I was a panelist at the Annual State of Young Black New York. This year it was held at Fordham University and was happy and excited to share many of the resources and explaining why we should do this overall. It is easier than people may think and very rewarding overall to many.
Below is the presentation I used for the event There is a 15 second delay between each slide. The functionality is there where you can move backwards or forwards on the slides.
If you ever have a family member question the safety of DNA testing or don’t want someone to get access to their DNA, just gently remind them that they already gave up their DNA many times to the lab over the years when they gave blood and urine. It is too late to wonder and this DNA test is simply to help in researching family history and connections.
Muchas gracias por nuestro el primo Carlos Duran Torres por traducir la publicación de inglés a español. Él es el nieto de Carmen Maria Marún Lorenzo.
Lo bueno de los misterios es que siempre hay un principio y un final. Algunos finales simplemente no están a la vista y comencé a creer que ese sería el caso al saber lo que sucedió en mi familia Marún. El misterio comenzó no debido a desacuerdos o incluso dramas familiares, sino simplemente por lo que enfrentaban, católicos maronitas que escapaban del Líbano debido a las persecuciones que llevaba a cabo el Imperio Otomano. Sí, sus luchas comenzaron debido a su religión y al temor por sus vidas y las de los miembros de su familia. Así es como comenzó la migración de nuestra familia Marún.
Se sabe que los católicos maronitas han residido en las cordilleras montañosas del Líbano llamadas Mont-Liban. El Líbano está ubicado en la parte norte de África y ha sido etiquetado en Medio Oriente como si fuera un continente separado. Cuando era niña, siempre pensé en la región como una tierra de cuentos de hadas, ya que nunca podía encontrar el continente llamado Medio Oriente. Cuando analicemos África hoy, se dará cuenta de que hay muchos grupos étnicos que existen en el continente y muchos que han desaparecido.
El apellido Marún está asociado a la religión y en realidad hay 4 santos diferentes, pero el que impacta el apellido Marún es San Marón. Según las historias transmitidas, las personas con el apellido Marún son sus descendientes o sus seguidores. Me interesé en el apellido una vez que leí sobre el apellido y sobre la fe católica maronita a principios de la década de 1990. Para leer más sobre él, simplemente haga clic en su nombre arriba y lo llevará a un sitio web de la iglesia que explicará quién era. Se sabía que la mayoría de los católicos maronitas eran nómadas y también mercaderes que comerciaban con mercancías. Algunos fueron capaces de desarrollar riqueza y muchos perdieron su riqueza debido a la agitación religiosa que se produjo. Nuestra familia directa fue parte de la primera ola para migrar alrededor de 1885 y hubo una segunda que ocurrió en la década de 1920.
En mi investigación, descubrí que mucho después de venir a los Estados Unidos, México, el Caribe, Centro y Sudamérica, cambiaron sus apellidos. En realidad, algunos nunca discutieron quiénes eran por temor a que el Imperio Otomano enviara a alguien a asesinar a sus familias. Algunos cambiaron sus nombres por completo para encajar en la nueva cultura, mientras que algunos estaban obligados por ley a cambiar sus nombres. Sospecho que la necesidad de asimilar es lo que ocurrió en nuestra propia familia; nombres y, a veces, los apellidos cambiados. El concepto no es una idea nueva si piensas en cuántos ingresaron a EE. UU. A través de Ellis Island estaban haciendo lo mismo. Hay una gran influencia libanesa en los alimentos de la República Dominicana, como la ensalada Quipe (Kibbeh) y Tipile (Tabbouleh), ya que ambos platos vienen del Líbano y son deliciosos y también fáciles de asimilar. También tenga en cuenta que la adaptación al español del árabe también es más fácil, ya que hay muchas similitudes en los idiomas, ya que España está incluida entre los moros.
Ya lo he dicho antes en muchas publicaciones anteriores en mi otro sitio web y hasta le he dedicado una publicación. Tenga en cuenta que todos participamos en el juego de Round Robin en muchos aspectos de nuestras vidas y más aún cuando volvemos a contar las historias familiares. Puedo asegurarte que lo que voy a revelar no es nada único y partes de él contradicen la historia transmitida. Contaré la historia tal como la entendimos y luego nos conduciremos a la verdad.
Tres hermanos viajaron a las Américas desde el Medio Oriente, un hermano, mi bisabuelo Emilio Miguel Marún, se bajó del barco en República Dominicana. Los otros dos hermanos continuaron sus viajes con uno yendo a Veracruz, México y el otro yendo a algún lugar de Sudamérica. Los hermanos nunca volverían a la República Dominicana y la familia Marún que vive cerca de la capital de Santo Domingo desciende de los hijos de Emilio con Fidelia Lorenzo. Son María Carmen (1910), Miguel Emilio (1911), Salvador (1913), Elupina (1915) y Consuelo María (1918). Para su hijo mayor, Miguel, Emilio asumió el nombramiento de todos sus nietos de parte de mi abuela, Nieves.
La mayor era mi madre, y Emilio la llamaría Tahaly, que luego cambió a Tahalis, que es la palabra árabe para referirse a la nieve. Él le dio este nombre como una traducción al nombre de mi abuela, Nieves, que es la palabra española para nieve. Además, nombraría a mis tíos después de sus hermanos, Miguel, Héctor Manuel y Jorge. O así nos dijeron; más sobre esto.
Mi abuela, mi madre y mis tíos no tenían más que cosas buenas que decir sobre Emilio cuando hablamos de él. Era obvio que él era una buena persona. Muchos también mencionarían el nombre Tannús y potencialmente este sería el nombre árabe de Emilio. Verás que Emilio es un nombre castellanizado.
Armada con esta historia, conecté Internet y me encontré con los sitios de BBS que ya no existen donde muchos otros descendientes de católicos maronitas publicarían buscando a su familia. Me encontré con muchos Marún pero sentí que no había forma de conectarme con ellos. Quiero decir que había Marún que formaban parte de las migraciones de la década de 1920, mucho después de que nuestra familia se fuera. Sin embargo, había dos personas que reclamarían historias similares pero diferentes.
