This genealogical year has been off to a good start! The mystery of my Martinican ancestors is almost coming to a close (though there is still much to sort out!) Last week the Vieques church records I ordered to the LDS center arrived and I was pumped to search through them.
I knew that my 3rd great grandmother was, as far as I know, one of 7 children. She being the first born and the next 6 in chronological order being: Tomás, Valentina, Areopajita, Dionisio, Alberto Fermin, and Martina Isabel. I had Dionisio's (born in Fajardo), Alberto's (born in Salinas) and Martina's (born in Santa Isabel) birth/baptismal certificates but I didn't have my 3rd great grandmother, María Paulina or Tomás', Valentina's and Areopajita's. Here is a pedigree I made of the Gustave-Lautin siblings and family.
|The Gustave-Lautin Family who immigrated to Puerto Rico|
Luckily in the Vieques church records I was able to find both María Paulina's and Tomás' baptism records. My 3rd great grandmother was born on the 15th January 1867 and baptized on 14th February 1867 in Vieques, Puerto Rico. While her brother Tomás (who's picture I found in the passport records) was born in Vieques as well on 28 December 1869 and baptized on 20th February 1870. What I found very interesting is that they both were surnamed "Charles" in these records. Also Tomás' middle name is "Octavio" and my 3rd great grandmother went by Octavia sometimes, so the name might be passed down from another family member! It mentions that the father's name was Gustavo Juan Charles, mixing around the order of the names. The paternal grandparents were listed as Juan Charles and María and the maternal as Eglantina Lotin. This helps me to solidify the Lautin line which I had theorized about in a previous post but had no solid proof. The baptism record helped to show that Juliana was indeed the daughter of a Eglantina Lotin (Eglantine Lautin) and helped to tie up all the loose ends.
Now, the problem lies with figuring out the origins of Jean Charles Gustave. I fear that his surname might have been "Jean Charles" rather than "Gustave". Yet for now I will believe it is "Gustave" because he signed his name on the two documents I have as "Jean Charles Gustave". It could be plausible that his last name was "Jean Charles"; if his dad was a freed slave who was just named Jean Charles then his son would have taken his whole name as the surname. Which is most likely the origin of Gustave as well. Jean Charles Gustave's parents are listed as Jean Charles Gustave (which could mean he was named after his father or they didn't know the name of his father so they just duplicated his) and his mother appears as María Lucia, María Morianga and sometimes just María. So my guess is that she was Marie for certain but whether she was Marie Lucie or Marie-Ange (probably from Morianga) beats me!
We know Jean Charles Gustave (Juan Carlos Gustavo) appears in the the Catalog of Foreign Residents living in Fajardo in 1874. Juan Carlos Gustavo is listed at the age of 55 making him born circa 1819 and was married and "domestico" meaning he probably didn't work at the time. What's interesting is that there is a "Balbino Gustavo" also listed in the book with the age of 29 making that person born circa 1845. My guess is that the "Balbino" was actually my 4th great grandmother who's middle name was Balbina and she herself was born in 1844, it was probably transcribed incorrectly in the book.
Here's a image I made from Google maps showing them hopping around Puerto Rico from Vieques, to Fajardo, to Salinas with years attached showing when they were living in those towns. Martina Isabel was born in Santa Isabel for whatever reason but the family lived for the most part in Salinas before spreading out along the southern coast.
|Gustave-Lautin family moving around Puerto Rico|
I'm currently stuck on finding more about Jean Charles Gustave. So far I've checked all the towns of Martinique between the years of 1818-1820 for the birth of a Jean Charles Gustave. So far--- no luck! There is a Gustave family living in Ducos (previously known as Trou-Au-Chat) which could be promising though they were there towards the end of the 1800s. Also, there is a Charles Gustave being born in 1821 in Le Carbet to a Marie Olympe, he is the only closest match I have. My guess is that Jean Charles Gustave was of some kind of Mulatto mix born out of slavery (in the 1848 records of the slaves being entered, I found no Gustave-surnamed family that could match). I'm also not 100% sure that he was truly born in 1819. That would make him much older than Julienne, could be possible of course!
My next hope is to get the 1870s Catalog of Foreigners (I'm currently trying to get it through the interlibrary loan). The only thing that worries me is that because by 1867 they were already in Puerto Rico, they might not appear in it. Estela Cifre de Loubriel had to have seen their name in some type of document to jot them down in her book- the only thing is which document!!
Hopefully this mystery will be wrapped up soon enough! I wonder if Jean Charles was fixed with French/some European ancestor or just a descendant of slaves. I'll update once I figure out more!