THE RESIDENTS OF "RIBERA GARDENS EXCAVATION" AREA
The following is a detailed recitation about the residents
of the "Ribera Garden Excavation" area and their relatives. Not
only is it information about the residents themselves, but also
gives us a picture of the neighborhood community. This personal
data will assist in the analysis and interpretation of the
Of the residents of the excavation area, the Cathedral
Parish Records contain the least data for Augustina Perez. All
of the records found for her were in the Books for Pardos and
Morenos, the "mixed bloods" to whom the priests administered
sacraments. Neither Augustina's, nor her husbands', nor. her
children's ethnic background is mentioned in any of the
documents. Because her husbands were 1>) a cacique and 2) the son
of a cacique, the inference is that those men were of some Indian
Augustina, a native of the St. Augustine presidio, was the
daughter of Diego Perez and of one of the several women in town
with the name of Maria de la Cruz, sometimes listed as Maria
Cruz. Based on the birthdate of her child, Miguel, born in 1728,
Augustina must have been born no later than circa 1714. Cacique
Francisco Jospo was the legitimate father of Miguel.'
By March 1737, Francisco Jospo was dead, and Augustina
married again the following year, this time to Juan de Fuentes,
the son of a cacique named Joseph de Fuentes. The parish
register entry for this marriage lists Maria Cru__ as Joseph de
Fuente's mother, and also (probably mistakenly) lists Maria de la
Cruz rather than Augustine as the bride in the marginal listing
of names.a In 1741 Augustine's small unnamed child born of the
later marriage died, and three years later, the older half-
brother Miguel Jospo died. The only other listing found for the
surname "Jospo," was a burial in 1762 of Marcos Jospo, son of
Antonio and Catarina, a native of the Pueblo of La Leche. A
small unnamed child buried in August 1751, might also have been
Augustine's. The burial entry lists Juan Fuentes and "Augustine
de la Cruz" as the parents. Augustina's husband might have been
the artilleryman who appeared in the 1752 Gelabert roster: 45-
year-old Juan Joseph de Fuentes, native of this presidio, son of
The name, Diego Martin Perez appears in 1747 as father of
the bride, Lorensa Solana, a native and resident of the Pueblo of
Tolomato. Her mother's name was Maria Solana. Perhaps, the
bride was the half-sister of Augustine (see Chart 1).o
SALVADOR FRANCISCO DE PORRAS and JUANA NAVARRO RODRIGUEZ
Although the Puente map of 1764 lists the property on the
northern edge of the excavation site as owned by Salvador de
Porras, his mother-in-law was the owner. Title passed through
successive generations of females, who occupied the property for
almost a century.
Juana Navarro's (Porras' wife) parents married in 1724. Her
father, Francisco Navarro, a native of Sevilla in Spain, entered
military service in 1703 as a "marine." During a naval battle in
1712 he was wounded, and was "kept on" in the armada until 1724,
when he came to Florida. Here he participated in the defense of
the city against the Palmer raid of 1728 and the Oglethorpe
bombardment of 1740. Apparently a widower when he arrived in St.
Augustine, he soon married Geronima Rodriguez, whose father,
Joseph Antonio Rodriguez, was also a native of Sevilla.
Geronima's mother, Gertrudis de Morales, was a local woman."
In November 1725, they became the parents of twin sons, Juan
Joseph and Francisco Xavier. Juan Joseph died before he was two
weeks old.- In 1727 another son, Juan, was born, and in 1729,
Porras' future wife, Juana, was born.7
In 1737 Geronima died, leaving seven-year-old Juana Victoria
and ten-year-old Juan Ramon motherless. A month later, another
older female family member who had been living in their house
died--their adult cousin, Maria Magdalena Lorenzo, the daughter
of Geronima's sister."