Un primo potencial, Marcelino Marún, informó que había 3 hermanos y que se fueron a Sudamérica, pero que un hermano se estableció en el Estado de Tabasco en México. No sabía exactamente quién era su familia, pero había escuchado historias y no estaba seguro de qué hacer con ellas. Sin embargo, él notificaría que su bisabuelo se ahogó en el mar. Descubriría muchos años después que desciende de Manuel Marún. Creo que Manuel se llamaba Tobía y castellanizó su nombre y el de su padre; Revelaré por qué mientras proporciono detalles.
El otro primo potencial, Gustavo Marún, contaría la historia de que Maroun Bechara llegó a Colombia con su hijo Nassin y dos hermanos, uno llamado Tannús y otro Tobía en el año 1885. Maroun Bechara tuvo otro hijo que murió en el viaje debido a una epidemia que tiende a golpear a los barcos cuando cruzan el océano. También castellanizaría su nombre a Manuel Marún y su hijo castellanizaría su nombre a Narciso Marún. Cuando vi las fotos que compartió, no pude evitar mirarlas debido a la semejanza con muchas de mi familia. Además, el registro de la iglesia habla de él y su hijo casándose con dos hermanas en 1897 en Colombia. Así que historia similar pero con información adicional.
A Través de Los Años
A medida que pasaban los años, hablé con muchos y me di cuenta de que la tarea era imposible ya que había pruebas de relación con historias que no coincidían exactamente con la que conocíamos. Durante una conversación con mi abuelo, me preguntó si ayudaría a buscar a mi familia. No tuve corazón para decirle que era una tarea imposible y que ya lo estaba haciendo. En cambio, solo le dije que buscaría. Fue entonces cuando me contó la historia de cómo cuando vivió en la República Dominicana en los años 1930 y 1940, le correspondería a través de cartas con un primo con su tocayo, Miguel, que vivía en Jaltipan, México. Él dijo que este primo era más cercano a su edad y contextura. También informó que este primo los había invitado constantemente y que era dueño de una zapatería. Fue entonces que él informó que tenía hermanos y hermanas que vivían en República Dominicana. ¡YO TENÍA ZERO IDEA!
Así que armada con esta información, comencé a investigar en línea y descubrir todo lo que pude sobre la familia en República Dominicana. Siendo que soy buena en la investigación, inmediatamente comencé a descubrir todo tipo de registros.
Entonces, un día, descubrí la base de datos en línea de República Dominicana sobre los extranjeros que vivían o visitaban el país. Después de escribir su nombre, descubrí documentación que decía que había llegado por barco desde Colombia en 1898 con fotos de él que nunca supimos que existían. Había bastantes documentos y también indicó que él era de Siria pero después de hacer un trabajo de investigación, encontré que el Líbano en algún momento estaba bajo el control de Siria.
Este descubrimiento contradijo lo que sabíamos de él y al conocer el juego de Round Robin, me preguntaba qué más era contradictorio. Y había mucho más. No tenía idea de cuándo falleció Emilio, pero sí supe que fue después de que mi madre y mis tíos se fueran a Estados Unidos en la década de 1940. Desafortunadamente, después de revisar los registros de defunción que comenzaban cuando mis tíos se fueron, descubrí que Emilio murió el 21 de octubre de 1949.
Aparece Otra Pista
Antes de que mi abuelo fuera ingresado en un hogar de ancianos, él le proporcionó a uno de mis tíos un sobre con una dirección en una zapatería en Jaltipán, México. Mi abuelo dijo que pertenece al primo con quien se comunicó cuando era más joven. Pensó que había arrojado todo y me explicó que no tenía nada que darme en cuanto a pistas. Esto es comprensible ya que él estaba en sus últimos años 90. Como estaba en constante comunicación con el potencial primo mexicano, Marcelino, le pregunté si la dirección significaba algo para él sin decirle el motivo. Me dijo que la dirección del tío que él me había estado diciendo que estaba enfermo y que sabría más sobre la familia. Él me dijo que había planeado visitarlo durante un fin de semana, ya que vivían en diferentes estados de México. Al llegar a la casa de su tío, Marcelino descubrió que su tío estaba demasiado enfermo para hablar y falleció las semanas siguientes.
Esto me entristeció porque este tío tenía la llave para saber quiénes eran los padres de Emilio Marún, quiénes eran los familiares desaparecidos y dónde encontrarlos. También significó que otra generación de la familia se había ido y nuestra conexión se había perdido para siempre. Sin embargo, también confirmó que Marcelino y sus hermanos eran primos. También tuvo la clave para descubrir y establecer que había primos en Colombia y recuerda vagamente haberlos conocido con sus padres siendo niños cuando visitaron el país. Estaba refiriéndose a Gustavo y su familia como primos. Nuevamente, tuve que tomar esto como un rumor ya que Marcelino creció principalmente sin conocer a su familia Marún y por eso estaba buscando. Creí que se estaba basando en lo que habíamos encontrado sobre los tableros BBS libaneses de hace años.
El ADN Cambia el Terreno del Juego
Pensé que nunca sería capaz de confirmar esta línea, ya que el ADN era una nueva herramienta en la genealogía, costosa para muchos y tampoco disponible en otros países hasta que un “primo” que vivía en los Estados Unidos decidió tomarla. Este “primo” estaba en mi lista de amigos en mi cuenta de Facebook ya que me hice amigo de muchos en todo el mundo en mi búsqueda. Este “primo” era escéptico de que nos relacionáramos y comprendí completamente su escepticismo ya que el apellido Marún es muy común.
Sin embargo, esta “prima” probó con 23 y conmigo sin mencionarlo y me sorprendió en mi muro de Facebook al preguntarme si yo era la misma Anna Bayala porque coincidimos los 23 y yo. También se combinó con una de mis hermanas, lo que tiene sentido ya que pierdes el 50% de tus parientes después del primo tercero debido a la forma en que nuestro ADN se recombina con cada generación.
Una vez que pudimos identificar y confirmar que realmente éramos primos y que la cantidad que compartíamos se alineó correctamente, me di cuenta de que finalmente había encontrado a uno de los hermanos de Emilio. Desafortunadamente, mi abuelo no pudo vivir lo suficiente como para enterarse de que encontramos la familia de un hermano, ya que murió a los 103 años y medio de edad en 2015. Así que este primo ahora ha confirmado la línea familiar y he encontrado uno de los hermanos de Emilio Marún.
