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.