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Albert Lammich from Silesia to Chile


My great great grandfather Albert Lammich was born March 2, 1830 in Bieskau, Leobschütz, Silesia - at the time this was one of two twin towns (the other being Deutsch Neukirch) in what was the kingdom of Prussia. The region was primarily populated by ethnic Germans with some Slavic and Jewish populations making up the rest of the citizens. The Lammich family has been in the region for centuries, as far back as the records go, well into the 17th century. Records before this were destroyed by the great fire of 1666, that basically destroyed the town. The town was established around 1200 by German settlers that came from west of the area. The region has been populated since prehistoric times and was once part of the extensive Roman trading networks, before this there is evidence of Celtic settlements. 

I have been able to trace Albert's genealogy up to seven generations. His ancestors are all ethnic Germans with a couple of interesting surnames; Priskowsy is Polish in origin (this is documented) and Strachotta, seems Italian. 

The Silesian population would change religious denominations depending on that of the rulers. At the time of his birth the Lammichs were Catholic. They are listed in the Catholic Kirchenbuch. 

The Ellis Lamig Family of Los Angeles, Chile



This page is in honor of my maternal grandfather Oscar Ellis Lamig, and his forebears. It is a project is for all of us descendants and is work in progress.


I have been researching my family genealogy over the past few years and have made fascinating and unexpected discoveries. I have also had numerous DNA ancestry-based tests completed that help reinforce and support the paper treasures discovered.



I only met my maternal grandfather once, and only for a few hours - how I wish I knew then what I have now discovered so that I could have shared it with him, but I was only a child and much of this information had been lost for generations.




This is an attempt to document my discoveries as they progress in order to preserve this part of our history. One of the most exciting aspects of this project, achieved through slow and meticulous research, is how one thing will lead to the next and then suddenly an entire body of evidence is right there in front of you.I have done my best to document all discoveries - however the shear amount of data can easily become overwhelming so only a limited number of documents are included on this page. I have many more indexed and stored on my site.* 


*Inconsistencies in the spelling and/or mis-spellings of surnames are very common in many of the records. In my research I have encountered this due to a variety of reasons: non-standardized spellings in very old records, translations into Spanish from a different language, or even incorrect spellings in census lists that were recorded by a third party. This is particularly an issue in the computerized indexing of the records one finds in sites such as the one listed above. I have accepted this as par for the course. An example of this is my grandfather's maternal surname, Lamig. It was changed from the original German spelling of Lammich after he arrived in Chile. I have found it indexed and/or recorded as "Lomig", "Laming", "Laung" "Zlamich", and "Gtarnk" in many of the family records. Non Spanish first names are commonly changed in Chile, in order to  adapt to the Spanish language. Examples in my family tree are: Albert becoming Alberto, Louise becoming Luisa, and Loring becoming Lorenzo etc 




My genealogical research into my grandfather led me to discover that there is an entire line of Chileans that are directly descended from some of the first Europeans to settle in the new world. Not related to the travels of early explorers, or the Spanish conquistadors, as one might expect, but from the English settlers of the Plymouth compact who traveled aboard the Mayflower, to what would become the Massachusetts Colony, in 1620. Through this line there are direct relatives that include US revolutionary-era soldiers, US presidents, and going back far enough, to the courts of England. This is all through my grandfather's paternal Ellis line; his maternal line, the Lamigs, are mid-nineteenth century German immigrants, from lands that were once part of Silesia in the Kingdom of Prussia. The surname was changed from the original German spelling of Lammich to Lamig, after settling outside of Los Angeles, Chile.



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Familia Ellis de Los Angeles, Chile (en Castellano)


Mi investigación genealógica sobre mi abuelo materno me llevo a descubrir que existe una línea completa de chilenos que son descendientes directos de los primeros europeos que se establecieron en el nuevo mundo. No me refiero a los viajes de los primeros exploradores ni a los conquistadores españoles como uno podría sospechar, sino me refiero a los peregrinos Ingleses del compacto de Plymouth que llegaron a America abordo del Mayflower y que más tarde se convertiría en la colonia de Massachusetts en 1620. En esa línea genealógica tenemos parientes directos que incluyen soldados de la revolución, presidentes de los Estados Unidos y yendo aún mas atrás hasta las cortes de Inglaterra. Todo esto siguiendo el rastro de mi abuelo materno de apellido Ellis, su línea maternal , los Lamigs proviene de inmigrantes Alemanes de mediados del siglo diecinueve de tierras que antiguamente eran parte Silesia en el reino de Prusia