Mientras mi primo pensaba y creció creyendo que se llamaba José, otro primo que desciende de él indicó que se llamaba Manuel. Armada con esta información, decidí agregarlos al árbol genealógico de Ancestry e intenté con Manuel primero ya que este era uno de los nombres que se le dio a uno de mis tíos. También entré en el nombre de su esposa. A los 5 minutos de agregarlos al árbol, los registros de ascendencia aparecieron en ambos y era su registro de bodas. Resulta que su nombre era de hecho Manuel. Lo más sorprendente es que mi primo compartió una foto del hermano de Emilio. Luego de nuevas discusiones, resultó que Manuel era el mismo hombre que había escuchado muchos años antes en el sitio libanés BBS que se ahogó en las aguas del Caribe. Manuel también era un comerciante y murió en un barco que se hundía mientras estaba de negocios.
Además, después de sacar los registros de boda en el sitio web de Familysearch, ahora sabía el nombre de sus padres; Jorge Marún y Artura José. Y el nombre de José que este primo recordaba era en realidad el apellido de soltera de la bisabuela o lo que se tradujo del árabe como los nombres de los padres habían sido castellanizados.
Marún en Colombia: ¿Dónde Encajan?
Bueno, la segunda historia que mencioné dada por Gustavo en realidad une a la familia. ¿Cómo es eso posible? Una vez más, el ADN juega en la imagen. Estaba revisando mis coincidencias de ADN en Ancestry tratando de descubrir a un abuelo paterno desconocido de Carmona. Al buscar el apellido y los árboles de mis fósforos de ADN, apareció un equipo con un árbol, pero no se ajustaba a los otros árboles de Carmona. Esto es porque este Carmona era de Colombia y no tenía conexión con los otros kits de Carmona. Sin embargo, los kits con los que sí coincidía eran en realidad todos los apellidos maronitas de Oriente Medio o Líbano que sabía que estaban allí, pero los ignoré porque no sabía cómo se relacionaban las personas.
Al excavar en su árbol, noté que ingresaba el nombre “Antonio Marum”. Inmediatamente empecé a echar un vistazo más de cerca al árbol y escribí a la persona que administraba el kit. Le pregunté si era un error tipográfico en el apellido. Tomando estos nombres del árbol, comencé a investigarlos en Familysearch y rápidamente descubrí que el apellido era de hecho un error tipográfico, ¡en realidad era Marún! También fui más allá de lo que tenían en su árbol. Me di cuenta de que esta línea desciende del hijo de Maroun Bechara, Antonio Marún. Lo loco es que debido a la recombinación del ADN, soy el único de la familia Dominico Marún que ha probado con Ancestry que realmente está haciendo juego con este kit. Sin embargo, cuando miro los estuches “Shared Matches”, todos son estuches que combinan con mi tío, primo, sobrino y yo. Actualmente tengo dos estuches dominicanos adicionales de Marún que todavía se están procesando en el laboratorio y esperando que ambos tengan la combinación correcta de ADN. También tengo primos Marún en República Dominicana que también probarán para ayudar en la investigación y confirmarán la línea.
Entonces, ¿quién es Maroun Bechara? Él es el hermano desaparecido de nuestro bisabuelo que se estableció en Colombia. Cuando comencé a juntar los nombres, rápidamente me di cuenta de que este kit era descendiente del bisabuelo de Gustavo, Maroun Bechara o Manuel Marún. Sí, este era otro Manuel. Resulta que ambos hermanos tomaron el mismo nombre de Manuel. ¡Y esas fotos de hace un año que se parecían a muchas en mi familia directa de Marún ahora tienen mucho sentido! Sus imágenes son las siguientes:
Tannús, Tobía y Jorge: ¿Cómo Encajan Estos Nombres?
El nombre Tannús era un nombre que mi abuelo siempre había mencionado. También fue mencionado por primos en República Dominicana y al principio pensamos que era el apellido de soltera de su madre. Sin embargo, estos nombres en realidad eran sus nombres originales, razón por la cual todos conocían estos nombres pero no podían ubicarlos. El nombre Emilio, Miguel, Jorge y Manuel no son nombres que escucharía en el Líbano. Estos son en realidad nombres en español.
Además, el nombre Jorge es en realidad el nombre del padre de mi bisabuelo y no el de su hermano. Si lo piensas, en total había tres hermanos, Miguel era el nombre que Emilio seleccionó para su segundo nombre. Basado en pruebas de ADN, ambos hermanos se enfrentaron a Manuel. Sin embargo, uno se refirió a su padre como Jorge, mientras que otro se refirió a él por su nombre libanés árabe, Isak Marún. Sin embargo, no me sorprendería si realmente hay más hermanos, ya que Jorge Marún vivió en el Líbano hasta al menos 1914, ya que su hijo Manuel en México lo incluyó en la lista de vivos y viudo en los registros. Muchos de los primos en México tomaron el nombre de Miguel y Jorge y el Manuel en Colombia realmente nombró a su hija Emilia y su hijo Miguel.
Así que aquí es donde digo que el misterio se resuelve en lo que le sucedió a nuestra familia. Que Marún es familia ya que estoy visitando a nuestra familia dominicana Marún para documentar nuestro árbol genealógico. También invité a nuestro primo Gustavo, que vive en Colombia, para ayudar en la construcción del árbol genealógico de todos nuestros primos colombianos. Y lo más importante, le pedí a nuestro primo, Carlos Duran, que vive en República Dominicana y es el nieto de María Carmen, que traduzca esto al español para nuestros primos que no saben leer inglés.
Las siguientes fotos son hijos de la familia dominicana Marún. Nos falta Elupina Marún y su familia. Si alguien quiere agregar sus fotos. Ponte en contacto conmigo a través del enlace de contacto en la parte superior del sitio web.
