Friday, June 5, 2015

52 Ancestors – #51 Juana Burgos Vásquez (1839-1899)

So FINALLY getting around to finishing up the last two posts of the 52 Ancestry Challenge -- better late than never right!? This post will be about my 4th great grandmother, Juana Burgos Vásquez.

Juana Burgos Vásquez was from the town of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico in the southern part of Puerto Rico.  My family has been in this town for a good number of years and only recently in about the 1950s migrated out and into the San Juan area to look for better opportunities. However, there are still distant cousins that live down in Yabucoa and still own some of the land our ancestors worked on back in the 1800s, which is pretty awesome!

Yabucoa, Puerto Rico [Google]

Juana Burgos, according to the death certificate I found, died on the 14th of April of 1899 in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. She was a bit of a hard ancestress to track down because records only listed her as "Juana Burgos" and never mentioned a second surname which is important in Puerto Rico especially when there are people with such common names. What I ended up doing was going through the index death records for the town and searched for all the Juana Burgos mentioned on the index and one by one searched them up to see if they could match my 4th great grandmother. Some were too old, some not married, and some too young, but finally I found one in 1899 that could match my 4th great grandmother's years and martial status.

By the year 1899, Juana Burgos would have been 11 years widowed from her husband, Manuel de Santiago. Since it seems that Juana and Manuel only had one daughter, my 3rd great grandmother Dolores, Juan Ortiz Lebrón (probably a neighbor) appeared to announce her death. He was aware of her parents, Eusebio Burgos and Monserrate Vásquez but probably not of Dolores, who already in 1899 was off taking care of her 8 children with her husband Benito Orozco. It is always possible that this death certificate isn't the correct one for my Juana Burgos but with the information I have and knowing that Juana lived in Yabucoa, the odds are high that this is my 4th great grandmother.

There is no mention of race in her death certificate, but through my MtDNA we know that Juana was a carrier of the C1b4 who she passed to Francisca Orozco Santiago (2nd great grandmother), and eventually to my grandmother, mother, and me. I'm guessing based off the future descriptions of her children and grandchildren, that Juana, like them, was of a mixed race background.

Some documents state that Juana's parents were from Las Piedras, which is a town just north of Yabucoa. Even though my ancestors lived in Calabazas (a town bordering Maunabo), you can see that Las Piedras isn't too far off for them to have traveled from. They could have easily made their way down through Jácanas or Tejas and Limones until they reached Calabazas, and stayed for whatever reason.

Yabucoa's Barrios [Google]

I'm hoping to one day head down to Yabucoa, see the town of Calabazas, and hopefully meet some of my cousins who still live there! 

1 comment:

  1. Researching my paternal grandmother, Ramona Rivera (colored) from Vieques, Puerto Rico. My fahther was born in 1905.
    Rafael Garcia Carrion - asongformyfather@gmail.com
    Let me know if you can be of any assistance. Thank you

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