I remember but little of what my granny Amparo would tell me about her mamá, Maximina Rosado Rivera. She only told me that she had died when she was small, so I assumed that she had passed away between 1905 and 1910. Since my relatives said that they were from the town of Ciales, I began sending letters to the demographic records office of that town. At that time, there were no such resources as Family Search, which we now have; you had to go to the town. When I showed up at the demographic records office in Ciales in 1988, they recognized me right away and let me go in and see the books. The woman who attended me told me, when I introduced myself, “Your great-grandmother wanted you to come and find her.” Not more than 20 minutes had gone by when I found her death certificate. There appeared her children, including my granny Amparo, who was only five years of age when her mother passed away.
It was a marvelous day! I was able to share the find with my granny, who died a short time later.
With that information, I was able to seal my dear granny Amparo to her mama, Maximina, to her father, Manuel Ralat, and to her grandparents, José Rosado & Juliana Rivera and Manuel Relat & Francisca García, in the temple. It was a sweet and beautiful experience in the temple. But after that, I found nothing further and thought that I had reached a dead end, so I concentrated on other relatives, hoping that the Lord would help me to find more information. For years, I was looking. I went through several towns on the island, and I found a lot of information about her children and family, but I was always thinking about her, about getting to know more regarding her family.
At the beginning of 2011, while I was looking through a book of births in Ciales on the microfiches, I stumbled across a name, Carlos Santos Rosado. I didn’t look over the document immediately, but something told me to go back. When I went back to the document, I saw that his mother was Eufemia Rosado Rivera, and his maternal grandparents were José Rosado and Juliana Rivera, natives of Corozal. I had found a sister of Maximina, her husband, and a nephew! This awakened in me the desire to find more about their family. Later, after looking for more information about the rest of the family, I decided to go back and look for information on her.
For two years I was trying to go directly to the parish in the town of Corozal, since she had manifested in a baptism document for one of her children that she was a native of Corozal; some problem always turned up to keep me from going to that town. Looking on FamilySearch did me no good, since her birth date was before 1880, the date in which the Civil Records Office began in Puerto Rico. My husband took vacations, and when he asked me what I wanted to do, I said, “Though it may rain or there may be thunder, I want to go to Corozal.” So on 20 July, with a tropical storm and all, that had Puerto Rico covered with water, we went to visit the little town. We arrived without difficulties, even in the midst of the downpour. I went with the understanding that if we didn’t find anything, I was not going to let myself be disappointed, and that any information I might receive was extra earnings.
We arrived in the town, and the public parking lot that is always full was empty, plus it was free, for they were remodeling the town’s plaza. We headed to the parish, and the office was open. The parish priest was a very kind young man; he was there, and he took care of me. I offered the deacon in charge of the office the information I had about my great-grandmother, and he told me to take a seat and wait. After five minutes he showed me a page in a book and said to me, “Look, here it is.” He started reading, though with great difficulty, and I asked him to let me see the book, that I could read what the document said. It was funny, because he would show me the book but wouldn’t let me touch it. I nearly jumped for all the excitement. I felt like a little girls in an amusement park. I felt quite a bit like crying, but I didn’t want anyone to see me and laugh.
Finally he came out of the tiny office and sat at my side with the book. How exciting! I was able to read the entire document, and a few minutes later I left with a copy, certified and signed by the parish priest, of the baptismal document of my great-grandmother. Her name was María Maximina Rosado Rivera, born in Bayamón on 16 March 1871, and she was baptized in Corozal on 16 April 1871. Her parents were José Ramón Rosado Adorno and Juliana Rivera. And the document included her paternal grandparents and maternal grandmother, whom I had not known of. I left that town very happy.
It took me some twenty years to find more information about her and to find her grandparents. Obviously, I have many more questions to answer than before. The Corozal parish documents have not been microfilmed, for this has not been allowed, but I know that I can go to the parish and gradually obtain more information. I also know that I can look for information in the town of Bayamón, which is indeed microfilmed.
To sum it up, I have keys with which to increase my search for her family. I know that if I persevere, the Lord will provide the way to get to all those relatives whom I have not been able to discover and who are desirous to receive the ordinances of the holy temple.
María Díaz de Pomales
Former family history director
San Juan Stake