Publicado por ABayala
He estado investigando mi ascendencia desde principios de los años 90 y soy una ávida genealogista. Muchos se preguntan por qué comparto información libremente. Bueno, soy una firme creyente de que cada persona tiene derecho a saber y que no se le impida descubrir quiénes son. Las personas que son adoptadas, un padre desconocido, los abuelos, sin conocer su cultura, y lo peor, la pérdida de la historia debido a la fealdad de la esclavitud. Comparto la información en memoria de mi padre, Luis Bayala Delgado, quien siempre me aconsejó que conocer a tu familia e historia es conocerte a ti mismo. Nuestra broma diaria de la noche era que él me preguntaba: “¿Cuántos muertitos has molestado hoy?”. Espero que estas publicaciones te lleven a un viaje exitoso.
The great things about mysteries is that there is always a beginning and an end. Some endings are just never in sight and I started to believe that that would be the case in knowing what ever happened in my Marún family. The mystery started not due to family disagreements or even family drama, but simply due to what they faced, Maronite Catholics escaping Lebanon due to the persecutions faced by the Ottoman Empire. Yes, their struggles started due to their religion and running in fear for their lives and those of their family members. This is how our Marún family migration started.
Maronite Catholics are known to have resided in mountainous ranges of Lebanon called Mont-Liban. Lebanon is located in the northern portion of Africa and has been labeled under the The Middle East as if on a separate continent. As a kid, I always thought of the region as fairytale land as I could never find the continent called The Middle East. When we look at Africa today, you’ll realize that there are many ethnic groups that exist on the continent and many that have been wiped out.
The last name Marún is associated to the religion and there are actually 4 different saints but the one that impacts the Marún last name is Saint Maron. According to stories passed down, people with the last name Marún are his descendants or his followers. I took an interest in the last name once I read about the last name and about the Maronite Catholic faith back in the early 1990s. To read more about him, simply click on his name above and it will lead to a church’s website that will explain who he was. Most Maronite Catholics were known to be nomadic people and also as merchants trading wares. Some were able to develop wealth and many lost their wealth due to the religious upheaval that occurred. Our direct family were part of the first wave to migrate around 1885 and there was a second one that occurred in the 1920’s.
In my research, I have discovered that many after coming to the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central, and South America, changed their last names. Some actually never discussed who they were in fear of the Ottoman Empire sending someone to assassinate their families. Some changed their names completely to fit in the new culture, while some were required by law to change their names. I suspect that the need to assimilate is what occurred in our own family; first names and at times last names being changed. The concept is not a new idea if you think about how many entering the USA via Ellis Island were doing the same thing. There is also a huge Lebanese influence in Dominican Republic’s foods such as Quipe (Kibbeh) and Tipile (Tabbouleh) salad as both dishes come from Lebanon, both delicious, and they were easy to assimilate. Also, keep in mind that adapting to Spanish from Arabic is much easier as there are many similarities in the languages since Spain was invaded by the Moors.
I’ve said this before in many prior posts on my other website and I even dedicated a post to it. Please keep in mind that we all partake in the game of Round Robin in many aspect of our lives and more so when retelling of family stories. I can assure you that what I’m about to reveal is nothing unique and parts of it contradict the story passed down. I’ll tell the story as we understood it and then lead to the truth.
Three brothers traveled to the Americas from The Middle East, one brother, my great grandfather Emilio Miguel Marún, got off the ship in Dominican Republic. The other two brothers continued on their travels with one going to Veracruz, Mexico and the other going somewhere in South America. The brothers would never come back to Dominican Republic and the Marún family that lives near the capital of Santo Domingo all descend from Emilio’s children with Fidelia Lorenzo. They are Maria Carmen (1910), Miguel Emilio (1911), Salvador (1913), Elupina (1915), and Consuelo Maria (1918). For his eldest son, Miguel, Emilio took on the naming of all his grandchildren from my grandmother, Nieves.
The oldest was my mother, and Emilio would name her Tahaly, later changed in the USA to Tahalis, which is the Arabic word for snow. He gave her this name as a translation to my grandmother’s name, Nieves, which is the Spanish word for snow. In addition, he would name my uncles after his brothers, Miguel, Hector Manuel, and Jorge. Or so we were told; more on this.
My grandmother, mother, and uncles had nothing but good things to say about Emilio to me when we spoke about him. It was obvious that he was a good person. Many would also mention the name Tannús and potentially this would be Emilio’s Arabic name. You see Emilio is a Castilianize name.
Armed with this story, I hit the internet and came across BBS sites that no longer exist where many other descendants of Maronite Catholics would post searching for family. I came across many Marún but felt that there was no way of connecting to them. I mean there were Marún’s that were part of the migrations of the 1920’s; well after our family leaving. However, there were two individuals that would claims similar but different stories.
One potential cousin, Marcelino Marún, advised that there were 3 brothers and that they went to South America but that one brother settled in the State of Tabasco in Mexico. He didn’t know who exactly were his family but had heard stories and wasn’t sure what to make of them. However, he would advise that his great grandfather drowned at sea. I would find out many years later that he descends from Manuel Marún. I believe Manuel’s name was Tobía and he Castilianize his name and that of his father’s; I’ll reveal why as I provide details.
The other potential cousin, Gustavo Marún, would tell the story that Maroun Bechara came to Colombia with his son Nassin and two brothers one called Tannús and other Tobía in the year 1885. Maroun Bechara had another son that died on the voyage due to an epidemic that tends to hit ships as they crossed the ocean. He would also Castilianize his name to Manuel Marún and his son would Castilianize his name to Narciso Marún. When I saw the pictures he shared, I couldn’t help but stare at them due to the resemblance to many in my family. In addition, the church record spoke of him and his son getting married to two sisters in 1897 in Colombia. So similar story but with added information.
Over the Years
As years went by, I spoke to many and realized the task was one of impossibility as there was no proof of relationship with stories that didn’t exactly match to the one we knew. During a discussion with my grandfather, he asked if I would help search for family. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that it was an impossible task and I was already doing so. Instead, I just told him I would search. It was then he told me the story of how when he lived in Dominican Republic in the 1930’s and 1940’s, he would correspond via letters with a cousin with his namesake, Miguel, that lived in Jaltipan, Mexico. He advised that this cousin was close in age and built. He also advised that this cousin had constantly invited them to visit and he owned a shoe store. It was also then that he advised he had brothers and sisters that lived in Dominican Republic. I HAD ZERO IDEA!
