The Genealogy and Family History of the Aponte’s
in Eighteenth-Century Coamo
Anyone who has traced a family history in Puerto Rico back to the eighteenth century knows how difficult it can be to reconstruct genealogies during this period. At some time or another many of us have run into brick walls in our research because of the absence of demographic (census) records and the scarcity of parish (baptismal, marriage, and death) registers. This is especially true of rural communities, such as Coamo. However, recent scholarship has increased both our knowledge and understanding of the economic, political, and social history of particular families in this community; most notably the Colón de Torres. Notwithstanding, we know very little about other prominent families living in the area at that time, such as the Apontes. With this in mind, I reconstruct the genealogy and family history of the Apontes in eighteenth-century Coamo.
The strategy I have adopted is as follows. First, I will examine the family’s seventeenth-century origins. Second, I will elucidate the relationship among the various Aponte families in Coamo during the initial decades of the eighteenth century, with particular attention devoted to don Nicolás de Aponte and Juan de Aponte Díaz. Not only were they two of Coamo’s leading citizens, but more importantly the ancestors of many Apontes throughout the island. Finally, I will discuss the Aponte’s economic activities within the broader framework of south-central Puerto Rico. As a result, students of the island’s colonial past will come away with a better understanding of the Aponte’s genealogy and the family’s role in the economic, political, and social life of eighteenth-century Coamo.
Origins of the Aponte Family in Coamo
The earliest record of the Aponte’s presence in Coamo was in 1616. In that year, Melchor de Aponte was listed as one of 40 vecinos, or heads of household, residing in that community who petitioned authorities in San Juan to pay the salaries of both the parish priest and the sacristan from royal funds. No additional information is known about Melchor de Aponte. Nevertheless, I suspect that he most likely is the ancestor of future generations of individuals bearing the Aponte surname living in the area. Later in the seventeenth century, we find Nicolás de Aponte and Lucas de Aponte listed among the founding members of the religious confraternity established in honor of Nuestra Señora de Valvanera in 1685. Nicolás and Lucas de Aponte probably died at some point in the years between 1685 and 1700 because neither appears in the militia muster rolls compiled for Coamo by Puerto Rico’s governor Gabriel Gutiérrez de Riva in 1700. There is only one person with the Aponte surname listed in the militia muster rolls for Coamo in 1700 and this was Juan de Aponte Ramos, who will be discussed later. Although Nicolás and Lucas de Aponte were not listed in the Coamo militia muster rolls, there was a Nicolás who is mentioned in Coamo’s oldest surviving parish baptismal register dating from the years 1701 through 1722. It is not clear whether the Nicolás listed in the 1685 document was the same Nicolás mentioned in the Coamo baptismal register. If so, why is he not listed in the militia muster rolls? I suspect that these were two different individuals with the same name and may have been a father and son.
Aponte Families in Eighteenth-Century Coamo
An examination of the oldest baptismal register in Coamo reveals the existence of at least four different families with the Aponte surname during the years 1701 through 1722.
I. don Nicolás de Aponte married to doña Ana de Matos Collazo.
IIa. Juan de Aponte Bayron and Mariana de la Vega
IIb. Juan de Aponte Bayron married to doña Juana Colón.
III. Juan de Aponte Díaz married to doña Petrona de Rivera Colón.
IV. Juan de Aponte Ramos married to Ana de Alvarado.
Future generations of Apontes in Coamo and in neighboring communities very likely descend from one or more of these families. Let us take a closer look at the relationship among these families, their respective children, and descendants.
I. Descendants of don Nicolás de Aponte and doña Ana de Matos Collazo
I have identified at least three children born to don Nicolás de Aponte and doña Ana de Matos
1. Leonor was baptized on August 12, 1703 in Coamo, with the parish priest Juan de Cádiz y
Figueroa serving as godfather. Leonor married don Tomás Ramos and lived in Guayama,
where don Tomás died in March of 1754. We know that Leonor was still alive in 1770, at
which time a slave that she owned died. Leonor and don Tomás had two children named
Pedro and Bernarda (possibly married to Juan de la Rosa Rivera).
