Along this genealogy journey, you learn what are some must resources you should have accessible to you, for when you decide to start your research. First and foremost before you start, you should make sure to keep these following things in mind:
Don't assume what you have heard or thought your whole life is right or wrong. Put all your assumptions to the side and lock them up in a little box. It is important to go into this research with open mind and open heart, you are researching human lives after all.
History research is a must to have an understanding on what occurred in our ancestors lives.
Extension on the first one, try hard not to think of life and social norms as you know it to be right now, we need to try with the help of history research have a better understanding of the mindset of our ancestors in the times they lived in. (For example: being critical because they messed up birth dates and how can they not know their birthdays?! When you live a life of poverty and constant survival mode, due to constant political changes or weather disruptions, birthdays are not exactly the priority).
For Puerto Rico it is important to have an understanding of the two last name Spanish system and how it works. BUT do not be rigid about it there were circumstances in our ancestors lives that this was not always followed.
Ok now, for the main reason you are reading this blog, RESOURCES!:
I highly advise to become a member of the Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Genealogia (SPG). This is the Genealogy Society in Puerto Rico and between their newsletters, their magazine HEREDITAS and the Genealogical Research books, you can have access to priceless information. They also have virtual member meetings and a digital database you can search in online. The membership is an annual fee of $50.00, but personally I believe it is very worth it and they also have a Facebook Group.
Open up a free account with FamilySearch.org, they have a lot of records for Puerto Rico and even digital books you can have access from home.
Bookmark the website by veteran Genealogist and member of the SPG, Orlando Reyes, hijosdecoamopr.com. The amount of information that Orlando has collected in his website is priceless and he makes this available to us for FREE. Please note that many of the collections indexed in his website do link back to FamilySearch so if you have not gotten that account, you should get it.
FamilySearch is administered by the Family History Library and it has many affiliate libraries and centers around the country. Many of the affiliate libraries can be your local public library. Why is this important? Some collections may require signing in from one of these places to view the images. Such as the Extracts of the Arecibo Church records. To find the closes one to you, click here: https://locations.familysearch.org/en/search
Check out New York Public Library's, Introduction to Puerto Rico Genealogy Page, some of these you can view from home. :https://libguides.nypl.org/puertoricogenealogy
El Mundo Newspaper Archive: https://gpa.eastview.com/crl/elmundo
Archivo Historico de Aguadilla, Haydee Reichard: https://archivonacional.com/Collection/Haydee.Reichard/Default.aspx?t=13d9ka8tg&s=Datos%20Aguadilla%20Herman%20Reichard
Puerto Rico Genealogy Wiki Page from FamilySearch, it gives an idea of what is available online: https://www.familysearch.org/en/wiki/Puerto_Rico_Genealogy
National Archives, military records: https://www.archives.gov/
Additional Newspaper Archives available through the Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/newspapers/?dl=item&searchType=advanced&location_state=puerto+rico&location_country=united+states
For more information on Professional Research Services, you can book free 30 minute consultation with me here: https://www.descubretuhistoria.com/book-online
If you are working on your own research, you can also join my free private facebook group Descubre Tu Genealogy.