Saturday, April 21, 2012

Slave Owning Ancestor?

Puerto Rico's history is very interesting because a lot of the inhabitants that have been on the island for a long time (like my ancestors) probably have ancestors that were slaves, and/or ancestors that owned slaves. So far I haven't found any slaves in my family but I do have ancestors that are written down as dark, mulatto, etc. I did find a document stating that my 4th great grandmother was a free person of color but in that same town where she was from (Toa Alta) also lived my 6th great grandfather both from my dad's side of the family.

Juan de Dios Marrero was probably born in the late 1700s in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. I haven't found his birth record nor his marriage record to Rosa de Rivera, the Toa Alta records online don't go that far enough to include them. (Hopefully there are more records in Toa Alta!!) So far, I've found 5 children from Juan de Dios and Rosa; one of them being my 5th great grandmother Estefania Marrero y Rivera. In the baptism records I noticed that for the slaves there was a record for a Jose Quintin Marrero.

Jose Quintin Marrero who was born on the 31 of October 1817 was the natural son of his mother Marcelina Marrero who in turn was the slave of Juan de Dios Marrero. When I first saw this I was in shock! Could my 6th great grandfather have owned slaves? Being that the town was founded in 1751, I don't think there were too many Juan de Dios Marreros running around Toa Alta. It could be very possible that it could be someone else but the odds are low. Since they don't state Juan's wife's name, I can't be 100% sure that this is the same man.

"Marcelina, mulatto slave of Juan de Dios Marrero" (translated)
When you do family history you always want to think your family wasn't involved in things like this, but with the mentality at the time making slavery OK, a lot of people were involved in it. Hopefully, I'll be able to confirm that this is him because it'll give me more about his life. He must have had either land or property to have these slaves I'm guessing. It's good to see that they at least baptized them. 

No comments:

Post a Comment