Throwback Thursday # 002 – #TBT

#TBT, Throwback Thursday

Welcome to My Genealogy Obsession’s Throwback Thursday!

Luna Genealogy, Luna Family History, Mexican Genealogy

This picture is of my grandparents, Tiburcio Luna and Vincenta Robles on their wedding day.  I remember my grandpa as a loving man although he didn’t speak English, he always was kind for me and my younger sister when we came to visit.  If he had cookies, or snacks, he would always offer then to us.  I never new my grandma, she died in 1941, around the time when my Dad was 6 or 7 years old.  Another memory of my grandpa was that he loved playing chess.  He had a chess game always at the ready for whom ever came over and wanted to play.  When we would go visit, I would watch my dad play with my grandpa.  My grandpa, as far as I knew, always lived with my Uncle Manuel.  Whenever we would go to visit my grandpa, we would always drive to my Uncle Manuel’s house for the visit.

I sure do miss my grandpa, but I know that he is in heaven showing my dad around the place! 🙂

Thanks for visiting!  Show me your Throwback Thursday photos in the comment section.  I would love to see them!


Tuesday’s Genealogy Tip

Genealogy Tip Tuesday

I must admit, when I started my genealogy research many years ago, I didn’t think about what I would do when the time came to communicate with those of my family members who live in Mexico.  Here are my top 5 tips on researching your family history when you don’t know the language.

Top 5 Tips on Researching your Family History When You Don’t Know the Language.

TIP #1 – I was recently faced with that dilemma a few weeks ago.  I had met on Facebook, a cousin who lives in Zacatecas, Mexico.  She didn’t speak English and I do not speak Spanish (nor write) very well.  So what did I do?  Well with the help of Google Translate, I was able to converse with this cousin via Facebook Messenger.

Spanish Translation, Genealogy Tip Tuesday

When I needed to say something to my cousin, I would type in the Google Translate box on the left and set it to English and set the box on the right to show the translation in Spanish.  I would then copy and paste it into the Facebook Messenger window and press enter.

When my cousin would say something that I would need to translate into English, I would copy and paste what she wrote into the box on the left of the Google Translate window and it would automatically detect the language it was written in and translate it to English in the box on the right.

It was a little time-consuming, but when you don’t know the language well, it is very helpful.

Tip #2 – When it comes to Mexican genealogy research, it is difficult to find documents online.  I have found several on both and on, but it is just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to all of the documents available in the different Parish repositories.  So as a genealogist researching in Mexico, I have to write letters in Spanish to several repositories in Mexico requesting documents.  It is helpful that the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah has a Letter-Writting Guide – Spanish.  You can download the .pdf copy here.

This guide gives you a lot of examples on how numbers, dates, months, years are supposed to be spelled in Spanish.  What I really like about this Letter-Writing Guide is that it gives you Genealogical Request example paragraphs in English then show you the Spanish translation.  It is so helpful and takes the pressure off of me to find a friend who excels in Spanish to translate my letter for me.  This alone is worth the download.

Tip #3 –  This next tip is another one that is just a worthy as the first two.  The Spanish Extraction Guide is a .pdf document that helps the genealogist to understand, read and write Spanish by offering basic principles, examples, and practice exercise in topics such as Christening Entries, Marriage Entries, Elements of Spanish Handwriting Style, Distinguishing between Given Names and Surnames, and even including a chapter on Dates.  You can find the seven chapters to be downloaded here:  Spanish extraction Guide.

Tip #4 – Word List.   A word list is a list of general genealogical terms and their translation into the language you are researching in.  For the Spanish word list, it can be found on the’s Wiki and you can find it here.

Tip #5 – Listen or watch Spanish TV/Radio.  Yes, this does help you understand the Spanish language.  I am a second generation Mexican-American.  My parents were born in Los Angeles, but both sets of grandparents were born in Mexico.  So my parents both grew up knowing Spanish and when the family would get together, they would speak to each other in Spanish, but would speak to us kids in English.  Although I heard Spanish growing up, I cannot hold a basic conversation in Spanish.  It is my belief that I understand Spanish better because of hearing it as I was growing up.  You may or may not understand Spanish like I do, but you will start picking it up faster, you will start to read and pronounce it better when you are regularly reading/listening to it.  I am a firm believer of this.

So there you have it, my top 5 tips on researching your family history when you don’t know the language.  Do you have any tips that I missed?  Comment and let me know.


Carrying on family traits…

Last month, my sisters and I went to NAMM Show 2014.  NAMM stands for the National Association of Merchant Musicians.  It is a trade show for the music industry.  One of my sisters works for Yamaha, musical instrument division, and she gets us tickets to the NAMM Show every year.  My sisters and I love that we get to spend this time together and we all are aware of the musical traits that run in our family.

Growing up, we all new that we had musicians in our family.  My uncle Benny on my mom’s side of the family always brought his guitar to the family functions and it was always a certainty that when they started drinking and smoking around the table, he would bring it out and my uncle, along with my mom and other aunts and uncles would start singing their favorite Spanish songs.

It always warms my heart, as I walk around the trade show floor at the NAMM Show, looking at instruments knowing that in my blood runs the musical traits of my ancestors.  Here is the list of musically inclined family members that I know of.