2. Nicolás was baptized on July 8, 1707 in Coamo, with the parish sacristan Francisco (Luciano)
de Mujica serving as godfather. Nicolás married doña María Apolonia Fernández, daughter of
don Domingo Fernández de Silva and doña Juana de Villegas, on February 1, 1730 in San
at the time of her marriage in 1730; her first husband was don Andrés Dávila Saldaña. Nicolás
died on November 16, 1782 in Cayey at the age of 76. He was a widower at the time of his
death. Nicolás and doña María Apolonia were the parents of Egidio (married first to doña Ana
Pacheco, whose parents were probably Juan Morales Lebrón and doña Ana Pacheco, and
second to doña Lucía de Rivera, whose parents were probably don Tomás de Rivera and doña
Ana de Burgos) and Domingo (married to doña Bacilia Colón, whose parents were probably
don Blas Colón de Torres and doña Petronila Meléndez de Rivera).
3. Domingo Romualdo was baptized on February 24, 1710 in Coamo, with the parish priest Juan
Collazo de Torres and Estebanía de Rivera serving as godparents. Domingo married doña
Constanza de Rivera, daughter of Manuel de Rivera and Ursula de Torres, and died on
December 23, 1780 in Coamo. Doña Constanza was baptized on October 18, 1708 in
Coamo, with Francisco Morales and Ana Matos serving as godparents, and died on January
22, 1782 in Coamo. Domingo and Constanza had the following children: Eduardo (married
first to Estebanía de Rivera “Irlanda” and, second to doña Francisca Colón, whose parents
were don Blas Colón and doña Lucía Colón); Clemente (married to doña María Matías Colón
de Luyando, whose parents were probably don Gregorio Colón de Luyando and doña Andrea
de Aponte); and Andrés (married to Juana de Rivera, whose parents were probably don Tomás
de Rivera and doña Ana de Burgos).
4. Margarita was born prior to 1701 and she was married to Dámaso Ramos.
Descendants of Dámaso Ramos and doña Margarita de Aponte may have adopted the compound surname of Aponte Ramos--not to be confused with the descendants of Juan de Aponte Ramos and Ana de Alvarado, who will be discussed later--and, at times, dropped the Aponte, retaining Ramos as their surname. Dámaso Ramos and doña Margarita de Aponte had the following children: don José (probably married to doña Francisca López), doña Juana (married to don Antonio Morales Lebrón, whose parents were don Francisco Morales Lebrón and doña Ana Colón), doña Margarita (married to Bernardino Berríos, whose parents were don Felipe Berríos and doña Serafina Cintrón Aponte), don Gregorio (married to doña María Berrios, whose parents were don Felipe Berríos and doña Serafina Cintrón Aponte). Other possible children of Dámaso Ramos and doña Margarita de Aponte include, don Pascual (married to doña Rosalía Lebrón, whose parents may have been Andrés Lebrón Quiñones and doña Juana de Aponte), and don Tomás (married to doña Margarita Ortiz).
The marriage of don Nicolás de Aponte and doña María Apolonia Fernández in 1730 provides insight into the relationship between Nicolás de Aponte, married to doña Ana de Matos Collazo, and Juan de Aponte Díaz, married to doña Petrona de Rivera Colón. The entry in the San Juan marriage register listed the groom’s father’s name as don Nicolás de Aponte Díaz. Thus, it appears very likely that don Nicolás de Aponte (the groom’s father) and Juan de Aponte Díaz were siblings.
