New member introducing myself

+11 votes
Hello everyone. I am new to genealogy and I am enjoying learning as much as possible about the field and my family history.

I am particularly interested in Puerto Rican genealogy and will concentrate on ancestors from San German, Mayaguez, and Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.

My brick wall is Jose Velez from San German, PR who was born around 1840. I do not have any info going further back but that's going to be my focus moving forward.

I look forward to making connections and having conversations about genealogy. Thanks for now and take care.
WikiTree profile: Phil Vélez
in The Tree House by Phil Vélez G2G2 (2.2k points)
I suppose it would depend on whether Jose Velez (1840) was born in Puerto Rico or came by ship? And whether he was baptized / christened in the church? Are there records for ships landing with passenger lists? and records of any churches ?

And were there any census enumerated by household with names of at least head of household?

Did Jose buy / sell land or slaves?

Was there a newspaper of that time period say 1835 to say 1900 that printed legal notices as well as births, deaths, funerals, probate, estate sales, and etc?
Thank you very much for your response and wonderful recommendations. I have thought about the possibility of Jose Velez coming from Spain or Portugal. I will pursue that lead. I have not had much luck with online church records but plan on reaching out to local churches as well. I will also consider the other possibilities. Thanks again!
I was remembering what I had to go through in tracing people in Louisiana back when in a similar era 1820's through 1860's .... fortunately there were Catholic church archives although there were times it took puzzling out

You are likely to run into records in Spanish so you will either need to read and write it, or have an excellent dictionary or know someone who can read and write it ... of course google can do translations more or less

First steps might be to "inventory" what is available at local libraries, colleges and any historical societies / museums, and to check and see what records you can have access to for Puerto Rico as a whole -- in Calif. it would be the State Dept of something ... nowadays there are some records which have been configured to be available online ... I think the reference desk at the library, whether local or at the college, would be able to assist in finding out what records you can get at online ... if there is a Catholic church you can inquire about which one was there in 1840 through say 1860 or 1870? Or at least find out from them where you can go to find out about it ...

That is a good point about Portugal's presence .. I had not thought of that ..
Thanks again, Susan. I greatly appreciate all of your insightful recommendations. Luckily, I speak and read a little Spanish, which has been very helpful in my research thus far. I am already benefiting from joining WikiTree. Thanks for taking the time to assist me with my first brick wall. I am sure I'll come across many others in my genealogical journey. Best regards!

1 Answer

+5 votes

Welcome to WikiTree Phil.

FamilySearch has some Puerto Rican records here: 

You just need to register for a FREE account.

by Vivian Egan G2G6 Pilot (110k points)
Thank you, Vivian. I am definitely using Family Search. I am sure it will help me a great deal along the way.

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