It always pays to review records over and over again. There are sometimes hints in the records that we may have missed on numerous occasions. This was actually the case when I looked at the records years ago and even in reviewing them recently as I was documenting children records. In my prior post about Francisca Silveria de la Cruz Prieto, I never noticed that one of her sister’s death records provided a hint that I had missed multiple times. This is a warning to all that even though you may think you know the record, it pays to take more than one or twice.
In Francisca’s sister’s record, Juana, it stated that her parents had passed away in Trujillo Bajo. The record also stated that the father was deceased and the mother widowed. I knew that this had to occurred prior to 1885 as they could not be located in the Civil Registration records. In addition, another hint I missed was that the record stated that they were not from Gurabo but from Turabo in the same province. In other words, they were originally from Carolina and not from Gurabo. This potentially makes sense since most of the family, minus Francisca, all lived in Carolina. It could be that Francisca moved to Quebrada Negrito to be with her husband’s family, the Delgado family.
So after going through over 900 digitized images, I first came across Juan Silverio de la Cruz Arroyo’s death record and it was loaded with information. First, he died on October 9th, 1878. In the record it states that he was the widow of Teresa Prieto and he was the legitimate child of Juan de la Cruz and Juana Arroyo. It also states that he was 70 years of age. This means that he was born around 1808. This makes sense since his daughter Juana, who died in 1902, is listed at being 65 years of age and that makes her being born in 1837. So he was about 29 years old when his daughter was born. Here is where one of my surprises come in.
In Juana’s death record, it states that he was deceased but that her mother was widowed. In other words, her mother was still alive in 1902. Yet, when I read his death record, it states that she is deceased prior to him. Did the priest get it wrong or did the register of the record get it wrong? The next surprise is that I always thought they were from Gurabo. However, another inspection of Juana’s death record reveals that she was from Turabo and so were her parents. So being that Turabo and Gurabo are only off by one letter, I suspect that someone got it wrong when they claim that the parents were from Gurabo.
In addition, I think I may have found his grandparents in the Caguas books but will remain silent on it until I can confirm. If it turns out to be the same line, I think I’m going to be shocked when I do my Delgado line which is also of African roots. The last thing that caught me off guard is that I always knew they had 4 daughters. However, I was not expecting to find a son in the death books. Sure enough, Juan and Teresa had a son named Marcelino who died on May 23, 1871. The record states that Marcelino was an adult, single, and about 14 years of age.
Adult and 14 years old is something I constantly saw in the record. In today’s world you have to ask yourself how can you consider a 14 years old boy an adult? Boys at that age do plenty of dumb stuff. I can’t image a boy of 14 years of age during the 1800’s being a man. If we evolve with each generation and we see 14 years old boys getting into trouble, I can only image back then what the heck they’d get themselves into.
So I went as far back as 1850 looking through death records and could not find Teresa Prieto as deceased. This means that she may not have died during this era. So my next guess is to search for her after 1885 as that is the only place to look for her. She may have or may not have died after 1902 if I am to believe her daughter’s death record. I will have to find her before I continue down the de la Cruz line.