The Bensor Surname; In Search Of My Heritage
Submitted by Ed Flores
Curiosity about the origins of the name Bensor/Vensor or any of its spelling variations prompted me to start my genealogical research. The family had said that they had heard it was of French origin. I thought to myself that I would see the beginning of the name in Mexico about the time of the French intervention in the middle of the 1800's I am now in the mid 1700's and convinced that it probably was not introduced into Mexico by the French. So what is the name and where did it come from?
While researching I met a loquacious Benzor, not a family member, but probably related somehow because of the paucity of Bensor families in the state of Chihuahua. I also met thirdcousins that live in California who are children of a younger brother of my grandfather. I had never heard of them since both my grandmother and mother had never mentioned that particular side of the family. I thought it strange because one of the Bensor cousins living in Los Angeles was aware of my grandfather's younger brother, Dionicio. My mother and that cousin were of the same age and visited, so why did she not mention the name. Dionicio's family likewise had not heard of my family.
My grandmother, Nina, (she really was not my nina but was called that after we heard an older cousin call her that nameshe was his madrina) often cited the name of the town of Cusihuirachic in the state of Chihuahua so I knew where to start my research. I'm lucky it is an unusual sounding name, how can one forget that.
My mother whose maiden name was Bensor was born in Metcalf, Arizona. I looked at the 1910 U.S. census for Arizona and found her family and her cousins there. I already knew that set of cousins since they lived two blocks from my grandmother in Los Angeles. The same census also listed another Bensor family that I had no knowledge of at the time. The census let me know that my Bensor grandfather, Ysidro Bensor, came to Arizona from Chihuahua in 1900 to work at the copper mines in the Clifton/Morenci/Metcalf area. One older brother, Margarito, had already been in Arizona for a couple of years. Another brother, Dionicio, came to Arizona years later. All three died in Arizona.
I inquired, while on a visit to Morenci, at the Personnel Office of Phelps Dodge Copper Co. about any death or employment of any Bensors. I was given photocopies of information about Dionicio's death while an employee. No records were available for the other two brothers. My grandfather died sometime between 1915 and 1918 in a mining accident (so I was told by the family) and my widowed grandmother took her five children to Douglas, Arizona to live before they finally moved to Los Angeles before 1920. I think Margarito's family and my grandmother and her children traveled to Los Angeles together and settled in the same neighborhood.
I have just a few photographs of my grandmother and her children. I remember visiting Nina's home and seeing old photos in those oval frames that were popular at that time. I never asked for names of the people or of their relationship. They must have been special to be in those large frames. Later when Nina died all the pictures and documents were kept by one of her daughters. Then after she died one of her sons kept everything in storage. The time came when he could not afford to pay for the storage and everything was lost; old photos, documents, and whatever else was stored there that had belonged to my grandmother. I wish he would have asked for help as I would have made every effort to get everything back There is nothing as precious as old photos of the family.
Based on my research on the Bensor genealogy, the family has a long history in San Lorenzo (Dr. Belisario Dominguez) and San Nicolas de Carretas (Gran Morelos) respectively. In 1770, a Bensor child is baptized From that point on, I cannot find where marriages on any of my other lines like Marquez, Munos, Morales, Dominguez, Rodriguez, Flores, and Jaloma have taken place. Something has happened to the church registers as they seem to all start about the same time, even though the towns are much older. My family names were not associated with Cusihuiriachic, at least not until I made a connection in the 1900's when two of my mother's siblings were baptized there prior to moving to Arizona.
I have searched the IGI for all the Mediterranean countries and the Netherlands looking for the elusive Bensor name. The earliest date that I have seen Bensor in Mexico is in the 1640's in Jalisco. Now that the IGI is on the Internet, I decided to inquire there. I was surprised to see the Bensor name appear in London, England in 1625 for a christening. That is about 20 years earlier than the first entry in Mexico. I am really confused. I never would have thought of looking at any country but those with which Spain was involved with or where its citizens were allowed to travel freely. England was not one that ever came under Spanish domination.
A whole new research period begins with this startling information. As I said before, the reason I ever started doing genealogy was to discover where the Bensor name came from. Only time will tell if I will ever learn the origins of this name and how it was introduced into Mexico.
Catalina Jimenez Quintero Mattox
Submitted by Elma and Richard Valdes
Photo: Catalina Jimenez Quintero Mattox
Catalina was born in Parras de la Fuente, Coahuila, Mexico to Francisco Jimenez and Petra Rodriguez, who died soon after giving her birth. Her father fought in the Mexican Revolution with Pancho Villa and was killed in the Battle of Torreon. She was raised by her paternal grandmother, Maria del Refugio Gomez Jimenez in the city of Torreon. Catalina remembered seeing Pancho Villa once, walking the streets of El Paso.
As a 13-year old, Catalina got a job at an American newspaper and print shop owned by Oren Mattox, an American from Winterset, Iowa. It was at the print shop where she met Oren's brother Ernest Eugene Mattox who would later become her husband. The war was still raging and as it worsened, the Mattox brothers decided to return to El Paso, Texas. Catalina went with them. She recalled the trip by stagecoach and seeing bodies hung on posts along the northern route.
Catalina and Ernest married and settled in El Paso. They had a daughter, Ernestina Lillian Elizabeth Mattox, and a son, John Evens Mattox. She lived to see her grandchildren and greatgrandchildren and enjoyed making them quilts, stuffed animals, and Raggedy Ann dolls. She also enjoyed canning peaches and apples and working in her garden.
In her senior years, her hair and skin were so white that she was often fondly referred to as "Senora Santa Claus". She was proud of her Mexican heritage and thus never became an American citizen. She always spoke in Spanish and her husband Ernest always spoke in English but somehow, they always seemed to communicate.
She loved the frequent trips from El Paso to California, which the family took over the years. On one occasion, she even rode with my husband and I in the cramped back seat of a VW beetle and enjoyed every mile of it, pointing out various landmarks along the way.
Catalina was never able to find her baptism certificate and chose her birth date as April 20, 1887. Only recently, after much digging in the Family History Center, did I find her certificate in the microfiche under the name of Catarina Quintero with the birth date of March 11, 1888, making her one year younger than she had thought. Apparently her grandmother Refugio gave her the last name of her second husband, Florentino Jimenez. Refugio's first husband was Agustin Quintero. Catalina's father had also changed his name from Quintero to his stepfather's name of Jimenez. I felt as though I had found a needle in a haystack!
