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Rio Grande Researcher

Volume XXXV | Number 21 | Jun 2006

Meetings - 2nd Thursday - 7:00 PM - All Saints Episcopal Church - 3500 McRae El Paso - All are welcome
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EPGS Website
RGR Archives
-------RGR Mar 2006
-------RGR Jun 2006
-------RGR Sep 2006
-------RGR Dec 2006

Betty Owen
Sam Weldon - 592-6935
Norma Frye - 633-6877
Sandra Lewis - 599-1167

Jack Austin - 598-1422 Education
John Miller - 565-4416
RGR Editor
John Miller - 565-4416
Yolanda Perez -

Yolanda Perez -

CD Librarian
Bill Hilbert -

Wally Thomson -

Barbara McCarthy -

BOOKS for sale

Births, Deaths & Marriages
from El Paso Newspapers

Vol 1 --- -$ 35.00 each
Vol II ----$ 30.50 each
Vol III ---$ 39.00 each
Vol IV ----$ 50.00 each
Set -------$140.00
including shipping

Sandra Lewis
11100 Leo Collins
El Paso, TX 79936-0307
Tel: (915) 599-1168


$15.00 single, $23.00 family

Send to: Sandra Lewis Treasurer, EPGS 11100 Leo Collins El Paso, TX 79936-0307


Memorial Park
3200 Copper Ave.

Cielo Vista
8929 Viscount Blvd

Clardy Fox
5515 Robert Alva Ave

Doris Van Doren
591 Red Road

Lower Valley
7915 San Jose

West Side
125 Belvidere

9321 Alameda

Literacy Center
5515 Robert Alva Ave

EPCC Northwest Campus
Community Library
6701 S. Desert Blvd.

Fort Worth Is Site for October 2006 TSGS Conference

The El Paso Genealogical Society, a current partner member of the Texas State Genealogy Society, has received notice that the 2006 TSGS conference will be held in Fort Worth, Oct 27-28, at the MacGorman Conference Center. Major Speakers will be J. Mark Lowe, CG and Pamela Boyer Porter, CGRS, CGL. The Conference host will be the Mid-Cities Genealogy Society, Euless, Texas ( Fort Worth is an excellent site for EPGS members who would like to attend the conference. Transportation is direct by air and ground, even if the ground trip is a long boring drive.

The conference in Fort Worth is a great opportunity for a "two for" or maybe even a "three for" experience. Not only will participants get the benefit of an educational experience for beginners, intermediates and advanced researchers, they will be within a mile of the Fort Worth National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Regional Center. They may want to plan an extra day (or week) for conducting their own research at the Fort Worth facility. If they have a relative or two living around the DFW area, they might just want throw in a visit with kinfolk for a total family togetherness package featuring those past and present. Depending on how the visit with the relatives goes, the researcher may confirm, or call into question, the wisdom of trying to learn more about one's family and its history.

Membership in TSGS would seem to be a good twenty-dollar annual investment (calendar year), considering educational seminars, publications and discounts. Membership can even be pro-rated for the year. For folks with a Texas connection, it would seem especially helpful and members can contribute to help add to the Texas database. Every year TSGS has writing and publication awards in various categories where member authors and partner societies are recognized for their contributions. An individual has to be a TSGS member to submit material for consideration of an award. A copy of the TSGS membership application is on page 9 of this edition. Anyone who is interested in submitting an article to TSGS can get the rules at or by calling John Miller who has a hard copy. There are eight categories plus awards for Partner Society Websites.

Glendora Gardea, an EPGS member now living in Fort Worth with her daughter, has written a brief article on her experience at the Fort Worth NARA facility and it will be found on page 6 of this edition. Hopefully it will make a first visit for our members even easier and offer a bit of an EPGS personal touch. She forgot to mention where the best places are to eat. The last time we heard from her she had been to the Fort Worth Archives four times in one week so she should know her subject well. One of the websites for the NARA facility is JKM Betty Owen

The El Paso Genealogical Society Newsletter

This newsletter is published quarterly by the El Paso Genealogical Society in the interests of its members and in contributing to the advancement of genealogical knowledge and education in the El Paso area. The EPGS Newsletter encourages submission of articles for publication with the understanding that articles may be edited for brevity, clarity and typographical or grammatical error. Neither the publisher nor editor assumes responsibility for content, opinions, statements or implications by individuals in this newsletter.

The EPGS is a non-profit, non-political, non-sectarian organization dedicated to genealogical collection, preservation, documentation, research and education in the El Paso Borderland area.

