December 2, 2018

Ancestry Research in Montserrat Miscellaneous Records

One of the greatest things about this time of year is the spirit of giving. It goes without saying that I enjoy sharing things I find to share with others.  As a kid, I recall my grandfather recounting how there were family members on the island of Monserrat. In addition, the horrible active volcano that has destroyed most of the island and forced many to migrate to different parts of the world. It is a huge challenge to do research for this island as records are not accessible or available.

However, there have been situations where records become available for all to review. Today I have some images I came across for Monserrate, they are the Wesleyan Church Marriages that cover the period of 1820 to 1841. The records are in English since the island is a British colony.

Wesleyan Church Marriages 1820 - 1841


There are other records such as the Execution Book which contains civil cases involving debt court which include trial dates, case number, and people involved along with the final judgment for 1898 to 1904.

Montserrat Execution Book 1898 - 1904


There is also the Court of King's Bench and Common Pleas that contains details of civil cases that include complaints, arguments, witness statements, and the final judgment.

Court of King's Bench and Common Pleas 1790 - 1800


There are also more recent records such as the Voters List of 1942.

1942 Montserrat Voters List


There are additional records that will become available, and I will be sharing once released.

Desktop:  To see other posts for your island, country, or any other 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 posts for your island, country, or any other 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.


November 26, 2018

Finding Enslaved Ancestors in Puerto Rico Through Registries Online

Finding enslaved ancestors in some parts of the world is much easier than in the United States. The slaveholders of many Africans and African descents were usually counted as notches in the United States census and records. One pattern that I noticed with countries held by Spain is that that was not the case.  While in the United States, Africans and African descendants were not considered humans or were even considered subhumans in the minds of Europeans, in places held by Spain, they were considered humans but still below them.  In Spain held countries, you were documented with a name, could sue your owner, and even had the right to purchase your freedom. When it came to censuses, those enslaved were captured by name, age, and included marital status. Some even have their parents listed.

If you could communicate with priests, you also could point out where you were originally born as I've shown in a prior post. Not all Africans were illiterate either. Many captured and enslaved were also well educated and caught in enslavement due to treachery and the horror of being kidnapped.

The reason I am pointing this out is that there are countless records available to research your African roots in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central, and South America. It requires using Google Translate in many cases but also PLENTY of patience. This is the case with Puerto Rico. While this is a minute amount of records, there are plenty of available records offline. So if I did not list the municipality, it does not mean that they do not exist.

So here are some of the digitized Census records of enslaved people going back to the 1840s in Puerto Rico. Keep in mind that there are plenty of church records that provide names and potential locations of where they came from available online.  There are even records of those that were emancipated.

It is important to know that there was the main port in Barbados where African and African descendants that were enslaved were sold. If you can afford a trip to the archives in Puerto Rico, even better, and more information is available there.

What I also came across was that there was no segregation in schools as Black children went to school with those that identified as White children in the 1800's. If they exist for the town and are available to be viewed from home, I provided them below.

Camuy
Dorado

Toa Alta & Toa Baja
Arecibo
Bayamon

Utuado & Manati

Aguada, Aguadilla & Lares

Aguadilla

Manati, Arecibo, & Utuado

San German
Anasco
Mayaguez & San German

Moca, Aguadilla, Aguada, Isabela, San Sebastian, & Lares

Guaynilla & Aibonito

Guaynilla

Juana Diaz

Guaynilla, Barranquitas, & Coamo

Penuelas & Santa Isabel

Barros & Coamo

Guaynilla & Juana Diaz

Guayama

Gurabo, Hato Grande, & Cayey
Naguabo & Maunabo

Cayey, Sabana del Palmar, & Juncos

Arroyo

Salinas, Arroyo, & Cayey

Salinas, Guayama, Hato Grande, & Aguas Buenas

Dorado, Trujillo Alto, & Trujillo Bajo
San Juan

Río Grande, Loiza, Guaynabo, & Vega Alta

Vega Alta, Toa Baja, & Toa Alta

Bayamon, Guaynabo, Trujillo Alto, & Rio Piedras

Rio Piedras, Toa Alta, Rio Grande, Vega Alta, & Loiza
Toa Baja, Corozal, Trujillo Bajo, & Dorado

Carolina & Vega Baja

Toa Alta, Carolina, & Vega Baja

The following references which show the Item number refers to where on the film they can be viewed. These films are digitized and available via online process but only from a Family History Center. I provide how to find you local Family History Center, just click the words. The images are as follows:

Caguas

Lares

Fajardo
Juncos
San German


Desktop:  To see other posts for your island, country, or any other 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 posts for your island, country, or any other 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.


