Sunday, August 13, 2017

Maria Jesus Suastegui Ballesteros

Since mid July, I have been documenting the two families of my 5th-great-grandfather Francisco Suastegui. The last one to document is Maria Jesus Suastegui, sister of my 4th-great-grandfather Pedro Suastegui. She was born around 1830 in Sonora, although her death certificate lists her birth date as 14 November 1830. Maria Jesus married Merced Ballesteros, likely in Altar, Sonora, around 1848. Merced and Maria Jesus had at least the following children:

- Isabel Ballesteros, 1849-1930
- Maria Josefa Teodora Ballesteros, 1851-1854
- Encarnacion Ballesteros, 1855-1858
- Jesus Maria Ancelmo Ballesteros, 1857-1882
- Siprian Ballesteros, 1859-1862
- Maria Mercedes de los Dolores Ballesteros, 1862-1936

Merced Ballesteros died on 17 October 1862 in Altar, Sonora at the age of 34. Maria Jesus had just given birth to their daughter Mercedes on 30 June, and they had lost their son Siprian in September 1862, the third child lost to illness or disease before the age of four.

With her remaining children Isabel, Jesus and Mercedes, about 1864 Maria Jesus made a journey to California with her sister Concepcion Suastegui and family. The obituary of Mercedes Ballesteros says this journey occurred in 1862, but as this was written in 1936 and Merced Ballesteros passed away in October 1862, I think it is likely this date is wrong. Other documents claim Maria Jesus and family arrived in America around 1864. I have included two sections of the obituary below, recounting their journey across the Sonoran Desert to California.
Arizona Daily Star, 15 Jan 1936
The article indicates that Maria Jesus and family lived in California until 1869, and then moved to Yuma, Arizona. By then her younger sister Maria Engracia Suastegui Burke was well established there, along with her half-sisters Maria Esther and Mariana Suastegui. As seen from Friday's post, Maria Jesus sponsored the baptism of Esther's son Peter John Monson in Yuma in March 1893.

By 1875, Maria Jesus settled in Tucson. She appears in the Yuma, Arizona newspaper, visiting her son Jesus:
Arizona Sentinel, 26 Jun 1875.
Maria Jesus and Mercedes lived at 75 East Pennington Street in Tucson. Their old historic home was part of a block torn down in 1929 and is close to where the Pima County Courthouse now sits.

Maria Jesus passed away on 13 March 1908 in Tucson. She was buried at Holy Hope Cemetery in Tucson.

As I have followed the children of the other Suastegui siblings at least one generation, I will do the same for Isabel, Jesus and Mercedes.

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