Sebastian Jose Gines Romagosa Dalmau
The first Romagosa to settle in Cuba, according to available information, was Sebastian Jose Gines Romagosa Dalmau, born in 1775 in Sitges, Catalunya (Spain), son of Juan Jose Sebastian Romagosa Esparducer (1747-1794) and Rita Dalmau Romeu (1754-1817). Juan Jose Sebastian married Rita on February 19, 1771, in Sitges. Both Juan and Rita died and were buried in Sitges. Juan and Rita had four children, all born in Sitges, with at least one, Sebastian, dying in Manzanillo, Cuba.
Children of Juan Jose Sebastian Romagosa Esparducer and Rita Dalmau Romeu:
1. Juan Jose Pedro Romagosa Dalmau, born in 1773 in Sitges, Catalunya
2. Rita Teresa Josefa, born in 1775 and died on December 2, 1777 in Sitges, Catalunya
3. Sebastian Jose Gines, born in 1785 in Sitges, Catalunya
4. Juan Pelegrin Bartolome, born in 1790in Sitges, Catalunya
Sebastian Romagosa Dalmau became a land owner in the area near Manzanillo and Bayamo (Oriente Province, Cuba) in the early 1800's. Manzanillo was founded in 1784. After Charles III of Spain opened the ports of Manzanillo, Bayamo and Santiago de Cuba for commerce and immigration, many families from Catalunya settled in that part of Cuba, including the family of Bartolome Maso, originally Masso, Cuban patriot, which had left Sitges and arrived in Manzanillo around 1780. Sebastian married a girl from Bayamo, Maria Ana (or Mariana) Arteaga-Estrada Arroyo, daughter of Lic. Diego Arteaga-Estrada, whose family was probably from Puerto Principe (Camaguey) originally, and Maria de Jesus Arroyo, from Bayamo, and had ten children. Records of their marriage, probably around 1816, and the birth of their first son, Diego, in Bayamo are not available due to the records having been destroyed during Cuba’s 10-Year War. Most of the branches described in this book relate to the children of Sebastian Romagosa Dalmau and Mariana Arteaga-Estrada Arroyo. Branch A has more detail due to the fact that it is the branch of the author.
Children of Sebastian Romagosa Dalmau and Maria Ana Arteaga-Estrada Arroyo
|Sebastian Romagosa Dalmau||==||Maria Ana Arteaga-Estrada Arroyo|
|Antonio de Jesus||Maria de Jesus
|Maria Rita de los Dolores||Maria Dolores Juliana||
|Juan Evangelista||Jose de Jesus Maria||
Mariana de Jesus
Manuel de Jesus Maria Fermin
Rosario Romagosa Rosabal
|Sebastian Benigno Romagosa Venecia|
Sebastian Benigno Romagosa Pereda
1. Diego Tomas, eldest child, probably born in Bayamo around 1817. Married Maria de la Merced Rosabal, daughter of Bartolome Rosabal and Socorro Fajardo on August 27, 1838 in La Purisima Concepcion Parish, Manzanillo, by Presbitero Miguel Moreno. (Romagosa Rosabal Branch C and Ramirez Romagosa Branch D)
2. Antonio de Jesus Born: February 15, 1819. Baptized in La Purisima Concepcion Parish, Manzanillo, by Presbitero Diego Jose Chacon on February 27, 1819. Godparents: Vicente and Juliana Miniet. [No descendants have been identified.]
3. Maria de Jesus Born: February 22, 1820. Baptized in La Purisima Concepcion Parish, Manzanillo, by Presbitero Diego Jose Chacon on March 5, 1820. Godparents: Miguel and Francisca Fornaris. Married Jose Ramirez Fornaris, son of Manuel Ramirez and Dolores Fornaris. (Ramirez-Romagosa Branch D)
4. Maria Rita de los Dolores Born: January 7, 1822. Baptized in La Purisima Concepcion Parish, Manzanillo, by Presbitero Domingo Jose Vazquez on January 14, 1822. Godparents: Alejo Busquet and Trinidad Sucambio. [No descendants have been identified.]