November 22, 2018

1800's Census Records for Lares Puerto Rico Online

While there are limited records, especially church records, for Lares, Puerto Rico.  There are other options and access to information for Lares. Most are available by visiting a local Family History Center.  However, fortunately, there are some records available online.  The records I found are the general census records as well as the laborer census records.  The three currently avaiable online are:

There are contracts for those enslaved available but those would have to appear under a separate post as they are not available online.


Desktop:  To see other posts for your island, country, or any other 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 posts for your island, country, or any other 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.



Ancestry and History Go Hand in Hand

When we all think of the Caribbean, we always visualize beautiful white sand beaches, tropical heat, palm trees swaying in the breeze, beautiful music, amazingly delicious food, and plenty of friendly islanders that are happy to share their culture.

What we have to remind ourselves is that that was not the case back during the era of when our ancestors lived on these islands. Many traveled by horse, living in small homes, dealt with wars, pirates, hurricanes, hunger, and diseases.  Most important, many faced life in bondage or running away to gain their freedom from slavery.

Why do I make these statements? Well, part of the problem is that many people cannot find their ancestors. I see the constant, "Why can't I find my ancestors?" statements throughout social media.  This is partially due to not wanting to read history, it is a requirement so that you can understand how your ancestors lived. It does not mean necessarily reading books, as some authors have been known to create their own spin, but to actually read documents maintained in archives. Sounds boring but far from it as you will start to discover how your ancestors lived. It is extremely critical to know what was going on at that time. A perfect example...

My 4th great grandfather, Miguel Bayala, was very young. Spain required that the 5th son must serve in the military. Boys were expected to serve starting at the age of 7. Yes, seven, not a typo. Did I know this going in and researching? Absolutely not! I came across this tidbit while digging through records in the archives and having open discussions with many other researchers.

In 1797, Spain started sending soldiers to protect the island from British invasion; something that constantly happened in the Caribbean and repetitive in Caribbean history.  In 1803, present-day Haiti was in the process of fighting for their freedom from enslavement and freeing the entire island, which includes today's Dominican Republic. While there is strife between both Caribbean countries, they are actually one people and they share ancestors. I have so many Haitian cousins but I went in knowing that I would discover this as it is one island with an imaginary line going through it.

To add to the above, France had their violent revolutionary war between 1789 and 1799. So in 1803, Miguel Bayala Gero, son of Andres Bayala and Sebastiana Gero, was sent off to Puerto Rico to protect the island still under the Fijo de Puerto Rico.

Miguel was never to see his home country again. By the time he married his wife, he had become 2nd Sargento or 2nd Sargent in the military. After receiving his pension from the military, he settles in Quebrada Grande in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico.

Miguel would face the death of his first son, Isidro, at age 12, while living there. Subjected to hurricanes and eventually being buried on the island and without his family from Spain coming for the event; no records have been found.

Miguel would also name his first son, Isidro, after the patron saint from his hometown; Becerril de Campos Spain. This is an indicator that he was potentially homesick and needed a connection back to his homeland. Becerril de Campos is known for its farms and includes 3 churches that are now historical locations due to their existence since the middle ages. This provides me with a better visual of his potential life. It also confirmed that he perpetuated the ignorance and discovered that he had an enslaved woman in his home after discovering her baptizing her child in Book 1 of Baptisms for Trujillo Alto.

I have also discovered that he seems to be the type in challenging authority but not outright through Gazette records for the island. Potentially, he could have been that annoying neighbor some of us are familiar with.  My next step is determining who were his siblings and how they lived in Becerril de Campos, Spain. Researching involves more than just finding names, it includes understanding these individuals, attempting to figure out how they think, and how they played a role in history.

So Miguel Bayala turned out to be a complex individual and do not think I could like him based on things I have discovered but he is my 4th great grandfather and if it were not for him, I would not be here. So basically, it is a love-hate relationship.

If you'd like to know more about the Fijo de Puerto Rico, check out their Facebook page.  They have reenactments of the military action.



September 17, 2018

Curaçao Church Records from 1714 to 1831

One of the best resources in finding ancestry information on a family member has always been church records. Within a few lines, you can easily discover more about an ancestor than many times in public records. Church records are a great source to find out when an individual was born, the name of parents, the town or country their parents are from, and even at time locating grandparents information.

