Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Matias Pabellon 1830-1925

In honor of Father's day coming up this weekend, I wanted to write about my 2nd great grandfather. He is the patriarch of my Pabellon family line. His full name according to his death record is Matias Pabellon. 

Matias is so interesting to me for many reasons. I will start with the most recent info. I found for him. According to his death record Matias was born in Gurabo in 1830. He was born to a black mother named Isabel Ramirez who was also from the town of Gurabo. This is all I know of his mother. 

His father is Juan Maria Pabellon, a former black slave. Juan & Isabel have 8 children together that I know of. All of these 8 children were also bond in slavery, which leads me to believe that their mother Isabel was too. 

When slavery was abolished in the US, slavery sadly continued on the island of Puerto Rico for an additional 8 years. it wasn't untill March 1873, that Puerto Rican slaves were declared free. This would of made Matias 43 years old at the time slavery ended. Seeing how he was black I tried to locate records for him on the only slave census taken for Puerto Rico in 1872. With the help of another genealogist I was able to locate what I'm sure is Matias. 

His surname is spelled differently as "Pavillon", also his age does not match what was recorded on his death record but I still feel convinced this is him. I only wish there was a way for me to validate it more. 

Sometime in the late 1800's, Matias fathers 10 children with a woman named Maria de los Santos. You can learn more about Maria here. I'm not positive that Matias & Maria ever legally married. If they were both slaves as I predict they were, it is possible that their marriage was never documented. What I do know is, that Matias officially recognizes all of these 10 children to be his. If they were not married, this speaks big of him. This was a time when many illegitimate children were born for reasons such as adultery or father's not wanting the financial responsibility.  So really giving all these children his last name & claiming them as his own is a big deal. 

On the 1910 census Matias is found living in Gurabo all by himself. However, he is living next door to one of his sisters & her family. He declares himself single, black, working in a sugar cane field & as many at his time, illiterate. 

By 1920 Matias is still in Gurabo, but now living with his son named Ricardo Pabellon Santos. Ricardo is married at this time & has 7 children of his own. I image the living conditions in their home must of been very tight with 10 people in what I assume was a small house. I'm not sure how close Matias was with all his children but seeing that he lived with his son again towards the end of his life shows me that they must of had some what of a good relationship. I'm sure Ricardo wanted to help his elderly father, who in 1920 is still shown as working.

What is also interesting about these 2 census records is that both times Matias includes a second surname which is Ramirez. "Matias Pabellon Ramirez" would traditionally suggest that his father is a Pabellon & his mother a Ramirez. Although no where else (that I've located yet) is his name documented with both of these surnames, this just validates to me that this is the same Matias as the one found on the slave census record. 

Matias dies at the age of 95 in Gurabo in October 1925. The death record indicates that no one living had knowledge of who his grandparents were, so his family line ends for me here.

Matias lived such a long life. I only wish he left more behind for me to learn more about him. In all my searching, I found one other possible clue into his life. I found what I thought was a random birth record, it caught my eye because the father is named Matias Pabellon. However, the mother is not Maria. It's another woman. I know from my searches that there is no other Matias Pabellon in the town at the same time.  Could this be why him & Maria split? Did he have another family on the side? This would explain why Matias is found living alone in the 1910 census? I will have to do more digging to confirm it.

I'm so glad I even know about Matias. Sadly his life stories & name had passed away with him some time after his death because my father has no recollection of him. I discovered Matias all on my own via census records. What a life he must of lived. What a story he must of had. I hope to one day be able to piece more of it together. 

No comments:

Post a Comment