October 26, 2017

Comerio Church Records 1832 - 1940

While Puerto Rico is only 100 miles long by 35 miles wide, it contains many municipalities.  Comerio is surrounded by 6 municipalities and sits on the eastern side and centered.  While many of us think of our families that are dealing with the effects of Hurricane Mary, I cannot stop thinking of what our ancestors faced in 1899 and 1928 when two other devastating hurricanes hit the island.  So many deaths and illnesses. I am hoping that with today's technology that we do not lose so many again. In 1899 we lost well over 3,000 loved ones and then we watched as people died from cholera from 1898 to 1910.  A very tragic history to the island.

For those who descend from family that live in this region, there are many church records available.  Once you reach where you can go no further, I recommend that you look to other big regions such as Caguas to locate records.  The church records for Comerio starts in 1832.

Baptisms


Confirmations


Marriages


Deaths


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October 25, 2017

Slave Records from Matanzas Cathedral 1719 - 1918

In the province of Mantanzas in Cuba, it turns out that there are quite a few Catholic Churches and many records available.  The records for this post will concentrate on only the Cathedral but there are other churches I will follow up with. These records were digitized in an effort of saving these endangered records.  While these records are digitized, there are limited and more records are being added even to links I provide below.

I will have to edit this post in the future as more records (books) become available and this is actually a very large collection. The period of records from this church start in 1719 and go through 1918.  The collection will eventually have 28 books on baptisms, many on death as well as marriages. The records are on those that were enslaved, free, and the hopefully many that escaped the genocide that existed throughout the world against an innocent people.

Whenever you see records marked as Pardos, this translates to a light skinned mulatto. Keep in mind that although many take offense to these terms like I do, I need to call them what they were referred to so that anyone using Google can find the records in the search engine.  In addition, the word Moreno means black.

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Matanzas Cuba Government Records on Slavery

The research for documents on our African ancestors is one of the biggest challenges that we face. Fortunately many of us who descend from those enslaved in the Caribbean have found an option in discovering more about who these ancestors are.

Up until recently, it was difficult to locate records on our African ancestors out of Cuba. However, that is quickly changing due to funded projects that are pursuing to preserving records that are in danger of disappearing.  One such effort is the digitizing of African diaspora located in Matanzas, Cuba. This is a great effort that will help many in researching their ancestors.

Matanzas was known as a major producer of sugar in the 1800s and that meant a high volume of slavery.  This region of the island was known for the high volume of those enslaved going back to the 1500s.

This is a huge collection so I'll have to do it in segments.  So the first records I came across were from the Provincial Government in Matanzas.  The links lead directly to records.


These are random records on the enslaved Africans and their descendants.

The following records are for Cimarron which are those that were enslaved and escaped and lived in the mountains.  Many of us celebrate the people that escaped enslavement. There is even a statue of one such famous man in Dominican Republic. However, since these are Cuban records, the same concept applies throughout the Caribbean.

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October 15, 2017

Researching My African Diaz and Nunez Ancestors in Trujillo Alto Puerto Rico

So this is the record of my 3rd great grandfather, Angel Diaz Nunez on my father’s paternal side.  He is Manuela’s Diaz’s grandfather.  This line is known to inter-exchange the Nunez with Diaz line. This is because this line is of African descent and Angel Nunez and all of his children and grandchildren were black and parents were not legally married. I suspect that his father’s name was actually Rafael Diaz and not Nunez because he used Diaz on all other records including his son Nieves who is reporting his father’s death. His mother’s name is not Ana but actually Maria Balcanesa Nunez as all records of his children indicate. This happens more often than people realize because these things were not important to them at the time, surviving and feeding their families were. 

It was not until my grandfather, Facundo that they were listed as either pardo or mulatto and kept using Diaz.  He was listed as mulatto because Facundo’s father was white via his father Juan but Juan’s mother was also of mixed race. Juan passed as being white because he had blue eyes based on his WWII registration record. The record reads for Angel reads as follows…

In Trujillo Alto, PR on the 23rd of November in 1912, at 8 in the morning before me, Jose Gonzalez Diaz, in charge of the Civil Registry, appears before me Nieves Nunez, of age, and widowed, of profession of laborer, from Trujillo Alto, and resident of the town of Quebrada Negrito in Trujillo Alto.

