Somos Primos

October 2006 
Editor: Mimi Lozano ©2000-6

Dedicated to Hispanic Heritage and Diversity Issues
Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research
Celebrating 20th Anniversary 



Congratulations to the Hispanic Genealogical Society of New York, and most especially to the co-editor Charlie Fourquet Batiz, who was instrumental in encouraging me to go online with Somos Primos.  Through numerous telephone calls and confidence building emails, I finally took the web step.  With sincere gratitude, I say "Way to go Chaz!!"   
Click for more

. . . 
Content Areas
United States
. . .5
Anti-Spanish Legends
. . .38 
Military & Law Enforcement Heroes
. . .44 
Cuentos. . . 52
. . . 60
Spanish Sons of American Revolution
. . .61 
Orange County, CA
. . .68 
Los Angeles, CA
. . .77 
. . .86 
Northwestern United States
. . .102 
Southwestern United States
. . .103 
. . .108  
. . .112  
Sephardic. . .117  
. . .126 
East of the Mississippi 
. . .139  
East Coast
. . .142  
. . .147 
. . .158 
. . .162 
. . .216  
. . .220 
Family History 
. . .222  
. . .224 


What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know, 
it's what we know for sure that just ain't so. 
-- Mark Twain, 
American author (1835-1910)

Letters to the Editor : 


Dear Mimi:

Your September publication is better than ever and I am pleased to note that interest grows.  I also note with pleasure that my cousin and nephew Jose Mejia Lacayo contributed concerning the growing movement of genealogical activity in Nicaragua.  Finally the LDS Church has been allowed to participate and I am advised they are making great strides.

I have a suggestion for you and your editorial staff to consider.  Your readers for the most part live in the United States, where the primary language spoken and read is English.  Could you please ask your Spanish speaking contributors to also submit a copy in English, so those of us who do not read or write Spanish, but yet are of Hispanic origin can fully comprehend what the author is writing.  I believe this would greatly increase the use of your monthly publication.

Regardless the outcome, I do look forward to your publication and I believe it is most helpful in educating all of those who read and participate.  Saludos

Dennis E. A. Keesee (Bermudez-Lacayo)
Laguna Niguel, CA

[[I wrote back to Dennis that I would ask for volunteers to translate Spanish articles into English. I have also had requests for articles in English to be translated to Spanish. Any volunteers in either direction would be greatly appreciated.]]

You are making a great contribution to our culture.  Keep it up!!
      Eliseo L. Martinez, President
Los Bexareno genealogical Society

Hi Mimi, 
Was browsing through your site and saw the proclamation from Gov. Perry. Thank you for posting that and acknowledging the work that we have done. We have a lot more things coming up including some very, very, very exciting news that we will have to unveil at the beginning of the year. Thank you for all support and keep up the great work. We love Somos Primos and have it linked to our site.

Regards, Eric Moreno

Dear Ms. Lozano, thank you for your fantastic research. I have benefited from it immensely. I enjoy reading Somos Primos very much. I am so glad I can access information about Hispanic ancestry. You see I live in Miami, Florida and most of my research is about the de la Garza, Gutierrez de Lara, Garcia and Velas of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Mostly in the town of Revilla and the Monterrey area. I would like to receive monthly notification of Somos Primos at      
Janie Rodriguez

Thank you for your dedication and love you share with Somos Primos!
Rafael M. Torres,
   Somos Primos Staff:   
Mimi Lozano, Editor
Tammy Boyce, Data Entry

Johanna De Soto
Lila Guzman
Granville Hough
John Inclan
Galal Kernahan
Alex Loya
J.V. Martinez
Armando Montes
Michael Perez
Ángel Custodio Rebollo
John P. Schmal
Howard Shorr

Rebecca Acuna 
Bea Armenta Dever
Dan Arellano
Armondo Ayala, Ph.D
Mercy Bautista Olvera 
Eliza Boné 
Karen Borch
Jaime Cader 
Roberto Camp 
Bill Carmona 
Arturo Castro
Armando Cepeda
Robin Collins
Jim Dalglish 
William S. Dean
Johanna De Soto 
Edna Yolanda Elizondo 
Lorraine Frain 
Charlie Fourquet Batiz

Ron Gonzalez 
Ray Gabaldon 
Carlos Garcia
Cristina Garcia
Patricia Gazda de Sullivan 
Lila Guzman, Ph.D.
Henry Godines
Rose Gonzales-Hardy 
Arcilia A. González 
Horacio González
Joaquin C. Gracida
Arthur Graham, Ph.D. 
Gloria Golden 
Jaime Gomez, M.D. 
Jocelyn Hernández Irizarry
Lorraine Hernandez
Manuel Hernandez-Carmona 
Zeke Hernandez 
John D. Inclan 
Granville Hough, Ph.D. 
Karen Jepson 
Kambiz Kamrani 
Galal Kernahan 
Dennis E. A. Keesee
Michael Kirley 
Yolanda Laskoskie
Rudolph Lewis 
Yolanda Magdaleno
Alonso Marroquin Perales
Eliseo L. Martinez 
Ramon Moncivais 
Dorinda Moreno 
Eric Moreno 
Alva Moore Stevenson 
Joel Najar
Paul Newfield III 
Yolanda Ochoa Hussey
Rafael Ojeda 
Rudy Padilla 
Jose M. Pena 
Richard Perry
Willis Papillion
Elvira Prieta 
Joseph Puentes
Angel Custodio Rebollo 
Richard Perry
Jane Reifer 
Cris Rendon
Tina Reyes 
Anita Rivas Medellin 
Janie Rodriguez
Rudy R. Rodriguez 
Viola Rodriguez Sadler
Alice Rumbaugh 
Jo Russell 
Ruben Salaz 
Tony Santiago 
Bob Smith 
Howard Shorr
Frank Sifuentes 
Barry Starr 
Louis Tellez
Rafael M. Torres 
Paul Trejo 
Mary Triplett Ayers
Janete Vargas
JD Villarreal 
Sylvia Villarreal Bisnar 
Marck Webster 
Brent Wilkes 
Theresa Ynzunza
SHHAR Board:   Bea Armenta Dever, Steven Hernandez,  Mimi Lozano Holtzman, Pat Lozano, Yolanda Magdaleno, Henry Marquez, Yolanda Ochoa Hussey, Michael Perez, Crispin Rendon, Viola Rodriguez Sadler, John P. Schmal

United States

Guy Gabaldon passed away August 31, "an authentic American hero" 

              Item 1: Medal of Honor for Guy Gabaldon

People Making a Difference: History on a Canvas
New York Detective Touched by Hell to Eternity
Retired Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps Inspired by Gabaldon
               Item 2: Feasibility study for a National American Latino Museum 

National issues
National Hispanic Heritage Month    
2006 Proclamation by the President of the United States of America 
James DeAnda, 81; Worked to Establish Mexican Americans' Constitutional Rights

Portal to academic success
Immigrants Struggle To Go To College; Measure Offers A Way To Pay
Book: "Beneath the Shadow of the Capitol"       
Latino Students Receive Less Financial Aid for Higher Ed 
Black colleges recruit Hispanics 
Cal State Fullerton Is Fourth For Undergraduate Degrees to Hispanics
One Good Thing: Spanish Language Newspapers Growing 
LULAC Praises New Mexico Governor’s Initiative to Save LNESC 
Oct 2: Latino Education Advocacy Day, Albuquerque, New Mexico
U.S. Department of Education - Additional Grant Funds

Ramona -- A Story That Changed the History of California         
De Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco film/ music series
Jennie Bravo, Sinaloa Club, San Francisco
English transliteration of Cuento told by Carlos Ibanez
The First time by Trinidad Sánchez, Jr. 
Podcast Expansion of Hispanic History
Raíces De Todos Magazine website!

Californian & Texan to head US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce


I am sad to inform you my father, Guy Gabaldon, passed away on August 31, 2006.

As all of you know, my father has lived an amazing life. He always looked for adventures and made them, if the action was not there. His last moments were more spiritual and he spent time searching for God. My father was never afraid to die; however, he had some moments, as we all do, and found some peace in his search for God.

My brother described my father's essence in two words: Semper Fi (always faithful)! His strong conviction and compassion has been a guide for the family and many others. I hope his legacy continues with you and may God bless you.

The Gabaldon Family


Gabaldon Family Photo, September 5, 2006 
on the Church steps following the memorial in Florida.


In honor of Guy Gabaldon, when word of Guy's death reached veterans in Los Angeles, they quickly moved to have a flag overseeing a street fair underway in El Serrano to be lowered to half staff. 

The flag was raised back up on Tuesday morning September 5, 2006. 

Sent by Cristina and Carlos Garcia.  
Carlos is Interim President 
North East Veterans Associations

In addition to a quiet family funeral in Florida, a memorial was held in Saipan, (article below).

Plans are underway for a memorial, Saturday, December 9th in Montebello, California to honor Guy's legacy of heroism. 

Monday September 25, 2006 Volume 16 Issue 268
Pied Piper of Saipan honored at AMP
Sent by Ray Gabaldon

Guy Gabaldon, the U.S. Marine private who single-handedly captured more than 1,000
Japanese soldiers during the Battle for Saipan, was honored at the American Memorial
Park during a solemn ceremony last Saturday afternoon.

Emotions were high as over 200 people made up of government officials, visiting U.S.
Navy officers, business leaders, and community members attended the brief ceremony
and memorial service for the man dubbed as the Pied Piper of Saipan.

Gabaldon's widow, Ohana, received recognition from distinguished guests led by Gov.
Benigno R. Fitial and members of the 15th CNMI Legislature.

Gabaldon's son, Yoshio with wife and children, also joined Ohana during the ceremony.
AMP deputy superintendent Chuck Sayon also was on hand and read Gabaldon's 1997
speech during the National Park Service Week in 1997.

Before the reading the manuscript, Sayon said Gabaldon would always be part of
American history and be remembered for his compassion and love for Saipan and the

In his brief speech, Gov. Fitial said Gabaldon would always be honored as an "authentic
American hero"
whose feats during World War II made him a legend among his fellow
Marines and the American people.

"The courage he displayed some 60 years ago is shared today by men and women in the
U.S. Armed Forces," he said, adding that Gabaldon's story would always serve as
inspiration and the passion that the CNMI needs right now.

"We are in difficult times and we will attack our challenges with courage and commitment
like how Gabaldon did it," he said.

After his speech, Fitial presented the CNMI flag to Ohana. VFW Post 3457 Post commander Mariano Fajardo gave a short eulogy for Gabaldon followed by an invocation by fellow veteran and former VFW post commander Barry Hirshbein. Veteran Ernest Jack Strange, deputy district grand master for Emon Lodge 179, also gave a brief eulogy for the war hero.

Strange said Gabaldon was one of his real American heroes. He said he was six when
Gabaldon served his country honorably and faithfully. Strange assured that Gabaldon has
been welcomed by the "Supreme Commander" in heaven.

When Jim Kirby led the reading of the 15th CNMI Legislature's resolution for Gabaldon, it
was the time when Ohana received a plaque from House Speaker Oscar Babauta, Reps.
Joe Guerrero and Stanley Torres, and Sen. Maria Frica Pangelinan.

Babauta shook the hand and hugged Ohana right after handing over the plaque to her,
followed by hugs from the rest of the lawmakers, but Ohana's hug was tighter and longer
when Torres reached out and hugged her. There was seconds of silence at that moment.
Gabaldon's son, Yoshio, a longtime resident of Saipan, also braved the lectern to give his
prepared speech.

He said he was nervous to read his speech. Yoshio started by thanking the people who
showed support and extended their condolences to them.

Yoshio said he would never forget what his father had taught him and his siblings, such as to commit to the words "Semper Fi!"

"My father was very compassionate to help others." he said, adding that his father had
convictions in everything he did. He said his father had many dreams such as to return to

Gabaldon passed away in Old Town, Florida last Aug. 31. He was 80. The cause was
heart disease, his son Guy Jr. earlier said.

Veteran Jerry Facey, who was involved in the recognition of World War II veterans during
the 60th commemoration of the Battles of Saipan and Tinian, hosted the ceremony
Saturday afternoon. He earlier expressed sadness over Gabaldon's passing.

During the ceremony, Facey reminded Fitial about a "pending business" to hand over to
Ohana Gabaldon's medal that he was supposed to receive in 2004.

"I was saddened because it was an end of an era in terms of Guy's link to the Battle of
Saipan but his legacy will live on. We knew him as a hero, a valiant fighter, and I was also
saddened by the fact that he hadn't received the Medal of Honor, which had eluded him
throughout his life. Everyone agrees that Guy earned that honor," said Facey.

The ceremony was followed by the laying of wreath led by Ohana, Yoshio, and Fitial.
Playing of taps by a USS Shiloh Navy officer ended the memorial service for Gabaldon.
VFW Post 3457 members Pete Callaghan, Office of the Insular Affairs field representative
Jeff Schorr, Marine Corps recruitment officer Sgt. Eric Arriaga, Military Veterans Affairs
Office executive director Martin Sablan, federal government officers, and other local
government officials also paid tribute to Gabaldon last weekend.

Gabaldon took part in the invasion of Saipan as a member of the Second Marine Division
in June 1944. At first, he captured small groups of enemy troops, but then, on a single day in July 1944, he persuaded some 800 Japanese soldiers to give up their arms and follow him back to American lines, bringing him the nickname the Pied Piper of Saipan.
He earned the Navy Cross, the Marines' highest award for valor after the Medal of Honor.

He is survived by his wife, Ohana; his sons Guy Jr., Ray, Tony, Yoshio, Jeffrey, and
Russell; his daughters Aiko, Hanako, and Manya; his sisters Florinda Gabaldon and
Martha Jensen; and many grandchildren.
Story by Marconi Calindas

Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve)
Headquarters & Service Company, 2d Marines, 2d Marine Division
Date of Action: June 15 - August 1, 1944

The Navy Cross is presented to Guy L. Gabaldon, Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving with Headquarters and Service Company, Second Marines, Second Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Saipan and Tinian, Marianas Islands, South Pacific Area, from 15 June to 1 August 1944. Acting as a Japanese Interpreter for the Second Marines, Private First Class Gabaldon displayed extreme courage and initiative in single-handedly capturing enemy civilian and military personnel during the Saipan and Tinian operations. Working alone in front of the lines, he daringly entered enemy caves, pillboxes, buildings, and jungle brush, frequently in the face of hostile fire, and succeeded in not only obtaining vital military information, but in capturing well over one thousand enemy civilians and troops. Through his valiant and distinguished exploits, Private First Class Gabaldon made an important contribution to the successful prosecution of the campaign and, through his efforts, a definite humane treatment of civilian prisoners was assured. His courageous and inspiring devotion to duty throughout reflects the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.

Approved by the Secretary of the Navy on Nov 23, 1960 (Upgraded from Silver Star)
Born: 3/22/1926 at Los Angeles, California
Home Town: Los Angeles, California
More information view the following links below:

Thank you,
Carlos A. Garcia, Interim President
North East Veterans Associations


Action Item 1> Medal of Honor for Guy 

Artist illustrates a Marine’s achievement, 
y Oscar G. De Leon, 
OC Register, Aug 29, 2006

WESTMINSTER As a child, Henry Godines enjoyed creating cartoons. As a teenager he became interested in history. Now, at 57, he reconstructs historical events through oil paintings.  Godines was commissioned by Michael Perez, board member for the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research, to create a portrait of World War II veteran Guy Gabaldon, 80.

    Gabaldon single-handedly persuaded 1.500 Japanese soldiers and civilians to surrender during the 1944 battle of Saipan. Gabaldon, like Godines a Mexican American, had been raised 
by a Japanese family in East Los Angeles, and learned Japanese. Godines did the painting earlier this year in support of an effort to recognize Gabaldon, who received the Navy Cross, with the Medal of Honor.

    It took five weeks for Godines to familiarize himself with Gabaldon’s achievement. He read about the battle and watched both a documentary about Gabaldon and the film “Hell to Eternity.”  To learn more, see www.somos

Q. How do you describe your art? A. Historical subject matter, realism paintings.

Q. Who is your favorite painter? A. The one I have always liked is Diego Velasquez.

Q. What did you learn from the process of painting Gabaldon’s portrait? 
Basically about him. It made me realize that there are a lot of things going on that we are not aware of.

Q. What inspires you? A. I’ve been drawing since I was a kid. It’s a natural tendency. You expand it and develop it. It’s something that compels you.

Q. What do you do in your freetime? A. There isn’t hardly any free time. I do my artwork and hang out with friends.

Southern California artist Henry Godines was commissioned to do a painting of World War II veteran Guy Gabaldon who led 1 500 Japanese to surrender in Saipan.


New York Detective Touched by Hell to Eternity
September 5, 2006 
Dear Mimi, 

It must have been around 1963 or so when WOR-NewYork channel 9 broadcast Hell To Eternity for it's Million Dollar Movie. The station would play the same film for a week straight. This is when myself and my brothers, Richard and Chuck were first introduced to the exploits of Guy Gabaldon. Everyday for that week we would rush home from school to watch the movie starring Jeffery Hunter. And after the movie was over we would "play" Hell To Eternity, fighting over who would play "Gabby". I can still remember wearing baseball caps and toy rifles trying to emulate our new-found hero. After that week every so often WOR-NY or WPIX would replay the film. I don't think I ever missed a broadcast of it. Over the years we could recite the script after seeing it dozens of times. 
I had often thought of the "real" Guy Gabaldon (who naturally must have looked similar to Jeffery Hunter) but not until I was a nineteen year veteran of the NYPD did I ever attempt to try to locate him. It was not difficult, with the aid of the internet, to find an address in Florida. I wrote a quick note to Mr. Gabaldon stating that I hoped he would not object to this unsolicited letter from lifelong admirer. Enclosed in the note I inserted my business card and an NYPD patch. 

A week or so later I received a phone call to my desk from a fellow who said his name was Guy Gabaldon. I quickly scanned my office to see what detective was pulling a gag on me. There was none. It was Guy Gabaldon! We chatted for about a half an hour about good guys, bad guys, fishing, boating and Saipan. I could not believe my ears. My partner knew that the person on the other end of that phone call was special and indeed he was. We exchanged e-mail addresses and this began a friendship that I will always cherish. When I would explain to people about Guy's exploits in WWII they would be in awe. I had a copy of Hell To Eternity which made the rounds in the Intelligence Division as well as the Counter Terrorism Division. I especially spoke of Guy to former Marines I knew in the department. Most were unaware of his actions. I thought his name would be synonymous with USMC and "war hero". It certainly should be. 

Last February I made a not-too-easy decision to retire from "the job". There is not much going on in February in Long Island so my wife Magee "allowed" me to go on a road trip with my brother Richard to go visit my childhood friend, and now an attorney in Florida, John Corriss. I had spoken in length over the years about Guy to John. In fact John's dad a former Marine in WWII fought with the 2nd Marine Division in Saipan, although they did not know each other. On St. Patrick's Day 2006 Richard, John and myself visited Guy at his home and spent the afternoon with him and his lovely wife, Ohana. She made us a feast of Mexican food that this Irishman could not pronounce. We sat around the table talking and laughing. Guy making fun of John's profession and my U.S. Navy past. He joked of the reason God invented the Navy was that Marines needed someone to dance with! He also spoke with compassion of all the prisoners, civilian and military, that he had captured. You saw that he loved humanity. It was a day I will always cherish. 

Now I sit writing you this letter with a heavy heart. I heard the news of Guy's passing last night as CNN made such a fuss about Steve Irwin getting killed by a stingray (condolences to all Irwin fans) but only a mention of one of the greatest heroes this country has ever known. 

Regards to you, 
Marck Webster 

P.S. Attached are photos of that wonderful afternoon. 

Retired Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps Inspired by Gabaldon

Dear Mr. Valdez:
My name is Joaquin C. Gracida, I am a retired Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps forwarding this information in hopes that Mr. Guy Gabaldon's award of a Navy Cross for his actions in Saipan can be favorably considered for upgrade to the Congressional Medal of Honor.
I was a PFC in the Marine Corps stationed in Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, in 1960 when I first heard of PFC Guy Gabaldon.  People would mispronounced his name with an anglo sound but I was a new immigrant from Mexico and knew that his name was Hispanic.  The movie industry was making the movie "Hell in Saipan" in the northern part of the island.  That is how I learned of his heroic actions.
At that time in my two years of active service I had never seen a Hispanic officer, or any other minority officer, that I could think of as a role model.  Learning about Guy Gabaldon's actions gave me confidence that we all could contribute to the success of our Country in some way small or large.  Knowing what he had done always pushed me to try harder.  I saw the movie several times.  Although Jeffrey Hunter did not look Hispanic in my mind I knew that the real person was, and I could be proud of not just that he had been a fellow Marine but ethnically close to me.
In the early 1990's when Mr. Gabaldon relocated from Saipan.  I  was referred to him by Mrs. Mimi Lozano; I had the pleasure of meeting him and becoming his friend.  He confirmed my belief that he was Hispanic and we enjoyed a close friendship for the short time that he lived in San Diego and after he moved to central California.  I knew that his superb actions and heroism had paved that road that was ahead of me when I first heard his name.  I also knew that he was highly regarded by other fellow Marines who were aware of his exploits.
Mr. Valdez,  Guy Gabaldon was an inspiration to me personally and I know that he also inspired other young Marines with his actions.  His deeds were extraordinary and honestly, not really well rewarded.  Considering all the American and Japanese lives he saved at the risk of his own life seeking an upgrade of his Navy Cross award to the Congressional Medal of Honor is more than appropriate.
Wishing you success I thank you for your efforts.  If I can be of some assistance please don't hesitate to call on me. Semper Fidelis.
Joaquin C. Gracida
Colonel USMC-Ret

Kansas City Reports

Hola Mimi.  The lithograph of WWII hero, Guy Gabaldon was very well-received in Kansas City.  30, 000 people attended the 2-day fiesta in Kansas City and we proudly displayed the lithograph.
One of our color guard members Jesse Ramirez was given the task of providing a frame.  Jesse served in the Marines in Viet Nam (1969 - 1971).  I forgot that he also is a master carpenter.  Jesse personally built the wooden frame with his own hands.  He purchased the wood and then applied the enamel.  It looks great. To Jesse, it was a work of love.
Rudy Padilla, American GI Forum, Kansas State Commander

For information on how to receive a free lithographs for public display, go to


ACTION ITEM 2 > National Museum for the American Latino Community

Last week I received an email from California Congressman Xavier Becerra's office, concerning the Latino Museum commission update.  A portion of it is included below. 

In a message dated 9/25/2006 2:20:23 PM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

Subj: Latino museum commission update
Date: 9/25/2006 2:20:23 PM Pacific Standard Time
Sent from the Internet


H.R. 2134, the legislation that will create a commission to plan for a national museum dedicated to Latino heritage, will be scheduled for a vote later this week in the House of Representatives. We expect that it will be passed by voice vote without any problems, but you never know. This is the last week of legislative business before Congress takes a recess until after the elections in November; so, this is the last opportunity we have to pass this bill.

The Senate version of the bill, S. 2475, has not moved. Although Senator Domenici, who is chairman of the committee with jurisdiction over the bill, attempted to schedule action on the bill introduced by Senator Salazar and Senator Martinez, I've been told that it was blocked. 

The Senate will also adjourn at the end of this week until after the elections. It is not likely that the Senate will act on the Senate version of the bill.

It's a very busy week in Congress, so this bill could be lost in the din of other business. It would be a lost opportunity should the Senate fail to act after the House does.

For more information, please contact me or consult

Thanks for your interest.


Subj: RE: Senate Bill 2475??  
Date: 10/2/2006 8:23:15 AM Pacific Standard Time 
Sent from the Internet (Details) 

The bill (HR 2134/S2475) was not passed in the Senate.  Earlier in the day on Friday, the Majority Leader Frist sent out notice that he was going to request Unanimous Consent that the Senate pass the House bill HR 2134.  Someone on the Republican side objected, so Frist did not offer it.  
We still have one last chance to pass it during the lame duck (post-election) session in November (the week of the 13th).  But we have to find out who objected and why and work on that.
It was a very disappointing development given all the indications that we had that it would be successful last week.

Some of you received a request from me last week to make telephone calls and send letters of encouragement to the four senators supportive of this bipartisan bill. Joel indicates that we still have an opportunity to express ourselves.  Since we are advised that letters are much more valued then telephone calls, I've included the fax numbers, as well as their telephones. We have ONE MONTH to let our voices be heard on this matter.

Ken Salazar, 202-224-5852 fax 202-228-5036
Mel Martinez, 202-224-3041 fax 202-228-5171
Orrin Hatch, 202-224-5251 fax 202-224-6331
Pete V. Domenici, 202-224-6621 fax 202-228-3261

In the mid 1990 when I made my first trip to Washington, D.C., I went to every monument, tourist attraction, bookstore and museum looking for some evidence of our historical presence.  We were not there.  Those few displays that were in place were not fully, historically correct, and in some cases totally incorrect. For example, the Smithsonian had a display in their U.S. history building that stated, that while patriotic young men went to war during WWII, unpatriotic Mexican pachucos in East L.A. were rioting against the soldiers who were home on leave.  A docent at a children's museum said that the reason that the Spanish/Mexican lost everything in California was because they used to enjoy holding parties for weeks at a time, and they also liked to gamble.  I was appalled. 

The need for a Hispanic American museum was discussed within the U.S. Senate Task Force on Hispanic Affairs; however, we were assured that Congress would not approve any more museums to be built on, or in the area of the Washington Mall. The results was that the movement for a Latino Museum died down, meanwhile a Black Museum and an Indian Museum were built. 

I pray that you all will catch the vision.  Millions of tourists travel to DC from all over the world.  Millions of schools children take school trips to DC.  Government business is conducted in DC.  International business is conducted in DC.  How will the world understand our contributions, unless we manifest it in a venue which is acceptable and accessible. 

The Library of Congress has a new display, historically sound that traces the contributions of the colonizing Spanish.  It is privately funded. The Library of Congress display goes much further than the new Smithsonian display, which does include mention of the Spanish contributions.  Although not insulting, it is still not enough.

Let me point out that even if the four senators above are not your senator, they need to know that you care.  Also, please write to your own congressman and senator.  For various reasons, they might be the ones holding it up.  Most are concerned how funding to projects outside of their area might impact their funds for desired projects.  Of course, the immigration issues are negatively influencing many against a museum for the American Latino.  We have much to overcome, but you, individually . . . can make a difference.  

Please note . . .  Joel Najar advices that after the election, as leadership changes take place, approval might be achieved, simply . . . approval for a STUDY of the feasibility of a National Museum for the American Latino community.  PLEASE be ready to make telephone calls and faxes at that time, but send a letter by post. . NOW. .  We have ONE MONTH.

Most sincerely,  Mimi



National issues

National Hispanic Heritage Month
National Hispanic Heritage Month will be observed from September 15 to October 15, 2006. The theme is "Hispanic Americans: Our Rich Cultures Contributing to America's Future." According to the most recent census report, most then 42 million people in the United States are of Hispanic origin. In 1968, Congress Authorized the President to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week. Twenty years later, this observance was expanded to a month-long celebration in which American celebrates the traditions, ancestry, and unique experience of those who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, and the countries of South America and the Caribbean.,12914,111713,00.html?

Discovery Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month: Read the full article at:

For historical information on how Hispanic Heritage Month came to be, go to:

Thanks to Rafael Ojeda

National Hispanic Heritage Month, 2006 
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

Americans are a diverse people, yet we are bound by common principles that teach us what it means to be American citizens. During National Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize the many contributions of Hispanic Americans to our country. 

Through hard work, faith in God, and a deep love of family, Hispanic Americans have pursued their dreams and contributed to the strength and vitality of our Nation. They have enriched the American experience and excelled in business, law, politics, education, community service, the arts, science, and many other fields. Hispanic entrepreneurs are also helping build a better, more hopeful future for all by creating jobs across our country. The number of Hispanic-owned businesses is growing at three times the national rate, and increasing numbers of Hispanic Americans own their own homes. We continue to benefit from a rich Hispanic culture and we are a stronger country because of the talent and creativity of the many Hispanic Americans who have shaped our society. 

Throughout our history, Hispanic Americans have also shown their devotion to our country in their military service. Citizens of Hispanic descent have fought in every war since our founding and have taken their rightful place as heroes in our Nation's history. Today, Americans of Hispanic descent are serving in our Armed Forces with courage and honor, and their efforts are helping make America more secure and bringing freedom to people around the world. 

As we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, we applaud the accomplishments of Hispanic Americans and recognize the contributions they make to our great land. To honor the achievements of Hispanic Americans, the Congress, by Public Law 100-402, as amended, has authorized and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation designating September 15 through October 15 as "National Hispanic Heritage Month." 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 15 through October 15, 2006, as National Hispanic Heritage Month. I call upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first. 


James DeAnda, 81; Worked to Establish Mexican Americans' Constitutional Rights 
by Elaine Woo, Times staff Writer, September 14, 2006,
Sent by Viola Rodriguez Sadler

Many newspapers included an obituary.
1925 JAMES DEANDA 2006
'He is our Thurgood Marshall' Houston judge had a major role in a landmark ruling on Hispanic rights
By Rosanna Ruiz | Section: 
Sept. 8, 2006, pp. A1, A6 Sent by Dorinda Moreno

James deAnda, a retired federal judge who as a lawyer on a pivotal 1950 case established that Mexican American were entitled to the same constitutional protections as other minorities, died of prostate cancer Sept. 7 at his vacation home in Traverse city, Mich.  The longtime Houston resident was 81. DeAnda was the last surviving member of the four-man legal team behind hernandez vs. Texas, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on May 3, 1954.  The Hernandez decision, which overturned a murder conviction by an all-white jury, for the first time gave Mexican Americans status as a distinct legal classification entitled to special protection under the Constitution.

The youngest member of the team, deAnda researched and wrote the briefs for the case, the first tried by Mexican Americans before the nation's highest court.

He went on to wage successful legal battles challenging substandard schooling for Mexican American children in Texas and helped found a leading Latino civil rights organization: the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. He became a federal judge in 1979.

"He was our Thurgood Marshall," Michael A. Olivas, a University of Houston law professor and the editor of a recent book about the Hernandez case, said in comparing deAnda with the first African American Supreme Court justice.

The Hernandez case was eclipsed by Marshall's triumph as lead attorney in Brown vs. Board of Education, the landmark school desegregation ruling handed down two weeks later, May 17, 1954. Yet the Hernandez case represented a watershed moment in Latinos' struggle for equal rights — one that has influenced other high court decisions, including the Bakke affirmative action case in 1978.

"I can't think of another case as important for the Hispanic community as Hernandez," said Norma Cantu, a former assistant secretary for civil rights in the Clinton administration's Education Department who now teaches law at the University of Texas in Austin.

"The legacy of the Hernandez case includes voting rights, education and employment cases. All of these efforts to work within the system to secure a place at the table resulted from Judge deAnda's work" in that case, Cantu said.

Described as modest and unassuming, deAnda often failed to received credit for his contributions to the Hernandez victory. "He has flown under the radar" of history, Olivas said, "but he was right in the thick of it. He was an equal partner to all the others."

Born in Houston, deAnda was the son of Mexican immigrants. He attended Texas A&M University and served in the Marines during World War II, before receiving a law degree from the University of Texas in 1950.

He passed the bar that year, but white firms would not hire him, especially after they learned that his heritage was Mexican. He knocked on doors looking for work but did not succeed until 1951, when attorney John J. Herrera offered him a chair in his Houston office and $25 a week.

One of the new lawyer's first assignments was to prepare a challenge of a grand jury indictment in Fort Bend County based on the exclusion of Latinos from juries. DeAnda found that no Latino had ever served on a grand jury there, despite a sizable Latino population.

He believed he had solid grounds for a motion to quash the murder indictment against Aniceto Sanchez, but the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals disagreed. It maintained that Mexican Americans were white and that because the jury was white, there had been no discrimination.

DeAnda was incensed. "I wanted to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, but neither my client nor I had the money," he told Olivas in an interview many years later.

The opportunity he sought came two years later, when Herrera asked a junior associate to help him defend a migrant cotton picker named Pete Hernandez, who had been accused of fatally stabbing another man during a bar fight in the east Texas town of Edna.

When Hernandez was found guilty by an all-white jury in Jackson County, the attorneys appealed on the grounds that no citizen of Mexican descent had served on a jury there in 25 years. Once again, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals could not be swayed.

The court relied on the same reasoning it had used in the Sanchez case: that Mexican Americans were not a separate classification from whites and therefore were not entitled to special consideration under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The constitutional amendment, passed after the Civil War and the end of slavery, had been used chiefly to uphold the rights of African Americans.

This time, deAnda and Herrera had the resources to continue the legal battle. Two civil rights groups — the League of United Latin American Citizens and the American GI Forum — stepped forward with enough money to take the case to the Supreme Court. Herrera invited two seasoned civil rights lawyers, Gustavo C. Garcia and Carlos Cadena, to join the case and present the oral arguments.

The high court, led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, "looked beyond the surface into the heart of Jim Crow Texas," Olivas said. Warren was especially struck by the signage cited as evidence by the Hernandez team, including one from a local restaurant that read "No Mexicans Served."

Another such nugget was discovered by deAnda after he had gone in search of the men's room in the Jackson County Courthouse. A Spanish-speaking janitor told him the only lavatory he could use was in the basement. There he found the facility posted with a sign that read "Colored Men" and "Hombres Aquí" (Spanish for men here).

"It was devastating," deAnda said of the impact of that sign — an irrefutable symbol of the perceived inferiority of Mexicans that clashed with the Jackson County judges' pronouncements that they were the same as whites. Warren cited the signs in the written opinion as evidence that Mexican Americans occupied a classification of people distinct from whites in east Texas society.

He further noted that "it taxes our credulity to say that mere chance resulted in there being no members of this class among the over six thousand jurors called in the past 25 years. The result bespeaks discrimination."

The court unanimously overturned Hernandez's conviction. He was retried and convicted again, but this time the jury included two Mexican Americans.

The second conviction was considered "a triumph," Olivas said. "The point is: All Mexicans ever wanted was to be part of the process."

DeAnda went on to handle a series of important school desegregation cases, among them Hernandez vs. Driscoll Independent School District in 1956.

It challenged a school system that required children from Spanish-speaking families to spend three years in the first grade because of a presumed need to learn English. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of a Latino child whose parents had deliberately taught her only English but who had been denied entry to the white school. DeAnda won the case, and the school district abandoned its two-track system.

In 1979 deAnda was appointed by President Carter to the federal bench in the Southern District of Texas. He was the nation's second Mexican American federal judge and served for 13 years, including four as chief judge.

DeAnda is survived by his wife, Joyce, and four children. He practiced law with Solar and Associates in Houston until late last year, when he was diagnosed with cancer.

According to Olivas, deAnda was delighted by the Supreme Court's action in June striking down a Texas redistricting plan that discriminated against Latino voters. The victory depended on deAnda's work half a century earlier that gave Latinos visibility in the eyes of the court.

It also brought another milestone. "For the first time, both sides in a Supreme Court case were argued by Latino lawyers," said Olivas, who spoke to deAnda shortly before he died. "He took such enormous pleasure out of that."


Educator Armando Cepeda uses art to reach the youth.  For workshop information, contact him at 951-313-1833, or go to

Introduction to: Portal to academic success
By James Hohmann, Mercury News, received 8/31/2006
Sent by Willis Popillion

Leonor Robledo teaches AP Spanish Language at San Jose's Willow Glen High School. AP Spanish helps students develop critical-thinking skills, buttress communication skills and tweak syntax, educators say, the same reasons why white students study. Leonor Robledo teaches AP Spanish Language at San Jose's Willow Glen High School. AP Spanish helps students develop critical-thinking skills, buttress communication skills and tweak syntax, educators say, the same reasons why white students study English.

More Latino high school students are enrolling and doing well in Advanced Placement classes, a trend education officials trace to their participation in AP Spanish language and literature courses.

California education officials call AP Spanish Language an important gateway to success in other honors classes -- a way for struggling students to sharpen Spanish skills and gain confidence to try advanced English, math and science courses later.

``For the Latino students, the key is getting them to see success in their language,'' said Sallie Wilson, the Advanced Placement consultant at the California Department of Education.

``We want the underrepresented students to get one under their belt and learn what the whole process is about,'' she said. ``It's all about the peer relationship that says, `Hey man, this is a pretty cool class.' ''

Daisy Hurtado was emboldened to register for AP English Literature and Calculus this year after passing the AP Spanish Language test she took in May. Her mom does not speak English and her parents didn't go to college, but the Willow Glen High School senior has been drafting essays for her University of California application.

``It prepared me for college,'' she said. ``I wasn't very good at my Spanish, but I got better at it.''

Many schools see their AP tests as a springboard for minority groups that historically were shut out from the upper echelons of the classroom. And now those schools are doing more to encourage Latino students to take a chance on any of the 34 rigorous tests -- from biology to Latin -- that can translate to college credit.

Some students say a stigma can deter them and their Latino classmates from trying challenging classes.

``They say things like `You're Mexican. You shouldn't be in AP class,' '' said Jennifer Uribe, who started her senior year at Willow Glen High School last week. ``It's really frustrating for me because they don't see that it's not about your race. It's about how much you want to learn.'' They often find they are ready for the challenge.                   

``Once a student is convinced they can do the work, that part is easy,'' said Cliff Mitchell, assistant principal for curriculum and instruction at Leland High School in the San Jose Unified School District. ``But a lot of students don't feel they are ready or capable to do an AP class.''

To get students to take that first leap, many counselors and administrators like Willow Glen High's Assistant Principal for Guidance Tina VanLaarhoven encourage Latinos to try an AP class in Spanish language.

Critical thinking
For the same reason a white student would study English, VanLaarhoven said, practicing for AP Spanish Language helps Latinos develop critical-thinking skills, buttress communication skills and tweak syntax in a classroom setting.

At her school, only eight of the 37 AP Spanish students are not native speakers. ``Even though they are native speakers, their Spanish may not be at a proper academic level,'' said their teacher, Leonor Robledo, who has been teaching Spanish at Willow Glen for a decade.

To help them succeed on the exam, Robledo focuses on concepts like where to put accent marks -- a skill they might not have learned in everyday usage at home.

Students from Spanish-speaking homes have an advantage: Their Spanish credit fulfills a foreign language requirement for admission into a University of California school.

More than 50 percent of students who took the three-hour AP Spanish Language test in 2005 were Latino. Mexican-American test-takers outperformed whites by nearly 30 percent that year.

AP Spanish is far more prevalent in California -- and the Bay Area -- than most other places. In Santa Clara County, 94 percent of high schools offer Advanced Placement exams in foreign languages, the most of any subject area. Only 82 percent of county schools offer AP science tests, according to the Office of Education.

The Spanish language exam was the seventh most popular test taken by U.S. students in the Class of 2005. In California last year, it was the fourth most-taken test. 

That's what's happening at Latino College Preparatory Academy in San Jose, where all 25 students passed the AP Spanish Language test in May -- and more than 20 earned perfect marks. The school is so encouraged, it's offering more AP classes.

Contact James Hohmann at  or (408) 920-5460.


Immigrants Struggle To Go To College; For Undocumented Students, Measure Offers A Way To Pay By Aurelio Rojas, The Sacramento Bee, August 29, 2006 
Sent by Zeke Hernandez

(Santa Ana, CA) - It's Friday night, party time for many college students. But inside a cramped conference room, Minerva Gomez has a serious agenda to plow through. Analyses of proposed immigration changes, government affairs, outreach, fundraising -- she's considering issues of profound importance to Gomez and other students who are illegal immigrants.

As the chairwoman of the Orange County Dream Team Coalition, one of a network of support groups that have sprung up since California opened state universities and colleges to these students, she is familiar with tight schedules.

Gomez, 22, maintained an A-minus average at California State University, Long Beach, while working full time as a waitress on the graveyard shift. She recently graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology.

Gomez -- who was 5 when her parents left Mexico and illegally entered the United States -- is a beneficiary of Assembly Bill 540. The 5-year-old measure, which has come under attack in the courts and Legislature from critics of illegal immigration, allowed her to attend college for the same in-state tuition charged legal residents.

"I was one of the fortunate ones because AB 540 came in right as I was starting school," Gomez said during a break from her group's weekly meeting at Santa Ana Community College. "Without this bill, I could not have gone to school."

Legislatures around the country are cracking down on illegal immigration; more than 77 anti-immigration laws have been enacted this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. At the same time, some states are improving access to higher
education for students who have distinguished themselves.

Nebraska recently joined nine other states, including California, Texas, New York and Illinois, that allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at their public institutions.
But unlike Texas, California does not allow these students to apply for financial aid. Moving through the Legislature this week is Senate Bill 160 by Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, which would end this prohibition.

The law would apply to students who are attending college under AB 540, the measure by the late Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh, D-South Gate, that then-Gov. Gray Davis signed into law in 2001.

To be eligible for in-state tuition, a student must have attended a California high school for three years and received a diploma or equivalent and met entrance criteria. The law also requires students to sign an affidavit stating they have applied to become legal residents or will do so if they become eligible.

In the California State University system, out-of-state fees run about $10,000 more than in-state fees per year. At the University of California, there is a $15,000 surcharge. At California's community colleges, in-state fees run about $78 per course, while out-of-state students pay $500.

Advocates say that even with AB 540, many high-performing illegal immigrants who would otherwise attend college have been unable to do so because they are not eligible for aid.

At UCLA, where tuition alone costs more than $2,300 a quarter, members of a group called IDEAS (Improving Dreams, Equality, Access and Success) have been making
telephone calls to round up support for the financial aid measure, said Carol's Montes.

Montes, who co-founded the campus counterpart to the Orange County Dream Team, works up to 30 hours a week in an AB 540 outreach program and as a lab assistant
to pay her tuition.

"Everyone has stress figuring out how to pay for college, but for us it's more embedded because we have fewer options," said Montes, a senior.  The daughter of a carpenter and a homemaker who have raised five children, Montes was 4 when her parents entered the country illegally from Honduras.

She graduated at the top of her high school class and is majoring in physiological sciences at UCLA. Her older sister is an AB 540 student at California State University, Northridge.

In a state where Latinos have the highest school dropout and poverty rates, the sisters are the exception rather than the norm.

Indeed, most of the students who register under the guidelines of AB 540 are not illegal immigrants. The law also applies to legal residents, for example, whose parents moved out of state when they were high school seniors, or who attended boarding school elsewhere.

Only 371 students enrolled in the UC system during the 2005-06 academic year were undocumented immigrants admitted under AB 540. The CSU system does not keep a
tally. Most of the students who have taken advantage of the law attend the state's community colleges. During the first 2 1/2 years of the law, more than 18,000 did so.

But Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-San Diego, and other critics allege it violates the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. The measure bans states from granting rights to illegal immigrants that do not apply to every U.S. citizen.

Bilbray, who rode anger over illegal immigration to an election victory in June, has two children who graduated from high school in Virginia. They are paying out-of-state tuition to attend college in California. Bilbray, his two children and 40 out-of-state students attending California colleges are challenging the law in a suit filed in Yolo Superior Court. A decision is expected any day.

"You have a sitting member of Congress with children who are totally documented and are still being required to pay out-of-state fees," Bilbray said. "That's not right."

But Robert Rubin, legal director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco, maintains the law does not violate federal law because tuition benefits are not restricted to illegal immigrants.

All you have to prove is that you are a California high school graduate who has spent at least three years in a California high school. Rubin, who is representing AB 540 students in the case, has advocated for these students since the 1980s when he successfully argued they could attend school as residents.

In 1990, a court ruling determined that these students must pay out-of-state costs and do it without financial aid. AB 540 reopened campuses to illegal immigrants. "These kids have overcome such great obstacles, they really represent some of the most industrious individuals that the state has," Rubin said. "They are kids who -- whether legal or not -- are going to remain in this state."

Assemblyman Bill Emmerson, R-Redlands, does not disagree these students embody heartwarming stories. But their presence on campus, he said, is wrong. "I think it's unfair -- not just to California students -- but residents from adjacent states who can't come in here at the same tuition rate," Emmerson said. Like Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, Emmerson has introduced legislation to repeal AB 540. Both were unsuccessful.

