Posted by: vip | February 18, 2009

How not to find your ancestors in our genealogy forum

This here is a blog but some Carcaranons and I maintain a separate Carcarfamilies group site. This is all talk here but on that group site, Carcar family genealogists have banded together, conscious of the fact, and taking advantage of it,  that most of our families are inter-connected, and that we can actually benefit from each other’s work.  As we reconstruct our respective family trees, we file our works-in-progress in the group site.  In case of interconnection of family trees, the various family files give us the chance to grab from each others works to add to our own.

This is all because we have a dream, and many share that dream, that we give our finished products to an entity in Carcar, library or museum or association, to benefit family researchers in the years, decades, centuries ahead.

But we also accommodate family inquiries. Why? Because searchers can also help our own work, too, when they contribute their own lines to our family trees. The object being we have a quid pro quo arrangement: we help each other.

But here’s what usually happens:

8 out of ten people who write to me out of the blue through our group site couch their query so stingily with information that our exchange would go the tortuous route of something like this before it gets like really obliging:

Dear carcarfamilies,

I heard you are researching clan Cruz [let us say].

My grandfather is a Cruz and I would be interested to hear some more …

My family was originally from Davao [let us say].

Do you know what the name means?

Drop me a line when you have the time.

Clio [let us say]

– – – oOo – – –

[ASIDE: What is this? She wants me to write her everything I know of the Cruz family?]

Hello, Clio ..

Where are you based now?  You’re originally from Davao, but on the chance that before that your family came from Carcar–did you ever hear mention within the family about having roots in Carcar, Cebu?

I have some data on Cruz of Carcar but I’d need your family tree to find out where to link your branch to which ancestors or line. Please give me a tracing of your tree from your self to the earliest Cruz ancestor you can? If you could reach to great-grandparents or even earlier, we might see some light–assuming of course you derive from Carcar.

Please include dates of birth, etc. because that will make it easier for me to search by placing your ancestors on a generational timeline. If you don’t know when your grandfather was born, just tell me when your father was born and that would be a big help for our calculations. Anyway, know brothers and/or sisters of your grandfather? This would help, too.

The family name meaning? Hoping my elementary Spanish is enough, I think Cruz means cross—not the street because that would be a verb something like atravesar, but rather the Christian symbol, a noun.  Anyway, it’s not Cruise and you may not be related to Tom, after all.  May I diplomatically as I can therefore suggest for you to get that Cruise family coat-of-arms off your email signature?

– – – oOo – – –

Thanks for your reply.  About my family tree, I haven’t got a clue.  I only knew personally my grandfather, who (according to my father) came from Davao.  Not even sure which area of Davao, city, provinces. My father was born in Pinamungajan, Cebu but his parents brought the entire family to Mindanao when he was still a teenager.   That is it.  But I’d really want to trace our family and hopefully meet relatives.

I am in the other side of world (Canada) [let us say].

– – oOo – – –

[ASIDE: Sigh … She really wants to trace her family but there’s nothing she’s shared that can do that, or help me do that. We’re still on square one. She’s not even given out the name of her grandfather. ]

Dear Clio,

The information in your last letter would be tremendous in your family history, but it does not help us for our purpose—to trace you. The Cruz family is the largest clan in Carcar and I need a generational profile of your grandfather to narrow down our search. Without these items of information I am still in square one.

Clio, you’ve not given me the names of your grandparents, or even your father’s. Even in a novena petition you have to give out the names. And He is God.

– – – oOo – – –

Hehehe. My grandfather was Valentin.

– – – oOo – – –

Dear Clio,

I guess, he must have been quite a valentin that you seem not to know the name of your grandmother or even your father. Please tell me your grandmother’s name who must have come to Davao along with your grandfather and your father.

– – – oOo – – –

My grandmother was Felipa.

– – – oOo – – –

[Grrr…It’s been almost two months with this particular exchange…]

Dear Clio,

And her surname? And your father’s name.

– – – oOo – – –

My grandmother was Felipa Cruz. My father was name Jose.

– – – oOo – – –

Dear Clio,

Why, was your grandfather and your grandmother related? They had the same surname?

– – – oOo – – –

My grandparents were married.

– – – oOo – – –

Clio dear,

I muse sometimes where this is going. The object of all this is for me to have clues to aid me with our search. You’re not deliberately setting up a puzzle, are you?

Just cough out when your grandfather was born. If you know any of his siblings, better because even if I do not have your grandfather on my files, but if I have the names of those siblings you give me, that’ll solve it, too. And your grandmother’s name before she was married, too. Please do that. If your father is still alive, please have him help you, ask him about this. He could just be in the next room from you.

I really plan to get this resolved before any of us two die.

Very truly yours,




  1. Clio is a composite, just so nobody who has ever started an inquiry with me or other carcarfamilies members will feel unfairly alluded to.

