For the past few months, I’ve thrown myself down many rabbit holes, doing as much research as I could to find out more about my family history. I prepared myself for the inevitable dead ends I would encounter, and kept my expectations low in terms of what sort of information was available out there for me to find. On my dad’s side, I was able to go back six generations in my lineage, all the way back to two sets of my 4-times great grandparents (Atanacio Caybyab & Francisca Del Rosario, and Santiago Tuazon & Eduarda Gonzales). Though all I found was a long list of names in my paternal lineage, nothing can quite describe the feeling of being able to create that extensive family tree. There was something quite extraordinary about being able to see my ancestors’ names appear as I, their distant descendant, wrote each of them down one by one. Seeing that my research on my dad’s side of the family wouldn’t go any further, I began my research on my maternal lineage – and discovered a lot more than I ever expected.
I remember being told as a child that my maternal grandmother was born in Hawaii, and thinking how groundbreaking it was to find out that my family had roots in places other than the Philippines. Because my grandma and her siblings spent the first part of their lives in what was then an incorporated territory of the United States, I stumbled upon more documents on Ancestry than I could have ever imagined, and was able to piece together the narrative of how my relatives lived, and how that ultimately culminated into my existence.