Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Rafaela Torres Torres

This is another 2nd great grand aunt of mine. 
Her name is Rafaela Torres Torres.
I discovered Rafaela a while ago but just recently I got to see my first photo of her. I've examined this photo very closely & can see such a strong resemblance in Rafaela & in her younger sister Agripina. You can see & learn more about Agripina here

Rafaela was born on December 1, 1893 in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico. She is 1 of 12 children born to Juan E. Torres Galvez & Ramona Torres Masa. Her parents were first cousins & at first this was something that made me uncomfortable. As I  continued to search, I noticed & read from other Puerto Rican genealogists that cousins marrying was very common for this time. Puerto Rico is a small island. Most people didn't travel far outside of their home towns & so they married who they knew, & sometimes who you knew happened to be related to you. I hope to write more about this in a separate post but for now I'll leave it at that & get back to Rafaela. 

Records tell me that Rafaela's mother Ramona, died on Rafaela's 12th birthday. Her older sister, who is also my great grandmother Maria Ana was the oldest daughter in the family at that time. I assume she helped raise Rafaela & the rest of her younger siblings still living at home. 

In 1916, at the age of 22, Rafaela marries for the first & only time in her lifetime.  She marries a man by the name of Mateo Galarza Cabre. Mateo is 8 years older than Rafaela. What makes him so interesting to me is that Mateo's father immigrated from Spain to Puerto Rico in 1866. Mateo is the first person on my tree that I've discovered that doesn't have deep Puerto Rican roots on both sides. 

Together Rafaela & Mateo have 6 children together. The names of their children are: 
-Aida Galarza Torres 1917-1933
-Rafael Galarza Torres 1921-?
-Rosalia Galarza Torres 1924-?
-Antonio Luis Galarza Torres 1925-?
-Juan Benito Galarza Torres 1928-1988
-Zoila Galarza Torres 1930- living

After 18 years of marriage together, Rafaela's husband Mateo passes away in 1934. I was told that after this Rafaela was so heartbroken that she wears black dresses for the rest of her life. This explains why the only photo I have of her, she is dressed in black. This small detail into her life, is one of the only ones I know of. I admire her committed loyalty to her late husband. This says so much about her to me. I would of loved so much to meet & chat with her. 

I don't know much more about Rafaela, except I know she was very close to her 2 younger sisters Agripina & Joaquina. There was even a time when her sister Joaquina also becomes widowed, & her & Rafaela move in together. 

Lastly, records tell me that in 1983, at the age of 89, Rafaela dies of heart failure in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

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