Puerto Ricans who were born and raised in Puerto Rico carry the surnames of both of their parents, which is common in most Spanish speaking nations. If I were born in Puerto Rico, I would also endow my mother’s maiden name of Gómez which would follow my father’s name of Vélez. My mother’s side of the family originates from Mayaguez, the eight-largest municipality in Puerto Rico. I was curious to know who was the oldest ancestor with the name Gómez I could find through genealogical research, hence the title of this blog post.
The Gómez Family gets its name from my maternal grandfather, Jose Soler Gómez, who was born Jose Gómez in 1921. His parents were from a small neighborhood, or barrio called Quemado in Mayaguez. My grandfather’s mother was named Juana Gómez Cuebas and she was born sometime around 1890 and died after 1960. These years are estimates because no birth or death record was found for her. In addition to my grandfather, my great-grandmother had four other children.
My great-grandmother’s parents were Inocencio Jose Gómez González and Maria Catalina Cuebas. He was mainly known as Inocencio (sometimes incorrectly spelt Inosensio) Gómez and she was mostly known as Catalina Cuebas (sometimes spelt Cuevas). The couple had a total of six children and the kinsfolk eventually moved to el barrio de Rio Cana Abajo and later to Salud, Mayaguez.
Until last week, Inocencio Gómez was the oldest ancestor I could find in Mayaguez with the last name Gómez. Fortunately, I just found his 1905 death record which provided me with the names of his parents, my great-great-great-grandparents. Inocencio was born sometime around 1860 to Monserrate González and Tomás Gómez. Using the estimated year of birth for my great-great-grandfather Inocencio, my third great-grandfather Tomás would have been born somewhere around 1842. By 1887, he was listed as deceased in a grandchild’s birth record.
I now have the name of my great-great-great-grandfather on mother’s side of the family and I am humbled to share the info. Vital records in Puerto Rico, from my experience thus far, get harder to find when you get to the early 1800s. I may or may not find any older ancestors, but for now, Tomás Gómez gets the title of the oldest known ancestor with the Gómez surname.