So armed with this information, I started researching online and uncovering everything I could on the family in Dominican Republic. Being that I am good at sleuthing, I immediately started discovering all types of records.
Then one day, I discovered Dominican Republic’s online database on foreigners who lived or visited the country. After entering his name, I discovered documentation that stated that he had arrived via ship from Colombia in 1898 with photos of him that we never knew existed. There were quite a few documents and it also indicated that he was from Syria but after doing some investigative work, I found that Lebanon at one time was under Syria.
This discovery contradicted what we knew about him and knowing about the game of Round Robin, I wondered what else was contradicting. And there was plenty more. I had no idea when Emilio passed away but I did know it was after my mother and uncles had left for the USA in the 1940s. Unfortunately, after looking through death records starting when my uncles left, I discovered Emilio died on the 21st of October in 1949.
Another Clue Appears
Prior to my grandfather being placed in a nursing home, he provided one of my uncles with an envelope with an address to a shoe store in Jaltipan, Mexico. My grandfather said it belong to the cousin he communicated with when he was younger. He thought he had thrown everything out and advised me he didn’t have anything to give me as far as clues. This is understandable since he was in his late 90’s. Since I was in constant communication with the potential Mexican cousin, Marcelino, I asked him if the address meant anything to him without telling him the reason why. He advised me that the address was to his uncle that he had been telling me about that was ill and that he would know more on the family. He advised he had planned to visit him over a weekend as they lived in different States in Mexico. Upon arriving at his uncle’s home, Marcelino discovered that his uncle was too ill to speak and he had passed the following weeks.
This sadden me as this uncle held the key to knowing who Emilio Marún’s parents were and who were the missing family members and where to find them. It also meant that another generation of family was gone and our connection permanently gone. However, it also confirmed that Marcelino and his siblings were indeed cousins. He also held the key to discovery and stated that there were cousins in Colombia and he vaguely recalls meeting them with his parents as a child when they visited the country. He was referencing Gustavo and his family as cousins. Again, I had to take this as hearsay since Marcelino grew up mostly not knowing his Marún family which is why he was searching. I believed he was basing it on what we had come across over the Lebanese BBS boards from years ago.
DNA Changes the Playing Field
I thought that I would never be able to confirm this line as DNA was a new tool in genealogy, costly for many, and also not available in other countries until one “cousin” who lived in the States decided to take it. This “cousin” was on my friends list on my Facebook account as I befriended many around the globe in my search. This “cousin” was was skeptical of us being related and I fully understood her skepticism since the last name Marún is very common.
Yet, this “cousin” tested with 23andme without mentioning it to me and surprised me on my Facebook wall with asking me if I was one in the same Anna Bayala on 23andme because we matched. She also matched one of my sisters, which makes sense since you lose 50% of your cousin after 3rd cousin due to how our DNA recombines with each generation.
Once we were able to identify and confirm that we were indeed cousins and the amount we shared aligned correctly, I realized that I had finally found one of Emilio’s brothers. Unfortunately, my grandfather didn’t get to live long enough to hear that we found one brother’s family as he died at 103 1/2 years of age in 2015. So this cousin has now confirmed the family line and I have found one of Emilio Marún’s brothers.
While my cousin thought and was raised to believe his name was Jose, another cousin that descends from him indicated that his name was Manuel. Armed with this information, I decided to add them to the family tree on Ancestry and tried Manuel first since this was one of the names given to one of my uncles. I also entered in his wife’s name. Within 5 minutes of adding them to the tree, Ancestry records popped up on both of them and it was their wedding record. It turns out that his name was indeed Manuel. The most amazing thing is that my cousin shared a photo of Emilio’s brother. After further discussions, it turns out Manuel was the same man that I had heard many years prior on the Lebanese BBS site that drowned in the Caribbean waters. Manuel was also a merchant and died from a ship sinking while on business.
In addition, after pulling wedding records on Familysearch’s website, I now knew their parents’ name; Jorge Marún and Artura Jose. And the name Jose that this cousin recalled was actually the 2nd great grandmother’s maiden name or what was translated from Arabic as the parents names had been Castilianize.
Marún in Colombia: Where do they fit?
Well the second story I mentioned given by Gustavo actually ties the family together. How is that possible? Once again DNA plays into the picture. I was going through my DNA matches on Ancestry trying to figure out an unknown paternal Carmona great grandfather. In searching for the surname and trees of my DNA matches, a kit with a tree came up but it didn’t fit the other Carmona trees. This is because this Carmona was from Colombia and had zero connection with the other Carmona kits. However, the kits it did match were actually all Middle Eastern or Lebanese Maronite last names that I knew were there but ignored them as I didn’t know how people were related.
In digging into their tree, I noticed the name “Antonio Marum” entered. I immediately starting taking a closer look at the tree and wrote to the person managing the kit. I asked if it was a typo on the last name. Taking these names off the tree, I started researching them on Familysearch and quickly discovered the last name was indeed a typo, it was actually Marún! I also went beyond what they had on their tree. I realized that this line descends from Maroun Bechara’s son Antonio Marún. The crazy thing is that due to DNA recombination, I am the only one of the Dominican Marún family that has tested with Ancestry that is actually matching this kit. However, when I look at the “Shared Matches” kits, they are all kits that match my uncle, cousin, nephew, and myself. I currently have two additional Dominican Marún kits that are still being processed in the lab and hoping that they both have the right combination of DNA. I also have Marún cousins in Dominican Republic who will also be testing to help in the research and they will more than confirm the line.
So who is Maroun Bechara? He is our great grandfather’s missing brother that settled in Colombia. As I starting piecing together the names, I quickly realized that this kit was a descendant of Gustavo’s great grandfather, Maroun Bechara or Manuel Marún. Yes this was another Manuel. It turns out that both brothers took on the same name of Manuel. And those photos from year ago that resembled many in my direct Marún family now made so much sense! Their images are as follows:
Tannús, Tobía, and Jorge: How do these names fit?
