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Surnames and use of "De"

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By Visitor - Posted on 17 February 2006

Message from Erlinda Castanon-Long longsjourney@...

Welcome to the wonderful world of genealogy! What I'm sharing may
sound very trying but I must tell you the longer you do genealogy
the more satisfaction you get when you work long and hard and your
family is reclaimed after going through many records. I found a
record I'd had for 3 years the key to taking my Gutierrez family
from 1750 in Jalisco to 1650 in Michoacan! At other times I can
thank another person who's shared their information and records that
opened a door for me. My husband had done the records for his family
back to 1854 and found someone else online through
who'd done that line back to mid 1500's and was more than willing to
share including documentation.

When I started reading records I would discard all names that were
spelled differently... WRONG!!! I now know the families seldom even
saw the records and the people giving the information were not
always the people the records were about. There were many times
where the scribe put the grandparents as parents and the birth dates
were very wrong. I have a marriage record for an ancestor that says
he was 50 but he was really 72 when he married a second time!

You may find the people using different names during their lifetime,
I have an ancestor who appears as Antonio Carmen, Jose Carmel,
Antonio del Carmen but they are all the same person. I've found
times when the men all used the fathers surname and the women used
their mothers and grandmothers surnames, they have been very
challenging to put together as siblings.

I've found the spelling of their surnames change from record to
record with the scribe and local customs being in control. De la
Cueva becomes Cuevas, De Los Rios became Del Rio and then Rios...
De Avila became Davila and Avila. De la Torre sometimes stayed that
way or changed to Torres. And then their are the families who got to
chose which one of the hyphenated surname to use.. Villasenor y Jaso
became Villa or Villasenor with other siblings using just Jaso!

It sounds confusing but once you get familiar with the names and
style of the records for that area it all comes together.. The parts
of the puzzle finally fall into place and you understand why we do
this... to honor our families and to reclaim a history many of us
never knew existed.
Best wishes in your search
Linda in Everett

Message from Alberto Duarte albertodua@...

Good information.

I have one also, what about the last name Garcia de la
Cadena-some of my relatives went with Garcia and
others went with Cadena (which I'm having a problem
finding). Can anyone from Zacatecas Jerez help me
with this one?

Alberto Duarte

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