While I don’t read Dutch, it doesn’t mean that it should deter me or anyone else from finding records on an ancestor. The good thing is that there are plenty of tools out there that will help you along the way. The church records are in Dutch but remember that we have our trusty Google Translate and if that fails, then join Genealogy Translations on Facebook that will assist you with translating records, no matter the language. The following records are for a Roman Catholic Church in Curaçao named Saint Anna or Sint Anna. The records run from 1714 to 1831. The series is broken down as follows and are available online.

Baptisms (Dopen) 1727 - 1820

Marriages (Trouwen) 1714 - 1822

Deaths (Begraven 1769 - 1831)


There are Apostolic / Lutheran Church records available to review. They are as follows.

Baptisms (Dopen) 1795 - 1819

In addition, there are Jewish birth and death records available.

Desktop:  To see other posts for your island, country, or any other 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 posts for your island, country, or any other 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.


September 14, 2018

Slave Records in Curacao 1831 to 1863


Just like many other regions throughout the Caribbean and South America, slavery existed on the ABC Islands that consists of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao.  This post concentrates on Curacao and this is far from the only records. I will be posting them separately based on accessibility.  While the below the records are in Dutch, you can open another browser if on a PC and have Google Translate ready to enter information. All links within my posts always open to another window. I purposely set it up that way to keep the blog post available in case you need further instructions or want easy access to links on the page.

While Sephardic Jewish people were the first to settle on the island of Curaçao in 1651, they were not the only ones there. Unfortunately, Curaçao was also where the slave trade thrived in the Caribbean. As many of us know, slavery of Africans occurred throughout the globe but more so in the Americas. Many that were brought over from Africa were sold at the docks in Curaçao.  There was a slave revolt that occurred in 1795, which was led by Tula.  You can read about the revolt via the link I provided. I recommend that you also visit your local library or even search the web for more content on the history.

If you believe that you have found a record on your ancestor, whether enslaved or free, and find that Google Translate does not work, then I highly recommend that you visit Facebook, join the group Genealogy Translations and post the image, the direct link to the document, and the language you want to translate from and to.  There are instructions in the group on how to format your request. It is a very helpful group when it comes to translations.

To start with, in the series of the following records, you will find Roman Catholic Church records of enslaved African children that are being baptized. The records can only be accessed via a Family History Center which I have previously posted about. Visit the hyperlink to learn how to find these records locally to you.  There are other records available on the films such as death and citizenship records. The layout of what I provide below will be a little different than my usual posts as it is going to appear film based versus the type of record. 

Note that there are more records beyond the below that are available online that I do plan to post them on the website. So do not think that this is the end of what is available, it is just the beginning of many records but I need to start somewhere.


Film # 1949737 contains both Baptisms (Dopen) and Deaths (Overlijden) of the enslaved:
  • Slave Death Records: 1844 - 1852, 1848 - 1857, 1854 - 1861, and 1859 - 1863
  • Enslaved Children Baptisms: 1831 - 1837

Film # 1949738 contains Baptisms (Dopen) of Enslaved Children, Death (Overlijden) and Citizenship Index (Burgerschaps-Index) / Citizenship Register (Burgerschapsregister):
  • Enslaved Children Baptisms: 1837 - 1842 - Items 1 and 2 on the film
  • Slave Death Records: 1837 - 1842 and 1816 - 1820
  • Citizen Index / Register: 1831 - February 27, 1845

Film # 1949735 contains Births (Geboorten):
  • 1838 - 1842, 1840 - 1849, 1848 - 1852, and 1851

Film# 1949736 contains Births (Geboorten) and Deaths (Overlijden):
  • Enslaved Children Births: 1852-1857, 1854-1861, 1859-1862
  • Slave Death Records: 1838 - 1839, 1838 - 1842, 1840 - 1846, and 1844

Film# 1949737 contains Deaths (Overlijden):
  • 1844 - 1852, 1848 - 1857, 1854 - 1861, and 1859 - 1863

Desktop:  To see other posts for your island, country, or any other 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 posts for your island, country, or any other 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.




September 2, 2018

Cap-Haitien Civil Birth Records 1827 to 1917

While in the 5th grade, I came home one day not happy in seeing a boy in the class being picked on due to his accent. His name was Adrienne, a triplet, but the only one of the three in my class. The reason he was being picked on was that he was Haitian. It was relentless for months because he let it be known that it bothered him and it bothered me.

