Sunday, October 9, 2011

Catalog of Foreign Residents in Puerto Rico in the 19th century

I've been looking into my line that potentially is from Guadeloupe and Martinique and trying to find more records that would solidify this line.

Estela Cifre Loubriel wrote a book called Catalogo de Extranjeros Residentes en Puerto Rico en el Siglo XIX which mentions a bunch of residents living in Puerto Rico from foreign countries. Some of these countries include the typical Spain, France and Italy while other immigrants come from countries such as Russia, Yugoslavia and Gibraltar.

There's one entry in particular of interest to me. It states:

33. - GUSTAVO, Juan Carlos. Natural de Martinica; súbdito francés; de 55 años; casado; doméstico; reside en Fajardo en el 1874. W. B. C., W. I., AC 6683-J. 

There is high chance that this man could be my 4th great grandfather who made his way from Martinique to Puerto Rico with his wife. What are the odds of another man with the same name coming to Puerto Rico? Some documents of his daughter, my 3rd great grandmother Maria Paulina (Octavia) Gustavo shows that she was either born in Vieques or Fajardo. Vieques, being an island that must be reached by a boat leaves from Fajardo, so she could easily be from either or. I haven't found his wife in the book and neither his daughter, who could have born after this was taken. There is a so called Balbino Gustavo who could be of some relation to Juan Carlos. Juan Carlos is estimated to be born around 1819 with the dates provided.

I had no idea what the letters at the end meant. So I ordered the book to see if she cited her work and hopefully the letters at the end meant something. Like a good researcher she did and I finally got to understand the letters!

W.B.C. W. I., AC 6683-J stand for Washington, D. C, Biblioteca del Congreso. West Indies, número dado al documento enviado a la autora.

So the documents she used are in the Library of Congress in DC!! I just have to find out what type of document it is and if it states more about the people they documented. Maybe they'll have a name for the wife or maybe his children. That way I can start to piece together who this man was and if he really is related to me!

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