by family historian Norma (Garcia) Pettit
Learning about our family history has been something that has intrigued me all my life. I remember as a young child asking my parents, Oscar and Anita Garcia, what it was like when they were children growing up in Puerto Rico. They would share their memories with me and, recently, I discovered an old composition book with my name written on the front where I had taken notes from their stories. I would like to share with you some excerpts from that notebook.
My father’s maternal grandparents were Máximo “Maximiliano” Cruz and Engracia García. Maximiliano was of medium height, about 5’5″, heavyset, white, and had straight hair. They had five children: Nicolasa, Jesús, Emiliano, Alcisclo, and Ana. Nicolasa was white, had dark hair, was of average height, and was slender. Emiliano had reddish-blond hair. Alcisclo was taller, slender, and looked Spanish.
After Engracia died, my father’s grandfather married Genara and they had six children: Agripino, Jesús (yes, another one), Angelito, Carmela, Gilberto and Ambrosio. Ambrosio was the youngest and he was the first one to die of all of his siblings. Carmela had two children who died as adults, long before she did. (Cousin Annie Meléndez, who hosted the 2009 family reunion in Peñuelas is one of her granddaughters. The Feliciano cousins from Chicago are Carmela’s grandchildren through her daughter.)(more…)