December 29, 2015

Cabreja Family from Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic

I am providing this post this one time in both English and Spanish in hopes to help others in their research.

I have put together a family tree on Ancestry to help anyone with family with the Cabreja last name that comes from Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic. If you do not have a paid account, then send me a private message with your email address so that I can send you an invitation to the tree. You can do this on Ancestry.  The tree was created by using the baptism and marriage books for the San Fernando Parrish. You have to use the search icon on this tree to find the line you are looking for since everyone isn’t connected. I still need to add more people but there is a base list of people.

http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/86600321/family



Yo ha puesto un albo de familia en Ancestry para que todos pueden ver las personas de la línea Cabreja que vienen de Monte Cristi, Republica Dominicana. Si no tienes una cuenta de pago, mándame un mensaje privado en Ancestry con su dirección electrónica y le mando una invitación para que puedes ver el albo. El albo esta echo usando los libros de bautismos y matrimonios de la Parroquia San Fernando. Tienes que buscar sus líneas porque no he conectado todos en este albo. Todavía tengo que entrar más gente pero hay una base de personas.

http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/86600321/family


December 14, 2015

Dominican Biography Dictionary for Genealogy Research

I am always seeking for documentation that isn't easy to find and hoping that I will hit jackpot.  One of these sources that is not well known is a Dominican Historian named Rufino Martinez.  He was from Puerto Plata before leaving us in 1975 at the age of 82.  Martinez left one important dictionary that was published in 1971.  The name of this dictionary is Diccionario Biographico - Historico Dominicano 1821 - 1930.  The editors of this book is the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, translation is Autonomous University of Santo Domingo which is located in Dominican Republic.

 

The book contains over 500 pages of mini biographies of many who played key roles in Dominican history. The book comes with an index in the back with the last names that can be found in the book, making it easy to find ancestors.  The book is in Spanish so using an online translator is important when going through this book. If you're looking to obtain a copy of this book, I recommend checking Amazon which is where I bought my copy.  The book comes in loose leaf format so buy yourself a two or three inch binder.

Below are a couple of example from his book, I copied Enrique Abreu's biography which is found on page 20.  Feel free to use a translator.
ABREU, Enrique. Nació en la ciudad de Santo Domingo el 1832. Oficial de la Restauración. Actor en la Línea del Sur. Pasada la guerra, baecista. En el gobierno de Cabral, por el último trimestre del año 1867 la Suprema Corte de Justicia le condenó a cinco años de destierro, convicto de haber sostenido correspondencia con enemigos del gobierno residentes en el extranjero. Se rnodificaba asi' la sentencia del Tribunal de Primera Instancia de la Capital, que habia sido de cinco años de prisión. I)os meses después era derrocado Cabral, quien sal ia desterrado, en tanto que Abreu se rcintegraba al pais a formar parte de las nuevas autoridades.
Here is a little surprise to those who have done their DNA and were surprised to discover Cuban cousins; Juan Antonio Amechazurra.  His is found on page 34.  A great find!
 AMECHAZURRA, Juan Antonio. Cubano. Se estableció en San Pedro de Macorís por el año 1876. Entonces era aquella ciudad un caserío de pescadores y monteros. Tres años después se inauguraba, por iniciativa y empeños de Amechazurra, el plrirner ingenio de azúcar, el Angelina. Echó asi primera semilla de progreso material en ,la región. No era ignorada alli la industria azucarerl. quel existia en pequeña escala, aunque sin posibilidad o perspectiva de progreso. Amechlzurra, szucarero y experto en el cultivo de la
cala, inició sus labores por vía de experimentación, y sorpãsendido del resultado, hizo propaganda sobre posibilidades de aquella industria en la comarca, y acudieron capitales a la explotación del negocio, de donde nacieron los demás ingenios. Adernús, enseñó al elemento nativo los procedimientos para el mejor cultivo de la caña, con semillas traídas expresamente de Cuba. Habia sido alli' propietario de ingenios, en Matanzas, que fueron destruidos en la guerra libertadora iniciada el 68. Falleció en La Habana el año 1899.
There are many from different parts of the Caribbean and Europe.  Here we have Antonio Artiles from page 44 from the Canary Islands, Spain.  This is definitely worth the purchase price for any researcher.
ARTILES, Antonio. Oriundo de las islas Canarias. Vino al territorio en los días de la Anexión, adscrito al ejército. Encariñado del suelo por sus aficiones de labriego, no bien se produjo la inssurrección derivada del golpe de Capotillo el 16 de Agosto de 1863, hizo, junto con su hennano Juan, causa común con los patriotas. Acabada la guerra, quedó en libertad de realizar su aspiración de cultivar la tierra y vivir en tal ocupación los demás días de su larga existencia. Su residencia fue un punto cercano a la ciudad de Puerto Plata, en el paraje donde precisamente existía ya desde la época colonial, una familia nativa de su mismo apellido.

December 11, 2015

Casimero Bayala Carmona and Ana Beatriz Aleman Betancourt

Below is the wedding record of two Canary Island descendants; Casimero and Ana Beatriz. Casimero was born on 15 of May in 1846 in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico.  We know this thanks to his baptism record which can be found in Book 2A of baptism in the same church he married Ana Beatriz.

Ana Beatriz was actually older than her groom.  Ana Beatriz was born on the 29 of July in 1939 in Trujillo Bajo, Puerto Rico.

