Although he is not a Filipino, all this media attention about the visit of Pope Francis I to the Philippines has made me curious about his genealogy. And though I do not possess the necessary resources to do an independent research on his family history there are several well-documented articles online that I can recommend for those who wish to know more about the genealogy of this popular pontiff.
The blog site HispanicAncestors is one of these sites. Although it has done just a quick research on Pope Francis’s genealogy it already has information about the Bergoglio family up to the pope’s 4th great-grandfather. I have also validated the information contained in this site through comparison with 6 MyHeritage family sites such as the Cimberle Website. Finally, more data was added to this brief study using the Geni profile of Pope Francis.
Pope Francis I's male line has so far been traced up to his great-great-great-grandfather, or 5 generations. The same number of generations has been done on his mother's side of the family (Sivori line).
The Bergoglios have been traced to the province of Asti in Italy where generations of Bergoglios have been living. The farthest traceable ancestor of Pope Francis I is a namesake, Francesco Mateo Bergoglio, who was married to Lucia Quagliotto. Their son, Giuseppe Bergoglio, married Maria Giachino and they had at least 7 children. One of the seven was Francesco Giuseppe Bergoglio, Pope Francis's great-grandfather. A son of Francesco Giuseppe was Mario Giuseppe Francisco who, it was said, migrated to Buenos Aires, Argentina to get away from a Fascist Italy. There he met and married Regina Maria Sivori, a 1st generation Italian-Argentinian born to Italian immigrants. Mario Giuseppe Francisco Bergoglio and Regina Maria Sivori are Pope Francis's parents.
As much as I would love to go back centuries further to complete this amazing pope's genealogy, I simply do not have the resources and the information to do that for now. What this blog post (and later 2 more) is all about, however, is a discussion on the genealogies of three religious figures in Philippine history: Gregorio Aglipay, Felix Manalo, and Apollo Quiboloy, the founders of the Aglipayan or the Philippine Independent Church, the Iglesia ni Cristo, and the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name, Inc. For today, we will begin with the genealogy of Felix Y. Manalo.
In August of last year I met up with a fellow genealogist and a friend, Felvir Ordinario, when I was at the Family History Center of the LDS Temple in White Plains to continue my research on several prominent Filipinos. When we had the time, we discussed and wondered why the above-mentioned three founders of Filipino Christian churches have never had their genealogies explored before. Later I discovered an which discussed, albeit not comprehensively, the early life and family of Felix Manalo. Another online article from Philippine Studies by Pedro S. De Achutegui and Miguel A. Bernad also gave a brief discussion on Gregorio Aglipay’s family. Although my goal today in writing this was to do the genealogies of the three in one article, seeing as there were only two full studies done on Manalo and Aglipay so far, and none for Quiboloy, this article would just be the first in a series of articles on these religious leaders.
Felix Y. Manalo
A post by my friend Felvir explored the immediate family of Felix Y. Manalo, His article made superb use of archival documents to shed light on Manalo's parents and grandparents. In the end, because of several years' worth of lacking documents from the Taguig collection, he was only able to definitively establish the names of Felix's maternal grandparents though he was able to make some excellent deductions with regard to the father of Felix Manalo.
