A founding member of the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Conception (present-day Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception) in Mobile, Alabama, 1822, was Baptista L. Soto or some version of that spelling. There was also a John Soto as founding member. A John or Jean Rondeau also shown as founding member. Am trying to sort out the Soto families in Mobile. One line seems to have been from John Soto and marriage to a Constance Rondeau in 1827. This Constance Rondeau may be the same lady who appears in records as Camille, Carmilla, and Camilla Soto and then Camille Renaud (second marr. 1841 to Adolph Renaud). The other families of Soto are recorded in various records as being Mulatto, White, and occasionally Black. There are at least two Soto families, one that of Esper J. Soto, most of his family remained in Mobile, although some of the younger ones seem to have gone to live with an Uncle named Miguel P. Soto who lived in Pensacola. This Miguel (sometimes shown as Micheal) Soto was apparently born in Alabama, and about 1857 along with other Free Persons of Color in Pensacola moved to Tampico Mexico because of oppressive race laws having been enacted in the States. There was another Soto male named Zeno but apparently died in early adulthood. In the censuses from as early as 1850 in Mobile these families of Sotos were listed by name, and because of this it is a certainty that they were not Slaves, but free persons.
The given name Esper J. is reminiscent of the surname of Antonio Espejo, an early Spanish resident of Mobile, and the given name Zeno is associated with Chastangs.
But this Baptista L. Soto is a man of whom I know nothing and would appreciate anything anyone might offer.
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