Pereda Perez Family of Antequera


Maria Pereda Perez - Maternal Grandmother 


My maternal grandmother Maria Pereda Perez, is of solid Spanish (Andalusian) heritage. Both of her parents (Miguel Pereda Fernandez and Maria Perez Gomez) were born in Antequera, Malaga and immigrated to Chile in the mid 19th century.  I have been able to trace these lines back a few generations and the families are from Antequera, Malaga, with one exception. Francisco de Paula Perez is from Loja, Granada (not far from Antequera) but his wife Francisca Perez (born with same maiden name) was from Reinosa, Santander, in Basque country. 

Family surnames, in addition to those of my immediate great grandparents, include: del Pino, Berrocal, Moreno, Acero, Casco, Oliva, Rodriguez, Hariza, Lucena, Palomo, and Jimenez (multiple times). The name Pereda was originally Perea, no "d "included.


Miguel Pereda Fernandez, born 1878 in Antequera, Malaga, Spain, son of Jose Pereda Berrocal and Maria Fernandez married Maria Perez Gomez September 21, 1900. He is 22 years old and she is 19.

Maria Perez Gomez's parents are Antonio Perez Jimenez and Josefa Gomez Jimenez. The marriage occurs in Concepcion, Chile.

Miguel's occupation is listed as sheet-metal worker and his wife's as cigar roller. I wonder if these two families knew each other in Spain. My mother has confirmed that she recalls these names and facts.

I have been able to trace my great grandfather's Miguel Pereda Fernandez paternal line for a few generations and now have made considerable progress with his mother Maria Fernandez. Miguel's father is Jose Maria Perea Berrocal, he was born May 1, 1852 in Antequera, Spain and died in Concepcion, Chile October 26, 1898. The family immigrated to Chile after Miguel was born. The surname was changed from Perea to Pereda at this point in Chile. 

Spanish birth certificates from this era list the names and places of origin of the parents and grandparents. In Jose Maria Perea Berrocal's birth certificate his parents are listed as Diego Perea and Maria del Socorro Berrocal.

Paternal grandparents are Cristobal Perea and Ana Acero. 

Maternal grandparents are Manuel Berrocal and Teresa Del Pino.

Diego's occupation is listed as "del campo", meaning he worked the land, he was a farmer, I suppose.


My grandmother's mother Maria Perez Gomez was born in 1881. Her 1900 Chilean marriage certificate lists her nationality as Spanish. On this certificate the names of her parents are listed as Antonio Perez Jimenez and Josefa Gomez Jimenez. Antonio's full name is Joaquin Antonio de los Dolores Perez Jimenez he was born Sept 17, 1842 in Antequera. Parents are listed as Francisco Perez and Antonia Jimenez. Francisco's occupation is listed as "oficial de ????".

Paternal grandparents are listed as Francisco Perez and Francisca Perez. Place of origin for them is listed as Reinosa, Santander. Through other records I have been able to determine that Francisca was from Reinosa but that Francisco was from Loja, Granada.

Maternal grandparents are listed as Agustin Jimenez and Maria Oliva.

birth certificate of Dioniso Perez, brother of Joaquin

This certificate is clearer. Place of origin for paternal grandfather listed as Loja, Granada - paternal grandmother's place of origin is Reinosa, Santander. Occupation of Francisco de Paula Perez as escriviente - a scribe? or more likely a notary.

Family Fan Chart for Maria Pereda Perez


 Surname list 










Del Pino












Mery Family Roots


This page is intended for family members, friends and those interested in the Mery-Ellis genealogy. It is my attempt to summarize my DNA analysis and genealogical research over the last few years.


Most everyone is interested in their ancestry - after all we are all literally each formed by the apparently random combination of DNA segments from each of our parents and grand parents, and the DNA they inherited from each of their parents, and so on. Anyone interested in this will discover it is a complex and fascinating topic - DNA is not inherited equally from each parent and can vary widely even among siblings in current ancestry-based DNA tests. One thing that amazes me is how much of my tastes (music, food, art, literature) seem to be rooted in my inherited DNA, from my actual ancestors, going back only a few generations. 


DNA tests and genealogical research has led me to identify individuals going back at least four generations. (There are still a couple of questions on my paternal grandmother's line). 