The following year Francisco married for the third time,
this time to the widow Mariana Entonado, whom the pariah records
list both as a native of this presidio and of San Luis de
Talimali de Apalache. Their marriage ended with her death in
1757. Francisco Navarro died in 1761.%
In 1745 daughter Juana Victoria married Salvador Francisco
de Porras, a native of Rute, Cordoba, Spain. She gave birth to
at least nine children in St. Augustine. A baby daughter was
born just five weeks before the family evacuated to Cuba in
October 1763 aboard the bergantin San Antonio. Joaquin Blanco,
whose official position put him in charge of all the garrison's
supplies and made him part of the administrative elite, served as
godfather to four of the Porras children. Blanco's wife, Antonia
de Avero, was godmother to Catalina, born in 1753. Living on the
family's western side were Antonio Bujalance, also a native of
Cordoba, and his wife, Juana Rodriguez of St. Augustine. Perhaps
she was a cousin of Juana. As of 1760, Juana's brother, Juan
Ramon Navarro, was still residing in St. Augustine (see chart
Salvador's and Juana's daughter, Catalina (born in 1753 in
St. Augustine) returned to the town by 1789--after Florida had
reverted to Spanish control. In Cuba Catalina had married
another St. Augustine native, Joseph Xavier Ponce de Leon, whose
parents were both natives of St. Augustine."' Joseph acted as
his mother-in-law's attorney-in-fact in St. Augustine to re-
establish her title to the property she was forced to abandon in
1763 due to Florida's cession to the British. The governor
confirmed Juana's ownership in the houses and lot: both in
present-day Block 5, City of St. Augustine, on the bay, and also
to the one(s) at the excavation site. Ponce also ac''d in the
same capacity for members of his own family who remained in Cuba.
In 1789-90 Catalina and Joseph Ponce were residing a,- the
bayfront location, but by 1793 had moved to the St. George Street
house, forcing Minorcan "squatter" Rafael Ximenez tc relocate to
After this time, the information about the family becomes
scarce. Catalina and Joseph's daughter, Manuela Pon-e de Leon,
received government stipends paid to floridanos (native Floridians
who had evacuated to Cuba in 1763) and their dependent family
members. Although Manuela was an adult in 1812, her allotment as
"daughter" of floridanos was paid made to Cipriana Gomez. In
1817 Jose Maria Gomez actually received the payment for Manuela
the "orphan" of floridanos. The Gomez siblings were themselves
the children of floridanoa.*-3
In 1821 St. Augustine's Spanish subjects age.in prepared to
leave the colonial capital upon its transfer to another country--
this time to the United States. Among those preparing to leave
was Manuela Ponce de Leon, whose parents had made the same voyage
sixty years before as children. In 1823 "about to sail for
Havana" she appointed Pedro Miranda and Eusebio Maria Gomez to be
her attorneys-in-fact to sell "the small masonry house (casa
pequena de mamposteria) with its accompanying lot situated on St.
George Street close to the Land Gate." Eusebio's brother, Juan
Nepomuceno, signed for Manuela, who "did not know how to sign."1'*
The next year Manuela and Antonio Ponce de Leon appointed a
new representative for their real-estate affairs in St.
Augustine. Signed in Havana, the power-of-attorney named
Geronimo Alvarez to sell "the house of masonry and shingles (casa
de mamposteria y texamani)" on St. George Street. A number of
homes of the evacuees were for sale and four more years passed
before Pedro Antonio Manucy purchased the house for $300.** So
ended a century (excluding the British Period) of ownership and
occupation of the property by four generations of the same
family--Geronima Rodriguez; her daughter, Juana Navarro; Juana's
daughter, Catalina de Porras, both as a child and as an adult
when she returned from Cuba; and last, Catalina's daughter,
Manuela Ponce de Leon, who sold it upon returning to Cuba.
JUAN DE RIBERA
As previously concluded, Juan de Ribera occupied the house
and lot bordering on the south of the excavation project. He and
his family also departed for Cuba when Florida was ceded to Great
Britain in 1763. Juan and his wife also carried a newborn
daughter (born the week before Salvador de Porras' daughter) onto
the ship that took them to Cuba. Overton G. Ganong's report on
Juan de Ribera in Lot and Block file should be consulted. This
paper will deal with additional information on Juan's family and
some plausible conjectures. The ethnic backgrounds of the
several members of the Ribera-de la Cruz family were not-listed
consistently in the Cathedral Parish Records. Indian, mestizo,
and Spanish, the last indicated by omission of any racial
description. Beginning in 1735 the priests recorded information
in separate books for "non-white" parishoners (see chart 3).**
Juan's mother was one of the many women with the name "Maria
de la Cruz," who lived in St. Augustine during the appropriate
time period. A widow since 1746, she died during the
transitional period from Spanish to British rule in 1763-4. Juan
had at least one sister and two brothers who lived to be adults.
