Francisca Silveria de la Cruz Prieto

One of the most amazing things you can possibly do when researching your ancestry is taking a DNA test.  If at all possible, testing parents and elders can be quite beneficial in helping to solve family mysteries or when hitting brick walls in your research.  This is exactly how I am able to confirm who Francisca Silveria de la Cruz Prieto’s parents were and completing another generation of my African descendant ancestors. In this situation, it didn’t even require a chromosome browser but simply some investigative work.

In my prior post I spoke about her son, Angel, who is one of my great grandfathers. While Angel passed way before I came along from throat cancer in 1956, his actual age is still a mystery until I can locate a birth or baptismal record for him. However, in my prior post about Angel, I concluded that his last name was Delgado Cruz and where the Silverio surname came from.

Upon finding his death record, I confirmed that his mother was none other than Francisca Silveria de la Cruz Prieto.  I’ve provided the image of the death record below and it identifies his parents correctly. What sealed the deal was finding records of Francisca’s sisters and seeing her sister’s descendants matching me via DNA and confirming via their tree that I was indeed on the right path. It is only through this particular line that I match to these individuals as 4th cousins; no endogamy with this particular connection.

What would make matching to these cousins more amazing is if they uploaded their DNA to GEDMatch to analyze our chromosomes to help break down the barrier of knowing what region in African region our ancestors originated from. I have reached out to one descendant and hope that they will upload their kits to GEDMatch.

Angel Delgado Cruz Libro 10 Def Image 704

What is most alarming to me about Angel’s death was that he died from cancer of the esophagus. The thought that this line has someone die from cancer each generation is concerning. The only thing that can come to mind is that he was a smoker.  Uploading my DNA to promethease.com a couple of year back identified that I have a higher risk of attaining certain cancers.  One of my paternal aunts also that descends from this line died from cancer. So using promethease can be beneficial beyond ancestry.

However, back to the ancestry piece as this is more about uncovering my African roots. Thanks to documents and DNA, I am able to confirm that my second great grandmother, Francisca, was most definitely of African descent as many documents document this and have verbal confirmation from my father that this line was African black and may have been mixed with Native American.  For whatever reason, Francisca is listed with many different race descriptions. I guess it is either the person that is reporting it or the person that was documenting it.

When it came to Francisca’s death, I was surprised to find out that even her son Ramon, my great-granduncle didn’t know her last name or her parents. He listed her as being the daughter of a non-existent person, Teresa Silverio, which should have read as Teresa Prieto. He should have also known that his grandparents were married as he eliminated Juan de la Cruz from existence.

The last piece was that he was reporting her to be 96 years years old. This is something I doubt since no one seemed to track ages during this era.  What is amazing is that I have come across records where people tell the priest that they are younger than the baptism record by years. I laugh because the priest will actually document the person’s information as fact into the margin of the baptismal record.  Imagine being baptized in 1882 and then telling the priest that you were not born until 1894 so the record is wrong.  Hilarious and quite a chuckle and happened often.

Francisca Silverio Cruz Prieto Defuncion

In Francisca’s death record, her son identifies his mother’s race as mestizo; another term added to her description.  He also didn’t know his mother’s grandparents names as it is documented as ignored. Francisca was reported as dying from senility on December 26, 1922. So circling back, I went ahead and started researching Francisca’s siblings. I have noticed in other records as the children reporting their parents as mestizo but on Census records and other documents as Black.

Francisca has 3 other sisters that I have located, Juana, who died on June 19, 1902 in Carolina. Juana would have 7 children, that I found, with Sabad Cruz.  Dominga, who died on May 8, 1922 in Carolina.  Dominga had two children and was married to Felipe Quinonez. And Tomasa, died on April 27, 1918 in Carolina. Tomasa had 4 children and was married to Eustaguio Niero (sic).

Many of the records located identify their parents as being from Gurabo, which is south of Trujillo Alto, where Francisca lived.  I would not be surprised if that were the case since Quebrada Negrito is a border town to the Gurabo municipality and where many went to register birth, marriage, and death of family.

I’ve supplied the images of her siblings deaths below. Note that they are either listed as mestizo or even the notorious Silverio last name appeared. One thing is for certain, for the first time in records, it is indicated that Juan de la Cruz and Teresa Prieto were not married on Dominga’s death record but that she was recognized. Potentially they could have married after her birth since her other siblings were not reporting that their parents were unwed.

 

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However, one hint provided is that Juan Silverio de la Cruz and Teresa Prieto died in Trujillo Bajo, which is a town in Carolina and both must have died prior to 1885 since records of their death cannot be found in the civil records that started in 1885 in any of the 3 municipalities; Carolina, Trujillo Alto, or Gurabo.  Unfortunately, the church death records for Trujillo Alto were never digitized but there are church records for Trujillo Bajo.  The church for this town is Nuestra Señora de la Caridad y San Miguel and I have been able to locate other family members in these books.

This family line ends with Juan Silverio de la Cruz and Teresa Prieto and hoping to locate their death records to discover who their parents were and if they were truly from Gurabo as indicated in many of the records.  This is my next step in researching the parents’ line.

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3 thoughts on “Francisca Silveria de la Cruz Prieto

  1. Very thorough post. Would love to know how you discovered all that as I too have African Caribbean roots I’d like to delve into. Great job !

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  2. Hi Wendy, part of being able to find records is first interviewing your elders. It regions of the Caribbean where Roman Catholic churches were the controlling body such as in Puerto Rico and Cuba, it was made a requirement that on baptism records from 1840 forward that grandparents should be captured in the record. Women’s names were always captured in their maiden names which then makes it easy to find them in the marriage books which always includes parents. This also included those that were enslaved. The only time they did not capture parents is if you were from Africa or you were brought from another island and didn’t speak the language. Spain was different than England because they believed that Africans were people and that they had rights too. So as a person that was enslaved, you could sue your owner or even purchase your own freedom. You were also permitted to marry and married couple children could not be sold off to another owner. Just some really strange differences yet they kept people enslaved. Oh and the other thing was that you could be enslaved and marry someone who was free. And thank you so much! I was able to find one set of parents so far due to what the records stated. You can gain hints though records at times on where to look next.

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  3. Hi! Fortunately, the island was Roman Catholic under Spain’s rule and they would permit other religions onto the island to reside. This work to the benefit of those who are researching as Roman Catholic records were very detailed. The religion also required that those enslaved be baptized and unlike England, Spain believe that those enslaved were humans and they actually had rights although they were still enslaved and mistreated.

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