|Felix Manalo's Ancestors and Descendants|
After going through several centuries' worth of baptismal and matrimonial records as well as the existing padron records in Taguig, I came to the sad conclusion that because of the scarcity of records, or rather the holes in the available church records of Taguig, there is really no definite way to establish Felix Manalo's genealogy. But, here are some deductions on my part:
Felix Ysagun Manalo was actually legally Felix Manalo Ysagun, the son of Mariano Ysagun and Bonifacia Manalo. My friend Felvir Ordinario's article on Felix Manalo concluded that Felix's grandfather's name was Salvador Ysagun. In the record that this is based on, Salvador's wife and presumably Felix's grandmother was Teresa Villanueva. However, going through earlier records I found only 1 Salvador Ysagun who was born around 1805-1809. He married a Dolores Manalo in 1829 thus it would seem unlikely that Mariano Ysagun, Felix's father, was the son of this couple. However, it is possible that this same Salvador remarried sometime in the 1840s and then later had Mariano. If this were the case then we can extend Felix Manalo's family just one generation more: his great-grandparents were Ygnacio Ysagun and Maria de la Cruz;
This same couple, Ygnacio Ysagun and Maria de la Cruz, further brings an interesting tidbit to Manalo's genealogy. The Ysagun family in Salvador Ysagun's marriage record was described as morenos. In the unique Spanish socio-racial classification system, a moreno was a dark-skinned mixed race, usually a 2nd generation descendant of a black person and an indio. So if Ygnacio Ysagun was 1/4 African, that would make Felix Ysagun Manalo, his great-grandson, 1/32 African;
On Felix's maternal side we can most probably stretch the family tree two more generations. Bonifacia Manalo, Felix's mother, was the daughter of Andres Manalo and Maria Cruz. Going through the Taguig records I could only find one Andres Manalo and when you compare age and generational gap it is almost certain that this Andres is the correct person. Andres Manalo was born in 1834, the son of Manuel Manalo and Candida Torres. Manuel Manalo's baptismal record gives us the great-great-grandparents of Felix: Evaristo Manalo and Maria Pili;
|The baptismal record of Andres Manalo|
Here is where another interesting thing comes to our notice. Manuel Manalo was described as a moreno in his son Andres's baptismal record. However, Manuel's father, Evaristo, is described as a criollo, a term to describe Spaniards born in the Philippines.
What is clear with what little information we have on the genealogy of Felix Y. Manalo is that both his paternal and maternal sides have been living in Taguig since at least 1782. Another clear conclusion we can come up with is that the earliest Manalo and Ysagun generations were of Hispanic descent. Of 17 identified as morenos, mestizos, and criollos, 15 were Manalos while only 2 were Ysaguns. The two Ysagun men, Antonino and Ygnacio Ysagun, were both described morenos. The 15 Manalo men can be divided into 4 criollos, 1 mestizo, and 10 morenos. Interestingly, these racial classifications only appeared from 1782 to 1838 records. After that everyone was either mestizo or indio.
Another interesting aspect of the family of Felix Y. Manalo was the fact that though his parents were consistently described as poor, many of his maternal relatives were local functionaries. 10 of the Manalo men were listed as cabezas de barangay while 4 Manalo women were wives of other cabezas. One of these was Bonifacia Manalo, who remarried to Don Clemente Mozo.
Finally, one last observation on the Manalo/Ysagun family tree. Before the 1885 marriage of Mariano Ysagun and Bonifacia Manalo, there were at least 2 earlier unions between these 2 families. In the 1790s we see the baptismal record of Maria Manalo, daughter of Policarpio Manalo and Agustina Ysagun. In 1829 Salvador Ysagun (incidentally the grandfather of Felix Manalo), married his first wife, Dolores Manalo.
|The earliest Manalo-Ysagun union as seen in this baptismal record|
It is unfortunate that though the records of Taguig, Metro Manila, go back as far as the late 1600s, there are several decades missing from these thus making it impossible for us to get a clearer picture of the genealogy of Felix Y. Manalo, the man considered by his followers as "the Last Messenger of God". Still, with more research done, we should be able to expand this family tree further. (To be continued...)
In the meantime, welcome to the Philippines, Pope Francis! Viva il papa!
Hispanic Ancestors, accessed January 15-16, 2015.
Cimberle Website, accessed January 16, 2015.
Geni profile of Pope Francis, accessed January 16, 2015.
Quennie Ann J. Palafox. 122nd Birth Anniversary of Ka Felix Manalo, April 3, 2013.
Felvir Ordinario, Tracing the Ancestry of Felix Manalo, August 2014.
Joseph J. Kavanagh. "The "Iglesia ni Kristo"", Philippine Studies vol. 3, no. 1. Manila: Ateneo de Manila Press, 1955.
FamilySearch, Registros parroquiales, Catholic Church. Saint Anne (Taguig), Bautismos 1683-1830.
FamilySearch, Registros parroquiales, Catholic Church. Saint Anne (Taguig), Bautismos 1830-1855.
FamilySearch, Registros parroquiales, Catholic Church. Saint Anne (Taguig), Matrimonios 1825-1856.
FamilySearch, Taguig (Rizal). Record Management and Archives Office, Vecindarios 1878-1892.