One of the things I really regret about letting a decade pass without doing any significant family research is that I’ve really forgotten some of the fine details that had lodged themselves into my brain. Today, in July 2012, I pretty much have to look up each name and be reminded of which branch the person descends through, who their parents and children are, etc.
With that passing of time I also can’t really remember why I had got it into my head that Manuel Banegas might actually be the biological father of Ysabel. In my last post I tried to explain why I resisted the idea of adoption, however I didn’t really delve much into my theory that Manuel was in fact the biological father of Ysabel. I can’t remember when that idea popped into my head or why. Back in the early 2000’s I was doing a lot of research at the local family history library and viewing microfilms weekly. Had I seen something, or deduced something that led me to this supposition? Had a relative said something along the way that led me to develop my theory? Or was it just as I mentioned in the last blog post, wishful thinking?
In any case, it was a thought that used to tease me … “What if Manuel really was Ysabel’s father? What if he had never married Ysabel’s mother but somehow ended up taking and raising the child? (The mother may have died or left him or who-knows-what.) What if his new bride, Ynes had a hard time accepting that he had been with another woman before her (whether they had been married or not?) and therefore Ysabel was always treated differently than the natural sons?
There’s an odd but common occurence that is known to hinder family research and that is the skeletons in the closet. They often are hidden because of some embarrassment or shame and they are really, really difficult to root out. I’ve run into them on more than one occasion in researching my hubby’s family roots (he even has a relative who is buried under a false name due to the shame attached to her death by suicide).
What if that is what happened with regard to Manuel and Ysabel?
And why I’m still haranguing away at this here and now? Well, only because of this: last night while doing some more online research I tried some new searches using the clues I mentioned in my last blog post. Just when it seemed like I really wasn't getting anywhere and was about to throw in the towel, I found a baptismal record that I found very intriguing. Keep in mind that these are indexed from original records and I haven’t seen the original document yet, however the names and dates are lining up (view the record online here):
"Mexico, Baptisms, 1560-1950," Jose Ysabel Banegas Espalino, 1844
Name: Jose Ysabel Banegas Espalino
Baptism/Christening Date: 13 Jul 1844
Baptism/Christening Place: NUESTRA SENORA DE GUADALUPE,JUAREZ,CHIHUAHUA,MEXICO
Father's Name: Manuel Banegas
Mother's Name: Casilda Espalino
This little discovery has me reeling. Is this proof that Manuel actually was Ysabel’s biological father? What do you think?