I suspect that don Nicolás de Aponte and Juan de Aponte Díaz had additional siblings, including doña Juana de Aponte, who was married to Andrés Lebrón Quiñones. However, the identity of doña Juana de Aponte is not clear because there was another doña Juana de Aponte, married to Antonio Lebrón Quiñones. My impression is that doña Juana de Aponte, married to Andrés Lebrón Quiñones, was a sister to don Nicolás de Aponte and Juan de Aponte Díaz, whereas doña Juana de Aponte, married to Antonio Lebrón Quiñones, may have been a daughter of don Nicolás de Aponte and doña Ana de Matos Collazo. Finally, it is not known if Andrés and Antonio Lebrón Quiñones were brothers, or if they were father and son who married different women with an identical name.
We do know that don Nicolás de Aponte was one of Coamo’s military and political leaders in the early-eighteenth century. On the one hand, don Nicolás held the military rank of teniente, or lieutenant, in 1701 and by 1703 he had been promoted to capitán, or captain, a rank he continued to hold in 1707, 1710, and 1717. On the other hand, don Nicolás was Coamo’s teniente a guerra, or all-encompassing civil and military authority, in 1712. Because it was customary for political leadership of a community to change hands at the time a new governor assumed office, or through death of the incumbent, it is plausible that don Nicolás had been teniente a guerra for several years prior to this date.
IIa. Descendants of Juan de Aponte Bayron and Mariana de la Vega
Juan de Aponte Bayron and Mariana de la Vega only had one child.
1. Cayetano was baptized on May 28, 1712 in Coamo, with Manuel de la Vega and Elena de
Rivera serving as godparents. No additional information is known.
IIb. Descendants of Juan de Aponte Bayron and doña Juana Colón
Juan de Aponte Bayron and doña Juana Colón had at least seven children.
1. Ana was baptized on May 12, 1715 in Coamo, with Gregorio Sánchez and Juana Sánchez
serving as godparents. Ana married don Bernabé Colón, son of don Antonio Colón de Torres
and doña María de Rivera y Aponte, and together they lived in Guayama.
2. Nicolás, was baptized on December 19, 1716 in Coamo, with José de Santiago serving as
godfather. No additional information is known.
3. María was baptized on July 27, 1718 in Coamo, with Antonia Sánchez serving as godmother.
No additional information is known.
4. Feliciana was baptized on June 20, 1720 in Coamo, with Francisco Bermúdez serving as
godfather. I suspect that Feliciana married Gregorio Ortiz and lived in Coamo.
5. Sebastián was born after 1722 and died on March 30, 1791 in Coamo. He was married to
Juana Berríos, who died on August 21, 1799 in Coamo at the age of 82. Sebastián and Juana
were the parents of the following children: Juan (married to Marcelina de Torres, whose
parents were Francisco Torres and Seberina de Torres), Luis (married to María de los Santos
Ortiz, whose parents were don Francisco Ortiz and doña María Negrón), Pedro (married to
María Ortiz, whose parents were Juan Ortiz and Juliana Rodríguez), María Magdalena,
Remigio, Lucía (married to Eusebio Bonilla, whose parents were Juan Bonilla and Agueda
Rodríguez), Manuel, Ursula, and José María (married to Estebanía Ortiz, whose parents were
Juan Ortiz and Juliana Rodríguez).
6. Jacinta was born after 1722 and died on May 31, 1791 in Coamo. She was married to
Juan de Aponte Bayron and doña Juana Colón may also have been the parents of María (married to Juan de Mata Díaz, whose parents were don Juan de Mata Díaz and doña Gregoria Colón de Torres) and Vicente de Aponte (married to Teresa de Rivera). No additional information is known about Juan de Aponte Bayron. However, we do know that doña Juana Colón died on July 29, 1776 in Coamo, and was a widow at the time of her death.
III. Descendants of Juan de Aponte Díaz and doña Petrona de Rivera Colón
Juan de Aponte Díaz and doña Petrona de Rivera Colón had five children.
