Sunday, September 28, 2014

52 Ancestors – #34 Agustin Calderón Meléndez (1859-1947)

Ahh!!! I know, I know! I'm late again with my posts (by about a month this time)! With settling into life in Spain, and three back-to-back weekend trips I haven't been able to dedicate much attention to my blog! But I'll try and catch up this week little by little posting more ancestor posts, I want to have all 52 done - I think it'd be a great feat! This post will be dedicated to my 3rd great grandfather Agustin Calderón Meléndez. Let's get started!

What's interesting about my 3rd great grandfather Agustin is the usage of surnames. Working my way backward from what I knew about him, I knew that he lived in Manatí and married Ana Morán Nazario and had many, many children with her. My second great grandfather would use the surnames Meléndez Morán and to this day the Meléndez surname is still being used by my family. In the 1940, 1935, and 1930 census records Agustin goes by Meléndez but in the 1910 Census we see him listed as Calderón Meléndez. Heads up: This branch for some reason has a scrambled use of surnames, sometimes Agustin uses Nazario as a maternal name, then sometimes Calderón, sometimes Meléndez, etc. Potentially there were mistakes on the records as a confusion with Ana who is Nazario through her mother.

We know that this Agustin is the same as mine because of the wife's name and the name of the children as well. They are living in the barrio of Coto, in Manatí where my family lived for a while. He is listed as living next to a Ramón and Manuel Calderón Meléndez, two of his brothers. Also his son, my 2nd great grandfather lived next door as well.

Agustin Calderón Meléndez - 1910 Census [Ancestry]
Agustin Calderón Meléndez - 1910 Census [Ancestry]

It seems that Agustin was born out of wedlock and never officially carried the surname "Calderón". In most records we just find him as Agustin Meléndez, illegitimate son of Cresencia Meléndez. But what helped crack the wall/mystery of the father, were sibling records that did acknowledge the father's name as Juan Calderón Nazario (and this is also probably a reason why Agustin appears with Nazario, his father had the name as well!) Both Juan Calderón and Cresencia Meléndez are natives of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico where Agustin was said to be born as well. 

Kind of crazy how one small event in your family's history, like not getting married can change your entire family tree, especially when it comes to the usage of surnames. Both of my surnames from what I know have been passed down from men Rivera and Correa but who knows if there was an ancestress how passed down the name. It goes to show you that how we view our families can change with just a document, in my case showing that Meléndez wasn't the name that was technically supposed to be past down. I'm not against maternal surnames being passed down and I'm so used to hearing Meléndez and actually like the surname so no need to worry about me being too patriarchal ;). 

Agustin ends up passing away in Manatí, Puerto Rico on the 6th of February 1947 from edema pulmonar (Pulmonary edema) at about the age of 88. He was already widowed by the time of his death for three years but I think a good number of his children were still alive (he and Ana did lose some children while they were young). Apparently Agustin and Ana married about 1886, either in Manatí or Vega Baja but I can't seem to find their marriage record. Their first child is born in 1888, so very believable that they married in 1887 as well. 

Hopefully I'll bump into another Calderón Meléndez cousin one day and see if they know anything else about the choice of surnames in the family!