In 1768, when Dr Turnbull was collecting the 1400 for his project in the Mediterranean, he identified Minorca as a temporary camp. Some 110 of Turnbull's early recruits were Italians and Sicilians who would be ensconced at Minorca for up to eight months. In the interim before the boats set sail, several Italian men married Minorcan women.
One such couple was Andres Pacetty and Gertrudis Pons, who married March 17, 1768, in Mahón just two weeks before their voyage embarked. Each was just sixteen. In fact, in the registry of the colony, the so-called Golden Book of the Minorcans, the record acknowledged Andreas Patcetti [sic] with the Latin footnote, adolescens.
Father Pedro Camps, a Catholic priest from Mercadal, Minorca, accompanied the group to Florida. He kept vital statistics and records in the Golden Book and began the Cathedral Parish Records. In these books, Andres Pacetty maintained that he was born in Trapani, in Sicily "in the Region of Naples." During Pacetty's lifetime, Italy was still divided into several states, each with its own governing power. The southern portion of Italy from Naples to the end of the peninsula, including Sicily, was known as the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, or the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily.
After the American Revolution, the British retroceded Florida back to Spain, and thus brought about Florida's Second Spanish Period (1783-1821). Andres Pacetty was registered on the first Spanish Census of 1784 and on subsequent census schedules in 1786, 1787, and 1793. Pacetty signed the Memorial—a document that congratulated Governor Vizente Manuel de Zespedes as the official representative of the King of Spain and requested that the Italians, Greeks, and Minorcans be recognized as natural-born subjects with pledged devotion to the Crown, to the Catholic religion, and to the laws of Spain.
Gertrudis Pons died on October 6, 1784, in Saint Augustine. She was only thirty-two. Gertrudis lived half her life in poverty on the Minorcan Island, nine years as an indentured servant in New Smyrna, and only seven years in Saint Augustine as a free person in the New World. With Andres Pacetty, Gertrudis had five children. Four grew to adulthood, but the last, Maria Josefa Dorotea Pacetty died months after birth and in the same season as Gertrudis' own death.
Only six months after these losses in 1785, Andres Pacetty married Maria Castell. His children from the previous marriage were then ages four to thirteen. Andres fathered seven additional children through the year 1801, when he was 49 years old.
Andres Pacetty worked as a barber in Saint Augustine. He lived on the Nuevo Mosquitos Plantation on Guano Creek in Saint Johns County, until he sold the property in 1804. Though there is no record of acreage, the sale described a lot large enough for "woodlands, fences, fruit trees, thickets, houses and other buildings."
In 1793, Pacetty made a claim for back payment against the estate of a deceased physician at the Royal Hospital in Saint Augustine: "With the respect that his occupation as barber is owed and because of the notorious delay of payment to employees... after shaving Dr Tomas Caraballo for twenty-three months, who died having only satisfied twelve reales, which is the value of a stone to grind... the debt this person left is ten pesos."
The role of a barber in colonial Saint Augustine is unclear. Starting from the Middle Ages, barbers often served as surgeons and dentists, earning them the name "barber surgeons". It is recorded that Andres Pacetty prepared the body of Governor Enrique White for burial when he died in April 1811. Lorenzo Capo was appointed the director of the funeral ceremonies and a catafalque of wood covered with black cloth was built by Antonio Llambias who also made the wooden coffin [Llambias' name would later appear in the family history, as he owned property adjacent to 56 Marine Street when the house was purchased in 1858]. Preparation for Governor White's burial included an eight pesos shave for the corpse.
Andres Pacetty died March 1, 1818, at the age of sixty-six. His children almost exclusively married into families from Saint Augustine's Minorcan community, with names like Bonelly, Moll, Capo, Triay, and Pellicer. These names, in addition to several variations of Pacetty remain some of the most prominent and enduring family names in the city of Saint Augustine.