Catalina Jimenez Quintero Mattox, - top
Gabriel Navarro: Relucant Federal Soldier of the Mexican Revolution
From the memoirs of Gabriel Navarro, translated by P. G. Navarro
Submitted by Lillian Ramos Wold
Photo: Gabriel Navarro
Gabriel Navarro Cuevas is my grandfather. He loved to go out for drives to visit friends and family and always wrote down his experiences in a small notebook that he carried in his shirt pocket. He was born in the Hacienda de Colongo, Michoacan, at 2:30 a.m.. on February 19, 1890 and was the son of Gabriel Navarro Navarro, of Penjamo, Guanajuato and Virginia Cuavas of Ixtlan, Michoacan. His father, Gabriel, also used to write down family events in a notebook. The progenitors of our Navarro line were Matheo Navarro and Geronima Briceno Gaytan, who settled in the area of La Barca, Jalisco in the late 1500's. Geronima's parents were from Toledo, Spain.
His father, Gabriel Sr. used to work as a horse trainer on the Hacienda de Potrerillos in Penjamo. After his marriage to Virginia Cuevas, he moved the family to the Hacienda de Colongo to work as a "caporal". Eventually, the family moved to Tangancicuaro where Gabriel Sr. built a house, a corn mill, and a store called "Las Quince Letras".
In 1909, Gabriel Jr., then 19 years old went to work for the IGN Railroad in the United States. Six months later, he decided to return to his home in Michoacan because he missed his new bride, Maria Asuncion Paz. On his way back to Tangancicuaro, he and a friend, Luis Alvarez, were arrested by the Federales on false charges of robbery and put in jail. Gabriel was unaware that he had been falsely accused in order to get conscripts for the Mexican Army. They gave him a choice of joining the Army or staying in jail. He refused to join and was placed in solitary confinement. His companion, Luis Alvarez was released and when he got to Tangancicuaro, he told Gabriel's father about his son's arrest.
In the meantime, Gabriel was taken out of the jail cell five or six times to be interrogated. One morning, he was awakened early in the morning by a squad of soldiers and taken to a corral that had high adobe walls. They stood him up against one of the walls and began to make preparations for his execution. A sergeant ordered the firing squad to get ready, aim, and fire. The six rifles that were pointed at him went off at the same time, but Gabriel felt no pain in his body. Then he saw that they were all laughing, for they had used blank cartridges and thought it was a great joke. It scared Gabriel half to death. The sergeant took him out again the next day and told him that this time they were using real bullets. They blindfolded him and fired again with blanks. They laughed again and took him back to his cell.
When Gabriels's father received word of his son's arrest, he immediately secured a lawyer to make arrangements for his release. He was informed that he would have to bring one hundred pesos and a saddled horse in order to release him. When he arrived at the jail, they informed him that his son had been transferred to a jail in Leon de las Aldamas, Guanajuato on January 13, 1910. His father went to Guanajuato where the officials took his money and horse but did not release his son. The next day, Gabriel Jr. and fifty other prisoners were taken to Mexico City. Gabriel was now a prisoner at the Federal Barracks in Texcoco, Mexico, known as the "Cuartel Ildefonso". Gabriel decided he had no choice and he joined the army. He was not seen again by his family for about five years.
When the revolution broke out in full force, Gabriel was placed in a cavalry regiment and sent to a military post at San Juan Teotihuacan near Mexico City for training. He was assigned a horse named "El Zefiro". After completing his training, Gabriel was placed in a field cavalry unit that was sent to Cuernavaca, Morelos. The regiment was later sent to Puebla where the revolutionaries had begun their fight to overthrow the government.
Rebel activities were reported in the state of Chihuahua and Gabriel's 2nd Cavalry Regiment, together with the 5th Regiment, and a regiment of infantry were ordered to prepare to march and attack the rebel forces in that area. The 2nd Regiment received orders to mobilize immediately after arriving in Chihuahua. They were sent to Ojinaga (a small town near the Texas border), where they engaged the enemy in the surrounding town. One day, the Captain in charge of the 3rd Squadron received orders to take a troop of cavalry and meet the enemy at a designated area but the Captain was unable to issue orders as he was very ill. Gabriel, a top non-commissioned officer (Sergeant 2nd class), took it upon himself to execute the order. He left twelve men and the Captain to look after the post and took 90 men with him to reconnoiter the area. His action in the field earned him a promotion to sub-lieutenant and he was later promoted to Captain. His unit went to Puebla to await further orders.
In Puebla, they were ordered to return to Chihuahua by train. In Chihuahua City, they received orders to send a small detachment of cavalry troops back to Ojinaga. It was at this time that Gabriel took a leave without official permission and was charged with desertion. He had not gone very far, and was apprehended and taken to Torreon to face a court martial. Gabriel explained how he had made several written requests for permission to go see his young wife and been denied. He had not seen his parents, nor his wife, for almost four years. He was found guilty of desertion in time of war and given the death penaltyexecution by firing squad. He was sent to Ojinaga, where his outfit was stationed and given the date and time of his execution. He was placed under strong guard to avert any further attempt to escape.
The regiment was called out to witness his execution in a bull ring which was being used as a corral for the army horses. Gabriel was taken out at about three o'clock in the afternoon and, once again, Gabriel stood before a firing squad. As everyone waited for the officer to give the command to fire, rifle fire was heard near the area. Revolutionary spies may have given the word that the Federales were occupied with an execution and decided to attack the town at the precise moment. The soldiers all dispersed as Pancho Villa's men attacked and left Gabriel standing alone. He ran to an empty building that store hay and hid under it. That was where he was found after the enemy attack. The Colonel spared his life because Gabriel had not tried to escape during the fighting, and he received a pardon. He was sent back to his unit but demoted to the rank of Lieutenant.
When the city of Juarez came under attack by the revolutionaries, a body of Federal troops, including the 2nd regiment from Ojinaga, was ordered to march toward city to reinforce the Federal garrison under General Juan Navarro. The troops had barely arrived when they received orders to march to Cuernavaca because Juarez had fallen to the enemy and General Navarro was captured. The regiment made the march form Chihuahua to Cuernavaca, traveling south through the Sonora desert to avoid enemy troops. But, the enemy attacked them sporadically as they moved across the desert. After several days of marching through the desert, they ran short of water. Gabriel's horse died and he had to ride on a caisson which was used to carry ammunition. When they arrived in Cuernavaca, they discovered that the revolutionaries had won that battle. There was not enough room in the town to accommodate all the troops, so after two days rest, they continued their march tow Texcoco near Mexico City.
They arrived in Texcoco and were ordered to journey north again to Torreon, Coahuila. They made the journey by train and engaged the enemy immediately. After their arrival, Gabriel was shot in the leg and was sent to the military hospital in Torreon. Even before his wound was healed, Gabriel and his unit were sent to a garrison fort near the town of San Pedro de Las Colonias (about 50 miles east of Torreon). They were under constant fire but were well protected by high walls that enclosed the barracks. After several days in the fort, the Commander gave orders for them to abandon the fort and march to San Luis Potosi. They had several engagements with the enemy along the way until they finally arrived at San Luis Potosi, where they learned that the war was definitely over. They were ordered to march to Mexico City and camped just outside the city. The next day they gathered at the city square and each soldier received his discharge papers. It was 1914 since Gabriel had been "inducted" into the Federal Army. Gabriel returned to his home in Tangancicuaro, Michoacan and his new bride.