His sister, Ana Lucia de Ribera, married Diego Lopez de
Heredia, a native of Jaen, in 1758 and almost exactly a year
later gave birth to a son, Lorenzo Joseph. In the son's
baptismal record Ana is listed as mestiza.*7
One of his brothers, Francisco Xavier de Ribera, in August
1756 married 18-year old St. Augustine native, Maria de los
Dolores Barba, whose father had been born in Sanlucar in southern
Spain. A week after the second anniversary of their marriage,
Maria became a widow. Francisco's burial record lists him as
Brother, Antonio de la Cruz Ribera, presents us with some
interesting relationships. His wife, Rosa Maria de Angulo, was
first cousin to Josepha de Escovedo, wife of Governor Lucas de
Palacios (see chart 4). Rosa's aunt, also named Rosa Maria de
Angulo, was the sister of Rosa's father, Fabian, and the mother
of Josepha de Escovedo. Antonio, denominated "Indian" at his
burial, was a native of the Pueblo of Tolomato. Did Antonio make
a surprising marriage match, or did the governor?"'
Antonio and Rosa were parents to at least three children,
Juan Joseph Thimoteo born in January 1758, Idefonso Joseph born
two days short of a year later, Joseph Maria de los Dolores born
in March 1761. It is interesting that the baptism of the middle
boy was entered in the Book of Pardos and Morenos and his father
listed as mestizo in that entry, but those of the younger and the
older brothers are in the book of white baptisms. Antonio's and
Rosa's marriage record is included with the white marriages.
Father Juan de Paredes performed the marriage and baptized the
oldest boy. Father Juan Joseph Solana baptized the middle child
and Father Thomas de Miranda the youngest of the three. The
discrepancies might have been resulted from different perceptions
of race on the part of the priests.a'o
The 1746 roster lists an Antonio de la Cruz as a "pilot of
the coast and keys" earning 248 pesos per annum. According to
Puente's 1764 map Antonio de la Cruz Ribera had owned a house
facing the bay in present-day Block 3. (Two other houses for the
name "Antonio Cruz were #B-41 on Fort Alley and #k-337 on the
east side of Charlotte Street at the southern end of the town.,'
Neither of Juan's brothers nor his mother were alive to
evacuate to Cuba in 1763-4. Francisco had died in 1758. Antonio
died a month before the arrival of the first British troops to
the old Spanish town. Two weeks later their mother, Maria de la
Cruz, died. All three burials were entered in the Book of Pardos
and Morenos. '1'
Examination of the family of Juan de Ribera leads to the
conjecture that some of the family members may have been living
within a few houses of each other. Such an interpretation
locates Juan's mother's home at Puente map site #C-51, almost
behind the house of her son and a little bit north of her
daughter-in-law's lot (C-41) in block "C." The daughter-in-law
had been a widow for five years when the Puente map was made.
Perhaps there had been a house on her lot which disappeared by
deterioration in the interim. Perhaps, Juan's mother was the
woman who crossed Spanish Street to Manuel Morente's house to
assist with the birthing of Morente's daughter in 1749. Maria de
la Cruz' baptizing the baby girl "in necessity" suggests just how
fragile was this newborn's hold on life.'"
The placement of Juan's mother at site #C-51 necessarily
means that the this was not the same "Maria de la Cruz" of
Kathleen Deagan's doctoral dissertation and the other reports of
the site. The documentary evidence that #C-51 was the homesite
of Juan de Ribera'a mother is as good or better than that for
Deagan'a "Maria de la Cruz" (for clarity, "Maria #1") married to
Joseph Gallardo. Juan de Ribera's mother, a native of the Pueblo
of Tolomato, had family members living nearby. Both the Puente
map and Puente's "deed" to Samuel Piles in July 1764 of the C-51
site refers to the "Heirs of Maria de la Cruz" as the evacuating
owners. Juan's mother had been dead only a year at the time of
the property transfer."
If Juan's mother were the resident of #C-51, the Indian
composition of the household at that site would have been less
diluted than that of Maria #1. Maria #1's husband was a mestizo
from New Spain. Juan de Ribera's parents were both referred to
as native Indians.rc
Susan R. Parker
May 5, 1989
1. Cathedral Parish Records (CPR) (microfilm reels at Historic
St. Augustine Preservation Board) Marriages of Pardos and
Morenos (P&M), 1738 June 12; Burials P&M, 1741 June 25.
