Rosalia Garcia Bautista is my 2nd great-grandmother and the mother of my great-grandmother Frances Fariñas, better known by my siblings and cousins as “Nanny.” Not much is known about her because unfortunately she passed away when my Nanny was only 12. However, I have done my best to piece together her life as much as possible from the research that I have done so far.
According to her husband’s Petition For Naturalization, Rosalia Garcia Bautista was born on December 27, 1890 in Málaga, Spain (the birthplace of the famous Pablo Picasso) and she passed away in New York on April 29, 1933, at only 42 years of age.
I have yet to confirm this birth date with the Province of Málaga, so if anyone knows as to how I can contact them to gather more information, please let me know.
I do, however, know when she came to America from Spain. She actually traveled accompanied with her brother, Pedro Garcia Bautista on the S.S. Pannonia sailing from the Port of Gibraltar on September 16th, 1913.
As you can see, she is listed as the sister of Pedro Garcia Bautista. Their nationality is Spanish and their last permanent residence was in La Linea, Spain, which is about an hour and a half away from Málaga. Her age is listed as 25, which would instead suggest that she was born in 1888 rather than in 1890. The name and address of their nearest relative that they both provide is of their mother Rosalia Bautista who lived on Calle San Cecilio in La Linea and their final destination is listed as Brooklyn, New York. Pedro is listed as being a laborer and I cannot make out what Rosalia is said to be. So, if anyone can make out what her “Occupation” is, please let me know.
And although no one knows the story of how they met, I do know that it took just about 3 years of being in America for Rosalia Garcia to get married to my 2nd great-grandfather Juan Fariñas in Brooklyn, New York on January 29, 1917.
As you can see, there is again another discrepancy in her age as she is now listed as being 25 again suggesting that she was born in 1892. She is also listed as being born in “Ganio, Spain” which to my knowledge does not exist. The closest spelling of a city in Spain that could be confused with that is Gandia, but that is much farther from Málaga, so I do not think that it is correct. I also know for a fact that Juan Fariñas was born in Bergondo (the place that he listed in his Petition For Naturalization), so I think that both of their birthplaces listed in their marriage certificate are incorrect.
Her parents are also listed as Louis Garcia and Rosalia Bautista and there is plenty to suggest that this information is correct as Rosalia Bautista eventually made the journey to America as well. My grandmother remembers those names as well and she also remembers that in addition to her brother Pedro, Rosalia had another brother named Louis (potentially named after their father). There is no record of a Louis Garcia coming to America though with Rosalia Bautista and she is listed as widowed on the census records I found so I think that he must have died at some point in Spain.
After they were married, Rosalia and Juan had three daughters back-to-back-to-back including my Nanny and her two older sisters Josephine and Louisa. Rosalia’s mother and brother also lived with them as shown in multiple census records at 18 High Street in Brooklyn, which to me indicates that they must have been a very close-knit family.
Source: 1925 NYS Census
Unfortunately though, Rosalia Garcia’s life was cut short due to bone cancer. She spent the last 4 months of her life in the hospital due to an osteogenic sarcoma of her right ilium (a cancerous tumor on her right hip) before her kidneys and heart failed.
Although she left behind her husband and her 3 teenage girls, she must have had a huge impact on all of their lives because story has it that all 3 of her daughters never wanted their father to remarry. In fact, according to my grandmother and her cousin Rosalie, they supposedly coaxed him into never dating another woman by promising him that the 3 of them would take care of him for the rest of his life just as Rosalia would have as his wife.
Even though my great-grandmother lost her mother at a very young age, I am confident that she must have been a great woman and mother to her because I spent the first 22 years of my life with my Nanny and she is one of the best women that I have ever known.
If anyone else has any information on this ancestral line or Spanish ancestry in general, please let me know. I’d love to connect more with my Spanish roots.