Sadly, his wife, Maria Ansuncion Paz, died during childbirth. Gabriel returned to San Antonio, Texas, years later, he met and married Maria Gutierrez Montes de Oca---my grandmother.
In Sam's Own Words; Sam Rodriguez remembers his life
Submitted and Transcribed by Viola Rodriguez Sadler
Photo: Sam Rodriquez
I had long talked about writing a family history, but had never decided what
approach to take. Doing my genealogy work, I bugged all who would pay attention
to tell me family stories. Always, Dad was the one who offered very little, dismissing
me with, “I don’t remember anything.” Or, he would change the subject. I learned
not to be insistent, and soon gave up trying to get him to talk about himself.
Dad passed away on 17 June 2000, the day before Father’s Day. For at least
the last fifteen to twenty years Dad was not a very happy person. Unhappy, not only
because of the limitations brought on by old age and infirmities, but also, because
he did not have the financial freedom he had experienced years before. The most
punishing, however, was the loss of his hearing. That took away his ability to
About a year after Dad’s death, Mom was emotionally capable of going
through some of Dad’s belongings. It was then that she discovered a little red diary
book, the kind easily available at Wal-Mart, or in the old days, “the five-and-dime”
Writing in all caps and pencil, Sam began his story. We do not know when he
began to write his memories or why he stopped. I don’t know if my questions fueled
his motivation, or if he just felt the need to write about his life. Although he was not
an erudite man, I think he wrote from his heart, and writing in Spanglish enhances
what he wanted to express. I added a glossary for those who may need it.
This book contains all that Sam wrote. I did not correct any grammar, nor
change what he wrote. The punctuation is also mostly as he wrote it. I did correct
the spelling of three or four words. What he wrote is found
in this size and style of font.
This book is also a family photo album. The captions and the opinions for the
pictures are mine, and the size and style of font are the same as in this preface.
The endnotes are provided primarily to validate some of the things that Dad
remembered, especially about the mines and the area around Eagle Pass. I included
the Petronila Ranch information mainly because I am such a history buff, and
thought others might find it interesting, too.
The last endnote concerning our trip to New York City is a correction on the
year that we went. In researching the Joe Louis vs. Billy Conn fight, I discovered
that there had been a Louis /Conn fight in 1941 at the Polo Grounds. At that
encounter, the light heavyweight, Billy Conn lead in 12 rounds over Joe Louis, who
was supposed to be in his prime. However, the 13th round brought a reversal of
fortune, and 2:58 into the round, Louis KO’d Conn. According to those who know
boxing, that 1941 bout still stands out as one of the best boxing events ever. When
we went to New York City in 1946, it was the re-match. Yes, Sam was fanatic about
the sport of boxing.
I want to thank my primo, Lorenzo Rodríguez, Jr., and my tía, María
Gallegos Lascano, for providing me with copies of some of the old photographs.
Most of the pictures, however, came from Mom’s collection. My re-discovered
primo, Al Kinsall, in Eagle Pass passed me information on the mines. My sister,
Yolanda, helped me with the stories of when we were children. Thanks go to my
brother, Ernie, for his technical assistance and expertise in putting the book in
print. Thanks to my husband, Charles Sadler, my children, Chuck and Cynthia for
their support and encouragement in this project. They were the best cheerleaders
any wannabe author could ever wish for. The biggest contributor to this effort is
Daddy Sam himself. He not only provided the little red book, but gave me the
inspiration I had been searching for years. Thank you, Daddy. I wish you were here
to reminisce with me.
My hope is that this is but the genesis of other books to come–not necessarily
from me– but from the next generation/s. It is important that we preserve our family
traditions, our family stories and that we pass them on. Enjoy the memories of what
Sam wrote in his own words.
En 1919 llegamos a Eagle Pass, Texas; de Monterrey,
Mexico. I was seven years old.
My brother, Sabino Rodriguez, Jr.
My grandmother, Maria Villa Lascano
My father, Sabino Rodriguez
My mother, Maria L. Rodriguez
My uncle, Mike Lascano
And Jose Ruiz and Lorenzo Rodriguez. They came along
with us so they were raised with us. So to us they were like
But from Eagle Pass, Tex we went to a coal mine, “LaMarr”. We
stayed in there one year and a half. In LaMarr I went to school—
my first adventure in the English language.
In that ‘Mine Town’: There were about 60 small red houses all
built look alike. No mas la de los big bosses eran grande y
diferente. Habia una sola tienda. They had everything; in other
words ‘General merchandise’. Y en el pueblo minero habia una
sola moneda – ‘gold color- pero no mas alli era valida. So you
spent most of your money there, the ‘gold money.’
There was only one hall; it was used for school, church services,
dances, and some other activities. When there was going to be a
mass or rosary we would go out, calle por calle con una
campana para que la gente supiera. Casi toda la gente era
Catolica excepto unas dos familias. La campana era chica de
mano; y las calles eran cortas, como unas seis.
My father was the only one to work inside the mine, the rest of
the boys worked outside filling gondola cars con ceniza de
carbon. Looked like caliche. This was from the coal they used to
run the machinery of the mine. They pile up real high, look like
mountains. And sometimes I worked along with the boys; it was
pick and shovel. We shoveled the ‘caliche’ to the wheelbarrow
and then to the gondola, over a board, 2 x 12”.
I had my own wheelbarrow. One day I went off balance, and
there goes Sam and wheelbarrow off the board, para abajo. The
boys, instead of worrying ‘cause I fell down, thought it was
funny, and started laughing.
In school there was only one teacher, her name was Mrs.
Myers. In the same school hall she had three grades; there were
no partitions to separate the grades. One of the funniest things
in class was when a student by the name of Santiago Treviño at
spelling time tried to pronounce Ohio. He pronounced ocho, like
the number eight in Spanish. Naturally all the kids laughed, but
the teacher cut it short. She was very strict, but at the same
time she was very nice.
She used to live in Eagle Pass. One Cinco de Mayo there was a big
celebration. I participated in it. I said a speech, but I didn’t finish
it. Well, I was about to finish it, when I forgot the rest. The only
thing I said, “Que Viva el Cinco de Mayo!”
In my school work, one day the teacher assigned me to draw a
fruit bowl. It was really nice (who thought that 18 years later I
was going to be in the produce business).
