Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Early Settlers of Spanish and Mexican Land Grants

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from oru friend Debbie Parker Wayner. Please address all inquiries to her at debbie@debbiewayne.com.

Lineage Society Founded for Descendants of Early Settlers of Spanish and Mexican Land Grants

HOUSTON, TEXAS - Organizers announced today the formation of a lineage society for Early Settlers of Spanish and Mexican Land Grants (ESSMLG).

This is the first national lineage society that recognizes and preserves the contributions of the Spanish / Latino culture in the early settlement of the United States. Even before Jamestowne was founded and the Pilgrims landed, Texas and the southwestern U.S. were being explored. By the 1600s there was a rich Spanish culture in place. The early settlers of the southwestern U.S. included such diverse groups as Spaniards, Canary Islanders, French, Irish, English, Scots, Jewish, German, Dutch, Portuguese, and Native Americans from both sides of the present day U.S.-Mexico border. Much of the early history of this area is barely taught in schools where the curriculum emphasizes the early English settlement of the eastern U.S.

The mission of ESSMLG is to research, preserve, and promote the lost history, heritage, and culture of the early settlers on Spanish and Mexican grants in land now part of the United States of America. It is the first national lineage society formed:

- to recognize the important contributions of those early settlers from whom our Spanish-speaking culture evolved,

- with a board-certified genealogist confirming all member applications meet accepted genealogical standards,

- with a DNA component for ground-breaking scholarly research and to link family groups,

- and with an all-digital research library.

The official launch of ESSMLG will be at the 29th Annual Texas State Hispanic Genealogical and Historical Conference in Nacogdoches, Texas on 28-31 August 2008 (see http://www.hispanicgs.org/nacogdoches/index.html for more information).

Membership

Membership in ESSMLG is open to all who have established their lineage to a person who received or was associated with a Spanish or Mexican land grant in an area that is now part of the United States of America, prior to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. Descendant and Junior Descendant (under age 18) membership categories are available. Supporting members are limited, non-voting individuals, businesses, or companies who wish to invest in the success and future of the ESSMLG.

Lineages Verified By Board-Certified Genealogist

ESSMLG is the first lineage society formed with a board-certified genealogist verifying the lineages of member applications before approval.

Database And Digital Library

The society administers a database of fully-substantiated lineages of early settlers to assist people in locating their ancestors and documenting their family history. The database includes traditional genealogical records as well as DNA profiles of selected members to confirm and support family links.

In addition to preserving family historical documents in our all-digital research library, the society supports the preservation of historical records from Mexico and in American counties where land grants were made by the Spanish and Mexican governments. This digital library will be available online to members in the future.

All documents used as proof in lineage society applications are digitized and available through our digital library. The society actively seeks documents related to the early settlers from both sides of the present day U.S.-Mexico border and supports the preservation of historical records from Mexico and in American counties where land grants were made by the Spanish and Mexican governments.

DNA Project

The goal of the DNA project is to investigate the roots of the original settlers on lands granted by the Spanish and Mexican governments in Texas and other parts of the U.S. The DNA signatures will be compared to others to confirm ethnic origins suggested by traditional genealogical research.

As the DNA database grows it will be used to help determine a person's probable ancestry by finding matches within the database when a documented genealogy is difficult to confirm with a paper trail. This DNA project is not limited to any particular surname, all descendants of ESSMLG are invited to participate.

ESSMLG offers a group rate for DNA testing at Family Tree DNA. We accept results from other testing companies and add them to our database for members who may have tested at other laboratories. The society provides DNA scholarships for key lineage links. The DNA Director approves scholarships based on current project needs.

About ESSMLG

Early Settlers of Spanish and Mexican Land Grants is a Domestic Nonprofit Corporation organized under the laws of the State of Texas. The organizing board consists of members of well-known Hispanic families who are descendants of early settlers of Spanish and Mexican land grants in the southwest Texas area.

Carolyn Ybarra is the President of the Board of Directors. Ybarra holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Stanford University. She is a professional genealogist and principal of Family Research Services, who conducts historical research on movement across the United States by land and sea.

Dr. Ybarra is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and teaches memoir writing and family history. She has attended the Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. She is active in several nonprofits supporting individuals with developmental disabilities, and has lectured on genetically-inherited conditions. Her Ybarra and Garza ancestors settled in the Rio Grande Valley by the mid-19th century.

Dee Dee King, Certified Genealogist, is the Executive Director and Registrar for the society. King is a professional researcher, publisher, and lecturer specializing in forensic genealogy services and kinship determination in heirship matters. She has edited and published 86 genealogical products on CD-ROM. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and was founding president of the Lone Star Chapter APG. She has completed Samford's Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research Advanced Methodology and Analysis Course.

Debbie Parker Wayne is the DNA Director and Webmaster for the society. Wayne is a professional genealogist who spent over 25 years in the computer industry and has been doing genealogical research for more than eighteen years. She has been interested in DNA research since the beginning of the Human Genome Project and has closely studied the use of DNA in genealogical research. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and an officer in the Lone Star Chapter APG. She has completed several courses at Samford's Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, including the Advanced Methodology and Analysis course and the Advanced Library Research: Law Libraries and Government Documents course.

http://spanishgrants.com/ is the Web address for the ESSMLG Web site.

http://spanishgrants.com/contacts.htm contains contact information for the society and directors.

About Other Entities

Board for Certification of Genealogists® is a registered service mark, and the following are service marks for the Board for Certification of Genealogists (http://www.BCGcertification.org/): Certified Genealogist, CG, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer, CGL. These service marks are used under license by associates who meet prescribed genealogical competency standards.

The Association of Professional Genealogists (http://www.apgen.org/), established in 1979, represents over 1,800 genealogists and others involved in genealogy-related businesses. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy, local, and social history. Its members represent all fifty states, Canada, and twenty-six other countries.

The Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR)
(http://www.samford.edu/schools/ighr/) provides an educational forum for the discovery, critical evaluation, and use of genealogical sources and methodology through intensive study led by nationally prominent genealogical educators. The institute is academically and professionally oriented and is cosponsored by the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

Family Tree DNA (http://www.familytreedna.com/) and other cooperative ventures, including the National Geographic Society's Genographic Project and AfricanDNA.com, now comprise the largest non-medical DNA testing program in the world. Family Tree DNA was founded in 2000 by Mr. Bennett Greenspan, an entrepreneur and life-long genealogy enthusiast, turning a hobby into a full-time vocation. His effort and innovation created the burgeoning field now known as genetic genealogy. With over 200,000 records, Family Tree DNA has the largest database of its kind in the world.