5. Maria Dolores Juliana Born: February 16, 1823. Baptized in La Purisima Concepcion Parish, Manzanillo, by Presbitero Domingo Jose Vazquez on February 24, 1823. Godparents: Francisco Javier Ramirez and Maria del Socorro Vaxarde. [No descendants have been identified.]
6. Sebastian Benigno Born: July 16, 1824. Baptized in La Purisima Concepcion Parish, Manzanillo, by Presbitero Domingo Jose Vazquez on August 5, 1824. Godparents: Joaquin Pla and Dolores Ramirez. Married Emilia Venecia, daughter of Pedro Martin Venecia, from Mataro (Spain) and Angela Pedrajas, on July 2, 1846, at the La Purisima Concepcion Parish, Manzanillo, by Presbitero Tomas Elipe. (Romagosa Venecia Branch A)
7. Juan Evangelista Born: December 1, 1825. Baptized in La Purisima Concepcion Parish, Manzanillo, by Presbitero Juan M. Fornaris on December 20, 1825. Godparents: Manuel and Filomena Rodriguez. Married Andrea Avelina Venecia on July 1, 1848. Died at 23 years of age, around 1849. [No descendants have been identified.]
8. José de Jesús María Born: April 11, 1827. Baptized: April 26, 1827 in La Purisima Concepcion Parish, Manzanillo, by Presbitero Antonio Santo Domingo. Godparents: Juan Manuel Fornaris and María del Carmen Hurtado. Married Maria del Carmen Aguilera., daughter of Jose Aguilera and Catalina Duque de Estrada. Had one daughter, Maria de la Caridad, born on August 29, 1850 and baptized on September 29, 1850. Godparents: Sebastian Romagosa Arteaga and Catalina Duque de Estrada.
9. Mariana de Jesús Born: December 16, 1828. Baptized in La Purisima Concepcion Parish, Manzanillo, by Presbitero Juan M. Fornaris on December 24, 1828 Godparents: Joaquin Oro and Josefa Ramírez. Married Bartolome Bori, son of Pelegrin Bori Coll and Maria Sardan. (Bori Romagosa Branch G)
10. Manuel de Jesús María Fermín Born: July 1, 1833. Baptized in La Purisima Concepcion Parish, Manzanillo, by Presbitero Antonio Santo Domingo on July 19, 1833. Godparents: Miguel Moreno. Married Claudina Buelta, daughter of Rafael Buelta and Dolores Ramirez, on April 13, 1861. (Romagosa Buelta Branch B)
Sebastian Romagosa Dalmau was among the first residents of Manzanillo, as Modesto A. Tirado Avilés’ book, Efemérides de Manzanillo, 1512-1899 describes: In 1831 "Los vecinos de más fuste, con el antiguo propietario Sebastián Romagosa a la cabeza, pidieron al Real y Supremo Consejo de Indias la gracia del Villazgo para el Puerto Real de Manzanillo." [“The residents with more influence, led by long-time property-owner Sebastian Romagosa, petitioned the Royal and Supreme Council of the Indies the grace of township for the Royal Port of Manzanillo”](Volume I, p. 63). That year, the Comandante de Armas, don Fulgencio de Salas, named a commission to help in the creation of the government, incluing Vicente Plá, Pedro Martín Venecia, Bartolomé Rosabal and Sebastian Romagosa, "sin agravio de otros vecinos de merito" ["without meaning any disrespect to other residents of merit"] (Volume I, p. 81). Manzanillo became a town by a Royal Order on June 8th, 1833.
The first mayors were Pedro Martín Venecia (father of Emilia Venecia, who wed Sebastian’s son) and Ramón Santodomimgo, who took possession on Jan. 6, 1840. The first council included Sebastian and Carlos Ramirez Rex. During the first meeting, the first chiefs of police (Alcaldes de Policia) were named, including Diego Romagosa, Sebastian’s son, also named as a property owner. Joaquin Pla, godfather of Sebastian Benigno Romagosa Arteaga, was named “alguacil mayor” (constable).
