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Recording our migration history

 
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Manuell Alvarez



Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 220

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:59 am    Post subject: Recording our migration history Reply with quote

Hello,

Just how many peoples of Asturian heritage are there living here in the states and territories? I would like to have some idea before checkout time. Just how someone would tally the numbers is difficult given that the US Census and Government do not recognize us as being of European Spanish heritage and a separate entity.

I found my way to the Forum by way of a magazine article. From that article, I now know that there are a few Asturians living in West Virginia besides me and my family that are related to the great migration of 1905 to 1920. I suspect that there are many more. Today, as Spanish people face deportation, getting governmental help and understanding of the problem of classification is going to be very problematic. When one considers that the city of St. Augustine was founded by Asturians on the principles of acceptance of all peoples and ethnicities, I wonder why there is so much rancor over migration? My loving parents gave us children this motto, live and let live.

My feeble and past attempt to write to our government for clarification became lost in the bureaucratic mess in Washington. I can just image that any future request before the 2020 Census will entail a huge horror story and the silence treatment. Despite what happens, I still would like to press on.

Why is this important to us? Should our unique and great history, culture, heritage, and contributions ever be displayed in the proposed Peoples History Museum, I would like for there to be a genealogical accounting preserved for each of our families, no matter when they migrated. Knowing how many and where they now live would be an important tool for any historian.

Manny
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4471
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a very interesting question, Manny. It occurred to me that if we added up all of the people who have any Asturian genetic heritage, it would probably be a very large number, because with every generation, the numbers could increase greatly. Just considering the early 20th century migration, there have been at least four or five generations since then. My two Asturian grandparents had something like 21 grandchildren, who themselves have had children.

What would make this kind of study difficult is deciding what qualifies for "Asturian heritage." Does the individual have to know about and acknowledge it? If so, many of those in my own family might not know think to include themselves in the Asturian category. As the generations increase since the original immigrants, I suspect that it's normal to forget the details. You might know that your immigrant ancestors spoke Spanish or came from Spain, but not know anything else.

I myself did not realize that my own mother spoke Spanish until I was about 25 years old. Then, I didn't identify with my Spanish roots until I got curious about my grandparents and began studying the language. Even more striking, I did not know anything about Asturias or Asturian culture until I was living in Spain and met some "evangelicals" for Asturian culture.
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Bob
Moderator


Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1725
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My grandparents from Asturias have a total of fifty-two descendants so far (living and dead). The most children any one of their six children have had is three. Other than my own and my brother's kids and grandkids, I'm not sure how many of them know or care about their Asturian heritage.

Perhaps we could write to all of the Asturian and Spanish groups we know, inviting them to post their information on our website.
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4471
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another interesting idea, Bob.

I can think of one possible impediment: Some members of my broader family are very concerned about privacy and do not want their information shared online. Some don't even want their data entered into private computer genealogy programs without online storage.
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