This couple had 4 children which were 2 daughters and 2 sons.  Their children were:
  • Justina Bayala Aleman (1876 - 1897)
  • Natalia Bayala Aleman (1877 - 1906)
  • Apolinario Bayala Aleman (1878 - 1908)
  • Trinidad Bayala Aleman  (1879 - 1879)
Unfortunately Casimero died after losing both his daughters in 1907, he passed on December 5th, 1907. His son Apolinario soon followed in 1908.  Ana Beatriz passed on April 16th in 1915. I found her living as a widow based on the 1910 US Census for Quebrada Negrito, Trujillo Alto.  She was living with another family and indicated that she only had 3 children and all were deceased.

A woman who had to see what no mother wanted to see; the death of all of her children and her husband as well. A tragic ending for this family. Based on this, I am sure that their youngest son Trinidad passed away as an infant since she did not count him when she gave the census taker the number of children. I am sure that I will find this infant in Trujillo Alto's church death book.

This family line survived due to their daughter Natalia having 3 children with one surviving; Hermania Bayala. Her daughter was also the daughter of Justo Fructoso Aleman Perez. Hermania would eventually marry Manuel Aleman Garcia and they would have 13 children together. Manuel is the son of Eleuterio Aleman Betancourt and Ceferina Garcia Hernandez.


September 12, 2015

PARES - Portal to Spain's Archives - Part 2

So since I ended my prior post and didn't go further into details, I'm going to explain one more piece that I didn't elaborate when searching in PARES.  You can check out my prior post at the below link.  As a reminder, this entire blog works using pop-ups.  Any link I provide always opens a new window and keeps the page your reading in the background or on another tab; depending on how you have your computer configured. I failed to explain one other mention in my prior post; SEO.  SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization. The process is used to insure that any term or sub-term can return a record as being similar to what you asked. The most relevant always appear first.

Part 1 of PARES 


So another issue that I touched upon was what to do when you get a page that tells you your request is too large.  To see what that screen looks like, take a look at the below image.



Remember always use the "Atras" button and never the back button on your browser; PARES won't operate properly.  So what I do is I try two things.  First, I select digitized images only (see prior post).  If I get the above window again. I then use the "Atras" button to get back to the prior page and select 100 years but leaving the digitized images selected.  If that works then I jot down which years I did.  I go ahead and go through the records. Once done, I use the "Atras" button until I get back to the search window and enter the next 100 years and so on and so forth.  Now if 100 years still give you the above image then try 50 years.  When I'm all done I go back and then select the non-digitized images and go through that entire process again. The great thing is that you may come across a summary that provides enough information about your ancestor.  Not only was I able to find my Teresa Cueto this way but I was also able to located another great grandfather; Francisco Delgado and the many document available. There is even a document of what men were in the city of San Juan or Cangrejo to protect it in Francisco's letter to the crown.  Some really cool amazing stuff can be found on your ancestors in PARES.  All you need is a little patience and time sitting down thinking up terms to come across the records.  Below I'm also supplying the image records of Teresa Cueto.  I hope these posts have help you understand that it's not you but PARES.







September 10, 2015

PARES - Portal to Spain's Archives

So I'm finally getting around to talking about PARES; Spain's portal to their archives. One of the most amazing and largest archives globally as well as one of the most difficult to navigate.  Some of their archives go back as far as the 1400's.  The archives are so vast that it is said that they have only cataloged a little more than 5% of the records that we can accessed via their website.  Of those records only a small percentage is digitally available online for all to view.  Many who have physically visited Spain to research have spent months or even years there digging through the records; there are many more that even while there are not accessible yet. As we advance in technology globally, hopefully more and more will become available online so we can research from the comfort of our homes.

I have been thinking for a couple of weeks how to go about writing about PARES. It is imperative that before you attempt and get frustrated that you grab a notebook, MS Excel, or even the free application of spreadsheets that Google offers.  Create a table with the phrase or person you're seeking, then create a list.  Even if you speak Spanish, I recommend that you follow the steps mentioned, it will make your life easier.  Once you have create table, head over to Google Translate and type each phrase one at a time.  Notice that there will be a few different translations for a word or phrase, document them all in the spreadsheet.  Believe me you'll appreciate that you did this as documents may not appear when searching one way but will appear another way. I've also discovered that typing in an individual's name will not make the record come up. However, if you type a term and reference Puerto Rico or even Santo Domingo (remember that was the original name) then the record can appear along with your ancestor's name in the information.  The archive obviously didn't add the person's name to it's search tables/index and they don't have strong SEO knowledge.

So for my example I'm going to use one of my direct great grandmothers in my tree to show you how it works.  So first thing we are going to do is visit PARES.  The website address as mentioned in a prior post is pares.mcu.es. Note that I DIDN'T enter any "www". Don't add anything but what you see in a new window or you can click on it and it will lead you there too. If you add "www" you won't be able to access their website. I'm keeping this simple for beginners. As you gain experience you will be able to navigate the website without issue. 



So at the top we are going to select "Busqueda Avanzada".  I love using this advance option as you can make the website provide you more hits than using "Busqueda Sencilla" (simple search).  Simply click on the option and you will see the next screen. It's basically following the same type of instructions as I provided for the 1884 Lorenzo Puerto Rico Census. The website can be very clunky so don't be surprised when you don't discover records; just keep trying.  I learned the hard way in always documenting what I typed.  I actually came across a record for an Irish great grandfather who was sent over to Puerto Rico as a slave due to Cromwell. He was freed and married his former owner's daughter.  I never documented how I found it and have yet to find it again, I'm still looking for that record. So this is a warning as to why you should follow what I suggested when it comes to PARES.