Antonia Rivera, a member of the Orange County Dream Team Coalition, is familiar with their arguments. Rivera, 24, was 6 when she arrived from Mexico with her parents. 
A recent graduate of the University of California, Irvine, she plans to use her education to contribute to the only country she has ever known. "If I'm going to change the world, I want to begin with my house," she said.


Nearly 2 million U.S.-born children of immigrants, 18-24, are not yet registered to vote.

Nearly 2 million U.S.-born children of immigrants, 18-24, are registered to vote.

More than 1 million additional U.S.-born children of immigrants will be eligible to vote 2008.

In California alone there are 1 million U.S.-born children of immigrants ages 18-24.

Source: Taking Latinos from the Streets to the Polls, article by Paloma Esquivel, The Nation. Posted September 25, 2006. Sent by Howard Shorr


Book: "Beneath the Shadow of the Capitol"

Many of us as Hispanic, experienced life altering discriminatory experiences in Austin, Texas both in school and in the community in the 40’s and 50’s. Because of this, many Mexicans, (as we were called), were forced out, flunked out, or intimidated out of school. This happened in Jr. high, and continued in high school. Many faced menial employment all their lives, or joined the military to survive, and to help their families.

I have written a book detailing life in Austin during that period. "Beneath the Shadow of the Capitol" There is history in this book that many, many people are not aware of. For a recommendation by Frank Sifuentes and more on the book, please, click.

Thank you, Ramon Moncivais
5110 Meadow Creek Drive
Austin, Texas 78745
Ph. 512.441.4900



Latino Students Receive Less Financial Aid for Higher Ed 
by Marisa Trevino,
September 1, 2006  Sent By: Howard Shorr

An interesting survey in today’s USA Today found that financial aid at public flagship universities aren’t keeping pace with tuition increases.  Though tuition increased by about 34 percent, the increase in aid only amounted to 17 percent.

According to Jamie Merisotis, president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, a Washington D.C. think tank, the findings are especially troubling because it indicates that the ability to pay is eroding – especially among the low-income students.

That’s an interesting point since Latino students have always had to struggle with the high cost of education – even with financial aid. 

Among all the ethnicities, Latinos receive the lowest average amount of financial aid awarded—by type and source of aid. In a breakdown found at the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Latinos were found to receive: the least financial aid ($5,999) of any ethnic group. 

Sector: Latinos received the least federal aid ($4,644) and the least non-federal aid ($3,328) of any ethnic group. 

Grants: Latinos received the smallest grant awards ($3,486) for their education of any ethnic group. Latinos received the smallest federal grants ($2,113) of any ethnic group, except whites, and received by far the smallest non-federal grants ($3,017) of any ethnic group. 

Loans: Latinos received larger loans ($4,168) than African Americans ($4,070) or Asian/Pacific Islanders ($4,073). 

Work-Study: Latinos received the lowest work-study awards ($1,152) of any ethnic group.

“Other aid”: Latinos received higher awards ($4,527) than African Americans ($4,147), but less than whites ($5,070) or Asian/Pacific Islanders ($5,364). This disparity is consistent in “other” federal aid ($6,047) and non-federal aid ($3,475).

So, today’s news that there is even less money to help students realize their suenos for the future is doubly worse for Latino students.  And to think some would have us believe that Latino students get preferential treatment when it comes to higher education.

Black colleges recruit Hispanics 
By Dorie Turner, Associated Press
Sent by Willis Papillion

ATLANTA - Squeezed by stiff competition for their traditional students, historically black colleges are making a push to recruit Hispanics.

While the country's Hispanic population is booming, the number of blacks is growing at a much slower rate and other colleges are doing more to attract them. Black colleges that want to shore up enrollment numbers are revising recruitment strategies to include more members of the nation's largest and fastest-growing minority.

The campuses are hiring Hispanic recruiters, distributing brochures featuring Hispanic students, and establishing special scholarships for Hispanics. At the historically black Texas Southern University in Houston, the school has started five Hispanic student organizations, including fraternities and sororities, to help make the campus more inviting.

"I tell them 'There's a place for you and a need for Latinos to be present on (historically black) campuses," said Nelcon Santiago, a recruiter for the historically black Howard University in Washington, D.C. A native of Puerto Rico, Santiago talks to students about his experiences as a student at Howard, where he graduated in 2001.

Recruiters like Santiago and from other schools including the all-male Morehouse College in Atlanta are visiting predominantly Hispanic high schools and setting up booths at college fairs geared toward Hispanic students. Morehouse sends recruiters to high schools in south Florida, New York, east Texas and Los Angeles - areas with large Hispanic populations.

"Considering Latinos and African-Americans share a lot of history together that they don't realize, I think it's a good idea," said John Miranda, of Silver Spring, Md., one of 15 Hispanics enrolled at the 2,800-student Morehouse.

Miranda, the 21-year-old son of Brazilian immigrants, said he picked Morehouse because he was offered a full-ride scholarship funded by an Atlanta foundation that promotes the education of Hispanics.  

Morehouse's goal is for at least 5% of its student body to be made up of Hispanics within five years. If its current overall enrollment holds steady, the school will need 125 more Hispanic students by 2011 to reach that goal.

While the idea has been greeted with open arms by the college's administrators, some students and alumni said they are mixed about actively recruiting Hispanics to historically black colleges. 

"I do have concerns," said Earl Nero, a retired Atlanta businessman who graduated from Morehouse in 1974. "Since the college has determined they want to stay the same size they are, that would take away space from qualified African-American students." But having other minorities attending a historically black college will help them get "a real life view about what black people are all about," Nero added.

Student James Travis, who is black, said having other students of other races on a historically black campus bothers him "a little bit" because it challenges the college's mission.  "It's supposed to maintain the historically black tradition," said the 21-year-old student from the Atlanta suburb of College Park. "I'll have to see how it goes before I see if I want to change the situation or not."

Still, educators say the nation's two largest minority groups are a natural fit on a college campus.  "They are both underserved communities when it comes to higher education," said Michael Lomax, president and CEO of the United Nugro College Fund. "We have got to educate them so that we can have a competitive workforce in the 21st century."

The number of Hispanic students attending historically black colleges increased more than 60% from 1994 to 2004, while the number of black students grew by 35%, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

In the 1990s, Hispanics surpassed blacks as the nation's largest minority. The number of Hispanics in the United States grew by nearly 60% that decade, while the number of blacks only grew by about 15%.

At the same time, the competition for black students has increased as public colleges nationwide try to improve diversity by recruiting more minorities. Some state higher education systems, especially in the South, also have been forced by federal courts to meet specific black recruitment goals under desegregation lawsuits still lingering from the 1960s.

"All colleges want to have a presence of African-American male students on their campus. It makes the competition very tough," said Sterling Hudson, dean of admissions and records at Morehouse.

Five years ago, Texas Southern hired a Hispanic recruiter and began producing recruitment materials targeting Hispanics. Since then, Hispanic student enrollment has grown from 316 to almost 550. Right now, Hispanics make up about 5% of the 11,000-student body.

"We have the advantage as a HBCU to cater to the minority - small classroom, small family-type environment," said Hasan Jamil, assistant vice president for enrollment services. 

Howard has about 170 Hispanic out of 11,500 students after several years of focused recruiting. Interim admissions director Linda Sanders-Hawkins said with the country's growing Hispanic population, recruiting is not as tough as it once was.

Miranda, one of only 15 Hispanics at Morehouse, said it has not bothered him being on a majority black campus.  "Since I've been at Morehouse, I've gotten a different perspective on a lot of things," Miranda said, referring to black history. "I learned a lot that was left out of the schooling I got."

Cal State Fullerton Is Fourth For Undergraduate Degrees to Hispanics

Cal State Fullerton has moved up to fourth in the nation and first in the state for the number of undergraduate degrees awarded to Hispanic students, according to the annual "Top 100" published in the May 8 issue of Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education.

It is the second year in a row that CSUF has been recognized as the top California institution of higher education in this category. Cal State Northridge came in fifth while Long Beach State was in sixth place.

The publication rankings - based on 2005 data gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics - list colleges and universities by number of bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees awarded, as well as by subject areas.

Cal State Fullerton was fifth in the nation last year and sixth in 2004.
In specific academic programs, Cal State Fullerton ranks second nationally for the number of undergraduate degrees awarded to Hispanics in communications; fifth in education; sixth in business and marketing, as well as protective services; seventh for visual and performing arts; and eighth in area studies.

In the April 10 issue of Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, Cal State Fullerton was ranked 17th in a top 25 ranking for enrollment of Hispanic students in graduate programs. The listing, like the "Top 100," was based on data from the U.S,. Department of Education Statistics.

Overall, Hispanics constitute one-fourth of Cal State Fullerton's student population.
Source: Dateline, Cal State Fullerton, May 18, 2006
Sent by Granville Hough, Ph.D. 


One Good Thing: Spanish Language Newspapers Growing 
Sent by:Howard Shorr  Published: August 26, 2006

CHICAGO Here's some good news for the beleaguered U.S. newspaper industry: Hispanics read newspapers much more faithfully than the general population. They just prefer to do it in their native language.

Despite the overall circulation decline of U.S. newspapers, Spanish-language publications are thriving due partly to a burgeoning population whose impact is growing. Advertisers were advised at a conference Friday to take note of that expansion and to discard outdated perceptions about how to connect with Hispanics.

"Hispanic publications are an incredibly effective tool in reaching your target consumer," said Bob Shamberg, chairman and chief executive of Newspaper Services of America, a print media planning and buying agency.

Shamberg said there's been huge improvement in the quality of Spanish-language information and a better understanding in recent years of Hispanic consumers and how they use media. But long-held perceptions that radio and TV-- or, now, the Internet -- are the best way to reach them are slow to change, he told the advertising summit of the National Association of Hispanic Publications.

He cited survey data that found:
-- Newspapers are the medium most frequently used by Hispanics to check advertising information, according to the Newspaper Association of America poll, singled out by 56 percent compared to 14 % for direct mail, 11 % for the Internet and 8 % TV.
-- Spanish-language newspapers are the most influential on purchasing decisions.
-- Ads in Spanish are 61 % more effective and 4.5 times more persuasive than in English.

Alejandro Sanchez, a Chicago-based media strategist for the San Jose Group ad agency, said cultural reasons explain why Hispanics, or Latinos, read newspapers more than other groups.  "They trust the paper," he said. "They can see it on TV, they can see it online, but ... the paper has that sense of ultimate authority."

The trend of low newspaper readership among Americans age 18 to 34 also does not apply as much to Hispanic consumers, he said.  
"Our time is a little different from other cultures," Sanchez said. "We take time to do these things. We like to sit down and read the papers because 'That's what my dad did.'"

Carl Kravetz, chairman of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies, said ads have moved beyond the simplistic archetype of the "safe Hispanic," when they uniformly portrayed conservative, family-oriented, not-too-dark immigrants who didn't read. But he cautioned advertisers to not "try to turn Mexicans into Germans" -- recognizing the different priorities and mores of different cultures.

"Our success depends on our ability to create expressions of culture which people deem authentic and wish to identify with," he said.  With the proliferation of new media, he noted that for an advertising message, "Today, more than ever, where you say it is as important as what you say."


August 22, 2006 Lizette Jenness Olmos, (202) 365-4553 
Sent by Brent Wilkes

LULAC Praises New Mexico Governor’s Initiative to Save LNESC 
We hope this sets an example to inspire other Governors to follow

Washington, DC – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) National President Rosa Rosales and LULAC National Educational Service Centers (LNESC) National Chair Roman Palomares want to extend our sincerest appreciation to Governor Bill Richardson for taking action to free up to $80,000 in federal fiscal relief to save the Albuquerque education center from closing its doors.

“This is about college access and working with communities that are underserved and unique. The centers help low-income and first generation students in order to prepare them to complete high school and enroll in a postsecondary institution of their choice. It really requires that extra mile to reach into the communities that are being served,” said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. “Education is a lifeline to our future and the LNESC has proven itself successful since the 70's.”

LNESC has made an impact in Hispanic education through its 17 Educational Centers around the United States and Puerto Rico. The LNESC Centers assists over 12,000 students annually. The mission of the centers is to provide educationally disadvantaged and Hispanic communities with the highest quality academic opportunities needed for the development of lifelong learners and leaders through mentoring, financial aid assistance, counseling and academic advising among other services.

Sent by: Karen Borch-Exec.

Oct 2: Latino Education Advocacy Day  
Sent by Karen Borch

MEChA will be hosting the LEAD (Latino Education Advocacy Day) event at the University of New Mexico (Student Union Building Movie Theater) on October 2nd from 9:00am to 6:00pm. We will be showing two documentaries from Alfred Lugo who will coming down from California to present, followed by a discussion. Alfredo Lugo has been producing documentaries since 1983. Mr. Lugo has received various awards; an EMMY, shared in an EMMY, won a Golden Mike Award and received recognition awards from the League of United Latin America Citizens, 11th Airborne Division Association and Certificates of Appreciation from Los Angeles County Sheriff Block for his exemplary cable television crime prevention programs. He is a certified Oral Historian, California Military History Museum, Crewchief/Docent, F-105D 62-4383 March Airfield Museum. We will be showing the documentaries in the SUB theater. Our agenda for the events and times are as follows:

9:00am-4:00pm Voter Registration / Voter Education
12:00 pm Alfredo Lugo will present "Men of Company E" 
2:00 pm Alfredo Lugo will present the "Guy Gabaldón Interview" Both documentaries will be followed by a discussion on the importance of voting to continue the Latino tradition of activism in our communities through voting on the issues.
5:00 pm Reading of Alfredo Lugo's "Roll Call" play
6:00 pm El Centro de La Raza courtyard BBQ

information: Vanessa Monge at (505) 550-6535 or Mario Chavez at (505) 615-0981. 
Please RSVP if you plan to join the event for the BBQ.


U.S. Department of Education - Additional Grant Funds
Sent by:

Dear Parent, We are excited to announce the creation of a new student aid grant program called the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG). This new grant builds on the Pell Grant program to provide increased funds for students who complete a rigorous high school program of study.

Based on the information reported on the 2006-2007 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) filed by your son or daughter (your student), he or she may be eligible for the ACG, but we will need to ask your student some additional questions to help make the proper determination.

To provide the needed information your student should answer the questions online at  using his or her Federal Student Aid PIN. They can select the link or copy the entire link and paste it into the address or location line of your Web browser. Make sure to copy and paste the entire link; it may appear on multiple lines.  

After your student submits his or her answers, we will send this information to the colleges currently listed on your student's FAFSA. Your student will also receive a new Student Aid Report (SAR). If your student would like to have the ACG information sent to additional colleges, he or she may add those colleges after receiving a SAR. To do so, he or she can go to, select "Make Corrections to a Processed FAFSA," login with his or her Federal Student Aid PIN and follow the instructions.

The financial aid administrator at your student's college will determine if he or she is eligible for an ACG. All follow-up information will come from the financial aid office at the college.

Sincerely, Federal Student Aid
U.S. Department of Education



Jennie Bravo,
Sinaloa Club, San Francisco

Dorinda Moreno sends us a photo and poster from the "fabulous era" 1950s. Son, Paul Rimple writes that his mother, "Jennie Bravo sang in the early 50s before she decided to raise a family. She also sang in Mexico City."  

Dorinda is gathering information on the musicians and singers of that time period. Please contact her if you have photos, materials, recordings, etc.

Ramona -- A Story That Changed the History of California 
November 11, 2006 
Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society Special Event
Sent by: Bob Smith

On Saturday, November 11, 2006 at 2:00 pm, Dr. Dydia DeLyser, author of "Ramona Memories: Tourism and the Shaping of Southern California", and Associate Professor of Geography at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge will visit the Saugus Train Station at Heritage Junction, San Fernando Road in Newhall. She will be speaking on the history of Jackson's book "Ramona" and it's creation of the romantic image of Old Spanish California which spawned a frenzied tourist industry in Southern California lasting for decades.

Every once in a while, a story changes history..................

(Newhall, CA - September 9, 2006)   Sometime in 1882 author Helen Hunt Jackson briefly visited an old California Rancho in the Santa Clara River Valley seeking information to aid in her crusade to bring national attention to the mistreatment of the dwindling population of Mission Indians in California. Two years later she published a novel which failed to meet this intended goal, but instead created a firestorm of interest which forever altered the face of California. On Saturday, November 11, 2006 at 2:00 pm, Dr. Dydia DeLyser, author of "Ramona Memories: Tourism and the Shaping of Southern California", and Associate Professor of Geography at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge will visit the Saugus Train Station at Heritage Junction, San Fernando Road in Newhall. She will be speaking on the history of Jackson's book "Ramona" and it's creation of the romantic image of Old Spanish California which spawned a frenzied tourist industry in Southern California lasting for decades. The old Rancho visited by Jackson in 1882 is now a historic landmark along Highway 126 on the way to Fillmore. The Rancho Camulos, while historically important as the home of the Del Valle family, the first owners of the Santa Clarita Valley after the secularization of the mission system in the 1830's, became vastly more famous as the most likely model for the fictional "Home of Ramona" described in Jackson's book.

Every once in a while, a story changes history.  It isn’t common, but sometimes it happens. Jackson’s "Ramona" was a defining factor in how California became the way it is today.   Helen Hunt Jackson’s purpose for writing this story was to bring to light the dishonorable way in which she felt the United States Government was treating the Californio and especially the Native American residents of California after its acquisition.  After her effort to inform the US Congress and document the abuses in dry report form in the book "A Century of Dishonor"  failed, Jackson decided to take the case to the public by writing a work of fiction to raise awareness to her cause. Once published, "Ramona" was a phenomenon.  It touched a nerve on the American scene.  Instead of popular support for improving the lot of the Californios and Native Americans, though, the focus of the popular attention was the romantic, but tragic, love story of the two principal characters, Ramona and Alessandro. 

Tourists flocked to California to try to touch the romance described in the book.  They came by train at first, going to places which were promoted as places depicted in the book that were accessible from trains without difficult overland travel.  Camulos, which is located on Highway 126 just past the Ventura County line, was probably the hottest of these.  The Southern Pacific Railroad created a stop there to accommodate the demand.  People overran the place, even going so far as to enter the home and see what was cooking in the kitchen!  Then with the advent of automobiles, a new kind of tourism was born—one that wasn’t tied to the railroads or their schedules.  Places competed for attention to their claims for a connection to the famous story.  People went Ramona-mad.  It became the fashion for architecture to look like it had survived from before the Americans came.  “Spanish Colonial” and “Mission” styles were the rage…and still hold a certain California-ness about them.  Towns vied for the privilege of re-naming themselves Ramona or some other name from the book. The very fiber of the state seemed to soak up all things Ramona. 

Helen Hunt Jackson died in 1885, one year after her book was published, thinking that her experiment in trying to change public opinion about the mistreated Californios and Native Americans was a failure.  She saw how people ran mad after the romance, but seemed to miss the intended point.  They didn’t, however, entirely miss the intended point.  Once the mania had made both the Californios and the Native Americans seem so “romantic,” it started to seem wrong that they should be so badly treated.  Public opinion about their plight was raised and that change can be directly traced back to Ramona. The movement to protect the deteriorating California Mission System can be traced back to the historical interest sparked by Ramona. It can even be said that our style, as Californians, can be traced back to Ramona.  

Dr. Delyser's book "Ramona Memories" details the many ways that Americans went Ramona-crazy.  She shows us that a work of fiction such as "Ramona" can be a powerful tool for awakening a love of history, and can even change the way we perceive and do things. The Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society is excited to present this talented author at the Saugus Train Station on November 11. 

The general public is invited. Admission will be free. For more information on this and other upcoming programs from the SCVHS, please call Pat Saletore or Alan Pollack at 661-254-1275 or visit the Society's website at
http://  http://


De Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco film/music series

In September the Mexican Museum collaborated with the de Young Museum to explore different facets of Chicano art and culture. A second screening focused on the use of the media to create images of Mexicans, and how Chicanos have responded with their own counter-narratives.

The film series focused on how symbols deliver their meaning both overtly and subtly through an unspoken cultural context.  For more information about these evenings, contact,, or 415-750-7634.  Sent by Pocharte

Sent by Frank Sifuentes

Carlos Ibanez is one of the 72 stories from interviews from the book: ' El Immigrante Mexicano by Manuel Gamio, famous Mexican anthropoligist, sociologist,and archeologist.
Published 1967, Instituto de Invesigaciones Sociales Univercidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. 
This most wonderful book has an interesting story of itself. Initially it was in the Library of Modesto High School, # (45792) and ended up at a jazzy European Book Co. "French -German-Spanish' none of which I have come close to understanding even Spanish or English.  It was my good fortune that my compadre Paulo Morales saw it and purchase it. 

He lent the book on kind of lend-lease bases.  It has been close to 5 years since its been
in my possession. Therefore if it turns our to be a much sought after collector's item, the costs are his. And may have to even compensate him for giving the book a beating.
He paid 85 cents for it. It still has the Modesto High School Library tag with RULES, The last is that the person that posses this book has to pay for it as determined by Library'' not less than 10 cents nor more than the book is worth.'.  Now with that off my chest, I will proceed to read the story in Spanglish a la transliteration.  The following is d'ingles.


CARLOS IBANEZ is a native of San Francisco,Zacatecas who said he had been in Los Angeles 25 years continously. He express the feeling that was prominent in his times, that a Mexicano should never ever marry any American or Americanized woman. HIS POINT OF VIEW HAS ONLY ONE SIDE TO IT. UNLESS HE GOES BACK TO MEXICO FOR HIS DREAM CHOICE.
I came to this country more than 25 years ago. My objective was - like that of others -was to seek my fortune here; I wanted to work hard to see if I could save something for my old age.
And though I have had the opportunity, I've not been able to for various reasons, but especially because of my weakness por las mujeres. (women).
When I left Zacatecas I had been working as a peon in San Francisco and barely earned enough for food with a few centavos left over for the day. It was so little I don't even remember how much they 'gave' me.
This was the reason I came to seek a fortune and came to California.*
After living a while, I went to work in the fields(los campos) in el remolache (the sugar beets)*. in the railroads, and other kinds of labor, from one site to another until I decided to come to this city (Los Angeles); because it is not so cold, nor too hot here as in
other places.
Sometimes I work and other times I don't. When I have had work I saved part of my salary to rescue me in times I am not working.
I've not wanted to get married, because the truth is I do not like the way women are here. They are very liberal. They are the kind that like to control the men, and don't want that, nor any other Mexican can endure that. We are to much of a rebel and have hot blood and in this country a man that imposes himself on themselves on a woman will lose her, the same with one's wages, if we are not careful, because the laws and the authorities are on a woman's side.
The Mexican women who come here quickly learn to approve of these laws and their enforcement by the authorities. They want to be like American women.
That is why I think that in my case it is better that I marry in Mexico to a Mexican women, if I ever marry.
I've never had any difficulties in any of the places of work since I arrived in the U.S. No one has demonstrated prejudice towards me. They have treated me the same as the Americans.
I have more complaints with gente de la raza that come apart a lot when I arrived in this country; they become egotistical and do not want to offer opportunity to the rest.
That is why I they say 'that the cradle that tightens must be made of the tame tree.' In this country, the Mexican occupies a place they have won. It is clear that if one tries to obtain a good job and continue to be able to eat, is always sunk. The rest will do to another what they want.
As for me, nothing bad has happened in the U.S. I have lived in peace with everyone.
First of all I'd rather cut my head off than change my Mexican nationality. I prefer to 'lose' in Mexico than to win in the USA. My country is everything and although I have been here many years since I left Mexico, I only wait until conditions get better and there is absolute peace, for me to return.
I have not lost hope of spending the final years in my country.
I am Catholic - well it's the religion my parents showed me - but I almost never go to mass or pray, because I have forgotten how. For a time I would pray before I go to bed; and little by little I forgot how to pray. Though I don't believe in witches nor in the 'evil eye'. anything like that. Nor do I know anything like that in California. Perhaps there are
some among Mexican people, however they are rare. as opposed to my town in Zacatecas, where there were many and many of the 'brujas' are women.
I've learn some English, especially in the work place. I do nothing but hard work when employed. And surely I am better off here than in Mexico, ut I could not change my citizenship for nothing in the world.
I like music to dance by and especially North American music because I know how to dance to jazz.  And know all its dance places of Mexican music in the city and go to them all to enjoy myself.
Like Mexican style, American, Italian and any other kind of food in North America. I eat when I am hungry and do care much what kind of plate. Clearly I like Mexican food, tamales, frijoes, enchiladas and other dishes. But like I said, the food does not matter much, the same style does not matter for evey thing goes to the stomach and mixed there.
I like everything about this country, the business, theaters, rounding around in the streets; also the work because I earn good wages.
The only thing I do not like - like I said before -the way women behave, who are the ones who order men around, for I believe that the man who lets a women tell him what to do is not a man.

The First time by Trinidad Sánchez, Jr. 
Sent by Dorinda Moreno

THE FIRST TIME You tell your father "I love you." 
is not easy. For we are taught 
to love women....not men. 
My father was the one I wanted 
to be near, to feel his strength, 
to know his passion for life. 
The distance between us went unnoticed
until that fateful day the phone call. 
It would be my first airplane ride
from Cincinnati to Detroit, 
ironically, to be with him at death. 
Funny, for years I saved the ticket stub 
not sure whether to remind me 
of my first flight or his death. 

Standing next to him, 
I remember being strong 
after all, I was his namesake 
and others were expecting me 
to be a man. 

The day I cried was months later, 
when I went to my mailbox 
for his weekly letters and poems. 
The box was empty no letter, no poems. 
I was so alone. Lost. Confused. 
I had been taught about sex, 
but no one had explained 
the overwhelming sensations 
that arrive with the death 
of the man who for twenty years, 
I called "papa". 

He lay so still, properly embalmed. 
His amigos from the Monterrey Poolroom 
paid their final respects. 
The priest said some stupid prayers. 
I cursed God for the strange feeling 
of being a young man without a father. 
I wanted to hug him one last time 
or would it be our first?
The line from the poem 
he wrote to me, 
after my leaving home, 

"it was papa who took a drink 
and wanted to hug you tight".

floated around 
like a bad taste in my mouth.

Now the distance between the family 
has separated us 
to different parts of the country. 
Mama, lost her voice, 
she quietly waits for your return 
at the Nightingale Nursing Home. 
She teaches us a lesson how sometimes 
death sneaks slowly up on you 
weakens you till your last breath. 
Now, I struggle to be father 
for my beautiful ten year old daughter. 
You are not here but I want you to know 
I don't blame you anymore. 

The poet in me wants to share a poem 
with you, make you smile, laugh
but all I can do is tell the children 
" . . . my father was a poet." 
I feel so proud, at the precise moment 
when I express your words with my voice: 
but I remember too well 
how the first time I told my father 
"I love you" . . . was not easy.

Trinidad Sánchez, Jr. is renowned Chicano performer, poet and author of several 
books of poetry including the best seller Why Am I So Brown?, the venerated Poems by Father and Son, and Compartiendo De La Nada, which addressed politics in Central America. In more than twenty years of teaching and performing he has been featured over 1000 times in various schools and poetry venues. In January 2005, after years of literary performance and activism in Denver and Albuquerque, he and his wife, Regina, returned to live in San Antonio Texas. 

Described by the late Ricardo Sánchez as singing “the shaman song of meaning and justice,” Trinidad has been recognized for his activism on behalf of those in the penal system and his commitment to peace and the struggle against racism and other forms of oppression. He was awarded the Martin Luther King “Keep the Dream Alive” Award for serving as an inspiration to students. For promoting the mission of the public school system, he was awarded the Champion of Education award by the San Antonio Independent School District. He has worked as a trainer/counselor with developmentally delayed adults in a group home for Mission Road Development Center, San Antonio, Texas.  SOURCE--

Podcast Expansion of Hispanic History
Sent by Joseph Puentes
The podcast project needs your help. The planning committee is located at: Please join the group and volunteer to solicit the many people we know that have studied and have gained a significant understanding in some aspect of our history, the History of Latin America. The podcast is about archiving Audio files from Conferences, Symposiums, Information Sessions, Interviews, Lectures, Poetry Readings, in short any place that our history is being "SPOKEN" is where we need to be to record and archive that history. PLEASE HELP in this effort:

There are several new audio presentations on the podcast project. In the "Comida" area of the podcast Dr. Paul Bosland a Regents Professor in horticulture at New Mexico State University and Director of the Chile Pepper Institute gives a fabulous presentation on Fabian Garcia - Pioneer Hispanic Horticulturist 1871-1948, known as the father of the Mexican Food Industry in the United States. In the "Música" area of the podcast Dr. Mark Pedelty provides a historical overview of musical ritual in Mexico City, starting with Mesoamerican music in relation to ceremonies of state, ending with the quintessential Mexican music: Mariachi. In the "Coyote" area of the podcast listen to Dr. Marco Polo Hernández Cuevas and others in their presentation of "Noches de Candela" or poetic vigils related to San Juan de Ulúa, Veracruz which was the door of entry for hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans during the Spanish colonial period.

Check out Raíces De Todos Magazine website! Promoting the Essence of the Hispanic Culture! 

Wow! 347 hits the first 9 days! Thank you to all who have made all this possible! 
Of course there are plenty of advertising opportunities to reach this huge market but remember it's the message that Raíces wants to share with everyone about our culture in a positive way especially in these troublesome times of immigration reform.

Did you know that there are 1.1 million forces? 
About 53,000 Hispanic-origin people were on active duty in 2003 in the United States. Not many people know this and with all the misinformation that is present today, who would?

What does this have to do with Raíces De Todos? We are educating everyone to our Hispanic customs, history and the current issues in order to foster a better understanding in the communities we live in. Become a part of the Raíces Family and share this important resource with all your family and friends. 

Gracias, Rafael M. Torres, Publishers

Raices De Todos Magazine 
237 North Prince Street Suite 302 
Lancaster, PA 17603 
Office: 717-509-8787 
Cell: 717-951-0687 
Fax: 717-509-3506 
"Pennsylvania's Leading Hispanic Bilingual Cultural Magazine"


Californian and Texan to head United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Washington, D.C. (August 29, 2006) – The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the election of prominent business leader David C. Lizárraga as its Chair-Elect, following a board meeting in Philadelphia, PA, site of the USHCC's upcoming 27th Annual National Convention &Business Expo, September 20-23, 2006. In addition to Mr. Lizárraga, the USHCC Board of Directors announced the election of Mr. Massey Villarreal of Houston, TX as its incoming Vice-Chair. 

"Mr. Lizárraga is a highly-successful and well-respected business pioneer and community leader not only in his native Los Angeles, but across the country," said USHCC President &CEO Michael L. Barrera. His success story and effective business model are a great example of the growth and sophistication of our business community and they serve as inspiration to Hispanic businesses and entrepreneurs everywhere. I look forward to working with Mr. Lizárraga and Mr. Villarreal side by side as we continue to successfully execute the USHCC mission on behalf of our national and international Chamber members." 

Mr. Lizárraga and Mr. Villarreal will assume their leadership roles as Chair and Vice Chair respectively during the 27th Annual USHCC National Convention & Business Expo to be held September 20-23, 2006 in Philadelphia, PA. 

For more information on the 27th Annual USHCC National Convention & Business Expo, please go to  

About Mr. Lizárraga
Acknowledged as a pioneer in community empowerment, David C. Lizárraga has been at the helm of TELACU for nearly 40 years as its President &CEO. Through this unique corporate model shaped by Mr. Lizárraga, TELACU and TELACU Millennium businesses provide valuable products, services and build vital community assets, such as schools, water projects, transportation facilities and infrastructure. TELACU emerged as the nation's largest community development corporation, advocating for education as a chief vehicle toward greater economic and social opportunities. The LINC TELACU Education Foundation, which Lizárraga established to prepare and equip upcoming generations of Latino leaders, is the most effective national institution meeting the educational needs of Latinos today. 

About Mr. Villarreal
Mr. Massey Villarreal is a well known, respected and committed advocate for the growing Hispanic business community, having held several leadership positions on a national level and in his native Texas. He has served as Chairman of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC), as well as Chairman of the Board of the USHCC during 1998-1999. He is CEO and President of Precision Task Group, Inc, based in Houston, TX.

About the USHCC
The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is the largest and most influential advocate for the more than 2 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, which generate more than $350 billion annually. It serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers nationwide and Mexico by actively promoting the economic growth and development of Hispanic business leaders and entrepreneurs.  USHCC · 2175 K St., NW #100 · Washington · DC · 20037

Anti-Spanish Legends

Ownership of TV stations 
Immigration -- and the Curse of the Black Legend
Race, Racism and the Law 
Subliminal Racism

Ownership of TV stations
Of all the TV stations in the US,
Fewer than 5% are owned by women 
Fewer than 3% are owned by people of color 
Fewer than 1% are owned by Latinos
Sent by Elvira Prieta
Source Rebecca Acuna

Immigration -- and the Curse of the Black Legend
By Tony Horwitz, July 9, 2006, Vineyard Haven, Mass.
Sent by Ruben Salaz

COURSING through the immigration debate is the unexamined faith that American history rests on English bedrock, or Plymouth Rock to be specific. Jamestown also gets a nod, particularly in the run-up to its 400th birthday, but John Smith was English, too (he
even coined the name New England).

So amid the din over border control, the Senate affirms the self-evident truth that English is our national language; "It is part of our blood," Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, says. Border vigilantes call themselves Minutemen, summoning colonial Massachusetts as they apprehend Hispanics in the desert Southwest. Even undocumented immigrants invoke our Anglo founders, waving placards that read, "The Pilgrims didn't have papers."

These newcomers are well indoctrinated; four of the sample questions on our naturalization test ask about Pilgrims. Nothing in the sample exam suggests that
prospective citizens need know anything that occurred on this continent before the Mayflower landed in 1620. Few Americans do, after all.

This national amnesia isn't new, but it's glaring and supremely paradoxical at a moment when politicians warn of the threat posed to our culture and identity by an invasion of immigrants from across the Mexican border. If Americans hit the books, they'd find what Al Gore would call an inconvenient truth. The early history of what is now the United States was Spanish, not English, and our denial of this heritage is rooted in age-old stereotypes that still entangle today's immigration debate.

Forget for a moment the millions of Indians who occupied this continent for 13,000 or more years before anyone else arrived, and start the clock with Europeans' presence on present-day United States soil. The first confirmed landing wasn't by Vikings, who
reached Canada in about 1000, or by Columbus, who reached the Bahamas in 1492. It was by a Spaniard, Juan Ponce de León, who landed in 1513 at a lush shore he
christened La Florida.

Most Americans associate the early Spanish in this hemisphere with Cortés in Mexico and Pizarro in Peru. But Spaniards pioneered the present-day United States, too. Within three decades of Ponce de León's landing, the Spanish became the first Europeans to reach the Appalachians, the Mississippi, the Grand Canyon and the Great Plains. Spanish ships sailed along the East Coast, penetrating to present-day Bangor, Me., and up the Pacific Coast as far as Oregon.

From 1528 to 1536, four castaways from a Spanish expedition, including a "black" Moor, journeyed all the way from Florida to the Gulf of California -- 267 years before Lewis and Clark embarked on their much more renowned and far less arduous trek. In 1540, Francisco Vázquez de Coronado led 2,000 Spaniards and Mexican Indians across today's Arizona-Mexico border -- right by the Minutemen's inaugural post -- and traveled as
far as central Kansas, close to the exact geographic center of what is now the continental United States. In all, Spaniards probed half of today's lower 48 states before the first English tried to colonize, at Roanoke Island, N.C.

The Spanish didn't just explore, they settled, creating the first permanent European settlement in the continental United States at St. Augustine, Fla., in 1565. Santa Fe, N.M., also predates Plymouth: later came Spanish settlements in San Antonio, Tucson, San Diego and San Francisco. The Spanish even established a Jesuit mission in Virginia's Chesapeake Bay 37 years before the founding of Jamestown in 1607.

Two iconic American stories have Spanish antecedents, too. Almost 80 years before John Smith's alleged rescue by Pocahontas, a man by the name of Juan Ortiz told of his remarkably similar rescue from execution by an Indian girl. Spaniards also held a thanksgiving, 56 years before the Pilgrims, when they feasted near St. Augustine with Florida Indians, probably on stewed pork and garbanzo beans.

The early history of Spanish North America is well documented, as is the extensive exploration by the 16th-century French and Portuguese. So why do Americans cling to a creation myth centered on one band of late- arriving English -- Pilgrims who weren't even the first English to settle New England or the first Europeans to reach Plymouth Harbor? (There was a short-lived colony in Maine and the French reached Plymouth earlier.)

The easy answer is that winners write the history and the Spanish, like the French, were ultimately losers in the contest for this continent. Also, many leading American writers and historians of the early 19th century were New Englanders who elevated the Pilgrims
to mythic status (the North's victory in the Civil War provided an added excuse to diminish the Virginia story). Well into the 20th century, standard histories and school texts barely mentioned the early Spanish in North America.

While it's true that our language and laws reflect English heritage, it's also true that the Spanish role was crucial. Spanish discoveries spurred the English to try settling America and paved the way for the latecomers' eventual success. Many key aspects of
American history, like African slavery and the cultivation of tobacco, are rooted in the forgotten Spanish century that preceded English arrival.

There's another, less-known legacy of this early period that explains why we've written the Spanish out of our national narrative. As late as 1783, at the end of the
Revolutionary War, Spain held claim to roughly half of today's continental United States (in 1775, Spanish ships even reached Alaska). As American settlers pushed out from the 13 colonies, the new nation craved Spanish land. And to justify seizing it, Americans found a handy weapon in a set of centuries-old beliefs known as the "black legend."

The legend first arose amid the religious strife and imperial rivalries of 16th-century Europe. Northern Europeans, who loathed Catholic Spain and envied its American empire, published books and gory engravings that depicted Spanish colonization as uniquely
barbarous: an orgy of greed, slaughter and papist depravity, the Inquisition writ large.

Though simplistic and embellished, the legend contained elements of truth. Juan de Oñate, the conquistador who colonized New Mexico, punished Pueblo Indians by
cutting off their hands and feet and then enslaving them. Hernando de Soto bound Indians in chains and neck collars and forced them to haul his army's gear across
the South. Natives were thrown to attack dogs and burned alive.

But there were Spaniards of conscience in the New World, too: most notably the Dominican priest Bartolomé de Las Casas, whose defense of Indians impelled the
Spanish crown to pass laws protecting natives. Also, Spanish brutality wasn't unique; English colonists committed similar atrocities. The Puritans were arguably more intolerant of natives than the Spanish and the Virginia colonists as greedy for gold as any
conquistador. But none of this erased the black legend's enduring stain, not only in Europe but also in the newly formed United States.

"Anglo Americans," writes David J. Weber, the pre-eminent historian of Spanish North America, "inherited the view that Spaniards were unusually cruel, avaricious, treacherous, fanatical, superstitious, cowardly, corrupt, decadent, indolent and authoritarian."

When 19th-century jingoists revived this caricature to justify invading Spanish (and later, Mexican) territory, they added a new slur: the mixing of Spanish, African and Indian blood had created a degenerate race. To Stephen Austin, Texas's fight with Mexico was "a war of barbarism and of despotic principles, waged by the mongrel Spanish-Indian and
Negro race, against civilization and the Anglo-American race." It was the manifest destiny of white Americans to seize and civilize these benighted lands, just as it was to take the territory of Indian savages.

From 1819 to 1848, the United States and its army increased the nation's area by roughly a third at Spanish and Mexican expense, including three of today's four most populous states: California, Texas and Florida. Hispanics became the first American citizens in the newly acquired Southwest territory and remained a majority in several states until the 20th century.

By then, the black legend had begun to fade. But it seems to have found new life among immigration's staunchest foes, whose rhetoric carries traces of both ancient Hispanophobia and the chauvinism of 19th-century expansionists.

Representative J. D. Hayworth of Arizona, who calls for deporting illegal immigrants and changing the Constitution so that children born to them in the United States can't claim citizenship, denounces "defeatist wimps unwilling to stand up for our culture" against alien "invasion." Those who oppose making English the official language, he adds, "reject the very notion that there is a uniquely American identity, or that, if there is one, that it is superior to any other."

Representative Tom Tancredo of Colorado, chairman of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, depicts illegal immigration as "a scourge" abetted by "a cult of multiculturalism" that has "a death grip" on this nation. "We are committing cultural suicide," Mr. Tancredo claims. "The barbarians at the gate will only need to give us a slight push, and the emaciated body of Western civilization will collapse in a heap."

ON talk radio and the Internet, foes of immigration echo the black legend more explicitly, typecasting Hispanics as indolent, a burden on the American taxpayer, greedy for benefits and jobs, prone to criminality and alien to our values -- much like those
degenerate Spaniards of the old Southwest and those gold-mad conquistadors who sought easy riches rather than honest toil. At the fringes, the vilification is baldly racist. In fact, cruelty to Indians seems to be the only transgression absent from the familiar package of Latin sins.

Also missing, of course, is a full awareness of the history of the 500-year Spanish presence in the Americas and its seesawing fortunes in the face of Anglo encroachment. "The Hispanic world did not come to the United States," Carlos Fuentes observes. "The United States came to the Hispanic world. It is perhaps an act of poetic justice that now the Hispanic world should return."

America has always been a diverse and fast-changing land, home to overlapping cultures and languages. It's an homage to our history, not a betrayal of it, to welcome the latest arrivals, just as the Indians did those tardy and uninvited Pilgrims who arrived in Plymouth not so long ago.

Tony Horwitz, the author of "Confederates in the Attic" and "Blue Latitudes," is writing a 
book on the early exploration of North America.

Race, Racism and the Law 
Speaking Truth to Power!!
Sent by Rafael Ojeda

Toda ley, decreto, reglamento y disposicion que por su naturaleza deban publicarse, se publicaran en ingles y en Castellano. Art. XI, Section 21, California State Constitution of 1849, in its Spanish-language version; CAL. CONST. of 1849, art. XI, s 21, reprinted in THE ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 1849, at 12, 43 (Telefact Foundation 1965) (reproducing handwritten section of Spanish version of California's first constitution). 

Juan F. Perea
Official English Laws Demography And Distrust: An Essay On American Languages, Cultural Pluralism, And Official English, 77 Minn. L. Rev. 269, 250-256 (December 1992)(Excerpted, Citations Omitted).
Copyright (C) Jaun F. Perea 1992 

. . . Language is both our principal means of communication and a social symbol, malleable and capable of manipulation for the achievement of social or political goals. As one scholar states,  there is of course no such thing as an 'apolitical' language as there is no such thing as an 'apolitical' person.... Politics is human relations, and language is an organic component of such relations. It is simply impossible to disassociate languages from the contexts in which they are learned and used.  For this reason a study of context, for our purposes the history of the legal treatment of ethnicity and different American languages, is fundamental for an understanding of the symbolic meaning of language.  

The context contains many components, social and legal. In America we have (and always have had) a situation where many languages coexist, with the English language dominant. Spanish, for example, is the second most-used American language. Sociolinguists sometimes refer to this situation as diglossia, defined as "[a] situation where two languages coexist in the same speech community but differ in domains of use, attitudes toward each, and patterns of acquisition and proficiency." As we can infer from this definition, coexistence does not imply equal dominance, prestige, or spheres of influence.  

Discussions of different languages and other aspects of ethnicity are discussions of human differences. And "it is almost an axiom of human society that ... hierarchy is found everywhere superimposed upon difference." So it is with languages. Different languages have very different prestige values in our society. These differences in prestige manifest themselves through bias, conscious or unconscious, for or against certain languages.  

The perceived intelligibility, for example, of languages is influenced by these prestige rankings. For instance, if the people who speak a particular language have prestige and power, people perceive their language as easy to understand. Conversely, the languages of groups perceived as lacking in prestige and power, or groups who are the objects of prejudice, are often perceived as difficult to understand.  

Discourse itself, the expression of ideas, and the ordering of discourse, who gets to express ideas, who gets to express them first, and which ideas get expressed, also reflect hierarchy and relationships of power in society. As Michel Foucault wrote, "as history constantly teaches us, discourse is not simply that which translates struggles or systems of domination, but is the thing for which and by which there is struggle .... [D]iscourse is the power which is to be seized." For example, access to public forums or the press is an ample power indeed. The presence or absence of certain languages, their encouragement within or elimination from certain public forums, like the ballot in public elections, reflect the results of this struggle and the presence or absence of domination. Furthermore, discourse and the order of discourse are governed by ritual, and are thus endowed with social significance. Accordingly, we pay more attention to those discourses made significant through rituals with social sanction than to others.  

