Sunday, September 23, 2012

Painting A Clearer Picture

I've gotta say, I've been pretty fortunate when it comes to finding out some random things and getting clues- which then get confirmed. I guess it's because I'm young and still have the older generation around that can answer some of questions, its just finding who knows the answers and hold the key to these secrets.

For example, I was lucky to find a cousin (she actually found me through this blog) who knew where my paternal great grandparents were buried in Puerto rico and even had pictures of them. Had I decided to do this research years later, who knows what the outcome would have been.

Recently, a half grand uncle was able to confirm a line that I've been unsure of since I started researching it. This is my Correa line which I had begun to build but didn't know if it was based off the right person. This grand uncle has a brother who was able to tell me that my great grandfather Manuel Correa Rivera's father was Julio Correa- which is exactly what I had! This goes back to the post about how I ordered my great grandfather's social security application and on it were his parents' names. At the time I was unsure if it was the right man but his signature was nearly exact to the one on my grandfather's birth certificate so I ruled that it had to be the same man. And I'm so glad it was!

Interestingly though there is a tale that Julio's wife was from Spain. From what I have, Julio's wife was Amalia Rivera Rodriguez from Patillas, Puerto Rico. I asked my grand uncle whether Julio had remarried at any point in his life and he said from what he knows of no. None of the records I have point to a second wife so this tale of a Spanish woman is interesting. I wonder if he means Amalia's mother who I posted about with the weird surname of Masantini.

It was nice talking to him because he was able to tell me stories which I hadn't heard. He told me that my great grandfather left for San Juan to look for work. He ended up becoming of the first drivers of the AMA buses in Puerto Rico and stayed at that job for most of his life. Also he mentioned that Manuel and his brother and sisters were left orphaned, which I hadn't realized. Their father Julio died in 1929 and Amalia passed away in 1933. My great grandfather who was 9 at the time of his father's death was the oldest. From the looks of it they were sent to uncles/aunts to be taken care of.

He said that Julio was very tall with green eyes, trigueƱo (colored) and strong because he was a fisherman like many of the Correas who lived in Salinas. He said that his wife (who might be Amalia) had long beautiful hair, blue eyes and was beautiful. He said the two of them together were an elegant couple. It was nice getting a physical description of them and trying to visualize their appearance. No one mentioned a possible connection to Guadeloupe or Martinique but at the same time he wasn't raised in Salinas, so maybe he never heard the stories.

I was told that there are many cousins and family members still in that area. I would love to go and meet them and find out more about the family! It's funny how a stroke of luck can open all these doors for you. I thought I would have never been able to confirm this line since I virtually knew no one from it. Now I know of two grand uncles and many distant cousins living were the family began. 

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