Ramona Trinidad Iglesias-Jordan (de Soler) (August 31 or September 1, 1889 - May 29, 2004) of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, was, according to documents compiled in March 2004, the oldest documented person in the world after the death of Mitoyo Kawate, though Charlotte Benkner, months younger, had been given recognition in the meantime.
She was born and grew up in Utuado, Puerto Rico, the child of Eduardo Iglesias-Ortiz and Luisa Jordan-Correa (some spelling variants are found in records). In 1948, her birth certificate was signed at Utuado, certifying that she was born at 07.00 AM on September 1 of 1889. But in 1992, a baptismal certificate of April 1890 revealed that she was actually born the day before, on August 31st. The 1910 census records for Utuado record her as aged 20. Her marriage to Alfonso Soler on December 26, 1912, at age 23 is recorded by a certificate on December 28 of that year and they are found together in the January 1920 census when she was 30 and they lived in Arecibo. The couple later moved to the San Juan area known as Santurce. They never had any children of their own, but they adopted one son, Roberto Torres, who also happens to be her nephew.
She attended a school without American teachers in Puerto Rico (it later became common practice to bring American teachers to teach English language in Puerto Rican schools). Despite this and the fact that she was able to reach only elementary school, she was fluent in that language as well as her native Spanish.
Her husband passed away during the late 1970s, and Trinidad Iglesias then spent about 25 years living by herself, until she moved to a new home.
The Guinness Book of World Records accepted her claim, documentation meeting their standards having been supplied, and on March 29, 2004, she received a document from them, declaring her the world's oldest living woman. She joined Jose Miguel Agrelot, Wilfred Benitez, the Menudo group and a handful of others as the only Puerto Ricans to enter that book.
On May 29th of that year she died of pneumonia after a brief hospitalization. She was 114 years and 272 days old (if the August 31 birthdate is correct). She was the last recognized surviving person of the 1880s.
- Spanish-language newspaper article (http://www.vocero.com/noticia.asp?n=41141)
- English-language newspaper article (http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=2818334)
- Associated Press obituary (http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/05/31/oldest.person.ap/)