Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Branches: 5 April 1798 - The death of Cristobal Sotomayor Hernandez

One of the features that Reunion (my genealogy program) has upon opening is a small window that lists whatever events occurred on this day; this particular one happened 213 years ago.

One of the persons listed was Cristobal Sotomayor Hernandez, born in 1768 in the town of San Sebastian del Pepino and who died on 5 April 1798, in Quebrada Grande, Moca.  He married Manuela Lorenzo de Acevedo y Diaz on 8 Jan 1777 in Moca. She's my GGGG grandaunt, daughter of Capt. Juan Lorenzo de Acevedo & Martina Diaz de la Cruz, my 5th Greatgrandparents.

Cristobal was the son of Cristobal de Sotomayor and Rufina Hernandez, born sometime in the 1740s. His parents married in Arecibo, yet his father Cristobal was born in San Sebastian del Pepino (then a ward under the subdivision of Aguada), and his wife Rufina, in Aguada. This is a lot of ground to cover early in the 18th century, and probably involved sailing from one coastal point to another and riding inland. During this period, several Sotomayor clusters existed between Aguada and Arecibo/ Utuado area, possibly connected to those in San Juan.

Cristobal died young, "Fallecio en el sitio examinando Quebrada Grande" (Died at the site while inspecting Big Creek). Quebrada Grande is one of the branches of the Rio Culebrinas that snakes through a small valley near the present day Carretera 110. This snapshot from Google Maps gives an idea of the landscape.

Either he fell in, fell off his horse, or had a heart attack. He was only 30.
He and his wife had ten children.

Children of Cristobal de Sotomayor & Manuela Gonzalez:
Jose Pablo
Juana Maria

They may appear as Soto Acevedo in records for Moca or San Sebastian, rather than Sotomayor y Lorenzo de Acevedo. Cristobal appears as Sotomayor Hernandez in one record and Soto Hernandez in another.  However, I haven't located additional records on their children yet, and imagine some of them lived into the 1850s and perhaps beyond. 

Cristobal had a brother Mauricio Sotomayor, who was born in Arecibo. Mauricio married Maria Manuela Gonzalez Serrano. Their daughter, Maria de las Flores Sotomayor Gonzalez, wed Agustin Vera de la Rosa. For some reason, their identification changes from 'blancos' to 'pardos libres' to 'blancos' between the parish death records for their children. Previously, Maria de las Flores Sotomayor was incorrectly linked to another Mauricio Sotomayor Velez and his wife Maria Manuela Gonzalez y Ortiz de la Renta, which appears in Ramirez Brau's Origenes Portorriquenos.  By cross referencing the available information, I was able to determine that this was the wrong Maurico Soto and Manuela Gonzalez.  Still, they're probably cousins.

Herman Reichard Sapia, Sotomayor Notebooks, unpublished manuscript, courtesy Dr. Haydee Reichard
Mabel Ruiz Sotomayor & Juan Sotomayor, "Notas sobre Cristobal Sotomayor [1763]" Unpublished transcription of parish records, ca. 1980. 
Record transcriptions of San Sebastian marriages by Luis Moreno Perez & Francisco Corretjer MD
Andres Mendez Munoz MD, “Pobladores de San Francisco de la Aguada para comienzos del siglo XVIII.” Hereditas, 4:1 (Abril 2003), 55-71.
Generoso Eduardo Morales Munoz, Fundacion del Pueblo de Lares: anotaciones al expediente. San Juan: Imprentas Venezuela, 1946.
Enrique Ramirez Brau, Origenes Portorriquenos. San Juan: Impresas Baldrich, 1942.


Antonio de Sotomayor said...

Hello Ellen,
Upon reading your blog again I noticed something about Cristóbal Sotomayor's (bc.1740) birth place. He was born in San Sebastián, however, SS did not exist as a town back in the 1740s. It would be more accurate to say that he was born in the Pepino region of the Villa de Aguada. I've been reading Benjamín Nieves Acevedo's "Historia de Aguada: siglos XVI-XIX" and getting a better idea of the early life of these Sotomayor and other families in the area.
A de .S.