The name Tannús was a name that my grandfather had always mentioned. It was also mentioned by cousins in Dominican Republic and at first we thought it was his mother’s maiden name. However, these names actually were their real original names which is why everyone knew these names but couldn’t place them. The name Emilio, Miguel, Jorge, and Manuel, are not names you’d hear in Lebanon. These are actually Spanish names.
In addition, the name Jorge is actually my great grandfather’s father’s name and not that of his brother. If you think about it, in total there were three brother, Miguel was the name Emilio selected for his middle name. Based on DNA evidence, both brothers took on Manuel. However, one referred to his father as Jorge, while another referred to him by his Arabic Lebanese name, Isak Marún. However, I would not be surprised if there are actually more brothers as Jorge Marún was alive in Lebanon until at least 1914 as his son Manuel in Mexico listed him as living and widowed in records. Many of the cousins in Mexico took on the name of Miguel and Jorge and the Manuel in Colombia actually named his daughter Emilia and son Miguel.
So this is where I say that the mystery is solved on what happened to our family. Which Marún’s are family as I am visiting our Dominican Marún family to document our family tree. I have also invited our cousin Gustavo who lives in Colombia to help with in building out the family tree for all of our Colombian cousins. And most importantly, I’ve asked our cousin, Carlos Duran, who lives in Dominican Republic and is Maria Carmen’s grandson, to translate this into Spanish for our cousins who can’t read English.
The following photos are children of the Dominican Marún family. We are missing Elupina Marún and her family. If anyone wants their pictures added. Please reach out to me via the Contact link at the top of the website.
I have been away searching through records seeking to discover what happened with my 3rd great grandmother, Teresa Prieto. There were two conflicting records that stated the opposite. Which one was correct?
So I first looked at my 3rd great grandfather, her husband, Juan de la Cruz, to determine if his church entry was correct. Per his death record, he was a widow to Teresa Prieto. So I went through church books for Nuestra Señora de la Caridad y San Miguel in Trujillo Bajo, Puerto Rico. I thoroughly inspected each image, reading through, ensuring I didn’t miss her. I started with the year that Juan de la Cruz died in 1878 and working my way back to 1865. I did this as I am confident that their son was truly born in 1871. This is because people during this era didn’t consider their age to be something important to track. Surviving and farming land to feed the family was important. Women went by the river to wash clothing or spent the day cleaning and cooking. The last thing they were concerned with was their age. So I decided that going back an additional 5 to 6 years beyond their son’s supposed age was advisable.
However, as I went through these records, I was quickly becoming disappointed as I did not find her in these books. I decided to research Carolina’s Civil Records in hopes of finding her after 1902. I was skeptic I would find her as this was pushing close or even beyond her being 100 years of age if I’m to believe the ages of their children. After spending a few evenings going through these records, I came up empty.
My last resort was going to Carolina’s other church, San Fernando. I noticed that their was an index for the years 1878 – 1881, I decided to give a a quick look. I am so happy I did as this index actually starts in 1859 and not 1878 as it is listed. Sure enough I found her in the index under Book 1 of Deaths, which covers 1859 – 1871. The index listed her on Folio 363, folio means page. I had finally hit the jackpot and I would finally get to know who her parents were and hopefully more information on Teresa.
So as I came out of the index, I quickly navigated to the Death Book 1 and arrived to her page. I was finally going to know who her parents were. As I arrived to the page, I found her at the bottom. And here is where I began to read the record. It reads as follows,
In the parochial church of San Fernando in Carolina on the 9th day of July in 1876, I, the priest, officiate over the cadaver of Teresa Prieto, naturally and neighbor of Trujillo Bajo, of 75 years of age, married to Jose Silverio Cruz, daughter of parents that they names are ignored.
That was it! I could not believe it! No one offered the church her parent’s names! After all the time spent researching her, I came up empty. I am so disappointed but do not give up easily.
There were obvious errors in the record, like her husband’s name. His name is Juan Silverio and not Jose Silverio. Another is a major big doubt on her age. If I am to believe her age, this means her 14 year old son died when she was 71. In addition, I’m to believe that she gave birth to him at the age of 57. I hugely doubt this extremely. So if her son was 14 years of age at the time of his death, I’d shave another 18 to 20 years off her age at the time of her death.
Unfortunately, marriages records for San Fernando do not start until 1859. When I went back to the book for Nuestra Señora de la Caridad y San Miguel, I was once again disappointed since the collection starts with Book 3 of Marriages and it starts in 1859. I now have to wonder if the book exists in Puerto Rico. I am hoping that that is the case but I dead end here. My last option is searching for baptismal records of her children in hopes that the priest captured grandparents information. My next step is to go through baptismal records.
It always pays to review records over and over again. There are sometimes hints in the records that we may have missed on numerous occasions. This was actually the case when I looked at the records years ago and even in reviewing them recently as I was documenting children records. In my prior post about Francisca Silveria de la Cruz Prieto, I never noticed that one of her sister’s death records provided a hint that I had missed multiple times. This is a warning to all that even though you may think you know the record, it pays to take more than one or twice.
In Francisca’s sister’s record, Juana, it stated that her parents had passed away in Trujillo Bajo. The record also stated that the father was deceased and the mother widowed. I knew that this had to occurred prior to 1885 as they could not be located in the Civil Registration records. In addition, another hint I missed was that the record stated that they were not from Gurabo but from Turabo in the same province. In other words, they were originally from Carolina and not from Gurabo. This potentially makes sense since most of the family, minus Francisca, all lived in Carolina. It could be that Francisca moved to Quebrada Negrito to be with her husband’s family, the Delgado family.
So after going through over 900 digitized images, I first came across Juan Silverio de la Cruz Arroyo’s death record and it was loaded with information. First, he died on October 9th, 1878. In the record it states that he was the widow of Teresa Prieto and he was the legitimate child of Juan de la Cruz and Juana Arroyo. It also states that he was 70 years of age. This means that he was born around 1808. This makes sense since his daughter Juana, who died in 1902, is listed at being 65 years of age and that makes her being born in 1837. So he was about 29 years old when his daughter was born. Here is where one of my surprises come in.
