Friday, November 2, 2012

When You Least Expect It...

I took a little hiatus from searching for my ancestors after I started working and since I was stuck at home due to Hurricane Sandy I decided to give it go again. (I can't stay away from my tree for that long anyways!) I decided to glimpse through my line of potential Martinique ancestors. There's one document which I've always found extremely helpful and this time it helped me out once again. The document is the birth certificate of my 2nd great aunt, Luisa Correa Gustave (Gustavo). She was born in Salinas, Puerto Rico on the 2nd of June 1885. She is the first child born to Manuel Correa and Paulina/Octavia Gustavo at the start of the civil registry and I'm pretty sure the only child to be registered as Gustave rather than Gustavo. I've posted about the surname here and the changes it has gone through throughout the years.

Luisa Gustave being registered in Salinas, PR
I've always looked at this document because it states that her grandfather, Juan Carlos Gustavo was still alive, was from Guadeloupe and was a carpenter (I believe that he was from Martinique from all the other evidence I have). He was also listed as one of the 'testigos' or witnesses to her birth. But it wasn't until yesterday that it clicked! Most of the witnesses sign their names at the end of the certificate. Could Juan Carlos Gustavo, my 4th great grandfather been able to write and sign his name as a witness? Lo and behold, his signature was there to my surprise!! Also he signed his name the way it was before the Spanish-fication of it. Therefore he signed his name as Jean Charles Gustave.

1885 Salinas, PR- Juan Carlos' signature
Now I had a new piece of evidence that I could use. Sadly, in 1887 when his 2nd grandchild Cruz Correa Gustavo was born he was not present and neither was he for any other's birth. From the certificates, we know that Jean Charles died some where between 1885-1890 but we don't know where. I've checked Salinas where his daughter lived, my 3rd great grandmother, and he was not there. Jean Charles' wife is said to have lived in Ponce, but I haven't found her death certificate and Jean Charles also was not there.

Yesterday I decided, for whatever reason, to check the town of Santa Isabel. I decided to check the index for births from 1885-1931. There I checked for any possible Gustavo/Charles families. There I came across a birth registered as "Martina Isabel Gustavo Pedro" in 1886 and decided to check it out. Despite the fact that I wasn't aware of any "Pedro" surnames in my family I suspected that this could be a possible connection.

Martina Isabel registered along with others in 1886- Santa Isabel,  PR
When I found her birth certificate I was very surprised! The father who appeared to make the declaration of her birth was named JUAN CARLOS GUSTAVO! From Martinique and a carpenter! I was so excited to find this! But I had to keep in mind that this could be someone else, especially since it was Gustavo Pedro, rather than Gustavo Lotten (and all its variants). I kept looking at the document and found more interesting things. The wife was Juliana Pedro, also from Martinique. It also matched! Juan Carlos' wife has gone by many names and Julia/Juliana is one of them along with Balbina and Barbara. This was the first document to mention parents for Juan Carlos and Julianna, which was interesting to see.

Juan Carlos' parents according to the document were Juan Carlos Gustavo and Maria Lucia both from Martinique and had passed at the time of Martina's birth. Juliana's parents were Pedro Pedro and Eleuteria Eglantin, both from Martinique. He had passed and the mother was alive, a widow, a washerwoman, who was still alive [from what it seems she lived in Martinique still. At first I thought it said in Santa Isabel but it says in Spanish "de la misma naturaleza y domicilio", which would mean from the same origin/nature and address.] This was one of the most interesting parts of the document. Pedro Pedro most likely doubled his name or took his dad's first name (Pedro) as a surname. Eleuteria Eglantin is probably most of the interesting pieces to this puzzle. Her last name when pronounced sounds VERY similar to the name Lotten which was what passed to my 3rd great grandmother. This,  probably real last name brought over from Martinique (probably somewhat distorted from its original spelling) and worked better than Pedro. The 'Eg' part could have been dropped and when pronounced was written simply as Lotten. Feel free to write "Lantin" into French>English Google Translate to see what I mean. [I would later learn that 'Eglantin' was her first name.] Interestingly enough, I can't find Martina Isabel in the 1910 Census as well so she might have died as a child.

The Maternal Grandparents of Martina Isabel
Lastly, I decided to check for a signature! This could be the confirmation that I needed to prove whether or not they were related to my Charles/Gustave(o) line. Here are both signatures. I believe that they are the same man. Despite the small differences such as neatness and depth of the ink, etc. I believe that this is the same man's signature.

Salinas, Puerto Rico 1885
Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico 1885
Both for some reason it seems are spelled "Jeain" with the "J" having the bottom looped hook. Both Charles have the "Ch" connected then "ar" and then "les" connected. Then "Gustavo" has the same bottom looped hook in the "G" and then "gus" in connected and then "tavo" with the "o" connecting to the line beneath it. Also, notice that all three are lower case while I've seen other people capitalize their first and last name. I do believe that both of these are the same people. Also, Santa Isabel and Salinas are actually both southern towns and here you can see that they're both neighbors to one another.

Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico
Salinas, Puerto Rico
Hopefully I'll find out more about this family and keep extending this line. I would love the opportunity to be able to find where in Martinique they would have been from and actually visit the town they lived in and figure out the historic background to their lives. Of course, it might not be possible if they didn't mention where they were from in Martinique but with the records from that island I hope that hopefully it'll be possible!

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