Ellen Fernandez-Sacco said...

Hi Antonio,
Thanks so much for your comment-- I'll amend the page. I haven't found a concrete date of founding for San Sebastian just yet. If you read Walter Cardona Bonet's San Sebastian: Notas para su historia, on page 19, an 1820 account notes, "Este pueblo se fundo en el ano 1767. No existe la orden de su fundacion. Puede hallarse en Aguada de done se extrajo esta parte de territorio." That's a year before the birth of Cristobal Sotomayor Hernandez. Permission to establish the town was given in 1752, and a church built a bit later, 1759. There's a distinction made between the birth place of his parents, with Rufina Hernandez as from Aguada, and Cristobal Sotomayor from Pepino. According to Cardona Bonet, Pepino had a good size population early on, so you'll get an idea of daily life of the era from his book as well.

Anonymous said...

I am a Babilonia too from PR. My mother was the daughter of Pedro Babilonia (from Moca,PR) and Reina Garcia. My grandmother died when my mother was 11 years old and my grandfather hanged himself one month after my mother married my dad. Apparently he never got over the loss of his wife(my grandmother). My mother was in complete awe when she saw the photo that you posted of the Babilonia male next to the banana plant because he looks exactly like her father did. They must be related! My email address is elynuhbs@yahoo.com in case you would like to share more information about our relatives the Babilonias. Thanks for posting this!

Eggy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ray said...

Hi Ellen,

My name is Raymond Ortiz Sotomayor. I have traced my Sotomayor roots back to Aguada. My greatx3 grandfather, Ruperto Sotomayor, was the one from Aguada. Do you have any information that can shed some light on my search? If not, can you direct me to an appropriate source? Thank you.

Raymond Ortiz Sotomayor

Ellen Fernandez-Sacco said...

Ray, please contact me so we can compare notes. I don't have a Ruperto from Aguada, but a Roberto. There are many Sotomayor branches and I've worked on compiling quite a few of them. Hope to hear from you soon,

Teresa Vega said...

Ellen- I found your blog by chance. My paternal grandmother"s family is from Aguada. I have two 5th great- grandmothers , Francisca Soto (married to Pedro roman) and Felipa Soto (married to Vicente Arroyo Perez) from 2 different Soto lines. I was wondering if you have come across them before. Francisca"s daughter, my 4th ggm, was Francisca Roman Soto (1799-1849) and felipa's daughter, also my 4th ggm, was Rafaela Arrotyo Soto (1799-1875). I have just started researching my Soto ancestors so any input you can give would be appreciated. I can be reached at VegaTeresaA@gmail.com


Ellen Fernandez-Sacco said...

Dear Teresa,
Thanks for your note. I have done some research on the Sotomayors, but as you probably know, there are many lines and also a serious gap in records for the early 19th century. You may want to join a group I co-moderate, Sociedad Ancestros Mocanos on Yahoo Groups, perhaps others may have more information. It's been around since 2005 and has some 179 members. While it was extremely active at one point, it is still going.

Aguada itself has changed over the centuries, from a large portion of the island down to the municipio it is today. Have you already exhausted searching the Civil Registration on FamilySearch.org? These begin in 1885 and there are people who were born early in the 19th century in the death records. After that it's parish records, which are restricted access and cannot be reviewed by researchers, but one can order certificates for a fee (works if you have the dates already). There are some transcriptions and lists in Hereditas, the journal of the Sociedad Puertorriquena de Genealogia for early NW PR records. If you find a degree of consanguinity listed and the marriage is after 1840, you might obtain copies of the dispensa from the Archivo Diocesano in San Juan, also for a fee.

What's potentially problematic, is that these names repeat frequently in the Sotomayor/ Soto line. For example, I have 92 people with Soto in their surnames (maternal and paternal) named Francisco in my database, 47 women named Francisca, all different dates. These were very popular name in various Soto/Sotomayor lines. Also there's a lot o