1. Lucía was baptized on December 12, 1713 in Coamo, with Antonio de Rivera and doña
Serafina Colón serving as godparents. Lucía married don José Correa--a native of Arecibo and
in all likelihood a younger son of don Antonio de los Reyes Correa, the famous military
hero and teniente a guerra of Arecibo--in 1729 or 1730. Lucía died on April 10, 1799 in
Arecibo. José died on April 17, 1771 in Arecibo and was the community’s teniente a guerra
at the time of his death. José and Lucía were the parents of the following children: María,
Juana, Fernando (married first to Paula Segarra and second to María Antonia Gandía y Silva),
Manuela, José, Micaela (married to Cayetano Quiñones, whose parents were don Miguel
Martínez de Quiñones and doña Francisca Ortiz de la Renta), Violante, Diego, Nicolás
(married to María Magdalena Alvárez de Molina, whose parents were don Francisco Alvárez
de Molina and doña María Escolástica Correa), Gregoria, Pedro (married to María Ramírez,
whose parents were don Miguel Ramírez and doña Juana de Matos), and Juan.
2. Juan was baptized on January 18, 1717 in Coamo, with the parish priest Juan Collazo de
Torres serving as godfather. Juan pursued a vocation in the Catholic Church and was a
diocesan priest, serving in various parishes throughout the island.
3. Bernardino was baptized on April 29, 1718 in Coamo, with the parish priest Juan Collazo de
Torres and doña María de Rivera Colón serving as godparents. Bernardino married twice;
first to doña Sebastiana de la Rosa and second to doña Bernardina Ortiz. On the one hand,
Bernardino and Sebastiana had at least two children: a daughter named María, who was
baptized on January 19, 1750 in San Juan, with don Tomás Dávila serving as godfather; and a
son named Vicente, who died on May 11, 1770 in San Juan. On the other hand,
Bernardino and Bernardina had at least one child, named Micaela, who was baptized on
October 14, 1757 in San Juan, with don Domingo Aponte serving as godfather. Bernardino
was active in San Juan’s political affairs, serving as its alcalde, or mayor, on three occasions in
1755, 1758, and 1778. In 1780, he was also appointed to a governmental commission
created by governor José Dufrense, which was entrusted with the redistribution of unused
lands within the vicinity of Guayama as part of agrarian reforms undertaken to alleviate the
unequal distribution of landholdings among island inhabitants. Bernardino died on
September 27, 1786 in San Juan.
4. José was baptized on November 22, 1722 in Coamo, with don Antonio Rodríguez and doña
Josefa de Torres serving as godparents. José married doña Manuela Ortiz (de la Renta), who
may have been the daughter of don José Ortiz de la Renta and doña Florencia de Santiago.
Manuela died on November 16, 1818 in Humacao at the age of 76. José and Manuela were the
parents of Gregoria and Gerónimo, both baptized in Guayama between 1746 and 1763.
Gerónimo married Paula Carmona, whose parents were Pedro Carmona and Ana María
5. Paula was born after 1722 and married twice: first to don Dámaso Ramos, who died on
January 26, 1759 in Guayama and whom I suspect was the son of don Dámaso Ramos and
doña Margarita de Aponte; second to don Juan García. Paula died on October 28, 1765 in
Juan de Aponte Díaz was also active in Coamo’s militia. Various entries in that comunity’s oldest baptismal register list his militia rank as that of capitán in 1715, 1716, 1717, and 1718. No additional information is known.
Doña Petrona de Rivera Colón died on January 28, 1763 in San Juan, and was a widow at the time of her death. Based upon an examination of godparent selection patterns in Coamo during the years 1701 through 1722, I have come to suspect that the parents of doña Petrona de Rivera Colón were Antonio de Rivera and doña Ana de Santiago. This hypothesis is predicated on the fact that it was common in eighteenth-century Puerto Rico for a father and daughter as well as for a mother and son to be paired together as baptismal sponsors. By examining the baptismal entries in which Antonio de Rivera served as a godparent, we see that he was paired with his wife doña Ana de Santiago on nine occasions and once each with doña Petrona de Rivera, doña Serafina Colón, and doña María de Rivera. Godparent selection patterns lead me to believe that Antonio de Rivera and doña Ana de Santiago were the parents of doña Petrona de Rivera Colón (married to Juan de Aponte Díaz), doña Serafina Colón (married to Francisco de Alvarado), and doña María de Rivera. Colón. Moreover, the similarity of surnames hints at the possibility that doña Lucía de Rivera Colón (married to Antonio Rodríguez de Berríos) and Cristóbal de Rivera Adornio (married to doña Juana de Aponte Colón) were also descended from Antonio de Rivera and doña Ana de Santiago.
