My History – Part II


  • Maiden names have been used for all women in the article.
  • I have omitted/changes the first names of living individuals.

I haven’t updated my family history in years. And when I logged in on May 4, 2020 I was surprised that there was a bunch of new hits on my tree. I began looking into all the hits and I was shocked with was coming up. It was a domino effect of new individuals and information. Apparently, in February of this year, a large amount of Filipino records became public, including marriage and death records. However, I did face the problem of not being able to access some of the international records. I signed up for Ancestry’s trial account, but it was limited to Canadian and few international records. I worked around it by checking the source of the record (thank you History degree) and found that most if was through Family Search, which unlike Ancestry was completely free.

I was up until 2 am Tuesday May 5, 2020 analyzing the information of one branch of my family tree. That night I manage to find 3 great-great-great-grandparents on my paternal grandmother’s (Barrion) branch. Most of the information I found were through marriage records that fortunately list both the bride and groom’s parents allowing me to continue to discover more people. The following are some favourite finds from the Barrion branch.

Barrion branch of my family tree.

My Great-Great-Great-Grandparents (3rd great-grandparents)
If I do the math correctly, they would have been born around 1850-1870s. I was clapping every time I discovered them. They were probably farmers as my father’s generation was really the first generation that was able to leave the farm life. But I still wonder what their lives were like especially considering they were still living under Spanish colonial rule. Someone find me a TARDIS!

Calixta Montalbo
Calixta is my great-great-grandmother. Her name is listed in several ways in different records: Calixto, Calista, and Calixta. But regardless of spelling I fell in love with her name. It’s not a very Tagalog name and it just sounds so beautiful. She also married fairly late, 23 (laughed the single 30 year old). She grew up and died in Batangas, Philippines.

Leticia Barrion
Leticia is my grandmother’s sister. She died as a child but my grandmother doesn’t remember when or how old she was. I was able to find a record of her death and it was so sad to see how young she was. She was born on 1950 and died on December 17, 1957, she was 7 years old. We’re unsure of what she died of. My father told me that they went to the doctor for stomach pains and died shortly after, no autopsy was ever done.

Leon Atienza’s Parents
I was able to discover Leon Atienza’s father because I was able to find Leon’s marriage and death record.s The strange thing is that both only lists his father, Simproso Atienza (I know, what a name). The death record also lists his middle name, Caraan. In Filipino tradition, a child’s middle name is often their mother’s maiden name. So assuming that this is the case for Leon as well, I at least have his mother’s last name but I’m still left wondering why the mother’s name was omitted from the records.

Christeta Atienza
Christeta, or Great Lola (grandmother) Tetay to us, was my last surviving great-grandparent. My family was fortunate to see her one last time in 2002 during a family trip to Philippines, also the last time I was in the Philippines. She passed away a year later, at 92 years old.

Great Lola Tetay and me (2002).

I’m still amazed that I was able to get so far back into my family tree. I only wished there were more information like their occupation or pictures but having these names is still so special. I remember forcing myself to stop and go to bed that night, I guess morning. It’s not like my ancestors are going anywhere.

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