Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Importance of Other Branches- Part I

When researching your family, I think it's important to research other branches that have married in. Each of them can carry a unique story that adds to your overall ancestry and can give you more of an insight to how your family and their siblings lived. The family I'm going to focus on today is Luisa Correa Gustavo but more so her husband Francisco Antonetti.

Luisa and Francisco got married on the 5th of June 1902 in Salinas, Puerto Rico. Luisa is the daughter of Manuel Correa Ortiz and Maria Paulina Gustavo, who's family immigrated from Guadeloupe/Martinique. Francisco Antonetti is the illegitimate son of Catalina Antonetti, the father is unknown but might have ties with the family Sécola (more on that in the next post). Their family history is interesting; Catalina in the 1910 Census appears as born in Puerto Rico while her parents were born in Africa. Looking for documents I found a Catalina Antonetti in the 1872 Slave Registry living in Salinas at the age of 16 as a laborer to what I believe says "brothers Antonetti". Therefore Antonetti would not/is not her original family name but from her master. Catalina is the daughter of Fabiana, who was either born in Africa or Puerto Rico and was also a slave to the Antonetti family at the same time Catalina was.

Catalina Antonetti, living in Salinas, Puerto Rico
Going one more generation back, Fabiana "Antonetti" was the daughter of Florina/Flora "Antonetti" who was also a slave at the time her daughter and granddaughter were. My guess is that Flora was originally bought by the Antonetti family, she definitely is reported being from Africa, sadly it doesn't say from where in Africa. Then either intentionally or not, Fabiana and then Catalina were born. Later after slavery ended, Catalina remained with the name Antonetti and remained in Salinas, Puerto Rico. Florina, her grandmother, later died in Talas Viejas, Salinas, Puerto Rico on October 17th 1894, having seen freedom.

Pictured below should be three generations: Catalina, Fabiana and Florina of daughters and mothers all slaves in 1872 to the Antonetti family. Note: Catalina at the time is said to be 16 while her mother is written down as 23. My guess is that the ages were not exact for obvious reasons. At the time of Catalina's death she was written down to be 125 years old which to me is exaggerated.  

Catalina as a slave to the Antonetti family, 1872.

Fabiana as a slave to the Antonetti family, 1872.

Florina as a slave to the Antonetti family, 1872.

The Antonetti family owned a good number of slaves at the time of the registration in 1872. I don't know if they have any relation to Vicente Antoneti who was from Salinas, Puerto Rico as well and was robbed by Roberto Cofresí, a Puerto Rican pirate. I wonder what were the names of the brothers so that I could research them and learn more about this family; Antonetti is said to be a name of Corsican ancestry. I also wonder from where in Africa Florina came from, many Africans were brought over from Western Africa but I wonder what country. The next best documents to look at would be to check if they were baptized in Salinas, Puerto Rico.


  1. Luis, there were 3 Antonetty men living in Guayama-Salinas all from Corsican. Check this link
    It will lead you to their Naturalization petitions between 1815 to 1825. Their names Pedro, Vicente, and Francisco.

  2. If you don't mind me asking, how can you tell they were slaves aside from the census saying they are black? I didn't see where on the census it specifies the word slave. Also in which book did you post pictures of that show the slave names? I'm so curious because I have Puerto Rican slaves ancestors too & if possible would like to learn about the resources you used to help with my own search.

    1. Hey Diana, by the time the Census records started in 1910 slavery was already abolished on the island. So while 'negro' can be a hint to former slaves it doesn't automatically mean that. On Ancestry you can find the 1872 Slave Census and that helps sometimes to find people who were previously slaves on the island. For example, with the Antonetti family in Salinas, PR which I wrote about here. Hope that helps!