So above in the first set of boxes, you have the first field (Buscar) where you're going to type in what it is you seek. The "Feche desde" doesn't function correctly but you're required to enter in data if you get more hits that the system can handle.

Now the radio buttons are up to you and what you'd like to see, they happen to work better than the dates if you get too many hits. I personally tend to break them down based on images and non-images so that I can decide what it is I want to do.

  • Todos los registros - All types of records
  • Registros digitalizados - Only digitized records (images)
  • Registros no digitalizados - Only non-digitized records (no images)
For now leave it set to the default.  You can also filter by archive which is the next area with the dropdown menu "Archivos".  You can learn about each archive and learn what each has to offer via the website's main page.  For now also leave that set to its default setting.

The next box labeled "Signatura" is basically the location of the archive record.  We use it for creating sources or when writing an article to document where the record can be found. You want to document this information if your writing a book about your family's history once you locate the record.  It is also a good idea to keep a spreadsheet going to document where you located records so that you can easy find the source record.  The section after that "FILTRO POR ÍNDICES DE DESCRIPCIÓN" speaks to the catalog; again skip that option.  The next section is where I make additional changes so that I can see all matches.  I change it from the default setting to "Mostrar todos paginados (Proceso más lento a mayor número de resultados)".



You now have two button to select from, "Limpiar formulario" which means clear all searches and "Buscar" which is the Search button.  Now go back up to the top.   So I have my ancestor Teresa Cueto is arrived in Puerto Rico from Cadiz, Spain.  If you descend from the Maria Florentina Alvarez Castillo (look for my blog post), then you'll be interested in this as she is Maria Florentina's paternal grandmother. You will also be interested as you'll get to see Maria Florentina's father in this record as he is also from Cadiz, Spain.

So for this example I want you to type in Teresa Cueto Cadiz.  You can't get more precise than that.  Scroll back down to the bottom and click on Buscar.

Notice that nothing came up.  I did this purposely so you can see results of when a record will not appear. Now realize that whomever oversees the SEO design of the website isn't really good at what they do.  So this is why it is important for you to realize why you create many different terms. Typing in a person's name may or may not work so this is why you create many search items on what you seek. Now instead of clicking on the browser's back button, click on the "Atras" button I'm pointing to in the above image. As a reminder if you haven't read my other post about PARES, browser button equals bad and you need to start completely over by clicking on the link "Buscada Avenzada" to refresh the website.  Once you arrive back at the search window, only remove Cadiz but leave her name.  Now go down to the bottom and click the Buscar button.




Notice the huge difference.  Had this search engine been correctly designed, it would have provided these search results as her name should have picked it up.  The archive I want you to look at is the Archivo General de Indias. I have found ancestors in other archives but this one is the main one I work with.  In addition the search results are so wacky that it provides search results that don't even match the exact term.  Like I said, a clunky search engine but at least you know it's not you.  Now click on the first link where the red arrow is pointing.


Note that you cannot save your search results to "Favorites" or "Bookmarks" depending on which browser you use. So document, document, document!

Notice there is a box in the first column, ignore it.  You then have Titulo (title), Signatura (see reference about about this), Fecha Creacion (Date created), Fecha Formacion (Date item created) and Dig (digital image).  Notice that you also see an item label Maria Carrascquilla.  Both of these records have to do with Teresa Cueto.  You see both were petitioning to go to Puerto Rico to join husband or son who were of importance as you soon find out.  Click on Teresa Cueto's name.

So in the above image the bottom arrow is pointing the description.  Notice my 6th great grandfather, Gregorio Alvarez.  He is listed as her son. If you continue to read, you'll see Maria is going to Puerto Rico to see her son Francisco but she has a son name Jose Calderon. If you find that you have a Calderon Carrasquillo in your tree then I just provided you with a possible link that you'll need to verify through records in Puerto Rico such as a marriage, birth or death record.  Also notice that Teresa Cueto is going to Puerto Rico to join her husband Antonio Alvarez.  I have these two individual on my tree as they were listed in a marriage record of their son who is Maria Florentina Alvarez's father.  I also located Gregoio Alvarez's death record. I worked my way backwards through church books from the date of Maria Florentina's marriage since it listed her father as being deceased.

Now at the top of the image you should see three buttons
  • Ver Imagenes - See Images
  • Envie Telemantico - allows you to email up to five pages of images in PDF format starting with source info page
  • Emprimir - which allows you to print the current screen
I tend to use my computer's Snipping Tool so I can capture the part of the screen with the signature and save it to my computer. I then use this to add it to my tree.  Click on the "Ver Imagenes", the amazing thing is that it's a letter that is requesting permission to go to Puerto Rico.  Yes I have these pages.  Click here to arrive to the explanation of the images screen; very useful.  Now when you're done (if you want the records), go back up to the top of the screen and click on "Atras" twice to get back to the search results and click on Maria.  There you'll find additional documents related to these two women and their children.  I hope that this tutorial is helpful.  Feel free to post questions that I may have missed in my explanation. Best of luck in your research!

August 29, 2015

Indexing: Why You Should Help Family Search

It is truly a great resource to be able to access records, view them, search for them via indexes when we visit www.familysearch.org.  I find it to be an amazing resources for all of us to be able to browse through records that would cost us thousands upon thousands of dollars as well as countless hours sitting in an archive in another city, country, and/or continent.  I'm very thankful that FamilySearch has made this an available resources to all of us and all at NO cost.  However imagine what it takes from their end in making this possible!  Below is a video that came from their website.  In order to show our appreciation, all they from those of us that research is that we volunteer in indexing some records.  So first watch the video and below that I'll provide more details.



