Spain ~ Espana ~ Espanya ~ Espainia
For obvious reasons, Puerto Rican genealogy is closely tied to Spain. Spain has a long and vast history that is impressive and important for a myriad of reasons but here I will provide a history of Spain as it relates to the ancestry of people from Puerto Rico. I will include information that may add clarity or clues to those researching the various topics on this website such as: DNA, surnames, physical characterstics, legends, language and culture. Information included here will be brief to be used as a springboard to your own deeper research.
As I mentioned on the surname page, there are many languages spoken in Spain.
Languages of Spain
The Romans who conquered the Iberian Peninsula in and around the turn of the first millennia spoke Vulgar Latin (colloquial or common Latin). Over the course of the next 1,000 years, that earliest language developed into the various languages spoken in what is now Spain and Portugal. Most people think that is Spanish and Portuguese, however, that is not the case. There a quite a number of languages spoken in Spain that have official status in the province and are taught in schools. In the surname list above I included the original language the name was created in. In the above gallery, there is a language map of Spain but it is in Spanish. Above also is a list of towns in Spain that surnames are derived from. So, below is a chart I created that lists the regions, provinces, towns/cities and languages spoken in the regions. Because of the varying languages, you will find the regions and languages written in Castilian, English, and in some cases the native language. I have found that it is helpful if you are doing research to know the various ways to look up places and information.
Most people are surprised to learn that Spain is vastly different in each of its various regions. Not only is the language and dialects different but the customs, food, and genes are quite different as well. The common thought for example is that apple pie is "American", but when one looks closer one realizes that Southern pecan pie, New York cheesecake and New England whoopie pie are just as American! The same goes for Spain and its various regions. Being that the United States is only a few hundred years old the differences are minimal in comparison. Spain has had thousands of years to form distinct languages and dialects as well as cuisine, surnames, physical features, and customs. Knowing this history may help to shed light on your genealogical roots.
Andalucia is the southern most region of Spain. It is here that the Conquistadors sailed from to Puerto Rico and where the crewmen for those ships came from. These Andalucians gave Puerto Ricans their particular accent and of course their genes. This seems obvious but it really makes a difference upon learning more about the history of Spain's regions. The history of Andalucia is rich and diverse and still lives on in the speech