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Which is the best program for creating my family tree?

I have not tried enough programs to say which one is the best, but have tried Ancestry, Geni, MyHeritage and Geneanet.  Of those, I like MyHeritage and Geneanet.  Both are easy to use, and allow you to establish a fairly large tree and upload photos and documents without having a paid subscription.  Both have a feature for exchanging information with other trees, and MyHeritage's exchange system is particularly good.  Geneanet has well designed screens for displaying individual information and trees, and a particularly nice feature that changes the program's operating language easily.  MyHeritage has a large user base in the United States, while Geneanet seems more popular in Europe and Latin America.  I have a tree in English on MyHeritage, and one in Spanish on Geneanet, and that has worked well.

Which is the best website for finding information about my ancestors?

The best site by far is the one operated by the Church of the Latter Day Saints called  Access is free.  Their "Search Records" option works so well that I used it for a couple of months before even trying the "Search Genealogies" option, which I also found to be very helpful.  FamilySearch also has an option for setting up your family tree, but I have not used it.

Geneanet is in second place.  Even if you don't want to create a tree, it is worth the effort to set up a free account on Geneanet just to have access to their Search system.

I've also paid for a "data subscription" on MyHeritage.  It is expensive and I don't find it as useful as FamilySearch, but the way their search engine prioritizes results is different, so I have found a few documents through MyHeritage that I did not find on FamilySearch.

If you have ancestors from Viscaya and Gipuzkoa in Spain, I recommend for finding church records in Viscaya from 1500 forward, and for the same records in Gipuzkoa.  Mendezmende has the best and fastest search engine of any genealogy site.  I wish it could be used as a model for all the church records in Spain.  You can search by first name only, one or both last names only, with or without date ranges, or with wild cards.  Even FamilySearch can't do wild cards.

Another useful source is PARES, the portal to the archives of Spain:  This resource has only a few genealogical trees, but has hundreds of thousands of documents from Spain and its colonies searchable by name and date.  It can be helpful in identifying an ancestor, particularly when baptismal and marriage records are unavailable.  PARES contains letters between government officials, contracts, orders, and passenger lists, among many other types of documents.  

With all of these search engines, it takes some time to learn to use their capacities effectively.  Spelling of names on old records is always a problem, so don't expect to find a record if you search only with the exact spelling.  For example, I searched for the baptismal record of my great-grandfather Enrique Bordier Gerard for a long time, even though I knew when and where in Mexico he was born.  I finally found it.  He was registered as Henrique Berdier. If the name is at all unusual, expect the priest who recorded the event, and the transcriber who digitized the record, to spell it in an unexpected manner.  I've seen a few Seminarios registered as Semenario, Zeminario and even Ciminario, and the Jaime de los Rios family is almost evenly divided between Jaime and Jayme.

How can I find out more about the Seminario families?

This site focuses on the ancient Seminarios, but there are several sources for information about the recent and current members of the family.  If you are looking for a specific Seminario ancestor and a Google search has produced no results, I recommend establishing a free account on Geneanet and searching there.

If you are looking for baptismal, marriage or death records for ancestors from Piura, Perú, you may have discovered that they have not been digitized and are not available from online sources.  Some of the records are available on microfilm that can be viewed online.  Please our our article on finding Piura church records.

Isabel Ramos Seminario's study has some information on the main branches of the family, but since her article is only 10 pages long, she did not have much room for details.  If you would like to purchase a copy of her study, it is contained in the 18th edition of the magazine of the Instituto Peruano de Investigaciones Genealógicas.  Back issues can be obtained by writing to Sr. Gustavo León y León, Secretario General, at  Back issues of editions 13 and 18 are available as of my last contact with Mr. León on 4/25/16.  Issue 13 also contains a small study on the Seminarios of Piura.  Back issues cost $20 per copy, plus shipping and bank transfer fees.  The total charge for magazines and delivery to the US was about $150 for the two issues, so if a relative can pick up the back issues at the IPIG office in Lima, the cost will be more reasonable.

Edwin Seminario Coloma published an excellent online article in Spanish on the origins of the Seminario family:
He also self-published a two-volume book titled “Piura y Los Seminario – Historia y Genealogía” (Piura and the Seminarios – History and Genealogy), which I have not been able to find.  I know there is a copy at a university in Mexico that is available for viewing only at their library, but a 2800-mile round trip just to see it is too much even for this genealogy nut.

I think that Mr. Seminario Coloma's book has a lot of information about recent Seminario ancestors.  A post from any member of the Seminario Coloma or Seminario Lind families telling us whether copies are still available and how to order them would be greatly appreciated.

Julio César Halley, a Seminario descendant living in Minnesota, USA, is in the process of completing a major work on the families that descend from Jose María Garcia Seminario and Eleodora Seminario Besada.  He plans to publish it this year.  I've seen a pre-publication version of his book and it is outstanding.  It's in Spanish, but there are a lot of pictures, and the names and dates are easily readable.  As soon as the book is published, we will have details here on availability and how to order.

I also highly recommend the English-language site authored by Gwendolyn Cunningham of Ellington, CT, USA.  Mrs. Cunningham is a dedicated researcher who has compiled an extensive and very well documented database of the ancestors of a relative from Sullana, Piura, Peru. While her primary interest is the Carrión family, her database includes detailed information about the Seminarios and related Piura families such as the Céspedes, Valdiviesos, Tolosanos, Jaime de los Rios, Pizarros, Eriques, Velasquez de Tineos, and Farfanes.

How do I find information about specific ancestors on this site?

For Seminario ancestors born between 500 and 1800, you can use the Search option to find any documents, images, biographical data, and research notes available for the individuals in our database.  Also, I have collected some general information about family origins and published it in the research status reports in the Articles section.

How do I find out if an ancestor is noble?

You can sometimes find that information online in history or genealogy sites.  There are also books with lists of nobility, like Gonzalo Argote de Molina's book.  And in Spain they have promised to digitize the patents of nobility someday.

For Spaniards and Hispanic Americans, there is a source that stands out above the rest.  It is the marvelous Enciclopedia Heráldica y Genealógica Hispanoamericana in 80 volumes, published in Spanish for the first time in 1919 by the brothers Alberto and Arturo García Carraffa.  Until recently, the only practical way to do research in this encyclopedia was to go to a library that has a copy.  I've made several 8-hour round trips to the University of Tennessee Library in Knoxville to collect the references cited in our database. However, Google has recently digitized all 80 volumes of the original work and five volumes added by subsequent researchers.

The easiest way to use the encyclopedia is to start with a website in English that functions as an index.  You put in the surnames without accents, and it tells you the volume and page number where the information about that family is.  If the surname isn't there, the possibilities of nobility are unlikely.  Then, go the encyclopedia itself on a site run by the Hathi Trust.   The link is for the list of volumes.  Once you find your volume, you can jump to the page or type the surname in the keyword search.  You do need a basic reading knowledge of Spanish to use the encyclopedia, but it is pretty clear and well organized.
Another useful reference in Spanish is the Nobiliario de Conquistadores de Indias, by Antonio Paz y Melia, published in 1892 by the Sociedad de Bibliófilos Españoles.  It contains copies of all the royal decrees awarding titles of nobility to Spanish and Indian explorers during Spain's New World conquests, about 200 in total, with an index hidden away among the appendices in the back.  A reprint is available at Amazon or Abe Books.