Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ancestor Hunting

Like most of us know, genealogy is both a blessing and a curse. It can be a nice side hobby, or it can eat up your holiday time like it is doing to me now. So this post I'll dedicate to the tough part of genealogy, because we all know it exists!

Mainly I want to dedicate it to one line in my family which is giving me the runaround!

This line is the Gustavo/Charles line from Martinique/Guadeloupe, and as you can see the uncertainty in name and place of origin is an 'uh-oh' from the start. I'm not 100% sure of this line but with all the evidence I have, I am strongly leaning to this family being part of my maternal line.

The origins of this family that have been mentioned in documents include: England, France, St. Thomas, Martinique, Guadeloupe, amongst probably others. In a previous post I mentioned the Catalog of Foreign Residents and there a Juan Carlos Gustavo is mentioned who I'm hoping is my 4th great grandfather and there it says he is from Martinique so I'm hoping he really is from Martinique.

So originally I thought Juan Carlos and his wife had only one daughter who is my 3rd great grandmother. Yet as I continued searching the census records I came across other Gustavo/Charles in the Southern area of Puerto Rico like where mine lived. So now, the pedigree looks like this so far:

Gustavo & Charles Pedigree

My 3rd great grandmother, who appears as Maria, Maria Paulina, Paulina or as Octavia was said to be born in either Vieques or Fajardo before moving to Salinas with her family. Some documents state Santa Isabel but I'm unsure if this was a place where they might have lived. Valentina, her sister, I found while searching a few months back and she is said to have been born in Martinique (but if in 1874, Juan Carlos was already in Puerto Rico, then this might/might not be possible) and she then later died in Salinas, Puerto Rico. Her brother, Alberto, I actually found today while doing research and he lived in Guanica with his wife until the 1930 Census where he appears living in Ponce; records point to him being born in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Juan Carlos's wife appears as a mess of names as well. She has appeared with the first names, Julia, Juliana, Barbina/Balbina, and Barbara while her last name started in an 1885 document as "Lotten" and has since then appeared as Loten, Lotiz, Loter, Soler, Sotiz, Sotims/Sotins. She in some documents for unknown reasons appears with the surname Perez. Yeah... confusing right! All the documents I have point to her dieing in Ponce sometime between 1895-1896 yet surprisingly even with that small window of time I still haven't been able to find her!!

I have yet been able to find the death records for either Juan Carlos or Julia and continue to search everyday, neither for Octavia who was last reported on documents to be living in Caguas, Puerto Rico. I have run across some other descendants from Juan Carlos and Julia but haven't been able to ask if they know anything about them. And it's very hard to keep track of them because the surname constantly changes back and forth between Gustavo and Charles. My guess is that (along with someone else I theorized with who has researched French ancestors) is that neither Gustavo nor Charles is the original surname but rather middle names that he had. Which then leaves me with, what IS/WAS his last name!?

Hopefully one day I'll be able to break down some of these brick walls and find out more information. What interest me most is their ethnicity because I keep getting German/ East European hits in my account strictly through my mom's dad's side which makes me wonder if it comes from these ancestors.

Only time will tell! Until then... search, search, search!!

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