IV. Descendants of Juan de Aponte Ramos and Ana de Alvarado
Juan de Aponte Ramos and Ana de Alvarado had at least three children.
1. Juan was baptized on April 24, 1710 in Coamo, with Antonio Rodríguez and doña Josefa de
Torres serving as godparents. Juan was married to doña María Cintrón, who died on March
29, 1750 in Guayama at the approximate age of 38. They were the parents of: María
(possibly married to Manuel Colón, whose parents likely were don Manuel Colón de Torres
and doña Apolonia Ortiz), Inés Aponte Ramos (married to José de Rivera, whose parents were
Manuel de Rivera and doña María de Torres), Juan (probably married to doña Micaela Rivera),
and Eugenio de Aponte (married to María Josefa de Santiago, whose parents were don Juan de
Santiago and doña María de Gracia de Santiago).
2. José was baptized on August 26, 1712 in Coamo, with Ignacio Pérez de Luna and doña Josefa
de Torres serving as godparents. José was probably married to doña Marcelina Ortiz Montes.
They had the following children: Andrés, Juan, María, Julián, Juan, Eusebio, Francisco, all of
whom were baptized in Guayama between the years 1746 and 1763.
3. Francisca was baptized on October 4, 1714 in Coamo, with Luis Colón de Torres and his wife
Juana Feliciana serving as godparents. No additional information is known.
Juan de Aponte Ramos was the teniente a guerra of Coamo in 1757 and thus among the community’s most influential and prominent citizens. This hypothesis is also confirmed by the fact that Juan and Ana’s eldest son, also named Juan, was teniente a guerra of Guayama in 1749 and 1750. No additional information is known.
The Aponte’s Role in South-Central Puerto Rico’s
Eighteenth-Century Agricultural Economy
Located along Puerto Rico’s southern coast, Coamo dates back to 1579, when a group of San Germán’s leading citizens migrated east and founded a new settlement, the island’s third. Coamo’s population, along with that of the rest of the island, grew slowly and unevenly over the course of the seventeenth century. The number of vecinos in Coamo gradually increased from 30 in 1579 to 40 in 1616 and then jumped to 100 by 1646 before declining to about 80 households in 1680. By the year 1700, the number of households had increased substantially to approximately 131, with about 1,000 total inhabitants living in and around Coamo. If we assume the proportion of slaves baptized in Coamo during the years 1701 through 1722--amounting to 23 percent--accurately reflects the proportion of slaves in the community, then the slave population in 1700 probably numbered around 230.
Restrictive Spanish trade policies throughout the seventeenth and much of the eighteenth century dictated that all official trade be conducted through one port, San Juan. For island residents living along the southern coastline, who wished to sell their goods abroad, this meant the costly and difficult task of transporting them overland or by sea to San Juan. The collapse of legal trade in the years 1625 through 1650, along with the island’s geographic proximity to its non-Hispanic neighbors, left residents of Coamo and the surrounding countryside with no other choice but to participate in the contraband trade. By the end of the seventeenth century, illicit trade was openly conducted along the island’s southern coastline. Inhabitants of Coamo traded tobacco with the Dutch, dyewoods with the British, and ginger (later coffee) with the Danish. In this way, Coamo gradually emerged as the agricultural and economic hub for south-central and eastern Puerto Rico.
