Monday, 29 September 2014

Genealogical Oddities (XXXVII): A 19th Century Walloon Buried in Galicia

«Igrexa parroquial de Santiago do Carril-Vilagarcía de Arousa-Galicia-32» de Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (Lmbuga) - Trabajo propio. Disponible bajo la licencia Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 vía Wikimedia Commons -
The burial registers of the parish of Santiago de Carril, in the municipality of Villagarcía de Arosa, record the burial there on 25 December 1886 of 'Miguel Brayer Thonard', aged 65, a native of Ans in the province of Liège, Belgium, son of Pedro Miguel Brayer and Margarita Thonard. His marital status is said to be unknown; he is described as an 'Industrial', ie. a factory owner or other sort of manufacturer. I assume the French form of these names would have been: Michel Brayer (or Breyer?); Pierre Michel Brayer and Marguerite Thonard. Perhaps someone in Belgium knows who he was and why he was in Galicia.
SOURCE: Diocesan Archive of Santiago de Compostela, Registers of the Parish of Santiago de Carril, Burials 1879-1900, P. 87 verso

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Heraldry and Genealogy in the town of Llerena

 This town in Spain's westerly Extremadura region was the venue for a wedding I recently attended and while there I found some very appealing heraldic display, ranging from these beautifully painted 16th century arms in one of the chapels at the Nuestra Señora de la Granada church, to these more modern painted tiles at the arrivals door of the bus station, showing the arms of the town and of the region.

Some years ago I had occasion to work extensively with 16th century records of both of Llerena's churches as well as the notarial records for the same period, a wealth of documents that revealed a great deal about the families then prominent in the city - Chaves, Silíceo, Oliveros and Larios, among others. I look forward to eventually adding the photographs I obtained of the many armorial stones adorning some of the town's venerable old houses and will surely find these lineages and others represented in them.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Ancestry of Juan Miguez, 18th-century settler of Attakapas and New Orleans

Juan Miguez, who settled in North America's Attakapas County in 1778 and subsequently resided in New Orleans, has been widely listed as a native of 'San Salvador de Febra' in the Spanish region of Galicia, but this seems certain to be the result of a transcription error in the published version of the will left by Juan in New Orleans in 1800. Another publication, which transcribes the list of those who sailed aboard the brig 'San Josef', repeats the Febra error but at least gets us a bit closer to the Miguez' actual point of origin, by adding the placename Tuy.

A survey of the parishes in the Diocese of Tuy yields no Febra, but given the similarity of the uppercase letters T and F in old script it seems to me almost certain that Juan must have been native to the parish of San Salvador de Tebra, in the province of Pontevedra. As José's parents are named in his will, and the diocesan records for the 1700s are today kept at the Diocesan Archive of Tuy, it seems that his ancestry is simply waiting to be discovered.

If anyone can advise me as to specifically which publication was the source of the published transcript of Juan's will, I will happily update the reference below.

SOURCES: Will of Juan Miguez, 1800, extract submitted by Maurine Bergerie to a publication unknown; 'Historia de Alhaurín de la Torre en la Edad Moderna, 1489-1812', by José Manuel de Molina Bautista, extract online at