Editor may be reached at or John K. Miller, 2916 Federal Ave, El Paso, TX79930

Membership in the El Paso Genealogical Society

Membership is open to any person upon payment of annual dues of fifteen dollars ($15) for single membership and twenty-three dollars ($23.00) for family membership and cover the period from January 1 to December 31 of each year. Dues are not prorated regardless of when members join. New members receive a copy of all newsletters for the year, any no fee publications printed by the society during the year, a copy of the society's Genealogy for Beginners and access to our collection of materials in the Baldwin CD library. "Members helping members, the basis of a great society" is one of the goals of EPGS. Guests and new members are always welcome.

General Meetings Regular Monthly meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Parrish Hall at All Saints Episcopal Church, 3500 McRae, El Paso, TX. They normally consist of a brief business meeting followed by a program led by members or invited guest speakers. In April and September potluck dinners are held beginning at 6:30 PM in the Parrish Hall. The December meeting is an end of year social and induction of new officers. The Board of Directors normally meets on the First Monday of each month with the time and place being determined by the President. Any member is welcome to attend our board meetings.

Formal Mailing Address:
El Paso Genealogical Society
Genealogy Department
El Paso Public Library
501 N. Oregon
El Paso, TX 79901

Genetics, DNA, High School Science Classes and Genealogy

By John Miller Recently EPGS had a program on genetics and DNA matching in genealogy, a complicated subject to cover in a few minutes. Between my increasingly decreasing brain speed and impaired hearing, much of the presentation passed by me. After the program I called my elder daughter, college biology major, high school science teacher and former medical laboratory technician, and asked if she had any clear, concise written information that might help older people understand DNA from a genealogical perspective. She said genetics was a subject in one of her classes and if any students were interested, she would offer extra credit for researching my question. I felt a little guilty laying this on poor high school students even though I thought it was a subject that should be of some importance to them. Purple hair and body piercing implying other origins of their species, presumably they were genetically linked to human kinfolk in their past. Perhaps the students were trying make up for a missed assignment or tardiness. About two weeks later, I received a large envelope with the responses of three students and their research.

I learned much about genealogy and DNA in the articles the students submitted. The range was from basic knowledge to the most up-to-date happenings in the field. A new term has emerged, "Genetealogy," or genetic genealogy. I learned Y DNA testing compares the Y chromosome passed from father to son through the generations, while mitochondria, or mtDNA, testing can trace mother to daughter through the generations. I learned that scraping those cells on the inside of your cheek with a spoon in the kit is called "buccal" testing. I know all this was covered in the EPGS program, but it wasn't clear for me until I read more about it. Interesting information, but even more interesting was what I learned about how high school students conduct research and get extra credit.

Way back when, we researched a subject in the library, read articles, books and journals and related them to what we were learning in class. Then we wrote a paper summarizing, discussing, analyzing and citing our references with footnotes and a bibliography. We were graded on everything including our grammar. Not so today. Today the researcher goes to a computer, (home or library) gets on-line, types in "genealogy, genetics," quickly surfs or visually scans any number of articles, selects the ones most preferred, presses the "Print" key and turns in the project the next day. Does it work? Below are the sites of the articles I was sent, which, of course, are linked to a zillion other sites. No need to print the articles here. Just go there and read them yourself. Research today is pretty easy stuff, unless you are one of the persons who wrote the original article and struggled to make sure it was accurate in every respect. I think I have heard that discussion before when it comes to genealogy, computers and the Internet. Just click, click, click; instant research or instant family tree! Anyway I think this information is pretty solid about genetics. I appreciate the students' contributions and best of all I don't have to feel guilty about them putting in all that work we used to do.

The Fort Worth National Archives and More

By Glendora Gardea, EPGS Member

I am now living near The National Archives and /Records Administration Southwest Region Facility in Fort Worth, TX. NARA is a Federal agency that, by law, preserves and provides access to permanently valuable, non-current Federal records with historical, legal, or fiscal value. This is one of 14 such facilities in the US, where the public has access to Federal archival records. Anyone planning to visit NARA should review their web site at for hours of operation and directions, as well as locations of other regional offices.

I have visited the archives and intensively utilized their facility for genealogy research of the Dyer (paternal), Heinze (maternal) and other limbs of the family tree. I have found the Archives Specialists knowledgeable and most willing to guide one in the right direction. I look forward to beginning research in the Gardea (paternal) and Moreno (maternal) family tree and limbs. Meanwhile we are preparing for a trip to Ellis Island, learning more about the island, taking pictures of the Walls of Honor and other important historical sites in June this year. We go to NY via a trip to El Paso June 2, where my entire family, prior neighbors, and other friends will celebrate a milestone in my life (the big 80).