We went out in the forest to cut wood, and carried that on our
backs, back home. When we were by the river bank we cut the
tree roots that looked like cigars and lighted them and smoked
them like cigars. We thought it was funny, but back home
nobody knew about it. Si no, nos hubieran ‘azotado’, ‘cause in
those days there was lots of discipline.
Juntabamos piedras color medio azul de todos tamaños,
especialmente grandes – the bigger the better. Hacíamos un montón grande y luego juntabamos ‘tortas’ de vaca, bastantes,
and then we covered the rocks and lit the tortas. We’d go home
and come back the next day, para juntar las cenizas que era cal.
One thing we liked very much was to pick wild fruit; chapotes,
tunas, and many other kinds – very sweet and good flavor.
Also, we would go hunting rabbits, armadillos. We had lots of fun
hunting armadillos, especially when they go in a hole. You’ll
guess how we took ‘em out.
En 1921 se amenoreo el trabajo en la mina, and, my
daddy just worked two or three days a week. So we
moved to ‘El Seco’ toward Eagle Pass about four miles
from LaMar and about two miles to Eagle Pass.
El Seco was another coal mine. It was larger in population,
there was lots of work for Daddy and the boys. Daddy bought a
mule and a wagon. So we would go to Eagle Pass at least once a
week to get groceries and see movies.
Sometimes I walked to Eagle Pass all by myself. The boys named
the mule “Mike.” Sometimes when on the way to Eagle Pass,
there was a certain place on the road that “Mike” no mas no
queria seguir el camino. He wanted to turn to one side, one of
the boys se bajaba del wagon con garrote en mano and hit
“Mike” in the neck, para que siguiera el camino.
We didn’t stay too long in El Seco. One day in Eagle Pass my Dad
heard about the cotton in Robstown, Tex. So he got in touch
with the ‘Enganchista’ and got ‘maletas’ ready and there we
go to Robstown, Texas. We got in an open truck, como vacas,
with all the belongings and we in the top. We got to Robstown
August 2, 1923, after traveling one and a half day.
The roads in those days were bad—mostly dirt. When they
were good it was caliche. Very few places would you see
paved roads, y muy angostos.
With the first farmer my dad got in touch, his name was Willie
Grote. He took us to his farm west of Robstown about six miles.
To start, for lodging: in the barn with the cows, chickens and
what else. Then he moved us to two small houses (10 x 14). He
had good picking. Mostly all farmers had good crops that year.
The trouble with us was we didn’t know how to pick cotton. In
fact, it was the first time we had seen cotton in our lives. I
didn’t like it – period. When cotton season was over, he took us
to a farm he had in Petronila, 40 acres de cultivo, and 160
brush acres. Again in a small house for 8 people (14 x 20), and
one door and two small windows.
Webmaster: This is only the first eight pages of a 65 page book written by the author.
Sam Rodriquez's Western Union - top
The Esquer Family DNA Project
Submitted by Stella Cardoza
I was born in California, but my parents are from Chihuahua, Mexico. They immigrated to the USA as children. Their widowed parents and their families settled in East Los Angeles, where I was born and raised.
My education includes a Bachelors of Arts degree in Social Ecology from UCI and a Masters degree in Public Administration from USC. Last year I retired from the City of Irvine where I held the position of International Program Coordinator for fifteen years. I am married, and my husband, Bob, and I are the proud parents of two grown boys, and the grandparents of six adorable grandchildren.
Personal interest in genealogy developed over 20 years ago. My interest was aroused after learning from my sister that the LDS Church had a microfilm collection of Mexican church records. This, combined with my natural curiosity about my family’s origins, started me on a journey of discovery that has taken me far and wide–with no end in sight.
I wish to stress that my maternal Esquer family line is only one line of 512 family lines I have on my family tree going back to the early 1600s (the time frame of this current research). I chose this line, and not any of the other 511 lines, simply because it presented the path with the most opportunities for family history research. The Esquer family left written documentation behind in both Spain and Mexico. I regard all lines in my family tree with equal interest, and hope to someday discover the origins of many more on my family tree–regardless of origin or station in life.
Both my mother's parents were born in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Alamos is a Spanish Colonial town, nestled in the western foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains. The town was founded by order of the Spanish Crown in 1685 in order to exploit the silver deposits discovered in the area.
Juan Salvador Esquer was the first Royal Assayer of Alamos. My goal for over twenty years has been to learn if my Esquer branch of the family was in any way related to the pioneer Esquer family of Alamos.
My grandparents married in 1900 and left Alamos to traverse the Sierra Madre Mountains into Chihuahua, seeking work in the mines that were operating in the deep canyons of that mountain range. My mother was born in one such mining town in 1912, but her mother died in 1915. During that time period many dangers existed related to the festering Mexican Revolution. To escape danger and poverty, my widowed grandfather gathered his five children around him in 1920 and immigrated into the United States-- searching for new opportunities and a better life.
My mother was orphaned when she was 3 years old, so she had no family stories handed down to her from her mother, Guadalupe Esquer. Therefore, when I began my quest for information I had very little to start with. Only a name and a place.
I have verified through archival documentation that my Esquer family was living in Alamos during the early 1700s. However I could not link my family to the family of Juan Salvador Esquer.
The documents were missing, and it appeared as though I had come against a solid brick wall –with little hope of ever breaking through it. That is, until DNA analysis finally became available to family historians.
I started my research over 20 years ago, using the microfilmed resources at the LDS Family History Centers, in addition to spending time in Alamos looking through the original birth, baptism, marriage and death documents. Research has included travel to Mexico City and Spain several times in search of civil documents that would shed some light on the mystery of my family origins. In addition, I have also used the microfilmed collections at various universities, and a variety of secondary sources.
About ten years ago I located a legal document in the Spanish Colonial archives of Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico that revealed the small village in Spain, Isaba, Navarra, where Juan Salvador Esquer was born. Eight years ago I visited that village and located a family that carried the Esquer name. I was told that the family had always lived in that same little Spanish village located high in the Pyrenees Mountains in the Roncal Valley.
The only way to solve the “missing link” problem was to verify a common ancestor between Juan Salvador Esquer and my family through a Y-DNA comparison of direct male descendants.Unfortunately, there was no one in my Esquer family branch who would qualify. This is because I am a descendant of the Esquer line through my mother’s side of the family. In order to even hope for success, I first had to find a direct descendant of my grandmother's only male sibling. His branch of the family remained in Sonora, Mexico. Contact was lost with that brnch of the family in 1900 when my grandparents left Alamos–over 100 years ago.
I posted a search message on Esquer family message boards online. After two years I received a response from a person whom I could verify as being a direct male descendant in my family’s Esquer line. I asked my new-found male Esquer relation if he would consent to DNA analysis, and he graciously agreed to do so. Last summer my husband and I traveled to Isaba, Navarra and I was successful in collecting a DNA sample from a male Esquer living in the ancestral village.
