This is a photograph of my grandfather's original birth certificate. This information along with my maternal grandparents names and their parents names was all I had when I embarked on my personal quest to find out whatever I could about my family history. I have always wondered where I was from. Yes, I knew my family was from the Dominican Republic but I craved to know who were my grandparents parents, and their parents, and their parents…to infinity and beyond backwards! Who were those people…where did they originate from? My grandfather had blond hair and blue eyes - Did they come from the “mother country” Spain? My grandmother had dark skin and long black hair – could some of my ancestors be descendants of the Taino Indians that once populated the land? I specifically wanted to find out more about my mother’s side of the family (I like them better than my dad’s!) mostly because they helped raise me. When I was a little girl having them meant the world to me – because they were so loving, they doted on me and catered to my every whim! That was all I needed - grandparents are the best!! As a teenager I wanted to know more about my beginnings - I had all of these questions: what were they like? What were their names? I wanted to get more information but… How? Travel to the Dominican Republic? And go to whom? I knew no one in the family could answer any of my questions, I had never heard of anyone else questioning our lineage.
– Madeline Plasencia