Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Petra Pabellon de los Santos

My great grandmother's name is Petra Pabellon de los Santos. I have yet to find her birth record. According to her death record she was born on August 5, 1900. I have a strong feeling that this birth date is wrong for two reasons. First, her name was recorded out of order as Petra de los Santos Pabellon. Second, they have her gender incorrect. 

Everything else as far as the name of her husband & parents & race is right.  I'm not sure how all these mistakes came to be but according to the death record the person giving the information for her was named Julio Ortiz. It does not specify if Julio is related or not. I'm guessing he's not but who knows.

Petra was born in Juncos, Puerto Rico I'm guessing sometime around the 1890's. I have searched Juncos birth records for her birth record around this time, before & after & always come up empty. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong but I can't find anything for her or any of her siblings in Juncos or Gurabo, which are the two towns where she primarily lived all her life. 

According to the 1910 census Petra was 20 years old. She is 1 of 10 children born to Maria de los Santos & Matias Pabellon. She is living in Juncos at that time, unmarried with no children of her own.  She lives with her mother & 8 siblings. Along with her other 5 sisters she is a domestic worker that either works from home or works from others homes. 

For some reason her father Matias Pabellon is shown living in the town right besides them in Gurabo, alone. I'm not sure how involved in her life her father was. I'm sure at some point they all lived together. I can't help but wonder why Matias is living alone. Although he does not live far from his children, I know something must of happened to have them apart. 

In July 1912 Petra gives birth to her first child, a daughter she names Jovina Pabellon. After Jovina, Petra has a second daughter in 1913 named Andrea Pabellon, this is my grandmother. You can read more about Andrea here. In 1916 Petra has a third daughter named Jesusa Pabellon. Sadly Jesusa only lives to be 2 years old & then dies on March 1919 from the flu epidemic. 

All 3 of these daughters are born out of wedlock. No father is ever recorded for their church or civil records. I wonder if they are all from the same father. Since they were all so close in age I would assume that they are but can't be sure.

By 1920 Petra has moved to Gurabo with her mother & 2 remaining daughters Jovina & Andrea.

In June 1920 Petra marries a man named Vicente Ortiz from Toa Baja.  I assume after their wedding she moves out of her mother's house & they move into their own home because by the 1930 census Petra is shown living with Vicente her first daughter Jovina & 2 new children that she's had with her new husband. The names of her new children from this marriage are first a daughter Filiberta Ortiz Pabellón (born 1922), another daughter Maria Ester Ortiz Pabellón (born 1924 & death 1925) then her only son Luis Ortiz Pabellón (born 1926)

My grandmother Andrea remains living with her grandmother Maria. I assume Andrea & Maria must have been close. I wonder if Andrea stayed to help take care of Maria since Maria would of been in her late 80's by then, or if maybe she didn't get along with her new step-father. 

By 1935 Petra is still declaring the status of "married" but is living alone with her 2 children from Vicente Ortiz. She is working in a tobacco factory. On September 5, 1938 Petra passes away from what I can read lung complications. 

I've thought about Petra lots. I imagine that she must of had a challenging life. She lived in a time where having a child out of wedlock was really looked down upon. She was black & lived in a time where the color of your skin represented more about you then anything else. I assume loosing her third little girl at the age of 2 must of also been very difficult. Then again loosing another little girl at the age of 1 must of been crushing. I wonder how this affected her. She must of been strong. I only wish that there was a photo preserved of her. I would love to put a face to the name I've discovered so much about. 

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