There are rules, formal and informal, conscious and unconscious, governing our discourse: "In every society the production of discourse is at once controlled, selected, organized and redistributed by a certain number of procedures whose role is to ward off its powers and dangers." These principles, expressed in the context of discourse within a single language, apply with equal force to discourse in different languages, for a multilingual society must allocate its discourses and maintain rules to govern discourses in different languages. Legal rules or sanctions regarding discourse or the proper languages of discourse thus control that discourse and create hierarchy in the power of discourse.  

To some extent, language usage is self-regulating and reflects existing hierarchy. Speech communities may be defined as "Those with whom we share a consensus about language structure, language use, and norms for interaction ... [and communities] within which we expect speaker intent and listener comprehension to mesh." Speech communities generally know and define appropriate rules for the use of different languages at different times. These rules can be both formal, as in a statutory rule, and informal, such as the unwritten rules governing the overwhelming number of economic and social situations in which English would be considered the appropriate language to use. The importance of informal English-language requirements should not be underestimated: knowledge of English is essential to success in the economy, in education, and in society. These are powerful incentives that have always led immigrant peoples to acquire English.  

Furthermore, government can manipulate differences in language competence for political purposes, such as by controlling access to power by requiring certain degrees of language competence so particular groups are favored and others disfavored. "Requiring a functional knowledge of the language for participation in political arenas in effect defines a boundary which impedes the political access of some citizens." The official English movement aims to regulate access to the political process through language in this manner.  

The symbolic value of a particular language can be made important as an aspect of nationalism. Furthermore, political problems are often sublimated into language problems. Language is often the bearer of strains and problems not related to communication. Despite its use as a symbol of nationalism, language is a poor proxy for political unity. As one writer has noted, "community of language and culture ... does not necessarily give rise to political unity, any more than linguistic and cultural dissimilarity prevents political unity." Political structures, therefore, are "not necessarily coterminous with language communities." Given the symbolic and psychological values attached to language, important psychological consequences result when the government intervenes and establishes language policies. As one scholar has explained, one should not minimize the psychological effects which language policies handed down from above have upon individuals. One's language is intimately associated with the individual; new languages are difficult to learn; and language is a particularly easy tool to use in political control. Therefore, when language policies establish boundaries between people and government the effects are likely to be quite significant: alienation, distancing, and political impotence.... Thus, language can be used not only to establish real boundaries but communicate attitudes and feelings of government toward people as well.  

In a democracy, the attitudes and feelings of "government" are those of the majority or its representatives. Thus the majority can manipulate language and language laws to express its approval or disapproval of favored or disfavored groups within the society.  

Often in our society favored and disfavored groups are defined by their ethnicity: race, national origin, religion, ancestry, and language. Language often has been the basis for discrimination against groups whose language is not English. Language is a fundamental symbol of ethnicity. As Joshua Fishman has written, [b]y its very nature language is the quintessential symbol, the symbol par excellence.... ... It is more likely than most symbols of ethnicity to become the symbol of ethnicity. Language is the recorder of paternity, the expresser of patrimony and the carrier of phenomenology. Any vehicle carrying such precious freight must come to be viewed as equally precious in and of itself. The link between language and ethnicity is thus one of sanctity-by- association.... Anything can become symbolic of ethnicity ... but since language is the prime symbol system to begin with and since it is commonly relied upon so heavily (even if not exclusively) to enact, celebrate and "call forth" all ethnic activity, the likelihood that it will be recognized and singled out as symbolic of ethnicity is great indeed.... [I]ndeed, it becomes a prime ethnic value in and of itself.  

Language is thus a crucial symbol of ethnicity. This is just as true of English as of Spanish or any other language. English is a crucial symbol of the ethnicity of America's dominant core culture. Language can be a symbol of group status, a symbol of dominance, and a symbol of participation in or exclusion from the political process. Campaigns to make a language standard or official can thus be seen as attempts to create or reinforce the dominance of the culture of which the language forms an integral part. 

Always Under Construction! Copyright @ 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001. 
Vernellia R. Randall Contact:

This is the home page of Image Analysts™ All Media Services, founded in 1988 by Arthur J. Graham and Serita Coffee.

“Subliminal Racism” was coined by Arthur Graham in 1972 and first made public by his colleague, Serita Coffee, at a NAACP Press Conference in Los Angeles, California, where Ms. Coffee served as Communication Committee Chairperson. 

The use of the term “subliminal racism” is fast becoming widespread; however, most adherents are unaware of the term’s sources and origins. As a result, like counterfeit currency, quick fixers—in the “institutional racism” ranting mode—have misapplied the metaphor “subliminal racism” to “label” and to wrongly accuse others of “racism.”

We are pleased to establish this website to ensure the proper credit for and recognition of our intellectual property, research and professional practice that produced the metaphor “subliminal racism,” its significance and relevance.

Furthermore, this site allows us to disseminate media literacy information of vital interest to all Americans, to deliver the reliable scholarship behind the term “subliminal racism,” and to conduct an ongoing, unified struggle to combat negative images in the media. 

 Military and Law Enforcement Heroes

Lakota Traditions Honor Marine
A Mother Finds a Way to Honor Ten Marines
WW II Daily. . website unfolds history 
Joseph H. De Castro, First Hispanic Medal of Honor
Carmen Contreras-Bozak,1st Hispanic Woman in US Woman's Army Corps
Veterans' Administration puts gravesite maps online
Expanded GI Bill draws wave of vets


Lakota Traditions Honor Marine

A horse drawn wagon carries the casket of Cpl. Brett Lundstrom on the road leading to Kyle, SD, on Saturday, January 14, 2006. As a Lakota, the Marine was honored during a three day wake service at the Little Wound School in Kyle, SD. Lundstrom was killed in Fallujah on January 7, 2006, and will be buried at Fort Logan National Cemetery. 

This site is a photo-story, a record of a Native American ceremony to honor a fallen war veteran, found at  You will be touched.  The total community mourns and honors the young soldier who died in service to our nation.
We need to spread it world wide.  

Sent by Mercy Bautista Olvera

A Mother Finds a Way to Honor Ten Marines
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. ( March 2, 2006) Sent by Paul Trejo

Karla Comfort received a lot of looks and even some salutes from people when she drove from Benton, Ark., to Camp Pendleton, Calif., in her newly-painted, custom Hummer H3 March 2. The vehicle is adorned with the likeness of her son, 20-year-old Lance Cpl. John M. Holmason, and nine other Marines with F Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division who where all killed by the same improvised explosive device blast in Fallujah, Iraq, in December.

For Karla Comfort, having the vehicle air brushed with the image of the 10 Marines was a way to pay homage to her hero and his fellow comrades who fell on Iraq's urban battlefield.

"I wanted to let people know (Marines) are doing their jobs honorably, and some of them die," said the 39-year-old from Portland, OR "I don't want people to forget the sacrifices that my son and the other Marines made."

Leading up to her son's death, Karla Comfort had received several letters from him prior to his return. He had been deployed for five months, and Comfort "worried everyday he was gone until she got the letters and found out the date he was coming home," she said.

Marines knocked on the front door of her home in
Farmington, Mich., at 3 am with the dreadful news.

"I let my guard down when I found out he was coming home," she said. "There are times that I still cannot believe it happened. It's very hard to deal with."

Karla Comfort came up with the idea for the rolling memorial when she and her two other sons attended John's funeral in Portland, Oregon.

"I saw a Vietnam (War) memorial on a car, and I said to my son Josh, 'we should do something like that for John,' she recalled. "He loved Hummers."

She purchased the vehicle in January and immediately took it to AirbrushGuy & Co. in Benton, Ark., where artist Robert Powell went to work on changing the plain, black vehicle into a decorative, mobile, art piece.  "I only had the vehicle for two days before we took it in," she joked.
Two hundred and fifty man-hours later, Powell had completed the vehicle. The custom job would have cost $25,000. 
Out of respect for Karla Comfort's loss and the sacrifices the Marines made, AirbrushGuy & Co. did it for free. Comfort only had to purchase the paint, which cost $3,000.

"I love it," she said. "I'm really impressed with it, and I think John would be happy with the vehicle. He would have a big smile on his face because he loved Hummers."

arla Comfort gave Powell basic instructions on what to include in the paint job. But in addition to the image of her son in Dress Blues and the faces of the nine other Marines, there were several surprises.  "He put a lot more on than I expected," she said. "I think my favorite part is the heaven scene."
On the left side of the vehicle, a detail of Marines are depicted carrying their fallen comrades through the clouds to their final resting place. The American flag drapes across the hood, the words, "Semper Fi" crown the front windshield and the spare tire cover carries the same Eagle Globe and Anchor design that her son had tattooed on his back.

"All the support I have been getting is wonderful," she said.

Karla Comfort decided to move back to her hometown of Portland, and making the cross-country trip from Arkansas was a way for her to share her son's story. It's also her way of coping with the loss.

"Along the way I got nothing but positive feedback from people," she said. "What got to me was when people would salute the guys (Marines). It's hard to look at his picture. I still cry and try to get used to the idea, but it's hard to grasp the idea that he's really gone."  


Let's get this Hummer going around the world!

PLEASE ... Pass it on.

WW II Daily at

It is with great pleasure that I announce the beginning of a new era for Fast Carrier Pictures. For years, we have developed film and TV properties and sat their waiting for young executives who guarded the great portals of distribution in the television and movie world to greenlight them. Well, the waiting is over!

We ARE the portal! Starting on September 11th (a pretty good place to start), we are debuting a new broadband channel in cyberspace. It’s called WORLD WAR II DAILY and we’re debuting at:

We will be featuring a daily hosted newscast which presents the news of the war in real time. In other words, you’ll be seeing and hearing the key events of the day as they were originally reported to our parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Without the benefit of hindsight!

We have a fabulous newscaster – actor and entertainer Dave Cox – and some terrific archival clips all edited together by our amazing post-production team. Our intention is to present this news program every day for the next six years. As you read this, I am in contact with investors, sponsors, advertisers and organizations that will help us widen this portal into a major force in niche programming. This is the future!

The website itself has other cutting-edge features. In order to connect to a younger audience and increase the educational value of this material, we are encouraging children to create their own webpage and post tributes to their World War II veteran relatives. We intend to build a huge data base of faces, facts, and history on the “Greatest Generation.”

In order to make World War II Daily a true two-way channel, we have blogging capability in eleven initial subject areas. We’re also going to feature a wonderful monthly column on the unique relationship between U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British leader Winston Churchill, from writer/historian Mark Isaacs.

We have information on weapon systems of the day – our first choice is that Nazi terror weapon, the JU-87 Stuka Dive Bomber - and we’re promoting the sale of films, including my very own feature-length documentary on U.S. Marine hero Guy Gabaldon (who just passed away on August 31st).

Our hope is to eventually premiere original programming – movies, television, specials and live events, through this unique portal. Again, here’s the web address:

Please pass on this information to your friends, family and acquaintances who are interested in living history. We can build this into a major network.

Sincerely, Steve Rubin
(213) 300-1896

Joseph H. De Castro

By Tony (The Marine) Santiago

Army Medal of Honor 1862-95

Corporal Joseph H. De Castro
(November 14, 1844-May 8, 1892) born in Boston, Massachusetts, was the first Hispanic-American to be awarded the United States' highest military decoration for valor in combat - the Medal of Honor - for having distinguished himself during Pickett's Charge in the Battle of Gettysburg of the American Civil War.

De Castro was the Massachusetts State flag bearer of Company I, 19th Massachusetts Infantry, an all volunteer unit. The unit participated in the Battle of Gettysburg at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania as part of the III Corps 3rd Brigade, U.S. Army under the command of Colonel Norman J. Hall.

On July 3, 1863, the third and last day of the battle, his unit participated in what became known as Pickett's Charge. Pickett's Charge was a disastrous infantry assault ordered by Confederate General Robert E. Lee against Major General George G. Meade's Union positions on Cemetery Ridge.

During the battle, De Castro attacked a confederate flag bearer from the 19th Virginia regiment, with the staff of his own colors and seized the opposing regiment's flag, handing the prize over to General Alexander S. Webb. General Webb is quoted as saying, "At the instant a man broke through my lines and thrust a rebel battle flag into my hands. He never said a word and darted back. It was Corporal Joseph H. De Castro, one of my color bearers. He had knocked down a color bearer in the enemy's line with the staff of the Massachusetts State colors, seized the falling flag and dashed it to me".

On December 1, 1864, De Castro became one the seven men from the 19th Massachusetts Infantry to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor citation;
Sergeant Joseph H. De Castro 1863 U.S. Army
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company I, 19th Massachusetts Infantry
Place and date: At Gettysburg, Pa., 3 July 1863
Entered service at:-----
Birth: Boston, Mass.
Date of issue: December 1, 1864
Citation: "Capture of flag of 19th Virginia regiment (C.S.A.)".

Postscript: Little else is known about De Castro except that he was married to Rosalia Rodriguez and that he is buried at Fairmount Cemetery, Newark, New Jersey.


Carmen Contreras-Bozak
By Tony Santiago

Tech4 Carmen Contreras-Bozak
(born December 31, 1919 in Cayey, Puerto Rico) was the first Hispanic to serve in the U.S. Women's Army Corps. She served as an interpreter and in numerous administrative positions.

Biography: Born Carmen Contreras in 1919, she was the oldest of three siblings. She was raised in the town of Cayey, located in the central mountains of the island, where she attended elementary school.

Her mother, Lila Baudilia Lugo Torres, moved the family to New York City in search of a better way of life. In New York, Contreras attended Julia Richman High School and upon graduating went to work for the National Youth Administration. After taking and passing a Civil Service test, Contreras  went to work for the War Department in Washington, D.C. as a payroll clerk.

During this period, the Army was looking for bilingual Hispanic women to fill assignments in fields such as cryptology, communications and interpretation. In 1942, Contreras joined the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) and was sent to Fort Lee, Virginia for training. Contreras volunteered to be part of the 149th WAAC Post Headquarters Company the first to go overseas, setting sail from New York Harbor for Europe on January 1943.

World War II
The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was established during World War II on May 15, 1942, "for the purpose of making available to the national defense the knowledge, skill, and special training of the women of the nation."

The unit arrived in Northern Africa on January 27, 1943 and rendered overseas duties in Algiers within General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s theatre headquarters. The women who served abroad were not treated like the regular Army servicemen. They did not receive overseas payment nor could they receive government life insurance. These women had no protection if they became ill, wounded or captured. If captured, the women were considered as "auxiliaries" serving with the Army rather than in it, did not have the same protections under international law as the male soldiers. These were factors which the Army took into consideration when they decided to integrate the Women’s Corps into the regular Army.

Contreras was promoted to the rank of Tech 4 (Technical Sergeant), which in the today's Army would equal the rank of Sergeant (E-4). Her responsibilities included the transmission of encoded messages to the battlefield.

On July 3, 1943, the WAC bill, which established the Women’s Army Corps as integral part of the Army of the United States, was signed into law (Public Law 78-110) becoming effective on September 1, 1943.

After returning home, Contreras entered Valley Forge General Hospital on July 1945, for treatment of an eye infection which she had contracted in Algiers. There she met Theodore Bozak, a patient who would become her husband. Carmen Contreras-Bozak and Theodore Bozak had three children, two sons, Brian and Robert, and a daughter, Carmen.

Postscript Contreras-Bozak currently lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There she started a chapter of WAC Vets and in 1998 founded a chapter of the Society of Military Widows. Approximately 200 Puerto Rican women served in the Women’s Army Corps.

Medals Awarded:
* European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 2 Battle Stars
*World War II Victory Medal
*American Campaign Medal
*Women's Army Corps Service Medal
*Army Good Conduct Medal


Veterans' Administration puts gravesite maps online
Published on June 20, 2006
Sent by: Sent by Jo Russell

The Department of Veterans Affairs has added online maps of burial sections in national cemeteries that people can print from home computers or at kiosks in the cemeteries. The VA said today that the addition of the online grave maps will make it easier to locate more than 3 million veterans and dependents buried in the national cemeteries.

The feature improves a service begun two years ago that allowed family members to find the cemetery that contains their loved ones. Those cemeteries contain 1.9 million veterans with VA grave markers. That brings the number of graves in the locator to about 5 million. The department said it adds approximately 1,000 new records to the database each day, and it plans to add the exact locations of veterans, gravesites in the remaining state veterans cemeteries.

The gravesite locator can be accessed at

Expanded GI Bill draws wave of vets
Sacramento Bee Thursday Aug. 17, 2006
Sent by: Armando Ayala, Ph.D

In Iraq as a machine gunner to a community college math class in the suburbs. When a chair fell over loudly, the Marine vet jumped out of his seat and covered his face.  "Everybody looked at me so weird, I dropped (the class) the same day," said Mendoza, 24.  Now a student at Sierra College in Rocklin, Mendoza is part of a wave of veterans who campus and military officials predict will head to college in numbers not seen in decades. They're taking advantage of expanded offerings from the GI Bill.

Harry "Bucky" Peterson, a Sonoma State University vice president and coordinator of a statewide outreach campaign, called the swelling, enrollment a "renaissance of World War II," hearkening back to the historic 1944 GI Bill that ushered in education benefits to millions of soldiers returning from war.

"These kids are returning after this extraordinary experience they've gone through where it's probably brought a lot of things in focus for them ... and education is one of them," said Peter-son, a retired colonel.

Across the country,' the number of soldier-students on campus has increased more than 20 percent in the past six years, according to the Veterans Administration. Veterans cashing in on their GI Bill benefits, which can reach $1,034 a month for full-time students, plus extra financial incentives called "kickers" that recruiters add to the pot. More funds are available for disabled veterans.

Before the Sept. 11 attacks, veterans could get $650 a month once they left active service to pay for college.  Students who once considered a career in the military also are heading back to school.  "Things changed over the last couple of years and it got scary," said Michelle Peterson, 27, of Grass Valley. The idea of war didn't register when she signed up for the Navy in 1999, she said. "I was up for overseas duty after my four-year term. Having a child and being ready to get sent to Iraq, I had to make a choice."  She got out, and now she is taking behavioral sciences courses at National University in Folsom with her GI Bill benefits, preparing for a career as a counselor.

The enrollment surge will never reach the levels seen after World War II, when the newly minted GI Bill was so popular that veterans made up half the country's college population in 1947. But colleges are gearing up, establishing programs to help students cut through a suffocating bureaucracy for veterans' benefits, and providing on-campus mentoring and counseling.  Schools also are hiring Iraq veterans to assist the veterans.

At Sierra College, Victor Mendoza is working part time in the school's new veterans affairs office, which has turned into a silent refuge of camaraderie for soldier-students.  Off the cafeteria lobby, two small American flags hang over computers in the nondescript room. Students trickle in not to talk about the battlefield, but to find a sympathetic ally who can untangle the formulas and rules for the GI Bill.

Community colleges are expecting to absorb much of the initial enrollment surge. The GI Bill provides the same amount of money to the veteran, regardless of whether the college is a trade school or Ivy League.

With a semester of community college costing about $600, the GI Bill can offer enough to cover tuition and some living expenses.  More than 70 percent of veterans using education benefits are going to school full time, the Veterans Benefits Administration said.

Another enrollment bump is expected from older soldiers. Last year, Congress authorized reservists - who have been called up to serve in Afghanistan and Iraq since the 2001 terrorist attacks - to take advantage ofGI Bill benefits that may have lapsed.  Veterans typically have 10 years to use the GI Bill stipends after leaving active duty.




The Dream of an Anthology of Los Angeles Latino Writers by Frank 
Chapter 1, Early Recollections by Sylvia Villarreal Bisnar
Growing up Mexican - American by Anita Rivas Medellin
The WD Poetry Awards Call for Entries
Short Short Story Competition Call for Entries


The Dream of an Anthology of Los Angeles Latino Writers
by Frank Sifuentes

23 YEARS AGO Latino writers met once a week downtown for a workshop with the goal of producing an anthology of LA LATINO WRITERS. I was the senior citizen of the group along with Mary Helen Ponce who was making a life career change. She had been in health education. She went on and got a Ph.D. and is now professor of literature in New Mexico; and has published novels.  Others in the group were Helen Viramontes, Luis Rodiguez, Harry Gamboa, Alejandro Morales J.L. Navarro, Peter Fernandez. 

                                                                                                                      Ray Montevias is of my generation Mexicanos who were born and raised in Austin. I HAVE BEEN A WRITER since the mid l960's; and Ray started writing with the idea of writing a novel over two years ago. I have been in constant contact with him. When he told a counselor in Austin High School he want to be a writer back in the early l950's he told a counselor he wanted to become a writer; she laughed and said, "what do you want to write about 'tacos'?"  Ray like myself has had a long creative life; and has now written a historical novel. I would like to recommend it, Beneath the Shadow of the Capitol.

Ramon Montevias writes about his character: 
Ramon was born in a small house on Red River Street in Austin, Texas. The Doctor that delivered Ramon labeled him a “Mexican,” on his birth certificate. It would carry Ramon being called a Mexican from first grade and throughout his entire school years. 

This is the story of a little boy and his family, and their struggle to survive in a hard and hostile environment. It tells of his beloved grandfather’s goal of trying desperately to overcome the many problems they are surrounded by.

It is about the lessons of life that the grandfather is slowly teaching the little boy; by telling him stories each night by the light of a small bonfire. It tells of his grandfather’s explanation of what the stars in the sky mean. How the little boy learned to grow up without a father, not because the father is dead, but because the father was an alcoholic living in his own world.

At the age of seven Ramon falls in love for the rest of his life. Ramon is in love with the State Capitol Building, especially its intriguing shadow that it casts, and it becomes his, “castle.”

Follow Ramon through the streets, creeks, and alleys of Austin as he faces discrimination at each turn of his life; follow him as he becomes stronger and more determined to overcome his problems, follow him as he gains strong convictions that will guide him through his school years.

It touches on forbidden puppy love; she is a blue-eyed blonde and in this time forbidden. She loves Ramon as much as he loves her. Follow Ramon to the secret places they would meet, and of their parting. Later his life weaves a tale of seduction, and a real love affair with yet another blue-eyed blonde that lasts 17 years.

Because of discrimination and the inability to find decent work Ramon’s two uncles and two aunts move to Chicago to work, never to return. It tells of a divorce and Ramon’s mother who singled handedly raised six children in spite of holding down two jobs.

Ramon and many of his friends are insulted, flunked, and intimidated, and drop out of Jr. high School. Many did not want to attend Jr. high because of fear. Many dropped out after one or two years of high school, lied about their age and went into the military, or ended up at dead end jobs that lasted a lifetime. Ramon’s high school years are no easier and few Mexicans make it to graduation.

And Ramon’s journey after graduation tells of how he too, followed the sad and beaten path of his uncles and aunts to Chicago to find work.  But Ramon’s Chicago story has a different ending…he will return! 

The book gives a history of the Navarro family (my mother’s maiden name), and the Moncivais family (my mother’s married name).

It tells of an era when discrimination was practiced and allowed against any and all Hispanics, (we were openly called, “Mexican,” and, “Meskin”. It covers the lack of getting hired for work unless they could hide you in the back where the general public could not see you. (Dishwasher, janitor, Gardner, laundry, house cleaning etc.).

It tells of Ramon’s daily run at 4:00 a. m. to the city market on Seventh Street and East Avenue to scavenge for fruit and vegetables. Things that had been dropped and bruised or a cantaloupe that had cracked open and could not be sold to the public. All were taken home in a burlap sack and Ramon’s mother would wash everything and cut out the bruised or damaged parts.

Some of us applied for the free lunch program. The teachers in the cafeteria line would say, “Everyone with a free lunch card hold it up in the air,” The Anglo’s would laugh at us. We quit the free lunch program and took homemade tacos the only thing we could afford. This however gave the Anglo kids another reason to make fun, and laugh at us. 

Ramon sold newspapers to help his mother. He shined shoes, but frequently policemen would chase shoeshine boys away. If they caught us they would take our shoeshine box. But a fat policeman is no match for a scared Mexicanito protecting his shoeshine box! 

rice of book: $14.95 plus $1.25 sales tax and $1.59 for postage = $17.79. 
If you wish to order, please send check or money order to: 
Ramon Moncivais
5110 Meadow Creek Dr.
Austin, Tx. 78745
Cell: 512.441.4900




By Sylvia Villarreal Bisnar.

My earliest recollection is when I was about four or five years old. One day, I was running between our house and my grandmother’s house, I stopped, looked at my hands and down at my body and thought: “Who am I? Where did I come from? Why do I look as I do? Why are my mother and father who they are and not someone else?” Why can’t I see my face but can see other people’s faces?” It was a mystery to me as a small child whose legs were so short I had to jump from one stepping stone to the next. I remember running home and asking my Mother these questions, but she had no answers for me. “Go out and play. You worry too much.” was all she said.

Our playground was a big world when we were little. When I say “we,” I mean my brother, Rene, who is a year younger than I, and my sister, Lydia, who is a year older. We were always together, almost like triplets, and had lots of fun. There was plenty of land for us to roam around on. We would play hide-and-seek in the tall rows of corn behind my grandmother’s house. We would swing and slide on the swing set in our back yard for hours. We had the run of the property so long as we stayed out of the street and away from the chicken coop. The rooster was big and would bite if we got too close. And, to a small child, he was really big.

In those years, we lived next door to my grandmother, my Dad’s mother, in a house which was on her property. She was widowed when my Dad, her oldest child of four, was only 10 years old, but she was careful with her money and raised four children alone. She owned four houses on about three acres of land on the south side of San Antonio, Texas. She lived in one house and rented the other three. Because this was her only source of income, she was very frugal and made every penny count. In fact, she was so frugal that about the time I was eight years old, she went to a car dealer and said, I will buy this car for cash if you will teach me how to drive.” He was most happy to teach her how to drive.

My grandmother grew up in South Texas on a farm, so she knew how to farm. She grew almost all of her own food. I remember her growing corn, garlic, peppers, squash and tomatoes. She had big pear, peach and fig trees that we would climb for fresh fruit. I especially liked the hard pears and still prefer these to the soft ones. And, she had chickens that she kept in the chicken coop with the rooster and gathered eggs every morning. Also, she would braid the strands of garlic and hang it in our back room.

When the corn was ripe, I remember that my grandmother would pick it and then rub the ears together. Later when it was dry, she would rub two ears of corn together until the kernels fell off. She would then soak the kernels in a large wash tub in which she had collected rain water. Since she had been raised on a farm in South Texas, she knew how to make use of everything. After the corn was softened by the rain water, she would grind it on a stone metate to make masa for tortillas. She made the tortillas by placing a ball of masa in the palm of her hand and patting it back and forth between her hands until it was round and flat. Then, she would cook it on a hot comal on the stove. A comal is a round flat cast iron pan. They were the best tortillas in the world, and we would stand next to the stove waiting for our turn to eat one. “I’m next, I’m next,” we would shout in Spanish since she refused to speak English, while soaking in the wonderful aroma of the tortillas that permeated the air. When we got one, we would put salt on it, roll it up and squeeze it together. Boy was it good.

My grandmother was very patient with us. You can imagine three youngsters, all about the same age under foot. She would sit us down and try to teach us things. She taught us how to knock the kernels off the corn cobs. She would give us each a turn at grinding the corn, and when we were older, tried to teach us how to make tortillas. We could never get it right. The masa always stuck to our hands. Sometimes she would bring raw cotton back from her brother’s ranch in South Texas and she would teach us how to take the seeds out. Then, with her fingers, she would twine the cotton into long threads. She would try to teach Lydia and me to crochet the thread.

Sometimes she would take us onto the flat roof of the addition to her house and we would sit there while she told us stories. It was wonderful looking down from there. We felt on top of the world. When we slept over, we always slept in the room under that roof. It was made of tin and when it rained, we loved to hear the sound of the rain hitting the roof. These were fun years.

In our house, we had a wooden ice box. A delivery truck would come by and bring blocks of ice for the top compartment. I was always the one to get into trouble. One time I climbed up on it to get something and it fell over. I was lucky that it didn’t fall on top of me. The kitchen table blocked the fall.

Another time, when I was about five years old, my Mother’s father came to live with us for a while because he was sick and my Mother had to take care of him. I’m not sure what was wrong with him, but I remember that we had to be very quiet and not bother him. Sometimes I would sneak into his room when my mother wasn’t looking and he would talk to me. I loved the attention he gave me. Since my parents were always working hard, they never had time to just sit and talk to me, but he did. It was wonderful having that undivided attention. One time, when my Mom called us to dinner, he said, “I want to eat with the family. Help me walk to the kitchen.” Of course I would help him; he was my grandfather and I would do anything to make him happy. Well, I was too little and on the way to the kitchen he lost his balance and we both fell. My parents were so mad at me. “Don’t get mad at her,” my grandfather said. “She was only doing what I asked and trying to be helpful.” My mother continued to take trays of food to him in his room for a while, and then one day they took him to the hospital where he died a few days later. He had served in France during World War I and is buried at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. I remember going to the cemetery once with my parents to put flowers on the grave and seeing all the white crosses in rows. I had never seen anything like it before. There were German prisoners of war working along the side of the road. I got scared and thought they would try to jump on the car. I will never forget the look on the prisoners’ faces as they watched us pass by. I can also still hear the gun salute as they buried my grandfather.

As a child, my questions were never answered but always kept asking: “Who am I? Where did I come from? Why do I look as I do? Why are my mother and father who they are and not someone else?” Why can’t I see my face but can see other people’s faces?” But as an adult, I am proud and happy of who I am, where I came from and who my family is. It has been a wonderful journey.


Growing up Mexican - American
Written by 
Anita Rivas Medellin

My father came to the United States in the early 1960's - as a legal immigrant. All that was required was a piece of paper from an employer vouching for good character. At least that is the tale my father tells. My father served in both armies, the Mexican and the American. He still remembers the journey he almost made to the Bay of Pigs - and the phone call made by President Kennedy, calling off the war. 

I am proud of my father, for serving both his countries, first it was the land of his birth, heritage and the second of his hopes and dreams. My father used to pull garlic out of the garlic beds in Gilroy, CA - then in Northern California, he worked for Joe Perry- of Perry's Produce. Being a legal alien was not something my father dwelled on. My father still went to the fields every morning not realizing that he could seek employment elsewhere. He did not actively seek out his job with Ford Motor Company, it happened by chance.

As a child, I remember asking him, how he became employed by Ford. He confused the Ford Motor plant for a Kragen Auto supply. Entering the building my father inquired about purchasing a part for his car - which was a Ford. They informed him that they did not sell parts directly from their facility. Leaving the building, he noticed a group of men standing in line. He inquired about the line. They informed him that those men were applying for work. My father asked if he could apply. The man handed my father an application and the rest is now history. The job with Ford allowed my father and mother to become first time homeowners, they bought their first home before the birth of my baby sister. 

Growing up, my parents celebrated El Cinco de Mayo and Dia de Los Muertos - but they did not draw empathies on the actual date. My mother said it was because we were always celebrating something, that celebrating on the actual date became meaningless. We lived predominantly in an all white neighborhood. My sisters and I were not immersed into the Latin community. We were not brought up thinking; we were different from the kids we went to school with.

By not being immersed, I mean that we were never a part of the Latin community; we did not attend public functions. It was not until my younger sister took a Chicano Cultures class in college that we fully understood the importance of Caesar Chavez. That was also when we first heard the term Pocha, a word describing a Mexican born in the United States. 

My mother cooked traditional Mexican cuisine, but she also made Italian and Chinese. Spanish was our first language, we were bilingual starting kindergarten. As a teenager, I was accused of not being Mexican enough, of trying to be white. The irony was the kids accusing me did not know how to speak Spanish, yet my sisters and I did. 

My reply was speaking proper English did not mean that I was trying to be anything I was not. I never took the term WASP literally. I knew it stood for White-Anglo Saxon- Protestant. I viewed the term WASP as a life style choice, a way of living that anyone with money could afford. I just never understood why wanting to improve myself meant that I was trying to become something I was not? My family and I always strove for self-improvement, not just mentally, but also financially. 

For my sisters and me, it was always a treat to visit down town San Jose, because that is when we would go to the Pink Elephant, a Mexican grocery store. We also enjoyed going to the San Jose Flea Market, this is when we were able to use our Spanish, since the only person we spoke Spanish with was my mother.

I remember going to the Mexican movies and seeing the latest Juan Gabriel, Yolanda Del Rio, Vicente Fernandez or Jorge Rivero movie. I remember attending a feria once where Yolanda Del Rio kissed my little sister. My mother brought us up to become proper Mexican young women, but as we got older, we had to learn to mix both our cultures- the traditional with the new. It made dating other Mexican-Americans confusing. 

Encountering other Mexican - Americans was sometimes difficult. I could never understand why they refused to speak Spanish with me. I asked my father and he said they refuse to speak Spanish because they are ashamed of being Mexican. This information left me speechless; I spoke Spanish whenever the opportunity presented itself. 

Once my sisters and I were old enough, my parents began our family vacations to Mexico. This became a family ritual we looked forward to every summer. My father was born in Acuna, Coahuila and my mother in Musquiz, Coahuila. We spent time in Del Rio, Texas visiting my grandparents and go into Acuna for artisan crafts. Then after spending several days in Del Rio, we entered Musquiz, where we spent a week with my mother's family. 

Growing up I was never aware of discrimination. I was either too ignorant or blind. I heard stories regarding it but always believed it was an expression used as a cop out, for one not admitting their own failings. Only now that I am older, am I able to see the things I never saw or felt before. It makes me sad that for some people there will never be enough education or money to change the stereo type of being a minority. However, my sisters and I rise above that by sticking to my mother's teachings, she taught us that honesty and hard work pay off. She taught us to handle adversity with grace, humility and dignity. She also taught us to never lord having just a little bit more over the person standing next to you.

Three years ago, I went in search of my family's genealogy. I typed in my second great - grandfather's name into Google. All my life, I had people tell me about their pedigree. I would stand there listening, having nothing to say about my own. I always knew deep in the core of my being that there was something special about my sisters and me. It was my seventh great grandfather - Don Jose Vasquez Borrego. He began a Latifundio that consisted of eight haciendas/ ranchos; that spanned four of the Northern Mexican states, and what we know today as South Texas. History books describe him as being impatient and adventurous. He was a Capitan that became a hacendado - who supplied horses and other livestock to the Mexican army. 

My mother's family came from Don Jose Vasquez Borrego's daughter, Manuela. She married Don Juan Antonio de Vidaurri, our branch stems from their tenth child - Francisco de Vidaurri. My fifth great - grandfather was also the grandfather of El Vidaurrismo, Santiago Vidaurri. 

My third great uncle Santiago Vidaurri - was the Governor of Coahuila and Nuevo Leon from 1855 -1865. He is referred to as a War Lord, El Caudillo Del Norte. His murder caused turmoil within our family. The family after his death stopped all communication with itself. Everyone fended for himself or herself. My branch stopped drawing attention to them, ceased the use of their surname Vidaurri, and adopted their surname of Borrego. 

My second great - grandfather Santiago Vidaurri Borrego y Vela, was named for his illustrious cousin. He married as a Vidaurri and legally gave all his children the surname of Borrego, except for his eldest son (DN. Eligio Vidaurri Borrego). My great -grandmother was known as Maria Daria Vidaurri Borrego. I remember asking my mother what great-grandmothers name was and I can still hear the pride in her voice as she said her name. 

I recall as a child walking around the Plaza in Musquiz, seeing several iron benches. The town's wealthiest landowners donated them. One evening I started to read the names as we walked by, I came across a Francisco Vidaurri. I remember getting excited, I mentioned this to my mother and my aunt, and they continued with their walk ignoring me. They never talked about what happened, first they did not really understand and the other was why talk about things that could not be changed?

Since I was a little girl, I constantly asked my mother what she remembered from her childhood. She remembered her grandmother and the big house she lived in, the apple orchard that was as big as a city block. She also remembered the impressive furniture that filled the house in town. She recalled from memory my great - grandmother's dress and how she wore her hair with two black combs- covered in brilliant stones. 

My grandmother told my mother that great - grandmother had not approved of her marriage to my grandfather. Because he was poor. My grandmother met my grandfather at her family's grocery store. It was love at first sight for them. My great -grandmother had given my grandmother six months to change her mind, meanwhile she made her do the household chores, so she would comprehend what being poor was. After those six months passed, my grandmother had not changed her mind. My great -grandmother in true tradition gave my grandmother away in a wedding befitting a Vidaurri. She also gave her a wedding gift of fifty cows and a piece of land. Great - grandmother Daria also disinherited my grandmother. 

My grandmother after being disinherited, did not see why she should tell my mother and her sisters their family legacy, why upset the apple cart? My mother and my aunt's had a vague idea, but back then, one must be seen and not heard. It is not until now that I have done research that the full story becomes known. I now understand where this innate sense of dignity comes from, where this overwhelming sense of pride and love in my family and culture stems from. 

I love being Mexican -American; I am in love with my culture. My sisters and I found a way to blend in both our cultures. We wear our medallions on Tiffany gold chains, we wear Mexican peasant shirts with designer jeans and Ferragamo or Chanel ballet flats. My family did not always have money growing up, it is only now that we are older that our finances have improved. In addition, they will continue to improve, because we will not allow the ignorance of others to hinder our dreams. We will not allow that ignorance to hold us back from achieving all that we can become.

We recently encountered our "Crash Moment", and it left us devastated. That is the reason why I write this cuento. My younger sister's boss passed her for a promotion, but first he told her that she had two things against her. The first that she was a woman and the second that she was Mexican. This is when we finally learned that no matter how much money or education a minority has, there would always be someone trying to hold you back. 

I remember the first time I wore a Mexican peasant shirt to work; I received grimaces and smirks. I noticed these slights, but in true form, I did not allow their ignorance to make me feel self-conscious. My father always said that one must give another person permission to hurt one's feelings and to consider the source. I considered the source and ignored the comments and grimaces. I embrace my culture, regardless of how other people feel about mine or embrace their own.

Now after seeing discrimination first hand, only now that my eyes are wide-open, do I understand how important it is to have Hispanic role models. I am proud of Eva Longoria and Jessica Alba, Jennifer Lopez and Selma Hayek, Edward James Olmos, Dave Navarro, Jimmy Smitts, Geraldo River and Anna Chavez to name just a few. I also understand why Martin Sheen and Mauricio Bernard changed their names, even though I do not agree.

They are proof that one of a Hispanic origin can reach the stars. All of the women and men of Hispanic culture that go to work each day, regardless of their profession, should be proud of themselves, it takes dignity to earn an honest living. As my mother say's, "There is no shame in honesty and hard work."

We must advocate opening up new business/commerce between the United States and Mexico- with governed standards. We must not advocate the exploitation of minorities of any nationality/race in the United States or in any foreign country. Our duty is to protect and educate those that cannot fend for themselves. 

The only way to change this vicious cycle is through education, and public awareness amongst the Latin population. We need more scholarships for the children entering high school and educational TV programming. We need to let them know that the stereo type is man made, it is just a phrase, and it can be erased and re-written. We must advocate re-writing our future. 

The WD Poetry Awards Call for Entries
We're pleased to announce the only WD competition exclusively for poets, the Writer's Digest Poetry Awards! Regardless of style--rhyming, free verse, haiku and more--if your poems are 32 lines or fewer, we want them all. Submit your entries by the December 20, 2006 deadline ... and your words could be worth cold hard cash! 

First Place: $500 
Second Place: $250
Third Place: $100
Fourth Through Tenth Place: $25
Eleventh Through Twenty-Fifth Place: $50 gift certificate to 
Writer's Digest Books 

Plus, the names and poem titles of all First- through Tenth-Place winners will be printed in the August issue of Writer's Digest, and all winners will receive a copy of the 2007 Poet's Market. For guidelines and to enter online visit
Sent by

Short Short Story Competition Call for Entries

The 7th Annual Writer's Digest Short Short Story Competition is accepting entries! We're looking for fiction that's bold, brilliant ... but brief. Send us your best in 1,500 words or 
less. But don't be too long about it--the deadline is December 1, 2006.

The Grand-Prize winner will receive $3,000 (that's $2--or more--per word).
For guidelines, prizes and to enter online, visit:

Plus, the 1st- through 25th-place manuscripts will be printed in the 7th Annual Writer's Digest Short Short Story Competition Collection, published by Trafford Publishing.
Learn more about this special collection and to reserve your copy today:


Irizarry Surname Project 
Spelling variations

Irizarry Surname Project:  Surnames in project:  Irissarri, Irizarry, Yrissarri, Yrizarri
I am the moderator of the Irizarry Surname Project -an online discussion group that can be found at  I am also the moderator for the IRIZARRY surname list at This group was formed to unite all of those in the search of this surname's origins. To help each other by collecting and sharing information on our ancestors.

Membership is free and it is a good resource. We invite everyone to join us while we get closer to discovering more about our common IRIZARRY ancestors. Features:
Post queries relating to your Genealogy Research.
Discussion & Archives Group, offers a place where you can exchange copies of actual  
    documents to use in your search.
Register for discussion list & opt to read messages online instead of receiving daily emails!
All posts are moderated ...That means NO SPAM!

Jocelyn Hernández Irizarry
Formentera, Islas Baleares

Avenida Miramar 68
Ed. Isla de la Calma, No. 13
Es Pujols, Formentera 07871
Tel. 690 389 641

Irizari, Irizary,  Irizarri, Irizzary, Irizzarry,  Irrizary, Yrissarri,Yrissarri, Yrizarri,Yrizarry,  

Examples of surname spelling variations
Sent by Yolanda Laskoskie

Olivares, Origin: Spanish
Spelling variations include: Oliva, de Oliva, Olivas, Olivo, Olivos, Oliver, de Oliver, OlivôUOlive, Olivera, Oliveras, Olivero, Oliveros, de Oliveros, Olivöåz, Oliverez, Olives, Olivar, Olivares and many more. First found in Aragon, an important Christian kingdom of medieval Spain. Some of the first settlers of this name or some of its variants were: Among the earliest explorers of the New World was conquistador Gabriel de Olivares, who received a Grant of Arms from King Charles I in 1536; in recognition of his services to the Crown. Other early migrants to the New World included Domingo de Oliveros, who sailed to America in 1510.  
REYNA, Origin: English
Spelling variations include: Raines, Raine, Rayne and others. 
First found in Essex where they were seated from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. Some of the first settlers of this name or some of its variants were: Lewis Rains settled in Philadelphia in 1861; Andrew, Roland,and Sarah Rayne settled in Virginia in 1635; W Rayne settled in Boston in 1823. 

REINA, Origin: Spanish
Spelling variations include: Reyes, Rey, de Reyes, de los Reyes, del Rey, Reina, de la Reina, de Reina, Reinoso, de Reinoso, Reynoso, de Reynoso, Reinosa, de Reinosa, Reynosa, de Reynosa, Real, de Real and many more. First found in Castile, an important Christian kingdom of medieval Spain. Some of the first settlers of this name or some of its variants were: Among the early migrants to the New World were Esteban Real, who sailed to America in 1511; Diego Reales sailed to America in 1515; Bartolomé de Real sailed to America in 1516.

Spanish Sons of the American Revolution
The SAR Magazine
Maryland Resolution regarding Role of Galvez in American Revolution
Part Four of Chile Patriots During the American Revolution, Ru-Z          

Check out this SAR magazine article:
I don't see a date on when it was published, but it is in the SAR archives for their magazine. The top right of the 2nd page (column 2), is about the Spanish Texas Drovers, in 1780 & 1781, delivering 10,000 cattle to feed Galvez & his troops. Sounds like they got that directly from Thonhoff, who is listed at the end of the article as a reference. The next paragraph says many Spanish descendants are eligible for SAR membership. 