Here are a few items I hope will be of interest to EPGS members planning a visit to this area and NARA site:

1. A copy machine is available for and copy work is free for use by visitors. Microfilm copy work is available for a minimum cost of $.30 per page. Bring change, although the machine does make change for $1.00 bills.

2. Federal Census Records (FCR) 1790 through 1930. I am back to the 1830 FCR on the Dyer side and am still in the US, although in Vermont. There are also "companion" population schedules, i.e., the Twelfth census of the US 1900 Special Inquiries Relating to Indians, and also Slaves. I have observed many visitors going down these roads.

3. CENSUS SOUNDEX 1880-1930 is also available.

4. CELL phones are prohibited in the research room, but allowed in the entrance foyer.

5. LOCKERS. Are available for use by visitors. Ask the specialist about them when you enter.

6. PUBLIC Library. The Fort Worth Public Library is located in downtown Fort Worth at 500 West 3d Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102-7305, 817-871-7740. It is sometimes called the "Best in the West," although I have been told the Dallas Public Library located in nearby Dallas is better. Shirley A. Apley, Senior Librarian, at the Fort Worth Library greets you and operates the computer like she is in charge. When I last visited, she pulled up a photo of my great grandfather Dyers military tombstone (served on the Union Army during the Civil War (1861-1865)).

7. Also available is a LDS-Family History Center is nearby in Arlington, TX, 3809 Curt Drive 817-446-7088. Other LDS FHC's are located in the surrounding areas.

8. In other words, this area is full of history records open to the public. The public (visitors) should be prepared by having as much information as possible with them. Check in with the Archives Specialist on duty and go from there.


March 2006
Stirpes Vol.46n
For Calendar Year(s)
Membership is by calendar year. All memberships are terminated as of December 31st. Dues are payable January 1 and must be received by TSGS no later than March 1 st, which insures receipt of all STIRPES quarterlies for that year. New members only may join at a pro-rated basis for the following rates: after March 1st (3/4 of fee), June 1st (1/2 of fee), and Sept. 1st (1/4 of fee). Publications will be sent to these new members for the part of the year included in the membership. Back issues ofthe STIRPES can be purchased at the current back issue price if available. Dues payments received after. Oct. 1 for the full year are assumed to be for the next year.
ZIP +4
Amount enclosed $ Check number Date

[Continued in next column]

In This Issue

Fort Worth TSGS Site, Hotel Dieu
Officers and EPGS Information
News, Notes & Programs
Genetics, High School and Genealogy
Board Reports, Websites
Fort Worth NARA
Smeltertown Cemetery Data

Hotel Dieu Patient Registration List, 1895-1901

At the April General meeting Jack Austin provided the Society with a copy of the Hotel Dieu Patient Registration list for the period 1895-1901, An interesting read because it reveals not only the illness, but often the rest of the family members who were admitted as boarders with the patient. That was not unusual back then. Not so today! Some were travelers. One of those lists where a lost relative might be found. Thanks Jack JKM

News and Notes of Importance to EPGS Members

June General Meeting
Because of the interest expressed in computer issues in genealogy, the plan for the June meeting is to have a guest speaker, Doug Agee, from the El Paso Computer club talk on matters about computers of interest to all of us. Please be reminded that our program time is limited and try to focus questions and comments to issues of common interest to all. Hopefully this session will help point the direction for best use of computers in genealogy in the near future. Let us also remember there are still genealogists among us who, for their own reasons, do not use the computer or Internet. JKM

Future Programs
Leon Metz, El Paso and Southwest Historian, and Betty Owen will team up at the July meeting to present a program on El Paso gunfighters, their family history and genealogy. That should be an especially interesting discussion. Leon is a great speaker and deserves a good attendance by members and their guests. The August meeting will focus on unique and less known facts about some Texas Native American tribes. The September meeting will be a potluck but will tentatively include a professional computer serviceman from Circuit City who will try to help our members with their genealogy computer problems, including computer maintenance and protection. Future meetings hope to include an outside speaker on genealogy with a Scottish focus.

