Generations: The Journey of a Family Throughout the Ages
Luis T. Puig, author
This book is a detailed narrative about the investigations into the history of a family. Inspired by TV shows like “Who Do You Think You Are”, the author’s began investigations into his DNA using FamilyTreeDNA.com. The results surprised everyone, for the author only thought he was Spanish, and nothing else, but the results said otherwise. Continuing with genealogy, the author was able to discover ancient ancestors, including Crusaders in the family tree. Figures began to emerged, such as of Raphael DiPodio, also know as Raphael DuPui, who was the commander of the Roman Holy Empire Calvary and his Grandson, Raymond DuPui who was Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, and a veteran of the Crusades. Another branch of the family that came to light was the Pons of Toulouse, and the remarkable life, and adventures of Raymond Pons VI, Count of Toulouse in the early 1200’s. His struggles against the Roman Catholic Church are told in graphic fashion. Other lineage explored in this part of the book is the Urgell line, as in the controversial Count of Urgell, a man who should have been King of Spain in 1409, but instead ended up imprisoned in a dungeon. Finally, the book ties in the last two remaining surprising DNA test results, which the author didn’t know he had, with lineages from Germany and Finland. Next, the book explores the author’s maternal family’s stories. This is a remarkable telling of overcoming obstacles, of dramatic deaths, of lost chances, of struggles against dictatorships, and ultimately of endless and true love. Stories like the Great-Grandfather, a Spanish soldier who upon landing in Cuba as part of the colonial Spanish forces sent to crush a rebellion falls in love with a local Cuban girl. This is followed by the Grandfather’s remarkable life, first as a rebel against the Machado dictatorship, and later as a policeman, gunned down and killed in a heroic gun battle against thugs robbing a convenience store. Then the book continues with the struggles of the widow, the author’s Grandmother, raising two daughters as a single mother. Next, the two daughter Nancy’s and Mirta’s lives, the later who would become the author’s mother; her courtship with the author’s father; their love and later tragic separation as the father is captured while spying for the CIA. The story continues with their eventual reunion, and desperate fleeing from a now communist dictatorship nation. The last section of the book is the author’s autobiography from birth to the present time. In this section, the other two parts of the book are tied together with the author’s life. It starts with his birth, followed by his early childhood as his Maternal Grandmother raises him. Meanwhile the upheaval of his father’s imprisonment, and his mother’s struggles to support the family is narrated in detail. The story goes into his battles with asthma, his years as a communist youth (Pionero) in Cuba, while at the same time enduring abuses at his school by others, for the sole reason of being the son of a political prisoner. Then the family exodus from Cuba is recounted, as they make their escape from the island in the Mariel Boatlift of 1980. This is followed by his family’s first years in the US, his struggles to learn a new culture and language, his failures at school due to the language barrier, and finally his adventures and triumphant conversion into an American Veteran during his decades of service in the United States Navy Submarine Force. The book includes over 170 pictures, historical documents, DNA tests, family trees, maps, and more.