After analyzing my updated DNA results, I created a Facebook Page for Puerto Ricans with Portuguese ancestry. It only has seven “Likes” but I believe that number will grow over time. Once I digested the fact that I am 29 percent Portuguese, I wondered how many other Puerto Ricans in the world shared greater Portuguese ancestry than Spanish. I thought maybe there’s a Facebook page or group for others like me. There wasn’t, so I decided to start one.
Everyone knows that Puerto Ricans are part Spanish and most Spanish have Portuguese ancestry based on proximity and the fact that the two countries were unified for a short time. Many Puerto Ricans know and accept their historic connection to Spain, but not many truly know or acknowledge our ancestral link to Portugal.
According to the Library of Congress, in 1593 Portuguese soldiers, sent from Lisbon by order of Philip II of Spain, composed the first garrison (military post) of the San Felipe del Morro fortress in Puerto Rico. Some brought their wives, while others married Puerto Rican women, and today there are many Puerto Rican families with Portuguese last names. On October 3, 1642, a Franciscan convent for men was founded in Puerto Rico by Portuguese friars who had come to the island in 1641.
The Portuguese immigrated to Puerto Rico in such large numbers that by the mid 1500s Portuguese settlers outnumbered the Spaniards, according to “A Nation upon the Ocean Sea: Portugal’s Atlantic Diaspora and the Crisis of the Spanish Empire, 1492-1640” by Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert.
The Portuguese Puerto Rican DNA discussion is pretty recent. There have been conversations on Reddit about the subject and a few YouTube videos exist of Puerto Rican’s revealing they have more Portuguese blood than Spanish. Eventually, a larger number of Puerto Ricans who have their DNA tested will know their actual Portuguese percentage. This info will hopefully lead to additional knowledge and discussion about Puerto Ricans with Portuguese ancestry, also known as Portu Ricans.