So how can you help?  Very easily!  When your visit FamilySearch's website, at the top you'll see a link that says "Indexing".  Ignore the drop down menu and simply click on Indexing which will lead you to their indexing page.  They have easy to follow tutorials, software, and projects where you can help.

One of the biggest complaints is that you can't find your family members since the name were index correctly.  This is due to those who don't speak the language nor can they read it or recognize the name by simply glimpsing at it so they provide the best information that they can.  Currently there are projects to index for both Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic.  There are also many for Mexico, Central and South American countries as well as in Spain.  Doing your part makes it easier to research and also gives back an incentive to FamilySearch to pursue those regions in getting more records digitized.  The more interest, the more likely the records will be digitized.  So please do your part. It's very easy and I've done plenty myself. They also have plenty of friendly people to walk you through the process or any issues you may encounter.

August 26, 2015

Moca, Dominican Republic Church Books Available Online

Moca is capital of the Espaillat province that is located in the Cibao region of Dominican Republic. If your family is known to come from the Cibao, it doesn't hurt to research your lines in a town that had two churches in the 1880s.

I knew that I kept a list for Moca Church Books as I've gone through some of the books for that region of Dominican Republic.  I was able to locate the file late last night and decided I would share the list with all to make it easier to navigate through the books in Moca.  Moca's two churches are  Nuestra Señora del Rosario and Sagrado Corazon de Jesus.  I have listed all of the Nuestra Señora books that go from 1821 to 1921.  Many have indexes which I've indicated. To explain how to work with the "Image numbers", I provide an explanation on a prior post which you can find here.  Hope my list assists you in your research!

Note:  Each entry is clickable and leads to the book, if you find a link doesn't work, please feel free to post below and I'll made the edit as soon as possible.




August 21, 2015

The Rivas Families of Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic

In researching my grandmother's Rivas line, I went with what I did know about her.  She was born in La Vega, Dominican Republic in 1911.  Her mother's name is Mercedes and she came to the US with my uncles in 1948 and she died in San Francisco, California while caring for a sick friend in 1956.  My grandmother always spoke of her fondly and also spoke of her grandmother who died when she was just 11 years old.

She also advised that her mother was from Monte Cristi which is where I've been searching. Although I've come across a Mercedes Rivas in the records, I cannot say that it is definitely her as there were quite a few in the Registration books. I know that she had siblings by the names of Adela, Dorila (Nena), Maria, and Federico (Monono).  I also know that my grandmother had an aunt which I met as a child during my summer visit to the island in 1979.  She was very old and her name was Dorila Rivas.  I found her death record and according to the record she was 105 years old.  She was definitely way up there as she was much older than my grandmother who was 68 years old at the time.  Dorila eventually died in 1981 in La Vega and the death was reported by Enrique Bolivar Capellan. I recall feeling sad that she had past when my grandmother told me; Tia Dorila was a very sweet old woman who was blind and lost her limb due to her diabetes. I remember hugging her immediately after being introduced and didn't hold back from doing so and it was something she had remarked upon. Like I said, very sweet woman and easy to gravitate towards.

Since I had an idea when Tia Dorila died, I was able to locate Dorila's death record in La Vega but like Mercedes Rivas' record, parents' name were left blank. I had decided that the best approach was to go through the church books first, document all the Rivas children being born and baptized in Monte Cristi's San Fernando Parrish and look at the list to see if any of her siblings appear.  I will then take the same approach with the Civil Registration records as I'm determined to solve and confirm this family line.  It just may be that they are from the Monte Cristi province and not necessarily the town since there are Rivas in the entire area. Or possibly they were from La Vega but Mercedes' mother came from Monte Cristi. Below is the image to Dorila's death record; record to the left.

Dorila Rivas Death Record (Page on Left)

So far I have Books 2 and 3 completed with 4 halfway done.  However I have all of the children's names up until Book 5 and none of them look familiar.

You can easily click on the child's first name and it will lead you to the record it references in the table.

So Book 2 covers from 1889 to 1894, they are as follows:


First Name Last Name Father 1st Father Last Mother 1st Mother Last Page DOB Baptism Date
Ana Rosa Rivas Martin Rivas Antonia Castro 10 Aug 30, 1889 Jan 1, 1890
Jose Guadalupe Rivas Lorenza Rivas 25 Dec 12, 1889 Apr 15, 1890
Maximo Rivas Vicenta Rivas 38 May 16, 1890 Jun 16, 1890
Gregorio Rivas Manuel  Rivas Maria Mercedes Rivas 47 Feb 19, 1890 Jul 26, 1890
Tomasina Maria Rivas Modesto Rivas Tomasina Rodriguez 47 Jul 19, 1890 Jul 27, 1890
Manuel de Jesus Rivas Manuel Maria Rivas Fidelia Rivas 47 Jun 11, 1890 Jul 27, 1890
Ana Gregoria Rivas Antonio Rivas Bartolina Munoz 54 Jul 30, 1890 Aug 12, 1890
Rita Modesto Rivas Gregorio Rivas Guadalupe Rivas 89 Jul 15, 1890 Mar 21, 1891
Talenciano Rivas Marcos Rivas Silveria de la Cruz 110 May 24, 1891 Jun 21, 1891
Mercedes Rivas Lorenza Rivas 113 Dec 1, 1890 Jun 21, 1891
Celestino Rivas Emilia Rivas 140 Aug 16, 1891 Oct 3, 1891
Daniel Rivas Manuel Rivas Mercedes Belliard 171 Dec 31, 1891 Feb 14, 1892
Ana Rita Rivas Antonio Rivas Bartolina Munoz 175 Aug 10, 1891 Feb 27, 1892

