Skip to content

Welcome to y la Familia

Welcome. Our goal is to share the history of our family and interesting related facts as discovered by our family genealogist, Norma (Garcia) Pettit. We hope you find the information interesting, enjoyable and relevant. We also encourage family members to share their stories for a different perspective. As always, we welcome your questions and suggestions.


We are certain there are many other stories with interesting points of view, particularly those that might help fill gaps in our family’s history. With that in mind, we want to encourage family members to share their stories and photos on this website.

If you have something you would like to share, please send your story to Norma at, attach photos if you have any, and we will review and publish your submission or get in touch with you if we have any questions. Thank you in advance for your contribution.

Featured Article
By Norma Garcia Pettit
Posted January 19, 2024

Years ago, on American Idol there was a Puerto Rican contestant named Tatiana Del Toro. She could obviously sing or she wouldn’t have made it to the top 36. Tatiana was sometimes dramatic and annoying, but I remember her also for a comment that she made about Puerto Ricans: “We are all cousins.” While that’s a standard joke that we Puerto Ricans have, it sometimes seems to be true.

In my last blog article I wrote about meeting two DNA cousins in person and about the unique coincidence between Donna Darling and myself – that my ancestors worked for her Palmieri cousins in Juan González, Adjuntas. Since then a few more surprise relationships have popped up as a result of my genealogical research and collaboration with other genealogists.

Read the full article...
Past Articles
Posted November 4, 2023
If you have done your DNA test on Ancestry, you know that you have a list of matches that is broken down into close relatives, first cousins, 2nd-3rd cousins, 4th-6th cousins, etc. Those of us genealogy addicts that are on Facebook refer to the distant cousins as “DNA Cousins”. Back in July, I was contacted by one such DNA cousin,...
Read more »
Posted August 18, 2023
We do it all the time. We meet someone and until we get to know them we estimate how old they are.  But how strange would it be to not know your own age? This actually happened to me. Years ago, I was going through some hormonal issues that caused me to have moments of disorientation. During one such episode, I...
Read more »
Posted May 31, 2023
I am 100% Puerto Rican. My mother was born in Adjuntas and my father was born in Peñuelas. Their parents were born in Puerto Rico as were their grandparents and great grandparents. I am a Boricua to the core. That being said, when Puerto Ricans have their DNA analyzed, they are often in for a surprise when they see how...
Read more »
Posted April 18, 2023
In 1966, when I was fourteen, my dad (Oscar C. García) retired from the Merchant Marines. We were expecting him to come home to San Francisco and were perplexed when we didn’t hear from him. Eventually, we got a letter from him saying that he was in Puerto Rico. He had bought a 32-ft long fishing boat and was going...
Read more »
Posted February 15, 2023
In my last article, I wrote about the astonishing progress made in housing from one generation to the next in our family. Specifically, I mentioned that my father was born in the mountains of Peñuelas, in the rural mountainside community of Santo Domingo. During the 2009 family reunion hosted by cousin Annie Meléndez, a group of us took a guided...
Read more »
Posted October 23, 2022
Last spring we built a storage shed on our property in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. At my request, Randy designed it to look like a typical Puerto Rican home of yesteryear. When it was completed, we saw people driving by, slowing down, and even stopping to admire La Casita, as we named it. We received many compliments on it, and some...
Read more »
Posted February 12, 2022
I am known as the family historian. It has been a passion of mine for decades, but my lifelong dream was to write a book. I combined my passion and my dream, recently publishing a novel based on the life of my maternal great-grandmother, Luisa Torres Torres. Our Rivera family hailed from the mountains of Peñuelas and my mother’s side...
Read more »
Posted January 19, 2022
My heart hurts with grief as I write this article. Tears streaming down my face as I mourn the loss of my dear and favorite Aunt Delia. Having lost my mom, Angelica, I feel the pain again of losing another loved one so close to my heart. Aunt Delia was like a second mother to me for as long as...
Read more »
Newsletter Archives
For more than 20 years, ‘y la Familia?’ newsletter had been published and mailed to family members. The final issue came out in June 2016.

We have saved a copy of all of the newsletters and they are available on this site in the archives. There are many historical and featured articles on family members within their pages. We encourage you to check them out.