Who Are My Spiritual Ancestors

Ancestor spirits were one of the two principal sorts of spirits (anito) with whom shamans spoke in precolonial Philippines' animistic indigenous religions. Umalagad were the spirits of ancestors (lit. “guardian” or “caretaker”). They can be specific ancestor spirits or more generalized family guardian spirits. The ancient Filipinos believed that after death, a person's soul went to a spirit world (typically by boat). In the spirit realm, there can be several locations, each with its own ethnic group. The fate of spirits is determined by how they died, their age at death, and their behavior while alive. In the underworld, souls reconnect with deceased relatives and enjoy normal lives as they did in the physical world. In some circumstances, evil people's souls must go through penance and cleansing before being allowed to enter a spirit realm. After a length of time in the spirit world, souls would reincarnate.

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The material world still has some influence over souls in the spirit world, and vice versa. Paganito rites can be performed to call on beneficial ancestral spirits for protection, guidance, or intervention. The dead's vengeful spirits can appear as apparitions or ghosts (mantiw) and hurt living people. Paganito has the ability to appease or expel them. Ancestor spirits were also thought to be the ones who called the soul to the underworld, guided the soul (a psychopomp), or met the soul upon arrival following illness or death.

The Cordillerans call ancestor spirits kalading; the Maguindanao and Maranao call them tonong; the Sama-Bajau call them umboh; Tagalogs call them ninun; and Bicolanos call them nono. Traditionally, carved figures known as taotao are used to represent ancestor spirits. Upon a person's death, the society carved these. Every family had a taotao on a shelf in the corner of the house.

Despite having been Christianized since coming into touch with Spanish missionaries in 1521, the primarily Roman Catholic Filipino people nevertheless hold ancestors in high regard, however without the formality that their neighbors do. In today's world, ancestor reverence is represented through the placement of images of the deceased near the house altar, which is a frequent feature in many Filipino Christian homes. Candles are frequently lit in front of portraits, which are occasionally adorned with garlands of fresh sampaguita, the national flower. Ancestors, particularly deceased parents, are still revered as psychopomps, as a dying person is thought to be “fetched” to the afterlife by the spirits of deceased relatives (Tagalog: sundô, “fetch”). When the dying shout out the names of loved ones who have passed away, it is thought that the spirits of those individuals can be seen waiting at the foot of the deathbed.

Step 1 – Get started with your genealogy research right at home.

Begin by obtaining facts about your family's history at home. You might be amazed at how much knowledge you already have. The following are examples of genealogy records that can be found at home:

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You're looking for dates for family members' births, marriages, and deaths. Make a list of all known familial relationships, such as parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, and so on.

Use a family tree software tool like Family Tree Maker or Legacy Family Tree to keep track of what you've learned.

Step 2 – Seek Out the Vital Records

After you've figured out everything you can from your own documents, look for your ancestors' vital records.

What exactly is a crucial record? A birth, marriage, or death certificate is an important record. In genealogical research, vital records are relatively “new” records. In North Carolina, for example, birth certificates were not utilized until 1913. Expect to find no birth certificates for North Carolina ancestors born before 1913. Check when each of your ancestor's vital records started to be used in his or her state.

Some of these may have been located in your home records, but you will almost certainly need to order others.

Birth, marriage, and death certificates (BMDs) give vital genealogical information about people.

The following are examples of such data:

Don't Forget About Your Ancestor's Death Certificate's Genealogy Clues

Step 3 – Track Your Ancestors Through the U. S. Census Records

You're now ready to start searching census records for your ancestors. The census, which began in 1790 and was conducted every ten years, was a count of the country's population for the purpose of assigning representation in the government. Only the head of the household was named in the census from 1790 to 1840. Numbers or tick marks in age group categories are used to account for other family members.

You can track your ancestor back through the years as a researcher and acquire vital information about specific ancestors and family units. You're looking for the following kind of information:

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  • Age of the individual – This could be a range of ages or a specific age. You can approximate an ancestor's birth date with a little arithmetic.
  • Property Value — Look for your ancestor's land records if he had property at the time of the census.
  • Take a look at your neighbors.
  • Keep track of who lives near your ancestor. From your ancestor's listing, read the census 4-5 pages forward and backward. These people could be relatives and/or associates of your ancestors.

Step 4 – Location, Location, Location – Research Your Ancestor's Land Records

Locate and analyze your land-owning ancestors' land records. Land records were made if your ancestors owned land. These records place your ancestor in a certain time and location, which is extremely helpful to you as a researcher.