I grew up in Tucson, AZ, I lived there from the age of 2 months until I was 30 years old - I then moved to Oregon, where I currently reside. I was born in Santiago, Chile. I began doing research a few years ago, after having an DNA test done. This test led me to begin doing historical record research and additional DNA analyses. Most of my research is confirmed by the DNA tests, although there are many complexities to doing DNA comparisons - it certainly does not rule out any of my researched family tree. I later write more about the different tests and how they compare., GEDMATCH and seem to be the most accurate.


One of the amazing things is how quickly the number of great grandparents multiply with each generation. We each have 2 parents, 4 grand parents, 8 great grandparents and 16 great-great grandparents. Going back only 10 generations we have 1024 direct grandparent ancestors - this generation is referred to as the eighth great-grand parents.




Oscar Toribio Mery Benza - Paternal Grandfather

Paternal Grandfather: Oscar Toribio Mery Benza (born 1903 Vallenar - 1992 Santiago)

His parents are Filiberto Ricardo Mery Varas - born in Vallenar in 1880 and Angela Magdalena Benza Ureta born Iquique in 1887. Filiberto's parents are Custodia Varas Torres and Jose Toribio Mery, both appear to be from Vallenar. Angela's parents are Juan Pedro Benza Costa born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1863 to Genovese immigrants (Gio Battista Benza and Carlotta Costa) and Elcira Ureta Pedraza born in Iquique abt. 1870 (her parents are Jose Ureta and Maria Pedraza, she was born in Pozo Almonte abt. 1836. Three of my grandfather Oscar's grandparents appear to be from a long line of Chileans (likely a blend of early Spanish (Basque)  colonists and Aboriginal peoples. His other grandparent is Genovese.


The Mery Benza line has strong roots in long distance travel and resettling. My father, Hector Mery, left Chile as a teenager to attend college in Konstanz, Germany in the early 1960s - this after working very had to get accepted; with very little practical experience. For two years before his trip to Germany his mother enrolled him at the Goethe Institut in Santiago, Chile in an intensive German language course.The initial travel to Germany was a long journey across the ocean on a steam ship, the Antonioti Uso de Mare. My mother joined him in Germany a few years later. After completing his studies in Germany at the Hochschule Konstanz Technik, Wirtschaft und Gestaltung he graduated as a Nachrichtentechnik (Comunications) Ingenieur (equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree), my father secured a position with the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, AZ. During this time he completed graduate studies at the University of AZ in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics (MSEE).  He later worked for IBM for many years where he developed multiple US patents for computer technologies.  

My paternal grandfather Oscar Mery Benza, came to the US in 1928, also aboard a ship. He returned to Chile during the great depression a few years later. It is through my father’s line that I am most strongly Chilean, the generations have the strongest roots in the land.

 Hector E. Mery bound to Germany ca. 1960 

About thirty years earlier my grandfather Oscar Mery Benza traveling to the USA.



The Mery line is a bit difficult to trace but seems to originate in Vallenar. My GGF, father of Oscar T. Mery Benza, was Filiberto Ricardo Mery Varas, his mother is Custodia Torres Varas. 


Filiberto's father is listed as Jose Toribio Mery on the 1902 civil registry for the marriage of Filiberto Ricardo Mery and Angela Magdalena Benza. I have not been able to locate a marriage certificate for Jose Toribio and Custodia Varas. 




Filiberto Ricardo Mery was a senior telegraph operator. He resigned his post in 1903. 






Filiberto's birth certificate does not list the father's name, only that of the mother. I am able to locate a Jose Toribio Mery in Vallenar during this time but he is married to Elvira Araya. This Jose Toribio Mery born in 1862 - has mother listed as Ignacia Ramirez in his death certificate. This is where the trail gets cold currently. There is no father listed for Jose Toribio Mery in any records I have been able to locate. There is a record of Jose Toribio Ramirez, born in 1857, in Vallenar to Ignacia Ramirez. This may be a coinidence or an error in the dates. 


To add to the confusion there is also a Jose Toribio Mery Roman that marries Elvira Araya Caro in 1889, in Vallenar. Father's name is listed as Jose Toribio Mery and his mother as Ignacia Roman. Are these the same folks mentioned above? or coincidence?


Regardless the Mery or Meri family name in Vallenar descends from a Frenchman, Claude Mery ca. 1690 - this is an old Chilean family.






Apparently the sole 19th century immigrant on my father's side seems to be Giovanni Pietro Benza Costa (Juan Pedro was actually born in Argentina to newly arrived Genovese parents - Gio Battista Benza and Carlotta Costa - I have discovered they married in Argentina December 27, 1858. This according to entries in In all of the Chilean records Juan Pedro has his nationality listed as Italian, not Argentine.