And here is Book 3 baptisms that cover years 1894 to 1899:

First Name Last Name Father 1st Father Last Mother 1st Mother Last Page DOB Baptism Date
Natividad Rivas

Gabina Rivas 12 25 Dec 1893 20 Aug 1894
Julio Rivas Manuel de Jesus Rivas Mercedes Biliard 23 12 Apr 1894 21 Nov 1894
Francisca Rivas

Maria Rivas 51 9 Oct 1894 20 Mar 1895
Maria Elena Rivas Antonio Rivas Bartolina Munoz 58 5 Jan 1895 7 Apr 1895
Modesta Rivas Gregorio Rivas Guadalupe Rivas 69 21 Dec 1894 21 May 1895
Calista Rivas

Lorenza Rivas 80 4 Nov 1894 14 Jul 1895
Angusto Cesar Rivas

Eudosia Rivas 88 4 Jan 1895 9 Sept 1895
Felicia Maria Rivas Manuel Maria Rivas Fidelia Gonzales 96 20 Nov 1894 6 Oct 1895
Julio Enrique Rivas

Daniela Rivas 100 7 Jul 1895 1 Nov 1895
Isabel Rivas

Eusebia Rivas 148 18 Nov 1895 30 May 1896
Rosalia Rivas

Juana Francisca Rivas 186 20 Jul 1896 24 Dec 1896

Although I found a Mercedes on this list with Lorenza, I'm convinced that that isn't my great grandmother (bisabuela) and great great grandmother (tatarabuela).  I share these lists with others in search of their Rivas ancestors in Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic. My search continues...

August 18, 2015

Santiago de los Caballeros Church Books Partial List

I updated this page on 1/2/2016 to add the entire list of digitized Books for La Altagracia church; scroll down to see those.  For the Catedral, I have not added any updates.  Both churches are in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic.  However there are other churches that were not filmed.  One such church is San Antonio de Pauda which is a very old church.

Note that there are more records available that are not listed below for the Catedral. To explain the how to use the "Image" numbers, click here.


San Jose de las Matas Baptism Books List

So below is my list for San Jose de las Matas which is also known as Sajoma and it a town in the province of Santiago. The below list is simply a small list of books I've looked at in the past but is not the entire list.  I'm sharing my below list just to make it easier for others to search church records for this town.  The list is only for Baptism records.  Since my family is from this region, I browsed.  To explain the how to use the "Image" numbers, click here.


Access Church Books for Bonao, La Vega, Dominican Republic Using Index List

The below is a list I created to make my life much easier when researching in Bonao in the Province of La Vega in Dominican Republic. Each line is clickable and will lead directly to the book it references. I'm sharing my list to help you and others in their research. To explain the how to use the "Image" numbers, click here.



August 17, 2015

Church Books Available for Jarabacoa in La Vega Dominican Republic

The below is a list I created to make my life much easier for researching ancestry in Jarabacoa which is in the Province of La Vega in Dominican Republic. I'm now sharing my list to make everyone's research much easier. To explain the how to use the "Image" numbers, click here.  The links open a new window with the images it references on Family Search.


San Fernando Monte Cristi Parrish Baptism Church Books Index

The below list will get you to the San Fernando Parrish in Monte Cristi Baptism books.  I created this list to make my life much easier for researching ancestry and I'm now sharing. You can use the same instructions I provide here.  I thought I would share it with everyone to make their research much easier. The links open a new window with the images it references on Family Search. Any questions regarding the links below to the baptism books found on Family Search feel free to post.

La Vega Dominican Republic Baptism Church Books - Links and Indexes

The below is a table that I've created over time that I use when I'm searching for an individual within a certain time period for the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in La Vega, Dominican Republic. If a book isn't listed then I just haven't gotten to that individual year yet.  There are no books prior to 1805 for this church; read the history to discover why.

Each entry has a hyperlink to the individual book found on Family Search.   I've relabeled some of them with a "b" to indicate that it is a continuation from the prior book but is a physical separate book as there are two books with the same number.

The number next to the word "Image" represent the image number on the website's film roll. I use this as a way of jumping around within a book.

So for example, I want to view a Taveras in Book 11 and it shows this record as being on page 30.  There are 29 letters in the Spanish alphabet.  I will take the image number for the cover (231) add 29 for pages for letters and add 30; this will give me 290.  I then go to the image window box and remove the number that appears there and replace it with 290 and click the "GO" button that appears to the right of it.

I should arrive either on the page or close to it. I can easily jump forward based on the number of pages I am off. To explain this, if wind up on page 20 and I'm off by 10 pages then I remove the 290 from the box and replace it with 300.  I then look to see if I'm on page 30 and if not then I adjust according.

The column on the right provides you a separate link to indexes when they appear at the end of a book or somewhere else entirely.  If you see it state "with Index" that means the index appears after the cover of the book.  As always, any questions, feel free to post below.



Desktop:  To see other blog posts for your island or country, click on the menu that appears at the top right of this post. It will take you to the page containing posts for your island or country.

