Dr. Stark discusses the origins of the Aponte family in Coamo and their genealogy. Anyone who has traced a family history in Puerto Rico back to the eighteenth century knows how difficult it can be to reconstruct genealogies during this period. At some time or another many of us have run into brick walls in our research because of the absence of demographic (census) records and the scarcity of parish (baptismal, marriage, and death) registers. This is especially true of rural communities, such as Coamo.
Dr. Stark examined the family’s seventeenth-century origins to clarify the relationship among the various Aponte families in Coamo during the initial decades of the eighteenth century, with particular attention devoted to don Nicolás de Aponte and Juan de Aponte Díaz. Not only were they two of Coamo’s leading citizens, but more importantly the ancestors of many Apontes throughout the island. Dr. Stark also discusses the Aponte’s economic activities within the broader framework of south-central Puerto Rico. As a result, students of the island’s colonial past will come away with a better understanding of the Aponte’s genealogy and the family’s role in the economic, political, and social life of eighteenth-century Coamo.
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