Saturday, July 28, 2012

Genealogy, Are You Sure, Or Do You Think You Are Sure

Most people think they know where they come from and who is related etc. Some others are kidding themselves about one thing or another. Some ancestors were hiding things from the family and it is surprising when you discover the truth. Maybe it is a birthday you had all wrong, maybe it is a name that was changed for some reason or another.

One thing I find in doing in depth genealogical work is that folks who learned about their ancestors by word of mouth or "every one knows" etc., are wrong as much as they are right. Or there is a snippet of truth in a much larger story of one relative or another. This is especially true with people, usually children, that died young. Some people seem to think that the only children their grandparents had were the ones that survived.

There are so many family myths, omissions and out right lies. Those along with perceptions a person has about your family make up a fuzzy picture. Sometimes a real fuzzy picture of what a persons family was really like.

For Hispano New Mexicans who were already here when the Americans invaded and took over New Mexico there are many sources of information.

  1. The Hispanic Genealogical Research Center of New Mexico is probably the best of the whole bunch. Their Great Name Database is not perfect but very, very good. Their quarterly journal and publications are great and worth every cent.
  2. The New Mexico Genealogical Society is a very good reference and their quarterly journal and other publications publications are very good.
  3. The U.S. Federal Census is available on line and offers good information. They start in New Mexico in 1850 and get progressively better with each census there after. The 1940 U.S Federal Census was just released in April of this year. It, and the 1880 census are available for free.
  4. History books on New Mexico/Mexicans offer some good information on Hispano New Mexicans.
  5. The Latter Day Saints search engine available for free is good also. Especially this latest version which was introduced lately. I use their ancestry program  (PAF-5) exclusively to document our findings. It is available for free at their website and I have found it superior to any that I have bought, paid a lot of money for and discarded.
Be careful with books written right before or after the American occupation of New Mexico in 1846. The folks coming here had a hatred of New Mexicans that showes up in their writings. You have to over look it and remember that our ancestors did not think very highly of them either.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Jeramiah Was a Bullfrog

"Im a hard knock flyer and a rainbow rider and a straight shooting son of a gun"