I became interested in the field of genealogy, when I began to wonder who my ancestors were since I personally only related with the Avila-Lopez branch represented by my parents Francisco Avila and Felipa Lopez when I left our native Honduras at the age of 15 back in 1969. Having been born in Trujillo, Honduras and raised in La Ceiba complicated matters even more since I didn’t have the luxury of living year round with my family lineage, except for vacation periods when my parents would send me and my youngest sibling to spend time with my paternal grandparents Tomás Avila-Caballero after who I am named, and Juana Mena-Garcia after whom my Sister Juana Rose is named in Trujillo. Although both of my parents were born in Trujillo, up the age of 13 I only knew my maternal grandfather Elouterio Lopez-Lopez who lived in Trujillo, and I’ll get to see whenever I went to Trujillo with my parents.
Back in 1985 after 15 years of arriving to the United States and eight years of not visiting Honduras, complicated by the strained relationship between my maternal grandmother who I met for the first time at the age of 13 when my mother sent me and my sibling to meet in Puerto Cortes and my mother, I became interested in knowing more about my maternal ancestry and made he decision to begin to research my maternal grandmother Guadalupe Manzanero as she was known at that point of her life.
My curiosity also stemmed from my grandmother’s prejudice attitude towards Black people and her Indigenous like features and her constant degrading comments about Black people and the constant bickering among my mother’s sisters, made me reached the decision to begin my genealogical research by interviewing my maternal grandmother Blanca Rosa Euceda-Green. I proceeded to contact my grandmother and arranged to meet with her at her residence on a Saturday in March 1985 and spent 16 hours amidst her delicious cooking asking her questions about herself and her ancestors and she provided me with great wealth of information about her family and my grandfather Eleuterio López López family.
I remember the first clarification I asked my grandmother was to clarify her name for me, and tell me about her real name which she immediately proceeded to explained in very detailed manner that her real name is Blanca Rosa Euceda Green, name given to her by her parents Juan Euceda and Isolina Green when she was born on December 12, 1911 in Coxene Hall, Roatan Honduras. According to my grandmother, the confusion with her name throughout the years is rooted when her mother and father separated and her mother partnered with Juan Solis who became her stepfather and he decided that because of her birthday being on December 12 which in the Christian calendar celebrates the Virgin of Guadalupe, she should be named after the Virgin and therefore changed her name to Guadalupe and also gave her his last name, those becoming Guadalupe Solis and hence the many variations of her name and the confusion among her descendants, such as a branch of her descendants carrying the last name Solis.
My grandmother also provided me with information about my paternal grandfather Elouterio López López, whom I did not get the opportunity to interview prior to his death in August, 1985, but my grandmother was very well informed about his ancestry and she was very key in providing a wealth of information regarding his parents and his descendants which I was able to confirmed with members of his family in Trujillo whom today are deceased. My grandmother informed me that my grandfather’s nick name was “Guaparito” when he was growing up and as he grew up it became “Guaparo”. The importance of this information shared with me became invaluable during August of 1987 when my maternal branch traveled to Honduras to perform a “Chugu” which is a Garifuna religious ritual prepared in response to the departed ancestors.
During such celebration the spirits embodied themselves into several family members and take total control of those individuals and communicate with the congregation. My elder Audelina was the one embodied by the spirits on my mother’s branch and during her trans she communicated that she was being informed about some guy named “Guaparito” whom she didn’t know and never seen and I proceeded to informed my mother that it was my paternal grandfather Elouterio who she was talking about, which was based on the information my grandmother had shared with me.
My grandmother also explained to me how Josephine Euceda was related to us through her brother Wellington Euceda who is her half brother through her father Juan Euceda and clarified an unknown in my life because although I knew we were related I did not know how we were related.
