March 20, 2023

“WHAT? IS THAT possible? You mean – you begin with N-O-W, then find out your past ancestors and relations?” Asked Ernest Balbines – a resident of Sitio Katinjan, Bagueng, Tinongdan, Itogon.
‘YES, IT IS possible.. very possible, and perchance: even more an accurate or reliable method than the original (or ‘usual’) way: the Deductive Method.’ I answered.
“BUT PEOPLE SAY a clan, a tribe, or a family must first establish the identity of a ‘common ancestor’.. before it can draw or design a family tree?”, joined Nats Balbines of Sitio Binga. Then, Ernest again:
“AND WHAT IS this they say: ‘at least a founding ancestor? What is a founding ancestor? it’s not the same as a common ancestor. It seems their random use of the two terms can be complicating for us, in the ordinary audience. You made family trees and you’re into Genealogy.. maybe you could explain, or: simplify?” [I nodded and said: ‘Lemme try’].
FIRST THING IS: the terms founding and common are in Usual usage in Deduction or the Deductive Method. That is the one the Kinship-tracker must establish foremost.
A COMMON ANCESTOR is one known or acknowledged by families or individuals claiming to be relatives.. they learned about the name of said ancestor from: their parents, elders, kinship-trackers – the Matonton or Mangutom, others. Due however to our laws of the land as well as our cultural practices of Naming – or names; family names and registries, people recognizing a common ancestor may not have the same family names – or ‘middle’ names – substantive of their descents from the common ancestor.
THE FOUNDING ANCESTOR is an easier reference. He is usually the fifth (if not higher 6th or 7th; or lower 4th) ancestor (or ancestress, if female archeined) – in the parental generation line of the referring kinsman (Anthros call him Ego). Like:
‘ERNEST, WHO IS the founding ancestor of your father and his siblings – all surnamed now as: Balbines? That is to say, who planted, or who founded the name Balbines.. find the answer, and that would be your founding ancestor in that lineage.
‘NOW, IF THERE are.. other relatives of yours saying you have a common ancestor.. by this, they may mean: they are derived from an ancestor/ancestress who was the sibling (or half-sibling, etc.) of your Supra-named founding ancestor, whose name you and your father’s siblings now bear, and that is: Balbines.
TO SIMPLIFY IT further, let me cite my mother’s mother’s line as illustrative Example. To do this, I must begin with my own mother’s (GRHS, or God rest her soul, she is now in Heaven) story.
I WAS A kid about four years old – I was playing with my younger brother at home in Debköw (now underwater mostly on view: the Binga reservoir), when my mom arrived at dusk. She looked so sad and glum.
AT DINNER, SHE said: “Sambobolan.. tomorrow.. I must go to Bagueng. Old woman Dorensa, they say died. Nanang ko iman (Lit. transl: “she is my mother/she is a mother of mine”), stay meanwhile with your aunt Jovit (my father’s sister). I shall be back soon.”
SHE WENT, ATTENDED the vigil, and came back to Debköw after the burial. Since that time, I nurtured in my mind that those in Sitio Bagueng were my mothers’ kindred, especially those related to, or descended from: her Dorensa – she respectfully referred to as her ‘mother-of-mine’ or nanang ko iman. I was growing up and going to school and the thought never escaped me.
WHEN OUR BALOY Primary School in Binga gave up its Grade IV class and we had to find a place to transfer, my late mother brought me to Tinongdan (Proper) Elementary School.
SHE ALSO FOUND me a place to stay – in the home and with the family members of: Purosina and Prudencio Sarape. Purosina Galunza Balbines was a daughter of old woman Dorenza (cf. Supra).
I WAS TREATED with much kindness in their family like I was their own son too and like a true sibling by their own children. The thought that I was their relative sparked and heightened each time? But I didn’t know why or how? My mother wasn’t able to tell me.
NOW: I KNOW. Through Family Trees and Reunions, I discovered that:
OLD WOMAN DORENZA was a daughter of Octavio Galunza – a half-brother (they have the same mother, id est) of Dajon, my mother’s great-grandfather or MMFF (Mother’s mother’s father’s father). So, the common ancestress of Octavio Galunza and Dajon Malawmaw was their mother: Na-ay. It follows now that Na-ay is the common ancestress of all who claim descent from both founding ancestors: Octavio and Dajon.
MARRIED TO SIANO Balbines, another founding ancestor, Dorenza and husband Siano become/are now the common ancestors (or ancestor and ancestress, respectively) of their present-day descendants or ensues.
DAJON MALAWMAW HAD a son by the name of Abance – another founding ancestor. Abance or ‘Cothlie Abance’ in American Times is the maternal grandfather, or mother’s father, of my late mom – who went to attend the vigil and burial of Dorenza.
SO, BY A mere actual story of my Mother, we were able to trace her common and founding ancestors of her mother’s line. Ayuhh!