Sent by tccom . . 
   The SAR Magazine

The Spanish

Page 2 of 2


Page Two of The Spanish


Maryland Resolution regarding Role of Galvez in American Revolution
Sent by Paul Newfield III

The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Delegates of the State of Maryland, surrounded by Hispanic leaders -many of whom were instrumental in the passing of the resolution- on the day of the signature of the Joint Resolution of the State of Maryland on the Role of Hispanics in the American Revolution MARYLAND STATE RESOLUTION ON THE ROLE PLAYED BY HISPANICS IN THE ACHIEVEMENT OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE

16 March, 1996

WHEREAS, the Independence of the United Staes of America was achieved not only due to the efforts of American patriots, but also to the assistance of foreign governments, soldiers and individuals who supported them, and

WHEREAS, in spite of being an important factor in the victory, the participation of Hispanics in the War of Independence is not mentioned in the history textbooks of this nation, and

WHEREAS, thousands of Hispanics fought the British and their allies during the American Revolution in what today is the United States, winning crucial battles which eased the pressure of the Crown's forces against the armies of General George Washington, and

WHEREAS, Spanish Louisiana Governors, don Luis de Unzaga and don Bernardo de Gálvez, provided assistance to the revolutionary governments of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia in the forms of arms, war materiel and funds to wage campaigns and protect themselves against the British, and

WHEREAS, this assistance allowed American General George Rogers Clark to wage his successful campaigns west of those colonies and also was instrumental in preventing the British from capturing Forts Pitt and Henry in Pennsylvania and Virginia respectively, which guarded the last leg of the only remaining major patriot supply route at the time, that which originated in Spanish New Orleans, traversed the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and ended overland in Philadelphia, and

WHEREAS, don Juan de Miralles, a wealthy Spanish merchant established in Havana, Cuba, was appointed as a royal envoy of King Carlos III of Spain to the United States in 1778, and while traveling with his secretary, don Francisco Rendón, to the revolutionary capital of Philadelphia, he initiated the direct shipment of supplies from Cuba to Baltimore, Maryland; Charleston, South Carolina; and Philadelphia, aside from making significant stopovers in Williamsburg, Virginia and in North Carolina, and

WHEREAS, after Spain declared war on Britain in June, 1779, the victories of General Don Bernardo de Gálvez in the lower Mississippi and at Baton Rouge, Mobile and Pensacola dismantled British resupply of close to 10,000 Native American warriors who were a major concern for General Washington because of the raids they had been carrying out in the western areas of the colonies, and

WHEREAS, the Maryland Loyalist Regiment, a force comprised of Marylanders from the Eastern Shore, was also defeated and captured during the campaigns of General Gálvez, and

WHEREAS, the victories of General Gálvez resulted, additionally, in the capture of four other British Regiments including the Pennsylvania Loyalists, the elite British 60th Foot also known as the Royal Americans, the British 16th Foot, and the German Waldeck Regiment, and

WHEREAS, fighting under the command of General Gálvez were men from Spain, Cuba, México, Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Costa Rica as well as from the United States, France, Germany, Italy and Native American Nations such as the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Creek, and

WHEREAS, the United States Senate has recognized that the actions of those men and their brave commander were very important for the triumph of American efforts in the Carolinas and Georgia, and also for the final vistory against Lord Charles Cornwallis in Yorktown, Virginia, and

WHEREAS, the success of the French and American armies at Yorktown would have been difficult to achieve without the donation of 500,000 pounds tournois that were collected in six hours by prominent citizens of Havana, Cuba, for the campaign, and without an additional 1,000,000 pounds that were subsequently donated by King Carlos III of Spain for the same purpose, and

WHEREAS, the Yorktown campaign not only consisted of a siege by land but also by sea, undertaken by the French fleet under Admiral de Grasse, whose ships had been readied and supplied with 100,000 pesos from the Spanish colonies of Santo Domingo and Puerto Rico that were handed over by Spanish authorities to the French for said purpose, and

WHEREAS, an important element in the French naval victory at the Battle of the Virginia Capes, which sealed the fate of Lord Cornwallis army at Yorktown, was the numerical superiority enjoyed by Admiral de Grasse's fleet, which resulted from a Spanish naval squadron taking over the protection of the French colonies in the Caribbean to allow the Admiral the benefit of maintaining his fleet intact, and, thus, obtain the superiority in numbers deemed necessary to defeat the British, and

WHEREAS, hardly any of these Hispanic contributions to American independence are mentioned in the current history textbooks of this nation, be it RESOLVED, that the Legislature of Maryland acknowledges the pivotal role of Spain and Spanish America in the triumph of the American Revolution, and also recognizes General Bernardo de Gálvez and his men for their significant contributions and achievements in this respect, and, be it further

RESOLVED that the Legislature of Maryland hereby urges historians nation-wide to a deeper examination and dissemination of the role played by Hispanics in the accomplishment of American Independence as well as in the development and progress of the United States in general, and that the study of these contributions be made an integral part of the Social Studies and History courses taught in the State of Maryland. 

PART FOUR OF CHILE by Granville Hough, Ph.D.

Somos Primos of Jul-Sep 2006 show the soldiers with names from A through Ro who served in Chile. Full names of units, references, and other information are also given in those issues. The following complete the listings of key soldiers for Chile.

Camilo Rubio. Cadet, Bn Inf de Chile, 1793, Leg 7266:I:118.
Gregorio Rubio. Capt, Bn Inf de Chile, 1793, Leg 7266:I:87.
Juan Bautista de la Rueda. Capt, Bn Inf de Chile, 1787, Leg 7266:VI:792.
Lorenzo Ruedas. Sgt, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:IV:137.
Antonio Eugenio Ruiz. Sgt, Bn Inf de Chile, 1791, Leg 7266:III:494.
Domingo Ruiz. SubLt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:52.
Gaspar Ruiz. Lt, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1800, Legajo 7267:IV:118.
José Ruiz. Lt Col, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:IV:107.
Manuel Ruiz. Cadet, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:IV:140.
Mateo Ruiz. SubLt of Granaderos, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:51.
Tomás Ruiz. Lt, Mil de Cab de la Princesa, 1797, Leg 7267:XVII:652.
Bernardo Ruiz de Tagle. Lt, Comp de Dragones de la Reina, 1792, Leg 7266:II:195.

Feliciano Sabarburo. Sgt, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1796, Leg 7286:II:53.
Vidal Sabarburu. Sgt, Mil Discip Dragones Arica, 1800, Leg 7288:II:47.
José Salvador. Col, Bn de Chile, 1791, Leg 7266:III:312.
Pedro San Martin. Sgt de Granaderos, Bn Inf de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:I:36.
Antonio Sanchez. Sgt, Dragones de la Reina, 1800, Leg 7276:XV:9.
Juan Francisco Sanchez. Capt, Bn Inf de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:I:5.
Mariano Sanchez. Sgt, Mil Discip Dragones de Acari y Chala, 1796, Leg 7286:I:33.
Patricio Sanchez. SubLt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:74.
Manuel Sanchez Lozano. Cadet, Bn Enf, de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:I:58.
Manuel Santa María. Capt, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:IV:111.
Vicente Santana. Sgt 1st Cl, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 1288:IX:100.
Juan Santillan. Lt Col, graduado, Bn Inf de Valdivia, 1793, Leg 7266:I:152.
Paulino Sarricueta. Lt, Asamblea Cab del Reino de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:V:158.
Francisco Javier Aayago. Sgt, Inf de Valdivia, 1799, Leg 7267:VII:254.
Juan Sayers. Sgt Mayor, Inf de Valdivia, 1800, Leg 7267:II:60.
José Antonio Sepulveda. Sgt, Asamblea de Cab del Reino de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:V:164.
Raimundo Sese. Alférez, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:IV:125.
José Sguella. Lt, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:IV:115.
Tomas Shee. Lt Col of Inf, no assignment noted, 1793, Leg 7266:I:147.
José Sierpe. SubLt, Esquadron Mil Discip de Cab de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:X:7.
Francisco Silva. Capt, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:14.
Gregorio Silva. Sgt, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800, Leg 7288:II:48.
José Vicente Sirot. Sublt, Bn Inf de Chile, 1796, Leg 7267:XVIII:695.
Vicente Solano. Sgt, Bn Inf de Chile, 1787, Leg 7266:VI:809.
José María del Solar. Cadet, Bn Inf de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:I:45.
Pedro del Solar. Capt, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800, Leg 7288:II:14.
José Cristóbal Somera. Alférez Cab del Principe, 1800, Leg 7276:XII:27.
Santiago Sosa y Oviedo. Cadet, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800, Leg 7288:II:62.
Rafael de la Sota. Cadet, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1799, Leg 7267:IX:330.
Buenaventura Soto. Cadet, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1796, Leg 7267:XX:816.
Lorenzo Soto. Sgt 1st Cl de Granaderos, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:99.
Miguel Soto. Sgt, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:84.
Pascual Soto. Sgt, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:90.
Pedro Soto. Cadet, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1790, Leg 7266:IV:570.
Segundo Soto. Lt, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:29.
Carlos Spano. Lt, Bn Inf de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:I:16.

José Joaquin Tamayo. Cadet, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800, Leg 7288:II:61.
Victorino Tenorio. Capt, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:26.
Miguel Tirado. Lt, Asamblea de Cab del Reino de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:V:160.
Domingo Tirapegui. Lt, Grad Capt, Dragones de Chile, 1792, Leg 7266:II:165.
José Matías Tirapegui. Cadet, Comp de Dragones de la Reina, 1798, Leg 7267:X:350.
Santiago Tirapegui. Alférez, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:IV:123.
Nicolás Toledo. Alférez, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:IV:127.
Domingo Toro. Lt, Mil Cab de la Princesa, 1797, Leg 7267:XVII:653.
Diego de la Torre. SubLt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:62.
José Elias de la Torre. Portaguión, Mil Discip Dragones de Acari y Chala, 1796, Leg 7286:I:23.
Miguel de la Torre. Sgt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:102.
Marcelo Torres. Sgt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:87.
Juan Antonio Trujillo. Capt, Bn de Inf de Chile, 1792, Leg 7266:II:266.
Pedro Trujillo. Cadet, Bn Inf de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:I:50.

Juan Uberra. Chaplain, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:IV:121.
Lorenzo Ugarte. Capt Comandante, Mil Prov Discip de Dragones de Arica, 1795, Leg 7285:XI:3.
Manuel Ugarte. Lt, agregado, Comp Dragones de la Reina, 1800, Leg 7267:II:100.
Pedro José Ugarte. Lt, Mil de Cab del Principe, 1797, Leg 7267:XII:512.
Antonio Ulloa. Sgt 1st Class, Comp Sueltas de Mil Discip de Cab del
Partido de Carelmapu, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:XIV:3.
José Ulloa. Capt, Bn Inf de Valdivia, 1800, Leg 7267:II:65.
Pedro Ulloa. Sgt 1st Class, Comp Sueltas Inf del Partido de Carelmapu, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:XIII:11.
Martín Uriel. Sgt 1st Class, Mil Discip de Dragones de Arica, 1796, Leg 7286:II:61.
Fernando Urizar. Cadet, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:IV:142.

Diego Vaez. Lt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:32.
Manuel Valcarcel. Sgt, Bn Inf de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:I:41.
Ignacio Valderrama. Cadet, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800, Leg 7288:II:65.
Nicolás Valderrama. Lt, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800, Leg 7288:II:27.
Borja Valdes. Alférez, Mil Cab de la Princesa, 1797, Leg 7267:XVII:664.
Francisco Javier Valdes. Comandante, Mil de Cab del Principe, 1797, Leg 7267:XII:499.
José Antonio Valdes. Lt, Mil Cab de la Princesa, 1797, Leg 7267:XVII:659.
José Fulgencio Valdes. Cadet, Mil Discip de Arica, 1800, Leg 7288:II:66.
Manuel Valdes. Alférez, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800, Leg 7288:II:42.
Pascual Valenzuela. Lt, Asamblea de Cab del Reino de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:V:163.
Pedro Valmaseda. Comandante, Mil de Cab de la Reina, 1797, Leg 7267:XVII:644.
Bernardo Martín Valverde. Capt, Comp Vet de la dotación de Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:XI:3.
Félix Vargas. Lt, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800, Leg 7288:II:18.
Francisco Javier Vargas. Sgt, Comp Vet de la Dotación de Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:XI:10.
Jacinto Vargas. Alférez, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800, Leg 7288:II:34.
José de Vargas. Col, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:1.
José Antonio Vargas. SubLt, Comp Sueltas Inf, partido de Calbuco, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:V:7.
Juan José Vargas. Lt, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:48.
Juan Ventura Vargas. Lt, Comp Sueltas Inf Partido de Calbuco, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:V:5.
Justo Vargas. Cadet, Esquadrón Mil Discip de Cab de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:X:11.
Justo Vargas. Sgt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:97.
Laureano Vargas. SubLt, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:69.
Miguel Vargas. Lt, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:40.
Ramón Vargas. Capt de Granaderos, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:18.
Lorenzo Vasquez. SubLt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:61.
José Vega. Sgt, Asamblea Cab del Reino de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:V:173.
Martín Vega. Alférez, Mil Cab de la Princesa, 1797, Leg 7267:XVII:666.
Bernardo Valarde y Calderon. Comandante, Mil Discip Dragones de Acari y Chala, 1796, Leg 7286:I:1.
Enrique Velazquez. Sgt, Comp Vet de la Dotación de Chiloe, 1794, Leg 7285:II:14.
Fermín Velazquez. Sgt, Comp Sueltas Inf, Partido de Calbuco, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:V:14.
Francisco Velazquez. Lt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:34.
Francisco Javier Velazquez. Lt, 1st , Comp Suelta Inf Discip San Carlos de Guapilacuy, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:VIII:2.
Francisco Javier Velazquez, Sgt, Comp Vet de la Dotación de Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:XI:11.
José Velazquez. Cadet, Comp Vet de la dotación de Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:XI:12.
Juan Antonio Velazquez. Cadet, Comp Vet de la Dotación de Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:XI:14.
Juan José Velasquez. Sgt, Comp Sueltas inf, partido de Calbuco, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:V:11.
Federico Vera. Cadet, Comp Vet de la Dotación de Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:XI:13.
Francisco Urbano Vera. Sgt 1st Cl de Granaderos, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:106.
Pascal Vera. Sgt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:82.
José Verdugo. Sgt, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1789, Leg 7266:V:696.
Juan de Dios Vial. Ayudante Mayor, Asamblea Cab Reino de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:V:153.
Manuel Vial. Lt, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:IV:120.
Francisco Vicuña. Comandante, Mil Cab del Principe, 1797, Leg 7267:XII:502.
Alberto Vidal. Lt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:30.
Francisco Vidal. SubLt, Mil Prov Discip inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:56.
Juan de Dios Vidal. Lt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:36.
Juan Manuel Vidaurre. Lt, Bn Inf de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:I:19.
Bernardo Videla. Cadet, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:IV:144.
Javier Videla. Alférez, Mil de Cab de la Princesa, 1797, Leg 7267:XVII:662.
Inocencio Villagra. Sgt, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1800, Leg 7267:IV:132.
Bartolomé del Villar. Cadet, Comp de Dragones de la Reina, 1792, Leg 7266:II:197.
Miguel Villas. SubLt, Bn Inf de Chile, 1796, Leg 7267:XVIII:694.
Juan José Villegas. Sgt, Asamblea Cab del Reino de Chile, 1792, Leg 7266:II:221.
Justo Villegas. SubLt, Comp Sueltas de Mil Discip Cab de Calbuco, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:VI:3.
Nicolás Villegas. SubLt, Comp Sueltas Inf Partido de Calbuco, Chiloe, 1800 Leg 7288:V:10.
Rafael Villegas. Lt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:46.
Juan Villela. Sgt, Dragones de la Reina, 1800, Leg 7267:II:103.
Francisco Vivancos. Sgt, Dragones de la Frontera de Chile, 1791, Leg 7266:III:360.

Nicolás de Yabar. Cadet, Inf de Valdivia, 1800, Leg 7267:II:96.
José Félix Yañez. Cadet, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800, Leg 7288:II:64.
Manuel Yañez. Portaguión, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800, Leg 7288:II:39.

Gabriel Zabala. Sgt, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800, Leg 7288:II:55.
Juan José Zabala. Portaguión, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800, Leg 7286:II:38.
Pedro Zabala. Sgt, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800, Leg 7288:II:58.
Francisco Zaldivia. Capt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:4.
José Zaldivia. Lt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:IX:43.
Pedro Zaldivia. Lt, 2nd Comp Inf Discip de San Carlos de Quetamahue, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:VII:2.
Juan Zapatero. Col of Arty & Comandante del Departamento del Reino de Chile, 1793, Leg 7266:I:137.
Juan Zorcin. Lt, Mil de Cab de la Princesa, 1797, Leg 7267:XVII:656.
Miguel Zuniga. Capt, Comp Sueltas Inf Partido de Calbuco, Chiloe, 1800, Leg 7288:V:3.

For more information on the Chile soldiers, or about the Sons of the American Revolution, contact Granville W. Hough,


OC Register/Excelsior Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month Display
Oct 7, Mendez vs. Westminster Children’s book signing.  
Nellie Kaniski Ex-counselor spreads love and caring 
Oct 15: Dia de La Raza Concert
Oct 20: Hispanic Education Endowment Fund Apple of Gold Awards 
Oct 22: MANA 25th Anniversary      
SHHAR at Dia de la Familia, Sigler Park, September 10th
SHHAR at National Hispanic MBAs, Bowers Museum, September 14th


As mentioned in the September issue, Ron Gonzales of the OC Register and Excelsior asked your editor to coordinated the effort of mounting a Hispanic Heritage display in the lobby of the Register.  SomosPrimos/SHHAR volunteers were joined by other organizations with posters and photo displays demonstrating their organization's history and mission: Amigas de la Cultura, Latino Advocates for Education, Libreria Martinez, Los Amigos of Orange County, LULAC of Orange County, MANA of Orange County, OC Mexican American Historical Society, Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research, and Somos Primos.

Arturo Castro helped with invitations and contacts with the Board of Supervisors.

Alice Rumbaugh, of Amigas de la Cultura, coordinated the decorations.

SHHAR Board members Yolanda Ochoa Hussey and Yolanda Magdaleno stand in front of Fire in the Morning, a photo display of local Hispanic Orange county families by Yolanda Alvarez.

Teri Rocco, on the left and Alice Rumbaugh are two of the three Amigas de la Cultura.
Sylvia Krenzien could not attend.  All three ladies are teachers who together have lectured and set up displays promoting the wide range of Hispanic cultures.

On September 27th a reception was held honoring Hispanic individuals and organizations contributing to an increased understanding of the positive presence of Hispanic/Latinos.

The talented pianist Frances Rios set the atmosphere with her beautiful playing. 
Artist Henry Godines signed copies of the the Pied Piper of Saipan, Guy Gabaldon. He chats with Pat McMaster, principal of the Orange county Performing Arts High School.

Among the displays were a collection of military photos from Judge Fredrick Aguirre, president of Latino Advocates for Education. Gloria Torres, producer of the cable production, Hola America was co-emcee for the luncheon. 

68th District Assemblyman Van Tran, far right recognized the Orange County Register/Excelsiór for their display and celebration recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month.  Left to right, Ron Gonzales, Team Captain, Leticia Garcia-Irigoyen, Managing Editor of the Excelsiór, Suzanna Sanchez, Manager Regional Sales, Excelsiór.



Mimi was recognized for her community service as president of the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research by Supervisor Jim Silva's staff member, Matt Liffreing.

October 7th, Mendez vs. Westminster Children’s book signing. 
Emmy Award-winning producer Sandra Robbie and educator Michael Matsuda have teamed up to co- author a new children’s book, Mendez vs. Westminster: Book signing will take place at the Mendez Fundamental School in Santa Ana from 11 am to 1 pm on Saturday, October 7. More information can be obtained from
Sent by Ron Gonzalez


Ex-counselor spreads love and caring

Nellie Kaniski has been honored as one of Orange County's inaugural Latino OC 100, which celebrates the contributions of "upcoming, accomplished and influential" Hispanics, as well as non-Hispanics serving the community. This is the first of five Friday profiles in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15-Oct. 15.

FERTILE GROUND: Nellie Kaniski, a longtime volunteer, says family gives strength and community is a place for growth.
The Orange County Register By RON GONZALES 09/15/06

Nellie Kaniski has helped shape the futures of thousands of young people across Orange County, both in student services at Santa Ana College and as coordinator of the annual Adelante Mujeres leadership conference for teen girls.

"I've had students who've gone and come back as doctors," she says. "It's kind of like a web you spin, and the people that you touch continue to be there for you and you for them."

Q: What do you value or cherish?
A: I value family, past and present, as a source of strength. I value our community as our place for growth where I am privileged to interact. I value peace as my fragile and cherished source of well-being.

Q: What do you seek to bring or to give to the community?
A: Help to create a community of caring. I would like to start a cycle of giving and sharing – a pay-forward concept, or perpetual cycle of caring. Once started, to keep it in motion, and in the end, it would be helping people, helping people. My Web site,, is a start.

Q: To what do you owe your success?
A: I owe my success to happiness. Family and friends love me; their love makes me happy. I am successful because I am happy; I am always happy, therefore, I continue to be successful.

Q: Who in O.C. do you admire and why?
A: Maria Solis Martinez (of Anaheim) for her tireless volunteerism as she shares her love of education. Armando de la Libertad (a Wells Fargo vice president) for being a model of integrity and truth for our youth.  Dr. Kim Salter (California NOW president) for her never-tiring campaign on women's rights while always respecting other views.  Amin David (leader of the Los Amigos advocacy group) for tireless leadership in keeping a dynamic public forum open.




You are invited to join in the fun!

"Fiesta in The Park"

MANA de Orange County's 25th Anniversary!

WHAT: A Fiesta in the Park! A Celebration of Community & Family! Come celebrate our 25 years of community service in Orange County! *Bar-B-Q *Music *Dancing *Raffles

*El Mercado – Featuring a variety of Orange County’s finest Latina entrepreneurs & authors! Come and shop for Christmas! (Percentage of proceeds will benefit our Hermanitas!)

DATE: October 22nd - Sunday
11:30 AM - 3:30 PM
: Prentice Park-Santa Ana Zoo -1801 E. Chestnut Avenue - 92701
Tickets - $20/Adult  $10/Child -12 and under
(Includes zoo admission)
Tickets - Purchase tickets now by mailing your check made out to "MANA" Mail To:  MANA P.O. BOX 4081 Santa Ana, CA 92702
Please include your Name, Address & Phone number. Your reservation will be secured on the "Paid Tickets" list at the event entrance. 

Information: or (714) 563-6262
Tax Deductible Donations gratefully appreciated! Tax I.D. # 68-0552012
Patricia Gazda de Sullivan.


Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research Board members actively promoting Hispanic heritage in Orange County. 
Dia de la Familia, Sigler Park
September 10th

Bea Armenta Dever and your editor.

National Hispanic MBAs, September 14, Bowers Museum, 
Bea Armenta Dever, Yolanda Ochoa Hussey, and Yolanda Magdaleno.




Walking in the Footsteps of L.A.'s Founders 
Ethnicity of the Founders of Los Angeles
Genealogy and "1822-El Camino Viejo a Los Angeles," 
Oct 15,  Forensic Genealogy: Dissecting Old Photographs
Doheny Memorial Library, Los Angeles
History of the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors
Los Angeles City Mayors - Past to Present
Oct 21: Chino Valley Family History and Genealogy Seminar 
Oct 29: Living History Tours: Ghosts From the Past 
SAVE THE DATE: Nov 16, 2006 "Helping Build the Latina Woman"

Walking in the Footsteps of L.A.'s Founders  
About 1,000 people brave the heat to trek from San Gabriel Mission to El Pueblo Historical Monument. By Jennifer Oldham, Times Staff Writer, September 5, 2006

While many Angelenos took advantage of the Labor Day holiday to sleep in, Irene Sepulveda Hastings was meeting relatives she didn't know existed.

Wearing a white lace mantilla that cascaded over her head and onto a gauzy, floor-length white dress, the Corona grandmother joined about 1,000 people on a nearly nine-mile journey from San Gabriel Mission to El Pueblo Historical Monument — birthplace of the city — in downtown Los Angeles.

The walk was a reenactment of a trip that was undertaken 225 years ago, following the footsteps of 44 Mexican nationals (four soldiers and 11 families), known as Los Pobladores — or town settlers. Those settlers trekked from San Gabriel Mission to Los Angeles in September 1781 and founded a tiny community near the Los Angeles River that today is one of the world's largest cities.

Hastings' ancestors were part of a group that Felipe de Neve, the first governor of the Californias, sent from Mexico to help cement Spain's claim to the region.

"All the old families are on my tree," said Hastings, 76, who has participated in the historic walk for 15 years. "I'm always meeting more Sepulvedas."

Several other descendants of the city's founders joined Hastings for the reenactment, along with many immigrants interested in creating a history of their own. Some wanted their children to know where they came from. Others came to see parts of the city that they hadn't visited before.

Like Los Pobladores, Monday's participants mirrored the diversity of the city. The original founding families were mostly poor farmers and soldiers and included Spaniards, Indians and blacks.

The event's founder, whose ancestors weren't from Los Angeles but came to America on the Mayflower, was enthused that the 25-year-old walk has broadened its appeal. In the beginning, T. Willard Hunter, an educator, author and clergyman, traversed the historic route alone.

"I was always concerned people would stay away if they thought it was a family reunion," Hunter said. "If we don't know where we came from, we won't know where we're going."

Monday's journey began as the sun rose to illuminate the 235-year-old San Gabriel Mission. The route followed an old Indian trail down Mission Road to Alhambra Avenue, onto Valley Boulevard and back onto Mission Road to Cesar Chavez Avenue and downtown. Instead of ox carts, open-roofed firetrucks awaited participants who were unable to walk.

"Happy Birthday!" Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa shouted to a small crowd gathered at the mission to hear remarks from event organizers and politicians before making its way onto the asphalt, which was already warm.

"The city's first ancestors were Mexican American, make no mistake about that," added Los Angeles' first Latino mayor in more than 125 years.  

Unfortunately, and with due respect I must point out that the previous statement by Mayor Villaraigosa, though generally accepted as true, is incorrect history.  In 1781, there was no Mexico and there was no United States of America, so there could not have been Mexican Americans at that time.  We must differentiate between heritage lineage and the political boundaries of the times.  Most of the colonizers who settled current Los Angeles came from current Sinaloa, Mexico, but that area and everything west of the Mississippi was Nueva Espana, under governance of Spain. From 1519 until 1821, the only place called México was the city of that name. The colonizers and soldiers were subjects of the Spanish government, paid taxes to the Spanish government. They entered and founded present Los Angeles with authority of the Spanish government. ]]

Villaraigosa and other dignitaries participated in an ancient blessing by the Gabrielino- Tongva San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians, whose ancestors were among Los Pobladores. The ceremony required those on stage to turn to face a life-size picture of Mickey Mouse on a banner commemorating the event's sponsors — Disney among them — before turning again to face those participating in the trek.

Bells clanged as the walk began, with police officers on bikes and in cruisers escorting the procession as it wound through largely deserted industrial parts of town, past rail yards, junkyards and vaguely curious guard dogs.

Several miles later, walkers' enthusiasm about the event and what it symbolized hadn't dulled, even as they drank water and wiped sweat from their brows in an unsuccessful attempt to ward off the rising temperatures. "We remind them that our family had to do this with no shoes," Robin Rocha, who was wearing sneakers, a long, black satin skirt and a white peasant blouse, said at a rest stop near mile No. 3.

Rocha's young daughter and nephews, all dressed in costume, joined her and her mother, Sherry Killion, who after years of research traced her ancestry to the Cota and Verdugo families, who made the original journey. Killion, in a black shawl and a long green skirt, pulled a large chart out of her purse. It turned out to be a family tree, and after unfolding it several times, she flipped it over, pointing to her family's origins in Spain in 1500 and then their move to California in the late 1700s.

"I've been working on it for decades," said the 62-year-old Bakersfield nurse who came across her family's connection to Los Pobladores four years ago.

As he pushed his son in a jogging stroller, ninth-generation Angeleno Tony Leon recounted his connection to Los Pobladores, saying that he can directly trace his heritage to Luis Quintero, a tailor.  "It's great to feel a part of something," Leon said, adding that he's developed a website to celebrate his genealogy.

The walk gave others a chance to commemorate their far-flung heritage in a diverse city where it often seems as if everyone is from somewhere else.  "When you're an immigrant you don't belong anywhere," said Rosa Moran Kelly, who was born in Spain and moved to the United States with her American husband in 1984. "You're half here and half there."

Kelly carried a flag from the Castilla y Leon region of Spain and was out for her third jaunt with the group. With the Library Tower looming miles in front of her in the brown midmorning haze, the Chino resident quipped that the walk was also a good opportunity to lose weight.

As the heat slowed many walkers by mile No. 7, Diamond Bar resident Cephas Wong still had a spring in his step. The director of youth programs at the Asian Youth Center in San Gabriel said he joined the event for the first time to commemorate all the people who make up Los Angeles. An immigrant from Hong Kong, Wong recounted how he was the only Asian child at the small college he attended in Arizona in the mid-1960s.

"People have been very friendly," Wong said of the walkers, who started to arrive downtown about 11 a.m. "We should have more things like this so people who live here can get to know each other better."

Ethnicity of the Founders of Los Angeles
Comment by a descendant

The discussion of the ethnicity of the founders of Los Angeles can go on ad infinitum.  In the sacramental registers and padrones (censuses) in Nueva España, people were labeled with 16 or more castas (ethnic groups).  By the time Alta California was settled by people who came with Portolá in 1769, with Anza in 1775-1776, and with Rivera in 1774 and 1781, just 6 terms were used:  español/a (Spanish), indio/a (Indian), mestizo/a (mixture of Spanish and Indian), negro/a (Black), mulato/a (mixture of Spanish and black), and coyote/a (mixture of Spanish, Indian, and Black).

     I am descended from two Poblador families, Luis Manuel Quintero, negro and María Petra Rubio, mulata and Pablo Rodríguez, indio and María Rosalía Noriega, india and from two soldier families who came with Rivera in 1781--José Manuel Valenzuela, español  and María Concepción Higuera y Armenta, española and José Rosalino Fernández, mestizo and Juana Josefa Quintero, mulata.

     I am a member of Los Pobladores 200 #70 and also Los Californianos #422 Life Member.   Mary Triplett Ayers, M3Ayers

For a listing of the founders and their racial identity, go and click on the item.

Genealogy and "1822-El Camino Viejo a Los Angeles" 
Copyright © Gilbert Gia, 2005. Bakersfield CA
Sent by Johanna De Soto

In 1933 Frank Latta presented a romantic legend from 1822 California to the Kern County Historical Society, and in 1936 they selected his story, El Camino Viejo a Los Angeles, for the Society's annual publication. Now more than 70 years later, genealogical research suggests that the legend didn't happened in 1822-- and perhaps did not happen at all.

In 1928 Frank Latta interviewed Ricardo Matley and Antonio Jose Forquera and heard for the first time the family's legend which became the subject of Latta's El Camino Viejo. According to Antonio Jose Forquera, his mother, Estefina, was the daughter of Loreta and Ramon Solorzano, lovers in the El Camino Viejo story. Matley was Antonio Jose's stepfather.

Years ago, this writer learned that Antonio Jose's mother's maiden name was Estefina Apablasa. Could that information reveal more about the El Camino Viejo legend?

If you have a California heritage and any of these surnames, you may want to go the site and read the unraveling of conflicting facts: 
Apablasa, Banales, Blanco, Carvajal, Carvajal, Dominguez, Estrada, Forquera, Jorquera, Matley, Ramirez, Solorzano

October 15, Forensic Genealogy: Dissecting Old Photographs

Mimi, The Los Angeles Public Library is offering a program which may be of interest to the readers of Somos Primos. 

Forensic Genealogy: Dissecting Old Photographs will be presented by Colleen Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., on Sunday, October 15, at 2 p.m. in the Mark Taper Auditorium of the Central Library. Learn how to unlock the information found in old family photographs using simple techniques borrowed from forensic science, as featured on NPR's "Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan." A book signing will follow the lecture. The Los Angeles Public Library is
located at 630 W. Fifth St. Validated parking is available at 524 S. Flower St. for $1.00 on Sundays after 1:00 p.m. To obtain the validation, patrons must show their library card to the attendant at the Information Desk on the first floor of the library. For further information about the program call (213) 228-7413.

On the same day, it will also be possible to view the Puro Muerto Contemporary Imagery of Day of the Dead exhibit in the Getty Gallery on the Second Floor of the Central Library. This exhibit will be on display from September 30, 2006 through March 4, 2007.

Michael Kirley
Genealogy Librarian
Los Angeles Public Library
630 W. Fifth St.
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Doheny Memorial Library, Los Angeles

[[Editor: Once again Joan De Soto has 
found an internet treasure.   Joan writes: "I found this wonderful picture of my husband's mother Eva Frances Talamantes De Soto dancing with Gabriel Ruiz. Joan" ]]

Portrait of Spanish dancers and accompanying musicians outside at the Southwest Museum's Casa Adobe, Los Angeles, ca.1930-1939

The catalog to the archives of the Doheny collection is now available online, and copies can be ordered.  Those with roots in Los Angeles might find photos supportive to their own personal family history. 

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. 
Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research. "If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. 

History of the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors
Sent by Johanna De Soto

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors was created in 1852, two years after the creation of the county. From 1850-52, county affairs were administered by the court of sessions, which consisted of the county judge and two associate justices. Supervisors were elected on one-year terms until 1862, then they started two-year terms.

Between 1876-1992, it appears that no Hispanics served on the Board of Supervisors.
Gloria Moreno began serving in 1992.

Jefferson Hunt
Julian A. Chavez
Francis P. Temple
Manuel Requena
Samuel Arbuckle

David W. Alexander
Leonardo Cota
G.A. Sturgis
Daniel M. Thomas
Benjamin D. Wilson
David W. Alexander
Stephen C. Foster
Juan Sepulveda
Cristobal Aguilar
Samuel S. Thompson

Thomas Burdick/John G. Downey
David Lewis
Cristobal Aguilar
Agustin Olvera
James r. Barton

Los Angeles City Mayors - Past to Present
Check out Los Angeles City Mayors - Past To Present
Sent by Johanna De Soto

Editor:  I found this particularly interesting for the swift transition of power from Spanish speaking leaders to English speaking leaders. Text reads that in 2005, Antonio Villaraigosa was elected to become the 41st mayor of Los Angeles and the first Latino to serve in this office since 1872. Cristobal Aguilar served two terms, 1866-1868 and 1871-1872. 

If you take the history back to its founding Villaraigosa is the 84th mayor of Los Angeles.  However, between 1841-1843, the city was governed by two Jueces de Paz (Justices of Peace). Then in 1844-1848, it was a shared mayorship of two.  

1781-1822 - Spanish Colonial Los Angeles
1822-1840 - Mexican Los Angeles
1841-1843 - Los Angeles governed by two Jueces de Paz (Justices of Peace)
1844-1848 - Office of Alcalde Restored (First & Second Alcalde)
1848-present - American Los Angeles



If you live in the Inland Empire and want to start your family history research, this is a perfect opportunity.  There are classes for Hispanic researchers being taught by Crispin Rendon, Lorraine Hernandez and Mike Brady, in addition to many classes of general interest.  Good line-up of classes for beginners or advanced researchers.  

Saturday October 21, 2006 - Chino Hills , California
Sent by Lorraine Hernandez and Cris Rendon

4195 Chino Hills Pkwy PMB #563 Chino Hills, Ca. 91709

Name______________________Stake (if LDS)____________Phone____________



Check #_______ Check Amount $______PAYABLE TO “CHINO STAKE” (click CVFHSeminar) 

GENERAL SESSION: 9:00am to 9:30 am
SESSION I: 9:40 am to 10:40 am

A. Getting Started In Family History Research-Basic by: Caroline Rober 
B. Census Research by: Nancy Carlberg
C. How To Display, Share & Enjoy Fam. Hist. Artifacts by: Jean Hibben
D. Let Your Fingers Do The Walking by: Barbara Renick
E. Beginning Hispanic Research by: Lorraine Hernandez
F. Reading Catholic Parish Records by: To be announced
G. German Research In The U.S. by: Doug Ayer 
H. Hiring A Professional Genealogist by: Daniel Bartosz 
I. Why and How to Write A Journal by: Tom Underhill

SESSION II: 10:50 am to 11:50 am
A. Organizing Your Research by: Caroline Rober
B. Beginning Scandinavian Research by: Nancy Carlberg
C. New England Research by: Gene Cheney
D. Searching For Civil War Ancestors by: Michael Sorenson 
E Hispanic Use of PAF (In Spanish) by: Robert & Miriam Lucero 
F. Research Strategies For England-19th Century by: Beth McCarty
F. How To Use by: Alan Jones
G. Family Web Sites by: Tom Underhill
I. Introduction To Family Hist. Research For Youth.

SESSION III: 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm
A. American History for Genealogists/Migration by: Phil Wheeler
B. How Do I Use Scottish Records by: Kathleen Kane
C. How Do I Use PAF (Personal Ancestral file). by: Richard Wilson
D. Finding Indexes For Un-Indexed Books by: Barbara Renick
E. Advanced Hispanic Research by: Mike Brady 
F. Resources For Irish Research by: Beth McCarty 
G. German Birth/Baptism Records by: Doug Ayer 
H. Scanning &Photo Retouching-Basic by: Tom Underhill
I. French Canadian Research By: Debby Horton 


SESSION IV: 2;20 pm to 3;20 pm
A. Midwest Research Tips by: Caroline Rober
B. Interesting Uses Of Newspapers For Research by: Nancy Carlberg
C. Understanding GEDCOM by: Richard Wilson
D. Federal Census Research by: Mike Brady
E. Using PAF Insight by: Alan Jones
G. How The GOFH Helps the Living &The Dead by: John &Annette Todd
H. Our Inventive Ancestors by: Kathleen Trevena 
I. Introduction To Family Hist. Research For Youth.

SESSION V: 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
A. Netherlands Research by: Gene Cheney
B. Southern States Sources by: Nancy Carlberg
C. Digital Cameras For the Genealogist by: Richard Wilson
D. Evaluate What You Have Found by: Barbara Renick
E. Hispanic Research On The Internet by: Crispin Rendon 
F. Family History Center Directors/ Leaders Workshop by: Beth McCarty
G. Interviewing Techniques By: Phil Wheeler
H. Publishing Your Family History by: Tom Underhill
I. Using “Familyseracher” Software by: Robert &Miriam Lucero 

Living History Tours: Ghosts From the Past 
October 29, 1-4 p.m. 
Free admission.
Tour the 162-year-old adobe house with "ghosts from the past" who will step forward in time to haunt the Rancho halls. These "living" history tours will take you to the realms somewhere between 1840 - 1940. Which era will you visit? You might discover what it was like to live on a booming cattle ranch. Perhaps you will learn first-hand how long it took to shear 28,000 sheep. Or, you will possibly explore how a crumbling adobe was transformed into a modern 20th century home. 

Take a fascinating journey through time as costumed living history characters share their stories about ranch life and work through their eyes. These free, guided tours by our talented Friends of Rancho Los Cerritos volunteers will be offered every half hour throughout the afternoon, with the last tour leaving at 4:00 p.m. 

All events will be held at Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site, 4600 Virginia Road, Long Beach, CA 90807 

Eliza Boné, Public Relations/Marketing Coordinator
Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site
(562) 570-1755 Fax: (562) 570-1893

SAVE THE DATE: November 16, 2006
"Helping Build the Latina Woman"
Place: The Queen Mary
1126 Queens Highway
Long Beach, CA 90802-6390
Latina Luncheon 11:30-1:30
Break-out sessions 2:30-4:30
Mixer 5:00-6:30pm
Sent by Theresa Ynzunza, 
National President, National Latina Business Women Association



Heritage Discovery Center Site Selected
Ramona, a Story that Changed the History of California
California Ranchos by County
Oct 13,14,15 2006,  Reyes Adobe Days Celebration
Report on the Contra Costa County Fair 
Lest We Forget by 5th great grandson of Jose Antonio Yorba I.       
Remains Found of Early California Village, Villa de Branciforte       
Defending the Early Mexican Frontier in Santa Cruz, Villa de Branciforte
Juana Briones House
Calisphere,  a digital library of primary sources    
An effort to keep memories alive of West's 2nd-largest immigrant group -- Japanese 
California's Black Pioneers: A Brief Historical Survey


Report on the Heritage Discovery Center
A site has been selected

Dear Mimi,

This is approx 530 acres of beautiful land. The property is situated between La Purisima Mission/State Park and La Purisima Golf Course. 

Hy. 246 is the frontage Rd. and Cebata Cyn. Rd splits the property somewhat down the middle as seen on the topo map I sent. The current zoning is appropriate for the Museum with a conditional use permit. 

The property is only a couple of miles from the city of Lompoc, which would have all the accommodations necessary for tourists/guests of the Living History Museum. 

The mayor, Mr. DeWees and other city official and council members are most enthusiastic about the development of our project. We made a presentation to the city twice, once on TV at their monthly Town Hall Meeting, and once to a group including; Mayor Dewees, Gary Keef(city administrator), Susan Warnstrom(Ex.Assist. to Supervisor Joni Grary), Dennis Anderson(Pres./CEO of Chamber), Department of Parks and Rec. representatives, President of Lompoc Historical Society, and several others. I will send the list of the individuals that we have met with in Santa Barbara County.

The instrumental Native American Tribe in the area are the Chumash. They are very interested in having a museum locally and it appears as though their Museum project with the Delaware North Corporation development on the Vandenberg Base is not going to be possible due to the 'Homeland Security ' issues.

There are quite a few photos so I will send them in small groups. They are packaged somewhat by area, N, S, E, W and by roads. I hope that you are as pleased with this land and location as I am. Thank you for all your wonderful interest and support.

Fondly, Robin Collins
Barry Starr,
HERITAGE DISCOVERY CENTER Inc., A "Living History Museum",
Of The California Colonial Spanish Period (Circa 1755-1835)
40222 Millstream Lane, Madera, Ca 93636 
HDCINC@NETPTC.NET  (559)868-8681, FAX (559) 868-8682

I think it would be a most wonderful accomplishment for California to have a living-hands-on museum depicting the history of California in an inclusive manner, manifesting the early California Colonial lifestyle in all aspects, hand crafts, food, clothing, music, etc.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Robin.  

You can help. Heritage Discovery Center is in need of supportive letters. I suggest that you contact the Center for the targeted recipients. Below is a sample of a letter.  

To Whom It may Concern:

On behalf of the ___________________ I would like to express support for the creation of a California Colonial Period Park. The proposal by Heritage Discovery Center Inc. prepared by Ms. Robin Lea Collins, President and Founder. The Heritage Discovery Center's Purpose and Mission is to preserve and promote the unique Historic and Cultural aspects and values of California's Colonial past. The Period Park is consistent with the continued economic and historic activity in the area, and thus aligns with the goals and mission of (Your) organization. 

As _____________________our organization works in collaboration with local governments and community organizations to ______________ we support existing and new commercial ventures and develop a climate in which business can create jobs and operate at a profit. With this in mind we support the proposal for a Heritage Discovery Center, Archival repository, and Period Park at Cabada Canyon. HWY-246 in Santa Barbara. We can envision an increase in eco-tourism in the region, and can be assured that it would be expected to grow, bringing Millions of dollars with additional economic opportunities for local and regional businesses in the area.

Additionally, a Heritage Discovery Center Period Park Project would foster and strengthen cultural diversity as well as economic connections between neighboring cities, counties and states, providing additional opportunities for business development and growth.

The _____group____________looks forward to seeing this exciting project come to fruition for the benefit of the entire Central California region.

California Ranchos by County
Sent by Johanna De Soto

Here is a listing of California Ranchos by counties.  The counties are in alphabetical order.  Scroll down the list below (it's very long) to find the county and information you want.  The year reflects when the rancho was started.

339 Ranchos are listed.  
They were granted between 1777-1878. 
18 distributed by Spain
7 by Spain/Mexico
2 by Mexico/United States
All the rest were identified as distributed under the authority of Mexico.  The acreage, receiver of the land, and current cities in those areas is included. 

Many other ranches were developed during the American period but are not “ranchos” granted by Spain or Mexico. [[Treasure for California researchers!!]]

