Mil Graciaspuerto Rican Genealogy

Posted By admin On 29/12/21

Almost all Americans have experienced the Irish contribution to the United States, but the Irish have been instrumental to the history of many countries. The other most notable after the United States are the settlements of Australia and New Zealand, but they have also influenced many societies of Spanish descent. As a Puerto Rican, I thank the sons of Erin for their contribution to my small island.

From the 16th to the 19th centuries, there was considerable Irish immigration to Puerto Rico for a number of reasons. During the 16th century, many Irishmen, who were known as 'Wild Geese,' escaped from forced service in the English army and joined the Spanish army. They did so either in Europe or when they could 'jump ship' off the coast of Puerto Rico (whenever English ships came to trade or when the English navy was engaged in attacks against the Spanish colonial forces on the island), at which time they joined the Spanish colonial army, mainly in San Juan.

Graciaspuerto

8/28/2016 0 Comments For at least 30 years I have been asking questions, jotting down notes, taking pictures, and listening to stories about my ancestors.

Many of these men who served in the Spanish colonial army in Puerto Rico remained in the service of Spain after their military service was completed and decided to stay on the island, most often sending for extended family members from Ireland or Spain. Some married local women.

Field Marshal Alejandro O'Reilly (left) and Colonel Tomás O'Daly (right), among other Irish military figures, were sent to Puerto Rico from Spain during the 18th century in order to improve the capital's fortifications. This led to an increase in Irish immigration as family members were brought to the island by these Irish serving in the Spanish colonial army.

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In 1797, the Spanish governor of Puerto Rico, Ramón de Castro, ordered the expulsion of the Irish from the island. This immediately led to protests from the Puerto Rican people since they had grown to respect the Irish immigrant community for their steadfast support of the island's residents. Almost all of those who temporarily fled during this time survived the witch hunt created by de Castro and returned to live in Puerto Rico discreetly.

The Spanish government enacted the Royal Decree of Graces (Real Cédula de Gracias) in 1815 to encourage Europeans of non-Spanish origin to immigrate to the last two remaining Spanish possessions in the New World, Puerto Rico and Cuba. Spain hoped to blunt the nascent independence movements in both colonies by way of this measure.

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Many Irish who fled their homeland because of the Potato Famine of the 1840s (over 1 million people died as a result of this famine) immigrated to the United States. A significant number of them went to Puerto Rico after being turned away at American ports because of epidemic outbreaks onboard the ships on which they sailed. Many of these Irish settlers were instrumental in the development of the island's hugely successful sugar industry. Said industry was vital to the growing local economy.

After Puerto Rico was ceded to the United States by Spain as a consequence of the Spanish–American War in 1898, many U.S. soldiers of Irish-American ancestry were stationed in the island. They met members of the population who were island-born and Irish-descended. These soldiers stayed in Puerto Rico, where they were quickly incorporated into the Irish, non-Irish, and native communities throughout the island.

The Irish influence in Puerto Rico is not limited to their contributions to the island's agricultural industry; they have also influenced the fields of education, the arts and sciences, and politics.

On an added note, Snakes are also very rare on the Island of Puerto Rico.

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Dates of Service

Rank

Personnel Record Location

Health Record Location

1789 to November 1, 1912

Enlisted

N/A

1789 to July 1, 1917

Officer

N/A

November 1, 1912 to October 15, 1992
Note: Many records were destroyed by the 1973 Fire

Enlisted

National Personnel Records Center
Note: Personnel records are Archival62 years after the service member's separation.

July 1, 1917 to October 15, 1992
Note: Many records were destroyed by the 1973 Fire

Officer

National Personnel Records Center
Note: Personnel records are Archival62 years after the service member's separation.

