I don’t know about this slight fixation with our people but: There are mestizos in our family. “Our aunt is mestiza, her hair, eyes”.
Stories like these add color (and intrigue) to Carcar family stories, in fact. And, indeed, we have aunts and uncles who really did have physical traits that may suggest European, presumably Spanish – or at least, certainly not pure Austronesian — ancestry. Although varying in dilution with each family, still, these physical appearances became the seeds of these stories. And what do you know, maybe these physical characteristics indeed do not lie.
On the other end, there are people who think their entire family is mestizo on the evidence of some in the family who seem to look it. Even if there is, for the others, nothing in the records (or in their looks) to suggest mix blood.
So, if we want to anyway, how, then, may we go about it, investigate, dig deeper into, such stories?
If your family has been racially identified as mestizo Español, then there’s no problem. But if not, yes, you may have the Spanish blood but from an illegitimate source, and this is where a search is in order, if you really want to get to the bottom of your suspicion.
1) Some families think their surnames were derived from a priest’s own.
2) In a family tree, the possible insertions, pardon the painful non-entendre, must have happened in a padre no conocido (pnc) in the tree. We can treat these pnc’s in our family trees as the genealogical marker.
So, did the mestizo strain find its start at these pnc junctures?
1) Many known children of priests did not use the latter’s surname. Illegitimate children, except natural offsprings of non-impeded parents, did not even use (were not allowed to use?) the family name of their fathers, so we’d think it would be more circumspect to appropriate that of a holy person. And many known children of priests did not use the latter’s surname – Carcar had Don Jose Avila (presumed son of Fr. Manuel Fernandez); San Fernando had Anselma Duterte (commonly known daughter of Fr. Emiliano Diez). Both carried the surnames of their mothers, as had other illegitimate children all over.
2) Was at this juncture that the mestizo looks started for your family?
Carcar’s Noel and Villarosa (and Montecillo) look mestizo, no question. And for some generations now, even. But a retracing of their family trees both pointed to single mothers and a padre no conocido. Moreover, these two families had the racial classification in the records of mestizo Sangley. In the Montecillo case, their looks supposedly came from the Barcarcel mother – but whose father, again, was a pnc!
But only padres no conocido? This other possibility is embarrassing: that a married woman gave birth but the actual father was not her husband but rather a Spaniard (or mestizo). The record, however, would probably give out the name of the husband as the father. But again, this offspring ought to have had the mestizo features setting him immediately apart from his own supposed full siblings with the listed “father”. And also, the child’s racial classification will be that of the padre de familia, either indio or mestizo Sangley.
And, of course, note well, there were not that many Spaniards going around in the provinces. The Spanish presence in far-flung towns was only the priests or friars.
So there, let’s start looking into your pnc’s.