meBlogging the genealogist way
I had almost lost it—that this is a blog. Well, there’s also a cabinet in it containing various family files, and still others with some Carcar tidbits, but all in all, it is really a blog of my experiences digging into old records of the town. And as such, it should be about what that experience entails for me. So, here, the blog…
Anyone out there? Whenever my personal resources dry up, I imagine all sorts of meet-up with my relatives since they’ve really been the only ones who have chipped in to help with my project. But I was never one to initiate any asking.
Befriending ancestors. So, like, I even dream of having made the acquaintance of my ancestors while they were still living, infect them with the passion that propels me in my avocation. My great-grandfather Pedro (1852-1905) was a church escribaño and became secretario municipal of Carcar around the 1890s and many records of Carcar of that period bore his signature as witness, and if I’d met him, I would’ve wangled an appointment and I’m pretty certain he’d have been able to fix me up with a municipal budget and tide my trips over. He knows it’s not for siopao and soda but for the tedious work I’ve done for the family trees, and aiming still to do.
And he’d even been able to help iron out the “discrepancies” in some records I’d found, too.
Tangarorang mystery. For instance, how is it that in his second marriage, this time in Barili, his deceased wife was identified as Anacleta Tangarucan. The Barili church clerk would have known nothing about that surname except through Tatang Pedoy. As a church escribaño himself, he’d know which was the correct form of the surname. So, was it always Tangarucan and not Tangarorang? It does say as much in the Catálogo de Apellidos. So how did the makeover take place? Was the change decided on, or did changes just little by little happen?
Avila? Along the same vein, would he know anything about Andres Jimena and his family changing their surname to Avila?
Aleonar. And most of all, I’d ask him the dead end of the Aleonar family tree: Where, what town in Bohol did our ancestor, his grandfather, Vidal Ygnacio, come from?
Where did the Aleonars in Leyte and Laguna come from, did they all arose out of Carcar?
Bohol. So, how is it that many Boholano migrants got along so famously with native families and even made cabeza in the next generation – it’s an intriguing thought — were they old acquaintances, trading partners or, omG, were the old Carcar families also originally from Bohol, or these Boholanos originally from Carcar?
Mestizos Sangleys. And how, he suspect, did the mestizos Sangleys just sort of grabbed the power in the town? Carcar had centuries of Alcover, Navarro, Alvarado, Cuison, Alcos, Alcoy, Canencia, Ybañez, Alcorisa, Dayondon, Barcenas, Alcordo playing musical chairs with the gobernadorcillo seat of the town and when the mestizos arrived, in one stroke just got wiped out from the contention.
San Nicolas families. Meanwhile, most San Nicolas families arrived in Carcar only after the Claveria decree already and so everyone already had a family name, but did he know who among the families had these surnames while still in San Nicolas even before Claveria — Aguilar, de la Cerna, Caban, Nacua, Abellana, Baclay, Enriquez, etc.? We only know of Aldave and Caballero to have arrived without those surnames yet at the time they did before the decree.
Barili Aguilars. And if Tatang had any contact in Barili, did the Aguilars of that town also come from San Nicolas? I know per Barili records they had no surname yet also. Their starting person was known as Jose Masimillo [sic], later Jose Aguilar, aka as Capitan Josep.
Ancestral houses. 109 years after Tatang had died, people everywhere got fond of calling every family house an ancestral home. I don’t agree with the definition (since only the house where the entire clan started should rightfully be called ancestral), but does Tatang know where Don Tomas Osmeña’s house was while he managed the Osmeña estates in Carcar? And Doña Fausta Regis’s? And Don Andres Avila? Or Mariano Bernardo’s (Barcelo)? Apolonio Cuison’s, Francisco Valentin’s (Navarro), and so on and so forth?
Daanglungsod. Was the daang lungsod (old town) already called Carcar? If not, then by what name was the town known? And while we’re at it, was the patron saint always Santa Catalina de Alejandria?
Ancient beliefs and rituals. Before I forget this very important thing, but were there ancient native rituals that Carcaranons of 130 years ago still continued to practice, and which practices and customs had come from Bohol and which were indigenous to Carcar. And did the Spanish priests confront these as inimical to the Christian faith?
Hopefully our paths would cross once in the while in the plaza (me from the convento, he from the municipio, however they called it at the time (our plaza is not a maze) and I’m sure Tatang would ask how my project is doing and – hopefully — how my presupuesto (budget) is holding up, too. I’ll have to account for it.
What was this place called in Carcar? What was the locality now occupied by the municipio and the church and convent—the hill — known before those buildings were put up? Was it previously occupied by people, and if so what happened to them? And did these natives have any tribal name – were they Sialos?
I dare not ask him where he is now. That’s so personal a question only he and his Creator ought to settle. But, whatever can be said, at least, when I talk about Tatang Pedoy (Pedro Barcelo Aleonar, 1852-1905) and all my other ancestors, they get to defy oblivion.