Oct 13,14,15 2006, Reyes Adobe Days Celebration
Sent by Tina Reyes

October 13, 14, and 15 is the Reyes Adobe Celebration this year. Please pass the word. What a great way to gather family history. Meet people who are gathering information and who are willing to share their's with you. It is a great time for the family to get together. There will be things for everyone. There will be a teen dance, a senior lunch and a pancake breakfast. It will be a 3-day festival that offers fun, educational and cultural experiences. Address is: 

Reyes Adobe Historical Site 
5464 Reyes Adobe Road 
Agoura Hills, CA 91303 

General Informaton: Reyes Adobe Days is a citywide festival for all ages Friday - Sunday, October 13 - 15, 2006 that will feature cultural events, entertainment, parade, concert, and carnival throughout the City of Agoura Hills. The 3-day weekend kicks off Friday, October 13 at 11:30 a.m. with a senior luncheon fiesta, evening concert headlining Foreigner at the Canyon Club and a family fun carnival at Whizin's center, which will continue through the weekend. Saturday, October 14, events include a 10:00 a.m. morning parade with a special guest grand marshal leading to the Reyes Adobe Historical Site for A Day at the Adobe, a free event until 4 pm with California music and dance, children's games, pony rides, many cultural demonstrations -- blacksmithing, rancho cooking, adobe brick making, and tours of the early-1800's period home and barn. Sunday, October 15, events begin at 8:00 a.m. with the certified RAD 8K Race &Family Fun Run followed by a 9:00 a.m. community pancake breakfast. Also beginning at 9:00 a.m. will be a Gymkhana at Old Agoura Equestrian Arena with contests, prizes and BBQ. For more information and complete listing of events and times, please call the Agoura Hills 
Recreation Center at (818) 597-7361 or visit The Reyes Adobe Historical Site is located at 5464 Reyes Adobe Road, (Rainbow Drive & next to Reyes Adobe Park). Follow signs to parking locations for free shuttle to Reyes Adobe Park. 

Where: Throughout the City of Agoura Hills, When: 8 am to 10 pm 
Event Dates: This event takes place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 

So please everyone, if you are interested in your family history come and share what you have and meet some really great people. 

Tina Reyes, Coordinator
Lane Community College
at Downtown Center
Phone: 541-463-5903

Report on the Contra Costa County Fair 

The Contra Costa County Fair lasts three days (and is held at the fairgrounds in Antioch, California) For at least two or three years that 
I can remember they have been holding a Hispanic Day on the last day -which this year was on June 4, 2006.
Carmen Ochoa and her husband Charlie Ochoa videotape several cultural events, including this Hispanic Day.  They show their videos on the local community television channel and they also have their own nonprofit organization to do this and to organize a few cultural events themselves.
Their nonprofit is called Give Always To Others & Co. (G.A.T.O) -"Volunteers Serving the Community" with Arts & Culture, Education, Health and Media Programs.  I have performed for some of their multicultural and Hispanic programs some years ago.  They can be reached at P.O. Box 8202, Pittsburg, California 94565.  The phone number is (925) 439-2558.
Sincerely, Jaime Cader 
Jaime Cader


Lest We Forget
William S. Dean
5th great grandson of Jose Antonio Yorba I

The old family movie shows my sister, Victoria, astride a tall, white horse. She sits easily and trots around, the envy of the other family-gathering of children, sometimes giving them rides under her tutelage. At this time -- the early 1950s -- my sister is about eleven years old, already a horsewoman. And why not, it’s in her heritage.

I think we tend to lose sight of the fact that many of our women ancestors were not simply fiesta ornaments, sparkling or demure in their mantillas, flashing their fans and turning heads. Some of them were accomplished at all the skills of the vaquero.

As Gloria Miranda reminds us in her article, "Hispano-Mexican Childrearing Practices in Pre-American Santa Barbara," (Southern California Quarterly 65, no. 4, 1983), “Foreign visitors marveled at California women's horseback riding skills and expertise with the lasso. 
One man named Edward Vischer wrote about seeing a mother and her daughter riding herd by the side of the river where he was washing his clothes. ‘...The wife and daughter of a ranchero came out to assist in getting in the cattle. Well mounted, they managed their horses superbly, and just as I was up to my elbows in soapsuds, along they came, with a 
herd of several hundred cattle, back from the hills…’ Vischer blushed and reflected on the doctrine of women's rights. ‘I, a stout man, washing my shirt, and those ladies practicing the art of vaqueros..’

Kathy Hughart cited Miranda and others in her online work, “Women and Power in Alta California:1790-1835” (1998) and continues with: “Mauricio Gonzalez, in his Memorias , recalled a California woman named Fermina Espinosa, owner of the Santa Rita Rancho. ‘She did all the ranch work like a man, riding horses, roping steers. . .’”"

Too, we shouldn’t forget that these were not the passive, cud-chewing, somewhat lazy cows we see hanging out on dairyland pastures, but descendants of the Iberian longhorns who were semi-feral, and were noted on several occasions to be able to hold their own in a fight with the once populous Grizzly bears of Alta California.

There is an old family photograph of my, Rosa Modesta Avila Pryor, sitting on a horse. She is resplendent in ornate Spanish riding gear and was a very accomplished horsewoman. She, no doubt, practiced her skills in the old Santa Ana rancho canyons and the semi-wild lands between there and San Juan Capistrano. She was the daughter of Juan Avila and Soledad Yorba (daughter of Jose Antonio Yorba 
II). Rosa Modesta’s lifetime (1835 - 1915) saw the end of the old ranchero life and the spread of metropolitan Orange County’s cities, oil wells, and factories. The time of the women vaqueros was swiftly passing, but their skill with horses remained.


The Yorba women and their many descendents were prominent socially. Quite a few married Anglos and helped equip their new husbands and families with sophisticated graces, adding a genteel quality to Southern California society.

They married among the Kraemers, Smythes, Landells, Tuffrees, and Rimpaus who would build up the cities’ financial and municipal heritage. 

I like to think that although the age of the automobile and the oil well would change the face of the land, a lingering feel of the old life remains. The life of the women on the rancho when the women would ride and rope and herd the cranky longhorns in the daylight hours and, at night, still have the energy and grace to  make the fandango a whirling, musical nocturne of flirtatious glances and laughter.

Yorba-Kraemer: Marriage photograph taken on September 30, 1886 of  Angelina Yorba and Samuel Kraemer. Angelina was the granddaughter of  Bernardo Yorba. Samuel Kraemer was a businessman, oil millionaire, and  rancher who built much of downtown Anaheim in the 1920s.

AngelaYorbaDavidson2: Descendent of Jose Asencion "el Borrego" Yorba and  Maria Leonor Yorba, Angela Yorba Davidson still ranches and raises  vaquero work horses in Rosamond, California. Her website is:

Excavation to Begin Soon for Development on Archaeological Site in Branciforte
Remains Found of Early California Village, A History of Villa de Branciforte
, Jun 27, 2006
Sent by Lorraine Frain

Photo: Josefa Perez, seen here at Water and Branciforte around 1882, probably lived in the recently unearthed adobe home

By Michael Thomas
No one is entirely sure what the ground will yield when excavation begins later this year on a vacant parcel in the Branciforte neighborhood of Santa Cruz. Four homes are planned for a property that falls within the historic footprint of Villa de Branciforte, one of the three oldest secular communities in California. 

In 2003, traces of an adobe from the late 1700s were unearthed on a property next door to the development.

The project, which includes two Habitat for Humanity homes, was approved by the Santa Cruz City Council on Mar. 24. According to developer Bill Brooks, "We'll be filing the final map within 30 days and then construction should start within the next 30 days."

When Brooks begins, the work will be closely supervised.  "There will be an archaeologist on site to watch as they dig," he added. "We are not just leaving it up to the backhoe operator to decide whether he has dug up something historic."

However, Brooks doubts the backhoe will unearth anything substantial. The developer has already hired archaeologists to dig test pits and scan the ground with magnetic resonance equipment.

According to City Planner Mike Ferry, "Those guys went through more archaeology than I've encountered on any other project." 

The Wrong Side of the River
Villa de Branciforte was established by the Spanish in 1797 — about 10 leagues north of Monterey and across the San Lorenzo River from the Santa Cruz Mission. When the Spanish found few willing settlers, they ultimately offered convicts their freedom in exchange for moving to the Villa. For over a hundred years, the small community was viewed as "the wrong side of the river." 

The territory was part of Spain's American colonies, supervised from 1794 to 1798 by the 53rd Viceroy of Spain, Don Miguel de la Grua Talamanca Branciforte, also known as the Marques de Branciforte.

In part because most of the inhabitants were illiterate, little is known about the community or the exact location of 17 or 18 adobe homes that were scattered about the area. The only remaining adobe above ground is on Branciforte Avenue. The historic plazas probably rest beneath Albertson's grocery store and a used car dealer at Water and Branciforte.

Foundation of 1700s Adobe Found Next Door 
In 2003, a property owner on Belvedere Terrace, next door to the current development site, unearthed the remains of a 200-year old adobe wall. Ed Silveira, who lives nearby and was an early development opponent, recognized the find while his neighbor's gas line was being installed.

"I was having lunch and I was watching the workers shovel up roof tiles," Silveira said. "I went out to look at them and they were Spanish roof tiles."

He notified the City and archaeologist Mary Doane was called out to verify the find. The wall's location coincided with a map from 1854 showing the Cornelio Perez adobe at that location. Based on the orientation of the wall, officials believe the Perez adobe lies mostly beneath the existing roadway on Belvedere Terrace. Another structure on the map and a Spanish well from a later map have yet to be located.

A few days later, the portion of the Perez adobe exposed by that trench was covered with a new sidewalk, but not before a sudden rainstorm destroyed parts of it. Since then Silveira, who lives in a 1860s farmhouse nearby, has remained determined that no other archaeological finds in the neighborhood are destroyed or covered up.

He founded the Villa de Branciforte Preservation Society to drum up interest and support for the neighborhood's history.

Early Village Remains a Mystery
Cabrillo College archaeology professor Rob Edwards said the discovery of the Perez adobe provided a small piece of a largely incomplete puzzle. 

"It's very significant precisely because we know almost nothing about Villa de Branciforte. … There really hasn't been a formal investigation into … what went on there," he added.

At the time the Perez adobe was unearthed next door, Brooks had a plan in the works to build two triplexes on the vacant lands. 

That project had been considered Categorically Exempt from CEQA environmental impact mitigation. But the City put the project on hold while Brooks hired San Jose archaeologist Robert Cartier to do a series of surveys on the property.

Magnetic resonance imaging was used to scan for dense patches of ground that might hold additional adobe walls. A grid of 57 test pits was dug around the property. No major features were found, but the digging unearthed Spanish roof tiles, fragments of ceramic dishware, bottle glass and butchered bone.

For Brooks, it wasn't the first time he had seen artifacts come out of the ground. Years ago, while excavating a building site at the corner of Neary Street and Felix Street, he found the debris pit from a pre-1800 beer factory. 

"There were a jillion bottles and labels and things in there. So I stopped the project for about a week so they could get out whatever they could," he recalled. 

While the Belvedere Court project was on hold, Brooks built the Reed Way Cottages down the hill. That project required him to build two affordable housing units. Last summer, Brooks applied to have the two units built up at the Belvedere Terrace property instead. 

As a result, the original triplexes were dropped and Habitat for Humanity will now build two houses alongside two for-sale homes that Brooks will complete. Brooks will also do all the site preparation and lay the foundations for the Habitat homes. 

According to Ferry, "Most of the neighbors that came to the public meetings were in favor of those projects."

However, Silveira was not swayed. He is additionally disappointed that Brooks abandoned a Spanish home design that would have recognized the neighborhood's history.

More Walls Will Likely Be Struck
During the excavation process, the archaeologist on site will be able to order that excavation halt if any "intact" archaeological resources are uncovered. Critics, such as Boyd de Larios of the historic preservation group Los Californianos, doubt that anything will meet the standards of "intact" after being unearthed by a backhoe.

However, Cabrillo's Edwards said that the mitigation language sounded sufficient. "Usually there's a lot of pressure on the contractor not to stop," he said. When the mitigation language allows the archaeologist to make the call, "that's about as strong as you can get."

Though officials don't believe that any of the Perez adobe lies on Brooks' development property, he will have to dig a new trench for a water line that runs right across where the Perez adobe walls are believed to be. City officials have noted a "high potential to encounter cultural materials" during those offsite excavations.

The exact location of an old Spanish well in the area remains unknown and could be uncovered during site preparation as well. Silveira thinks the well, if it exists, could be full of artifacts. 

"Everybody knows when you stop using wells people throw stuff in them," he said. "The neighbors here find stuff all the time just digging around in the yard."

When excavation starts this summer, Silveira will be watching from nearby. 

"The stuff that we accumulate, we want to have it on display," he said, complaining that the roof tiles found next door are still locked in storage in Salinas. "We are talking 200 years of history here." Past stories related to this article...

Defending the Early Mexican Frontier in Santa Cruz, Villa de Branciforte
By Phil Reader, Sent by Lorraine Frain

The idea for the settlement of the Villa de Branciforte was an outgrowth of tensions between Spain and England over possession of lands in the Pacific Northwest. The province of Alta California in the late 1700s was located on the frontier of the Spanish empire in the Americas. Being sparsely settled, it was vulnerable to attacks by Spain's enemies.

Plans were drawn up to create a hybrid community on the strategic north side of Monterey Bay, which was to be populated by soldier-settlers who could be called upon to defend the interests of the crown in California. The plan featured a central plaza surrounded by neatly arranged streets, public buildings and homes. 

Upon arrival the settlers were to find waiting for them a comfortable adobe house, all necessary farm implements, two horses and yearly cash grants until such time as they became self sufficient. 

The settlement was to be named in honor of Don Miguel de la Grua Talamanca, the Marques de Branciforte, then the Viceroy of New Spain (Mexico). A party was sent out to survey the site and on July 24, 1797 the Villa de Branciforte was formally dedicated.

Finding the Settlers
The next step was to recruitment settlers. Flyers were sent out to numerous areas in New Spain attempting to attract skilled workers, tradesmen and soldiers. The net result was just eight settlers, all from the Guadalajara region and most with backgrounds in petty crime. Few possessed any of the craft or trade skills necessary for survival in a frontier environment.

To think that such an unrealistic plan could be carried out in such an isolated frontier region was, at best, a fantasy.

When the paltry band of settlers arrived at the site of Branciforte, the promised adobe houses were not waiting for them, nor were the farming implements or any other supplies. They had to make do with what they found at hand, constructing crude shelters of mud and sticks in the fashion of the Indians. 

The civilian authorities at the provincial capital at Monterey offered little except a list of directives as to what the settlers could or (more aptly) could not do. They never offered the material help with which to do it.

In light of these many obstacles it is amazing that the tiny Villa survived the first 20 years of its existence. At first the settlement remained a rude assemblage of mud and stick huts strung out along what is now Branciforte Avenue, but the foundations for a future village were being laid.

Over the years, as the settlers began to acquire the necessary skills for building a stable community, more substantial housing began to appear. Well-constructed adobe homes popped up along Branciforte Avenue, down on the flats between the San Lorenzo River and Branciforte Creek, in Live Oak and Aptos as well as the Pajaro Valley.

This progress led to a jump in population with several groups of newcomers coming from New Spain and other parts of Alta California. 
By 1799 the Villa contained 70 souls. Among the new citizens were Jose Maria Perez and Macedonio Lorenzana, whose descendants remain in the area to this day.

Early Settlers
Perez married Margarita Rodriguez, the daughter of another early settler and ex-soldier. However, Perez was soon drafted into the Spanish army serving with the garrison at the Presidio of San Francisco. Upon his return to the Villa, he applied for and received an Alcalde grant for land in Branciforte. 

The Perez land holdings ran from the Villa down to the San Lorenzo River. Their home was up on Water Street hill, while their farm and grazing lands were down on the flats of Ocean, May, and Market Streets.

Perez died in 1832, and among his children the oldest son Juan Perez received the land on which the Santa Cruz County Government Center is now located. During the Mexican period, there was a large two-story adobe and bullfight ring located there. The roofless second floor of the adobe was the scene of many of the colorful celebrations known as fandangos over the years.

Juan, who served a hitch with the Mexican army, was a tough sullen character who was very anti-Yankee. During the 1870s, he rode with the bandito Tiburcio Vasquez along with his cousins, the Rodriguez brothers.

His sister Josefa de Jesus Perez, the oldest Perez girl, possessed remarkable beauty. She was a "fandango girl" who sold her favors for pairs of silk stockings and brightly colored long flowing scarves. But she chose her husbands poorly, and because of their antics she was banished from the Villa on occasion. In old age, after she had lost her beauty, she became a street character who begged for food from door to door.

Brother Cornelio Perez Turns Judge
Brother Cornelio Perez was the most prominent member of the Perez family. He held the important position of "Juez de Campo" during the Mexican period and American times. The Juez, or judge, was the official who arbitrated any disputes which arose over brands or cattle ownership during the rodeos.

But like others of the Perez family, Cornelio, who was always colorfully dressed and superbly mounted, had a wild side. In 1847, he was carrying on an illicit affair with Barbara Gomez, who lived in a cabin down in Arana Gulch with Pedro Gomez, her very jealous husband. 

In early July, Pedro returned home and surprised the two during an intimate tryst. Cornelio bolted out the back door and rode swiftly into Branciforte, leaving poor Barbara to her fate. Pedro strung his wife up to a rafter and stabbed her to death. The American authorities up at Mission Hill quickly tried him, and he died in a hail of gunfire at the hands of his wife's relatives.

Branciforte Now a Footnote in California History
For many years Cornelio Perez' adobe was a landmark in old Villa de Branciforte. His homestead at the corner of Branciforte and Water Streets was one of about 20 adobes, most of which were positioned up and down Branciforte Avenue, a wide boulevard which also doubled as a race track. 

But the unique social structure and lifestyle of Branciforte and the ranchos was doomed by the westward advance of the dreaded "Yankees" during the late 1840s. 

A mere decade following statehood in 1850, most of the land was in the hands of Americans. Villa de Branciforte remained a township until 1905, at which point it was annexed by the city of Santa Cruz, becoming just a footnote in California history. Past stories related to this article...

Juana Briones House
Sent by Lorraine Frain

Today's  article in the Palo Alto Daily News concerning the Juana Briones House  is important to Early California Historic Preservationists and educational professionals, and many others. An immediate ruling by the Supreme Court in favor of saving the house would probably help to prolong or stop the demolition process.Just a few words here to let you all know that Juana Briones was for sure an extraordinary woman, and was the pride and joy of her family. She was the daughter of Marcos Briones (soldado de cuerra-c.1773 garrisoned at Presidio - Monterey, and c.1798 Villa de Branciforte) and Ysidora Tapia (Anza Expedition); granddaughter of Vicente Briones (soldado de cuerra--Portola Expedition to Alta California 1769-at San Luis Obispo Mission and Monterey Presidio)  and Maria Antonia de Patron; granddaughter of Phelipe Santiago Tapia (soldado de cuerra-Anza Expedition 1775-76 to Alta California-at Presidio San Francisco, and 1777 at El Pueblo de San Jose) and Maria Philomena Hernandez. Surely, the owners of the Briones House and surrounding land in Palo Alto will learn about this early California history and help to save some of it for future generations. Our heartfelt thanks to Rudecinda Lo Buglio, member of Los Californianos, for providing the pedigree chart on Juana Briones. My family and my grandchildren, descendants of these early Californios, are grateful to the members of the Juana Briones Heritage Foundation who made it possible all these years to bring an awareness to the citizens of the State of California about California's amazing past history and for affording us the opportunity to tell a little about our story. 

Warm regards, Lorri Ruiz FrainCopy of article from Daily News, Friday, Sept. 15, 2006 - By Luke Stangel

"HISTORIC home’s fate shaky after ruling""The owners of arguably one of Santa Clara County’s oldest homes won a long-running lawsuit in state appellate court this week, possibly opening the way for them to bulldoze the house in the future.

"Palo Alto city officials have been locked in a back-and-forth lawsuit for seven years over the Briones House, a small adobe ranch house on the border of Los Altos Hills that was built by local ranch and farmer Juana Briones in the 1840s. In the ensuing 160 years, the home was heavily modified, and then left to the elements. The owners, Jaim Nulman and Avelyn Welczer, applied in 1998 to have the home demolished and sued the city after their application was denied.

‘Countersuit: ‘The city countersued, saying the homeowners were obligated to fix the home and restore it to its original condition under the city’s original property agreement, signed in 1988, years before Nulman and Welczer bought the house. A state appellate judge ruled this week the city’s argument had no merit and ordered the city to pay $265,000 for Nulman and Welczer’s lawyer fees.

‘"This decision places the preservation of the Briones historic property in greater jeopardy," Al Camarillo, a Stanford University history professor and Juana Briones Heritage Foundation member said Thursday. "I think it opens the door even wider to its eventual destruction, unless there are efforts by the city and by individual donors to save the property."’The city’s last legal avenue is to appeal the case to the Supreme Court. City Attorney Gary Baum was on vacation and could not be reached for comment. Nulman and Welczer did not return a call for comment left at their home Wednesday.

‘Briones is a key figure in early California history. She purchased 300 acres of land in the 1840s–most of which are in Los Altos Hills–and started a ranching and farming operation. When California was admitted to the Union in 1850, Briones fought to keep her land and was one of the few Hispanics to do so, Briones Heritage Foundation co-president Tony Tucher said.

‘Over the years, there have been disagreements over the historic significance of Briones House, located at 4155 Old Adobe Road. Historians believe three rooms of Briones’s original adobe farmhouse were still standing in the early 1900s, when the property owner at the time built around the structure and added two wings.

‘In 1988, Palo Alto signed a contract with then-owner Susan Berthiaume under a state historic preservation law called the Mills Act that required Berthiaume to preserve the property as it was and make repairs when needed to protect the property’s historic significance.

‘Illegal renovations: ‘The Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 damaged the home and Berthiaume sold the property two years later. The new owners, Daniel and Suzanne Meub, made extensive illegal renovations to the house, which the city found out about in late 1993.

‘It wasn’t until 1999 that the city tried to enforce the conditions of the Mills Act contract, by requiring Nulman and Welczer to restore the property. State appellate judge Patricia Bamattre-Manoukian ruled the city should have enforced the contract immediately after the earthquake, saying the city missed its four-year window of opportunity under the statute of limitations.’"Both parties have spent a long time in this litigation and I would say it’s the Nulmans’ hope that this puts an end to it," attorney Greg Klingsporn said.

‘The Briones Heritage Foundation tried to raise $3 Million in private donations to buy the property, but abandoned those plans last year."



Sent by

"The University of California has announced Calisphere, a digital library containing more than 150,000 digitized primary source materials about California. Calisphere is available at

Also visit our California-Spanish website at

Angel Island: An effort to keep memories alive, future museum puts out the call for information about the West's second-largest immigrant group -- 60,000 Japanese 
Charles Burress, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer, Thursday, September 14, 2006
Sent by Granville Hough

It was America's Western welcome mat, to put a positive spin on it. The Angel Island Immigration Station is famous as the place where Chinese immigrants were processed, probed and often detained, sometimes for long periods. Many carved their frustration in poems still visible in the old barracks walls. But the story of the second-largest group to pass through Angel Island is hardly known. 

Hoping to fill a hole in history, organizers of the emerging museum and education complex on Angel Island want to shed light on the experiences of Japanese who got their first taste of America at the immigration station in San Francisco Bay. "All we really know is about the Chinese," said Judy Yung, a UC Santa Cruz professor emerita conducting research for the project. As plans and construction move forward on restoring the historic site, organizers have appealed to Japanese Americans for information about the Japanese experience. 

"Our hope is to recover some of the memories and stories from the descendants," said Yung, who is co-authoring a book on the immigration station with University of Minnesota Associate Professor Erika Lee. One of the most prized finds uncovered so far is a pocket-size, leather-bound register of "picture bride" marriages performed in San Francisco nearly 100 years ago. 

Found by retired Mill Valley dentist and UCSF Professor Don Nakahata in the effects of his late aunt, the ledger records about 600 weddings performed by Nakahata's grandfather, Barnabas Hisayoshi Terasawa. "My grandfather was one of the first indigenous Anglican priests of Japan," Nakahata said. "He came over as a missionary at the turn of the century." Yung is trying to match the register names with immigration records at the San Bruno branch of the National Archives, which house many records on immigrants to California. Like a small version of New York's Ellis Island, which processed about 12 million immigrants between 1892 and 1954, Angel Island served from 1910 to 1940 as the West Coast portal to the United States. 

The largest group to pass through consisted of an estimated 175,000 Chinese immigrants, followed by about 60,000 Japanese. Russians were the third-largest group, followed by citizens of India, said Erika Gee, the foundation's education director. Chinese immigrants have drawn more attention not only because of their larger number but also because they generally endured longer stays and more difficulties, Yung said. Though both Chinese and Japanese faced hostility in that period, Chinese were subjected to tighter immigration controls and many resorted to using false documents, which in turn resulted in stricter screening, Yung said. 

The project aims to add not only the Japanese story but also the unknown sagas of people of other nationalities who made Angel Island one of the most culturally diverse way stations on the planet. Yung's current emphasis is on Japan, and she and Lee will
gradually include other nations. "It's more than Chinese," said Daphne Kwok , executive director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. "It was other Asians, Australians, South Americans, Europeans, Mexicans, Central Americans." Added Yung, "There were at least 60 nationalities who went through." The book is to be published in 2010, when the full complex -- including a research center in the rebuilt hospital -- is scheduled to be completed. The station is now closed to the public, but the restored barracks and an outdoors exhibit showing the original-size "footprint" and sections of the administration building are scheduled to open next summer, Kwok said. 

Fear of a mother-in-law sends Japanese bride to faraway land.  At age 16 in Japan, Hisayo Yoshino didn't know she'd have oodles of descendants someday in Northern California, much less that they'd recall the leap she was about to take. Nor did she realize her story would be forever retold in the emerging restoration of Angel Island's immigration station. But the teenager living near Hiroshima in 1910 knew one thing for sure. She didn't want to wed the husband arranged for her, even if he stood to inherit his family's wealth as the eldest son. He and his wife would also inherit the care of his parents. "In the olden days," said Yoshino's daughter, Janice Muto, 73, of Concord, "the mother-in-law could make a young bride's life hell." A teenage friend who had married the oldest son of another family would regularly visit Yoshino in tears over the hardships she faced. Yoshino persuaded her parents to break her engagement, and she joined the thousands of "picture brides" who arranged through the exchange of photos to marry Japanese men who had come to California years earlier. 

Little did she know that her stomach-punishing voyage across the Pacific in the summer of 1912 would be followed by tears of her own in the first weeks at her new home on a remote orchard in Placer County. Her first ordeal in the United States, however, came as soon she stepped onto Angel Island. "A physical found she had intestinal worms," said Muto. She had to take daily medication and remain at the immigration station for three weeks. Finally she joined her new husband, Sahei Makimoto, to begin their life on the farm. Instead of the streets paved with gold that she dreamed of in Japan, Yoshino found herself alone with five men far from most comforts of civilization, Muto said. She cried every day for three weeks. But other Japanese wives arrived soon, and hardships were gradually overcome -- until they were all relocated into internment camps during World War II. Yoshino survived that, too, and lived to age 97, leaving six children, eighteen grandchildren and a couple dozen great-grandchildren. 

Share your memories 
Those who have information to share about the immigrant experience at Angel Island are asked to contact the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation at (415) 561-2160 or . They can write Professor Yung at
 or Professor Lee at Some of the records already collected are available online at . Others can be accessed for a fee through  or for free through the National Archives' San Bruno office. Call the archives at (650) 238-3501 or visit

E-mail Charles Burress at Page B - 1 

In 1973-74 Kimberly Press, Goleta, CA, printed CALIFORNIA'S BLACK PIONEERS: A Brief Historical Survey, by Kenneth G. Goode, published by McNally &Loftin, Santa Barbara, CA.. Goode is African American and is the author of "From Africa to the United States and Then," a popular textbook on "black" history.

On p. 81 there is a painting of Pico, with thick "curly" beard [Governor of California, 1832 and 1845-1846], the chapter (5) is entitled: "Free Blacks in California."
Between p. 80 and p. 81, I had inserted a clippings from the Los Angeles Times: "Pio Pico: Grandson of Last Mexican Governor of California" by Richard West, 6 August 1974.

The article stated: "Gov. Pico died at 93 on Sept. 11, 1894, penniless and living on the bounty of friends." There was no reference to Gov. Pico being "black" or "Negro."
The grandson who died at 64 made no claim to any "black" ties. Many Mexicans I spoke to in California flatly denied that Gov. Pico is/was of Black ancestry ... among "others" he might have been heir to.

You may find a copy of the book at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Library or at UCLA.  Please keep in touch.

Arthur Graham, Ph.D.


Ninth Annual Hispanic Family History Conference 


Not too late to attend the . . . .
                             Ninth Annual Hispanic Family History Conference                                 
October 13-14, 2006, Family History Library, Salt Lake, Utah               

The conference is directed to those interested in researching Hispanic genealogy and is conducted in Spanish. It is free to the public. Personal consultation will also be available on the B-1 Floor throughout the conference. 

Here is a brief preview of the conference (complete class schedule) 
Friday, October 13 
Pre-conference advanced Hispanic research course 
Instructor: Dr. George Ryskamp; B-1 Floor

Saturday, October 14 
9:30am Registration – Family History Library Lobby 
10:00am-3:00pm Classes and Workshops 
Topics will include: 
How to begin family history        Hands-on computer workshops 
Research helps                         Spanish resources on the Internet 
Latin American resources           Finding records in Spain and Latin America 

Sent by Karen Jepson
Contact Information: 
Carlos Alvarez (801) 240-6084 
Ruth Gomez Schirmacher (801) 240-1530 

The Family History Library presents many topical research series throughout the year. These can be found on the monthly calendars posted at There are also times when the Library partners with significant organizations to support genealogy conferences and workshops. The link below lists all the classes offered.  A listing of the October 13-14 Hispanic conference is included.


Some Historical Perspective on “Illegal Immigration” in the Southwest US Birthplace of the Mexican Revolution"--Jimenez, Coahuila...small town 
Book: In the Sierra Madre by Jeff Biggers 
Beyond Origins of New Mexico    

Some Historical Perspective on “Illegal Immigration” in the Southwest U.S.
By William S. Dean, native son and gr-grandson of Teresa Pryor and Miguel Yorba

About 1827, as part of a Mexican government commission to investigate the influx of Americans into Texas, Lieutenant Jose Maria Sanchez wrote in his diary “The Americans from the north have taken possession of practically all the eastern part of Texas, in most cases, without the permission of the authorities. They immigrate constantly, finding no one to prevent them, and take possession of the sitio that best suits them without either asking leave or going through any formality other than that of building their homes.”

In 1830, the Mexican government outlawed the institution of slavery and prohibited further American immigration into Texas. According to Ronald Takaki’s A Different Mirror - A History of Multicultural America, “American foreigners in Texas were furious as the new restrictions. . .American continued to cross the border as illegal aliens. By 1835, there were some twenty thousand Americans in Texas, greatly outnumbering the four thousand Mexicans.”

The “illegal aliens” were also moving into Alta California and New Mexico in growing numbers as part of the campaign by the United States to annex these territories. By 1846, several hundred American foreigners had “invaded” Alta California. Governor Pio Pico wrote “We find ourselves threatened by hordes of Yankee immigrants who have already 
begun to flock into our country and whose progress we cannot arrest.”

Most of these “illegals” were of the mindset of Stephen Austin in Texas, who urged his fellow countrymen to “Americanize” Texas, to come “each man with his rifle,” “passports or no passports.” Austin viewed the coming conflict as between a “mongrel Spanish-Indian and negro race” and “civilzation and the Anglo-American race.”

While the “illegal immigrants” from the United States, typically, considered the indigenous and colonial peoples of Mexico “lazy” and “illiterate,” this did not stop them from learning from and appropriating their technology. The ideal of the “American cowboy” was merely a pastiche of the Mexican vaquero. Roping, riding, and herding techniques were painstakingly taught by the vaqueros to the inexperienced Yankees.

Agriculture, too, was another technology, Yankees learned from the Mexicans. Spanish and native Mexican techniques for irrigation greatly assisted the Texas cotton growers and farmers. “Mexican laborers would level the land, then divide the fields into squares with low embankments to hold the water. After soaking a block, they would make a hole in one of the walls, permitting the water to flow into the next square. This method of irrigation came to be known begrudgingly as ‘the Mexican system.’ Over the years, these laborers transformed the Texas terrain from scrub bushes to the green fields of the Lower Valley known as the ‘winter garden.’” [A Different Mirror - A History of Multicultural 
America, Ronald Takaki]

Takaki’s solidly researched book reveals, too, another “Anglo” myth, that of the enterprising gold miners in the West. Many of the indigenous miners were from mexico where significant techniques for extracting gold had been developed by the Spanish colonists. This knowledge was shared with Anglo miners who adopted both the technology and some of the language, spawning now famous terms such as “bonanza” for a big strike and “placer” for deposits containing gold particles.

One of the elements which changed the face of the Southwest was the  disenfranchisement of the longtime Mexican settlers and Spanish colonists. Although they had been promised full citizenship rights, the former Mexicans in the “new” Southwest Territory of the United States, this was rarely effected. The old system of taxation, for example, was based on the profit realized from the produce of the owned land, allowing for the flux of droughts and other conditions. The American taxation policy, however, was based on the land itself, irregardless of its use or profitability. Land owners were hit hard by this new practice and often went bankrupt from (a) having to prove their ownership in courts and (b) mortgaging the land to pay the taxes and then being unable to pay the interest on the mortgage.

Former Mexican citizens, too, were being forced out of political power by various means, including registration fraud and even violence. The numbers defeated them in the political arena. After the discovery of gold near John Sutter’s mill, the influx of Yankees grew greater still. By 1849, the Anglo population of California reached over 100,000 compared to only 13, 000 Mexicans. Then dominating the state legislatures, Anglos enacted new laws aimed at further “de-citizenizing” the former inhabitants. The contempt of these legislators is evident in the very terminology they used for such laws, including the infamous “Greaser Act,” an anti-vagrancy law enacted in California, which defined 
vagrants as “all persons who [were] commonly known as ‘Greasers’ or the issue of Spanish or Indian blood. . .and who [went] armed and [were] not peaceable and quiet persons.”

Beginning as illegal immigrants, the Anglos used both legal and illegal means to effect their “conquering” of the American Southwest. Perhaps, this may explain their continuing paranoia about illegal immigration from Mexico, Central, and South America. If it happened once, it could happen again, eh?

"Birthplace of Mexican Revolution"--Jimenez, Coahuila...small town, BIG History.

Juan Jose Arredondo - Revolutionary Leader
Written by Arcilia A. González

Juan Jose Arredondo was born in 1850 in the northern town of Morelos, Coahuila,
Mexico. He had served in the Mexican Army, and was a former captain and had been
commander of the Rio Grande District. He had also served as the Municipal President of the town of Morelos.

Arredondo was a casualty of the abolition of the Military Colonies, and the land
concentration by the Hacendados; Wealthy Landowners. As a result many small
landowners were displaced in northern Mexico.

By 1906 Arredondo was a resident worker of an Hacienda in Jiménez, Coahuila. The
hacienda belonged to a wealthy and powerful man by the name of Lorenzo González
Treviño. He was also a member of the Partido Liberal Mexicano, the Mexican Liberal Party or the PLM as it was known. The party had been founded by a man named Ricardo Flores Magon, and his brother Enrique in the beginning of 1906.

Flores Magon published a political newspaper that called the Mexican people to rise
and overthrow the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz, who had been President of Mexico for
over 34 years, in clear violation of the Constitution of 1857. During that time the common folk of Mexico suffered great poverty and their rights were practically taken from them by the government.

Flores Magon began speaking out against the government in 1900 and had been
imprisoned because of his political views many times. Diaz’s government took his
printing equipment several times, but Ricardo and Enrique and other followers
continued in calling for the end of the Diaz dictatorship. Eventually fearing for his life The Flores Magon brothers fled to the U.S. to continue
the fight.

In San Antonio an agent for Diaz tried to assassinate Ricardo, but he managed to
escape. They went to St. Louis, Missouri. And started printing their political newspaper “Regeneracion”. By now the U.S. authorities were also persecuting them. The Magon brothers decided to go to Canada to continue their operations.
Flores Magon had come into contact with a political newspaper publisher and PLM
member in Del Rio, Texas named Crescencio Villarreal Marquez, who had organized a large group in Del Rio. Among these members were many men from the town of
Jiménez, Coahuila, who also lived in Del Rio.

The leader of the PLM members from Jiménez was a man named Dimas Dominguez,
a close friend of Juan Arredondo. Crescencio V. Marquez and Ricardo Flores Magon
decided to commission both Dimas Dominguez and Arredondo with the rank of
colonels of the rebel force they had assembled. 

Villarreal Marquez then worked closely with Dimas Dominguez in transferring arms and ammunition into Mexico for the upcoming revolution. Unknown to the PLM, Diaz and the U.S. authorities had spies and agents watching them closely. The planned rebellion was set for early September of 1906, but the Diaz and U.S. agents believed it would take place on the 16th of September, Mexican Independence day.

It did not happen. But, on the morning of September 26, the 56 year Arredondo led a
force of over sixty men across the border from Texas and attacked the town of
Jiménez. The surprise attack worked perfectly. The Liberals overran the small army
garrison and seized the municipal building, cut the telegraph lines and captured the
mayor and other officials.

They appropriated municipal arms, horses and the amount of $100 from the town
treasury. But for everything they took they wrote a receipt in the name of the PLM party. They also published a Manifesto that day in which stated the reasons for taking up arms against the government. It was signed by many of the PLM men from Jimenez.

The Liberals proceeded the next day upriver to the Hacienda Victoria, where they
hoped to enlarge their forces and get more supplies, but word had reached the federal garrison at Piedras Negras about thirty miles south. Reinforcements were sent to meet the Liberals at Victoria.

Arredondo and his men were surprised at Victoria on the morning of the 27th and a
battle took place. It was said that the previous day at Jimenez the rebels had lost a
young man by the name of Almaraz, who was the first casualty of the Mexican

After an intense battle more Federal troops arrived and the Liberals had to retreat.
In an effort to evade capture by the federals, Arredondo’s men split into three groups led by Arredondo, Calixto Guerra, and Dimas Dominguez . Their goal was to make their way across the border into Texas. In the battle of Victoria, the Federals had lost one soldier, and the Liberals had three men taken prisoners, three wounded, one of the leaders, Antonio Villarreal died by a firing squad.

The rest of the Liberals managed to escape into Texas, but were soon being sought by U.S. authorities. The Newspaper of October 27, reported that U.S. officials had captured most of the PLM members throughout Texas. Juan Arredondo was captured in Spofford Texas, and taken to Del Rio to be held in the county jail. Crescencio V. Marquez was also arrested in Del Rio.

The Diaz government sent a list of 65 men including Arredondo so that they could be
extradited back to Mexico to face charges. Of course the PLM hired a team of defense lawyers for Arredondo and his men. Their trial was held in San Antonio, Texas on December 18, 1906. After three weeks, the defense was successful and the Judge ruled that the charges against them were political and therefore could not be extradited to Mexico. The U.S. Customs then tried them for deportation, but again the judge ruled in favor of Arredondo and the Liberals. They were set free on January 5, 1907.

After that the Mexican government had no choice but to withdraw the charges.
By April of 1907 Arredondo was reorganizing once again with Flores Magon and
Salomon Espinoza from Jiménez, Coahuila. They realized that the last time the rebellion failed due to a lack of organization and resources, this time they planned to prepare better.

By this time the Diaz government was working closely with the U.S. authorities in putting the PLM out of business. Their agents were tracking them and even managed to bribe some party members for information. They continued to arrest and detain the Flores Magon brothers as well as the other party leaders.

Preparations were being made to try another armed uprising in June. Arredondo was
tracked down by the Diaz agents to Eagle Pass Texas, where he was kidnapped and
taken across the border into Mexico and held prisoner. Never to be released again.
According to Magon’s letters, he was sent to the Mexican prison of San Juan de Ulua on the gulf coast, where he unfortunately died.

In June of 1908, another attack was led by the Liberals, this time they attacked the
federal garrison at Las Vacas ( Acuña) Coahuila. many of Arredondo’s men from
Jimenez who had fought in September of 1906 took part once again. Including Calixto
Guerra and Benjamin Canales. This was a fierce battle, and unlike the Jimenez and
Victoria battles of 1906, this time both the Liberals and the Federal troops lost a great many men. Among the casualties of that day was Benjamin Canales who lost his life in the initial assault.

After an 8 hour battle the Liberals were completely out of bullets. They had to retreat
once again across the border in to Texas. Calixto Guerra would be picked up by U.S.
agents and kept jailed until April of 1910. By this time Francisco I. Madero also of
Coahuila had called upon a Revolution after an election that Diaz committed fraud to
remain in power. Flores Magon would be arrested also and would be sentenced to 20
years in a Federal penitentiary for sedition. He would die at Leavenworth prison in

But the real spark that started the Revolution had begun on that morning of September 26, 1906 in Jimenez, Coahuila.

A monument in the plaza of Jimenez to Ricardo Flores Magon, also has a plaque that is dedicated to: “ The Men of Jimenez who rose up in arms against Tyranny.”

The writer of this paper is Arcilia A. González, a 6th grader. She attends Applied Learning Academy in Ft. Worth, Texas.  

Thank you to Horacio González, Arcilia's father for sharing Arcilia's research with Somos Primos. 
Digital  Imaging Technologies Digital Imaging Dept. Branch-Smith  Inc. 817.882.4184



Book: In the Sierra Madre by Jeff Biggers 
Sent by

....groundbreaking memoir/history forthcoming on the Sierra Madre, Copper  Canyon, indigenous Mexico, US-Mexico relations and history by award winning  journalist Jeff gracias for passing the word to anyone  interested in contemporary Mexico!

"Jeff Biggers has the keenest eye in the business, and he has a fine,  luminous voice to tell you what he has seen. Biggers manages to write like a  poet, a historian, a naturalist and an adventurer. His pages are burnished  and alive, and I admire his work. This is a welcome addition to western and  Mexican letters. You need to read this one soon."
-- Luis Urrea, author of The Hummingbird's Daughter and The Devil's Highway

The Sierra Madre--no other mountain range in the world possesses such a ring  of intrigue. In the Sierra Madre is a groundbreaking and extraordinary  memoir that chronicles the astonishing history of one of the most famous,  yet unknown, regions in the world. Based on his one-year sojourn among the Raramuri/Tarahumara, award-winning journalist Jeff Biggers offers a rare  look into the ways of the most resilient indigenous culture in the Americas,  the exploits of Mexican mountaineers, and the fascinating parade of  argonauts and accidental travelers that has journeyed into the Sierra Madre  over centuries. From African explorers, Bohemian friars, Confederate and  Irish war deserters, French poets, Boer and Russian commandos, Apache and  Mennonite communities, bewildered archaeologists, addled writers, and  legendary characters including Antonin Artaud, B. Traven, Sergei Eisenstein,  George Patton, Geronimo, and Pancho Villa, Biggers uncovers the remarkable  treasures of the Sierra Madre.

JEFF BIGGERS has worked as a writer, radio correspondent, and educator  across the United States, Europe, Mexico, and India. Winner of the American  Book Award, he is the author of The United States of Appalachia: How  Southern Mountaineers Brought Independence, Culture and Enlightenment to  America. For more, visit

"Half a century after the release of the film, Jeff Biggers brings home the  true treasure of the Sierra Madre: its stories. Biggers weaves a tapestry of  intertwined tales that sheds light on this little-known region. Warm-hearted  and compassionate, these stories bring to life the Raramuri." -- Michael Shapiro, author of A Sense of Place: Great Travel Writers Talk  about Their Craft, Lives, and Inspiration

"Once every generation a book comes along that captures the stunning terrain  and hidden life of Mexico's remote western Sierra Madre. In the Sierra Madre  is that book for this generation. Jeff Biggers has seen the strange and  remarkable that the rest of us can only imagine." -- Tom Miller, author of The Panama Hat Trail and On the Border

For more information:
or  Cloth, ISBN 0-252-03101-6. $25.95  University of Illinois Press  

Beyond Origins of New Mexico Families

A website maintained by José Antonio Esquibel
Sent by Johanna De Soto

This series of pages is designed to provide additions and corrections to the great work of New Mexico genealogy compiled by the late Fray Angélico Chávez (1910-1996), Origins of New Mexico Families in the Spanish Colonial Period. 