While our neighborhood was poor to middle-class Black neighborhood, it was the beginning of an era where more people from the Caribbean started moving into the area. There were many of us in the area but the volume started increasing by the late 1970's.

I recall looking in my grandmother's set of encyclopedias and discovering that it was the neighboring country to the Dominican Republic as I wanted to know more about where the boy came from. It was just part of my curiosity and is still a part of me today. My grandmother noticing me digging through the books and proceeded to ask me what was I doing.

After explaining, my grandmother sat me down and explained that he was no different than me or anyone else.  She then proceeded to tell me how she would visit Cap-Haitien with her mother and my mother to shop in the 1940s. What really amazed me was years later, at age 19. I took my then boyfriend, now husband, who is Haitian to meet my grandmother. This woman all of a sudden breaks out and starts speaking in Haitian Creole. That was one detail she never shared with me, that she spoke 3 languages. Talk about being surprised!

Well, today these memories came back as I continue to look for online records and saw Cap-Haitien is online. Cap-Haitien, which was once called Cap-Français, was founded in 1670. There is plenty of history about the region that involves war and slavery.  I recommend you visit Slavery and Remembrance website to read up more on Cap-Français.

I never let my inability to read the language deter me from reaching my objective; sharing information. That being said, I am happy to say that there are more digitized records online for Haiti.  This post will concentrate on the digitized birth records currently available for viewing for Cap-Haitien in Haiti.  I hope that those who have family in this region will locate records of their ancestors.

Births 

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.


September 1, 2018

Dominica Land Records 1765 - 1927 Leads to Enslaved Ancestors

Many never look to land records to find ancestors.  The assumption is that their ancestors may not have owned land.  However, land records go beyond actual land and can include records of servitude such as indentured servants or enslaved people such as many of our African brothers and sisters; our ancestors. These records are invaluable in helping to piece together what our ancestors went through and hopefully leads to where on the African continent they came from.  It is unfortunate that our past is so hidden but hopefully it will lead to discovery.

As with all records for Dominica, these records are not available online.  However, you can access them at a local Family History Center (FHC).  Review my post on Finding a Family History Center for Free Research. The post will help you in locating a local place to view these records.

The following records go back as far as 1765.  Note that I have provided the film number with a link. You can easily open this post at a local FHC and click on them to access the films while there. All links will open in a new window on this website, popup blocker will need to be disabled for this website. Hopefully your ancestors are found in these records.

Film # 1699413 - Deeds and Indentures:
Register R1 1771 - 1772
Register P2 1775 - 1776
Register X2 1779 - 1783

Film # 1699427 - Deeds and Indentures:
Register D3 1787
Register F3 1789 - 1790
Register H3 1790 - 1791
Register M3 1794 - 1796
Register R 1800 - 1802
Register S3 1800 - 1801
Register Y3 1802

Film #1699539 - Deeds and indentures:
Register W3 1801 - 1802
Register Z3 1802 - 1803
Register N4 1811 - 1812
Register P4 1812 - 1814
Register A5 1819 - 1820
Register G5 1826 - 1827
Register I5 1830 - 1832 (Included are the triennial registries of slaves for 1817 - 1820 - 1823 - 1826)
Register N5 1835 - 1836

Film# 1699540 - Deeds and indentures:
Register P5 1837 - 1838
Register R5 1837 - 1838
Register T5 1839 - 1840
Register W5 1840 - 1841
Register X5 1841 - 1843
Register Z5 1845 - 1846

Film# 1699485 - Deeds and indentures:
Registers A6 - E6 1846 - 1853

Film# 1699486 - Deeds and indentures:
Registers F6 - K6 1853 - 1862

Film# 1699541 - Deeds and indentures:
Registers L6 - P6 1862 - 1873

Film# 1699620 - Deeds and indentures:
Registers Q6 - V6 1873 - 1884

Film# 1699621 - Deeds and indentures:
Registers W6 - Z6 1884 - 1902
Registers A7 - B7 1902 - 1907

Film# 1699690 - Deeds and indentures:
Registers C7 - H7 1907 - 1918

Film# 1699691 - Deeds and indentures:
Registers I7 - L7 1919 - 1927

Film# 1855349 - Deeds and indentures:
Book P1 1770 - 1771
Book P1 1796 - 1798
Book P3 1798 - 1799
Book P4 1813 - 1814
Book R3 1799
Book R4 1814 - 1827
Book D1 1772 - 1775
Book D2 1772 - 1773
Book D5 1823 - 1824
Book X1 1772, 1766 - 1769
Book A1 1788 - 1790