  • Benny Sanchez – Musician/Singer – My Uncle
  • Vincent Diaz – Musician/Guitarist – My cousin.  Vince has been playing guitar since we were teenagers.  I know that in the past, he has built custom guitars too.
  • Luna Cousins – Musicians & Singers – My Luna cousins who formed a band and played at several of our family reunions.
  • My Grandfather, My Grand-Uncle, and My Great-Grandfather – Musicians/Singers – They would travel from Mexico to the local clubs and bars in the boarder states to perform.  My grandfather played the flute, my grand-uncle played violin and my great-grandfather played the harp.
  • Darlene Luna – Musician/Singer – One of my cousins from the above mentioned group of cousins who went solo.  She currently performs with a band.  You can find her Facebook profile here.
  • Joey Luna – Musician/Singer – Another cousin  from the above mentioned group of cousins that went solo.  He plays the trumpet, saxophone and flute.  He even has the flute that my grandfather played.  You can see his professional Facebook profile here.
  • Composer – A great-uncle on my mom’s side who composed music for the Teatro Lyrical in Mexico City in 1600. (According to my mom’s genealogy research.  She researched her side of the family while I did my dad’s.)
  • Patricia Stanard (Me) – Singer/Guitarist wannabe – I started singing in my 6th grade choir and haven’t stopped since.  I currently volunteer with a choral group at work and in the past we have put on two shows a year (a spring show and one for Christmas) for our fellow employees.  Due to budget constraints however, the past few years we have only put on a Christmas show.  My fellow employees and I volunteer our time for rehearsal and for the actual show time.  When we are putting on a spring show, we have stayed after work and come in on Saturdays for rehearsals.  Every now and then, I will pick up my guitar and practice it.

I am sure that there are even more family members who are musically inclined that I don’t know about.  It is amazing to me that so many musically inclined individuals are in my family tree!

Are there any musically inclined ancestors in your tree?  Comment and let me know!

2012 Coming to an End

As 2012 comes to an end, it is natural to think about the new upcoming year and what to do to make it better.  I don’t want to call it my resolution, but instead, my action plan.

So here is my action plan for next year.

  1. The Luna line – I had tried to get this line as complete as I could so that I could use it as my entry for the National Genealogical Society Family History Contest.  However, I was not able to complete that for this year.  My action plan will include 1) writing to the Mexican government to get birth, death and marriage records for several members of the Luna family.  Also on my action plan is to 2) Interview my Aunt Jessie who last March turned 100 years old.  This needs to be done first and I will need to talk to my cousins (her daughters) to set it up.
  2. The Sanchez line – Well this research was pretty much completed by my mother.  I plan on 1) getting her permission to post some of the family research that she did.  I don’t know much about her research and the stories she has, but I am looking forward to learning more about it.  I also want to 2) create profiles on this family as well and post them here.
  3. The Stanard line – This family line has come to a complete stop.  Well that is, I haven’t been able to progress any further with it.  There is a rumor around the family that there is an old family bible that has dates for other family members and I have been told it would further the tree.  So, my action plan for this family is to 1) Continue to look for that Bible and have my husband look for it too when he is visiting his mom’s house.  I also need to 2) gather my notes on busting through brickwalls and apply those techniques to the walls I have now.
  4. This blog – I do have an action plan for this blog as well.  Now that I am not rush to finish the NGS Family History Writing contest, I will be 1) posting more profiles from the Luna family line.  I also will be 2) posting more about the Stanard line as well.  I also want to 3) update the editorial calendar to make sure it accurately show my posting schedule. 

I don’t like resolutions because they are easy to break.  This is why I use my action plan.  I like the way it sounds, like its do-able.  So, what are your plans for the new year?  Any changes you want to make?  Post a comment and let me know.

Lastly, I would like to wish everyone of my readers a safe, prosperous, and a very Happy New Year!!

This image used with permission. Original image by


My Aspirations – November 2012

Sorry I have been MIA for the past few months.  It was due to my participation in ProGen15 study group. The assignments for these past two months have been really tough and required determiniation and focus to complete them.  I will be going into detail about this program and the required assignments in a post scheduled for sometime this weekend.  Now that I am more free to post more regularly, I will continue with the topics scheduled in my editorial calendar. 

Today I will start with my monthly aspirations.  Here I will be listing my goals to complete this month.  On every Saturday, I will be posting my Saturday Updates and let you know how my goals are coming along.  Now, without further ado…

My Aspirations for the month of November is as follows:

  1. Writing – My plan is to keep up with my editorial calendar and post more frequently.  I also have a few other posts about my journey to solidifying my family’s history as well but they are not currently ready for posting.
  2. Research – I have brought my dad’s family research a lot farther along than I had previously thought.  I was thrilled to realize that accomplishment.  I will also be writing to the folks in a local pairish in Zacatecas, Mexico so that I can get the vital documents for several people on my dad’s side of the family. 
  3. Learning –  Well I don’t think I could take on any more formal learning opportunities until I am done with ProGen15.  If I did, I feel that I would be streching myself thin.  However, I can plan for the future and I think after ProGen15, I will start with the NGS Home Study course (graded).  It isn’t cheap but they do have a scholarship that I could apply for.  It wouldn’t hurt to try, right? 
  4. Organizing – For an uber organized, type A personality (yes I have my DVD movie collection alphabetized by title), multi-tasking mom, I am not currently organized with my filing system for my genealogy research.  I need to tame that monster.  (Oh and yes, I am usually that uber organized, type A, multi-tasking mom. At 3 1/2 weeks to go, I gave my daughter her Monthly, Week before, Day Before, and Day Of to do List for our vacation at the end of the month.  Yes, she did roll her eyes at me too!)   

So for this month, this is my aspiration to complete these goals!  So what do you have on your list?  Comment love is always appreciated!!!  :-)  Have a fabulous day!