In Juana’s death record, it states that he was deceased but that her mother was widowed. In other words, her mother was still alive in 1902. Yet, when I read his death record, it states that she is deceased prior to him. Did the priest get it wrong or did the register of the record get it wrong? The next surprise is that I always thought they were from Gurabo. However, another inspection of Juana’s death record reveals that she was from Turabo and so were her parents. So being that Turabo and Gurabo are only off by one letter, I suspect that someone got it wrong when they claim that the parents were from Gurabo.
In addition, I think I may have found his grandparents in the Caguas books but will remain silent on it until I can confirm. If it turns out to be the same line, I think I’m going to be shocked when I do my Delgado line which is also of African roots. The last thing that caught me off guard is that I always knew they had 4 daughters. However, I was not expecting to find a son in the death books. Sure enough, Juan and Teresa had a son named Marcelino who died on May 23, 1871. The record states that Marcelino was an adult, single, and about 14 years of age.
Adult and 14 years old is something I constantly saw in the record. In today’s world you have to ask yourself how can you consider a 14 years old boy an adult? Boys at that age do plenty of dumb stuff. I can’t image a boy of 14 years of age during the 1800’s being a man. If we evolve with each generation and we see 14 years old boys getting into trouble, I can only image back then what the heck they’d get themselves into.
So I went as far back as 1850 looking through death records and could not find Teresa Prieto as deceased. This means that she may not have died during this era. So my next guess is to search for her after 1885 as that is the only place to look for her. She may have or may not have died after 1902 if I am to believe her daughter’s death record. I will have to find her before I continue down the de la Cruz line.
One of the most amazing things you can possibly do when researching your ancestry is taking a DNA test. If at all possible, testing parents and elders can be quite beneficial in helping to solve family mysteries or when hitting brick walls in your research. This is exactly how I am able to confirm who Francisca Silveria de la Cruz Prieto’s parents were and completing another generation of my African descendant ancestors. In this situation, it didn’t even require a chromosome browser but simply some investigative work.
In my prior post I spoke about her son, Angel, who is one of my great grandfathers. While Angel passed way before I came along from throat cancer in 1956, his actual age is still a mystery until I can locate a birth or baptismal record for him. However, in my prior post about Angel, I concluded that his last name was Delgado Cruz and where the Silverio surname came from.
Upon finding his death record, I confirmed that his mother was none other than Francisca Silveria de la Cruz Prieto. I’ve provided the image of the death record below and it identifies his parents correctly. What sealed the deal was finding records of Francisca’s sisters and seeing her sister’s descendants matching me via DNA and confirming via their tree that I was indeed on the right path. It is only through this particular line that I match to these individuals as 4th cousins; no endogamy with this particular connection.
What would make matching to these cousins more amazing is if they uploaded their DNA to GEDMatch to analyze our chromosomes to help break down the barrier of knowing what region in African region our ancestors originated from. I have reached out to one descendant and hope that they will upload their kits to GEDMatch.
What is most alarming to me about Angel’s death was that he died from cancer of the esophagus. The thought that this line has someone die from cancer each generation is concerning. The only thing that can come to mind is that he was a smoker. Uploading my DNA to promethease.com a couple of year back identified that I have a higher risk of attaining certain cancers. One of my paternal aunts also that descends from this line died from cancer. So using promethease can be beneficial beyond ancestry.
However, back to the ancestry piece as this is more about uncovering my African roots. Thanks to documents and DNA, I am able to confirm that my second great grandmother, Francisca, was most definitely of African descent as many documents document this and have verbal confirmation from my father that this line was African black and may have been mixed with Native American. For whatever reason, Francisca is listed with many different race descriptions. I guess it is either the person that is reporting it or the person that was documenting it.
When it came to Francisca’s death, I was surprised to find out that even her son Ramon, my great-granduncle didn’t know her last name or her parents. He listed her as being the daughter of a non-existent person, Teresa Silverio, which should have read as Teresa Prieto. He should have also known that his grandparents were married as he eliminated Juan de la Cruz from existence.
The last piece was that he was reporting her to be 96 years years old. This is something I doubt since no one seemed to track ages during this era. What is amazing is that I have come across records where people tell the priest that they are younger than the baptism record by years. I laugh because the priest will actually document the person’s information as fact into the margin of the baptismal record. Imagine being baptized in 1882 and then telling the priest that you were not born until 1894 so the record is wrong. Hilarious and quite a chuckle and happened often.
In Francisca’s death record, her son identifies his mother’s race as mestizo; another term added to her description. He also didn’t know his mother’s grandparents names as it is documented as ignored. Francisca was reported as dying from senility on December 26, 1922. So circling back, I went ahead and started researching Francisca’s siblings. I have noticed in other records as the children reporting their parents as mestizo but on Census records and other documents as Black.
Francisca has 3 other sisters that I have located, Juana, who died on June 19, 1902 in Carolina. Juana would have 7 children, that I found, with Sabad Cruz. Dominga, who died on May 8, 1922 in Carolina. Dominga had two children and was married to Felipe Quinonez. And Tomasa, died on April 27, 1918 in Carolina. Tomasa had 4 children and was married to Eustaguio Niero (sic).
Many of the records located identify their parents as being from Gurabo, which is south of Trujillo Alto, where Francisca lived. I would not be surprised if that were the case since Quebrada Negrito is a border town to the Gurabo municipality and where many went to register birth, marriage, and death of family.
I’ve supplied the images of her siblings deaths below. Note that they are either listed as mestizo or even the notorious Silverio last name appeared. One thing is for certain, for the first time in records, it is indicated that Juan de la Cruz and Teresa Prieto were not married on Dominga’s death record but that she was recognized. Potentially they could have married after her birth since her other siblings were not reporting that their parents were unwed.
However, one hint provided is that Juan Silverio de la Cruz and Teresa Prieto died in Trujillo Bajo, which is a town in Carolina and both must have died prior to 1885 since records of their death cannot be found in the civil records that started in 1885 in any of the 3 municipalities; Carolina, Trujillo Alto, or Gurabo. Unfortunately, the church death records for Trujillo Alto were never digitized but there are church records for Trujillo Bajo. The church for this town is Nuestra Señora de la Caridad y San Miguel and I have been able to locate other family members in these books.