Let's have a look at the different forms of land records. Deeds, grants, and patents are examples of land records.

A deed is a legal document that documents the transfer of ownership between two parties. The individual selling the land is known as the Grantor. The Grantee is the individual who purchases the property.

A land grant and a land patent are both documents that represent the transfer of land from the government or a proprietor to an individual. A land grant is a term used to describe land that has been granted by the federal government. A patent is a piece of land that has been granted by a proprietor.

Land records might reveal more than just where your ancestor lived; they can also indicate additional family members or associates. Make a note of any individuals identified in the record, including witnesses, after determining where your ancestor was located. Determine each of the named persons' ties to your ancestor. Frequently, witnesses in a deed were relatives or close acquaintances.

You can also identify when an ancestor departed a region by tracing your ancestor's land acquisitions and sells.

Land records are typically kept at the county register of deeds office, the courthouse, or the state archives. For the most part, land records are not available online, but this is changing. To find out what's available online, go to the location where you're doing your study.

Step 5 – Research the Death Records

The death of your ancestor resulted in records, and these records — wills and estate records – supply you, the researcher, with significant information.

To begin, look for your ancestor's will.

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Spouses, children, and even grandkids are frequently mentioned in wills.

Unusual family relationships, particularly ones involving stepchildren, may be discussed. You'll also get an idea of your ancestor's fortune.

The estate of an ancestor who died without a will is known as intestate. While this isn't ideal for your ancestors, it may be beneficial to you as a researcher. An intestate estate necessitated the creation of extra documents in order to ensure that the deceased's property, both real and personal, was dispersed in accordance with the law.

Examine every page of the estate file. Names of children and a spouse can be found. The estate sale record will include a list of all of the deceased's belongings, as well as information about the community and who attended the estate sale. Frequently, these are family members, including in-laws.

Make a list of everyone identified in the record, just like you would with any other genealogy document, and figure out how they are related to the deceased. If an individual was significant enough to be mentioned in your ancestor's will or estate papers, he or she is significant to you as a researcher.

The use of DNA in genealogy research is a popular and intriguing trend. It is frequently how people begin their genealogical research or decide to learn more about their ancestors.

DNA research is a sub-specialty of genealogy. One thing to keep in mind is that DNA testing must be used in conjunction with traditional “paper” genealogical research.

You have a variety of options when it comes to testing your DNA. Each testing firm has its own database, so it's a good idea to try out a few. Your findings won't change much, but you'll have a better probability of finding a match.

I recommend Blaine Bettinger's book The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy Second Edition if you're ready to test your DNA. This is my go-to site for genetic genealogy information.

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Need More Genealogy Resources? Here Are Some Of My Favorites!

Books are a favorite among genealogists of all ability levels. Here are a few of my favorites for honing your research abilities in genealogy.

  • The Board for Certification of Genealogists' Second Edition of Genealogy Standards
  • Kenyatta Berry's The Family Tree Toolkit: A Comprehensive Guide to Uncovering Your Ancestry and Researching Genealogy is a comprehensive guide to uncovering your ancestry and researching genealogy.

If you're looking for short, instructive videos to help you improve your genealogy research skills, look no further. There are a lot of wonderful genealogy videos on YouTube! Here are a few of my favorites:

What do you call your ancestors?

An ancestor is a parent or (recursively) the parent of an antecedent, often known as a forefather, fore-elder, or forebear (i.e., a grandparent, great-grandparent, great-great-grandparent and so forth). Ancestor is a person who has come before you “any descendant of a descendant of a descendant of a descendant of a descendant of The legal term for the person who has inherited an estate.”

If one is the ancestor of the other or if they share a common ancestor, they have a genetic tie. Species that share an evolutionary ancestor are considered to be of common descent in evolutionary theory. However, some bacteria and other creatures capable of horizontal gene transfer do not fall under this definition of ancestry. According to certain studies, the average person has twice as many female as male ancestors. This could be owing to the prevalence of polygynous relationships and female hypergamy in the past.

Assuming that all of an individual's predecessors are otherwise unrelated, that individual has 2n ancestors in the nth generation and 2g+1 2 ancestors in the g generations preceding him/her.

In practice, however, it is obvious that most human (and other species) forebears are connected in multiple ways (see pedigree collapse). Consider the number n = 40: the human race is over 40 generations old, but the number 240, about 1012 or one trillion, dwarfs the total number of humans who have ever lived.

