-Graphics editor/Amanda Palma

This is an installment of Suzette Andujar’s column series, “As I Was Saying.”

About a year-or-so ago, I did a DNA check from one of those infamous ancestry databases and found out that even though I’m Puerto Rican, I have some other awesome cultural blood coursing through me. I was excited to find out I’m one percent British (humor me here), and was surprised to find that I’m a little over half Spaniard.

I was like, where did this Spain stuff come from? No one in my family is directly from Spain, so I had to go-go gadget and research.

With my free two-week trial on the site, I started digging through records. I began with my mom, and went back to every direct grandparent. Not even worrying about the brothers and sisters of the family tree. I found birth/death certificates and census records and made all the way to the 1800s and my family was still in Puerto Rico. I’m about to give up; my tree was not leaving American territory, until I reached a 10th great-grandfather…his place of birth – SPAIN.

Aww yeah! However, when I clicked on his name, my free trial told me I didn’t have access to the worldwide records.

Aww no! And then my free trial ended.

I decided to do what anyone else would do: sign up again, but with a different email.

With that problem solved I had to find a way to see old Pappy’s records. A common descendant had old Pappy’s information on their public family tree. Upon further research I found old Pappy’s great-grandmom, whose name was Leonor Cortés, and then…

My eyes were tricking me. I rubbed them and looked away for a moment. Was this true? There on the screen in front of me, was my 14th great-grandfather, famous Spanish explorer, Hernán Cortés. My 14th great-grandmother: Princess Isabel Moctezuma, daughter of Aztec ruler Moctezuma II, my direct 15th great-grandfather.

Did I see this right? I am a direct descendant of Aztec rulers and a famous Spanish explorer?! Waddup, British Royals! When am I going to be invited to the next ball? Duchess Meghan, you so have to hook me up with your stylist. I’m in desperate fashion mode! A’ight? You feel me tho?! Princess’ have to stick together with our royal blood!

After finding those great-grandparents, I studied their lives (Wikipedia can be so useful) and tried to find any characteristics we might have shared. All I have now are bragging rights, but it was cool to research my ancestry records.

Moral of the story: you can do a lot with a free trial, so keep on signing up. Now how do I get my free trial to chocolate…


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