This seminal book was first published in 1954 by William Gannon, Santa Fe, New Mexico. A facsimile edition was published by William Gannon, Santa Fe, in 1975. Under the supervision of Thomas E. Chávez, nephew of Fray Angélico and Director of The Palace of the Governors (Museum of New Mexico), a revised edition was published by the Museum of New Mexico Press in 1992. This revised edition included the important addition of "Addenda to New Mexico Families," first published as a series in El Palacio, the magazine of the Museum of New Mexico, from 1955 to 1957, and "New Names to New Mexico," which also appeared in the same magazine in 1957 (September, October, November, December). Both of these related works were often difficult for interested people to locate. 

This web site contains new genealogical information on many New Mexico families that is based on research into primary documents, and highlights additional material published in past and current genealogical journals related to New Mexico colonial families or material from other publications.

If you have corrections and/or additions to Origins of New Mexico Families, please feel free to share that information by submitting it to . Please submit the source(s) of the new information, providing a complete citation. Brief and relevant direct quotes from the source(s) are encouraged. Indicate the individual's name, or family name, for which you have new or corrected information and provide the page number from ONMF (e.g. Buenaventura de Esquibel, ONMF: 173, or Gabaldón, ONMF: 177). Your submission will be posted under New Items and eventually added to Beyond ONMF Volume 10.



A Girl Like Me 
An African Presence in Prehistoric America
Call for Papers - 2007 Conference 
ChickenBones: A Journal for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


A Girl Like Me is a 7 minute documentary inspired by Kenneth Clark's ground breaking study of the preference of  black children for white dolls over black dolls.  A Girl Like Me was created by Kiri Davis, age 17.  In view of recent discussions on the dynamic of skin color among African Americans, it is a must see.  The link also provides access to
other incredible award winning documentaries.
Sent by

Sent by

Most modern scientists believe that the earliest immigrants to reach the Western Hemisphere were Asian Mongoloids. It would appear, however, that this general view ignores evidence that strongly suggests that the first people to arrive and settle in the Western Hemisphere were Black people of very ancient African ancestry.

European-American archaeologist Harold Sterling Gladwin (1883-1983) advanced that the first actual migrants to America were Afro-Australoids. The Afro-Australoid migrations to America probably began about 40,000 years ago and lasted for several millennia. These migrants are called "Australoids" because of their close physical and cultural relationships to the people who more than 50,000 years ago colonized much of Asia and Australia.

One of the most well-documented single pieces of evidence for the presence of Afro-Australoids in the prehistoric Americas during the period of Gladwin's writing was the Punin Skull: a female crania found in 1923, embedded in a stratum of volcanic ash near the small village of Punin in the Andean region of Ecuador. In addition to the skull itself, the stratum yielded the remains of a number of long extinct mammals; including an Andean horse--an animal known to have been extinct for more than 10,000 years. The Punin Skull's recovery by the American Museum of Natural History of New York created a sensation. It was, first of all, hailed as the earliest evidence of humans in the Americas, and, secondly, it was clearly of an Afro-Australoid type. On these two issues "the leading experts" agreed. According to British anatomist Arthur Keith (1886-1955):

"When the expedition returned to New York from Ecuador, the skull was transferred to the Anthropological side of the Museum, where it was examined and described by Drs. Louis R. Sullivan and Milo Hellman. Both anthropologists were struck by its resemblance to the skulls of the native women of Australia. I agree with them; the points of resemblance are too numerous to permit us to suppose that the skull could be of a sort produced by an American Indian parentage. We cannot suppose that an Australian native woman had been spirited across the Pacific in some migratory movement and that afterwards her skull was buried in a fossiliferous bed in the high plateau of Ecuador...The discovery at Punin does compel us to look into the possibility of a Pleistocene invasion of America by an Australoid people."

Harvard anthropologist Earnest Hooton echoed Keith, although in somewhat less detail:

"The Punin skull, found in 1923 in a fossiliferous bed in the Andean highlands of a skull that any competent craniologist would identify as Australian in type. It is easier to find Australoid-looking dolichocephals in the more ancient burials in the New World than anything in the way of a skull that resembles a Mongoloid."

The second migration to the Americas, Asiatic-Africoids, began about 15,000 years ago. These migrants' physical appearance seems to have resembled the Melanesians--the proud Black Islanders of the South Pacific. After having first penetrated their way northward up the coasts of Asia, they began to gradually enter North America, where they ultimately developed the revolutionary and highly pivotal Clovis and Folsom fluted-point tool industries.

Clovis and Folsom were the respective locations (both of them in New Mexico, U.S.A.) that provided the first evidences of the earliest projectile points associated with the Big Game Hunting Traditions of North America. Clovis points have been reliably dated to between 11,000 and 11,500 years before present. Folsom points, which are usually smaller, more refined and sophisticated than their Clovis antecedents, were actually identified before the Clovis points, and have been dated to about 10,000 B.C.E. Both Clovis and Folsom spearheads were several inches long and were characterized by smoothly fluted or grooved channels extending lengthwise along both faces. Their precision and firepower were revolutionary and awesome; and their rapidly widespread usage, with the increasingly greater food supplies that resulted, laid the basis for steadily larger American populations.

It is of further interest that the first known modern discovery and revelation of the existence of these tool industries was made by an African-American; a tantalizingly and frustratingly obscure, self-taught naturalist and archaeologist named George McJunkin. The son of slaves, McJunkin, whose name may be searched for unsuccessfully in most history books, made the find in 1908 while riding out to check fence posts at a flooded creek. In 1925, three years after McJunkin's death, a dig at the Folsom site revealed a 10,000 year old spear point piercing the ribs of an extinct species of bison. It was McJunkin though, the obscure African-American, who had first documented Folsom points, which were then regarded (this was before the discovery of Ecuador's Punin Skull) "as the first unequivocal evidence of late Ice Age humans ever unearthed in the Americas."

The Clovis-Folsom Point Blacks seem to have come to North America in relatively small numbers. Later migrations of essentially the same physical type populated most of the rest of North America south of Canada. Their movements into the New World were then slowed, and later halted altogether, by the Australoid populations that were already well established in the North American Southwest. The later period Basket Makers of Arizona (the prehistoric culture bearers who eventually evolved into North America's Pueblo peoples) were probably the result of a fusion of Clovis-Folsom Point Blacks with the numerically larger Afro-Australoid populations.

Fossil remains of these early Black folk have been found in Baja, California, northeastern Mexico, Central America and in various parts of South America. Ancient Mongoloids, it now appears, followed the early Black immigrants and, after several thousand years, became the dominant people in the New World. Gladwin himself stated that, "The arrival of the Eskimo along the Arctic Coasts marked a fundamental transition in the anthropological history of North America. It was the last of a series of long-headed migrations, and the broad faces and slant eyes of the Eskimo marked the initial stage of a long period of Mongoloid domination in lands where Mongoloid people had therefore been unknown."

Mongoloid peoples, in fact, were soon coming to the Americas in such massive numbers, crossing the Bering Strait in boats rather than across the Beringia land bridge, that they eventually almost totally absorbed the New World's earlier arrivals. The resulting fusion of peoples constituted the native American populations at the time of the catastrophic European intrusions during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The earlier arrived Blacks (the very first Americans) tended to fade away with increasing rapidity into the shadowy realms of fairy tales, myths and legends. Some native legends of the Americas abound with exploits of early Black people. An Inuit legend, for example, explains that:

"A man and his wife and their only daughter lived in a remote place. Their daughter was outside, working when she saw a big black speck moving along the ground, coming towards her. When it got closer, she realized it was a man with a sledge. The man and the sledge were all black. He came towards the house, stopped, and said to the girl, `I have come to take you with me.' He was black all over, even his face. The girl replied, `Very well. I'll go and tell my parents.' She entered the igloo and the man followed her. He stood outside the door and told the father, `I have come to take your daughter away with me.' The father replied, `I won't have my daughter going away with a black man like you.' The stranger became angry and made a step forward with his right foot. The whole house shook. Then the father said to his daughter, `My daughter, you'll have to go away with this man. This will go badly with us if you don't.' She got ready and left the house, with the stranger behind her. Before leaving, he put his left foot down hard on the floor and the house shook again. He went out, put the girl on the sledge and shoved the sledge because it had no huskies. After a while they saw a house--the man's house. They stopped and entered. Everything inside was black, and his parents also were completely black."

For the Greenlander, the color black symbolizes strength and wisdom--traditionally he was not allowed to wear black boots until he had become a skilled hunter and reached a respectable age--but black is also associated with spirits and occult forces. In the Southwest Indian story of the Emergence, a story that is as important in the region as the Book of Genesis is to Christians, the First World is called the Black World.

Copyright 1998 Runoko Rashidi. All rights reserved.

Beyond Visibility: Rethinking the African Diaspora in Latin America
University of California-Berkeley March 1-2, 2007

Abstract Submission Deadline: November 3, 2006

In recent years there has been an explosion in scholarship that goes beyond recognizing the presence of Afro-Latin Americans and towards interrogating this topic more deeply.  Through this inaugural conference, we intend to build on this momentum--advancing
inter-disciplinary scholarship on the African Diaspora in Latin America by moving towards research that critically engages the theoretical and methodological challenges of this research. Organized by the Afro-Latino Working Group at UC Berkeley's Center for Latin American Studies, we aim to create a forum for graduate students to dialogue with established scholars whose work explores the African Diaspora in Latin America. This
conference will foster new dialogues about race, ethnicity, culture, society, economy, politics and nation in the academic world.

The conference will feature a series of graduate student panels as well as a faculty keynote and roundtable discussion from preeminent scholars working on the African Diaspora in Latin America.  We invite abstract submissions from current graduate students on a diverse array of topics and disciplinary orientations that are both theoretical and empirical in content. The conference is oriented towards graduate students pursuing
projects about the African Diaspora in the Americas (including Mexico, Central and South America, and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean). Specifically, we strongly encourage papers that address under-theorized regions in the Americas as well as comparative and regional works. We offer the following themes as submission suggestions:

*    Theory and Pedagogy: New Directions in the Field
*    Social Movements and the Politics of Race
*    Media and Cultural Representations
*    Identity, Race and Ethnicity
*    Migration and Transnationalism
*    Folklore and National Identity
*    Comparative Historical and Literary Analysis

500 word abstracts should be submitted to the organizing committee via email as word documents or PDF files. Please submit abstracts by November 3, 2006. Submissions should include the abstract, current contact information, presentation title and current C.V. Accepted authors will be notified by December 15, along with full submission guidelines for papers and/or presentations. Full papers are due on January 5. All papers and presentations must be available in English.
Papers will be made available through the Center for Latin American

Submissions and inquiries should be sent to:
  or via USPS to Vielka C. Hoy, Afro-Latino
Working Group, 660 Barrows Hall, #2572, Berkeley, CA 94720.

Please check our website regularly for updated conference and registration information:

Vielka Cecilia Hoy
PhD Student, African Diaspora Studies
Afro-Latino Working Group
University of California-Berkeley

Sent by Alva Moore Stevenson
Program Representative & Series Coordinator
UCLA Center for Oral History Research
Room A253 Bunche Hall, Box 951575
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
310.825.4932 - phone  310.206.2796 - fax

Mimi Lozano
Editor, Somos Primos
I've just discovered your work. I think it is wonderful what you are doing. If we at ChickenBones: A Journal,  ( can be of service do drop us a line.
Rudolph Lewis, Editor
ChickenBones: A Journal for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

Although this website is dedicated to Nathaniel Turner, there is considerable supportive  information of a more general nature, pertaining to Black issues. 

I read an excellent article Propagranda of History by W.E.B. Du Bois which gives examples of strategies used for effecting social-political changes with the manipulation of of words.


Five Civilized Tribes Online
Indigenous Cultures in South Texas
Mickey Gemmill Passs to other side
Aztecs butchered, ate Spanish invaders
Renew the Bond and Discover Your Indian Heritage Today
Link to the Past ... Invest in Your Future.
Find the clues out there that will lead you to your ancestors.
Do it for yourself ... Preserve it for the children. 
3 Months Online Subscribe: $19.95 only $14.95 
or Buy the CD: $39.95 only $34.95 

Five Civilized Tribes Online offers access to view, search, or print all 1,375 pages of the major rolls, just as if you were at the National Archives. Documents are not a retyped edited version, but scanned images of the original rolls: errors & all! 
Five Civilized Tribes Online LIVE DEMO(below) features user-friendly navigation and colorful entertaining research. Discover why genealogy sources refer to these century old original documents. Read Agent's actual handwritten comments, margin-notations, opinions, and remarks. See their scribbled conclusions on the back of a page so flimsy you can see printed text (in reverse) on the opposite side of the paper! Find checkmarks by names and follow arrows drawn from one name to another. Use your word processor to print, or mouse magnifier to enlarge faded names scrawled between lines. 

DEMO Full Online Access to all Four Major Roll DEMO
Dawes Rolls- 634 pgs, Guion Miller Rolls- 343 pgs, Kern-Clifton Roll- 202 pgs, Wallace Rolls- 196 pgs   Sent by Dorina Moreno 

Indigenous Cultures in South Texas

Research Suggestion made by Alonso Marroquin Perales

Thanks to all for a fruitful gathering held in Corpus Christi last weekend. Joe Peña summarized the weekend very well capturing the excitement, the curiosity and the knowledge the permeated at the Omni. I am humbled at having been invited to share my findings. at the gathering. 

I have a suggestion that has been placed in the recesses of my mind for some time and feel that SAGA may well be the vehicle to initiate a study of the Indigenous cultures of South Texas and Northern Mexico. I was honored with an invitation by the Alliance for the Advancement of Indigenous Cultures - a PowWow held in Corpus Christi, Texas to speak. My topic was the Indigenous Cultures of South Texas and Northern Mexico (A Review of the Literature).

In reality, and perhaps not intentionally, the Indigenous Cultures of the area are never included in the history of the Tejano. An when done, it is always presented in a negative mode. My position is that the Indigenous Cultures play a salient part in the development of the Tejano culture but has never been truly recognized as such. This is understandable because only the winners and conquerors write history. 

The Tejano received some nobility from the Indigenous cultures, became a Christian by the Grace of God, formed a mystical thread with Spain through the language, became a Mexican by tradition and an American through destiny. The Native American was part of the development at every step. 

Should SAGA be interested in my paper on the Indigenous Cultures of the area, I will be more than happy to share my findings. 

Again to all who made the weekend a formidable experience, thanks. 
Alonso Marroquin Perales

Mickey Gemmill Passed to other side, May 24, 2006

Mickey Gemmill walked a strong path in honor and dignity at SF State, Native American Studies and the development of ethnic studies during the Alcatraz occupation and take over of the army fort that became DQU. Mickey is remembered with respect and pride for his solid presence.  

The following written by Mark LaBeau.
Sent by Dorinda Moreno 

"In the early morning of May 24, 2006, Mickey Gemmill, long time Native rights and traditional leader, passed on to the other side and now walks, dances, and sings with the ancestors of the Pitt River and Wintu Nations. Throughout his lifetime on Mother Earth, Mickey consistently fought for the needs and rights of Native Peoples against encroaching and foreign social, economic, and political forces. When he was coming of age, he was one of the few people in his generation and in the Pitt River Nation to have the opportunity to learn about life and leadership from the traditional council of leaders and elders of the Nation. This ancient knowledge invariably helped him in his unwavering commitment to take care of the people and the Earth in contemporary times while fulfilling his personal traditional roles and responsibilities.

In the 1970’s Mickey helped lead the movement to establish the Native American Studies Department at S.F. State University that provided an educational program for students to receive accurate knowledge about Natives. During this time period, he also helped lead the occupation of a U.S. military facility that became known as D.Q. University and pave the way for Native students and communities to have an educational institution of their own in which to receive a higher education without having to relinquish their traditions and beliefs. He also helped to lead the takeover of Alcatraz for the benefit of all Native Peoples. Among Mickey’s many accomplishments and good deeds, he is highly revered for helping to lead the occupation and holding of traditional Pitt River Territory for Pitt River People. This territory was illegally taken by the U.S. and he is well known for stating that America has no right claiming, taking or keeping this land, as Pitt River People never sold or relinquished their title to the land. On June 5, 1970, Mickey issued the "Proclamation: To the President and the American People" that stated: "We are the rightful and legal owner of the land. . . No amount of money can buy the Mother Earth; therefore, the California Indian Land Claims Commission has no meaning. The Earth is our Mother and we cannot sell her." Since then, the Pitt River Indians have successfully reoccupied a number of areas of land. Numerous books and documentaries have been produced on the Pitt River struggle to regain their land and Mickey is often cited as being a major leader in this movement. He was elected as Chairman of the Pit River Tribe for two terms and served as a primary writer of the Indian Child Welfare Act. Mickey also spent some time in Alaska helping the Alaska Natives protect their ancestral rights, including claims to their land.

Later in life Mickey helped to bring Ishi’s ashes and brain home to bury his remains in the traditional territory of the Yahi. Upon Ishi’s passing, his brain was taken from his skull and examined in the name of western science and his body burned to grey dust. Of this situation Mickey said he felt morally, legally, and spiritually obligated to help return Ishi so that his spirit could finally go home. In Mickey’s long standing role as a Board Member of the International Indian Treaty Council, he traveled throughout the U.S. and as far away as China to advocate for the protection of Native sacred places and the self-determination rights of the Indigenous Peoples of the western hemisphere. During this time he also helped to convene the sacred and annual Ancestral Run in Traditional Pitt River Country and later became involved in leading the Bear dance ceremonies. Mickey influenced and guided many Natives and non-Natives across the world to not be afraid to stand up for the rights of Natives. All of Mickey’s family and friends love and will miss him dearly. His immediate family includes his wife Valerie and children Michelle, Faith, Michael, Victoria, Mickey, Jr., Nichelle, Brandy, Shasta, Honor, and grandchildren Derek, Levi, Desiree, Camille, Daniel, and Joseph, and mother Irene, and father Jake, and brothers Steven, Arnold, Ira, and sister Sonja.

Note: Mickie's daughter, Faith Gemmill, works at the International Indian Treaty Council.
Contact number for the family, (530) 646-8259.

Eric Hill, a research associate at the University of Alaska Museum, Fairbanks is currently working on a book that explores how and why humans practice sacrifice.  "It's a very common feature of complex societies," she says, "from the ancient Carthaginians to the Aztecs to the prehistoric Iroquois."   Archaelogy, January/February 2004

Aztecs butchered, ate Spanish invaders

Submitted by Kambiz Kamrani on August 25, 2006 - 6:36pm.
The Tecuaque archeological site near Mexico City has yielded the skeletal remains of 550 victims who apparently had their hearts ripped out by Aztec priests in ritual offerings, and were dismembered or had their bones boiled or scraped clean. 

This is a surprising finding because it documents and support accounts of Aztecs capturing and killing a caravan of Spanish conquistadors and local men, women and children traveling with them in revenge for the murder of Cacamatzin, king of the Aztec empire's No. 2 city of Texcoco.

Archaeologists say the discovery proves some Aztecs did resist the conquistadors led by explorer Hernan Cortes, even though history books say most welcomed the Conquistador horsemen in the belief they were returning Aztec gods.

Director of the dig at Calpulalpan in Tlaxcala state, near Texcoco, Enrique Martinez says,
"This is the first place that has so much evidence there was resistance to the conquest. It shows it wasn't all submission. There was a fight."

Martinez added, "It was a continuous sacrifice over six months. While the prisoners were listening to their companions being sacrificed, the next ones were being selected. You can only imagine what it was like for the last ones, who were left six months before being chosen, their anguish."

The captives were kept in cages for months while Aztec priests from what is now Mexico City selected a few each day at dawn, held them down on a sacrificial slab, cut out their hearts and offered them up to various Aztec gods.

Forensic analysis on the remains have shown knife cuts and even teeth marks on the bones show which ones had meat stripped off to be eaten. Some pregnant women in the group had their unborn babies stabbed inside their bellies as part of the ritual.

From CNN's "Aztecs butchered, ate Spanish invaders".
Trackback URL for this post:

[[Editor:  Other points of interest, extract from the following article: 08/23/aztecs.cannibals.reut/index.html ]]

Sent by Jose M. Pena  and  Johanna de Soto  

CALPULALPAN, Mexico (Reuters) 
"This is the first place that has so much evidence there was resistance to the conquest," said archeologist Enrique Martinez, director of the dig at Calpulalpan in Tlaxcala state, near Texcoco.

Priests had to be brought in for the ritual killings because human sacrifices had never before taken place there, Martinez said.

On hearing of the months-long massacre, Cortes renamed the town Tecuaque -- meaning "where people were eaten" in the indigenous Nahuatl language -- and sent an army to wipe out its people.

When they heard the Spanish were coming, the Zultepec Aztecs threw their victims' possessions down wells, unwittingly preserving buttons and jewelry for the archeologists.

"They hid all the evidence," said Martinez. "Thanks to that act, we have been allowed to discover a chapter we were unaware of in the conquest of Mexico."  
Copyright 2006 Reuters. 

Aztecs Butchered, Ate Spanish Invaders

Archaeologists have uncovered a number of skeletons in Tecuaque, near Mexico City, which indicate that the Aztecs didn't just kill, but ritually sacrificed and even ate hundreds of members of the Spanish invasion force. This discovery confirms contemporary Spanish accounts and reveals that the Aztecs did indeed fight back against the Spanish, even if unsuccessfully in the end. Even worse, it took them months to go through and complete the sacrifices for all of the members of this particular caravan.

People who were ritually sacrificed in Aztec culture were typically dressed up in the guise of an Aztec god first and thus it was believed that they were sacrificing a god, not a human being. Consuming portions of the body meant consuming portions of a god — not unlike the Christian eucharist, 


Tunisian Jews
Sephardic Congregations of Croatia
Hidden Jewish Heritage: Exploring a Path to Return
Appendix, Glossary of Terms, Gloria Golden, Part 2: D-L

American Sephardi Federation wishes you and your loved ones, Shana toba! 
Happy New Year from ASF


Congregations of Croatia The Jewish Communities
By Gloria Golden

Many thoughts went through my mind as I prepared to visit the cities of Split and Dubrovnik, both in Croatia. How many Sephardic Jews remained? Were there any Jews with knowledge of an ancestry from Spain or Portugal? Both cities have a long history of a Jewish presence. Jews have been present in Split for about 2000 years, and Sephardic Jews arrived in Dubrovnik after their expulsion from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492. Many Iberian Jews came to these areas and stayed while others passed through on their way to the Ottoman Empire.

Our tour guide, Vjenceslaav Zatkovic, a Croation living in Slovenia, provided us with some idea as to the location of the synagogue in Split. After walking up and down the narrow streets of the area to which we were directed, all hope of finding a synagogue faded. My husband and I continued asking residents of the city for directions, and finally, one gentleman offered to walk us to the synagogue entrance. It was located in an ordinary building without any markers indicating its existence. As we entered, a lecture to an Israeli group was in progress. Soft spoken Ana Lebl was the lecturer and her English was excellent. She spoke of Daniel Rodriguez, a Spanish Jew, and other Sephardic Jews who came from Portugal and Bosnia in the 16th century. Daniel came from Portugal to Split, which belonged to the Republic of Venice at that time. He was an important figure for the Jewish community and the city of Split. Under his leadership, the harbor was enlarged, and he brought Jews from Venice.

The synagogue had 250 members before WW II. 150 Jews survived after the war, and today there are about 100 members belonging to the congregation. The congregation is presently comprised of Ashkenazim (Eastern European Jews) and Sephardim (Iberian Jews). Split served as a refuge for Jews during WW II and during the last war between Bosnia and Croatia. A huge percentage of the Jewish population lost their lives in the concentration camps.

Although much has been lost, the congregation holds a community Seder for Passover. It is a Sephardic-type Seder.

It’s difficult to find a minyan (quorum required for Jewish communal worship). However, the community is not religious, and the synagogue is not often used for prayer. Approximately 25 people usually come to services on Friday evening but don’t meet much on Saturday morning. Yet, the Jewish community is an active community, and Kiddush, blessing over wine, is recited in the community center. The Jews of Split are in all professions.

On a personal note: Until two years ago, Ana Lebl thought she was an Ashkenazi Jew. She discovered that part of her family was Sephardic. One ancestor from the Sephardi branch is Theodor Herzl, founder of the Zionist movement.

The synagogue is in big need of repairs. Since the synagogue is part of Croatia’s national heritage, the hope is that the government will provide the necessary assistance for the Jewish community.

When I asked about crypto-Jews (Jews forced to convert to Catholicism 500 years ago and still practicing Jewish rituals in secret), Ana said, "If there are any, they’re more likely to live in the northern part of Croatia, not along the coast. Since this is a small area, Split Jews know everyone."

Before making the trip, I heard that Dubrovnik had the second oldest Sephardic synagogue in Europe. I expected much as I approached the synagogue, located on a very narrow street called "Jewish Street". This building was indistinguishable from the other buildings in the area, except for a small sign on the entrance door--SINAGOGA. Also indicated on the door were the hours for visiting the synagogue and Jewish Museum, both located in the same building. As we left, tour groups were about to enter. Coming from the United States, where there are so many large Jewish communities, it was shocking to discover that only forty-five Jews live in Dubrovnik.

A young man, responsible for requesting an entrance fee, was the only person present when we visited the synagogue in Dubrovnik. We had difficulty with communication, and so he offered to sell us a small brochure, which explained some history of the Jews in this area. It stated the following: "Historical documents from Dubrovnik State Archives confirm the fact that a large number of Jews passed through the city harbor at the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century, from where they continued their journey inland towards the Ottoman Empire. During that huge wave of migration, caused by the expulsion from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492, some Sephardic Jewish families decided to stay on in Dubrovnik."

Hopefully, the Jewish citizens of these Croatian cities, as well as tourists, will continue to visit the synagogues for many years to come. Descendants of Sephardim who came to the New World might find a connection to the Jews who settled in this part of the world.

Hidden Jewish Heritage: Exploring a Path to Return
Sent by Jane Reifer

Denver, CO (August 5, 2006) - Over the past thirty years, there has been a growing movement of Hispanos discovering the Jewish Heritage. These Hispanos have come to realize that they are descendants of Jews from Spain and Portugal that settled in the American Southwest and whom had to hide their Jewish identity due to the Spanish Inquisition. As this information has been revealed there has been a desire from these
descendants of Hidden Jews to reconnect to their Jewish roots and to truly understand what it means to be Jewish. To facilitate this process, B'nai Sephardim of Colorado is hosting a symposium to help foster the return of Hispanos to their Jewish heritage. The symposium (Hidden Jewish Heritage: Exploring a Path to Return) will be held on Sunday, September 10, 2006 at the Radisson Denver Southeast from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Admission is free and the Symposium is open to the public. From the historical, genealogical, and personal perspectives, this symposium will cover the gamete of issues of interest to those with Hidden Jewish ancestry.

The event is sponsored by B'nai Sephardim of Colorado. B'nai Sephardim of Colorado is committed to bringing together the descendants of Hidden Jews through education, community outreach, and advocacy.

For more information on the Hidden Jewish Heritage Symposium or B'nai Sephardim of Colorado, please call (970) 980-1524 or visit our website

Michael Fajardo
B'nai Sephardim of Colorado 
phone: 970.980.1524

Remnants of Crypto-Jews Among Hispanic Americans
By: Gloria Golden ©2005

APPENDIX, Glossary, Part 2: D-L


Information and definitions offered in the appendix confirm Jewish practices or vestiges of Jewish practices mentioned in the oral histories.


"The dreidel originated around 175 B.C. This would have been during the persecution of the Jews, under the Seleucid King Antiochus IV. He was commonly known as 'Epimanes' the 'Mad One,' a play on his official title 'Epiphanes,' the 'Divinely Manifest.' He banned study of Torah and worship in the Temple. Antiochus attempted to introduce pagan rites in Jerusalem. He ordered all holy books confiscated and burned. The Jews of ancient Judea continued to pray and study Torah in secret. During these study sessions, small spinning fops were kept on the table top. IfAntioch's soldiers entered the house, the holy books were hidden. Everyone pretended to be playing a simple gambling game with small tops, thereby averting disaster.

"As a result of persecution under the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions, many Jews went underground and continued to practice Judaism in secret. Some of the children played with a 4-sided spinning top called a 'frompos,' similar to a dreidel. On the sides were written in Spanish 'take all,' 'put back,' 'take one' and 'nothing.' Compare to the dreidel; Nun (nothing), Gimmei (all), Shin (put in one)and He (take half). Some of these customs are said to be typical of Hispanics in the Southwestern United States, whose ancestors went north to avoid the Inquisition."57

According to a response from Maria on sadadessefared(S), "Both my parents used to play with them, and so did I. My Mother thought it was Just a children's toy in Portugal. I don't know what my Dad thought, because he is no longer here. In Portugal we play by spinning, and the fetters are written as RTDP-R = Rapa (meaning Takes all) T=77ra (take it), D=De/xa (leave it), and P=Poe (put back-no play). It took me years in the States to figure out it was a Jewish tradition and used during a particular holiday."58

Temple Emanuel of Cleveland, Ohio explains Chanukah Traditions. The Dreidel: "The word 'dreidel' comes from the German word dreihen (to spin). The dreidel was a popular toy in medieval Germany. Historians claim that the dreidel was originally a 3-sided top used as a German Christmas toy. The game itself is not German in origin, but rather, the Germans borrowed the game from the Greeks and Romans."59

Edict of Expulsion (The Alhambra Decree)
"This is the decree of expulsion promulgated by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain in 1492, which forced the Spanish Jews, the Sephardim, to leave Spain forever.... You well know that in our dominion, there are certain bad Christians thatjudaized and committed apostasy against our 'Holy Catholic faith, much of it the cause of communications between Jews and Christians. Therefore, in the year 1480, we ordered that the Jews be separated from the cities and towns of our domains and that they be given separate quarters, hoping that by such separation the situation would be remedied. And we ordered that and an Inquisition be established in such domains; and in twelve years it has functioned, the Inquisition has found many guilty persons.

"Furthermore, we are informed by the Inquisition and others that the great harm done to the Christians persists, and it continues because of the conversations and communications that they have with the Jews, such Jews trying by whatever manner to subvert our holy Catholic faith and trying to draw faithful Christians away from their beliefs.

"These Jews instruct these Christians in the ceremonies and observances of their Law, circumcising their children, and giving them books with which to pray, and declaring unto them the days of fasting, and meeting with them to teach them the histories of their Law.. .. Therefore, with the council and advice of the eminent men and cavaliers of our reign, and of other persons of knowledge and conscience of our Supreme Council, after much deliberation, it is agreed and resolved that all Jews and Jewesses be ordered to leave our kingdoms, and that they never be allowed to return."60

"In many ways, Jewish history is the story of the education of a people. From the beginning, many great Jewish leaders were also great teachers who spoke to the world through the Jewish people. When the world's mystery and wonder were fresh in the human mind, the patriarch Abraham thought about its mystery and wondered about its Creator. He discarded his father's idols and began to teach his tribe to believe in one God. Thus, the founder of the Jewish people was also the first teacher in Jewish history. Moses, the Lawgiver who led the people to freedom, was called rabbenu, our teacher. He taught the children of Israel during their years of wandering, and he designated times when the people should come together and study. When the Children of Israel settled in the Promised Land and were ruled by judges, there were no schools, so knowledge was handed down by word of mouth from father to son, mother to daughter."61

"Education came to be of utmost importance in the life of the people. After the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans, the rabbis taught that study, like prayer, was a form of worship and a substitute for sacrifices. During the Talmudic period in Babylonia, the rabbis set up a complete, lifelong system of education that began at the age of five or six."62

"The education system begun in Palestine and developed in Babylonia moved with the people wherever they went. By the 11th century, persecution and intolerance had driven the Jews out of Babylonia. The great centers dwindled and almost disappeared, and Jews set up new communities in Spain, Italy, France, and Germany."63

"During the Middle Ages, when even princes and nobles were illiterate, the Jewish community had many scholars and honored them above other men."64

Empanadas were quite popular during medieval times in Europe. They were eaten by most people including the Jews and converses of Iberia. The empanadas are "pies or pastries" that contained "meat, vegetables, and fish" for the filling.65

"The traditional empanada is a six inch turnover filled with either sweet yam or pumpkin. Apple, peach or pineapple can also be used as filler. . . . The smaller empanadita usually measures about three to four inches as a finished product. The empanaditas of New Mexico and turcos of South Texas are one and the same. They are the traditional Jewish knishes, meat filled turnovers."66

"Converses tended to prefer other converses as spouses for several reasons. For some it was a matter of business:
They hoped to keep family money and property within the converse enclave. Much more important, those families which were struggling to keep the Jewish traditions vital and who lived with the Inquisition looking over their shoulders were extremely reluctant to run the risk of having an 'outsider' scrutinize their religious practices and perhaps disclose the Judaizing (or allegedly Judaizing) customs of converse members."67

"One of the customs the crypto-Jews kept, in order to attain redemption and expiate their guilt for conversion to Catholicism, was fasting. Although Jewish law mandates fasting only on Yom Kippur, Mexican Jews fasted several times during the year. People also had to keep their fasting from servants. One tactic was to send servants away on errands during mealtimes, when the food was thrown away."68

"After Yom Kippur, the most important fasting occasion was Purim, a holiday which celebrated Queen Esther and her confession of her faith to her husband, the King, in order to save the Jews."69

"Judaism is not just a set of beliefs about God, man and the universe, Judaism is a comprehensive way of life, filled with rules and practices that affect every aspect of life: what you do when you wake up in the morning, what you can and cannot eat, what you can and cannot wear, how to groom yourself, how to conduct business, who you can marry, how to observe the holidays and Sabbaths, and perhaps most important, how to behave towards God, other people, and animals. This set of rules and practices is known as halakhah"70

"At the heart of halakhah is the unchangeable 613 mitzvot that God gave to the Jewish people in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). The word 'mitzvah' means commandment. . . . Some of the mitzvot are clear, explicit commands in the Bible (thou shalt not murder; to write words of Torah on the doorposts of your house), others are more implicit (the mitzvah to recite grace after meals, which is inferred from 'and you will eat and be satisfied and bless the LORD your God'), and some can only be ascertained by Talmudic logic (that a man shall not commit incest with his daughter, which is derived from the commandment not to commit incest with his daughter's daughter)."71
See also Mitzvot

"The Feast of Dedication and Lights, which falls on the 25th of Kislev and lasts for eight days. It marks the rededication of the Temple by Judah Maccabee in 165 B.C.E. after his victory over the Syrians who had defiled the sanctuary. Tradition relates that Judah could find only a single cruse of oil which had not been contaminated by the enemy. Although it contained only enough oil to light the menorah for one day, a miracle took place, and it burned for eight. Therefore, candles are lit throughout the holiday, one on the. eve of the first day, two on the eve of the second, and so forth, until eight are kindled on the last evening."72

According to Ramon Santa Maria, in his book, Ritos y costumbres de los hebreos espanoles, "Although the festival of Hanukkah has assumed major importance in twentieth-century Western culture, probably because of its close proximity to Christmas, it appears to have been of minor significance in pre- or post-Expulsion Iberia. There are a few references from around the time of the Expulsion to Spanish Jews celebrating the holiday. Only two pre-Expulsion Spanish Hanukkah lamps are known to survive. A memorandum prepared for Inquisitors in the late fifteenth century says that Judaizers 'celebrate the Feast of Candles and they light them one at a time up to ten, and then they blow them out; and they pray Jewish prayers'" (qtd. in Gitlitz 376).73

"The special courts set up by the Catholic Church to check the spread of heretical opinion among the faithful, first formed in the 13th century. It was most active, however, in Spain, where it began in 1480. In time, the dreaded activities of this agency of the Church came to be directed mainly at ferreting out the Marranos, Jews who had been forcibly converted to Christianity and were found secretly observing the practices of Judaism.

"It is estimated that in 350 years of Inquisition activities (roughly from 1480 to 1821), about 400,000 Jews were brought before these ecclesiastical tribunals; 30,000 were put to death. Punishment was carried out in public squares to serve both as a warning and a demonstration of 'the glory of the Church.' Hence, an inquisitorial execution was known as auto-da-fe, an act of faith."74

"There were six hundred thousand to one million converses in Spain at the time, representing about 7 percent of the total population."75

According to Juan Antonio Llorente, in his book, Histoire Critique cte I'lnquisition d'Espagne, "By December 1482, two thousand women and men had been burned in Seville, two thousand more had been burned in effigy, and seventeen thousand had been 'reconciled' with varying degrees of punishment.... Converses were objects of a nationwide hunt, the focus of an exploding racist consciousness masquerading under the cloak of religion" (qtd. in Paris 166).76

Jewish Saints
"[An] example of syncretism was the late adoption by crypto-Jewish communities of a set of 'Jewish saints' similar to Christian saints in their ability to work miracles and intercede with the deity. Moses figured large in this slate, as did Esther: their popularity derived from the fact that they each were seen as the savior of the Jewish people from alien religious oppression."77

"Practicing Judaism secretly. . . . That a large number of Brazil's colonizers were judaizers is a fact Inquisition trial records make abundantly clear. One must keep in mind that the simple act of bathing on Fridays could be construed as 'a lapse into Judaism', setting in motion an inquest certain to end badly for the accused."78

"One of the most ancient prayers in the Jewish prayer book, generally recited in the synagogue during religious services. It became popular as the mourner's prayer. . . . The mourner's Kaddish is recited at synagogue services for eleven months and on every anniversary of the relative's death."79

"Prior to the Expulsion crypto-Jews might even contract with openly practicing Jews to recite the Kaddish in their stead for their departed relatives or even for themselves. ... As with many converse rituals, this one evolved over the centuries as the traditional prayers were forgotten and converses composed others to take their place. One of the most complete prayers was preserved in the Mexican archives when in 1642 Rafael de Granada recalled for Inquisitors-in somewhat garbled fashion-a mourning prayer his mother Maria de Rivera had taught him, which was to be recited during the Wednesday fasts for the souls of the departed."80

"Observance of the laws of kashrut has been a unifying factor for the Jewish people throughout the ages, continually seT\Ang to verrond Jews of their roots.

"The primary dietary laws are set forth in the Book of Leviticus, where a list of kosher and nonkosher animals is given. The rationale for these laws is not elucidated. The Bible merely states that the laws be observed because 'I am the Lord that brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. Ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy' (Leviticus 11:44).

"Holiness is the only reason given in the Bible for the observance of the dietary laws."81

"The Bible reiterates many times that blood may not be consumed because blood symbolizes the very essence and distinctiveness of man (Leviticus 3:17 and Deuteronomy 13:23-25). Based on this, the Rabbis of the Talmud concluded that when an animal is killed for food, care must be taken that as much blood as possible is drained off before eating the meat.

"When an animal is slaughtered in accordance with Jewish ritual law, the jugular vein is severed, the animal dies instantaneously, and the maximum amount of blood leaves the body."82

"The religious [belief) of the Jews of the late sixteenth and most of the seventeenth century. ... [is that] one must not eat pork or anything of the pig. Only flesh of animals that chew the cud is permitted. Fish without scales are prohibited. All fowl must be decapitated and the blood drained from them and from all animals to be eaten. No animal blood or suet may be eaten."83

"The method of [ritual] slaughter is a quick, deep stroke across the throat with a perfectly sharp blade with no nicks or unevenness. This method is painless, causes unconsciousness within seconds, and is widely recognized as the most humane method of slaughter possible. . . . [It] ensures rapid, complete draining of the blood."84

"The thigh vein and surrounding suet was always removed. The removal of the vein was called landrecilla (porging). This practice often resulted in the exposure of a Jew. Hindquarters were discarded."85

Ramon Santa Maria, in his book, Ritos y costumbres de los hebreos espanoles, informs us: "As explained in the late fifteenth century, 'removing the sciatic vein from the legs of cattle, before they are cooked, is in remembrance of when the Angel fought with Jacob and he was left lame; and because of this the children of Israel do not eat the nerve in the leg nor the fat which is connected to it, which is the sciatic vein, as is written at the end of Genesis'" (qtd. in Gitlitz 547).86

According to Rafael de Lera Garcia, in his book, La ultima gran persecucion inquisitorial contra el criptojudaismo: el Tribunal de Cuenca, 1718-1725, "Jews and most Judaizing converses shunned animals that had been killed by strangling, which was the normal practice among Christians, In fact, as late as 1720 an auto de fe in Madrid identified twenty families whose Judaizing included abstaining from eating foul that had been slaughtered by strangling.

"Kosher butchers [according to Santa Maria] routinely | covered the spilled blood with dirt or with ashes.... [According to Angela Seike de Sanchez, in her book, Los Chuetas y la Inquisicion: Vida y muerte en el ghetto de Mallorca,] In 1688 someone called 7a Moyaneta' explained the custom this way: "blood was the animals' soul, and therefore God ordered it to be covered'" (qtd. in Gitlitz 545).87

Santa Maria further states: "Jews bury the blood of the fowl they slaughter because it is a commandment of their law, and because the blood of fowl was not customarily used for sacrifice to God, as was the blood of other animals, as is written in the third of the five books of Moses."88

"[Richard Santos'] grandfather, a chef by trade, killed fowl in two different manners.... The 'chicken killing knives' were different from the 'meat slicing knives' which were different from the "vegetable knives'. When on the field as a chef for H. B. Zachry (highway construction) Company, Manuel Almeida usually killed chickens by wringing off the neck. . . . One grabs a chicken (or turkey) by the neck and whirls it about until the fowl is decapitated. The fowl is then hung upside down and its blood is allowed to drip into a tin can or hole in the ground."89

The method of killing chickens in the Southwest may be related to the Kapparot ritual, explained as follows:

"Kapparot is a custom in which the sins of a person are symbolically transferred to a fowl. It is practiced by some Jews shortly before Yom Kippur. First, selections from Isaiah 11:9, Psalms 107:10, 14, and 17-21, and Job 33:23-24 are recited; then a rooster (for a male) or a hen (for a female) is held above the person's head and swung in a circle three times, while the following is spoken: This is my exchange, my substitute, my atonement; this rooster (or hen) shall go to its death, but I shall go to a good, long life, and to peace.' The hope is that the fowl, which is then donated to the poor for food, will take on any misfortune that might otherwise occur to the one who has taken part in the ritual, in punishment for his or her sins."90

Separation of Meat and Dairy
"On three separate occasions, the Torah tells us not to 'boil a kid in its mother's milk' (Exodus 23,19; Exodus 34,26;
Deuteronomy 14,21). The Oral Torah explains that this passage prohibits eating meat and dairy together. . . . This separation includes not only the foods themselves, but the utensils, pots and pans with which they are cooked, the plates and flatware from which they are eaten, the dishwashers or dishpans in wish they are cleaned, and the towels on which they are dried."91

Key-the Key from Spain

"According to legend, when the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, they took with them the keys to their homes and synagogues hoping that one day they would return. They never did, but their Spanish cultural heritage remained a powerful influence in their lives."92

"My grandmother used to keep all her keys, and there were so many. I don't know where they all came from. I have most of them now. I don't know why she had that custom. I read that the people who left Portugal and Spain long ago, used to take their keys with them in their journey of the unknowns, in hope of returning one day. The Mayor of Castelo de Vide told us that descendants of those who left had returned to visit the town of their ancestors, bringing with them drawings and keys that the ancestors had handed down from generation to generation. It was interesting that even the house of the midwife was drawn on a map."93

Laco Ritual (Wedding Rituals)
"[A wedding ritual among the secret Jews of Portugal is] to bind the bride and groom's hands with a white cloth while a prayer is said."94

"Few of these customs have survived into modern times except in Portugal, where several two-ceremony weddings- a Catholic church wedding and a Jewish wedding replete with rings and the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-have been reported. [Samuel] Schwarz, [in his book, Os Cristaos-novos em Portugal no seculo XX], describes one of these weddings. Several days before the civil ceremony the bride and groom, each with two friends, stood among their families. A family member joined their hands, bound them with a linen cloth, and pronounced a blessing: 'In the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, I join you into one. May you fulfill His benediction.' To judge from other reports, the most important aspect of this ceremony was the joining of new spouses' hands" (qtd. in Gitlitz 257).95

Lactose Intolerance
"Persons with lactose intolerance lack sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose or milk sugar. When milk products are consumed, the lactose remains undigested in the intestine; in some people, it then causes gastrointestinal pain, bloating, cramps, flatulence and diarrhea.'196 "Population groups displaying proportions of lactose malabsorption (80-100%) are generally found in geographic areas in which dairying or adult milk usage has never, until perhaps recently, been a part of the culture. In the absence of genetic challenge, no evolution has occurred. These areas include the majority of the world's population; American Indians and Eskimos; most Mediterranean and Near Eastern groups. . . . Finally, a small group in the mid-range of lactose malabsorption prevalence (30-60%) is found to be dominated by populations whose ancestry is mixed-absorbers (milk users) and malabsorbers. These include: some American Blacks, African Arab mixes, Eskimo-Finnish people, and Mexican-Americans among others (Simmons, F.J. 1978)."97

"(Judeo-Spanish). When the Jews left Spain in 1492, the Spanish language was on the verge of change. The old form is preserved today only in the Jewish dialect called Ladino. It is also called Spaniolish or Castiliano. It is spoken by Sephardic Jews in Turkey, the Balkans, part of North Africa, in Israel, and theAmericas. .. . From the beginning, Ladino included Hebrew words. Later, it picked up Arabic, Turkish, Greek, French, and Italian words."98

Magen David
"Literally, shield of David. The six-cornered star made by overlapping two triangles is an ancient and widespread symbol. Many ancient architectural ruins carry the engraving of this Hebrew seal. The 3rd- or 4th-century synagogue dug up in Capernaum, Israel, has not only the six-pointed Magen David upon it, but also the rarer five-pointed Seal of Solomon.'199

"The Holy Office officials never used the word' Marrano.""100

"Marrano, meaning 'hog' or 'swine,' is included in government records as early as 965. Antonio Dominguez Ortiz reports that in the thirteenth century it was a criminal offense punished by a fine and jail to call a person a marrano. ... By the late fourteenth century, the word assumed a pejorative sense. By the fifteenth century, it was applied by Jews to other Jews who became sincere converts to Christianity."101


Two Reports on the 2006 Texas Conference:  
      Jose M. Pena and Viola Rodriguez Sadler
Index to the Baptismal Registers of Revilla 1751-1803
Oct. 6-7: Tejano Book Festival 
South Texas counties poorest in nation, according to Census
Robert Chapa Sr. was a Champion for the Poor       
Texas History is Rich and Colorful: Tejano Heritage Month
Clayton Library New Manager, Susan Kaufman 
Texas to Unveil Portrait of Tejano Pioneer  Re-dedication 
Historic Home on Whitte Campus to Re-Open for Tejano Heritage Month

Report on the Texas Conference on Hispanic Genealogy and History Conference 
by Jose M. Pena  JMPENA

The conference started on August 31 and ended on September 3, 2006 and was attended by approximately 200 genealogists and historical enthusiasts. Needless to say, the interchange of information was formidable. Thanks to the tremendous efforts rendered by Mira Smithwick and all members of SAGA, the conference was a huge success. Mira and SAGA members: Congratulations on an Excellent Conference.