Manzanillo had 6,416 inhabitants and 570 slaves in the urban area and a total of 11,474 residents and 1,001 slaves in nearby areas according to a census conducted at that time. In 1830 there had been 4,000 inhabitants and 60 houses with clay or straw roofs. There were 17 “rustic” farms and sugar mills, including those that belonged to Juan Ramirez, Pedro Agustin Figueredo, Bartolome Rosabal, Francisco Vicente Aguilera, and Manuel Estrada (possibly related to Diego Arteaga Estrada?). An 1839 newspaper refers to the properties of Los Mangos and El Aguacate of Manuel M. Ramirez and Punta de Piedra of Juan Leon. Among the export companies in 1846 were listed those of Ramirez y Sobrinos (and nephews) and Venecia y Cia. In 1862, the last shipment of slaves to work on sugar cane fields was received, with the 200 slaves sent to the following mills moved by steam: Esperanza (Venecia family), San Francisco (Ramirez and Oro), Santa Gertrudis (Romagosa and Bori), la Demajagua (Carlos Manuel de Cespedes) and Santa Isabel (Francisco Vicente Aguilera).
It is not clear whether Sebastian’s parents, Juan and Rita, ever lived in Manzanillo. A pamphlet from 1927 written by Francisco Javier Antunez, Apuntes Históricos de Manzanillo y su Fundación, describes that "de las casa primitivas, aun quedan en pie algunas...las que estan en la calle de Sariol, en el tramo comprendido entre las calles de Dr. Codina y Quintín Banderas...la de enfrente, de dona Avelina Venecia...y luego las de enfrente al Sol de Madrid y la Aduana Vieja...construídas una por don Juan Romagosa y la segunda por Gimera y Cía. El frente de estas casas, que daba a la bahía, el mar besaba los horcones de sus portales, en el flujo de la marea." ["of the original houses, there are still some left standing..those on Sariol Street, in the section between Dr. Codina and Quintin Banderas streets...the one across, belonging to Doña Avelina Venecia..and then the ones accross from Sol de Madrid and the Old Customs...one built by don Juan Romagosa and the second one by Gimera and Co. The front of these houses looked upon the bay and the sea kissed the porch supports during high tide."]. The book describes the oldest house in Manzanillo as being built in 1784 by Jose Nazario Leon, from Navarra.
Juan and Rita could have lived in Cuba and gone back to Sitges where Juan died in 1794, or the Juan mentioned could have been Sebastian's older brother, Juan Jose Pedro, or Sebastian's younger brother, Juan Pelegrin Bartolome. No information is available about either of these two brothers, although the name Pelegrin later surfaces in a grandchild of Sebastian, Pelegrin Bori Romagosa.
Living in an area that became the cradle of the revolutionary war in Cuba, beginning with the 10 Years War (1868-1878), Sebastian’s descendants suffered greatly. One son, Sebastian Benigno Romagosa Arteaga, had his family property seized. The war of independence battle, the Battle of Peralejo, reportedly took place on the family property. Three children of the Romagosa Arteagas left the area during this period. One (Manuel Romagosa Buelta, son of Manuel Romagosa Arteaga and Claudina Buelta) went to Santiago de Cuba and later returned to the Bayamo area; another (Sebastian Benigno Romagosa Venecia, son of Sebastian Romagosa Arteaga and Emilia Venecia) went to Cienfuegos and later moved to Havana, but his son, Sebastian B. Romagosa Pereda, went to study and then stayed in Philadelphia; and a third (Juan Evangelista Romagosa Venecia) went to Costa Rica and later moved back to Manzanillo after the war, although his oldest son, Juanito Romagosa Sanchez, already married, stayed in Costa Rica with his family.