books into my life. Now that I drive to work, I don't have the luxury of reading on the bus like I did 4-5 years ago. I have to intentionally add time into my day to read or otherwise I'll find perfect excuses for not reading. I want to widen my knowledge more in a lot of different genealogical fields so I'm trying to read some books here and there. I picked one up on native genes/genealogy and need to continue reading! Definitely going to be one of the harder goals since researching comes naturally to me, where as setting aside time for reading is a bit harder nowadays. Hoping I'll even post of the books here if they're good books to read!

6. Continue to help others discover their ancestors ─ This one isn't focused on me (luckily!) but it's something that I want to continue doing which is trying to help others with their research as well. Whether it's getting started, trying to knock down a brick wall, or giving some advice… I want to continue being involved with helping others the same way others have helped me as well. I'm also trying not to limit myself as well, recently I've been helping some friends with Jewish genealogy is Eastern Europe and it's taught me a lot about record searching there and even helping some friends with German/Austrian research as well… which has led me down a dark path of teaching myself to read old 19th/18th century German handwriting (check out Sütterlin to see how insane I am haha).

7. Find an ancestor from Spain ─ No doubt this is a hard one! I think ultimately I still want that "aha" moment where I was able to discover an ancestor by myself from Spain. Finding my ancestors from Guadeloupe and Martinique was an amazing albeit initial struggle to place all the pieces together and highly rewarding. I also think I just want to give myself another place to travel when I return to Spain.

8. Continue researching the Puerto Rican church records ─ This goal is tied into my #3 and #4 about using the church records to continue my searches in Yabucoa and Coamo but ultimately it's to use all church records to continue finding out more. It's interesting because even some of the church records after 1885 when the Civil Registry took over in Puerto Rico contain interesting pieces of information that otherwise were not included in the Registry. Other towns like Yauco have also been a goldmine of information on my ancestors and I need to keep digging in this records to find out more. And create a better system of what I have seen and what I have not seen so I'm not repeatedly searching the same records over and over again. Also checking neighboring towns is a good idea for finding branches that have gone off to live in neighboring towns that can give me some more insight to my ancestors.

9. Begin planning a trip to Martinique and Guadeloupe ─ This one is in NO WAY going to occur this year but it's something I want to start thinking about more deeply. My goal is to visit these islands sometime when I have vacation but before that I would love to up my French proficiency so that I'm able to travel the island without hesitating to speak with the locals. This would require me to study more French but also start looking into different routes I'd like to take and even possible research while on the islands. These are also costly trips so definitely making sure I'm saving up for them as best as possible to give myself the best genealogical trip while I'm there.

10. Research more into my African/Taíno roots ─ Last, but certainly not least, I want to learn more about my ancestors who were native to Puerto Rico and to the various countries in Africa. A lot of knowledge has been lost throughout the generations of colonialism, slavery, and genocide and it's important to bring that information to the forefront and make sure that I am not only honoring my Spanish ancestors but also those who had to endure so much for me to be here. What regions of the Taíno Cacique systems did my ancestors live in? What was life for my ancestors of color in the 16th and 17th century in Puerto Rico? What was intermarriage like on all levels on the island and what did it mean for them as a community? I know finding out specific African countries is difficult and the closest we've gotten is through the AncestryDNA test but I want to learn more about these ancestors and try to begin pinpointing more about their journeys and lives. It's important to keep these ancestors' names on the tip of my tongue and not just the Spanish towns and last names the majority of DNA resembles.

So for now that's it! It's actually a much longer post than I originally envisioned but glad that I've gotten one foot in the door for the 2018 year!