Tuesday, September 4, 2012

From Luarca to Frejulfe, part 1

In the spring of 2011 I found myself sitting in the parish archive in Luarca. The parish archive also housed the records of the neighboring town of Santiago de Arriba where I was tracing some ancestral lines. Luarca is a beautiful little seaside town located in the northern region of Spain called Asturias. I had determined that the parish records from Santiago de Arriba were not centralized into the diocesan archive in Oviedo, but were kept in Luarca.

Luarca, Valdéz, Asturias
After getting permission from the parish priest I was able to get into the archive and research the family I wanted. I really wanted to know more about the 'de la Fraga' ancestral line. I really hoped that they lived in the area for a long time - this would allow for me to research multiple generations all in one sitting. It turned out that the family wasn't from the area, in fact the father (Manuel Ramon de la Fraga) having children in Santiago de Arriba was from a completely different region in Spain. This new information upset me, but was also a learning experience for me and hopefully for you. To avoid a long post, I have chosen to divide this 'story' into a couple of posts...I'm hoping to fit it into two, but it might take three.

The parish priest in Luarca did not give me permission to take digital pictures so I have included a couple of transcription snippets. For simplicity sake I have removed abbreviations, and only included relevant pieces of information about the birthplace of Manuel Ramon de la Fraga.

#1 - baptism of Lorenzo Antonio

'En siete de Octubre del presente año de mil setezientos setentta y ocho....bautice solemnemente...un niño...que puso por nombre Lorenzo Antonio hijo legitimo de Manuel Ramon de la Fraga natural de la parroquia Santa Eulalia de Frejulfe valle de oro y de Cathalina Menendez...'

*Notice the birthplace of Manuel Ramon - it says that he was born in the parish of Santa Eulalia [in the town] of Frejulfe [in] valle de oro.

#2 - baptism of Gregoria

'En diez y ocho de Junio de mil setezientos ochenta y uno...bautice solemenmente...una niña....a quien se puso por nombre Gregoria....hija legitima de Ramon de la Fraga natural de Santa Eulalia de Frejulfe obispado de Mondoñedo y de Catalina Menendez...'

**Notice the birthplace of Manuel Ramon now - it says he was born in the parish of Santa Eulalia [in the town] of Frejulfe [in the bishopric or diocese] of Mondoñedo.

Several more children were found for this couple, but these two records provide the detail I needed (which the other children's records corroborated) to push back the de la Fraga line even further. The problem I now faced was where in the world was Frejulfe and Mondoñedo; and what about this Valle de Oro place? Turned out that the research took us to the region of Galicia, which will be the focus of my next post.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure you already found out about this.. Frejulfe is now officially called Frexulfe, a parish in Valadouro, northern Lugo (formerly Valle de Oro). I have some relatives called Fraga who are from that area. The neighbor Alfoz is a hotspot for that surname.

In Galicia, names of places are now officially in Galician. Spanish translations are considered corrupted versions (not real translations) that were made up by local authorities and priests to hide the local language.
Sometimes the names we found on the church records have nothing to do with the current names on maps and documents. For example, Santa Eulalia is now Santa Baia.

The same happened to most of Galician surnames (e.g. Do Outeiro -> Outeiro -> Otero, or Da Fonte -> De La Fuente, etc...)
In this case: Da Fraga -> De la Fraga -> Fraga (the last one is current version)


Lynn Turner, AG said...

Pablo, thanks for your comment - you stole a little of my thunder for part 2, but I appreciate your input. Also, thanks for the tip about Alfoz - that will likely be the next place I look for the Fraga line that I'm researching...after researching in the Frexulfe records it's apparent they weren't from there and your comment gives me a lead to pursue them further.

thanks and saludos,


Unknown said...

Hace unas semanas estuve en Luarca, en el museo marítimo, un pueblo precioso por cierto.
Qué bueno que te animes a escribir de nuevo Lynn!