Once I bit the genealogy bug on Ancestry.com, it wasn’t long before I was spitting into a vial! I just had to submit my sample to AncestryDNA.
AncestryDNA is an autosomal DNA test. It is unlike yDNA or mtDNA. yDNA is passed from father to son undergoing relatively little changes over hundreds of year, and mtDNA, is DNA that only a mother can pass on to all her children, but then only her daughters can pass it on relatively unchanged to all their children.
Autosomal DNA is called the “family or cousin finder” DNA as it looks at your genes across both genders and all your great grandparents over the past 200+ years. With each generation back, little snippets match, allowing for your results to predict how close someone may be related to you. And herein lies the problem….
Ramon Longoria was my 3rd great grandfather 4x’s over. Meaning, 4 of his children were my 2nd great grandparents. That is quite a concentration of his genetic markers. And that family married into the same Farias line a couple of times as well. Both of my great grandmother’s on my father’s side were Longoria’s from the same line, so therefore cousins as well. Rather than snippets of DNA being lost at a predictable rate, it was rather “over concentrated” to begin with.
Therefore I have a lot of matches that are not as close as they may appear; and all from the same side of my tree.
I have been waiting for a Gonzalez match; my father’s, father’s line that I know less about. Finally, one day I received my highest match yet. She was predicted to be a 2nd cousin, and when I checked her tree, there wasn’t a Longoria or Farias to be found!
And something did catch my eye. I noticed her grandmother was a Gonzalez and had lived in Santa Rosa, Tx. I was intrigued. Her grandmother’s name was Juanita Gonzalez but Juanita's profile said she was from Mexico City, something I had some doubt about. I felt I was on to something; mostly because Juanita was recorded as having been married to a de la Fuente.
I then found a census record for the family. This family had a son named Manuel de la Fuente. It had been a Manuel who had been the informant for grand aunt Martina’s death certificate. Hmmm.
I started looking for the marriage record of Juanita and her de la Fuente husband. I didn’t find it in Texas records, so I started looking in Matamoros.
And I found it. I had scoured Matamoros records before, but if you don’t have a husband’s name, you can easily miss something. Just the husband was listed in the index. Porfirio de la Fuente!
Once I got into the marriage record everything started coming together. Porfirio and Juanita were living on the same ranch as my great grandfather Ines. Better yet, Juanita's parents and great grandparents were named indicating she is Ines' sister.  I had a new member of the family. Here is how my DNA cousin and I are related.
And thus solved the mystery of Martina. There was no big secret (as I assumed). She was never that “aunt from Santa Rose married to a de la Fuente”. It was Juanita, her sister! And it was probably Juanita’s son Manuel that informed on the death of his Aunt Martina.
The second mystery solved was more significant for me. And I only just saw the connection by chance last weekend.
I really, really wanted to believe I had found my great grandfather Nestor’s grave. But it bothered me, if he was in Matamoros with his family, why had not one of them been the informant for his death. He was not from Matamoros and probably did not know many people.
Last weekend, I was visiting my father and we were sitting together reviewing items in the tree. I showed him Nestor’s death certificate and he checked my work on my translation. And there we were, reading it intently together when I said out loud, “Porfirio de la Fuente”. And then I had my Aha moment.
It was Porfirio, the son-in-law of Nestor, who reported his death. It had been family all along.