Filed under: Magno
Ancestry.com offers DNA testing to help you get insight on your ancestors from as far as 35 generations back. Since males are the carriers of genetic markers that do not change over the generations, I swabbed my brother’s inner cheeks (ala CSI) weeks back and sent his spit to Utah, hoping to get more info on the origins of the Magno Clan.
Today, I finally got the results on our paternal ancestry! After administering a Paternal Lineage Test (Y-46) on my brother’s DNA sample, I learned my paternal line belongs to the Haplogroup O3, also known as THE INVENTORS. If you are my Magno paternal relative, send me a note and I would be happy to email you a copy of the complete report.
You belong to “The Inventors”, Haplogroup O3, which originated about 30,000 years ago in south eastern Asia, and quickly migrated to central China. Haplogroup O3 is still associated with central China, but many present-day members of Manchurian, Korean and Vietnamese populations are part of the Inventors. Some Filipinos and Japanese are also in this group.
“Inventors” can be found at very high rates among the Han Chinese, considered by many to be the largest ethnic group in the world. Some of the Han Chinese refer to themselves as “descendants of the dragon” and believe they share common ancestors with the Yellow Emperor and the Yan Emperor. Your ancient ancestors may have been instrumental in developing the predominant language associated with the Han people, called “hanyu”. The written characters of the language are called “hanzim”, literally “Han characters”. The written Chinese language is one clear unifying factor among the Han Chinese. A consistent written language has prevailed through the ages, despite a great diversity among the languages spoken in China.
The Han Chinese are believed to have contributed significantly to the progress of humanity on a large scale. Your ancient ancestors may have played a role in the development of paper, the compass, gun powder, silk production, canal locks, porcelain, toothbrushes and a myriad of other necessities that are taken for granted today.
China was influenced heavily by Confucianism, and it’s likely that the “Inventors” were as well. At first inspection, Confucianism appears to focus on morality, but a more in-depth understanding reveals a system of moral, social, political, philosophical and spiritual thought. Prior to advanced genetics, linguists used commonalities between languages to link groups of people separated by time and travel. It appears that a subgroup of the “Inventors”, haplogroup O3e, have many members connected by Sino-Tibetan languages. These peoples are conventionally categorized into two branches, Chinese and Tibeto-Burman. The Sino-Tibetan speaking Chinese are the Han Chinese, the Hui and the Dungan. The Tibeto-Burman group includes many east Asian peoples, including but not limited to most of those living in Myanmar (Burma), Tibet, Vietnam, Laos and certain regions of India.
I entered my test values into YSearch and found that I shared genetic markers with individuals from China, Kasakhstan, Korea, and United States.
I guess the information has no immediate impact on my on-going study, as my research into the Magno line has only barely broken the 20th century mark. If anything, these test results negate the family falsehood of an Iberian ancestry. It also means that this branch of my family was not from the early settlers of the Philippines — Negrito, Indonesian or Malay — but rather migrants from across the South China Sea.
In my future is the bigger challenge that is Chinese genealogy.
[After this confusing find, I jumped back on the trail of my father’s paternal grandmother. I reordered the microfilm of the 1969 Iloilo Death Registers and continued where I left off. It wasn’t long before I found the right record.]
Teodora Sobrepeña was born on 07 April 1884 in Iloilo City. My dad remembers her as having a stall in the town market, where she sold the rice delicacies (“kakanin”) she created. She married Ricardo Magno, a tailor and haberdasher, in the 1910s. They had at least five children: Julio, Segundino, Cecilia, Adelina and Ignacia. She died on 16 July 1969, in Iloilo, at the age of 85. The informant on her death certificate was Francisco Tapiculin, the husband of her daughter, Cecilia. The extended family lived at the same address: Fuentes and de Leon Streets, Iloilo — a domicile she kept since 1935, at least.
I attended a Magno Family event over the week-end; and as expected, I managed to sneak genealogy talk into the conversation. My Tita Chody mentioned that their paternal grandmother (also her tukayo or namesake), Teodora Sobrepeña-Magno, died in 1969 in Iloilo. This bit of newly-unearthed information was enough for me to start a targeted search through Iloilo’s records.
I accessed microfilmed death certificates for 1969 and found a lady named LUCIA Sobrepeña-Magno. She was born in 1886 (Check! That’s a good match for Teodora) in Mambusao, Capiz. She died on 10 May 1969 (Check!) in Iloilo of tuberculosis. Her husband was Ricardo Magno (Check!). This woman had three crucial items in common with my great-grandmother. But is she the person I am looking for?
1) It is possible that “Lucia” is one of two given names.
