December 9, 2017

Antigua, Nevis, Monseratt, St. Christopher and Falmouth Records for the 1700's

Genealogy is so important to many of us. Finding records of our ancestors that are from the Caribbean is always a great feeling. While many feel that they must travel to the Caribbean in search of their ancestors, it is not necessarily always the case.  Such is the case for the island of Antigua and some of the other islands such a Falmouth, Nevis, St. Christopher and Monseratt.

With this collections, it requires a visit to a local Family History Center. Check your the below post to find one near you.

http://www.genealogianuestra.com/2017/07/finding-family-history-center-for-free.html
 
The collection for Antigua and the Leeward Islands includes church records , passenger and cargo lists, court records including taxation and military records. There is also written correspondences covering the islands. There are two films and they are as follows:

Correspondence Volume S, 1727 - 1729 Correspondence Volume T, 1730  #51-91 
Correspondence Volume V, 1734 - 1735  #52-109

 
As I come across more records, I'll make sure to post them on the website. Hopefully many will locate ancestors. Pull up this post to find these films from their computers.

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December 3, 2017

Puerto Rico: Naranjito Church Records 1831 - 1936

I nearly missed the Naranjito church records as I didn't have them listed on my remaining list of churches in Puerto Rico.  I want to thank Olga Figueroa for asking about them.  A quick search of the website and I found that I never broke the films out for everyone.

Naranjito is a municipality that sits north of Barranquitas and Comerio but south of Toa Alta. Just west of Naranjito sits Corozal. The church records for this region includes baptisms, marriages, and death records. While some are in bad shape, they are still a treasure for many researching their ancestry for this region.  The breakdown of the records are as follow.

NOTE:  Book 4 of Baptism has records from 1901 - 1905 and 1925 - 1926 at the end.

Baptism


Marriages



NOTE: In Book 6 of  Deaths records, there are some 1906 deaths listed at the end.

Deaths



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November 26, 2017

Puerto Rico: Barranquitas Church Records 1860 to 1952

One of the interesting things I have discovered between Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic is the constant repetition of town names. It is not a few but plenty of towns.While pulling up the map of Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, I discovered the town of La Vega which is a province and town in Dominican Republic's Cibao region. There are other such towns like Moca, San Juan, and Santo Domingo.

Barranquitas is a municipality that sits in a mountainous regions of the island. Just southeast of this regions sits Coamo. The municipality was founded in 1803.

There are limited church records available so I recommend that while researching, you may have to also look for ancestors in other sources if they are available.

Barranquitas is known for it's Taino history with the Cacique or Chief known as Orocobix during the 16th century.  He was later to wind up as enslaved and working the mines for the Spaniards that invaded the island.

If you'd like to read up on many of the Caciques for not just Puerto Rico but many of the other islands, click here. You'll discover that Tainos existed in Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas, and Cuba.

The following are the church records currently available online. Note that there are no death books and that the baptism books start with 1860.

Baptisms


Marriages


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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


August 1, 2017

Digitized Church Records for Arroyo in Puerto Rico


Before I go into the below records, I need to answer two questions that are being asked by many.

I am not the holder of these church records. They are maintained by FamilySearch. While the records are available on their website, currently they are not easy to navigate until they make their changes which will take them a while as they are concentrating on digitizing their records. I have many years of experience navigating their website so I fully understand how to jump around and find the books I seek.  There are many others who have the same level of experience on their website. I supply the breakdown for those that are new, don't know how to navigate the website, or those who would rather have a link to the book for easy access.

Another question pertains to available church records. Not all churches in Puerto Rico were filmed by the LDS as the Roman Catholic Church closed access to their records. Note that if the church is not currently in the catalog then it never will be. You can Google to find out why this is the case. 

Moving onto Arroyo, it is a municipality that sits between Guayama and Patillas and was founded in 1855.  If you are seeking records prior to this time, I recommend that you look at Guayama as it would have been part of that region prior to being established.

There are only 3 films on church records available for this municipality.  The records are as follows:


Baptisms Books


    Confirmation Books


    Marriages Books


    In Book 3 of Marriages, it is noted that at the end of the book is a record for 1906.


    Death Books


    Although the catalog noted records for 1920 - 1921 in death records, I could not locate them.



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    July 30, 2017

    Digitized Ponce Church Records 1835 to 1948

    Ponce was established in 1692 and had settles prior to this year.  While churches did exist prior to 1836, it is the earliest records that were filmed for the region.  I cannot say if books prior to this date exist and if they do, they were never filmed.  Most importantly, Ponce has a large connection to the Independence of Haiti during the revolutionary years. It pays to read the history as it will potentially lead to connections if you notice cousins via DNA from Haiti.

    After breakdown the film images for Caguas, I do not believe that Ponce would be as bad. While the number of films are 16, it is no longer intimidating to me as I go through the films. One lesson here is that you take your time as you go through the images.  When I discovered the books for the town where my Bayala line came from, I went through pages quickly trying to find every Bayala.  It was not until as time progressed in my research, I realized that many of the records I sped through were actually many of my ancestors. Names such as Silverio, Betancourt, Diaz, Delgado, Aleman, Soiza, and Mangual.  It is why I say to all, slow and steady will get you what you seek. You just never know who you just passed over.

    While going through the civil records for Ponce makes me cringe at the task, I must say that the church records for Nuestra SeƱora de Guadalupe are not so bad. I know many have been waiting for this, but remember, go back to what you know before reviewing these records to ensure correct year. I give every generation of parents 20 to 30 years. So if your ancestor is born in 1900, you can look for their parents between 1870 and 1880 baptism books.

    Books of Baptisms Indexes


    Includes Baptisms, Marriages, and Deaths  


    There are some 1836 records in this mix.  I did not look for them due to the large volume of records. However, they are within the following books.



    Baptisms Books


    It seems that the priests were forgetful in recording baptisms or ran out of places to post baptisms records and simple placed the record at the end of any of the books; it is very random.  So while FamilySearch states that years are missing, that is not the case.  Here is what I found going through some of the books. I recommend that each book is looked at thoroughly at the end as there are straggler records in many.

    In Book 1, that covers 1850, there are some misplaced baptism records ranging from 1836 to 1882 in the back. They start on Image 80.

    In Book 8, that covers 1858 - 1859, there are some misplaced baptisms records ranging from 1858 - 1872 in the back. They start on Image 2219.

    In Book 16, that covers 1869, there are some misplaced baptisms records ranging from 1869 - 1921 in the back. They start on Image 236.

    In Book 30, that covers 1886 - 1887, there are some misplaced baptisms records ranging from 1885 - 1921 in the back.  They start with Image 2112.


    One of the seven sacraments, Confirmations, did not happen all the time as baptisms do. So while FamilySearch states there are missing years, that is not the case. I recall sitting in St. Pascal Baylon Church's rectory going through the books as the priest let all the teens rummage through the rectory as part of our curriculum for Confirmation.  At the time, I believe Confirmations were being done either once a year or every other year. Our group consisted of 20 of us. So disregard the statement of missing years in the catalog since not everyone who is Roman Catholic would do their Confirmation.

    Confirmation Books


    Marriage Books


    While all of the Death books have indexes, for whatever reason, the photographer didn't take images of the indexes. Only those marked below have images of the indexes of their perspective book.

    Death Books




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