Film# 1855350 - Deeds and indentures:
Book B1 1765 - 1767
Book C1 1769 & 1773
Book E1 1775 - 1778; 1806 - 1808
Book H1 1784, 1803 - 1804
Book I1 1784 - 1786
Book K1 1769 - 1770
Book L1 1770
Book M1 1770

Film# 1855413 - Deeds and indentures:
Book M1 1790 - 1792
Book N1 1770 - 1771
Book O1 1770 - 1771
Book Q1 1771 - 1772
Book S1 1771, 1802 - 1804
Book T1 1771 - 1773, 1804 - 1806
Book V1 1771 - 1772, 1817 - 1818
Book N1 1792 - 1794

Film# 1855414 - Deeds and indentures:
Book Q1 1777 - 1781, 1798 - 1800
Book W1 1771 - 1772, 1809 - 1811
Book Y1 1772 - 1774, 1814 - 1815
Book Z1 1772, 1766 - 1768
Book A2 1772, 1816 - 1817
Book B1 1766 - 1769, 1772 - 1773

Film# 1855476 - Deeds and indentures:
Book C2 1772 - 1773
Book D2 1772 - 1774, 1821 - 1826
Book E2 1773 - 1774
Book G2 1840 - 1848
Book H2 1848 - 1853
Book I2 1773 - 1774
Book K2 1864 - 1875
Book N2 1774 - 1775
Book M2 1774 - 1775
Book Q2 1775 - 1776

Film# 1855477 - Deeds and indentures:
Book T2 1777 - 1781
Book Y2 1781 - 1784
Book Z2 1784
Book B3 1767 - 1768
Book C3 1786 - 1787
Book G3 1790
Book I3 1791 - 1792
Book K3 1792 - 1793
Book L3 1793 - 1794
Book N3 1795 - 1798

Film# 1855493 - Deeds and indentures:
Book O3 1797 - 1798
Book Q3 1799 - 1800
Book R3 1799
Book W3 1801 - 1802
Book X3 1811 - 1813
Book E4 1805 - 1806
Book F4 1806
Book G4 1806 - 1807
Book H4 1807 - 1808
Book I4 1808 - 1809
Book L4 1809 - 1811

Film# 1855494 - Deeds and indentures:
Books L4 - Q4 1809 - 1814
Book Q4 1818 - 1819
Book R4 1814 (l doc. 1827 at front)
Books S4 - Z4 1814 - 1819
Books C5 - D5 1821 - 1824

Film# 1855534 - Deeds and indentures:
Book F5 1824 - 1825
Book H5 1827 - 1829
Book K5 1832
Book L5 1832 - 1834
Book M5 1834 - 1835
Book S5 1838 - 1839
Book V5 1843 - 1845

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 31, 2018

Grenada Civil Records 1866 - 1940

Another great island in the Caribbean, Grenada, which consists of a main island and six smaller islands is where many have never visited there but I am sure we have plenty that descends from this island.  Cousins that we were not aware of until DNA testing came along. I can honestly say that I have cousin matches from Grenada. Looking at their profiles, they are of African descent and showing Benin, Togo, Mali, Ghana, and African North DNA. While I have not posted records from this island, they do exist and there is plenty to go through without having to leave the region of your world on this planet.  The reason I have not posted this island is that I cannot go through the images and break them down for all as I do for records available for other islands.

Grenada like many of the other islands, was once inhabited by indigenous people; Arawaks and eventually the Kalinago. Many know the Kalinago as The Caribs but I believe Kalinago is the appropriate name that we should use. The island sits in the Lower Antilles, northwest of Trinidad and Tobago. Many who are researching assume that they have to visit Grenada to view records. While at some point that may be the case, that doesn't mean that that is the immediate answer in your research and your starting point.

Currently, there are many digitized records for Grenada available but it will require traveling a short distance to a local location; a Family History Center.  One great source to use for research is Civil Records and currently Familysearch has 16 films that have been digitized but are not available online on civil records covering from 1866 to 1940.

When it comes to birth, marriage, and death records, it appears that records are recorded by district and only contain parents names.  However, if you have parents names and know they got married, take a look at the marriage record and then go hunting for birth records of the couple. In addition, if you have parent's name, then look for their marriage record and then look to review the birth records for their children. You can do this repeated step and easily go backward in locating information on ancestors.

