Monday, September 19, 2011

the legend of La Serrana de la Vera

Here is a link to a power point that tells the story of the legend of La Serrana de la Vera.

Hope you enjoy learning about a legend of the area.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Website- Garganta la Olla

To go along with this blog, I have created a website with more pages and information about Garganta la Olla.
Click here to go to my website.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Reconstructing the Bartolome Curiel and Maria Perez Family from Garganta la Olla

After I finished extracting the first list into excel, I was curious to see if I would be able to find families throughout all three lists, so I tried a little experiment. I took one of the families with the most children, because I thought that would make them easier to follow. I compared them through all three lists. Then I approximated the birthdates from their appearance on the lists. Next I searched the Parish Baptisms Registers. Lo and behold I found 12 children for Bartolome and Maria. It was very exciting. This proved to me, that this was a viable process. After this I was rejuvenated and began to continue working on the extraction part of the process with renewed energy to work towards completion as soon as possible.

Bartolome Curiel Family- 1586
Bartolome Curiel Family- 1594
Bartolome Curiel Family- 1603

One interesting fact about the family in the 1603 list, Bartolome and Maria, the father and mother, did not appear with the family. However, the daughter Ana was listed as of Bartolome Curiel, telling me that she was his daughter. At this point,  I am not sure what happened to Bartolome and Maria. I am thinking that the probability is high, that they both died. In the 1590s, there was a great plague and many people in Garganta la Olla died. Bartolome and Maria, could have been part of this group. Hopefully I will be able to answer that question in the burial records.

I have posted a Powerpoint Presentation that I gave at a conference about the Reconstruction Process. This Presentation will describe the process in much greater detail. If you are interested, take a look.

Reconstructing Families- Membership Lists

When we finally were able to come home and examine the membership lists. It was discovered that there were actually 4 separate lists. One for each of the years 1576, 1586, 1594 and 1603. The last three were fairly similiar in format, with the head of the house being listed first, followed by the spouse and then children. Each entry had a relationship qualifier except the head of house, similiar to that of a census. Some of the spouses were listed as "su mujer" meaning his wife, or "viuda" meaning widow or "la de" also meaning widow. The children were labeled as "sus hijos" meaning his/her children. While most of the lists only had su mujer for the wife's name, the 1603 list included the wife's entire name, with given name and surname.
1603 Membership List- wife's given and surname included

Over 2 years time, I extracted the names in the 1603, 1594 and 1586 lists.  Each list had approximately 500 families with anywhere from one to ten people in the household. Some of the households even included extended family such as siblings, nieces/nephews or grandchildren; and some households included servants. It was very interesting to see the different combinations.

Once I extracted the names from these 3 years, we had to find a way to take the information I had entered into an excel spreadsheet as households and migrate the information into a genealogy program. I really did not want to retype all the information. We felt that using the spreadsheet was the best way to first analyze the data. We spent two years searching for a program that would be the correct tool. Finally, my husband Bob found a genealogy software program called "Gramps." This program would allow you to import the excel data into a file format that could then be imported into Gramps. Once the information was in Gramps, I then exported the file and worked with the families in RootsMagic, which is my current genealogy software program of choice. My husband Bob was kind enough to spend the time, manipulating the data in my excel spreadsheet, then importing it into Gramps for me. When the hard part was done, then I would put it in Rootsmagic and begin looking at the families.

If you want to know more about the Gramps software which is available for free, you can click on the underlined word Gramps.

Now that the families have been in Rootsmagic for about two years, a Trejo cousin, Pam Oborn has been working with me to combine the families with other families we already had connected with Parish Records, mainly baptisms. We also had to combine the families from the three lists. We have finished this process with the 1586, 1594 and 1603 lists, and I am going through one more time to see if there are any obvious family matches that we missed in this combining process.The goal is to get close to 500 families with about 1500 individuals.

After working with these families for 4 years, I have become very well acquainted with them. It has been a fun project to work on and watch the families as they grow and progress over the years. Some families have gone from a couple to a couple and as many as 12 children.  In my next post, I will give the details about the family of Bartolome Curiel and his wife Maria Perez and how I found all 12 of their children, by combining the lists and then comparing them with baptism records. Stay tuned...........

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Origin of the Name Garganta la Olla- Podcast

To explain the origin of the name of the village of Garganta la Olla, I have created a podcast. It is posted on this blog on the right hand side just below the box for links. You can click on the podcast box and listen to the explanation.Not only did I explain how Garganta la Olla got its name, but I also gave a short explanation about some of the other unique characteristics of Garganta. It is a wonderful little town, much different than many other towns in the surrounding area, because of its location, geographical features, and the architecture.  Happy Listening!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Spanish Surname Flexibility

The Parish Archive in Garganta la Olla.
In spanish culture tradition, there are some surname customs relative to present day naming patterns. A person takes their father's surname and their mother's surname. If I was named Maria , my father was Emilio Hernandez and my mother Catalina Perez, my name would be Maria Hernandez Perez. However in ancient times, they may not have followed this tradition and instead named the girls with the mother's surname first and the father's surname second. In this case Maria daughter of Emilio Hernandez and Catalina Perez would be Maria Perez Hernandez.

In Garganta la Olla, in the 1500s at the time of the Cofradia lists I extracted, the naming tradition was to name the sons with the father's surname first and the daughter's with the mother's surname first. That would make Maria Perez Hernandez but her brother Pedro Hernandez Perez. Sometimes however, they didn't include the second surname. In that case Maria daughter of Emilio Hernandez and Catalina Perez would be Maria Perez, but her brother Pedro would be Pedro Hernandez.

All of these surname variations, could make it quite challenging to place correct families together. In a christening record the child would be listed as Maria daughter of Emilio Hernandez and Catalina Perez. Then if you wanted to know the surname she was known by, you would most likely find that listed in her marriage record where she was listed as Maria Perez, legitimate daughter of Emilio Hernandez and his wife, Catalina Perez.

Therefore, when trying to reconstruct the families in a village, it is very important to study the naming traditions to correctly identify the families.