Celestino Gonzalez, the son of Don Manuel Gonzales and Maria Louisa Bonifay,1 was born about 1796 in Pensacola, Florida.2 He was the oldest child in a large family that lived at Gonzalia, about fifteen miles north of Pensacola. His father was a native of Spain, who had joined the Spanish Army when he was seventeen. Later discharged from the Army in 1792 in New Orleans, Manuel was given a grant of land in Pensacola.3

In 1814, when General Andrew Jackson marched south to repulse the British, the story goes that Celestino was working in the garden in Gonzalia when uniformed horsemen rode up. General Jackson wanted Celestino to guide him and his men to Barrancas in Pensacola. Don Manuel reputedly replied, "General, my life and my property are in your power. You can take both. But my honor is in my keeping. As for my son, I would rather plunge a sword into his heart than to see him a traitor to his king." Jackson was impressed with Don Manuel’s bravery and loyalty.4 A few years later, in 1821, the Spanish territory in Florida was handed over to the United States in Pensacola at Ferdinand Plaza.

Celestino was first married about 1818 to Maria De La Rua. Nothing is known about his first marriage except that they had a child, Maria.5 On 3 July 1825 Celestino married a second time, this time to Pauline Graupera.6 Pauline was born 7 June 1800 in New Orleans7 to Pablo Graupera, a native of Spain,8 and Marguerite Jardelat, born at Arkansas Post, on the Arkansas River near where it meets the Mississippi.9 Pablo and Marguerite had at least two other children, Yldefonso de la Paz Graupera, born 23 January 1802 in New Orleans,10 and Josephine Graupera.11

Celestino worked at the Navy Yard in Pensacola as a consulting engineer,12 riding to and from work by horse from where the family lived at Barrancas.13 Pauline gave birth to nine children: The first, Merced, was born 1824, followed by Stephen, Montina, Celestine, Anna Rosa, Mentoria, Jasper Hoving, Margaret, and Charles B., the last, born 1841.14 Her oldest daughter, Merced, married Thomas William Brent, an officer in the U.S. Navy.15

Celestino died 23 July 1844, when his youngest child was just three years old.16 He himself was only forty-eight. He was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery in an above ground vault.17 His wife, Pauline, outlived him by more than fifty years. She died 29 March 189618 and is buried beside him in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Pensacola.19



Related Links:
8-generation descent chart for Joseph Gonzalez, grandfather of Celestino Gonzalez
Certificate of Marriage of Celestino Gonzalez and Pauline Graupera
Grave of Celestino Gonzalez and Marguerite Graupera
Obituary of Pauline Graupera Gonzalez




  1. Libro Primero de Confirmaciones de esta Parroquia de Sn. Luis de La Nueva Orleans: Contener folios y de principio al folio 1, consigne hasta g DIOS no senor...ea servido confirmacions.[First book of Confirmations of this Parish of St. Louis of New Orleans, containing folios from the beginning up to the present. New Orleans, Genealogical Research Society of New Orleans, 1967, p.80. "Confirmation of Zelestino Gonzalez, son of Manuel and Maria Luisa Bonifas, 7 May 1798, in the Plaza of Pensacola." Celestino would have been about two years old.

  2. Coker, William S. and G. Douglas Inglis. Spanish Censuses of Pensacola, 1784-1820: a Genealogical Guide to Spanish Pensacola. Pensacola: Perdido Bay Press, 1980, p.124. Celestino is age 25 in the 1820 census.

    Bruington, Lola Lee Daniell, compiler. Records of Saint Michael's Cemetery, Pensacola, Florida. D.A.R., 1938, 1939, p.6. Family History Library Microfilm #850397. Celestino's gravestone inscription gives his age as 48 at the time of his death in 1844.

  3. Holmes, Jack. Pensacola Settlers, 1721-1821. Pensacola, Florida: Pensacola Historical Restoration and Preservation Committee, 1970, p.37.

  4. Sutton, Leora M. Gonzalia, 1770-1880. Pensacola, Florida, privately printed manuscript, 1961, p.11.

    Bowden, Jesse Earle, Norman Simons and Sandra L. Johnson. Pensacola: Florida’s First Place City, A Pictorial History. Norfolk, Virginia: The Donning Company, 1989. p.38. Both this source and Gonzalia, above, use the source “Historical Sketches of Colonial Florida” by Richard L. Campbell, published in 1892 and republished in a facsimile edition by University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, in 1975. Leora Sutton gives it as a specific footnote for the quote of Don Manuel Gonzalez, while in the second source by Bowden and others it is just listed in the bibliography.

  5. Coker, William S. and G. Douglas Inglis. Spanish Censuses of Pensacola, 1784-1820: a Genealogical Guide to Spanish Pensacola. Pensacola: Perdido Bay Press, 1980, p.124. Maria de la Rua, age 18, is listed as Celestino's wife, and Maria, age 1, is their daughter. They are living in the same house as Manuel and Maria Louisa Gonzalez and their family.