Mobile Devices (Smartphone & Tablets):  To see other blog posts for your island or country, at the top of the page, click on the "Most Recent Post", a popup menu will appear, select an option. It will take you to the page containing posts for your island or country.

August 16, 2015

Lesson Learned in Researching Your Genealogy

Last night before calling it a day, I decided to go on a hunch that has been nagging me for the past 4 or 5 months. Ideas and thoughts are always circling in my mind when I set myself in figuring something out.  I tend to read passages in Google Books, a book off my bookshelf, or even sourced informed articles on my free time.  Yes, I don't watch television, at least not during the off season. When ideas swirl, I won't stop and that is how I've been able to locate records. I even function this way at work which co-workers can attest.  I tend to keep my brain on full throttle.

Last weekend I was digging through baptism records in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic when I noticed a  record.  A girl child was being baptized and was a legitimate child of the couple. This child was being given TWO middle names.  The second middle name caught my eye, it was her mother's MAIDEN name!  I had read in one of these books that a child is given a mother's or grandmother's name to honor the individual by passing it down to a child.  Now I wish I knew which book I had read this in as I would like to source this.  It peaked my interest but I was set on finding this record I was seeking so I kept going. 

So last night I decided I wanted to look for my great grandfather's death record. I knew where he lived and the year he died but never went to dig up his record. And when I did, I was in for a very very big surprise.  You see I believe he had two middle names. I even have two middle name and if we are to follow the Roman Catholic Church rules, I have a third middle name after receiving my Confirmation.  Although I only display one middle initial, I actually have two as they appear on my birth certificate.

So the answer was in the Moca 1978 Civil Registration book all along on this Alvarez de Cartagena. What the Dominican Genealogy Society had advised me made ZERO sense but I went with it because I don't really have much experience in Dominican genealogy.  So moving forward I believe I now have the confidence after my discovery.  So what did I discover? Well I've always known my great grandfather as Felipe Antonio Cartagena.  Now take a look at row 64.


 Yes!  His middle name was Alvarez. So my first response was WHAT?!? I quickly jumped to the page of his death record and there it was!  So it wasn't that we changed our last name as they claim in Dominican Republic, it is quite the opposite. This name has been passed down as a middle name and it has great significance. Once I'm able to figure it out, I plan to post about it.

This is a lesson to all genealogists and family researchers.  Do not take the word of someone who claims to have authority when it comes to your ancestors!  Their unintentional information will lead you down the wrong path!  I also disputed with this genealogy group on who was Felipe Antonio Alvarez Cartagena Hinojosa's mother.  They claim it to be Ana Hinojosa, however in order for that to be the case, she would have had to have given birth to him while in her mother's womb.  Yeah a bit far fetched I would say. I believed that she was actually his sister and that HER mother Benedicta was actually his mother.  Well guess who got listed as the mother of my great grandfather death certificate? Yup his grandmother!  His mother's name was actually Daniella Estrella as I saw it on his wedding record.  His grandmother's name is Benedicta Hinojosa.  (I spoke to a cousin who has been researching for many years on this line and until we can fully document everyone, this is in question on who was Hinojosa's mother. So glad he is around to explain things. I fully understand why after this discussion.) So below shows you how even an experienced genealogy organization can get it wrong. Thanks to this cousin of mine, I was able to figure this out. 


If you don't find the proof with your own eyes then see it as simply a hint. I'm looking forward to finding his father's birth record.  That is the reason why I believe that they are struggling to finding his birth record, they are looking for the wrong mother and wrong time period! And his wedding record is at the bottom of page 173. I now can properly research this line. Currently I'm unraveling my grandmother's maternal line; the Rivas family, so I'll have to get back to this further down the road.


August 15, 2015

Anastacio Soiza Montanez


This record is on the death of Anastacio Soiza Montanez who passed at the age of 70 in Dos Bocas, Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico.

The cause of Anastacio's death was cardiac arrest.  He was already a widower due to his wife's death;  Juana Matos.  His death occurred on March 28th, 1944.  In 1944 the death certificates forms which mimicked those of mainland USA did not provide a field that supplied grandparent information.  His brother Ramon Soiza Montanez reported his death and he supplied the names of his parents which were Ramon Soiza and Gregoria Montanez.

Ramon Soiza's parents are Ignacio Soiza del Carmen and Casimira Ceferina Ortiz de la Cruz .  Ignacio was from Portugal and migrated to Puerto Rico which is where he married his wife.  I believe that my Portuguese DNA matches on 23andMe are attributed to him being my 5th Great Grandfather as these Portuguese matches appear as distant cousins.  He is the only Portuguese ancestor I've found in my direct line so far.

Casimira Ceferina died sometime prior to 1870 in Trujillo Alto as she isn't found on the 1870 Census for Trujillo Alto.  I had a hard time locating this couple's children as the priest registered some of the children in the baptism book for Pardos.  Always check all books because you never know why a priest would do this or mark this family as pardos.  I haven't dug further in Casimira Ceferina's background other than knowing that she came from Gurabo. I plan to eventually come back to researching my Puerto Rican ancestry once I'm done with Dominican Republic.

Anastacio's maternal grandparents were Estanislao Montanez Gonzalez and Maria Margarita Eduvije Flores Fontanez.  This line I also have great documentation but I also need to dig further until I reach the last ancestor on my Montanez and Gonzalez lines.

Anastacio had two children that I located so far.  They are Juan Soiza Matos and Justo Jesus Soiza Matos.  