In order to keep the organization of EPGS as simple as possible no program committee was appointed this year. The Board of Directors assumed this task. The board is composed of people of unusual wisdom and intelligence, but they are lacking in two major areas. The first is that they thought they had a duty to serve on the board. See how unusual that is. The second is that they cannot read minds. The key to success at general meetings and membership is to provide good, interesting programs. Program responsibility is really a membership at large issue. If you don't want to come to a meeting because the subject, or speaker, is of little interest to you, please decide what would be better, or even great, and let us know. The board is always caught in a bind. Don't do too much computer stuff, don't do too much El Paso/Southwest history stuff, don't do too much show/tell stuff, don't do too much ethnic, regional, or international stuff, etc. Do more "genealogy" stuff, whatever that is, but "keep it interesting." Help us solve this problem. Tell us what you want. Better yet, someone new please offer to do a program that meets all that criteria. JKM

Downtown El Paso Public Library Updates

The last we heard the status of the main library renovation and expansion is that there may be a "soft opening" of the library in June, with a grand opening later in the summer. Soft openings mean the facility is open for business on order that testing can be done real time, bugs and problems can be discovered and worked out before the "Big Shew." We have offered to Mr. Jim Przepasnik, downtown library director, to assist in any way we can. So far we have not received any requests for assistance with the Southwest Collection and Genealogy Section until it is operating fully. The last we heard, that section will be pretty much set up as it was prior to the library closing. Staffing is expected to be the same. No new slots were allocated for this section. The library would appreciate EPGS member help, especially in the summer, when the library receives more out of town visitors to the genealogy section researching their family history. Five EPGS members have volunteered. JKM

Welcome to Our New Members this Quarter

If there are no names in this space please encourage someone who shows an interest in genealogy to join us.

EPGS Board Quarterly Report

The Board met March, April and May with a quorum at each meeting. Betty Owen, president, was ill at the time of the March meeting. Sam Weldon performed his duty as vice-president. The desire of your board is to promote the Society, promote fellowship within the meetings and to help each other with ideas and information in furthering our research. A main topic of discussion seems to be securing programs, speakers, or events for the general meetings. The board welcomes any suggestions. Give us some of your ideas. Participation and volunteering is vital to the health of our organization. There are sets of books remaining that we would like to sell. Any ideas? This coming quarter should see the opening of the downtown El Paso Public Library after extensive rebuilding and expansion. This can be an opportunity for the society to have more exposure to the public, more service to the community and more help to, and participation, by our members. Your board strives to serve the Society and you, the members, to the best of our ability.
Norma Frye, secretary EPGS

EPGS Treasurers Report

Due to the Editor's lapses and losses the treasurer's report is not included in this edition for the last three months. The good news is that we have taken in more than we have spent in the last few months and we have over $5,000 in total assets. The books are correct, the report was given out at the May meeting and is available to the membership, just not in this edition if you want to receive it anywhere near on time. Sorry about that folks. JKM

Good Websites from Members A good free anti-virus scanner. To find calendar dates/days from past years. Reviews of anti-virus and genealogy programs.

Genealogy, Computers, and The Internet

An Interesting Website

Dorris Harrison took the following article off an Internet Website and thought it might be of interest. Certainly casts a broad net. JKM Hi all,
I have created a new email list called "researchadvice". To subscribe, send a message to . In the subject line (not the body of the message like most rootsweb list), put the word "subscribe" (without the quotes). Soon after, you will receive a confirmation email stating that you have been subscribed to the list. Feel free to email me directly if you would like me to add your email address to the list manually.

The purpose of this list will be for discussing various research suggestions, ideas, etc. Folks may post messages here regarding any of their ancestors, and ask for advice on how they might proceed to further their research. This list will not be limited to any particular surname, county, or state. You may post messages regarding any ancestor. Myself, or others on the list who may be able to give suggestions or advice, will try to give you some direction. Myself, or other subscribers will try to give specific suggestions as to what sources you might want to check to further your research.

I hope to see tons of subscribers, and hope that this list will be a very useful resource for sharing various research ideas. Rex W. Bertram 132 S. Butler St. Redkey, IN 47373 Free Research Suggestions and Consultation


The church at Smeltertown, Texas first opened on December 25, 1892 known as La Capilla de Santa Rosalia Y San Jose. The church was given its name from the first parishioners who came from the town of Santa Rosalia de Camargo, Chihuahua, Mexico. It stood on the western side of Smelter Hill. Father Carlos Pinto was instrumental in building the church.