Granny as we affectionately called her, provided me with the start of what has become an extensive genealogical account of my family lineage that has allowed me to clarify my family branches and taken me to Honduras where I had the opportunity to interview many of my ancestors from all branches of my lineage such as went I returned to Honduras in 1989, and I asked my father to go with me to Roatan and introduced me to that branch of the family, and I met a whole village of Avilas and interviewed many elders in their 90’s who informed me that all Avilas in Honduras are related and warned me to be careful with my relationships if any in Punta Gorda, because all of it I related to me by the Avila branch either by birth or marriage.
94 years old Siriaca Martinez-Avila who I met in Masca, Cortes back in 1991 who provided me with a wealth of information about the Avila branch of my family, and confirmed what I told my son Tomas Francis when he was in the 5th grade and student originally from Honduras join his class and was also named Avila, “son as far as I know all the Avilas in Honduras are related”, by informing me that the Avilas are the descendants of Simeon Avila who arrived in Masca, Cortes from Puerto Barrios, Guatemala and father 5 children, Andres Avila,. ii. Simeon Avila, iii. Andres Avila, iv. Bonifacia Avila and v. Siriaca Martinez Avila, b. April 7, 1900. He then continue on to Tulian where he fathered other children, and later to Travesia where he fathered 9 boys and 3 girls, moved on to Roatan and fathered all the Avilas originated there. Simeon's roots can be found in Cortes, Roatan, Atlantida and Colon. While in Honduras in 1991.
I also interviewed over 100 individuals from the Avila, Garcia, Mena, Lopez branch that originated in Trujillo and there I also enjoyed the opportunity of interviewing elder ancestors who provided me with oral and factual information about my family roots. All of this research allowed me to become proficient in knowing who is related to me and from what branch, while at the same time educate the rest of relatives about our family through the publication of three previous genealogical reports.
While in Honduras I also became aware that my maternal grandmother family was Mena Garcia and helped me discover and verify many relatives I grew up knowing on Trujillo but was not aware that they were related to me such as Lorenzo Mena for whom one of Trujillo main street is name after, Mariano Garcia prominent business men in La Ceiba and Geronima Garcia who played a prominent roll in the Garifuna cultural history, such as being the originator of the Tiras play in Honduras.
After I met with my grandmother, I proceeded to request a meeting with my parents and met with each one of them to obtain further information about their side of the family which once again provided me with wealth of information that helped me grow my family database exponentially.
An ancestor is a person from whom you are descended - parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents and so on. The term is most commonly used to describe someone earlier than your grandparents in your family tree.
If you think of a family tree as being in the shape of an upside-down pyramid (triangle), you would be the point at the bottom. Not counting second marriages, an individual will usually have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents and so on. From you (at the bottom of the triangle) working upward, these form the ancestral pyramid. By the time you have gone back ten generations you have an impressive 1,024 ancestors - more than enough to keep you busy researching for a lifetime!
If you take this pyramid and turn it right-side-up then you are now at the point at the top. Stretching down from you are your descendants - your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and so on. If you trace your family tree down from a single ancestor, then it is called a descendant tree. If you trace your family tree back through the generations from a single individual, then it is know as an ancestor tree. The relationship between you and your ancestors and descendants are known as lineal relationships.
Today if someone walked up to me and said "Hi, I'm your third cousin, once removed," I know what they meant. Most of us don't think about our relationships in such exact terms ("cousin" seems good enough), so most of us aren't familiar with what these words mean. When working on your family history, however, it's more important to understand the various types of cousin relationships. I can elated to my entire family lineage without any doubt as to who is my relative and what branch they belong. Most importantly my investigation allowed me to clarify without any doubt my relationship with the descendants of my grandmother brother Wellington Euceda whom I knew since Honduras but was not given concrete information about our family lineage previously.
Now that I have research and document my family genealogical history I am very happy that I'll leave legacy to future generation as well as to my whole family that will allow them to know their historical roots.
As an immigrant family that arrived to this country 43 years ago when Bertha Liduvina who was the first of my maternal branch to come and proceeded to bring the rest of her sisters and their family its extremely important that future generations born in this great nation have reference to educate them about their original roots and will continue adding to our rich history. This site is the result of all my family research and a bridge to our family next generation.