Coamo was located in the heart of eighteenth-century Puerto Rico’s agricultural belt. The community was tied with Isabela--known then as La Tuna--Ponce, San Germán, and Yauco in 1770 for the island lead in the production of cotton. Far more lucrative was the cultivation of tobacco, which was grown in large quantities. During the mid-eighteenth century, Coamo had the highest output of this cash crop on the island. Nevertheless, tobacco (and cotton) declined in the years following 1765 in favor of coffee. Coffee was initially planted in this community when first introduced on the island in 1736, and by 1770 Coamo had emerged as the island leader in the production of this tree crop. Cultivation of coffee was especially concentrated in lands situated between present day Juana Díaz and Santa Isabel, in addition to Salinas, all of which were part of Coamo. Fray Iñigo Abbad y Lasierra (Puerto Rico’s first historian) described Coamo’s agricultural economy as consisting of “ganados, café, alguna porción de tabacco y maiz, que todo pasa al extranjero, con las maderas de sus montes que son muy buenas,: (my translation: “livestock, coffee, some tobacco, and corn, all of which is exported, along with high-quality lumber from the mountainous interior”). As the eighteenth century drew to a close, the agricultural regime intensified, especially in lands situated between Coamo and Yauco. Here, animal husbandry and cattle ranching were often combined with the harvest of dyewoods and timber, or increasingly with the production of cash crops such as cotton, tobacco, and later coffee.
Because these agricultural endeavors were not labor-intensive, few slaves were required and thus slave-holdings in Coamo over the course of the eighteenth century were relatively small. During the years 1701 through 1722, most slave owners in Coamo had two to four slaves. The largest slave holding at that time was that of the community’s teniente a guerra, don Nicolás de Aponte, and consisted of no fewer than 10 slaves. The slave-holdings of two of Aponte’s sons, Nicolás and Domingo, were among the largest in Coamo during the years 1755 through 1780 and consisted of at least 10 and 14 slaves respectively. Moreover, we see various grandchildren of don Nicolás de Aponte, including Egidio de Aponte and Domingo de Aponte, among the largest slave-holders in Cayey after its establishment in 1776 as a separate community from Coamo.
What type of agricultural endeavors did the Apontes engage in during the mid- to late-eighteenth century? We know that they were not among the community’s principal coffee cultivators because the list of Coamo’s seven leading coffee producers in 1770 did not list a single member of the Aponte family. Thus, the Apontes were apparently engaged in some other agricultural pursuit, perhaps raising livestock and/or cultivating tobacco, cotton, or dyewoods and timber. Whatever economic activity the Apontes were involved with, it was practiced on a large scale since it required the use of slave labor. At a time when the ownership of even a single slave represented a considerable investment of scarce capital, the Apontes were among Coamo’s wealthiest families since various individuals, including Domingo and Nicolás de Aponte as well as Juan de Aponte Ramos, owned at least 10 or more slaves during the years 1755 through 1780.
The Aponte family in Coamo dates back to the early-seventeenth century and may have had its origin in Melchor de Aponte. By the initial decades of the eighteenth century, there were several families bearing this surname established in Coamo. Although the relationship among them is not entirely clear, we do know that two brothers, Nicolás de Aponte and Juan de Aponte Díaz, were among the community’s most important residents. Their descendants, along with those of Juan de Aponte Bayron and Juan de Aponte Ramos, were the ancestors of countless individuals throughout the island. Furthermore, the Apontes and their descendants were actively involved in the agricultural economy of south-central Puerto Rico over the course of the eighteenth century
1. Of the twelve tenientes a guerra, or all-encompassing civil and military authorities, identified for Coamo during the eighteenth century, four were members of the Colón de Torres family. For a list of Coamo’s eighteenth-century tenientes a guerra, see Ramón Rivera Bermúdez, Historia de Coamo, la villa añeja, (Coamo: Imprenta Costa Inc., 1980), 175-6 and Coamo: Notas para su historia, (San Juan, 1983), 38-9. For information on the Colón de Torres family, see Edmund Colón Gaulden, Colón Families of the Seventeenth Century in Puerto Rico: Their Roots and Notable Descendants, (Orange, CA, 1988). Also, see David M. Stark, “Las familias Colón en Coamo,” Boletín de la Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Genealogía (hereafter BSPG), IV: 2 (28 de septiembre de 1992): 13-20 and “El expediente de solicitud de merced al Rey de Juan Colón de Torres (1693) como fuente genealógica e histórica,” BSPG, VII:3-4, (octubre de 1995): 9-27.
