I remember the little my Grandma Ampara told me about her mom, Maximina Rosado Rivera. She only told me that she died when she was young and so I assumed that she had died between 1904 and 1910 since my relatives said that that was when the village of Ciales began to send letters from the village to the office of demographic records. At that time resources such as Family Search did not exist like we have now; you had to go to the villages. When I went to the Ciales demographic records office in 1988 they recognized me immediately and allowed me to enter to see the books. The lady who helped me told me when I introduced myself, “Your great-grandmother wanted you to come to find her.” Twenty minutes hadn’t passed when I found her death certificate. Her children also appeared there including my Grandma Amparo who was only 5 when her mom died. It was a marvelous day! I was able to share what I found with my grandma who died a short time later. With that information I was able to seal my Grandma Amparo to her mom Maximina; to her father, Manuel Ralat; and to her grandparents, José Rosado, Juliana Rivera and Manuel Relat and Francisca García, in the temple. It was a sweet and lovely experience in the temple. But after that I couldn’t find anything else and I thought that I had arrived at a road block. I found myself with the other relatives hoping that the Lord would help me find more information [about her]. For years I went through several of the island villages and found a lot of information about her children and family, but I always thought about her, wanting to know more about her family.
At the beginning of 2011, while I was going over a book of Ciales births in the microfilms, I came across a name, Carlos Santos Rosado. I didn’t look at the document immediately since her first name wasn’t Rosado and so I turned the page, but something told me to return. When I returned 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 a desire to find out more about her family. After continuing my search for more information about the rest of the family, I decided to return and search for information about her.
For 2 years I tried to go directly to the Corozal village parish since she had said on one of her children’s baptismal documents that she was a native of Corozal. A problem always came with me going. Searching on Family Search didn’t help me since her date of birth was before 1880, the time when civil records began in Puerto Rico. My husband took vacation days and when he asked me what I wanted to do I told him, “Rain or thunder, I want to go to Corozal.” And so on Friday, July 20th, with everything and a tropical storm that had all of Puerto Rico under water, we went to visit the small village. We arrived without mishap even in the middle of the shower. I went with the understanding that if I didn’t find anything I was not going to be disappointed and that any information I received would be good.
We arrived at the village and the public parking that is always full was empty and it was free; they were remodeling the town square. We headed to the parish and the office was open. The parish priest, a very kind young man, was there and helped me. I offered the deacon in charge the information I had about my great-grandmother and he told me to sit and wait. Five minutes later he showed me a page of a book and told me, “Look, it is here.” I began to read with much difficulty and I asked him to let me read the book, that I could read what the document said. It was funny; he would show me the book but would not let me touch it. I almost jumped with joy. I felt like a child in an amusement park. I wanted to cry, but I didn’t want anyone to see me and laugh.
I finally left the small office and sat down with the book. What joy! I was able to read the entire document and some minutes later I left with a certified copy of my great-grandmother’s birth certificate signed by the priest. Her name was María Maximina Rosado Rivera who was born in Bayamon on March 16, 1871 and was baptized in Corozal on April 16, 1871. Her parents were José Ramón Rosado Adorno and Juliana Rivera and the document included her paternal grandparents and maternal grandmother who I didn’t know about. I left the village very happy.
I took me some 20 years to find out 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; they haven’t given permission, but I know that I can go to the parish and little by little find more information. I also know that I can look for information in the village of Bayamon, which is microfilmed. In short, I have keys to increase my search for her family. I know that if I persevere, the Lord will provide the way to find all those relatives that I have not been able to discover and who are desirous of receiving the ordinances of the holy temple.