The Hernandez Heritage Home Page

Updated September 5, 2000

Miguel J. Hernandez
10 North Water Street
Ossining, NY 10562
United States
(914) 941-4920
miguel_j_hernandez@compuserve.co

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Hello! I am Miguel Jose Hernandez y Torres. I was born in Lares, Puerto Rico in 1938 and migrated from there to New York City in 1944. I am a member of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Genealogical Society and have been tracing my family roots since 1996. These roots are firmly planted in Lares, a historic community in the Western-Central mountains of Puerto Rico. The town was established in 1837 and an Antonio Hernandez is listed in the town charter as one of the founders. On the 23rd of September of 1868 a brief revolt against Spanish rule took place and although it failed, that event continues to symbolize Puerto Rico's quest for a national identiy. Since genealogy and history are twin sisters this home page will focus on the history of Lares and of my people who played a role in it.First, here are some basic facts about my father Miguel Hernandez y Gerena, only son of Miguel Isaias Hernandez and Maria Gerena y Ayala, and born on November 1, 1900. He was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church --San Jose de la Montana on December 6. 1900. In addition to his parents,those present at this ceremony were his uncle Emilio Hernandez and Paula Ayala. Miguel was a student at Roosevelt High School and played the viola in the school orchestra. On October 26, 1918 he registered with the local Selective Service Board and as the Draft Registration card shows he claimed to have been born in 1899. Thus he made it appear that he was eighteen years of age and therefore eligible for military duty in WWI. Despite being swept up in the military fervor of the tiimes, he was not called and served in the local Home Guard unit instead.In 1920 he landed a job as a public health inspector with the Government of Puerto Rico and served in that position until 1930 and left to become Municipal Auditor in Lares until 1934 when he left to help his father run a coffee plantation. Lares was very famous for its coffee and at one time its quality was so high that it was known as ":the coffee of Popes and Kings." Hyperbole aside, it was very good coffee but given the Depression it was over-priced and could not compete with cheaper coffe from Brazil. The bottom fell out of the coffee market and a hurricane finished the job. Dad then held a succession of jobs in the Work Project Administration that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt set up help get the country back on its feet. On May 14, 1936, while he was working in San Juan, he recieved a telegram informing him that his mother, Maria had died. He was very close to her and her family, the Gerena-Ayalas. Maria had been born in 1876 to Jose Nicanor Gerena and Manuela Ayala. She was one of nine siblings. The others were : Ramon Leoncio, Fernando, Gonzalo, Jose Rafael, Juana Amalia and Juan Manuel.Jose Nicanor Gerena who my father called Papa Nick was the son of Jose Gerena and Petrona Rodriguez and he had three siblings, Ana, Maria and Juan Santos. Jose Nicanor's father was the son of Francisco Francisco Gerena and Maria de las Nieves Medina. So that in my Gerena line, I can go back five generations I have no idea from where in Spain the Gerenas originated but I undestand there is a small village in Spain called (appropriately enough) Gerena and perhaps that is their ancestral home.I have very little information on Dad's father, Miguel Isaias Hernandez who was born in 1868. I do know from his marraige certificate that his mother's name was Victoria Hernandez. His father's name is not listed which leads me to assume that either his father was dead at the time of the marriage (February 20, 1899) or, that Victoria was not a married woman and Miguel Isaias was born out of wedlock.On July 1, 1936, my father married Hermenegilda Torres-Delgado and in the future I will post information on my mother's family the Torres-Delgados of Barrio Piletas.

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