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"Mi Gente Estuvo Aqui Tambien"

I heard these words for the first time as I shared someone’s Family Tree and showed them what they in their heart always knew, “my people were here too.”

When I heard these words, I discovered another layer of why I do what I do. Growing up in the US we can’t just open a textbook and see names or people like us. So, we assume we were not here, that the family member in your immediate family line is who started it all for you here in the US. This person I was helping found out they had ties to New York City’s financial district going back more than 100 years.

Florida is a state that had been colonized by Spain in the 16th century and finally obtained by the British in 1763 and became a state of the US in 1821. And if we go back even further, we have the numerous Indigenous tribes of Florida who traded with the Tainos of Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and other indigenous groups from Central America. Never mind the fact that Tainos were an Arawak people who were also native to Florida, so yeah, we are all connected and yes, our history to all these lands goes deep. “Mi Gente Estuvo Aqui Tambien”.

California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, part of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming, were once Mexico. “Mi Gente Estuvo Aqui Tambien”.

General Bernardo de Galvez, former governor of Spanish Louisiana, assisted the colonists during the American Revolution to fight the British. Being that many of our countries were still colonized by Spain at that time, it is known that many that were part of the Spanish Army fought and helped. “Mi Gente Estuvo Aqui Tambien.”

Lieutenant Augusto Rodriguez was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and moved to New Haven CT in the 1850s and later fought in the Union army during the Civil War. “Mi Gente Estuvo Aqui Tambien”.

The fact is Genealogy makes it clear that we are all connected someway somehow, that while history books may not recount our people’s history either completely or at all it does not mean our Ancestors were not there and were not a part of the places, we call home today.

Genealogy makes it real and gives the names and stories of those that were otherwise meant to be forgotten. Also, the paper trail is there to at least give us the ability to reclaim a piece of it. When are you going to reclaim your piece?

If you are ready to reclaim your family history but are not sure how to or where to start, don’t miss my upcoming presentation at New York Genealogical and Biographical Society on June 6th at 7pm EST, via Zoom: Register Here:

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