Friday, October 3, 2014

52 Ancestors – #39 María Higinia Ruiz Ramos (1859-1921)

Moving a little over towards the East from Patillas, we get to Yabucoa where my next ancestor entry will take place! This post is about my 3rd great grandmother María Higinia Ruiz Ramos.

María Higinia according to records was originally from Maunabo, Puerto Rico which makes sense since these two towns (Yabucoa and Maunabo) are very close to one another in the south-eastern part of Puerto Rico. Equally, her husband was also from Maunabo, PR. María Higinia would have been born around 1859, the daughter of Manuel Ruiz and Dorotea Ramos. Around 1875, Juan Bautista Dávila González and María Higinia Ruiz Ramos would have gotten married in Maunabo, Puerto Rico. Their marriage would produce ten children, which includes my 2nd great grandfather Pedro Dávila Ruiz.

By 1910, Higinia and the family were living in Calabazas, Yabucoa, Puerto Rico- the place where at least three generations of my family would be born/live in. María Higinia appear as 'white', married for 35 years and a owner of land on which she worked on. I'm not sure if this was an error on the part of the census taker since it's only María listed as the head but I wouldn't be surprised if she herself worked the land. She is listed as living with two children, and three grandchildren; she was also unable to read or write.

María Higinia Ruiz Ramos - 1910 Census [Ancestry]

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to locate most of my ancestors from Yabucoa on the 1920 census, this includes María Higinia. I'm not really sure why this is, they were living in Puerto Rico and never traveled outside the island, they even appear on the 1930 census living in the same town and barrio so it's not like they moved somewhere else. Nonetheless, there is a gap there missing of information on who was where and did what in the 1920 Census. 

I do know however that María Higinia Ruiz Ramos passed away on the 24th of September 1921 in Calabazas, Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. It took me a long time to find her death certificate. I had searched multiple times in Yabucoa and Maunabo but I had no idea when or where she died. Her husband on the other hand died in 1933 and was widowed by the time he passed away, so I had a short range of years for her... but still nothing! It wasn't until Ancestry uploaded the Civil Registry that I was able to type in names and play around with the settings that I was able to find a "María Ramos" passing away in Yabucoa. It turns out that this was my 3rd great-grandmother! For whatever reason, her first surname "Ruiz" was dropped on this document, but it does state she was the wife of Juan Bautista Dávila which helped to prove this was her. 

Her cause of death was kind of interesting/shocking to see. It states that at 10 in the morning of the 24th day of September of 1921, María Ramos asphyxiated (underwater). It doesn't, however, state if this was  on accident or on purpose. She would have been around 62 years old, so I can see this happening as a horrible accident but it doesn't state whether it was home or at a nearby river. I don't have anymore details than what is written on the death certificate and I haven't heard any stories of this as well in my family. I don't think my family even knew about this ancestress, let alone the cause of her death. 

María Higinia Ruiz Ramos - Defunción, 1921 [Ancestry] 

This is the third direct ancestor to die from something that was not of natural causes/ or a sickness. It's a bit morbid to find these death certificates and see sometimes the horrible ways someone passed away. For example: my 2nd great-grandfather, José Miranda Santos, who unfortunately hung himself at about the age of 50. It is however important to learn about the birth, lives, and deaths of each of my ancestors - the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

I have pretty deep roots in Maunabo, dating back to the early 1800s/late 1700s so I would love to head down there and see the area; as well as with Yabucoa which is one town over. I really need to head to Puerto Rico and discover these towns and barrios that my families were from… I'm seriously itching to do it in the near future!! Hopefully I'll collect more stories, see the lands they lived & worked on, and even meet some distant cousins!

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