Friday, May 9, 2014

52 Ancestors – #19 Luisa Rodríguez Masantini (1878-1913*)

My 3rd great grandmother has been one of my tougher genealogical brick walls and so I write this post in hopes that one day I will shed some more light on her and her past.

My 3rd great grandmother has been been written down with two names on documents, the most common one was Luisa Rodríguez and the second as Luisa Masantini. I have no idea where the name Masantini came from and whether or not it's actually a surname in my family but records have shown this as a surname for my 3rd great grandmother and 2nd great grandmother. Luisa's daughter Amalia was born in Patillas in the mid-1890s and so that is the only thing I know for sure – that Luisa lived at some point in Patillas, Puerto Rico.

Patillas, Puerto Rico [Google]

Since Luisa and Amalia's father, Cruz Rivera Collazo, never married it makes the search for her even more difficult. I have searched for the name Masantini in Puerto Rico and haven't found anyone else with it. I've also searched the Foreign Records of Puerto Rico and have found nothing as well. I did a search for the surname Masantini in Italy and got some hits in Firenze; I wrote about the experience here in What's in a (sur)name?. The 1910 census provides some interesting information about Luisa's life. I know that she was alive in 1910 and was deceased by the 1920 census, but she wasn't living with Cruz in 1910 -- so where was she? I think I may have found her in the 1910 Census in Guardarraya, Patillas, Puerto Rico living with a Juan Carrasquillo and their seven children, the last being a step-daughter named Amalia Rodríguez! It is interesting to note that this Luisa was noted as "N" for negra (colored). In her daughter's marriage record in 1919, it listed the mother as Luisa Rodríguez, de raza de color (of the colored race).

Luisa Rodríguez - 1910 Census [Ancestry] 
Amalia Rodríguez - 1910 Census [Ancestry]

Since Juan and Luisa were listed as CC this would mean they were never married by the church and the children were most likely listed under Rodríguez since they were all natural children, just like Amalia was. I had searched the death records of Patillas for a Luisa Rodríguez Masantini or Luisa Masantini and had no luck finding anything, the years I searched were from 1910-1920 since I knew she was deceased when her daughter married in 1919 to Julio Correa.  

Recently, in preparation for this post I began to look through some of my old documents and I came across an image of a baptism I had discovered in the Patillas church records. The record was a baptism for a Amalia Rodríguez in either 1895-1896, the daughter of a Luisa Rodríguez. This matches the date from the 1910 census record! In this record however the grandparents are listed as Dionisio Rodríguez and Francisca Laboy – no mention of a Masantini! Could this Luisa Rodríguez Laboy be the same Luisa Rodríguez, my 3rd great grandmother?

I decided to further research Luisa Rodríguez Laboy, could I find more evidence to plead a stronger case? I checked the 1910 Census records for a Luisa Rodríguez Laboy living in Patillas, PR. I found one living with a Guillermo Laboy but it seems she was alive in 1930 and no Amalia daughter was listed. I searched the death records from 1910-1920 in Patillas for a Luisa Rodríguez Laboy this time. I ended up finding the death record of Luisa Rodríguez Laboy in 1913, daughter of Dionicio Rodríguez and María F. Laboy (written that way in the death record). She is listed as single and twenty-five y/o (I think the age is off by a few years, it doesn't mention how the person who declared her death is related to her). 

Luisa Rodríguez Laboy - Defunción 1913 [FamilySearch]

I have researched this Luisa's line but I have no clue if she is my 3rd great grandmother. So far, there are a few pieces of evidence that help support my case: 1) This Luisa had a daughter named Amalia born in Patillas in the same timeframe my 2nd great grandmother was born, 2) She died in the same timeframe as my Luisa Rodríguez, 3) Was classified as the same race and around the same age as my 3rd great grandmother, and 4) Wasn't married like my 3rd great grandmother. Hopefully this is her, but I won't know for sure until I find a few more pieces of evidence. If this is her then it makes me question where the surname Masantini originated from. I haven't researched Dionisio's side of the family yet so who knows if it's hidden in there somewhere! 

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