  6. Marriage Certificate for Celestino Gonzalez and Pauline Graupera. Escambia County, Florida, Marriage Records, Book A, p.18, Family History Library Microfilm #941001,

    This was a second marriage for Pauline Graupera also. She was married to Antonio Mendosa before she married Celestino Gonzalez. One Graupera researcher turned up a baptismal record for Fernando Mendosa/Mendoza in the Sacramental Records of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Fernando was baptized 16 April 1825. The record gives his date of birth as 29 September 1822, in Pensacola, and his parents as Antonio Mendosa, native of Havana, Cuba, and Paulina Graupera, native of New Orleans. His maternal grandparents are Pablo Graupera and Margarita Jardela; his paternal grandparents are Juan Mendosa and Maria de La Torre; his godparents, or sponsors were Juan Manuel Fleitas and Josephina Graupera, the "infant's maternal aunt." No marriage for Pauline and Antonio has yet been found nor a death for Antonio. Pauline married Celestino just a few months after Fernando was baptized. Fernando turns up in the 1850 census in New Orleans, age 29, a wharf official; he is living with "the Widow Graupera, age 85" and "the widow Gagnet" age 53. This would be Marguerite Jardelat Graupera and Josephine Graupera Gagnet, Marguerite’s daughter and Pauline’s sister. Margarita would only have been 69 and Josephine about 46 at the time of the census.

  7. Bruington, Lola Lee Daniell, compiler. Records of Saint Michael's Cemetery, Pensacola, Florida. D.A.R., 1938, 1939, p.6. Family History Library Microfilm #850397. The gravestone inscription for Pauline gives her place and date of birth: New Orleans, Louisiana, June 7, 1800.

    Pablo’s surname has been spelled several different ways: Graupera, Granpera, Graupere, Grandpere, and Grampera in various documents. I have chosen to use the spelling Graupera after many years. Pablo was a native of the Catalonia region of Spain and there are many, many in that area with the surname Graupera.

  8. Earl C. Woods, editor. Sacramental Records of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Vol. 6, 1796-1799. New Orleans, Archdiocese of New Orleans, 1991, p.140. In the record of Pablo's marriage to Marguerite it is noted that Pablo is a "native of Calella in the principality of Catalonia" Libro Primero de Confirmaciones de esta Parroquia de Sn. Luis de La Nueva Orleans: Contener folios y de principio al folio 1, consigne hasta g DIOS no senor...ea servido confirmacions.[First book of Confirmations of this Parish of St. Louis of New Orleans, containing folios from the beginning up to the present. New Orleans, Genealogical Research Society of New Orleans, 1967, p.132. "Paula Grampera, dau. of Pablo and Margarita Jardelat...New Orleans, October 4, 1800." Pauline was only a few months old when she was confirmed.

  9. Core, Dorothy Jones, compiler and editor. Abstract of Catholic Register of Arkansas (1764-1858) DeWitt, Arkansas, Grand Prairie Historical Society, 1976, p.14-15.

  10. Earl C. Woods, editor. Sacramental Records of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Vol. 7.

  11. Sutton, Leora M. Historic Court Cases of Escambia County, Pensacola, Florida, 1821-1866. Family History Library Microfilm #973026, item 3. In court case 1829-385 Margarita Jardella gives a deposition for Josephine Grandpero Gagnet, her daughter.

  12. Speech given by Larry Grimes to the Pensacola Historical Society, 15 September 1997.

  13. Sutton, Leora M. Gonzalia, 1770-1880. Pensacola, Florida, privately printed manuscript, 1961, p.36.

  14. Family group sheet for "Celestine Gonzalez and Pauline Graupere," Pensacola Historical Society, Pensacola, Florida.

  15. Marriage Certificate for Thomas W. Brent and Miss Merced Gonsalez, Marriage Book A, Escambia County Florida, p.137. Family History Library Microfilm #941001.

  16. Rucker, Brian R., compiler. Index to Deaths and Marriages in Pensacola Newspaper, 1821-1865. Milton, Florida, Patagonia Press, 1990. On page 62 is the reference for the notice of death of Celestino Gonzalez which appeared in The Pensacola Gazette, Sept. 15, 1849, p.3.

  17. Bruington, Lola Lee Daniell, compiler. Records of Saint Michael's Cemetery, Pensacola, Florida. D.A.R., 1938, 1939, p.6. Family History Library Microfilm #850397.

  18. Obituary of Pauline Graupera Gonzalez, d.1896, The Daily News, Pensacola, Florida, 30 March 1896, p.2. Another article on her funeral services appeared in The Daily News the next day, 31 March, p.3.

  19. Bruington, Lola Lee Daniell, compiler. Records of Saint Michael's Cemetery, Pensacola, Florida. D.A.R., 1938, 1939, p.6. Family History Library Microfilm #850397.



Photocopy of the house of Celestino Gonzalez from unknown source.



Anne Healy's Genealogy, Created October 2002
Photographs and web page content,Copyright © 2002- , Anne Field, all rights reserved.
Please feel free to link to my web page. For permission to use any pictures or content on my web pages, please email me at

18 Feb 2007
Updated 11 Apr 2015
[home|jardelat|graupera]