That Angel Nunez of 90 years of age, widowed, from Trujillo Alto and resident of the town of Quebrada Negrito in Trujillo Alto, died at 6pm on the 22nd of November in 1912 due to mythic tightness (heart attack), per certification presented.

That the deceased was the legitimate child of Rafael Nunez and Ana Nunez, both adults, married, of profession of laborers, and naturally from San Juan and deceased.  That the cemetery that his cadaver is buried is in Trujillo Alto.

The rest of the document reads off witnesses and then the signature of Nieves Nunez (Diaz).  Nieves dies in 1916. I have many records on this line that supports this document which include civil and church records.

I have a lot of Cape Verde island matches via DNA testing on Ancestry and I am now wondering if potentially it is coming from this line since I do not have many matches to this line via DNA.


Death Record of Angel Diaz Nunez, Libro 1, Folio 144, Number 99, Trujillo Alto Civil Registration in Puerto Rico (www.FamilySearch.org)



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September 29, 2017

How to Locate Ancestors in Church Records

Sometimes as an experienced researcher, you tend to forget somethings are not natural or known to many.  So today, I was asked how to find a family member that is in an index in an actual church book that is digitized online. I decided to post about it in the blog because I realize that although I've provided a prior post, posts do get lost after so many postings so it helps to speak to it again.

So to help others understand, I am going to use Caguas in my example.  So let's start with my post about Caguas.  Click on the below link and it will take you to my post about Caguas.

http://www.genealogianuestra.com/2017/07/caguas-digitized-church-records-1730.html

Now in my example, we will be looking at the Indexes at the top called...

Baptisms Index 1864 - 1880 (Image 58)

Notice that in all my postings, I am always providing an Image number. This is there to tell you where you are in the film. This means that when you click on the link, you will be on Image Number 58.

Not all Indexes are the same. In the particular book for my example, the names are alphabetized and it covers books 11 through 18.  So the first number appearing is the book number next to the person.

At times, some indexes with a number next to a person name represents the folio or page number. Some names may have a “v” next to it like 17v or an "a' like 17A. The “v” stands for vuelto, which means the back of the page.  The "A", also means back of page and stands for "atras" in Spanish.

So looking at the Index, I am selecting Federico Aponte.  His mother's name is Victoriana. According to the Index, he can be found in Book 11 on page 170-A. 

So next we go back to my Caguas post and look fro Book 11. In my post you should see the following entry under Baptisms.

Book 11 of Baptisms of Mixed and Whites 1864 - 1866 (Image 312)

So when you click on the link, you should find yourself on Image 312. Here is where you do a little math.  Take 312 and add to it 171.  This will give you 483.  So in the upper lefthand order above the image, type in 483 over the 312 and hit enter.  As you can see you wound up on page 166.  This is because at times images are repeated due to clarity issues or there are extra pages in the beginning of a book.

So we know that we need to arrive to page 171.  You can either page forward or add 5 to 483 to make it 488.  I entered in 488.  At the bottom of the page, you should see the entry for Federico's baptism.

Hopefully this tutorial will help you in researching your ancestors.  Feel free to share this post and as always, below are instructions to accessing other posts on this website. Happy Researching!
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August 9, 2017

Fajardo Digitized Church Records 1766 to 1946

Fajardo, which was founded in 1760, and is an eastern municipality facing the Atlantic Ocean, has a church called Santiago Apostol. We are fortunate to have these church records filmed since many of Loiza records are gone.  While not all books start in 1766, the death records do, which provides visibility to those who live prior to this year. Just like the bird has a mixture of colors, I found that Luquill records mixed in with Fajardo. Since Luquillo is listed on the FamilySearch website broken out, I am supplying only those records they either don't supply or are hidden and not known. This is a treasure find for some researching in Luquillo.

Books for Luquillo


Baptisms Books




Marriages Books


A mixture of wedding records 1891 - 1923 (Image 1937 through 2112)
Authorized marriage licenses from parents & recognized children born out of wedlock (Image 2115)
Authorized marriage licenses from parents & recognized children born out of wedlock (Image 2239)

Confirmations  Books


Deaths Books