Juan Pedro later appears in Iquique, Chile in the late 1880s and marries Elcira Ureta Pedraza February 13, 1890 (daughter of Jose Ureta and Maria Pedraza). They have a number of children including my great grandmother Angela Magdalena Benza (my father's paternal grand mother). Her son, my grand father,  is Oscar Mery Benza. 

Juan Benza and his wife Elcira Ureta live in Pozo Almonte, Chile in the Atacama from 1898 to 1903 - a number of their children are born there. This is a very small town in the middle of the Atacama. I suspect Juan was in the nitrate business. Elcira's mother is Maria Pedraza de Ureta, her date of death is May 5, 1904 at age of 68, she was born in 1836 in Santiago. Her parent's are listed as Santiago Pedraza and Josefina Villaverde. These are the oldest Chilean relatives found in this branch. Santiago and Josefina where likely born in pre colonial Chile.

Juan Benza Costa appears in a number historical records including a lease from the Chilean government on a large swath of land where he hoped to develop a new town in the middle of the desert, the name of the town was to be “Buenaventura”. 






Oscar Torribio Mery Benza b. 1903 Vallenar, Chile



My great uncle, Filiberto Mery Benza, my grandfather's brother, was an internationally recognized bantamweight prize fighter. He was the Chilean champion in 1923. His fighting took him as far as London in 1928. From what my uncle has told me the repeated blows to the head took a toll on Filiberto and he was a virtual vegetable in his later years.


"Don Fili" - Filiberto Mery Benza ca. 1928












Hector Mery Family Tree 















Carranza Torrejon - Paternal Grandmother 


This is the line that is the most unclear. My grandmother is Nora Ernestina Carranza Torrejon. Her father appears to be Ernesto Carranza Leighton and mother Maria Luisa Torrejon (Mena) - her parents are Benito Torrejon and Filomena Mena. These seem to be old Chilean families as records show their ancestors are in Chile during the early 19th century. Most of what I have been able to find about my grandmother is through her mother Maria Luisa who remarried a number of times. Her first marriage was to Maurizio Costa (an Italian) no relation to my father's Costa side (as far as I know). 


Marriage certificate of ML Torrejon to Mauricio Costa - parents listed as Benito Torrejon and Filomena Mena.


The parents of Benito Torrejon i Ojeda are Blas Torrejon and Maria Ojeda. 

The parents of Filomena Mena are Engracio Mena (b. 1837) and Transito Calderon (b. 1837 - 16, Feb 1887, Santiago, Chile) 






FamilytreeDNA - 37% Iberian, 26% West and Central Europe, 16% Southeast Europe, 3% East Europe, 14% North and Central American


Myheritage - 47.2% Iberian, 10% Greek, 12.7% Scandinavian, 3% Balkan, 24% Central American, 2% N. African, 1.1% Papuan


Ancestry - 26% Iberian, 23% Europe South (formerly labeled Italian Greek), 15% Native American, 11% Europe West, 8% Great Britain, 5% Ireland/Scotland/Wales, Scandinavia 3%, Europe East 3%, Finland/NW Russia 2%, Senegal 2%, Caucasus and East Asia, less than 1%


Ancestry (updated results 2018) - 31% England and Wales, 20% Spain, 13% France, Native American (North, Central, South) - 8%, Portugal 7%, Native American, Andean 6% - Germanic European 5% - Sweden 3%, Italy 1%, Sardinian 1%, Greece and Balkans 1%, Benin Togo 1%, Eastern Africa 1%, Basque 1%, Russian East European 1%


GedMatch - K11 Eurogenes - 37.1% North Atlantic, 20.13% Mediterranean, 12.76% North American Indian/Artic, 9.29% South Baltic, 8.71% Caucasus, SW Asian 4.55% Vogal/Ural 3.29%, West African 2.29%, Siberian 1.26%, 


Actual Ancestry According to Genealogy Records:


Total Known -25% Andalusian, 12.5% German (Prussian), 6.25% Italian (Genovese/Sardinian), 6.25 English (American Colonial), 43.5% Unknown Chilean Colonial


Maternal - 25% Iberian (Andalucia), 12.5% German (Oberschleisian), 6.25% English (American Colonial), 6.25% Iberian (Chilean Colonial)


Paternal - 6.25% Italian (Genova), Unknown Chilean 43.75%


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