Sunday, May 18, 2014

Maria de los Santos 1847-1937

My paternal great-great grandmother is named Maria de los Santos. According to her death certificate she was born in March 1847 in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, Family does not have birth records that go that far back for the town of Gurabo. This means I'll have to go into a family history library soon to locate her Catholic church record to confirm her birth date & see if I can obtain any more clues about her life or parents. 

Her death record also says she is the natural child of Ramona de los Santos from Juncos, Puerto Rico. "Natural" means her parents were not legally married which is why no father is documented for her. This is the second time I've come across a record with no father. It makes me so sad that there isn't much I can do about it & will primarily just have to focus on the line of her mother since that is all I have to go off. 

If the birth year on Maria's death certificate is correct that would mean that at the time the 1910 census was taken, Maria would be 63 years old. In 1910 Maria is recorded as working, having 10 children, 8 of which are still living & are all living with her in Juncos, Puerto Rico. 
Maria's children are named as:  

Ynes Pabellon de los Santos
Casimira Pabellon de los Santos born 1883-1970
Felipa Pabellon de los Santos born 1884-1969
Ricardo Pabellon de los Santos born 1886-1976
Petra Pabellon de los Santos birth unknown, death 1938
Agustina Pabellon de los Santos
Lorenzo Pabellon de los Santos
Eustaquia Pabellon de los Santos

She also has 3 grandchildren living with her. There names are: Juan Perez Pabellon, Rosario Perez Pabellon, & Justo Perez Pabellon. I know 2 of these children belong to Felipa & I assume the third is hers as well. 

Maria declares the status of single on every census despite the fact that on every birth or death record I found for her children or grandchildren she is stated as married to a Matias Pabellon who is the father of all her children. This is an example of one of the many I've found.

In 1925 Matias dies & in 1935 Maria changes her status to widow. I'm not positive that they were legally married yet. I would assume that at one time they were because of how often I found their names together stated as married. 

In 1920 Maria is only living with one of her daughters, this is Petra, who is my great grandmother. You can read more about Petra here. Along with Petra, Maria is living with 2 of Petra's daughters Jovina & Andrea. At this time Maria would be 73 years old & is no longer working. Petra seems to be the main provider in the home working in a tobacco factory. 

In 1930 Maria lives alone with her granddaughter named Andrea Pabellon. Neither of them work but live right next door to Petra & her new husband. Petra along with her husband are both working, I assume that Petra is still helping her mother financially.

The 1935 census is the last census taken for Maria. At this time she is still living with her granddaughter Andrea & neither of them are working. Two years later in 1937 Maria dies at the age of 90.

Oh what I would give to be able to speak to Maria. I have so many unanswered questions about her & her family. According to her death record her mother Ramona is from Juncos. In 1910 Maria is living there, I wonder if it was to be close to her mother since then Maria is a single-mother. By 1920 Maria moves to Gurabo, I assume to be closer to all of her children that are taking care of her.

I'd also love to know what happened to the 2 of her 10 children she says in the 1910 census were not living. How did they die? How old where they? 

I've also noticed the slave census taken for Puerto Rico in 1872 names various slaves with the last name of De los Santos. I wonder how Maria is related to these slaves since she herself was black. I also wonder if her mother Ramona was a slave. At the time slavery was abolished in Puerto Rico in 1873, Maria would of been 25 years old. I haven't found a Ramona de los Santos on the Puerto Rico, Registro Central de Esclavos, 1872 but have found many Maria de los Santos'. I can't prove that any of these "De los Santos" are linked to my family but seeing as how their are so many & seeing as how my family is black I can only suspect that they are. Maybe with time I will be able to make the connection.

1 comment:

  1. I found a record in the 1872 Census for what looks like to be a "Matias Pabellon/Pavellon". Very possibly slaves could have decided not to get married in churches if they didn't believe in following the religion of their masters. There were also those who practiced Santeria as a form of mixing old Western African traditions under the guise of Catholicism. Just something to consider!