I submitted the sample to Relative Genetics and the results returned almost a perfect match (43 out of 44 markers on the Y-DNA). I was able to prove that two branches of the same Esquer family had a common ancestor about 400 years ago. One branch remained in Spain, while the other ventured on, into the New World.
I learned that Juan Salvador Esquer (father of the Juan Salvador Esquer who was the first Royal Assayer of Alamos, Sonora, Mexico), like my grandfather, was a widower who gathered his children around him in 1695, making the voyage into a strange land in search of new opportunities and a better life. Family history had repeated itself.
I have also learned through a mtDNA (female lineage test) that my direct female line family origins are Native American. I take pride in knowing that the blood that flows through my veins is a fusion of two diverse cultures, both of the conquerer and the conquered–the very essence of what it is to be of Mexican heritage.
This I Remember
Submitted by Art Almeida
Photo: Doña Natividad and Don Julian Almeida
FAMILIA member, Art Almeida, submitted news clipping of an article
first published in 1988 in the Daily Breeze (Los Angeles County's local
South Bay newspaper, headquartered in Torrance, California). During the
100th Anniversary of the city of San Pedro, the newspaper asked long-time
residents to recall their years growing up in San Pedro. The following
are excerpts from Art's article remembering San Pedro and the Almeida
In recollecting my formative years in the 1930s and 1940s, nothing in
experience and influence compares more favorably and lasting than the
love and example of my parents. Each, in their own way, profoundly
affected me and my brothers and sisters to this very day.
My father, Papa, as we respectfully addressed him, was the ultimate
caballero; proud in his humble manner, learned, courteous and with the
scholarly ability to write and converse in flawless Spanish. His English,
though limited, was more than adequate.
My mother, respected and addressed as Mama, was the typically faithful,
hardworking woman of the house with intensive love and devotion to her
family. She always seemed to have the ready remedy for aches and pains
and assorted ailments. An herb for every occasion was not farfetched and
Mom always knew what to do. Her medicine chest almost inspired a
willingness to forgo getting well for the treatment was so comforting.
My parents, Don Julian M. Almeida and Doña Natividad M. Almeida,
married in Clifton (near Morenci), Arizona in 1915, six years before
their trip to Terminal Island.
Grandmother Onofre, Mom's mother, had preceded her in 1919 with Andres,
Margarita, Refugio and Ramon, Mom's brothers and sisters. She had been
widowed when Grandfather Jose Madrid was killed by Indians in the mountains
in Mexico while searching for firewood. A brother working at the Phelps
Dodge Mine in Morenci sent money for their travel. They crossed the border
in 1896 via the bridge, according to documents issued by El Paso officials.
Since that trip north, we have lost all trace of Mom's family. The Almeida
family was from the hacendado class, the landowners who had tilled their
farms since 1747 and before. The Almeida name is curious in that it is
not Castilian, but Portuguese.
With the political turmoil and the uncertainty of the future, part of
the Almeida clan left Santa Maria de los Angeles in Jalisco. It included
Don Francisco Almeida, my grandfather, Doña Vita M. Almeida, my grandmother,
and their children, Julian, Refugio, Juan, Ramon, Maria Elisa, Lupe and
Federico. After residing in Morenci for some dozen years, most of the
family moved to San Pedro when the mine closed down indefinitely.
Dad obtained work at the Hammond Lumber Co. near Berth 218 adjacent to
the Vincent Thomas Bridge in East San Pedro.
Sometime in 1923, Dad, who knew carpentry well, built the family home
at 617 Elberon Ave. (then known as Park Avenue, now as Black Hill). At
that time only Jose, Francisco, Herminia (born in Morenci), and Julian
Jr. (born on Terminal Island) comprised the offspring. My sisters, Carmen,
Emma, Elisa and I would be born in the house Father built. Dad, Mom and
Jose are dead; most of the rest are residing in San Pedro or in the general
South Bay area. This includes a multitude of grandchildren up to the
In 1927, he helped found the Alianza Hispano Americana Logia #92, this
after moving from Terminal Island to the San Pedro side. His involvement
as co-founder and president of this fraternal lodge earned him the respect
of the Hispanic community. Other co-founders were Cipriano Alva, Teodoro
and Andrea Rodriguez, Jose Alvarado, Maximo Hernandez and Jose Uranga
who also have many descendants living in and about San Pedro.
Many San Pedro Mexicans, as well as other residents found the Depression
brutal at times, making it difficult to provide the necessary clothing,
food and shelter for their families.
Dad took pride not only in building his own home (family and friends
pitched in) but also in managing without welfare aid at a time when government
assistance helped many survive. Fortunately he had part-time work at the
Patton Blinn Lumber Co. in Wilmington.
During the early 1930s we joined other families from La Rambla area,
picking onions at the Dominguez Ranch in Carson. The extra money helped
forestall hunger and provide for the essentials. There were no frills or
The rain brought some blessings especially when families trekked up above
Western Avenue or nearby valleys to pick fresh wild-mustard plants.
They were cooked with and appropriate slice of bacon rind. Many families
grew fruit trees and had vegetables gardens; cactus (nopales) was also
a staple. Somehow persimmons stand out vividly in my memory as a
Sister Minnie (Herminia) was crowned queen of San Pedro at 16. Local
Hispanic civic groups had sponsored the 16th of September Mexican Independence
Day event. She sold more tickets than the other aspirants at 10 cents
each and our family was justly proud.
My Aunt Maria, with her husband, Mariano Fuentes, established the La
Paloma restaurant in 1938.
Northern San Pedro had it all; West Basin to swim, the mud flats, sports
field, Barton Hill School, a theater and the church I belonged to, the
former Holy Trinity, now St. Peter's. But most of all, my friends and
I had the vast openness from Channel Street to Five Points north and
Gaffey Street to the top of San Pedro Hill to the west.
Free-spirited youth running, not unlike swift gazelles, through what
was once Rancho Sepulveda, site of the first water works for San Pedro.
Washed-out gullies, verdant slopes and meadows were our playgrounds.
Roadrunners, king and gopher snakes and an occasional cow were our playmates.
We ran as hounds with myself usually the tireless fox. Manuel (Meno)
Garcia, Charlie Gonzales and Tino Perez were some I remember. We laughed
and laughed and laughed-sometimes so hard our bladders couldn't hold.
It was a time of innocence.
Toward the late '30s, Raoul (Wahoo) Monroy and I became inseparable
entrepreneurs. We'd scour the neighborhood for any way to make some money
to attend the theater. Bottles, which we took to Mannino's Liquor Store,
were our sure source of revenue. Mr. Mannino insisted on impeccably
clean bottles; quarts, 1 cent; gallons, 2 cents; and pints, ½ cent.
