Growing up in Brooklyn and the Bronx, I heard a great deal about my parents coming from Puerto Rico. As a native New Yorker with most of my close family in the States, I did not get the opportunity to visit la Isla Del Encanto until I was about 19 years old. As I got older, a strong desire to become familiar with my Puerto Rican ancestry evolved.
I was fortunate to know my grandparents, but I did not hear much about my ancestors. I was told by relatives that Puerto Rico did not keep good vital records because it was not a United State and that it would be difficult to trace our lineage very far. That may have rung true many years ago, but thankfully with the advancement of online research databases, that is not necessarily the case today.
In 2018, I started researching my family history but quickly became overwhelmed by the prospect of making sense of the incredible data collected on one side of my heritage and the lack of it on another. Luckily, an aunt on my biological father’s side had already started building a family tree and was generous in sharing her findings. My mother’s kinfolk, however, was more of a mystery. I, therefore, decided to shelve the budding interest in my ancestral records for the moment.
When COVID hit in March and I, like many of us, found myself with more time on my hands, I dove headfirst back into studying my ancestors and learning as much as possible about genealogy in general. Since then, I have found a wealth of information regarding my Boricua roots. My aim moving forward is to share as much as I can with my family and anyone that might find the overall process interesting. To help facilitate this goal I created a new blog entitled Puerto RiKin, with a play on the word kin as in kindred, kinship, and kinfolk.
Although the focus of the blog is to highlight my ancestry, I also plan to chronicle my genealogical journey and eventually incorporate content of non-related Puerto Rican family lines. If you have been thinking about researching your family tree, feel free to check out the Resources page for links that will help you get started.