Here are the details. The first night started with a visit to the Corpus Christi Texas A&M campus and the archives. 

Friday was an awfully busy day. Twelve family surnames were discussed, following a two track system. The names discussed included: (a) Trevino, (b) Guerra, (c) Lozano, (d) Benavides, (e) Gutierrez, (f) De La Garza, (g) Garcia, (h) Hinojosa, (i) Elizondo, (j) Gonzalez, (k) Canales, and (l) Martinez. The evening was marked by an exceptional two hours of socializing -- music provided by a combo and there was some dancing.

Saturday was once again a really busy day. Dr. Andres Tijerina started out the day with an inspirational talk on "Leadership in Tejano Family History." Dr. Tijerina is certainly one of those gifted and exceptional speakers that every hispanic conference should invite. 

The rest of the day was divided into two tiers:

Jose M. Pena (myself) was given a great opportunity to present a summary of my recently published book called "Inherit the Dust From the Four Winds of Revilla." I felt that my lecture went very well and was well received by a very attentive audience. Thanks SAGA and I will continue to pass the message of my book through similar lectures in the future.

Dr. Joe Chance gave a presentation on Jose Maria de Jesus Carvajal: the Life and Times of a Mexican Revolutionary.

Irma Salinas Holtkamp discussed Research Methods for Hispanic Genealogy. Irma, a New Mexico librarian, spends her day surrounded by documented history – but she believes there is much more to read about between the lines. Everyone has a story to tell, not just those recorded in history books. People need to get a sense of who they are. She has used genealogy to research her family’s past for 30 years. “It is important for all of us to record our roots.”

Dr. Alonso Marroquin Perales presented his findings on the name of Marroquin and its connection to the Arab culture of Morocco. I was extremely happy to see and hear my friend, Dr Perales, since it had been nearly 40 years when both of us served and were friends in Ecuador; he was a Fulbright Student and I was a Foreign Service Officer. We had lost contact for many years. The rhythmic Arabic music he played and the Galibeas (typical Arabic dress) he displayed also brought back fond memories of my three-year assignment in Egypt. 

The Awards Luncheon was exceptional. Awards were given to very worthy individuals, including the Carlos McDermott family and Vice Commander Aurora Saenz. Appreciation Awards to AT&T representatives were given to Kelly Curbow and Sandra Alvarez. SAGA's awards also included: Clotilde P. Garcia Award TO Dr. Andres Tijerina; SAGA Preservation Award-Cemetery TO Andres and Jovita Saenz; Escandon Award TO Homero and Leticia Vera, as well as TO Minerva Overstreet; SAGA Family History Award TO Berta Gomez and TO State Representatiave Juan Manuel Escobar and Good Neighbor Award TO Mimi Lozano Holtzman (Somos Primos) and TO John Inclan from Phoenix, Arizona. I was extremely happy to see that MIMI LOZANO and SOMOS PRIMOS, got a most deserving recognition. Congratulations to all.
Photo by Viola Sadler

Once again, the afternoon was divided. Martha Duron Jimenez could not attend; she had been scheduled to give a presentation on Familias Endogamicas en Saltillo y los Altos de Jalisco. Eduardo Hinojosa gave a presentation on Marriages de Agualeguas, Nuevo Leon. Dr. Ray Fernandez, Medical Examiner of Nueces County, gave a futuristic presentation on the use of DNA in genealogy. Guillermo Garmendia Leal gave a very enlightening discussion on El Valle de Las Salinas y el Carrizal, areas in the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Dr. Manuel Flores, CCISD School Board President, and Mrs. Rosa Flores showcased prints done by Mrs. Flores of Tejano heroes and discussed how this information will be disseminated in the schools in the a future project. Irma Holtkamp, the last speaker on Saturday, discussed Internet Resources for Hispanic Genealogy. Both of Mrs. Holtkamp’s power point handouts are available from Mira Smithwick,

At night, we visited the beautiful Corpus Christi Museum of History and Science. For those of you visiting the city in the future, the Museum is a must see. 

According to those who attended, the Mariachi Mass on Sunday was extraordinary. The final speaker, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, is a Corpus Christi native and author. A young, charismatic, ebullient, and enthusiastic lecturer, she talked about her travels to Russia, China, Cuba, Mexico and of her work researching the stories of undocumented immigrants. She has traced her own ancestry back to one of the first King Ranch workers, her great-great-great grandfather, Juan de Dios Silva. Griest said her study of other cultures has made her proud of her own. She commented “My ancestors have really been a part of this great Tejano legacy.”

As can be seen, I was extremely impressed with the organization and efforts that were put into this exceptional conference. I was, however, sorry to see that some of my friends were not able to attend the conference, including Mimi Lozano, Jerry and
Gloria Benavides, Jose Felipe de la Pena, Jose O. Guerra, Norma Salinas, and others. We were very happy to see Arturo Garza (Hogar of Dallas) attend this year's conference. Thank you Art and Trudy.

In the President's Meeting held on Sunday morning, the presidents of the genealogy groups in Texas, voted on the 2007 and 2008 conference locations, which follows:



Once again, congratulations to SAGA on a job well-done.


Report and photos by Viola Rodriguez Sadler, SHHAR Board member and Conference presenter. 

27"' Annual Texas Conference on Hispanic Genealogy and History, Aug 31 - Sept 3, 2006—"Connecting Our Families", hosted by Spanish American Genealogical Association (SAGA), Omni Bayfront Hotel, Corpus Christi, TX.

Mimi, I accepted the award for you in all humility. Thanked SAGA for giving you this deserved recognition, and assured all present that you were greatly appreciative and thrilled to receive the award. Told those present that you were tireless in getting out Somos Primos every month, and if anyone there was not currently subscribed to give their email address to Cris Rendon (who was standing) another of our Board members, and also a conference presenter. I said that there were no dues to join SHHAR, just email us on the web, and they would be notified monthly.

My sister Yolanda Rodriguez Guerra was my guest at the luncheon and I asked her to help me with the "Pied Piper of Saipan" poster presentation. Laura Garcia, Librarian of the Corpus Christi Public Library and Alicia G. Salinas, Librarian of the Alice Public Library each accepted a copy of the Henry Godines's rendition of Guy Gabaldon's heroics. I gave a short account of who Guy Gabaldon was and why he should receive the Medal of Honor. The poignant part was my announcement that Guy had passed away the day before.

Luncheon Speaker
Dr. Tom Kreneck from Texas A & M, Corpus Christi, was the keynote speaker. He focused on the life of Dr. Clotide Garcia and her contributions not only to genealogists, but to the entire Hispanic community.

Looking forward. . . 2007 Texas Conference

Texas Hispanic Genealogy Conference,
Austin, Texas, September 6-9, 2007. 
Conference, Austin, Texas, September 6-9, 2007. 

The focus of the conference will be "Learning Tours" to acquaint those attending with the wealth of resources in Austin, namely the Bexar Archives at the Center for American History and the Benson Latin American Collection both at University of Texas; the Catholic Chancery Archives; the Texas General Land Office; and the Lorenzo de Zavala State Library, Genealogy Section. 

Secondary tour sites will include the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum, the State Capitol, the LDS Research Center, and the LBJ Presidential Library. The conclusion to the conference will be a "Tejano Gala" for which the dress code is 1820's Tejano attire or Tejano chic (tux, jeans and botas). The conference center is scheduled to be the Radisson Hotel. Sounds inviting.

Geneva Sanchez and Dr. Andres Tijerina are the co-chairs for the 2007 Texas Hispanic Genealogy . . . 

"Guerrero is a fine looking and well constructed town, situated on the northern bank of the Salado. The houses are built of a kind of marble or stone, with flat roofs, surrounded by a wall. The streets and public squares (of which there are two) are well laid off, and the whole place presents an appearance of elegance and neatness. There is one cathedral in the place and several large public buildings. The inhabitants have fine gardens and throughout the place there are numerous groves of orange trees, that give it a most luxuriant and smiling appearance. I could not but regret that civilized people did not inhabit it."1

This contemporary description of Guerrero was given in 1842 by a member of the Somervell Expedition—an expedition composed of mostly Anglo-Texan adventurers. At the time, the villa was nearing its hundred years of existence. Notwithstanding the viewpoint on the people of Guerrero, a rather ironic one considering that a few days earlier this observer had participated in the sacking and raping of the women of the upriver village of Laredo—a village that by legislative fiat was supposedly part of the Republic of Texas, one nonetheless gets the sense of the serene beauty that this Mexican village of Guerrero presented to the visitor. Sadly, today one can only try to imagine the fragrance of orange blossoms permeating Guerrero during the spring.

Established during the late colonial period as part of the Colony of Nuevo Santander, this venerable, historic, and water-entombed villa today beacons out to many in Northeastern Mexico, South Texas and beyond as their ancestral home. Just as important, perhaps, is that Guerrero and its inhabitants participated in the history of a colonial superpower in the New World as well as in the histories of four young republics, one which was still-born.

This page, then, is dedicated to all things about Guerrero Viejo, Tamaulipas (known as Revilla during colonial times). As more information on Guerrero Viejo gets collected and formatted, it'll be placed here. In essence, this page will be a work that is continously in progress. For those of you who have roots here, welcome home!


2310 SW Military Dr. at IH 35
Friday Oct. 6, 3-7pm Saturday Oct 7, noon-5pm

DAN ARELLANO, “TEJANO ROOTS.” Over a thousand Tejanos sacrificed their lives for liberty and freedom at “The Battle of Medina,” …the forgotten history of the Tejanos, these first sons and daughters of the State of Texas, unknown and unrecognized, for their ultimate sacrifice.

VIRGIL FERNANDEZ, “HISPANIC MILITARY HEROES.” Read about the 42 Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients, WWII and Korea fighter aces, Generals, Admirals and Astronauts, and female veterans and spies.

ROBERT VILLARREAL, “LOS VAQUEROS DE SARITA,” a history of the vaqueros from Sarita starting in the 1880’s. It includes cultural and social customs and many old photographs. “Atanasia” a Mexican and Western movie combination that took over 9 years to make.

DAN CASTRO, “CRITICAL CHOICES,” the three critical choices that heroes tend to make when faced with extreme obstacles and how these same critical choices can make all the difference in your life.


South Texas counties poorest in nation, according to Census
By Juan A Lozano, Associated Press Writer
Sent by JD Villarreal

[Census data for Starr County is included as part of Hidalgo County. This is due to the fact that the Texas Employment Commission was no longer  housed in Starr County; instead, it was in Hidalgo County. ] 

HOUSTON — Texas has some of the poorest counties in the nation and continues to have the highest rate of uninsured individuals. But it also has cities with some of the largest household incomes in the country, according to figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Census.

"We are a very diverse state," said state demographer Steve Murdock.  But Murdock said income, poverty and health insurance coverage information released Tuesday by the Census in two reports — the 2005 American Community Survey and the Current Population Survey — did not yield many surprises about Texas.

"We're pretty much where we were on these parameters in 2000," he said. "As we've been for a number of years, we had the highest percentage in the country of uninsured" at 24.6 percent.

Texas was the fifth poorest state, eighth in poverty among the elderly, 49th on the percent of people with a high school diploma and the state's median household income of $42,139 ranked 35th, Murdock said.

Information from the 2005 American Community Survey, which gives a measure of the country's economic well-being, showed that Cameron and Hidalgo counties in South Texas had the lowest median household incomes for counties and places with populations of 250,000 or more.

Hidalgo County's median household income was $24,501 while Cameron County's was $24,684. The median household income for the United States was $46,242.

"Among the larger counties, Cameron and Hidalgo had the highest poverty rates at about 41 percent, which is consistent with their low position on the ranking by median household income," said David Johnson, chief of the U.S. Census Bureau's Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division.

Other Texas counties that made the survey's top 10 list of U.S. counties with the lowest median household incomes that had 250,000 or more people were El Paso at $30,968 and Lubbock at $35,189. In this same population category, the city of El Paso ranked 10th in lowest median income and was fourth in the highest poverty rate at 27.2 percent.

For U.S. counties and cities with populations of between 65,000 and 249,999 people, Brownsville had the fifth lowest median income with $24,207 while College Station came in sixth with $24,218. In this same population category, Webb County in South Texas had the fifth highest poverty rate while Brazos County, located about 100 miles northwest of Houston, came in sixth.

Murdock said College Station's ranking might be misleading due to Texas A&M University.
"When you have a city with that large of a student population, you are going to get low incomes. Parental income does not show up," he said. "But Brownsville has usually been in that category."  While there were no major surprises in the two Census reports, Murdock said some income figures did catch his eye.

The Dallas suburb of Plano had the highest median income — $71,560 — for a U.S. city with a population of 250,000 or more. Plano also had the nation's lowest poverty rate for a city in its population category at 6.3 percent.

Frisco, which is about 19 miles northwest of Plano, had the second lowest poverty rate at 2.1 percent for U.S. cities and counties with between 65,000 and 249,999 residents. In this same population category, the Houston suburb of Sugar Land had the 9th largest median household income with $86,231.

"We're quite similar to the rest of the country, in that it is the suburban areas that have the most superior socio-economic characteristics," Murdock said.

The Center for Public Policy Priorities, an Austin-based advocacy group for poor and low income Texans, was dismayed by the latest Census figures.

"Even with job growth and high rates of employment, Texas is plagued by poverty," said Eva Deluna Castro, senior budget analyst at the center. "Texas continues to be a low-wage, low-benefits state, and our high poverty rates and lack of health insurance reflect that."

Longtime community activist dies
Robert Chapa Sr. was a champion for the poor.

By Steven Kreytak
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF, Saturday, September 09, 2006
Sent by JD Villareal
Until he was slowed by declining health a couple of years ago, Robert T. Chapa Sr. often put in 14-hour days working to better the lives of Austin's less fortunate.

Chapa, who died Thursday at 83, would start with breakfast at places such as Las Manitas Avenue Cafe, where he met with friends including former Mayor Gus Garcia and plotted strategy on favorite subjects such as securing more funds for education.

Then Chapa would make the rounds, politicking City Council members, state legislators and others, working his connections and charisma to secure more money for the poor, said his son, Robert T. Chapa Jr.

His days often ended at a meeting of one of the many boards or committees he served on, and they could last into the night. He was chairman of the Austin Travis County Mental Health Mental Retardation Center for a decade until 2004, and the center's south Austin headquarters bears his name.

"What was important for him was to be at service to the whole community," Garcia said. "There wasn't a cause that he wouldn't pick up."

Friends and family called him a dynamic force, a liberal community activist who believed in equality and giving the poor access to education and a chance to better their lives.  "He was really a champion for the poor and disadvantaged because that's where he came from," said his son.

Chapa was born in the Rio Grande Valley town of Saliñeno to migrant worker parents. After high school, he joined the New Deal Civilian Conservation Corps before enlisting in the Army in 1942.

During World War II, Chapa fought in Europe with the 104th Infantry Division, where he rose to the rank of staff sergeant. Chapa earned a Bronze Star for restoring communication lines under fire in Northern Germany, his son said.

After returning home, Chapa earned an accounting degree from St. Mary's University in San Antonio and worked as a teacher, then an assistant superintendent in the Rio Grande City school district.

He met Estela Gonzales in April 1951, and they married five months later. In 1967, they moved their family to Austin, where Chapa began working for the federal Department of Labor. He remained there until retiring as state director for veterans services in 1990.

By that time he was a force in the community. He served on the boards of the Boy Scouts, the Downtown Austin Community Court and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

And he loved politics, Garcia said.

Chapa took leadership roles on Garcia's campaigns for school board, City Council and mayor. He also was a big supporter of U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin. Prospective political candidates would seek Chapa's approval before announcing they were entering a race, said Robert Chapa Jr.

Chapa died of complications of congestive heart failure at an Austin long-term care facility. In addition to his son and wife, Chapa is survived by another son, Ricardo Chapa of Austin; a brother, Ruben Chapa of Roma; a sister, Ella Soza of Austin; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Texas History is Rich and Colorful: Tejano Heritage Month

It is easy to agree that education is important, but if we say that education is fun, there might be a difference of opinion. History can and should be interesting and fun. Certainly, Texas history is rich and colorful and has a wide range of contributors—all of whom reflect courage and character. Tejano Heritage Month is about education, and it’s about history. It’s also about a sense of pride in our ancestry and a sense of appreciation for what we have today as Texans.

Tejanos are descendants of the first Spanish, Mexican, and indigenous families on the Texas frontier. Their story as it relates to the development of Texas is one that needs to be told. Tejanos were responsible for building the first roads, developing the first towns, implementing the first civil government, and driving the first herds of cattle. That’s a lot of firsts, and there are many more. But the Tejano story might best be told by a discussion of some of the better-known Tejano leaders.

Bernardo de Galvez was born in Spain to a prominent family. He chose a military career and in 1769 was commissioned to go to the northern frontier of New Spain (Texas). Galvez suffered two wounds in campaigns against the Apaches who had devastated some pioneer communities. 

In 1779 Spain joined in support with the United States revolutionary forces in war against Great Britain, and de Galvez was charged with removing the British from the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi River. To insure food for the troops, vaqueros drove 10,000 longhorn cattle from the Bexar and La Bahia regions to Nacogdoches, Natchitoches, and Opelousas. Galvez helped draft the treaty after the British surrendered and was honored by the American Congress for his aid during the conflict. Present-day Galveston was named in honor of Bernardo de Galvez.

Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara was one of the leaders of the fight for Texas’ independence from Spain. The Gutierrez-Magee expedition was assembled in Natchitoches and set out for Texas in April 1812. At the time Mexico was fighting for independence from Spain, which was ruled by King Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon. The goal of the expedition was to first gain independence for Texas and to then help Mexico gain independence from Spain. The following year the expedition’s Republican Army of the North was on the losing side of the bloodiest fighting to take place in Texas, the Battle of Medina. Gen. Joaquin de Arredondo led the opposing army for Spain with the able help of the young Lt. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.

Lorenzo de Zavala was born and raised in the Yucatan area of Mexico. Intelligent and
opinionated, de Zavala founded and edited several newspapers as a young man. His advocacy of democratic ideas led to his imprisonment in 1814. During his three-year imprisonment, de Zavala studied medicine and became qualified to practice, and he taught himself English. He remained active politically, and in 1833 President Santa Anna named him the first minister of the Mexican legation in Paris. When de Zavala learned that Santa Anna had assumed dictatorial powers, he resigned and disregarded his orders to return to Mexico City. De Zavala arrived in Texas in July of 1835 and quickly became a supporter of Texas independence. His diplomatic and political experience, along with his linguistic ability, made him uniquely qualified to draft the constitution of the Republic of Texas.

Jose Francisco Ruiz and his nephew, Jose Antonio Navarro, were the only Texas born signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Both uncle and nephew had to flee Texas in 1813 due to their support of the Gutierrez-Magee expedition. Ruiz spent some of his time outside of Texas living with Indians. In 1822 he traveled with a party of Lipans to Mexico City where they signed a treaty that was ratified by the Mexican government. Ruiz’ son, Francisco Antonio Ruiz, was alcalde of San Antonio during the battle of the Alamo.

Speaking of that famous battle, it is important to note that approximately 20 Tejanas and their children were in the Alamo in support of their sons, husbands, and brothers. The struggle for Texas independence was not racially motivated. It was a struggle for freedom from tyranny and involved people of many backgrounds. Tejanos such as Juan Seguin, Placido Benavidez, and Antonio Flores provided military leadership for the cause of Texas independence.

The hero of Cinco de Mayo, Ignacio Seguin Zaragoza, was born at La Bahia near present-day Goliad. In 1853 Zaragoza became a captain in the Mexican army and took part in the battles of Saltillo and Monterrey against the armies of Santa Anna. During the War of Reform (1857-60), Zaragoza sided with the democratic forces led by Benito Juarez. In 1862 Zaragoza was in charge of defending Mexico against the imperialistic designs of the French. At Puebla, the French suffered a debilitating defeat by a well- trained Mexican army led by Zaragoza. The date was May 5.

The legacy of all these pioneer men and women is the Texas that we know today—a place of diverse culture. The month of September has been designated as “Tejano Heritage Month.” Befittingly, we honor Tejanos and the tremendous contributions that they have made to our unique Texas heritage.

The Texas Historical Foundation is proud to be a supporter of and Tejano Heritage Month as an educational outreach to encourage the preservation of our state’s history.

Underwritten by the Texas Historical Foundation
P.O. Box 50314 • Austin, Texas 78763 • 512-453-2154

We Are Texans Helping Preserve Texas.

Source: Federation of Genealogical Societies  "FGS Delegate Digest"
Linking the Genealogical Community,  Volume 13, No. 10  August 2006

The Houston Public Library is proud to announce the appointment of Susan Kaufman as the new manager for the Clayton Library, Center for Genealogical Research. Ms. Kaufman will be bringing twenty years of genealogical librarianship experience, including 6 years at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which is the nation's largest public genealogical library. Currently, she is manager of the Houston Public Library Jungman Branch, and is expected to begin her new position the first week of August.
Ms. Kaufman has been involved in genealogical librarianship and genealogical societies since 1987. She offers expertise in genealogical/historical reference, collection development, and educational outreach. Her collection development skills include being able to acquire one-of-a-kind resources, government documents and other hard to find research materials. Her tenacious attitude toward collection development led to an increase in the Jewish collection by more than 500 titles for the Allen County Public Library. She has worked with local, state and national genealogical societies both as a board member and as a presenter at conferences. Currently, she is a director for the nationally recognized Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) board. She has also been selected as this year's Co-Chair for the FGS National Conference being held in Boston.  This annual conference will take place in August 2006. 
Ms. Kaufman says, "I have some great ideas that I would like to implement as manager of the Clayton Library. These include working with the Clayton Library Friends in the renovation of the Clayton House, creating an index for materials housed at Clayton, and providing highly effective customer service. I would also like to increase outreach and programming locally, statewide, and nationally. As a committed library professional, it would also be a great opportunity for me to increase the national presences of the Houston Public Library and the Clayton Library through speaking engagements, as well as workshops and conferences." 
Houston Public Library Director Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson stated, "We are very fortunate to have found just the right person, with the highest caliber of expertise in genealogy to manage the Houston Public Library's Clayton Library. With her leadership, the Clayton Library is expected to expand its diverse collections, provide extraordinary customer service, equitable access to information, and enhance its programming and outreach services." 
Kaufman has a Masters degree in Library Information Science from the Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice from Southern Illinois University, where she also took graduate courses in Sociology and Library Science. Throughout her career, Kaufman has lectured on various genealogy topics and has received several awards and honors including the Chester A. Bowser Educational Scholarship from the Elgin Genealogical Society in Elgin, Illinois.   In 1998, she was awarded an internship at the National Archives Great Lakes Region in Chicago.
Clayton Library, Center for Genealogical Research contains a non-circulating collection that includes: family histories, county histories, state and local records, lineages of various patriotic societies, books on methods of general research, plus federal and some state census records from 1790-1930. Also available are passenger records, federal military records and records from foreign countries. Family Tree Magazine has recognized Clayton Library as one of the top 10 public libraries in the nation for genealogy research.

Texas to Unveil Portrait of Tejano Pioneer During Re-dedication 
Contact: Rudy R. Rodriguez at 210.673.3584 or writes:

(San Antonio, Texas) Sept. 14, 2006 – Texas, a San Antonio-based research and publishing company committed to Texas history, announced today that they will unveil a portrait of Col. José Francisco Ruiz, one of only two Tejanos to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence, during a re-dedication ceremony of the Col. José Francisco Ruiz House, one of the historic homes on the grounds of the Witte Museum. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2006 from 10:00-11:30a.m. at 3801 Broadway. The event is free with museum admission.

The portrait of the legendary Tejano was commissioned by Texas and was created by Lehman Thompson, Jr. Created as part of the larger Tejano Portrait Series©, Texas will unveil the complete series in October. Recently closed to undergo restoration and preservation, the Ruiz House was built in 1745 by Ruiz and is considered the city’s very first school. Ruiz served as the first official schoolmaster.

“It is our pleasure to present this gift to the Ruiz House and the Witte Museum,” says Rudi R. Rodriguez, founder of Texas “It is our contribution to honor a pioneer that sacrificed so much for our state.” 

The ceremony is just one of over 15 events hosted, developed and promoted by Texas to celebrate Tejano Heritage Month, the month of September, as designated by the Great State of Texas. Taking place at numerous locations throughout the city, most events are free and open to the public and include an essay and coloring contest, a Tejano Symposium at the Alamo and the first-ever Texas Tejano Senior Oral History Project.

Texas and the Alamo Legacy &Missions Association (ALMA) proud to have partnered this year with Wells Fargo Bank, H-E-B, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Capitol Visitors Center, the San Antonio Express-News, the City of San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs and Office of Community Initiatives, the Witte Museum, the Alamo and San Antonio Public Library. With their assistance and support, we are guaranteed that this will be the biggest Tejano Heritage Month celebration to date.

About Texas
Texas is a San Antonio-based research and publishing company dedicated to bringing awareness of Tejano history to the public by designing and developing print materials, electronic media and historical exhibits that tell the stories of the state’s first pioneers.

More information about Texas including a calendar of the month’s celebratory events can be found at or by calling 210.673.3584.

Historic Home on Witte Campus to Re-Open
in Conjunction with Tejano Heritage Month

SAN ANTONIO—The José Francisco Ruiz House, one of the historic homes on the grounds of the Witte Museum, was recently closed in order to restore and preserve the building. Join us 10-11:30 a.m., Saturday, September 16 for a rededication and ribbon cutting ceremony, being held in conjunction with Tejano Heritage Month, designated as the month of September. The ceremony is free with museum admission.

This historic home was originally built in 1745 by José Francisco Ruiz, one of the two native-born Tejanos to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence. Ruiz was the first official schoolmaster in San Antonio and held classes in the house, making it the San Antonio’s very first school. The Ruiz House restoration is generously funded by the City of San Antonio. Councilman Wolff states, "I’m grateful I have the privilege of serving on a council that understands the value of history and honoring our Texas forefathers. The restoration of Jose Francisco Ruiz’s school house is a perfect example how we can best remember the contributions of individuals that were instrumental in the creation of Texas."

The Witte Museum is a proud partner of Tejano Heritage Month, created to educate, elevate and celebrate the lives and legacies of Tejanos. Tejano Heritage Month is presented by Texas, a San Antonio-based research, publishing and communications firm, in conjunction with the Alamo Legacy & Missions Association (ALMA), a San Antonio-based, non-profit organization that provides living history reenactments to educate youth and adults about Texas history.

For more information call 210.357.1900 or visit
Jim Dalglish: 210.357.1870
Shannon H. Standley: 210.357.1876



The 227th Anniversary of the 1779 Battle of Baton Rouge Commemorated


The 227th Anniversary of the 1779 Battle of Baton Rouge Commemorated
Sent by Bill Carmona and Granville Hough

The Louisiana Society Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) committee organized a wreath-laying ceremony at the Galvez Monument on Capitol Lake Drive (near the Armory Museum) on the capitol grounds in Baton Rouge. 

Photo was taken at SAR's wreath laying on 23 Sept 2006 to commemorate the Battle of Baton Rouge when Gen Galvez and his soldiers ( including many Islenos ) captured Baton Rouge from the British thus opening the Mississippi River as a supply route to the Americans ( much of their supplies and money transported on the Mississippi River came from Spain and it's colonies.(l to r: Bill Carmena , Janell Hickey , Mac and Marlene Domangue , John Hickey and Kathryn Prokop.)


The Louisiana Society SAR wanted to remember Bernardo de Galvez and his valiant little army, many of whom were ancestors of today’s Louisiana SAR and Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) members.  The Spanish victory at Baton Rouge against the English removed the main obstacles to war supplies being sent from New Orleans up the Mississippi in support of the American revolutionary forces operating east of the Appalachians. Among the participates were historians Paul Paul Bergeron and Lila Guzman. Dr. Guzman is the author of the wonderful Lorenzo Series.
Photo on the left, in front row from left, John Francois, Rene Nevils and James Henry Grace pay tribute to General-Governor Bernardo de Gálvez during a wreath-laying ceremony Saturday at the Gálvez Memorial on the State Capitol grounds to commemorate the 227th anniversary of the 1779 Battle of Baton Rouge. Color guard members in the second row, from left, are Paul Bergeron, Ralph McKenzie, Dee Ross and Wilbur Joffrion. Spain, allied with the 13 colonies and France in the American Revolutionary War, attacked British forts at Manchac and Baton Rouge. Gálvez led the forces against the British.

Photo by John A. Colvin

Ceremony honors La. role in Revolution,
Spanish hero Gálvez recalled by John A. Colvin, Special to The Advocate, Sep 24, 2006

[[ Liza Guzman, Ph.D. wrote: It didn't mention that supplies had been going up the Mississippi from New Orleans from 1776 on. It kind of implied that that happened after '76.
Still--it's publicity!  In addition she said: There is one small inaccuracy, but I'm nitpicking. The article said that Galvez was governor of Louisiana when he died in 1786. He wasn't. He was in Mexico City as the new viceroy, the replacement for his father who had died the year before.

To show how one small fact can set up a novel, I plucked this from the article: 
At the same time he sent an officer to Havana to request an additional 2,000 reinforcements from his immediate superior, the Captain-General, but all the troops that esteemed gentleman would spare were the 567 regulars of the Regiment of Navarro.

In LORENZO AND THE PIRATE (under contract with Blooming Tree Press for a 2008 release), Lorenzo is returning from Cuba on board the San Juan Nepomuceno. Lorenzo has talked to Bonet in an effort to get troops and supplies. He is returning empty-handed to New Orleans, knowing that Galvez will not be pleased with his failure when a pirate ship hoists a distress signal and Lorenzo is plunged into a naval adventure. ]]

In Louisiana, where history is integrated with its modern image, one aspect sometimes seems overlooked: the state’s role in  America’s War for Independence.

To remember the state’s influential role in the conflict and to pay homage to a Spanish hero of the American Revolution, several dozen people gathered Saturday on the State Capitol grounds.

Members of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Revolution held a wreath-laying ceremony at the Bernardo de Gálvez Monument on the State Capitol grounds.

“Under Gálvez, we defeated the British and sealed the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast,” said René Nevils, past regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Baton Rouge chapter.

During the time of the American Revolution, England’s West Florida province was bounded by the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain in the west with Bayou Manchac dividing it from the Spanish territory, which included New Orleans, in the south. Most of the English settlers in West Florida remained loyal.

When Spain formally declared war against Great Britain in 1779,  Gálvez and his troops defeated British troops in battles at Manchac, Baton Rouge and Natchez.

About half of Gálvez’s force in the Baton Rouge campaign consisted of Acadian militiamen, said John François, president of the Louisiana Society of the American Revolution.

He explained that the victory opened the Mississippi River as a supply line to colonial troops east of the Appalachians. Further, England had envisioned invading New Orleans and moving troops up the Mississippi to open a second front against the rebellious 13 colonies.


Saturday’s ceremony marked the 227th anniversary of the British defeat at Fort New Richmond in Baton Rouge.

In the battle, Gálvez tricked the British about the location of his artillery. During the night before the engagement, the English in the fort fired upon the wrong location. Spanish guns bombarded the fort, destroying it in three and a half hours, according to historian Edwin Adams Davis in his book, “Louisiana, A Narrative History.”

The next day, Sept. 22, 1779, the Britons formally surrendered and left the fort for Pensacola, the capital of West Florida, which stretched across the Gulf Coast to the Florida Panhandle.

The Redcoats also gave up control of Natchez, according to Davis’ book, and smaller posts at the mouth of Thompson Creek, near present-day Port Hudson.

Preparing for the defense of Baton Rouge, England already had withdrawn all but 20 men from Fort Bute at the mouth of Bayou Manchac.

In addition to preventing a British invasion of the Mississippi River Valley, Davis states in his book, Gálvez’s Baton Rouge victory resulted in a loss of British prestige among American Indians in the North and aided efforts to consolidate the Old Northwest, the area northwest of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River.

Gálvez covertly cooperated with the American Revolutionaries’ efforts, including financing supplies, before Spain’s official involvement.

He also prevented British ships from using the port of New Orleans and from having access to the Mississippi River, according the Texas State Historical Society’s Web site.

After the Baton Rouge campaign, Gálvez led more than 2,000 men in a monthlong land and sea siege of Fort Charlotte at Mobile. The following year, Gálvez captured Pensacola. In 1782, Gálvez and his Spanish forces captured the British naval base at New Providence in the Bahamas.

He was preparing for a campaign against the English in Jamaica when the war ended in 1783. The campaigns occupied British troops in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean regions, preventing them from fighting against Colonial American troops.

After the peace accords in April 1783, Gálvez, accompanied by his wife, the former Marie Felice de Saint-Maxent Estrehan of New Orleans, and two infant children, briefly returned to Spain. He later served as captain-general and governor of Cuba and then viceroy of New Spain until his death in 1786. Galveston, Texas, is named after him. 

Story originally published in The Advocate


San Juan del Puerto, Florida . . . . The other San Juan del Puerto 
MANA Recognizes Latinas Achieving "Firsts" At Las Primeras® Awards Gala


San Juan del Puerto, Florida . . . . The other San Juan del Puerto 

by Angel Custodio Rebollo Barroso 
Translated by Dr. Jaime Gomez

Juan Ponce of Leon discovered Florida in Eastern time in 1512, therefore he gave the Spanish name corresponding to the occasion: "Pascua Florida".

He returned in 1521, with the idea to colonize it, but left because the hostility of  the natives. There were new attempts to establish a colony: Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526 and by Pánfilo de Narváez, in 1528, but always with negative results. In 1539 Hernando de Soto, was granted the title of "Adelantado" of Florida, he arrived at the Bay of Tampa, without being able to settle; Tristan of Moon and Arellano tried again in in 1559, also with adverse results. 

After so many tries, King Felipe II, signed a Royal Decree prohibiting new incursions to Florida without express permission of Spanish Corona. In 1565 Admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, was named "Adelantado" by Felipe II. His expedition anchored at Cabo Canaveral, well-known anywhere in the world today because it is the US base for the space rockets. In September 8th, he founded San Augustin of Florida, the first town in continuous occupation in what it is now The United States of America. That day Franciscan Father Francisco the Lopez de Mendoza and Grajales offered the first mass.  The first parish of the country was created, and it was called "Name of God" which persists at present. 

San Juan del Puerto, Florida.

The Mission of San Juan del Puerto, Florida, was founded around 1575 by Franciscan priests. A town was constructed around the mission, given the same name, San Juan del Puerto. The natives were the Saturiwa Tribe, of the family of the Timucuas, sedentary and semi-agriculturists, living generally on both hunting and the fishing. They cultivated maize and cereals. At seedtime they did it in pairs; the man ahead digging and the woman following him seeding. 

Men of the tribe were tall and stout, well formed, there were very few of low stature. They were not industrious, although very ingenious and always ready to learn new things. They worked wood very well.  They were excellent carpenters. The women wore their hair loose, and they were covered from the waist down to their knees with grass skirts. 

Polygamy existed among the natives, but was ended through the influence of the missionaries. The town was governed by a "cacique" and in some cases by a woman that was called "cacica".  The "cacique" was generally corpulent, arrogant and usually pretended not to be curious visitors or what they brought, although sometimes he was not able to resist the temptation.

The "cacique" of San Juan del Puerto was baptized by the missionaries who named him Juan Quevedo. The town was formed by circular huts, covered with palm leaves. In the center there was a communal zone or house of advice, where the "great bujío" met to make tribal decisions. In the central area parties were celebrated with songs and dances around a great bonfire. All the village was protected by a fence formed by tree trunks. 

In a report of by Franciscan Father Francisco Pareja, (of whom we will speak latter ), there is a description off the town and its inhabitants.  It is translated as follows: "I say and I declare the following thing: that for seven years that I had attend the conversion and education of these natural ones, and that all this time that I instructed and baptized them, attending in this town of San Juan del Puerto, where I am Vicar, and in the neighboring towns, Side Cross, five leagues away, Potayá at four; Sant Mateo, two; San Pablo, at one league; Hicacharico, at one league; Chinieca, at one league; Carabay, at a quarter of league. These ten towns all are Christian, and in them were five hundred Christians, between great and small, as they are registered in the baptismal book. 

In these towns there are churches, where mass is said sometimes, and other sacraments are celebrated. I visited them, to understand the language, I proclaim to them the law of God. Main celebrations to hear the doctrine are held in this town of San Juan.

I celebrate mass and the divine offices, sung masses and eves, and join the receiving bulas and Easter; there is also a brotherhood of Santa Vera Cruz, in this town of San Juan, headed by this Vicar it has been instituted with his poverty. 

The natural, men and women, who have learn of Christianity and have sufficiency knowledge, had confessions and communion during the year." 

Thirteen years later, Father Francisco, wrote another report that says: "I say that there has been twenty years that I have preached the things of the faith. Holy Communion has been given which they receive with much devotion; I examined some children whose parents requested that Communion be given them. Among them there are Indians who know to catechize and women Indians who also catechize others to be Christian. They go with us to the obligatory Sundays and Holidays masses.  They celebrate and sing, and in some parts they have brotherhoods, procession in Holy Thursday. They visit towns to hear Salve, they sing Saturdays evenings, and they remain to sleep to hear the Sunday mass. 

In all towns they have churches, and they boast to do them better than others, and go to the morning and behind schedule to take blessed water and to say, and they join themselves in the house of the community to teach others the songs and to read. And whenever the monk leaves his convent to some part, somewhere such as the military prison, to do some necessary businesses, or go away to cure some indisposition that suffers, many Indians and Indians request confession , saying; "Perhaps I may died before V.R returns". 

And when some one is ill, they send messages to the town, so that they confess and receive the Extreme-Unction. And although some die in these visits, they command in their testament, that vocal they do, that take his or hers corpse to be bury where the priest celebrate the daily mass, that is in three or four towns that visit each monk. Others bring in canoes to see the Father, being ill, to confess itself, and confessed they go to their houses or huts; they are pious with his deceased, because not only at the general commemoration they take some offering to them, as they are pumpkins or frijoles or some maize basket or some toasted flour basket; but also between year they ask mass to be celebrated for their soul, that they give of offering in alms; and Monday to the procession of Anima they go to hear the mass. 

These are the signals that I have seen and other that, to avoid prolixity. I will say that they have attended all the rites and ceremonies that they had…" "… In some cases if there are causes where it is necessary to forbid the Sacred Communion to some, which I do not find it (but it is the scruple of some monks). I have never found among them any idolatry sign, nor witchcraft, but they are superstitions, saying: "With this you will heal, if you do not cure yourself with this grass you will die; if the owl sings signal it is that it has to me to happen some misfortune; you do not cook fish that is old, you do not eat spoiled maize, because you will be sick". 

When women make fire aside, they put laurel at the door of the house, saying that the demon would not enter it, as he used it to do. All these things and others have been removed by the evangelical word, however they remember them, before the young people who learn the milk of the Gospel make ridicule and they are beliefs of some old ones". 

If they have made churches and fountains to baptize and keep the blessed water . I say that they boast to have a better church or temple than in other places. It has occurred to some unfaithful, as each day they come from their towns to those of the Christians, and to get the blessing to the monks and ask them; " What you look for this way. They respond: "We come to see the church and know our relatives, of a name or lineage, although few are one hundred degrees, they are relatives. Time after time they return and say: "Father, we have a house for you and a church: please come to teach, that already the Christians have said to us that this is what is necessary to go to see the Utinama that is above in the sky: and because the caciques of this area who are orobisi, that it means wise people, says it to us , and they have become Christian, we also want to be, and to learn the reason why they say what they say, and what have been taught by you." The report of Father Francisco, reveals the importance that San Juan del Puerto had, since I was the Vicar of the mission with ten churches established in the villages of the environs. Although little documentation of the time is conserved, it is known that in San Juan del Puerto there were about 500 Christians in 1602. 

Father Francisco Pareja, a Missionary of the Franciscan Order, was born in Auzon, a town of the Diocese of Toledo, in Spain. He was one of the eleven franciscans that arrived at Florida with the expedition of Menéndez de Avilés and actively participated in the foundation of San Augustin along with Fray Francisco Lopez de Mendoza and Grajales. Years later Father Francisco was made head of the Mission and Vicar of San Juan del Puerto, although we do not know if he was the one who founded it. 

Fr. Francisco learned the Timucua language quickly, in which it wrote several books, of grammar and monks, that is the reason why this language has been known, but unfortunately it is now practically lost. Their published works are; "Catechism in Castilian and Timucuana language" (Mexico 1612); "Catechism and brief exhibition of the Christian doctrine" (Mexico 1612); "Confesionario in Castilian and Timucuana language" (Mexico 1613; "Grammatical of the Timucuana language of Florida" (Mexico 1614); "Catechism of the Christian doctrine in Timucuana language" (Mexico 1617); "Catechism and examination for which they agree, in Castilian and Timucuana language" (Mexico 1627). Fr. Francisco was transferred to Mexico, to write and to publish his books, because his writings were the first books published in the language of a native tribe in America. He died in Mexico, the 25 of January of 1628. 

Destruction of San Juan del Puerto 

The region that the Spaniards called Florida, was not what we know now. Florida at that time included the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama.  The Mission of San Juan del Puerto, that had a tower with bell and organ in 1595, was destroyed in 1597 by an attack of the Guale Indians. Years later it was reconstructed.  Documents record the the visit to this Mission in 1696 by a Quaker missionary, Jonathan Dickinson. 

