Sunday, January 12, 2014

52 Ancestors – #2 Jean Charles Gustave (1819-1891)

This second post will be about a challenging ancestor of mine who I have mentioned a lot before but I
want to dedicate a post to him since he has been a troubling ancestor to pinpoint. This post will be about my 4th great grandfather Jean Charles Gustave.

Jean Charles Gustave has been very elusive since the first moment I set eyes on his name in a birth certificate of his grandchild, Julio Correa Gustavo (my 2nd great grandfather). When Jean Charles was registered in Puerto Rico with his wife, he was registered as living in Fajardo, Puerto Rico as a "domestico" from Martinique, married, and 55 years old. They were registered on the 30th of May 1874 as domiciled in Fajardo but were still French subjects. In his registration his name became "Juan Carlos Gustavo" and in subsequent documents his name remained in the Spanish form. Yet every time Jean Charles Gustave signed his name in documents he consistently used the French form of his name.

Jean Charles Gustave's Signature

We also know that by the time he was registered in 1874, he was already living at least 7 years in Puerto Rico because his first child and my 3rd great grandmother, María Paulina Gustavo Lotten, was born in 1867 on the island of Vieques, a municipal of Puerto Rico. Jean Charles and his wife "Juliana Balbina Lotten" who I later came to learn was Julienne Malvina Lautin, a native from Rivière Salée, Martinique had 7 children (to date) that I know of. I've decided to use the surnames "Gustavo Lotten" because it is the most similar to its original form, Gustave Lautin. There have been many variations of both surnames used throughout documents and the family eventually switched over to the surname "Charles". Here are the children in order:

1) María Paulina Gustavo Lotten 1867 – 1948
2) Tomás Octavio Gustavo Lotten 1869 – 1957
3) Valentina Gustavo Lotten 1878? – 1938
4) Areopajita Gustavo Lotten 1879 – 1900
5) Dionisio Gustavo Lotten 1880 – 18??
6) Alberto Fermin Gustavo Lotten 1882 – 1953
7) Martina Isabel Gustavo Lotten 1886 – 1888

Gustave Lautin Family

I have been able to track five out of the seven children from the Gustave Lautin line but I don't know what ever happened to Dionisio and Martina Isabel. Dionisio was born in Fajardo while Martina Isabel was born in Santa Isabel yet they never appear in census records and I have not found death records for them yet.

Something very interesting that I have noticed (and probably literally just right now), is that the family has always stuck by the ocean. For whatever reason, in whatever town they lived in, it was always by the coast. Vieques, Fajardo, Santa Isabel, Salinas, Guánica, Ponce – all coastal towns of Puerto Rico. Jean Charles Gustave was a carpenter by trade, so wouldn't he have found better work in San Juan? The family would later become fishermen with some carpenters here and there but I think it's interesting that they were always near water (most of their children and grandchildren were born in parts of the town called "playa" – in Santa Isabel, Ponce, and Salinas). Could Jean Charles Gustave originated from a coastal town in Martinique?

Despite knowing where Jean Charles Gustave has lived I have yet to find his death certificate. I know that his death had to have taken place between November 1887 – August 1891, with the help of his grandchildren's records. The question is where?! This span of 4 years is a pretty small gap to look for someone yet I have had no luck finding his death record in Salinas, Yauco/Guánica or Ponce (I'll be double checking again shortly!)

Jean Charles Gustave always seemed to me to be of a créole background for various reasons. 1) He didn't appear in the Actes D'individualités in Martinique – This could mean he was born free or freed before 1848. 2) He was able to sign his name in 1885 – which I think is a big feat for a black man in the mid-1800s from a colonial island. 3) His wife was much younger than him which makes me think she married "up" for a better life – either love brought them together or his status did.

After researching the Gustave line for quite a while, I was able to find a cousin who shared a connection with me. Her great grandfather, Alberto Fermin, and my 3rd great grandmother, María Paulina, were brothers and sisters. This 3rd cousin, 2x removed is more connected to the Charles family and thus was able to find a male descendant of Jean Charles Gustave who was willing to take a Y-DNA test to figure out our Martinican male haplogroup.

I was able to get a Y-DNA test through FTDNA from a 2nd cousin, 3x removed, the grandson of Alberto Fermin Gustavo Lotten. I was very excited when the results started coming in this week. I was caught between hoping it was an African haplogroup and a European haplogroup, but my gut feeling was that it would come back European – due to the créole theory. The group came back R-M269 (shorthand) also known as R1b1a2, which turns out to be part of one of the biggest European haplogroups. Hopefully I'll be able to pinpoint a surname through FTDNA which would give me a clue for my male ancestor in Martinique!

Haplogroup R1b Distribution [Wikipedia]

Take a look at this new blog post called "A New Piece to the Puzzle! The Jean Charles Gustave Mystery Continues…" with some new information regarding my 4th great grandfather!

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