. See David M. Stark, “Family Life of Slaves in Puerto Rico: Demographic Evidence from the Eighteenth-Century,” PhD. diss., Indiana University, 1999, 84-163 for a discussion of the Aponte’s role in Coamo’s eighteenth-century agricultural economy. For information on the genealogy of the Aponte family in Coamo, see Aníbal López Roig, “Los Aponte de Coamo,” BSPG, X:3-4, (octubre de 1998): 74-93.
. Rivera Bermúdez, 115.
. Ibid, 155.
. David Stark and Teresa de Castro, “The Militia Muster Rolls Compiled by Gabriel Gutiérrez de Riva as Tools for Reconstructing Puerto Rico’s Population in 1700,” BSPG, VIII:1-2, (abril de 1996): 77-114.
. See David M. Stark, Libro primero de bautismos para Coamo, Puerto Rico: 1701-1722, mimeo. 1992 and Teresa de Castro, Iglesia del Valle de San Blas Illescas de Coamo: Libro primero de bautismos, 1701-1722, unpublished manuscript, 1992.
. In this article, I have included any titles of courtesy (don and doña) used as part of an individual’s name. Also, I have standardized the spelling of surnames; for example, Albarado is listed as Alvarado.
. Juan de Aponte Bayron and Mariana de la Vega were not legally married, a fact underscored in the baptismal register, which clearly stated that their son Cayetano was the couple’s natural child, rather than their legitimate son.
. Lorraine de Castro, Entierros en la Parroquia San Antonio de Padua de Guayama: 1746-1781, unpublished manuscript, 1997, folio 16v.
. One of doña Leonor’s slaves also died the previous year in 1769. Ibid, folios 74v and 81.
. Archivo Histórico Arquidiocesano (hereafter AHD), Libro Segundo de Matrimonio, 1723-1748, folio 40v
. I am very grateful to Teresa de Castro for graciously providing me with the date of doña María Apolonia’s baptism, which is found among the uncatalogued archives of the AGPR.
. Primer libro de defunciones de Cayey, 1781-1800, folio 13v.
. I was able to establish that don Domingo de Aponte (married to doña Paula Colón) was the son of don Nicolás de Aponte and doña María Apolonia Villegas because he is listed as don Domingo de Aponte Villegas in the baptismal entry for his goddaughter Ana, the daughter of don Egidio de Aponte and doña Lucía de Rivera, who was baptized on November 26, 1777 in Coamo.
. The parish priest at that time Juan Collazo de Torres and doña Ana de Matos Collazo may have been related. I suspect that Juan Collazo de Torres was a native of the island and that his parents were Juan Collazo and doña Ana Colón de Torres y Meléndez.
. Aníbal López Roig incorrectly identified Domingo de Aponte as the spouse of Antonia de Rivera in his article on the Aponte family of Coamo. López Roig, 79.
. López Roig also incorrectly identified Estebanía de Rivera, as having been from Iceland. She was, in fact, of Irish descent! Op Cit. This is just one of the numerous factual errors which detract from López Roig’s work. The Irish branch of the Rivera family was present in Coamo from at least the first decade of the eighteenth century, since we find Juan de Rivera (Irlanda) and his wife Margarita de los Santos baptizing three infants between the years 1701 and 1722 in Coamo. Juan and Margarita were possibly the parents, or more likely the grandparents of Estebanía de Rivera.
. The marriage of doña Juana and don Antonio Morales Lebrón occurred sometime in 1755, while that of doña Margarita and Bernardino Berríos was celebrated on November 6, 1759. Both marriages took place in Guayama. Personal communication from Father Ricardo Terga, who examined the badly deteriorated marriage registers in the late 1970s. When I examined the Guayama marriage registers in the summer of 1997, they were literally in pieces and illegible.
