Ricardo Magno is the earliest known patriarch in our Magno line — my father’s paternal grandfather. He is one of the stone walls I am facing in tracing my paternal lineage, due to the lack of documentation. What I know, I know from stories from my father (who’s second name is also Ricardo); but I still have many unanswered questions.
1. Ricardo is believed to be from Iloilo City, Iloilo, Philippines; and was born between 1885 and 1900. Documenting his birth has been a challenge as the municipal records of Iloilo were all destroyed in a fire in the 1940s. [Update as of 13 Apr 2011: Ricardo was born about 1870. This I derived from his record on the 1929 Iloilo Death Registy Index]
2. Family tales say that Ricardo was sent to Spain by his middle-class parents to study medicine. When he got there, he fell in love with European fashion and ended up studying haberdashery and tailoring instead. He came home to enraged parents and was disinherited. Making suits then became his livelihood in his adult life. Ship passenger lists would be a good starting point to determine if Ricardo made a voyage to Europe.
3. Ricardo married Teodora Sobrepeña , with whom he had at least five children: Julio, Segundino, Cecilia, Adelina and Ignacia. I need civil records for data on his marriage to my great-grandmother and the title to the property along 104 C.R. Fuentes Street where my grandfather was raised and my father was born. What other sources could I consult in lieu of local civil records? Would I find a hint of him in the US Library of Congress — considering the country was a commonwealth of the United States before World War II?
4. My grandfather and father were baptized in the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, a schism started in 1902, borne out of a nationalist sentiment against the abusive Spanish clergy, and eventually the American colonialists. Even if Ricardo was an early convert of the Aglipayan Church, he should still have records with the Catholic parish. Did I just miss his name during my search through the Iloilo diocese records? Or is he a migrant from another place? The Aglipayan Church was most popular in the Ilocos Region, where many Magno’s are from. If I shift my search for Ricardo’s Catholic baptismal record several hundred kilometers north, where should I begin? Which city?
5. In the present-day aerial map of the Pala-Pala district of Iloilo below, the Terminal Market now stands where the Magno’s home used to be. It’s is an interesting coincidence that the Philippine Independent Church building is only one small block to the west, on Jalandoni Street. Perhaps there are clues about my ancestor that lies in the church’s early records.
6. Details of Ricardo’s death and that of his wife are also unknown to me. I don’t think I have asked my dad about that — totally forgot. Perhaps that would provide some clues as well. [Update as of 20 April 2011. Ricardo Magno died on 17 Mar 1929 in Iloilo City at 59 years old. He died of pulmonary tuberculosis. Meanwhile, his wife Teodora Sobrepeña-Magno, died on 16 Jul 1969, in Iloilo at 85 years old from old age.]
Family History Research Notes
1. Interview with Carlo Ricardo H. Magno on 01 April 2007.
2. Philippine Deaths and Burial, 1726-1957. Microfilm Number 1748680. CLDS Family History Center: Quezon City. Date accessed: 13 Apr 2011.
3. Philippine Deaths and Burial, 1726-1957. Microfilm Number 1969247. CLDS Family History Center: Quezon City. Date accessed: 13 Apr 2011.