On rare occasions his son, Sam Mannino, of tuxedo fame, and I reminisce
about those times.
We were so enterprising. Wahoo and I used to entertain some of the
MacArthur Street kids by putting on Shakespearean plays in an abandoned
shack. Never mind memorizing lines; we innovated, faked and stammered
through some pretty funny acts. Well, at least the kids thought so.
Oh yes, the best play was Romeo, or course. I forget who played Julied.
Admission? You guessed it, one sparkling-clean bottle (preferably a Parti-Pak).
I later went into sales in front of the Globe Theatre. The San Pedro
News-Pilot didn't do to well there, but in time I was allowed to sell on
the Terminal Island finger piers. All the older newsboys got the Twenty-second
Street Navy Landing, Navy ships, lumber schooners and any locale where
sales were hot.
On Elberon and Gaffey Place stood two "mom and pop" stores; Huesos' and
Alvarados'. The Huesos were from Spain and I can still remember vividly
Doña Remedios admonishing us in Spanish whenever our deportment was out
of line. Members of the Hueso family still reside in San Pedro. Julio and
Emily come to mind.
Señor Celedonio Alvarado was the hit of the neighborhood when he had
a pinball machine installed in his store. All would crowd around the players.
Huge dill pickles and pigs knuckles were devoured between the dinging of the
bells, that is if you could afford them. As far as I know, one of the two
Alvarado daughters and her family still live in the old neighborhood.
That would be Elodia; Laura, the eldest, lives in Wilmington.
Mom and Dad taught us all the social proprieties. You sat straight,
answered when spoken to and excused yourself to leave the room, always
in the polite Spanish form. God help those who forgot the rules of etiquette.
Propriety and civility were uppermost in the minds of my parents,
especially my father. He always seemed to have a timely and wise saying
whenever we transgressed acceptable behavior. Dad rarely used the razor
strop, but the few times he did were indelible in my mind and elsewhere.
World War II radically changed every phase of life. My brothers went off to war and I graduated to Dana Junior High. It was a new world of leaning and friendships, many that continue today. There was Pete Madsen, Jesse Garcia, Eddie Hughes, Joe Aguilera, Marco Guglielmo, Bob and Pete Bentovoja, Tony Fallorina, Mike Ramirez, Don Ornelas, Baldy Marinkovich, just to mention a few. ... I remember Miss Rosenwein, a caring teacher who helped put my ethnicity in proper perspective. She was my public-speaking instructor who instilled confidence by helping me overcome my shyness. Boy, have I changed!
San Pedro High capped my public school education. It was there in 1944, in life science I, that I met Irene M. Horta, the future Mrs. Almeida. Pedro High was all things: learning, sports, school activities, friendships and new pastimes.
Irene and I graduated with the class of S '47 and were married April 27, 1952. Today our family includes our son, Arthur Joaquim; our eldest daughter Irene Majella, and her husband, Bill Maas, and their daughters Brenna and Shannon; our youngest daughter, Lourette Marie (Loure), married to Peter Manghera, and their son Kristopher and daughter Lixandrina. (Peters Parents, Pete and Virginia Manghera, have been our friends since Pedro High days.) Irene's parents, Manuel G. and Mary F. (nee Garcia) Horta were natives of Madeira Island (Portugal), immigrating to this country in 1919 and 1913, respectively. They met in San Pedro and married at the old Mary Star of the Sea Church at Ninth and Centre streets on Nov. 28, 1925. Besides Irene, they had two sons: Manuel Jr. is a longshoreman and my late brother-in-law, Joe Horta, was an outstanding shortstop for the San Pedro Rookies during the late '40s and early '50s.
I cannot ever remember writing an article more moving than "This I Remember". The years have flown by so fast, one wonders where they all went. I have lived 60 wonderful years of adventure, excitement and fulfillment. When I think of my boyhood days, the four lines from Whittier's "The Barefoot Boy" come to mind. I think it would be proper in closing.
This is my remembrance:
"With the sunshine on thy face,
thy torn brims jaunty grace;
From my heart I give thee joy,
was once a barefoot boy!"
Doña Natividad and Don Julian Almeida, married in 1915, Clifton,
Photo provided by Art Almeida
Refugio Gomez Dominguez From La Cruz, Chihuahua, Mexico
Submitted by Felicitas Dominguez
The following is an abridged version of the Dominguez family
narrative which the author dedicates to her parents, Refugio Gomez
Dominguez and Hermenegilda Garcia, as well as to her brothers
My oldest ancestors are Jose Dominguez and Enquil Mendoza and
I have no information on them. I didn’t know that we had Mendoza
in our line. I went to Rosales and found their names on a baptismal
record for their grandchild, Maria Michaela de Jesus Dominguez,
dated 1871 at La Cruz church, Rosales, Chihuahua, Mexico. Micaela’s
parents were Antonio Luis Dominguez who was born about 1829 in
Saucillo, Chihuahua and Petra Balderrama, born about 1834 in Rosales,
Chihuahua. They were married in 1849 in Satevo, Chihuahua.
My grandfather, Jesus Balderrama Dominguez, was born to Antonio
and Petra in 1853 in La Cruz, Chihuahua. He married Felicitas
Gomez in 1879 in Saucillo, Chihuahua. They came to El Paso, Texas
in about 1906 and he died in 1931 in San Angelo, Texas.
Refugio Gomez Dominguez, my father, was their fifth child; he
was born in 1885 in La Cruz, Chihuahua. He came to El Paso in
about 1902, married Hermenegilda Garcia in 1913, and died in 1949
in El Paso. My mother was born in 1893 in Arno, Texas, about 40
miles northwest of Pecos. She came to El Paso with her father
and sister Baldomera between 1898-1901. Hermenegilda’s mother
died around those dates and I have not been able to find where
she is buried, East Texas or El Paso.
A marriage certificate dated 1810 in Satevo, Chihuahua, for Conception
Balderrama, lists him as a Spaniard and his wife Salome Orozco
as an Indian. Their daughter, Petra, married my great-grandfather,
Antonio Luis Dominguez.
My grandmother Felicitas Gomez’s parents were Pedro Gomez and
Francisca Ortega. Felicitas was born in 1859 in Saucillo, married
Jesus Balderrama Dominguez in 1879 also in Saucillo, and died
in 1917 in El Paso.
I have no information on Pedro Gomez and Francisca Ortega, other
than that they are the parents of Agapito Gomez, Grandma Felicitas’
father. Miguel Perez and Ignacia Calderon were the parents of
my great-grandmother,Simona Perez.
