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African American DNA Research Forum

Leads in Puerto Rico

First, I want to thank everyone for such good information and ideas regarding how I might locate my African ancestors. I have been tracking down cousins to do more DNA testing to identify ancestral lines with the African ancestry.

I thought that a family link to Puerto Rico could yield something interesting and this is looking very good towards locating some African ancestors. My grandmother's grandfather was born (1872) in Puerto Rico and so was his mother (1844), her name was Mary or Maria O'Farrell. I had simply assumed that she was just Irish and thus only of European descent.

Today, I went to Ancestry.com and checked the 1910 Puerto Rico census and checked on the O'Farrell last name, the results:

Black - 1 person
Mulatto - 83 people
White - 6 people

So, it looks like my O'Farrell could definitely have an African connection. I'm looking into getting marriage and birth records for this family.

There are a number of years between Maria's birth 1844 and the census 1910, but it is fascinating to me to finally get it that a last name is not a total description of ancestry for people born so long ago.

An interesting note are some people with the surname of 'Morales y O'Farrell', one person with this last name was listed as white, one as black and others as mulatto.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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