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  1. When did you first start working on your family history?

Oh, it might go beyond my memory! According to my mother, the family tree in my “baby” album always attracted my eyes. When I was about seven years old, I had to draw my family tree as part of my school homework, I started by copying the small tree from the album, but since I had more space, I asked my mother, who were your parents? I hadn’t finished writing the name of my great-grandparents when I asked her who her great grandparents were, a question which was beyond her knowledge!

2. What was your most surprising discovery?

That the father of my 2x great-grandfather a Colonel in the Spanish Military served under the command of Pablo Morillo fighting the Napoleon army in the Peninsular War (Guerra de la Independencia)!

3. Have you done a DNA test? Were there any surprises about countries of origins?

 Yes, I have tested with Ancestry, My Heritage and Family Tree DNA. There were no big surprises, but it was interesting to see a 15% from North Africa, which I mostly attribute to the population movement around the 8th century.

4.What is the brick wall you would most like to break down in your family history?

My great-grandmother was a ‘natural’ child (that’s genealogy jargon for illegitimate or bastard) , her father’s identity is on my list of mysteries to solve!

5. What is your favourite part of researching your family history?

Connecting with my ancestors. When I read a letter or a document from their the time, I feel as if I’ve been transported back 100 – 200 years in time; I feel close to them, even if I’ve never actually met them.

Check the conference schedule to read about Victor’s session: ¿Habla español? – Break Down the Language Barrier on Hispanic Research.

Speaker Spotlight: Victor Corrales