Antonio Luis Dominguez and Petra Balderrama were the parents
of my grandfather, Jesus Balderrama Dominguez. I remember my grandfather
“Papa Chuchi” or “Papa Chito” very fondly. I do not remember his
physical being, but I remember that he would take me by the hand
and take me with him wherever he went.
In 1993, I started on our family tree by learning how to use
library records both here and in El Paso. In 1995 I made my first
trip to La Cruz, Camargo, Saucillo, Delicias, Meoqui, and Rosales,
Mexico. In La Cruz, I visited the church that my father, his brother
and his father helped build. In Rosales, I obtained a copy of
my maternal grandmother’s birth certificate and her marriage record
My second trip was in 1997. By then my 94-year old cousin, Chita
Gandara, had expired. She was the one who gave me invaluable information.
During the Revolution, her mother would hide Chita and possibly
her sisters in the corral with the cows, to protect them from
the soldiers. In Parral, Chihuahua, I went to the Civil Registry
and the church of San Jose, to look for my father-in-law’s birth
certificate. No luck. People have told me that Parral had a flood
in the early days and records were lost.
The following is one of the family stories of how my father came
to the U.S. He, his older brother Jose, and his younger brother,
Bonifacio, came across on a train. Before they left Saucillo,
they made a plan for survival. They agreed that during the night
each one would jump off the train without letting the others know.
They thought that at least one of them would survive. As it turned
out, the oldest was lost along the way. Nobody knows what happened
to him. My father and his youngest brother Bonifacio, ended up
in Arizona where they found each other by chance. Tio Facho was
working on a ranch and Dad was working on the railroad.
Tio Facho worked for the railroad in East Texas, married and
settled down in San Angelo where he ran his own business. His
descendants still live there. My dad married and settled down
in El Paso, where all of us were born and attended school. My
two sisters, nephews and nieces still live there. Refugio Gomez
Dominguez and Hermenegilda Garcia, my parents, built our house
from the ground up. My parents married in 1913 in El Paso. They
lived in the vicinity of Kansas Street where my two older sisters
and brother were born. In the 1920 census, our address was 115
Lee Street, and my father was listed as a “waggoner,” another
word for teamster. At that time El Paso was in the midst of a
building boom and my father used his two horse-drawn wagons to
haul away debris from the building sites. Mom and Dad saved gold
pieces and bought land in the same neighborhood or barrio. They
would save some more and do the next phase on the house. This
is the way they finally moved us in when I was one year old. We
lived there until 1973 when Mother died. Our house represented
hard work, determination and the faith of our parents. The last
debt on the house was paid in the midst of the 1930’s Depression
when my oldest brother graduated from high school and my younger
siblings were born. Whenever I feel overcome by my problems, I
remember my parents—how they managed to house and feed their twelve
children, seven of whom graduated from high school, and raised
us with love, discipline and self-respect.
Mother was born in the area of Pecos, Texas, in 1893, and was
baptized at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Pecos. She would
tell us the story that her mother had died when she was about
seven years old. She, her father and her sister, Baldomera, moved
to El Paso, where her father’s brother, Marcelo, lived with his
wife Exequia, and her children (Marcelo’s step-children). Mother’s
father was a carpenter who made coffins; Mother would help him
upholster and line the inside. After his death she went to work
in one of the hotels downtown. She married in 1913 at Sacred Heart
Church in El Paso. She lived there until her death in 1973.
My mother was about five feet tall; her hair fell below her waist.
She had a quiet, tranquil spirit, didn’t talk much, except when
necessary, and then she was not short on words. She was always
singing and whistling through her teeth. As a young woman she
played the guitar and sang at the neighborhood dances. She loved
and tended her garden almost to the last days of her life. The
kitchen was her domain. She cooked soups, stews, roasts, tamales,
buñuelos, pound cake, and let us not forget her corn and flour
tortillas, pinto beans and wonderful rice, sopa de arroz, calabasas
con queso, chile colorado con carne. Lent —La Quarezma—was a special
time of the year. We would have fish soup, fried fish filets,
chacales in red chile, lentils (lentejas) and best of all, capirotada—bread
pudding made with toasted French bread, raisins, peanuts or walnuts,
chunks of cheese, brown sugar syrup and sprinkled with tiny multi-colored
candies. (Chacales are dried corn kernels that are boiled until
soft and served in red chile sauce).
The seasons of the year could be identified by the cooking aromas
in our house. Everyday cooking would be a meat dish, rice, pinto
beans, a vegetable dish. In the morning before we left for school
we would have a large bowl of hot oatmeal with a piece of sweet
bread. At noon-time we had our big meal around a large circular
oak table, and our evening meal was a light one of rice pudding
and a piece of bread or anything that was leftover from lunch.
With such a large family, we ate everything that was cooked at
one seating. On Sundays, mother would send us to mass after a
breakfast of hot cakes, and after mass she would have a hot meal
waiting for us. Sunday dinner at her house went on well after
all of us were married and had families of our own. When I came
to California, that is the one thing that I missed the most.
Summertime was the regular fare with large amounts of iced tea.
It didn’t matter how hot the weather got outside, the cooking
pots would be on the stove giving off their spicy aromas.
On Thanksgiving day, Mom and my sister Cuca would stuff a turkey
and bake pies, and we would all go to her house for a feast with
all the trimmings.
Christmas was celebrated with tamales, buñuelos, torejas, migas,
and cookies. (The dough for buñuelos is made with flour and eggs,
then rolled out very thin and fried. Torejas and migas are buñuelos
with brown sugar syrup). Mother would set them out in stacks on
the kitchen table to cool off, then store them in tins. Turnovers
(empanadas de camote) made with sweet potatoes were delicious.
Mother would make dozens and share with her neighbors.
To this day, people remember Doña Mere as a good cook who always
had a pot boiling on the stove and who would invite you to partake
Refugio Gomez Dominguez, 1885-1948
Hermenegilda Garcia Dominguez, 1893-1973 picture taken in Arno,
Texas - top
Sumitted by Kevin Williams and translated by Marjorie Mota
Team Photos: Cuervos
de Nogales Sonora Team Photo, 1919-22
The Tragedy of "Los Cuervos"
Not everything is life and sweetness in this world; we know that
everything happens, leaving indelible memories, some sad, others
bitter. But all the same, memories!
The tragedy of the Los Cuervos nine is of the type that leaves
bitterness. While the Los Cuervos baseball nine (*1) were getting
ready to leave for Mexico City where they were to contend with
the most powerful teams of the Beautiful City of Palaces, they
called up other players for reinforcement, included among them,
David Salazar, superb Mexican-Californian pitcher who was having
the best season of his life; Amado Gutierrez, the great
second baseman from the White Sox out of Douglas, Arizona, who
had been pitcher for the great Cananea team; Gamez, catcher from
the same team, so they could accompany the Cuervos.