    I understand there are all sorts of reasons not to give out information all at once, but searchers should also understand the goal of our group and realize that while we can help them, they’ve also got to help us in return. What I can’t understand is: The most famous people on earth, as well as the richest, have their biographies splattered all over the internet–so who are we to hide even our names? In the end, everything is only for our town and their own families.

  2. All i can remember of my grandparents are their pet names,Lolo Ipeng Velez and Lola Gonday Nacua Velez.But,im sure my Lolo was Felipe Velez while my Lola was Segunda Nacua Velez.Ill try to gather more information from my aunt.Post ra unya ko Pear.

  3. Hello Ton. hehe. This is a response I like to hear, more useful information in it than some 6 months of bi-weekly emails with dear Clio. But “I’ll try to gather more information from …” usually takes from a single day to some years. Even our own carcarfamilies members have been guilty of this, too. I guess we have our lives to live, too.

    Was your late mom first cousins with the also late Nabing Velez? If they were, then I have your lolo Felipe Velez. However, I’m sorry my Nacua data are far skimpier. The Velezes came via Cebu City although all the Velezes in Cebu were probably originally from Cagayan de Oro. The Nacua family came from San Nicolas.

  4. Winston – I have your lineage.

    I. Honorio Nacua and Francesca Larego (Napo, Cebu, PH)
    — A. Gregoria Larego Nacua (_)
    — B. Leon Larego Nacua and Josefa Sobrino (_)
    — C. Juanita Larego Nacua
    — D. Magno Larego Nacua and Cornelia Velez (_)
    — E. Alejanadra Larego Nacua
    — F. Ramegio Larego Nacua
    — G. Dionesio Larego Nacua and Eusebia Canencia (Napo, Carcar, Cebu, PH)
    — — 1. Clara Canencia Nacua (_)
    — — 2. Segundo Nacua (+) and Maura Recopelacion (+) (_)
    — — 3. Pedro Canencia Nacua
    — — 4. Cerelo Canencia Nacua
    — — 5. Hilario Nacua and Celerina Velez (_)
    — — 6. Juaquin Canencia Nacua (_)
    — — 7. Lucina Canencia Nacua and Graciano Dayagbil
    — — 8. Braulia Canencia Nacua
    — — 9A. Hervacio “Harvey” Canencia Nacua and _ _ (Seattle, Washington, USA)
    — — 9B. Hervacio “Harvey” Canencia Nacua and Francisca Cerenio (_)
    — — 10. Dionesia Nacua and Eping Velez (Napo, Carcar, Cebu, PH)
    — — — a. Eugenia “Jenny” Nacua Velez (+) and _ Laput (Cebu, PH)
    — — — — (1) _ _ (*)(+)
    — — — b. Jose Nacua Velez (Cebu, PH)
    — — — c. Victor Nacua Velez (Cebu, PH)
    — — — d. Rufina Nacua Velez (_)
    — H. Luciano Larego Nacua (_)
    — I. Cesaria Larego Nacua (_)

    Please contact me if you’d like to see the complete family tree –

    • Pamela, Winston Velez died 11 Jan 2010 from complications from diabetes. He was Cebu’s best drummer in all genres musicians who played standards, jazz, pop, rap, rock with him came nightly to his wake and laid him to rest. Singer Chad Borja came from Mindanao. A benefit concert was held some days later to help pay for his bills. He was 50 and unmarried.

      I thank you for your family tree and hope you can instead send the complete one to me. The Nacua family is very broad and in my files many branches cannot be linked. Perhaps your tree will help me and i may have somethings i can help you with, too.

  5. Again, I feel your pain. I call it the dentistry of genealogy. Getting information from someone is like pulling teeth. 🙂 Perhaps you can write a post or create a form where they have to fill in as much informaton as possible before requesting information about their family? Just a suggestion. 🙂

    • i get more information when i call on someone personally. but i’m talking here of readers who want information. the exchanges above are what you can say true-to-life, believe me. i have my email address somewhere in this site and they can email me in confidence.

  6. greetings! Pamela & VIP…

    i am grateful and amazed with what you can do to help people find their roots… which i think is really important. I am the daughter of the late Nabing Velez & Eugenia Alvarado. It’s sad to realize that he’d passed away at a young age, and wasn’t able to read your replies. I think i have met Winston some years back during my teen years, before my father was shot dead. I was the one mentioned in the papers as a witnessed to the sad event. I would like to have my lineage too. my father’s parents name: Placido Embalsado Velez & Epifania Cui Pagusara-Velez.
    May you have good health always and continue to help find the lost family roots.
    God bless.

    • dear gina, i was in carcar for a week and did not have the full enjoyment of the internet, having to do it in an internet cafe. i read your comment but my files are in my sister’s desktop back home. can you give me the children of placido-epifania in order? and please include nabing’s full name and date of birth and death and your mother’s middle (of alvarado) name. i am going to post the carcar velez family tree (3 generations) next week. although this will reach only to your grandfather placido, but his children will be for my full file. thanks in advance, and again sorry for the delayed reply.

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