October 16, 1992 to September 30, 2002

All Personnel

Discharged, deceased or retired on or after October 1, 2002 to December 31, 2013

All Personnel

U.S. Army Human Resources Command
Note: records are stored electronically at AHRC but requests are serviced by:
National Personnel Records Center

Discharged, deceased or retired on or after January 1, 2014

All Personnel

U.S. Army Human Resources Command
Note: records are stored electronically at AHRC but requests are serviced by:
National Personnel Records Center

All active duty, including active Army Reserve

All Personnel

All active and non-active duty National Guard

All Personnel

The Adjutant General
(of the appropriate state, DC, or Puerto Rico)

Dates of Service

Rank

Personnel Record Location

Health Record Location

September 24, 1947 to May 1, 1994
Note: Many records were destroyed by the 1973 Fire

All Personnel

National Personnel Records Center
Note: Personnel records are Archival62 years after the service member's separation.

May 1, 1994 to September 30, 2004

All Personnel

Discharged, deceased or retired from active duty on or after October 1, 2004 to December 31, 2013

All Personnel

Discharged, deceased or retired from active duty on or after January 1, 2014

All Personnel

Active (including National Guard on active duty in the Air Force), TDRL, or general officers retired with pay

All Personnel

Reserve, retired reserve in non-pay status, current National Guard officers not on active duty in the Air Force, or National Guard released from active duty in the Air Force

Various Personnel

Current National Guard enlisted not on active duty in the Air Force

All Personnel

The Adjutant General
(of the appropriate state, DC, or Puerto Rico)

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Dates of Service

Rank

Personnel Record Location

Health Record Location

1798 to 1885

Enlisted

N/A

1798 to 1902

Officer

N/A

1885 to January 30, 1994

Enlisted

National Personnel Records Center
Note: Personnel records are Archival62 years after the service member's separation

1902 to January 30, 1994

Officer

National Personnel Records Center
Note: Personnel records are Archival62 years after the service member's separation

January 31, 1994 to December 31, 1994

All Personnel

Discharged, deceased or retired on or after January 1, 1995 to December 31, 2013

All Personnel

Discharged, deceased or retired on or after January 1, 2014

All Personnel

Active, reserve or TDRL

All Personnel

Dates of Service

Rank

Personnel Record Location

Health Record Location

1798 to 1904

All Personnel

N/A

1905 to April 30, 1994

All Personnel

National Personnel Records Center
Note: Personnel records are Archival62 years after the service member's separation

May 1, 1994 to December 31, 1998

All Personnel

Discharged, deceased or retired on or after January 1, 1999 to December 31, 2013

All Personnel

Discharged, deceased or retired on or after January 1, 2014

All Personnel

Individual Ready Reserve

All Personnel

Active, Selected Marine Corps Reserve, TDRL

All Personnel

Dates of Service

Rank

Personnel Record Location

Health Record Location

Discharged, deceased or retired prior to December 31, 1897

All Personnel

N/A

January 1, 1898 to March 31, 1998

All Personnel

National Personnel Records Center
Note: Personnel records are Archival62 years after the service member's separation

Discharged, deceased or retired from active duty from April 1, 1998 to September 30, 2014

All Personnel

Discharged, deceased or retired from active duty on or after October 1, 2014

All Personnel

Active, Reserve or TDRL

All Personnel

Dates of Service

Rank

Record Location

Military service performed by persons serving during an emergency and whose service was considered to be in the Federal interest, 1775 to 1902

All Personnel

Dates of Service

Rank

Record Location

Persons who rendered military service for the Confederate States government in its armed forces, 1861 to 1865

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Dates of Service

Rank

Record Location

Claims files for pensions based on Federal military service, 1775 to 1916

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Dates of Service

Rank

Record Location

Claims based on wartime service, 1775 to 1855

All Personnel

Division

Rank

Record Location

Commissioned Corps Only

Officer

Holdings

Record Location

WWI Selective Service Records

WWII - Vietnam Era Selective Service Records*

After January 1, 1960

*Please Note: men born from March 29, 1957 - December 31, 1959 were not required to register with Selective Service because the registration program was suspended when they would have reached age 18.