On the afternoon that they were attending their last practice,
a strange thing happened: while El Indio Aresnio Bernal was at
bat, Alfredo Chato Bojorquez, captain of the team, dropped by
the field accompanied by other friends of his, riding in a Studebaker:
moments later Arsenio's bat broke in such a strange way, that
it seemed as if it had been chopped by a mighty blow from an ax.
(Someone said that it foretold a bad omen). The practice ended,
and what to the surprise to the Cuervos, when they arrived at
the center of town, where from all quarters was heard the sad
news that Chato Bojorquez had just been killed! The car in which
he and his friends had been riding, had rolled over several times
on a very sharp curve near Nogalitos heading toward the Washington
None of the players wanted to believe that type of news. But
unfortunately it was the sad reality! The captain of the Los Cuervos
team had died!
This unfortunate event occurred the 22nd of June 1920, about
seven o'clock in the evening, and the Cuervos had planned their
trip for the 24th of the same month. But in that month, yes, burial
was given to the great Hermosillan player. On account of this
the Cuervos trip to the capital was suspended and with this unhappy
event the Los Cuervos star begin to decline.
1885-1945 Base Ball in Sonora by Miguel S. Durado p. 56-7.
Translated by Marjorie Bach Mota - February 2001
(*1). The word novena does not have an adequate counterpart in
English. English admits "twosome, threesome, foursome," but "ninesome"
never quite made it into our lexicon. Therefore in some places
in the text, novena has simply been translated as "team."
Amado Gutierrez has been featured with his teammates in other
articles on both sides of the border. His sports prowlness is
legendary in the Douglas/Tucson area of Arizona and the Nogales
area of northern area of Sonora, Mexico.
In an article written by Tom Danehy in Sports Illustrated April,
16, 1984 issue, the writer describes a heroic semi-pro game played
over 83 years ago on May 29, 1921, which pitted the Douglas White
Sox against their arch rivals Nogales, Arizona Cuervos (Crows).
Both teams coming into the game undefeated. The White Sox winning
their first 12 games of the season, mostly against competition
from the state of Sonora, while the Cuervos' 19-0 record was against
California and Arizona teams proved to be a show down. The game
was to be played in the border town Nogales 10,000-seat municipal
stadium on the Mexican side of the border.
The pageantry, the excitement, and the honor of each town was
at stake. Thousands of fans from all over Arizona and Sonora came
to see the game in Nogales. (Nogales, Arizona is a border town
with its sister city, Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. A border fence
is the only distinction between the two cities. Other good examples
of communities are El Paso/Juarez, San Diego/Tijuana and on
a much smaller scale Calexico/Mexicali.) The governor of Sonora
attended the game, being protected by the federales and to allay
fears that Poncho Villa would not surprise and attacked the game.
The game started at high noon, with the temperature over 100
degrees. The crowd already intoxicated with excitement was also
in the party mood since Prohibition was not recognized
in Mexico. Predictably, there was heavy betting going on. Some
say thousands of dollars and hundreds of thousands of pesos were
wagered at even money between the crowd. "The game quickly
settled into a pitching dual between Tachi Ruiz of Douglas and
Arsenio (Indio) Bernal of Nogales. The two traded strikeouts and
both had no-hitters through the fifth inning. The 20,000 fans
who had squeezed into the stadium roared with each pitch and bet
some more between each innings. It became increasingly apparent that
the game's outcome would probably be determined by one big play."
"Bernal began to tire in the late going but he maintained
his shutout with the help of some fine defensive plays and generous
calls by the local umpiring crew. The teams battled into the ninth,
still scoreless tie. Ruiz lead off the inning for Douglas with
a line drive to left that got past the fielder and bounced to
the wall. Ruiz slid into third well ahead of the throw. His slide,
however, dislodged the bag and sent it skittering into foul territory.
Ruiz, breathing hard from exertion, sat slumped over on the spot
where the bag had been. The relay throw finally came in to the
third basemen, who casually tagged Ruiz where he sat. Immediately,
the home-plate umpire who had moved about halfway up the line,
raised his right hand and loudly called Ruiz out."
The White Sox team and manager could not believe the call. They
pleaded their case with the umpire to no avail. Some Douglas fans,
upset that losing was one thing, felt their money was being
stolen, jumped onto the field in disgust. Not wanted to be left out,
Nogales fans, did the same. Finally, upon orders from the governor,
the federales fought their way on the field to restore order.
Gunshots were fired and the crowd began to stampede in all direction.
A riot broke out that afternoon. "Just as suddenly as the panic
began, it ended. The passion was spent, the fighting was over.
... The 'out' call against Ruiz stood, as did his ejection. The
Nogales team retook the field and the game picked up with one
out in the visitors' half of the ninth inning. Unsettled by the
violence and perhaps by the bloodstains near the mound), Bernal
walked the next two batters before getting the second out of the
inning on a called third strike. That brought to the plate Douglas
cleanup hitter and second baseman Amado (Chief) Gutierrez."
The pitcher Bernal appearing to have regained his control had
to face Gutierrez. A quick out and the Nogales team would win
the game. Bernal threw his first pitch, a curve for strike one.
Bernal took his wind up and threw the second pitch. Sorry to say
it was over the plate. Chief Gutierrez hit the ball over the centerfield
wall for a three-run homer. Bernal got the next out, but the "Chief"
took the mound in the bottom of the ninth to preserved the victory
for the Ruiz and the White Sox.
The article goes on to describe the heroic efforts of Amado Gutierrez
in his baseball career. Amado Gutierrez played for several teams
from Marshall, Texas to Sonora Mexico. World War I broke out and interrupted
several baseball player's playing days. He returned to play several more years,
including the stint from the article on the Tragedy of the
Los Cuervos. His playing days ended, but his life began by
working for the railroads in the Douglas-Agua Prieta area. He
married and settled down to have four sons and three daughters.
Plaques of his baseball deeds are still viewable at the local
Agua Prieta Stadium. In fact, the stadium was going to be named
"Chief Gutierrez Stadium"; however, the politician of the town named
the stadium after the governor of Sonora instead.
Research of this ancestor has been difficult. We have several individuals with the same name with three distinct
birthdates given! We think we found the correct one, from his military/draft record, another for his
railroad service, as well as his immigration records. We
do know that his heritage lead to Ciudad Jimenez, Chihuahua, Mexico
based upon records found from other family members.
We were able to traced down some undocumented vital records from the local area.
We found original vital records being stored haphazardly in someone's barn. Some are in
the walls, providing insulation. Members of Familia and or Latter Day Saints
genealogy researchers are in communication trying to preserved or duplicate records, which could be lost forever.
Cuervos de Nogales Sonora Team Photo 1919-22