2. East Florida Papers (EFP) (microfilm copies at St. Augustine
Historical Society), Will of Francisco Navarro and Geronima
Rodriguez, Bundle 359, #1, 1737 February 14; CPR, Marriages
P&M, 1738 June 12.
3. CPR, Burials P&M, 1741 June 25; 1744 January 11; 1751 August
7; 1762 September 3. Don Jose Antonio Gelabert to the
Crown, Havana, General list of all who serve and are paid by
the King the presidio of San Agustin, 1752 (SC 2-28, AGI 87-
1-14/2) transcription and translation in HSAPB files.
4. CPR Marriages P&M, 1747 March 13.
5. Luis R. Arana, trans., Service Record of Teniente Don
Francisco Navarro, in Stetson Collection 2-27, AGI 87-3-
13/14, typescript copy in files at Castillo de San Marcos.
CPR Marriages, 1719 July 27; 1724 June 6.
6. CPR, Baptisms, 1725 November 18 & 27; Burials, 1725 November
7. CPR Baptisms, 1727 April 5; 1729 January 19,
8. CPR, Burials, 1737 April 8; 1737 May 5.
9. CPR Marriages, 1738 December 28; Burials, 1757 July 4;
1761 November 26.
10. CPR Marriages, 1745 February 8; Baptisms, 1749 January 25;
1753 January 9; 1760 July 23; 1763 September 9; Spanish Land
Grants (SLG) (microfilm copies at St. Augustine Historical
Society) Reel M60,32, Bundle 320 #80; Juan Joseph Elixio de
la Puente, 1764 January 22, Map #129, HSAPB files; Charles
W. Arnade, "The Avero Story: An Early Saint Augustine Family
with Many Daughters and Many Houses," Florida Historical
Quarterly 40:1(July 1961) 19.
11. EFP Bundle 56D6, Luis de Viguri to Enrique White, 23 October
1800 indicates that Don Joseph Ponce de Leon and Catalina
Porras moved to St. Augustine in 1789 in document concerning
daily allowance for Floridanos and their dependents; CPR
Baptisms, 1749 January 27.
12. SLG, Bundle 320 #15 & #80. EFP Bundle 323A, 1793 Census;
EFP Bundle 364 #52: Inventarios, Tasaciones y venta en
public remate de las Cases y Solares del Rey, 1790; EFP
Reel 137, Testamentary Proceedings, Claim of Joseph Ponce de
Leon against estate of Jesse Fish; EFP Bundle 367 (Reel 169,
frame 1066) Power of Attorney from Porras to Ponce, 1789
13. EFP, Bundle 6115 #33, Governor of Florida to Juan de
Aguilar, 1812 October 24; EFP Bundle 63? #___, 1817 February
14. St. Johns County public records: Deed Book E, page 11, 1823
15. St. Johns County public records: Deed Book H, page 147, 1824
July 24 & page 148, 1828 October 2.
16. Overton G. Ganong, "Historical Report on Juan de Rivera,"
unpublished MS. on file in Lot an Block file, Block 12, Lot
27, HSAPB. See page 3 for data on infant daughter..
17. CPR Marriages P&M, 1758 September 9; Baptisms P&M, 1759
18. CPR Baptisms, 1738 April 16; Marriages, 1756 August 2;
Burials P&M, 1758 August 10.
19. CPR Marriages, 1727 February 7; 1733 May 20; 1756 May 31;
Burials, 1761 December 8; Burials P&M, 1763 June 3.
20. CPR Baptisms, 1758 January 26; 1761 March 14; Baptisms
P&M, 1759 January 24.
21. [Luis R. Arana, trans.] 1749 Military Roster (AGI 87-3-
12/76) typescript photocopy in HSAPB files.
22. CPR, Burials P&M, 1763 June 3 and June 19.
23. CPR, Baptisms, 1749 February 5.
24. Kathleen A. Deagan, "Sex, Status and Role in the Mestizaje
of Spanish Colonial Florida," Unpublished Ph.D. diss.,
University of Florida, 1974; CPR Burials P&M, 1763 June 19;
SLG, Bundle 357 #11.
25. Deagan, "Sex, Status and Role," 30; CPR Burials P&M, 1737
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