2) Another possibility: a staff member at the Family History Center in Quezon City also posed that during this woman’s lifetime, it is common for rural people to change their given names mid-life. This occurs when someone is sickly or is plagued by ill-luck. They believe that changing their name will bring improved health and happiness. This was the case with this gentleman’s mother-in-law.
I called my father (the eldest grandchild) and asked about this new first name. He did not believe it was the same lady as she was addresed as “Lola Doring” until the last decade of her life. The clincher was the name of the informant. It was Aniceto Magno, her son. My father vaguely remembers a story of my great-grandfather having an illegitimate child named Aniceto. The juicy question that plagues me now, if we go with the illegitimacy angle, is: Why does the my great-grandmother share a surname with her husband’s mistress? Were they related?
I was unable to finish the microfilm as it was difficult to read and I was nursing a head ache the size of Utah. I will have to wait until Tuesday next week to review the records again to get another crack at finding Teodora.
POSTCRIPT, 28 APRIL 2011
My Tita Inday called her older cousins in Iloilo — they are in their 80s — to ask about Lucia and Aniceto. It turns out that my great-grandfather, Ricardo, got her wife’s niece (the daughter of Teodora’s brother) pregnant. While my great-grandmother Teodora remarried (so her last name changed since her husband’s death in the 1930s), Lucia never did (which was why she used her “Magno”). With the “ew” reflex contained, I am looking forward to a trip to Iloilo to dig up more stories. I can smell the the unwashed laundry!
The loss of a loved one is often the hardest thing any human being can go through. Today, I honor the many women who have endured the pain of outliving their child and most importantly, who have found the spirit to forge ahead.
My grandmother, Fredesvinda Hernandez Magno was such a woman. She lost two children to disease in the early 1940’s — shortly before the start of World War II and a short time after war ended. Not living to see their fourth birthdays, Idilio and Emilia Crysantemo were not often spoken of at family gatherings — as far as the next generations can recall. No one can remember a commemorated birthday or anniversary. Their brood’s eldest, Carlo Ricardo, who was himself a very small child when his siblings passed, shares faint memories he had of his little brother and little sister:
Idilio Hernandez Magno was born in 1937 in Iloilo City, Iloilo. He is remembered as a handsome boy with Dravidian features. Idilio died of meningitis in 1940 at the age of 3, and was buried at the public cemetery in Iloilo City. In 1948, his parents were blessed with another baby whose face perfectly resembled his. The child was named in his memory — Perfecto Idilio Hernandez Magno.
Emilia Crysantemo Hernandez Magno was born in 1942 in Mandaluyong City. Nanette — remembered as a beautiful, playful child with soulful eyes. At age 2, she developed a lump, which was the beginning of a more serious infection. She soon succumbed to diphtheria. She was buried at the Aglipayan Cemetery in Mandaluyong City.
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.]
Pronounced [mag’-no], the family name is derived from the Latin adjective magnus, meaning “great”. It could also mean “large” or “important.” The spelling variations for this surname include Magnani, Magni, Magnaguti, Magnanini, Magnano, Magni, Magnini, among others. This family name and its derivatives are widely used in Spanish-, French- and Italian-speaking nations. The name was first found in Bologna, Italy — specifically, the province’s capital, Emilia.
The origins of our line can be traced to Iloilo City, Philippines. Ricardo Magno is the earliest known patriarch of our branch of the Magno Clan. Due to a fire that destroyed the civil records in the 1940s, very little documentation can be found, making the search for more ancestors particularly challenging. The Magno surname can also be found in many areas of North Luzon and Bicol; but a genealogical link to these family has not yet been established.
Gunding was a master carpenter and painter by profession. He belonged to the Philippine Independent Church. He married Fredesvinda Francisco Hernandez on 21 March 1935. The young couple lived with Gudning’s parents in 104 C.R. Fuentes Street, Iloilo City at first. The home was where their three eldest children were born.
They migrated from Iloilo City to Manila in 1941, at the advise of Fredesvinda’s father who, being affiliated with the government, knew that Manila would be the only open city where supplies and rations would be most accessible. In 1942, Fredesvinda’s father, Juan Anderson Hernandez, served as superintendent of the Philippine Constabulary Academy, a training school for policemen. Segundino then worked in the Academy as the chief cook. In his efforts to help the Filipino guerillas, he would keep the armory unlocked for the rebels to loot overnight.
Segundino and Fredesvinda made Mandaluyong City their home. This city was where they raised their family. Fredesvinda was a homemaker and worked as a skilled dressmaker. Despite their humble lifestyle, they raised a closely-knit family and were important influences in the lives of their grandchildren.
A smoker since his teens, Lolo Gunding died of complications from lung disease on 21 April 1992 in Manila City.