August 12, 2015

Viewing Dominican Church Records Online

As the popularity of genealogy of those who descend from Dominicans increases, it becomes harder for many who live in other regions beside Dominican Republic to research. Yet I'm here to tell you that it isn't impossible. Today thanks to the LDS aka Mormon religion, they have made it possible for us to review records. Originally you were only able to view actual church records by visiting a local Family History Library(FHL).  If you're familiar with the website then skim through this to find what you seek.  This post is more for those who are not aware of Family Search and what you can find on their website; actual documents.  The website address is familysearch.org.

The LDS provides you with the ability to go through their catalog, order the film and visit the location you want to view these films. However I need to advise you that you should add one more step to this process. Remember that there have been many before you that have ordered these films and they may already be available  So the steps I recommend is as follows and I will explain how to use the search function on the familysearch website.

  1. Search for records. 
  2. Document the film numbers
  3. VISIT your local FHL to see if they are there (click here to find nearest location)
  4. If not available at the FHL, place order to request films

Now to use the catalog is actually very easy. Click here to arrive to the website.  Hover over the word "Search" and on the drop down menu you should see "Catalog", click on it.  You should arrive at the following image:


Note that Place is the default search option (below "Search by").  For Church records you must search by provinces.  There are a total of 32 provinces and the National District.  Here is where knowing a little about the country becomes handy.  To get a list of provinces, click here, there is even a map below the list to visually provide you an idea where the province is located in the country.  This will come handy so you know where to look for ancestors. I can personally tell you that I've found family who were living in Moca or Santiago registering a birth in the capital; Santo Domingo.  Also pay attention to information on names of regions as they have changed over time. A perfect example is Santo Domingo once being called Cuidad Trujillo.  Note also that if someone tells you your family is from "El Cibao", that isn't a province but a large region. Google it to see what it covers. Half of my Dominican family is from "El Cibao". :)



In my example notice I selected "Dominican Republic, La Vega, La Vega" that appeared in the drop down.  Click on Search.  Notice in the below image how it says "No results found" (see red), ignore it and look above it where it says to look in another region. If you look at the province link I provided, you'll realize that the capital of the province is actually called Concepcion de La Vega.  Notice right below it "Part of Dominican Republic, La Vega".  Both links will lead you to different paths.  If you click on "Part of Dominican Republic, La Vega", it will provide you links to towns within the provide which will lead you to records.  However click on the area circled in blue.

If you've been reading up on history like I suggested in prior posts, you'll know that there are no church records prior to 1805 available to view in this region.  This means that 13 church books are missing for baptisms as it starts off with Book 14.


You should see an image similar to the below. The red arrow will lead you to a film number. Before ordering it, read what I said above.  The blue arrow speaks to the civil records, I'll walk you through that on a separate post.  Now red area that I circled is what we are going to look at.  Please note that these are images that are currently available online for you to view.



When you click on it, it will open and show you two index items. This won't be always the case, some provinces have more than these two and others can have just one.  Either way, click on the one that says "Registros parroquiales, 1805-1923".  On the next screen click where the red arrow is pointing (the word here).

The next screen will tell you "Browse through 239,382 images", click on those words.  You should now be taken to another screen with the list of all the provinces.  Select the one you want to search in.  It should lead to a list of towns or one town. Click on any one of them.  Next it will provide the Church's name, click on that.  What you should now see is a list of types of records and years for it. So you should see Bautismos, Defunciones, and Matrimonios.  At times you may also see Confirmaciones.  To view a baptism record, click on the very first link.  We are just doing this so you understand how to get there and what you will see.  Below I will explain the arrows/circle with numbers.


 We are almost done so if this is too much to take in, just come back and do this little by little. :)

  1. This tells you how many images are in this folder. You are defaulted to #1. You can remove it and jump forward to any number in the image.
  2. This feature allows you to increase, decrease or do a full screen.
  3. This allows you to print the image on the screen, allows to to download the image as a jpeg to save to your computer.  There are additional tools available for your use.
  4. This shows you the citation of the record on the screen. This is great to document your tree, if you're going to blog about your ancestry and you want to use the cited feature. 
So now you should be able to play with the church records and seek your ancestors.  Last but not least, I provide the links to the church records below just in case you felt that it was just too much and you just want to jump in.  As always, disable popup blockers on my blog so that you can get access to the records as all links always open in a new window.  I hope this tutorial has helped anyone who needed assistance. Now go look for those ancestors! :)

List will lead you to the church records for the Province: 

August 10, 2015

The Descendants of Francisco Delgado Manso in Puerto Rico

Although I know that Francisco Delgado Manso's father was the son of Francisco Delgado and Juana Manso de Espinosa, I purposely let them off the tree since based on PARES records, Francisco Delgado (the grandfather) was the first to come of this Delgado line to Puerto Rico in the 1500's.

If you visit PARES, you will come across documentation where he requests from the crown the permission to leave the island with his wife, children, and their household.  I'm sure that living on this island wasn't easy where all you have is palm trees, sea, humidity, heat, and violent weather.

All I can speculate is that either something tragic happened to him or his request was denied.  I say this since the family remained on the island or I would not be here sharing information about him and his family.  Since many of the records are gone in Puerto Rico for this era thanks to Sir Francis Drake and others, your best option is to search on the PARES website.