This family line ends with Juan Silverio de la Cruz and Teresa Prieto and hoping to locate their death records to discover who their parents were and if they were truly from Gurabo as indicated in many of the records. This is my next step in researching the parents’ line.
My digging through my African ancestors starts with the most recent person and working my way backward. This would be Angel Delgado Silverio, my dad’s maternal grandfather, his mom’s dad. My dad had told me that he remembered his grandfather well since he grew up around his maternal grandparents. This is the man that my dad stated he believed he was born into slavery. My dad, Luis, was born in the town of Quebrada Negrito, which is found in the municipality of Trujillo Alto. Here is where his grandfather, Angel, also claims to be from. This is also where my grandmother, Maria de Jesus, and all of her siblings were born.
When my dad was alive, I was able to find records of his grandfather with his assistance. I had advised my dad that I was not able to locate any records that indicated that his grandfather was born into slavery as he initially thought. It seems that Angel was actually born after slavery was abolished on the island of Puerto Rico. At the time of his marriage to his wife, my great-grandmother, Maria Dolores Diaz, he claimed to be 24 years old. I believe that that was incorrect and he was much older. I located their wedding record and their marriage was documented on the 26th of November in 1919. In the record, it states that Angel is the son of Candido Delgado and Francisca Silverio. My grandmother, Maria de Jesus, was the oldest of nine children. Below is the record of their marriage that appears in book 5 in Trujillo Alto’s Civil Marriage Registry.
Here is where the mystery starts and where I believe I solved the mystery. While his parent’s first names are accurate, the fun begins with the last names for Francisca “Silverio”. In addition, Angel’s birth date gets to hop all over the calendar across many years. I have found that if you cannot find an individual, then the best thing is to look at family members to see if they can be located. My only solution was to locate birth records for his siblings.
This becomes research intensive if sibling names are unknown. Since I had nothing but parents names, I proceeded to search for the parents through potential children by extracting names from the indexes of civil books. I extracted every Delgado I could find and then proceeded to read each record entry. By doing this, I was able to locate many family members and add them to the tree such as Angel’s children, nieces, nephews, and siblings. In total I found that Angel was one of eleven children.
I then turned my research towards the 1910 US Census for Puerto Rico, which is the earliest available while under the US government. There are prior census records for Puerto Rico, which are in Spanish, under Spain’s rule and I will discuss this as I step further back into the timeline.
I expected to find Angel’s family living in Quebrada Negrito, but they were not listed in the 1910 Census. I was able to locate one of his sisters, Paula, but she was married with children and in her 30’s. This was an indicator that Angel may not have been 24 years of age when he married but actually much older.
I opened up my search to include other towns in Trujillo Alto and was able to locate his mother in Quebrada Grande, living with two sons and a grandson. However, Angel was not one of the children living at home. With finding his brother, Saturnino in Trujillo Alto’s Civil Registry for birth records, I was able to confirm that Francisca was indeed his mother. Saturnino is listed as her son as you can see from the below image.
In this image, notice how she lists her last name as Silverio y Cruz. There are also records that will list Rivera for her. Just understanding this family and generation has been difficult and a long process in my research. In a record, their daughter, Florentina, dies at the age of 6 days. Francisca is listed as Francisca Silveria de la Cruz, where Silveria is documented with ending with an “a” and as a middle name. A copy of the document which came out of Book 3 of Trujillo Alto’s Civil Registry is shown below. So in reality, if Silverio is the last name, then it means the child’s name should be listed as Florentina Delgado Silverio, but that is not the case. Most importantly, the “de la” was dropped in the last name of the child.
I then turned to Saturnino’s birth record, recorded in Book 1, Folio (page) 69v, and born on June 4, 1885. Saturnino’s father, Candido, is documenting his birth and here is where the twist comes in. Candido provides the mother as Francisca Silveria Rivera but it was not a mistake according to the document. The reason is that Francisca’s father is listed as Juan Silverio Cruz and her mother is Teresa Prieto. This would make Francisca’s name as Francisca Cruz Prieto. Yes! Another set of last names but the correct ones.
Francisca’s father, Juan Silverio Cruz, and mother, Teresa Prieto, had other children, which I will go into detail but in another post as the confusion continues around these last names and their children. According to this document, all were from Trujillo Alto and all were still alive in 1885 when Saturnino was born. From what I could find, they were all always living in Quebrada Negrito and the descendants of this line still live there today.
One thing that was noteworthy is that in documents outside of the 1910 Census, Francisca is listed as “negra” and not “mulatto”. Color is assigned by the one documenting the record so it is always a good thing to look beyond just the census records and see how other records have recorded.
What I can deduce is that Silverio was not Francisca’s last name. However, she took on the last name in honor of her father. Her name from what I have found was Francisca Silveria, but as a middle name and not the last name. She potentially took on this name to honor her father or simply decided to remove last names.
Angel’s and Saturnino’s father, Candido also states that his parents’ names is Anastacio Delgado and Marcela Agosto. Both, Anastacio and Marcela are listed as being from Trujillo Alto but that also changes in other records.
When it came to Candido, I found his baptismal record in the book reserved for free and enslaved Black people and Pardos; which can be of mixed African ancestry or Native American. He was listed as Francisco Candido and his parents are listed as Juan Eustaguio Delgado and Marcela Agosto. Juan Eustaguio and Marcela were listed as Pardo Libre or free brown people. Candido’s baptism occurred on November 25, 1832, and it was documented that he was born on September 3, 1832, in Trujillo Alto. Below is the image of his baptismal record.
I am able to conclude after reviewing all these documents I have held for years but unable to deeply research them until now. And that I have accurately documented the right individuals. While the family took on the last name Silverio, it is apparent that they did so for a reason to which I do not know. I have Angel’s WWI and WWII registration records but have not found a real birth record for him to date as he must have been born prior to 1885 or his parents never baptized or registered his birth. I can say that Angel nor his parents were enslaved at the time of his birth. However, I need to dig further to determine if they were able to purchase their freedom, as permitted under Spain’s laws or if their enslaved ancestors goes back further. My next research step is reviewing what I have on Francisca and her sisters along with their mother.