. Baptismal sponsors selected by don Pascual and don Tomás’s for their respective children suggests that they are descended from Dámaso Ramos and doña Margarita de Aponte.
. This hypothesis is based on the fact that don Nicolás and doña Juana were paired together as the godparents of Juan, the son of Andrés Lebrón Quiñones and doña Juana de Aponte, who was baptized on January 7, 1703 in Coamo.
. See Stark Libro, 130 and Teresa de Castro, 192.
. Rivera Bermúdez, Historia 175.
. The island’s governor at that time was Juan de Ribera, whose term began in 1709 and lasted until 1715.
. Archivo General de Indias (hereafter AGI), Audiencia de Santo Domingo, legajo 2521, “Lista de los ecclesíasticos no parrocos en la ciudad y demás pueblos de la Isla.”
. The entry in the death register lists doña Sebastiana’s surname as “de la Rosa Grajal.” AHD, Libro cuatro de entierros en San Juan, 1769-1777, folio 38v.
. Teresa de Castro, Recopilación de los bautismos de la Catedral de San Juan, Libro 4: 1738-1757, unpublished manuscript, 1999, folios 166 and 294.
. Francisco M. Zeno, La capital de Puerto Rico: Bosquejo histórico, (San Juan: Casa Baldrich, 1948), 102-3.
. See Juana Gil-Bermejo García, Panorama histórico de la agricultura en Puerto Rico, (Seville: Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos, 1970), 273.
. The index for the oldest baptismal register in that community still exists, although the register itself has badly deteriorated and thus is unavailable for consultation. See the Indice del primer libro de bautismos de Guayama, 1746-1763.
. Lorraine de Castro, folio 33v.
. Ibid, 63v.
. AHD, Libro segundo de entierros en San Juan, 1761-1766, folios 70-70v.
. See Stark, Family Life of Slaves in Puerto Rico, 251-311 for additional information on godparent selection practices in eighteenth-century Puerto Rico.
. Antonio de Rivera was selected to be a godparent a total of 20 times in the years 1701 through 1722, and as such he was the most commonly selected individual; a sign of his prestige and prominence within the community.
. The entry for doña María Cintrón’s death in the Guayama death register listed her as originally from Ponce, as having had three natural children named María, Baltasar, and Juan, and that her spouse don Juan Aponte Ramos was teniente y capitán a guerra of Guayama at the time of her death in 1750. See Lorraine de Castro, folio 9.
. Eugenio was baptized in Guayama between the years 1746 and 1763.
. A copy of a land sale mistakenly catalogued in the Protocolos Notariales Ponce-Barranquitas, Otros Funcionarios: 1810-1828, AGPR, ff. 3-6, listed don Juan de Aponte Ramos as Coamo’s teniente a guerra in 1757.
. See Rivera Bermúdez, Historia 45-6.
. Ibid, 114.
. Ibid, 196-9.
. Archivo General de Indias (hereafter AGI), Santo Domingo 2300.
. Fray Iñigo Abbad y Lasierra, (hereafter Fray Iñigo) Historia geográfica, civil y natural de la Isla de San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico, Estudio preliminar de Isabel Gutiérrez de Arroyo, third edition, (Río Piedras: Editorial Universitaria, 1979), 116.
. Ibid, 118.
. Op Cit.
. I have arrived at this number based on the reconstitution of the Coamo baptismal register for the years 1701 through 1722. See Stark, “Sociedad y demografía en el Puerto Rico colonial: el caso de Coamo,” BSPG, IV:4 (21 de diciembre de 1992): 22-37.
. Stark, Esclavos y sus dueños en Puerto Rico a través del siglo XVIII, unpublished manuscript, 1998.
. AGI, Santo Domingo 2300 and also reproduced in Bermejo-García, 192-6