Click on the below image and it should take you to the collection. Simply scroll down when you arrive at the website to view the collection available. Wish you the best in your research. 

https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/393177?availability=Family%20History%20Library

August 12, 2018

When You Do Not See Who You Have Impacted

Many of you were quite unhappy with me about bringing down the website but understood where I was coming from with my decision. Some of you were involved with the situation. It wasn't done with malintent but I had reached the point of being tired of the selfish behavior from quite a few and my cousin was the tip of the iceberg.

Many have also come back and said that I should not permit another to control who I am. This is a hard pill to swallow when you're dealing with selfish individuals. It is true that there will always be someone who is toxic waiting to impose their behavior on you. In my anger, I felt that my father had no idea what he was talking about as he felt that sharing and speaking to the family would help change things.

In truth, as I think back on all the feedback from people I have impacted in a positive manner, it truly outweighs the negative behavior. When you have reached that point, it doesn't matter and my anger was in full force that individuals can have their hands out but never offer their hand.

Via genealogy research, I was able to connect to many of my Bayala cousins that I didn't get the pleasure of growing up with. Many in the Bayala family didn't know we were one big family, our origins, or our connection to slavery in Puerto Rico. Some lived thinking they had no family, while others were separated from the rest of the family through situations from the past. Although we didn't cause that past, it impacts us in ways that are impossible to change. I personally am still impacted directly by these events but I keep it moving along.
Today I think about my grandaunt Maria Ines Bayala, who I met via a phone call many years ago. Through that call, tia Maria was able to connect with my dad. My dad was so happy to speak to her that he felt that this was my calling; uniting the family.  It sadden me when tia Maria passed a year after my father in August of 2012.  She was instrumental in me searching for family, understanding what went wrong with the family, and her wanting to know more about her own mother, and the Bayala family. Unfortunately, I found the information she sought but years after her passing.

This past week, I was shocked to discover that her sister, my aunt, Luz Virginia Bayala, has passed. With all the distractions of life, I thought I had time to see her and now she is gone too. Tia Luz's passing occurred on August 9th. My heart breaks for the family left behind.

Couple all of this with that I'm humbled that I have met some genuinely great Bayala cousins that bring smiles to my face because they accepted me with open arms and with zero doubt that I was family. I also have Bayala cousins that never got to meet their dads and were concerned of being rejected by family. Speaking to them I assured them that that would not be the case. They too have reached out to me and advise me not to stop as I made it possible for them to connect with family.

I then have my Betancourt and Aleman cousins sending me private messages and thanking me because I made them feel like we were all family. I keep this in mind when I think of all the negative aspects that have transpired. I get it that not all family will be perfect and those on my Facebook account know about the bad seeds that we have encountered along the way. In truth, there are bad seeds in all families and they are not just unique to me or you. Unfortunately, I just keep finding them because they take advantage of someone offering them free help.

Taking advantage was quite apparent after me dealing with a selfish cousin a month ago. He, of course, has since deleted his Facebook account and his DNA kit. I believe that many family members pounced on him over his behavior. He isn't the only one of course, but he was the last straw that broke the camel's back of me helping.

Let's not forget the many friends that I've known since childhood, genealogists that have known me over the years, and friends from recent years have come "knocking" to let me know that I should not let individuals change who I am. In truth, am I angry at people for their selfish self-centered ways? ABSOLUTELY!

I had deleted all content from this website as I am over the behavior and changed DNS settings on the URL to stop the traffic. However, when I have countless people calling and leaving me voicemails when I wouldn't pick up the phone, it starts to let me know how many recognize that the behavior of others can come off extremely negative and tiring.

So between my mentor and many others at my job and are aware of my involvement with genealogy, gave me back feedback. The one to really let me have it was my mentor as she knew what I was giving up. If you want to ever thank anyone for pushing me to bring this website back, it would be my mentor. My mentor truly felt that I should not permit individuals to have power over me; whether personally or professionally. That permitting others to do so allows them to change who I have become over the years and most importantly, people do appreciate being helped.

So while I have restored both websites, it comes with a change. The change is that all communication is shut off. I should have done this from the get-go. There will be no comments permitted on either website. I have also turned off the "Contact me" option. The content provided will be one way.

I hate to do this but I'm opening the websites on my terms. Please do not attempt to reach out to me via Google+, email, or Ancestry as it will get ignored. Thank you for understanding.

Desktop:  To see other posts for your island, country, or any other 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 posts for your island, country, or any other 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.