Thursday, October 2, 2014

52 Ancestors – #35 Juan de Dios Marrero

My 6th great grandfather is a man of both very little and very interesting information. By FamilySearch uploading Toa Alta church records a while back, I was able to extend my once unknown paternal line far back; Juan de Dios Marrero being part of this family. My great grandmother, Mercedes Ortiz Marrero, is related to Juan de Dios Marrero (but it's not where she gets her maternal Marrero surname from).

Juan de Dios Marrero was mostly likely born in the early-1700s, seeing as how most of his children were born at the beginning of the 1800s. We don't know Juan's parents' names or if he/they were originally born in Puerto Rico, but I would imagine that Juan himself was. Juan de Dios Marrero was married to Rosa de Rivera and so far I have been able to trace six of their children in the Toa Alta/Corozal area. I only know that Juan and wife Rosa died sometime after 1818 but I haven't been able to find their death records in Toa Alta just yet. Who knows if they potentially died in Corozal? Also, potentially Rosa de Rivera might have some connection to my own direct paternal Rivera/de Rivera which were also in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico around the same time.

Juan de Dios Marrero and Rosa de Rivera, I have mentioned before somewhere in my blog. They were probably active members of their community seeing as how they served as godparents for other families. In 1809, they appeared as the godparents of Juliana Martínez Vázquez. Since both appear together I'm pretty sure these are my 6th great grandparents. Also, Juliana's family is tied into my family in Toa Alta somewhere far back probably marrying a descendant of the Rivera-Marrero family which also helps to strengthen the case that these are them.

Bautismo - Juliana Martínez Vázquez [Ancestry]

My interest lies in Juan's wife Rosa de Rivera, mainly because I have found records of slaves belonging to a woman of the same name. It is very possible that there was another woman of the same name who owned slaves in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico; but seeing as how we are talking about the early 1800s about a town that was founded in 1751, I wonder how many Rosa de Riveras there actually were. The only thing is that there is no mention of a Juan de Dios Marrero, could Rosa de Rivera have handled the affair of the slaves for the family? I won't know for sure until I have a clearer document but for now I do believe that it is very possible. Here are two slaves baptized/confirmed in Toa Alta mentioning their slave owner as Rosa de Rivera:

Teresa, esclava de Rosa de Rivera [Ancestry]

Joseph Bonifacio, hijo de Marcelina, esclava de Rosa de Rivera [Ancestry]

Hopefully I'll be able to find more information on Juan de Dios Marrero and his wife Rosa de Rivera. Potentially these Rivera and Marrero ancestors are tied to my other Marrero and Rivera lines of the same town. Especially in a time when endogamy was much more likely, I wouldn't be surprised to find cousins marrying each other either on purpose to "keep lines pure" or even by mistake. I'm not sure if there are any older documents for the town and church of Toa Alta but if there are I would sure love to see them!

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