When the church was destroyed by fire on March 11, 1946 it was known as San Jose de Rio Grande church. A new church was to be built and the new name given was San Jose de Cristo Rey, it was built on the lower section of Smeltertown near the river as stated in "Smeltertown" by author Fred Morales. La Capilla de Santa Rosalia Y San Jose Photo: from Smeltertown by Fred Morales

The death records for the church of San Jose de Cristo Rey; begin October of 1893 and go through 1956. Not all parishioners were laid to rest at Smeltertown Cemetery also known as "La Calavera", the Skull. The records show that cemeteries such as Evergreen Central, Canutillo, and Fort Bliss National Cemetery along with several others were the final resting place for many who had their services at San Jose de Cristo Rey church.

In an attempt to assist those who do not read Spanish, we have translated THE CAUSE OF DEATH. We have also included the surnames as they appear in the records in the second position, for example VASQUES/BASQUES. Most people would not think of looking for an alternative spelling therefore we posted the more common spelling in first position. Not all of the information was available for every field but we did attempt to decipher the information in a cautious and methodical manner.

These records were extracted from LDS film # 0025010, By Yolanda Medina Pérez and Margaret Saavedra, to honor the memory of Guillermo Saavedra and Tita Hernandez de Saavedra, our Smeltertown family.

This is an on-going project, this extensive database will be included in future RGR's. The first installment is printed at the end of the newsletter.

Continued from left column.
[Note: Dues for Individual or Families will be increased . startinq Jan. 1.2007 to $25 per vear.'
($5.00 Donation)
($30.QO Donation)
$40 $ $25
For TSGS Use Onrn Membership Recorded D Deposit Recorded
254 COUNTY ROAD 4705
e-mail: mbryant@> - (903) 885-3523


These records were extracted by Yolanda Medina Pérez and Margaret Saavedra,
to honor the memory of Guillermo Saavedra and Tita Hernandez de Saavedra, our Smeltertown family.

Year   Month         Last Name        First Name  Where From   Age       Cause Of Death              Relative       Buried  Place of DeaRemarks Filter

1899   8-Apr       Duran              Maria Consuelo           01 Year   Pneumonia/Pulmonia          Rupeto Duran
1899   11-Apr      Cerna              Fransisca                01 Year
1899   15-Apr      Veloz/Beloz        Mmaria Zenona            02 Years  Whooping Cough/Tos ferina   Guadalupe Beloz
1899   18-Apr      Aguirre            Petra                    15 Days   Epilepsy/Alferesia          Gertrudis Aguirre
1899   20-Apr      Aranda             Rosario                            Indigestion/Empacho         Nestor Borunda
1899   22-Apr      Ortega             Jose                     01 Year   Chicken Pox/Viruela         Encarnacion Ortega
1899   27-Apr      Holguin/Olguin     Ambrosio                 01 Year   Chicken Pox/ Viruela        Longino Olguin
1899   28-Apr      Jimenes            Julio                    01 Month  Fever/Fiebre                Alvino Jimenes
1899   2-Aug       Hernandes          Maria de Jesus           02 years  Fever/Fiebre                Mateo Hernandes
1899   17-Aug      Fierro             Eligio                   08 months Fever/Fiebre                Vidal Fierro
1899   December    Ensino             Maria                    14 years  Heart problems/Corazon      Marcial Ortega
1899   4-Jul       Becerra/Beserra    Erminia                  02 years  Fever/Fiebre                Feliz Beserra
1899   11-Jul      Ogas               Camilo                   15 years  Fever/Fiebre                Juan Castelo
1899   23-Jul      Moreno             Petra                    45 years  An Operation/Operacion      Juan Ramires
1899   25-Jul      Rocha              Cecilio                  08 years  Gangreen/Gangrena           Ruperto Munos
1899   26-Jul      Fierro             Anastacio                06 years  Stomach Pain/Dolor de EstomaGregorio Fierro
1899   28-Jul      Vasques/Basques    Julio                    01 year   Chicken Pox/Viruela         Nicolas Basques
1899   June        Alva               J                                  Chicken Pox/Viruela         Andres Alva
1899   4-Jun       Almanza            Pedro                    03 Years  ChickenPox/Viruela          Antonio Almanza
1899   5-Jun       Hernandez          Tomasa                   03 Years  Chicken Pox/Viruela         Jesus Hernandez
1899   5-Jun       Martines           Refugio                  01 Year   Fever/Fiebre                Atilano Martines
1899   6-Jun       Moreno             Guadalupe                25 Years  Fever/Fiebre                Ubaldo Mendoza
1899   6-Jun       Flores             Virginia                 11 Months Fever/Fiebre                Jose Jose Flores

 To be continued