I could not locate documentation on who was Francisco Delgado Manso's mother which is why she isn't listed; only the father.  If you come across the record then please share so that we can all know who this mysterious woman was.  Below I provide 5 generations of this family.  I also provided where the records can be found.  All the church records are available at familysearch; either online or via microfilm at a local FHL.  Enjoy the document.  You can scroll through it below.

NOTE:  On the last page I shared something that I have on my tree that I didn't realize would become visible.  I'm still trying verify Casimira Flores Fontanes' connection to the Carmona line.  She did have a relationship with a Carmona where she had 2 daughters and not 3 daughters as many suspected over the years. The third daughter I found that she identified her father on her wedding record; making her the daughter of Casimira's "second spouse".  However her daughter Gregoria took on the name of Carmona.  I'm hoping that I will eventually come across the document that identifies who her father is and connecting the Carmona line.  The reason I gave him the name Pedro is because she names one of her son's Pedro which was new to both the Bayala line as well as her mother's line.  I suspect that that is the name or simply he was named after his Carmona grandfather/great grandfather.  Please do not add this name to your tree until it is confirmed. You can simply name him: Male Carmona.

August 9, 2015

Descendants of Juan Antonio Cartagena & Julia Guzman

This family line is of Juan Antonio Cartagena and Julia Guzman in Dominican Republic. The below was built from church records I came across in my research and was able to build this family tree. I'm sharing this descendant report so that those researching this family can use the information. I hope that this is of great use to those who research this family



Descendants of Pablo de Leon & Estebania Orozeo

Here is the family of Pablo de Leon and his wife Estebania Orozeo. I'm sure they had other children, however I only provided the information on their son; Rafael de Leon Orozeo.

I was able to build this tree based on church records in Dominican Republic. His line does marry into mine but I don't know if I'm directly related. I have noticed Dominican DNA matches with this last name so hoping this opens the door for someone searching their Dominican Ancestry.


Finding Books for Research on FamilySearch

Using FamilySearch to your advantage can take you a long way in finding something as simple as an out of print book.  Many of the books available are actually on microfilm which means that it is simply a request away. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on a book that you can gain access to very easily.  If you find you like to have the book in your personal library then that is different.

Recall in my prior post that prior to ordering films, check to see if the film hasn't already been ordered; make sure you do this to save funds on other films that may not be available. This will also save you time.  The fee you pay is to cover the cost of duplicating the film and also to keep the system running in making them available to all as well as covering shipping costs to a location near you. The rentals are only good for a few weeks so you can easily request an extension and if you need it beyond that, the third time you request the extension keeps the film at your FHL permanently for all to view including yourself.

So today I had a cousin that matches me via DNA mention that they needed access to Estela Cifre de Loubriel books, like many starting off, most have no idea that these out of print books are available.  So below is a link that provides you access to all the Cifre de Loubriel books they currently have in their catalog which covers many different migrants to the island of Puerto Rico.

Link to Family Search: Estela Cifre de Loubriel books

Another known author of genealogy and history is Fernando Pico

Link to Family Search: Fernando Pico books

There are more books and the best way of using the catalog search is by using keywords or keyword phrases. I previously spoke about how to find information on churches and other records.  The same goes with finding information you seek including books.

Most search engines use keywords or keyword phrases.  So imagine you're looking to fix a cracked screen on your phone. You wouldn't type into Google "Phone screen", you'd type "How to fix cracked phone screen".  The recommendation I give anyone is to try one to two words and if you get too many hits then keep reducing the list by adding another word. If your search comes up empty then change that word to something similar until hopefully you find what you seek.

So below is the search screen window for the catalog.

 Notice the word "Keywords", click on it.  It will provide you with another field; here is where you're going to type.  You can also try using "Author" but if you don't know the author or nothing turns up then then "Keywords" will find every entry that matches what you seek. So for example, if I enter "Pico", I'm not just going to get Fernando Pico books, I'm also going to be given catalog entries that have something with the work "Pico" in it. However if you type his full name, you'll find that a list of his books will appear.

The same goes if you try "Puerto Rico", you'll wind up getting too many hits but if you try "Mayaguez Puerto Rico", you'll get a more manageable list. You can go further down if you want to drill down by typing "History Mayaguez Puerto Rico".  This same concept can be applied to Domincan Republic or any other place you seek to find information on.

How was I able to find all of the census records? Very easily, keywords  and keyword phrases. Arming yourself with this knowledge take away a lot of the struggle in finding information. I recommend that you keep a notebook and write down what it is you seek, simple one liners. Then search for this in both languages on FamilySearch.

I highly recommend using a translator because a word that easily comes to mind for most of us for Census is Censo. However the words Padron and empadronamiento also mean census. You also have to think of different reason for a census such as riqueza or ayuntamiento; one meaning the wealth of the population and the other meaning town hall. These are also many reasons for taking a "census" of a town or village. That is how I found the Hato Grande aka San Lorenzo census I shared on another post. I also took looked through the images to see what type of information was attached to the record. When I found that census, it had been there for years but no one ever spoke of ever finding it. 

This is where you'll see other items available such as history books, protocoles notariales (protocol notaries) which include wills, as well as many other records.  Now if the only format they have of an item is in book format then the only way you can view this item is by visiting the main FHL in Utah.  If this isn't feasible for you then they provide you the link to search on the WorldCat Book website which is basically a global catalogs of libraries.  Check with your regular local library to see if you can use this feature. I have successfully been able to borrow 2 books in search of records on my family tree. This same exact concept can be applied to even those who are researching their Dominican ancestry or anywhere else. Good luck in your research!