Certain societies honor both living and deceased ancestors; nevertheless, some more youth-oriented cultural contexts show less love for elders. Some people seek providence from their deceased ancestors in different cultural contexts; this practice is called as ancestor worship or, more precisely, ancestor veneration.

Why are ancestors important?

Attachment, belonging, and connection are all things that humans yearn for. Not only with people in our immediate environment, but also with people in our past and future, the bonds we make with others can last a lifetime. The more we learn about our past, the closer we feel to our forefathers and mothers. When we document our own history, we provide future generations the ability to connect with us after we're gone.

Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong, a renowned TED talk by British journalist Johann Hari, explains that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, but connection. Learning about our ancestors and family members past and present satisfies an essential yearning in each of us.


Learning about our ancestors' lives allows us to develop a better understanding of the difficulties they endured, as well as a greater love and compassion for their flaws and shortcomings. This compassion can readily be transferred to our interactions with the living, both within and outside of our families. We all have to deal with adversity. We may be better employees, bosses, lovers, parents, children, siblings, and human beings by remembering that fact in the context of others' flaws.


Knowing our family's history helps us to be more resilient. We can detect patterns of overcoming setbacks and surviving difficult times by studying our forefathers' life. Their experiences remind us that not everything in life will go smoothly, that disappointments will occur, and that disparities will persist, but that despite these obstacles, we may recover, prevail, and find happiness.

How do I get ancestors blessings?

Those who cannot afford more extravagant offerings can make do with flowers, sesame seeds, or even a blade of grass. If that isn't an option, simply lift your hands to the sun and pray that the ancestors are pleased with your devotion and will bless your family as a result.

How do you know that you have an ancestral calling?

And for some, ancestors communicate with them till they appear to be mentally ill. Some people are unable to find work or have children. (Severe) headache, stomachache, burning feet, back pain, loss of appetite, exhaustion, palpitations, and fainting are the most typical physical symptoms associated with the calling.

What is an example of ancestor worship?

Ancestor worship is frequently thought to be a relic of the past. However, ancestor worship is still practiced today. Embalming and entombing the deceased, as well as commemorating events like Memorial Day, are all considered forms of ancestor worship by certain academics and experts.

What is your ancestry?

Ancestry refers to a person's ethnic origins, “roots,” or legacy, as well as the person's or their parents' or ancestors' place of birth prior to their arrival in the United States. Some ethnic identities, such as “German” or “Jamaican,” can be traced to places outside of the United States, while others, such as “Pennsylvania Dutch” or “Cajun,” arose within the country.

The purpose of the ancestry question is not to determine a respondent's level of commitment to a certain ethnicity. For example, a response of “Irish” could indicate comprehensive participation in a “Irish” group or merely a remembrance of ancestors several generations ago. An individual's ancestry is not always the same as his or her birthplace; for example, not everyone of German descent was born in Germany (in fact, most were not).

Only the first two ancestries are counted in the American Community Survey when someone reports more than two groups for their ancestry.

Some people claim to be of American descent. This could be because their ancestors have lived in the United States for such a long time or because they come from such diverse backgrounds that they are unable to identify with any one group. Some foreign-born people, or the children of foreign-born people, may file reports in order to demonstrate that they are citizens of the United States. There are a variety of reasons why people identify their forebears as Americans, and the number of people who do so has increased significantly.

Because the ancestry question was added to the census form in 1980, the earliest data from this question is from that year. Data from 1980 and 1990 can be found in several publications listed in the “Publications” section of this ancestry website.

Can you tell your ancestry by your looks?

Identifying genetic variants that influence face phenotypes can lead to a better understanding of the etiology of craniofacial deformities, advances in DNA-based forensic prediction, and the testing of evolutionary ideas.

Both normal-range variation in facial morphology and craniofacial malformations may be influenced by same genetic pathways. Understanding the biological processes that are critical during embryonic development can be improved by disentangling these common pathways.

Anthropology and Human History

Various factors, such as migration, partner choice, survival, and climate, have impacted facial morphology across populations across time, contributing to variance in facial phenotypes. Data on genetics and face phenotypes can be utilized to better comprehend human history.

The Use of Reverse Genetics for Forensic Prediction of Facial Features

Previous research has found gene-phenotype connections, providing evidence of associations for complex facial features that can be incorporated into prediction models. When these approaches are combined to identify numerous facial traits, the likelihood of matching DNA to a plausible suspect/candidate increases.