In 1656 there was a revolt of the Indians who the Spaniards managed to dominate. The region of Florida underwent two great epidemics of plague in 1617 and 1672 and affected a great number of inhabitants of San Juan del Puerto, who were almost decimated by those two epidemics.  

The English Governor of South Carolina, James Moore was jealous of the advances of the Spaniards in Florida, and especially because of the importance that the town and Mission of San Juan del Puerto had achieved.  In 1702, James Moore attacked the town and Mission  destroying them totally. Neither were ever reconstructed. 

San Juan del Puerto was located near the San Juan river, in which today it is Fort George Island. Its exact location is noticeable in the Saturiwa footpath of the island, a zone of a great tourist wealth.  A public park is located near the mouth of the river. 

Who founded it? 
We do not know who founded the town and the Mission of San Juan del Puerto. There is no doubt of the importance which they had, because the river that crosses near the town, is the San Juan River, which was named by the founders of the Mission. 

The mission and town was called San Juan del Puerto most likely because the founder was someone born in San Juan of the province of Huelva, Spain, one of many places where Spaniards came to the New World. I have investigated in I catalogue of Passengers of Indians of those years, and monks.  I encountered one clergyman in my research, coming from San Juan; however, I believe he was not of the Franciscan Order. Lawyer Barbosa, natural of San Juan del Puerto, son of Pedro Rodriguez and Juana Gómez, came to the New Spain September 1st, 1561. I found also a Franciscan, a friar of San Juan of the Port or some other convent of the environs.  It appears in documents that he was from Seville, whose Diocese belonged then to the present province of Huelva. 

It is necessary to consider that there were convents of the Order of San Francisco in; Moguer, that was called Our Lady of Hope; in the Monastery of the Rábida; in Huelva, the one that today is governed by the Jesuit community and in the Lump, in Lepe . I consider that is difficult to locate the friars, because in many cases they do not include the origin of the individual, but rather the location of the convents where the individual joined the expedition. 

There are two pieces of historical data that touches on the early presence of Franciscans at San Juan del Puerto: one, there is evidence that there was a Franciscan hermit in this town at the end of century XV; another one, is an anonymous work in silver with the shield of the Order in his allegories.  It is still preserved at the Parochial Church of San Juan del Puerto.  It could have been donated by some Franciscan friar.  In Moguer, Spain, there was a nuns convent of the Franciscan Order, known as Clarisas. 

At the present time the place where San Juan of the Port was erected, belongs to the jurisdiction of Jacksonville, a city of the State of Florida, a zone dedicated mainly to the tourism. Several archaeological excavations have taken place in which many relics of the past have been obtained, and are on display in different museums.  Throughout the United States, numerous genealogical and historical associations exist whose activities include the study the origin of the last names, including those of Spanish origin. Perhaps in the future, a researcher's  investigation will suddenly come across the name of the founder of theis other San Juan del Puerto. 

Angel Custodio Rebollo Barroso
Translation by Jaime Gómez-González, M.D. 
148 Newcastle Drive 
Jupiter, Florida 33458-3021




For Immediate Release Contact: Judy J. Chapa
September 5, 2006 Telephone 202-833-0060
Sent by Patricia Gazda de Sullivan

MANA Recognizes Latinas Achieving "Firsts" At Las Primeras® Awards Gala

MANA, A National Latina Organization, hosts its 17th Annual Las Primeras® Awards Gala on Thursday, October 5, 2006, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Las Primeras® honors Latinas who have achieved "firsts" in their career or field. Also being recognized with the HERMANITA® Award this year is First Lady Laura Bush. Mrs. Bush is being honored for her continued efforts in reading programs for youth, at-risk youth and women’s health issues programs. In addition, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senator John McCain are receiving the HerMANA® and HerMANO® Awards, respectively, for their work on immigration issues.

"As is true every year, this year’s Las Primeras® recipients are all extraordinary and accomplished Latinas that serve as inspirations and role models for Latinas young and old," said Alma Morales Riojas, MANA President and CEO.

The 2006 Las Primeras® Award recipients are: the Honorable Iris Y. Martinez, for Public Service, the first Latina in Illinois to be elected to the State Senate; Brigadier General Angela Salinas, for Military Service, the first Latina to hold the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Marine Corps; Milka Duno, for Sports, the first Latina ever to be classified "expert" as an auto racer; and Belle Ortiz, for Education, the first Latina to bring mariachi music into the educational system curriculum at the high school and college level.

The Las Primeras ® 2006 Corporation Year of the Year Award will be awarded jointly to America’s automobile manufacturers: DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors. "MANA is recognizing these corporations who in spite of their own tough economic times, continue to support and generously give back to the Hispanic community," said Alma Morales Riojas, MANA President & CEO.

This year’s corporate sponsors for the Las Primeras® Awards include: General Motors and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., as Gold Sponsors, and Ford Motor Company, Freddie Mac, and State Farm Insurance Companies as Bronze Sponsors. Southwest Airlines is the event airline sponsor.

If you are interested in learning more about Las Primeras® or MANA, please call 202-833-0060 or visit our website at

Founded in 1974, MANA, A National Latina Organization® (MANA) is a national grassroots membership organization with chapters, individual members and affiliates across the country. MANA’s mission is to empower Latinas through leadership development, community service, and advocacy. Its four national goals are to: strengthen Latinas as community leaders; create vital Hispanic communities; advance public policy for an equal and just society; and grow and sustain a healthy organization. MANA achieves its mission and goals through its two premiere programs, the AvanZamos® Program, an adult Latina leadership training program and the HERMANITAS® Program for young Latinas.


Tepemazalco: Paradise Regained 
S: Octubre 13-15: Reunión de Los Elizondo en Monterrey  
S: Libro: Historia de Teocaltiche Pueblo de Caxcana Nueva Galicia 
S: Libro: Fundacion Desarrollo, La Aduana de Torren, Coahuila,1948        
S: La Migración Tlaxcalteca del Siglo XVI      
S: Coahuila - Actas de Nacimiento en Linea 
Don Antonio de Mendoza, 1st Viceroy & Governor of Nueva Espana, Mex 
Don Diego Alonso Ramirez del Pedroza descendants
Pedro Fernandez-de-Velasco, 1st Count of Haro  


       Tepemazalco: Paradise Regained

Some years ago, a spectacular painting of the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden was stolen from the little church at San Juan Tepemazalco, near Zempoala in the state of Hidalgo. The painting promptly disappeared into the international art market, but in 2004, it was located in the collection of the 
San Diego Museum of Art.

Following an intense investigation, the provenance of the art work was 
confirmed and the museum offered to return the painting, after conservation 
by the museum at its own expense.
This August the painting was at last handed over to Mexican officials prior to its 
return to Mexico and the people of Tepemazalco.

For other news about stolen colonial art objects in Mexico, check out our Art in Peril page.

Sent by Richard Perry
Exploring Colonial Mexico

Hola Compañeros.
Recordandoles que el 13 , 14 y 15 de Octubre del 2006. tendremos la 4a. Reunión de Los Elizondo en Monterrey, por lo que estan Cordialmente Invitados. para mayor información visitar la página
Como falta un poco menos de  mes y medio,  hoy los invito a empezar a compartir y asi tener mas información de las 7 primeras Generaciones de Los Elizondo en México partiendo de Francisco de Elizondo y Urdiñola  .
Para hacer la revision los invito a checar en el siguiente enlace.
Hasta llegar a los Hijos de Francisco de Elizondo y Urdiñola  y Magdalena de Aguilar. que fueron 11, si tienen mas informacion o ven alguna  error ,  en la que no coincidan  por favor contestan para ver si podemos mejorar y enriquecer esta información.
Este resumen de las primeras 7 Generaciones de LOS ELIZONDO en México, fue sacada de Testamentos y la Investigacion hecha por el Genealogista Guillermo Garmendia.
Seguimos en comunicación suerte y Bendiciones.
Edna Yolanda Elizondo Gonzalez.
Libro: Historia de Teocaltiche Pueblo de la Region Caxcana Nueva Galicia, Zona de Los Altos de Jalisco by Nicholas de Anda Sanchez
It is available at Borderlands Book Store and this is what George Farias wrote:
Teocaltiche is located approximately between Guadalajara and Zacatecas. This is a historical narrative but contains a profusion of genealogical information.The book is divided into five parts: Part one is " Epoca Prehispanica,", Part Two is "Siglo XVI," Part Three is " Siglo XVII, Part Four is "Siglo XVIII," and Part Five is " El Siglo XIX, DE 1800 Al 1823."

Contains names of area ranches and five appendices of genealogical data, such as children confirmed, person who owned slaves, a 17th century census, and baptisms/census of 1708 and 1722. Mexico City, 2006 privately printed 1st Ed., SPTXT, 198 Pgs., 8 71/2 x 11, PB. 
Sent by Rose Gonzales-Hardy

Libro: Fundacion Desarrollo, La Aduana de Torren, Coahuila 1948-2007

Presentarán libro de José León Robles de la Torre
Portada del nuevo libro de Don José León Robles de la Torre.
A new book written by uncle Jose Leon Robles de la Torre, this illustrious writer and historian presenting his new material today at El Museo Regional de la Laguna in Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico. As one of the pioneers, he writes in this book on how La Aduana de Torreon was established, he says this book would help students not only exterior but international as well. there is also historical information. Mr. Robles de la Torre is currently working as a writer for "El Siglo de Torreon" newspaper, his articles "Personajes de la historia de Mexico" are very popular. Congratulations uncle!  Sent by Mercy Bautista Olvera
28 de septiembre de 2006 


TORREÓN, COAH.- Como un recuento de la fundación y desarrollo de la Aduana en Torreón, esta noche será presentado el libro número 26 de Don José León Robles de la Torre. Colaborador de El Siglo de Torreón desde 1987 con su columna Personajes en la Historia de México, el escritor e historiador presentará su nuevo material en el Museo Regional de La Laguna, en punto de las 8:00 de la noche. Bajo el título Fundación y Desarrollo de la Aduana de Torreón Coahuila 1948-2007, el libro será comentado por el director del Consejo Editorial del Gobierno del Estado de Coahuila, Arturo Berrueto González; por el presidente del Patronato del Centenario, Ramón Iriarte Maisterrena y por el escritor, periodista y pintor Luis Maeda Villalobos, así como por Fernando González Ruiz como maestro de ceremonia. Explica el autor que este material será de ayuda para los estudiantes de comercio exterior e internacional, pues en él se reúnen los antecedentes y el contexto en el que fue fundada la aduana en Torreón. Y es que Don José León fue uno de los fundadores y de hecho, él mismo plasmó su firma en el acta de fundación el 16 de marzo de 1948, por eso él puede platicar con lujo de detalles cómo se fundó la aduana en Torreón, quienes fueron sus primeros trabajadores, cómo se fue dando su desarrollo y recaudación, entre otros aspectos. Además, el libro contiene algunos datos del contexto histórico de Torreón.


Arqlga. Rosalba Delgadillo Torres

Hist. Nazario A. Sánchez Mastranzo

Centro INAH-Tlaxcala

INTRODUCCIÓN.- Después de la caída de la Gran México-Tenochtitlan en el 13 de Agosto de 1521, los ejércitos españoles y sus aliados tlaxcaltecas marcharon hacia la exploración y conquista del occidente de la moribunda Mesoamérica (Michoacán, Colima, Jalisco), siendo hasta 1540 que se dirigen al norte de la actual República Mexicana, conocida en ese entonces como "La Gran Chichimeca" llevando como prisioneros y por la fuerza a Huexotzincas, Mexicas, Tarascos, Chalcas, Cholultecas, y otros grupos étnicos vencidos para colonizar ese enorme territorio. Sin embargo, después de una guerra de exterminio de 50 años, esta gran área no lograba ser controlada por el poder español, debido a que era habitado por grupos seminómadas.

El interés de pacificar esta región se debía al descubrimiento de ricas minas de plata por lo que era apremiante para los españoles el establecimiento de poblados y presidios que garantizaran la seguridad de las carretas llenas de mineral que viajaban desde Zacatecas hacia la capital de la Nueva España. Esa ruta es conocida históricamente como el "Camino de la Plata".

Las primeras colonias establecidas no progresaron debido al constante ataque de los Chichimecas por lo que al mestizo Miguel Caldera, se le ocurriera la brillante idea de mandar a esa difícil área a los fieles súbditos de la Corona Española, los tlaxcaltecas.

EL CONTEXTO POLÍTICO Y SOCIAL. Desde 1560 el virrey Don Luis de Velasco I, pretendía enviar una colonia tlaxcalteca en San Miguel Copalan, y exigió a los tlaxcaltecas la dotación de mil sujetos casados para la Chichimecatlapan, aunque en su carta el propio mandatario advertía que el reclutamiento debía ser voluntario. Por esta razón dos meses después al no aparecer ninguno, el cabildo tlaxcalteca se disculpaba ante el virrey, argumentando que no hubo candidatos para el traslado debido a que la gente entró en gran aflicción, señalando "Quienes vayan sus tierras y casas de aquí ¿quién las tomará? Por esto se reñirá; y las mujeres y los niños ¿cómo recorrerán en el camino? ¿quién llevará sus provisiones y que de esta manera el traslado no fuera tan distante? le solicitaba al mismo tiempo la exención del tributo. En respuesta el virrey tranquilizó a la embajada tlaxcalteca, señalando que ya había enviado a los otomíes de Xilotepec, por lo que, por el momento, una nueva amenaza tributaria se había disipado.

Las autoridades mostraron un especial interés por afianzar el control del territorio Chichimeca a través de las armas, sin embargo para 1584, muchas voces clamaban que esta medida no había dado resultados positivos y que era necesario cambiar de estrategia. Entre estas voces se encontraba la del Obispo de Guadalajara, Domingo de Alzola, quien en una carta dirigida al Arzobispo de México, Don Pedro Moya de Contreras, señalaba al respecto que "Y que vayan también a cada parte de estos indios mexicanos o tlaxcaltecas o de otras partes que sean bien enseñados en la doctrina para que sirvan de fiscales, de cantores y de otros ministerios ídem las iglesias, y que ayuden también a la población. Y de esta manera, con la suave doctrina de los religiosos y con la comunicación de los indios cristianos no se puede creer que no se reduzcan aquellos bárbaros a la paz y amistad de nuestra fe católica..."

EL ENVÍO DEFINITIVO. A fines de 1590 el virrey, Luis de Velasco II, comenzó a negociar con el cabildo de Tlaxcala el envío de cuatrocientas familias para establecer varios asentamientos en territorio chichimeca. Finalmente el 14 de marzo de 1591 las partes alcanzaron un acuerdo fungiendo como mediadores los frailes franciscanos de Tlaxcala, principalmente Fray Jerónimo de Mendieta y Fray Jerónimo de Zárate, siendo el primero guardián del convento de la Ciudad de Tlaxcala.

En el Señorío de San Francisco Ocotelulco fueron los Capitanes Lucas de Monte Alegre y Miguel de las Casas, quienes organizaron la partida, cuyo contingente fue de 106 indios, partiendo el 6 de junio.

En el Señorío de San Esteban Tizatlan, fue el Capitán Buenaventura de Paz, quien organizó la caravana formada por 103 personas, partiendo el 7 de junio.

La salida de los habitantes del Señorío de los Reyes Quiahuiztlan fue organizada por el Capitán Lucas Téllez quien reunió a 97 vecinos.

En el Señorío de Santiago Tepeticpac estuvieron a cargo de la salida los Capitanes Joaquín Paredes y Francisco Vázquez, quienes partieron con 99 tlaxcaltecas. Las gentes de ambos señoríos partieron el 9 de junio.

Este numeroso contingente estuvo formado no por familias sino por huérfanos, viudas y solteros a quienes se les obligó a partir ya entrada la temporada de lluvias. Las caravanas se reunieron en Chicuicnauhtlan, ahí recibieron la visita del virrey. Se concentraron para un censo el 6 de Julio en San Juan del Río, Qro. De ahí partieron hasta el presidio de el Cuicillo, al sureste de Zacatecas, donde Rodrígo de Río de la Loza, gobernador y capitán general de la Nueva Vizcaya, asigno a los migrantes a cinco localidades. Miguel Caldera encabezó a los que fundarían San Miguel Mezquitic de la Nueva Tlaxcala Tepeticpac, San Andrés del Teul y San Luis Colotlan; Juan de la Hija iba al frente de quienes fundan San Sebastían Agua del Venado (Charcas); por último Francisco de Urdiñola encabezaría a los fundadores de san Esteban de la Nueva Tlaxcala. Por insuficiencia de tierras de labor, algunas familias de Mezquitic fueron trasladados a Asunción de Tlaxcalilla, en el actual San Luis Potosí.

LA LABOR MISIONAL.- Además el planteamiento político, esta movilización masiva se justificaba ante el hecho de que la manutención de un presidio resultaba cara y traía más problemas que beneficios, mientras que establecer poblados cerca de las misiones sería más barato, aparte de otorgar la seguridad que deseaban en el trayecto que debían hacer las cargas de plata y oro de las minas. Nuevamente se tomaba a la fe católica para justificar acciones donde realmente lo que estaba en juego era el interés económico. Lógicamente los contingentes viajaron con sus devociones y así trasladaron a San Esteban, a San Miguel al Señor Santiago, a la Virgen de la Asunción con ellos, poniéndoles a los nuevos poblados los nombres de sus santos patrones.

LOS APORTES.- Como era de esperarse, los tlaxcaltecas llevarían consigo un estilo de vida condicionado principalmente por el establecimiento de poblados permanentes que les permitirían realizar determinadas actividades de carácter económico.

La agricultura.- Esta actividad trae consigo la utilización de instrumentos de trabajo como los arados. Los cultivos serían principalmente de maíz, calabaza, tomate, jitomate, chayote, chilacayote, variedad de chiles, entre otros.

La cerámica.- Para el cocimiento y depósito de granos y semillas, se requirió de llevar consigo la tradición para la elaboración de ollas, comales, cajetes, cuexcomates, etc.

El tallado de piedra.- Ante una producción agrícola se hace indispensable la molienda para hacer masa y harina por lo que debieron elaborar metates, molcajetes y las muelas de tradición europea.

La cestería.- Esta es otra actividad para guardar y trasportar alimentos como los chichipextles, chiquihuites, además de otros objetos como las esteras o petates, etc.

La ganadería.- Habrá que recordar que ya se había dado la llegada de diferentes especies animales de granja, que se emplearían en yuntas para en el trabajo agrícola y para la explotación de lácteos y pieles.

Las fiestas tradicionales.- Para la catequización los frailes emplearon las danzas, la música y el teatro, los cuales se realizaban dentro del calendario litúrgico, no siendo esta región la excepción, por lo que el Carnaval es una fiesta religiosa importante en algunas partes de esta área, habiendo llevado consigo los instrumentos musicales como el huehuetl y el teponaztle.

Los textiles.- La tradición textilera del telar de cintura debió ser importante para hacer pequeñas prendas de vestir, como ayates y tilmas, pero también llevaron consigo el telar de pie de tradición europea con el que elaboraron los famosos internacionalmente sarapes y jorongos con la técnica conocida como "saltillo", los cuales son tan característicos que forman parte del traje tradicional de charro, conocido como "veteado".

CONCLUSIÓN. Los tlaxcaltecas a pesar de sufrir abusos por parte de los españoles, su fidelidad continuó, por eso Tlaxcala debe considerarse como la fuerza bélica, evangelizadora pacificadora y colonizadora que ayudó al Virreinato de la Nueva España a posicionarse para mayor grandeza y riqueza de la Corona Española, aportando además todo un estilo de vida en la porción norte de nuestro país.

Ruta del Camino Real de Tierra Adentro
Sent by Dan Arellano to go with 

Coahuila - Actas de Nacimiento en Linea 
Coloque unos datos al azar y varias actas...

Don Antonio de Mendoza, First Viceroy and Governor of Nueva Espana Mexico
Compiled by John D. Inclan

Generation No. 1


He was the youngest of his brother's, and on April 17, 1535, at Barcelona, Spain, he received his royal commission as the first Viceroy and governor of New Spain. He held this title till 1549.  He is buried in the Cathedral of Lima, next to Conquistador Don Francisco Piazrro.

Source from the books:
Coronado, Knight of Pueblos and Plains, by Herbert Eugene Bolton.
Portraits of Basques in the New World, edited: Richard W. Etulain & Heronima Echeverria. 
With All Arms by Carl Laurence Duaine.
Men of Mexico by James A. Magner.
Mexico under Spain, Society and the Origins of Nationality, by Peggy K. Liss.

Lady in waiting to Queen Isabella of Spain.
Source from the books, Men of Mexico by James A. Magner. 
Mexico under Spain, Society and the Origins of Nationality, by Peggy K. Liss.
Marriage source from the book, Men of Mexico by James A. Magner. Page 146.

iii. INIGO DE MENDOZA, d. San Quentin, Spain.

The Descendents of 
Don Diego Alonso Ramirez del Pedroza

Compiled by John D. Inclan

Generation No. 1



Generation No. 2


3. i. CATARINA3 RAMIREZ-DE-HERMOSILLO, d. 08 Jun 1742, Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico.
4. ii. MARIA RAMIREZ-DE-HERMOSILLO, d. 23 Dec 1727, Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico.
5. iii. LEONOR RAMIREZ-DE-HERMOSILLO, b. Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico; d. 05 Apr 1725, Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico.
iv. CRISTOBAL RAMIREZ-DE-HERMOSILLO, d. 13 Mar 1743/44, Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico; m. MARIA-DE-LA-CONCEPCION FERNANDEZ-DE-RUEDA, 02 Feb 1707/08, Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico; d. 30 Jan 1746/47, Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico.

Generation No. 3

3. CATARINA3 RAMIREZ-DE-HERMOSILLO (NICOLAS2, DIEGO-ALONSO1 RAMIREZ-DEL-PEDROZA) died 08 Jun 1742 in Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico. She married LAZARO MARTIN-DEL-CAMPO, son of LAZARO MARTIN-DEL-CAMPO and MARIA LOPEZ-DE-LA-CRUZ. He was born 1654 in San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco, Mexico, and died 23 Aug 1730 in San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco, Mexico.

i. LAZARO4 MARTIN-DEL-CAMPO, d. 16 Sep 1760, Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico; m. ISABEL TISCARENO, 03 Feb 1693/94, El Sagrario, Aguascalientes, Mexico; b. 04 Aug 1675, Aguascalientes, Mexico.
iii. JUANA-MARIA MARTIN-DEL-CAMPO, b. 22 Oct 1704, Mezquitic, Jalisco, Mexico; d. 07 Apr 1784, Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico; m. MELCHOR-MANUEL PEREZ-DE-PAREDES, 08 May 1719, Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico.
iv. ROSA-MARIA MARTIN-DEL-CAMPO, d. Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico; m. BLAS PEREZ-DE-PAREDES, 02 Jul 1698, Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico; d. Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico.

4. MARIA3 RAMIREZ-DE-HERMOSILLO (NICOLAS2, DIEGO-ALONSO1 RAMIREZ-DEL-PEDROZA) died 23 Dec 1727 in Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico. She married DIEGO VARGAS-MACHUCA. 

7. i. ROSA-FRANCISCA4 VARGAS-MACHUCA, d. 21 Jul 1751, Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico.

5. LEONOR3 RAMIREZ-DE-HERMOSILLO (NICOLAS2, DIEGO-ALONSO1 RAMIREZ-DEL-PEDROZA) was born in Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico, and died 05 Apr 1725 in Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico. She married FRANCISCO MUNOZ-DE-NAVA in Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico, son of JUAN MUNOZ-DE-NAVA and ELVIRA TISCARENO. 


Generation No. 4


i. JUAN-DE-DIOS5 TISCARENO, b. 26 Feb 1696/97, San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco, Mexico; m. ANGELA MACIAS-VALADEZ-Y-PADILLA-DAVILA, San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco, Mexico; b. 15 Apr 1709.
ii. MARIA-DE-LA-ENCARNACION TISCARENO, b. Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico; m. NICOLAS FRANCO-DE-PAREDES, 25 Jan 1711/12, Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico.

7. ROSA-FRANCISCA4 VARGAS-MACHUCA (MARIA3 RAMIREZ-DE-HERMOSILLO, NICOLAS2, DIEGO-ALONSO1 RAMIREZ-DEL-PEDROZA) died 21 Jul 1751 in Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico. She married DIEGO GONZALEZ-RUBIO 15 Jun 1708 in Mezquitic, Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico, son of DIEGO GONZALEZ-RUBIO and JUANA MARQUEZ. He was born in San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco, Mexico.

i. AGUSTIN-JOSE5 GONZALEZ-RUBIO, d. 10 Apr 1785; m. CATALINA DE HERMOSILLO, 22 May 1734, San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco, Mexico; d. 27 Mar 1754.


9. i. MARIA-ANTONIA5 MUNOZ-DE-NAVA, b. 22 Sep 1721, San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco, Mexico; d. 26 Jul 1793.

Generation No. 5

9. MARIA-ANTONIA5 MUNOZ-DE-NAVA (MANUEL4, LEONOR3 RAMIREZ-DE-HERMOSILLO, NICOLAS2, DIEGO-ALONSO1 RAMIREZ-DEL-PEDROZA) was born 22 Sep 1721 in San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco, Mexico, and died 26 Jul 1793. She married JOSEPH-AGATON GUTIERREZ-DE-MEDOZA 26 Jan 1741/42 in Nuestra Sra de la Asuncion, Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico. 

ii. ANTONIO-ANASTACIO GUTIERREZ-DE-MEDOZA, m. ANA-GERTRUDIS-SATURNIA VALLEJO-RAMIREZ-CORNNEJO, 14 May 1781, Nuesta Sra de la Asuncion, Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico; b. 19 Apr 1741, Nuestra Sra de la Asuncion, Jalisco, Mexico.

Descendents of Pedro Fernandez-de-Velasco,  1st Count of Haro

By John Inclan

Generation No. 1

Source: The Archives of the National Library of Madrid.From the book, Historia Genealogica de las Familias Mas Antiguas de Mexico, by Don Ricardo Ortega y Perez Gallardo.

Generation No. 2
The 2nd Count of Haro. Constable de Castilla. 
The 1st Marqueses de Santillana, and the sister of the Duke of Infantado, and from her marriage, she held the title of Countess of Haro.
On March, 20, 1492, he received the title of the 1st Duke of Frias

The 2nd Count of Haro. In 1472 he was made Constable of Castilla, Spain. Source:From the book, Historia Genealogica de las Familias Mas Antiguas de Mexico, by Don Ricardo Ortega y Perez Gallardo.

Generation No. 3
The 1st Marrqueses de Berlanga 
Notes for DUKE PEDRO FERNANDEZ-DE-VELASCO: The 3rd Duke of Frias

5. MARIA5 DE VELASCO (PEDRO4 FERNANDEZ-DE-VELASCO, PEDRO3, JUAN2, PEDRO1) She married DUKE BELTRAN DE-LA-CUEVA. He was born 26 Nov 1464, and died 01 Nov 1492.
Notes for DUKE BELTRAN DE-LA-CUEVA:  The 1st Duke of Alburquerque 

The 2nd Duke of Alburquerque.


8. i. DIEGO6 TREMINO-DE-VELASCO, b. Abt. 1474, Bureba, Castile, Spain; d. Bureba, Castile, Spain.

Generation No. 4

The 1st Marques de Berlanga 
Notes for JUANA ENRIQUEZ-DE-RIBERA-PORTOCARRERO-Y-CARDENAS: Sister to the Afan, de Ribera y Portocarrero, the 1st Duke of Alcala de los Gazules. (1558-1571) 
Notes for DUKE INIGO FERNANDEZ-DE-VELASCO: The 4th Duke of Frias.

8. DIEGO6 TREMINO-DE-VELASCO (BERNARDINO5 FERNANDEZ-DE-VELASCO, FRANCISCO4, PEDRO3, JUAN2, PEDRO1) was born Abt. 1474 in Bureba, Castile, Spain, and died in Bureba, Castile, Spain. He married FRANCISCA ALCOIDEO-ASCOIDE in Spain, daughter of HENANDO DE BANUELOS and BEATRIZ-ISABEL DE ALCOIDEO. She was born 1502 in Seville, Spain. 
Marriage source:Fundadores de Nueva Galicia - Guadalajara - Tomo I, by Guillermo Garmendia Leal.

Page 142.

Source:From the book, New Mexico's First Colonists, compiled and arranged by David H. Snow.

ii. FRANCISCA DE VELASCO, b. Abt. 1525, Seville, Spain; d. Aft. 05 Aug 1589, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico; m. FRANCISCO CORNEJO-MALDONADO, Abt. 1542, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico; b. Abt. 1520, Salamanca, Spain; d. Abt. 1559, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. 

On August 5, 1589, she signed her last will and testament. Source:Fundadores de Nueva Galicia - Guadalajara - Tomo I, by Guillermo Garmendia Leal. Page 42. 
Marriage Notes for FRANCISCA DE VELASCO and FRANCISCO CORNEJO-MALDONADO:Marriage source:From the book, Fundadores de Nueva Galicia - Guadalajara - Tomo I, by Guillermo Garmendia Leal. 
Page 41.

iii. ALONSO DE VELASCO, b. Abt. 1527. 
iv. CAPTAIN GENERAL BALTAZAR DE TREMINO-DE-BANUELOS1, b. Abt. 1530, Villa Banuelos, Burgos, Spain; d. 1600, Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Mexico; m. (2) MARIA DE SALDIVAR-Y-MENDOZA, 1572, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico; b. Zacatecas, Mexico. 

Descendent of the Count of Haro, Lord High Constable of Castilla, Spain and Nobleman Lord of Bribiesca and of Medina of the Pomar. Genealogical History of the Most Ancient Families of Mexico, by Don Ricardo Ortega y Perez Gallardo.

Conquistador and one of the founders of Zacatecas. Source:Mil Familias III by Rodolfo Gonzalez de la Garza. Page 316.

New Mexico's First Colonists, compiled and arranged by David H. Snow. 
Marriage source:Mil Familias III by Rodolfo Gonzalez de la Garza. Page 316. 
Fundadores de Nueva Galicia - Guadalajara - Tomo I, by Guillermo Garmendia Leal. Page 74 and 143. 

v. MARIANA BANUELOS, b. Abt. 1535, Seville, Spain; m. FRANCISCO DE FIGUEROA, Aft. 1543, Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Mexico; b. Spain. 
Notes for MARIANA BANUELOS:  A.K.A. Ana de Tremino. 
Marriage source:Fundadores de Nueva Galicia - Guadalajara - Tomo I, by Guillermo Garmendia Leal.  Page 143.

vi. JOSE-DIEGO DE TREMINO, b. Abt. 1537, Seville, Spain; d. Abt. 1634; m. BEATRIZ DE QUINTANILLA-DE-FARIAS, Abt. 1557, Mexico City, F.D., Mexico; b. Abt. 1539. 
Note:Records list his last name as Tremino. 
Family source from the book Origen de los Fundadores de Texas, Nuevo Mexico, Coahulia, y Nuevo Leon, by Guillermo Garmendia Leal.

Marriage source:Mil Familias III by Rodolfo Gonzalez de la Garza. Page 316. 
Fundadores de Nueva Galicia - Guadalajara - Tomo I, by Guillermo Garmendia Leal. Page 74. 
Endnotes 1. New Mexico's First Colonist compiled and arrange by Davis H. Snow..


Hispanic Genealogical Society of New York
What's your name?
Book: "Havana Salsa: Stories and Recipes" by viviana Carballo


The Hispanic Genealogical Society of New York
Tenth Anniversary Commemorative Journal 

Over the past 10 years, "The Hispanic Genealogical Society of New York has grown from a loose association of a few friends who met over the Internet, sharing a love for culture and a curiosity about our ancestors and their histories, to a well-established society with members all over the United States, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Spain. Through the study or our own lineages, and by sharing information with others, we have developed a strong sense of belonging and pride that has helped us foster a new appreciation of our culture and heritage.

From the beginning, HGSNY has been aware of the ties between genealogy, history and culture. We realize that in helping others trace their roots, we not only help them find their ancestors, but we encourage a deeper understanding of our history and a closer appreciation of our culture. With this in mind, we developed a vision plan for this organization that would:

• Encourage Hispanics to research their roots, history and rich heritage

• Provide instruction and assistance in genealogical research

• Locate and make available genealogical resources for research

• Protect and restore historical documents relating to Hispanics and our history

• Establish a network of Hispanic genealogical libraries and other resources

• Begin the organization of a National Hispanic Genealogical Association

Guided by this vision, this decade has been a time of discovery, for us personally as well as for the members of the organization. We: have grown, not only in the number of ancestors we can claim and the generations we have traced, but also in better understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. We have also learned how to work together, to help each other, making our organization grow.

We are very proud of what we have accomplished so far, as you will see it in the content of this anniversary publication. What we have learned has opened our eyes and widened our horizons. We see that there is much more to be done, we need more partners, more commitment and more workers to share this dream.

My thanks to all of our members, for this is your society. | am also very grateful to the directors and staff of HGSNY their dedication to our society. Thanks also to all who have bought this journal, contributing to its successful publication. We count on you for even more, as we want to continue sharing this dream, which is now a responsibility that we take very seriously.


Jorge L. Camuñas Muñiz, 

The Hispanic Genealogical Society of New York
Old Chelsea Station, P.O. Box 474
New York, New York 10113


[[Editor: With the large influx of Puerto Rican into New York, there is a heavy emphasis on Puerto Rican research.  The group takes researching trips to Puerto Rico and they do much sharing of information.  Excellent work.]]

What’s Your Name?
by Manuel Hernandez-Carmona
Teacher in Puerto Rico, right side in photo below.

When I attended grade school, my name was mispronounced often. Instead of the Spanish Manuel, teachers made an extreme effort when saying it and always ended up pronouncing it incorrectly. For them, I was Man-You-El. That wasn’t my name, but I didn’t dare correct my teachers. At home and to my childhood buddies, I was Junior. I was named after my father, and it was customary to call the son with the father’s name. There were so many Juniors, but I did feel more in the family with that name.
I grew up in North Tarrytown, New York in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. My parents had moved from Puerto Rico during the years following the end of World War II. My mother escaped the vigilant and watchful eye of my grandparents, and Father was encouraged to move to New York for financial reasons. One hot humid Sunday afternoon, Manuel and Carmen crossed their Latino eyes at a Pentecostal church in Brooklyn. The rest is part of American history.

When my family moved to Puerto Rico in October of 1974, my names changed drastically. On the first day of school, my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Tapia, asked me, “Cual es tu segundo apellido?” I was dumbfounded. You see, in the United States, my mother’s last name was never needed, mentioned or asked for in school. In Puerto Rico, a second last name was a must. But Mrs. Tapia asked who my mother was and immediately knew that it was Carmona. I hated it. I have nothing against my mother’s last name, but it was new for me, and I didn’t like the sound of it. For me, Carmona was half a car and half “mona” (female monkey). 

To add to insult and from that moment on, she always called me Carmona and so did the rest of the teachers in that school. It just so happened that all my eight aunts and four uncles had studied in Carolina G. De Veve elementary school, and I as the oldest grandson was the new Carmona in town. My “compañeros de clase” called me Gringo and Nuyorican. I didn’t have a clue what those words meant, but they laughed and giggled when they called me like that. Someone told me that Gringo was because I had moved from the United States, and Nuyorican was supposed to mean that I was half Puerto Rican and half New York Rican or something like that. I hated those names too, but there were too many Boricuas to fight.

When my families moved to another town, I thought that I could get rid of Carmona, but there was a Math teacher that everyone said looked like me and guess what his name was, Mr. Carmona. In high school, I began to finally get away from Carmona but till this day, my high school classmates still call me, Carmona. In college, I made several trips to New York City, and there my hometown buddies made me feel at ease by once more calling me Junior.

When I enrolled in college, I started using Manuel as my new name. It was the formal thing to do. Then I met Maria, my wife. She introduced me to a tenderer, younger name, Nene. Wow! I really liked that one, especially when she kissed me right after she pronounced it with all the love in her heart. 

When I became a teacher, students called me Mister Hernandez. According to peers, the name demanded respect. I tried getting around that one by telling students to call me just plain Hernandez and some did, but I got new students all the time and they went back to calling me, Mister Hernandez. 

Then the greatest thing happened! I finished my Master’s degree and was hired in my “alma mater”, the University of Puerto Rico as an instructor of English. There students called teachers, professors. All of a sudden I was the Professor. That really built my ego. No more Mister, I was the professor now. For three years, I was professor here, professor there. Nice! But I did not earn a Doctorate, and the university sent me back to the unemployment office. 

Thanks to a one on one confrontation within, I went back to the beginning. Hey, I began as a teacher, so I went back to school teaching, and my old name surfaced again, Mister Hernandez. For the first time in my life, Mister Hernandez had a different tone, and I smiled when students called my attention. 

When I became a father, Joey and Josue called me Papi. That one came with the territory. But for the last ten years, I have really made an effort to be called Manny. The nickname has smooth and swift connotations. First, there was a baseball player whose name was Manny Sanguillen. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates during my childhood and teen years, and as a kid I admired his tenacity and intensity. I was not a Pirate fan, but all kids during the time watched Pirate baseball superstar Roberto Clemente play, and there was Manny right behind the plate. Second, I have always considered myself a simple quiet homeboy. I believe Manny stands for all that and more. I love the name. Carmona, well, that’s another story. What’s your name?

Roberto Camp  writes: This is a nice link in Puerto Rico

Book: "Havana Salsa: Stories and Recipes" by viviana Carballo

Dear Mimi, This afternoon I attended a get-together at Wilma Espinosa's home with Ms. Viviana Carballo, author of "Havana Salsa: Stories and Recipes". 

This was a most interesting, fascinating book review that I have attended in a long time. Ms. Viviana Carballo is indeed a very grounded individual, in spite of the fact that she fled her home in Cuba in the early 1960's, never to return there again. She is a very warm, enthusiastic, caring, and honest person about sharing very personal details of her life's history. She has lived in New York, San Francisco, and Miami, among other places. While in San Francisco, she was a member of the Bay Area Network of Latinas (BANELA). 
I hope that you and your readers will find the time to read her recent book: "Havana Salsa: Stories and Recipes". 

The website below, gives details of the "must read" book.

Thank you, and take care, Lorri Frain



Was Columbus really Italian?
A Critical Study on the Origin of Christopher Columbus"
Descendants of Cristóbal Colón
Juan Bono
Almonte, Huelva, España
Jeay Guy, un belga enamorado de Sombrerete y Zacatecas


Spanish stamp sent by post to Somos Primos by Angel Custodio Rebollo

Was Columbus really Italian?

A DNA discovery could rewrite 500 years of history.
By Martin Dugard, MARTIN DUGARD is the author of "The Last Voyage of Columbus." May 15, 2006 
Sent by John Inclan

IN A SCENE straight out of the television show "CSI," Spanish forensic scientists spent the first few months of this year taking DNA samples from citizens of the Catalan region of Spain and southern France, seeking to answer one of history's greatest unsolved mysteries: determining the true identity of Christopher Columbus. 

The investigation is being led by Dr. Jose Antonio Lorente, a former instructor at the FBI academy whose work has been instrumental in identifying victims of Spanish Civil War atrocities. Saturday — when Lorente is scheduled to present his findings — marks the 500th anniversary of Columbus' death, adding a ceremonial aspect to the inquiry. 

Lorente exhumed Columbus' remains in 2003 to take DNA samples of the explorer and then compare them to those of his brother Diego and his illegitimate son, Fernando, to establish a common genetic map. The next step was gathering saliva samples, looking for the matching mitochondrial evidence that will pinpoint Columbus' true ancestry.

It's commonly held that the explorer was an Italian who moved to Portugal and then Spain. But many experts suggest he was instead a Catalan nobleman who hid his true identity, or the illegitimate son of a Majorcan prince, or even a Jew who spent his life masking his true identity. Birth records indicate he was born in Genoa sometime during the fall of 1451. Skeptics, however, believe those records were fabricated by zealous city fathers. 

This much is sure: Columbus had red hair, a face covered in freckles and stood about 6 feet tall, making him a giant in his day. He was a widower and the father of two sons who sailed four times to the New World between 1492 and 1504, charting and naming almost all of the Caribbean islands in the process. He discovered South America in 1498; he did not set foot on the North American landmass until 1502. On his fourth voyage, a journey of redemption that he called "El Alto Viaje" (the High Voyage) because he successfully led his men through a biblical litany of disasters, he finally gave up his dream of finding a westward aquatic passage from Europe to Asia. Ironically, the spot where he made that decision is now the eastern mouth of the Panama Canal, which linksthe Atlantic and Pacific. 

Columbus traveled as much in death as in life. His body originally was buried in Valladolid, Spain, the city where he died and the same city where Lorente will release his DNA findings. 

Columbus' body was later moved to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, then Cuba, then back to Spain, to Seville. The Dominican Republic claims that Columbus' body never left that island nation, and it has built a great lighthouse tomb to house his remains. Lorente's DNA samples are expected to prove where they truly reside, though even then, both the Dominican Republic and Spain may be right: Columbus' bones could have been divided into two boxes by some sentimental Dominican caretaker, ensuring that at least part of the explorer would never leave the city that he founded, governed and named for his father. 

Of course, the fact remains that Columbus wasn't the first to step on what became American soil. The Irish, Vikings and maybe even the Chinese got here earlier. But his was the arrival that changed history because he came to the New World and stayed, and he encouraged others to do the same. For five centuries, people have done just that. Take a walk down the streets of New York or Los Angeles. Look at the sea of faces from around the world and know that Columbus played a part in all their lives — every single one.

World history is the saga of one civilization interacting with another, and a cataloging of the results. When Lorente releases his findings, we will know just a little bit more about one of the Americas' greatest immigrants. Let that be an occasion to reflect on the life of a charismatic and passionate man who chose to live boldly rather than settle for mediocrity — as well as those new explorers who, via plywood rafts, tattered shoes slapping Arizona sands or dark freight containers, follow in his footsteps. 


Chapter 10 
"Christopher Pellegrino or Christopher Columbus:
A Critical Study on the Origin of Christopher Columbus"

by  Maurizio Tagliattini 
Copyright © 1991 & 1998 by Maurizio Tagliattini 
All Rights Reserved
Sent by  to

A short time after accomplishing the task of writing The Discovery of North America, I decided to extend my investigation by adding a final chapter devoted to the controversial origin of the great discoverer, the enigmatic man from Genoa: Christopher Columbus.

The purpose of this critical chapter is not only to dissect and analyze the already established findings on this subject, but also to illuminate as fully as possible the intricate historical processes which shaped both the content and form of these findings, a complicated task which, to my knowledge, has never been undertaken before.

With this objective in mind, I will present findings chronologically, as they unfolded through the centuries in the writings of various historians and annalists, providing all of the critical documentation, and historical evidence upon which I have reached my conclusions. I have strived to present as clearly as possible to readers the paths of evidence, so that they may make their own assessments relatively independently of my own commentary and final conclusions.

Let me add that while historians must inevitably interpret documents and historical evidence, I have conscientiously labored to be primarily informative, adhering as closely as possible to available historical documents and archival records.

Some of our most prestigious contemporary historians, including S.E. Morison, argue that all major doubts have been resolved concerning the origin of Christopher Columbus and the genealogy of his family of the Colombos. They firmly assert that the great discoverer was born in Genoa (or nearby) just as he stated in a surviving copy of his testament or "mayorazgo" of February 22, 1498, recording that from that city he had left and there he was born "pues que della sali' y en ella naci'." Copious notarial deeds and papers were found at the archives in Genoa and its sister city Savona. These revealing deeds (most of which were discovered in the 19th century) pertaining to a Colombo family were selected among thousands of such documents and construed by scholars to constitute proof that Columbus was a Colombo born in Genoa or nearby between August 26 and October 30, 1451.

On the strength of this legal documentation, the city of Genoa published in 1932 a large volume reproducing in facsimile selected documents, some of which had been already published dating back as far as 1602 when the Savonese juryconsult Giulio Salinerio presented the first findings on Columbus from the archival records of Savona. This 1932 volume titled Colombo was printed with the clear intent of supplementing the already available 15 large volumes published in 1892-96 by the Italian government (R. Commissione Colombiana) to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the New World. In three editions (Italian, English-German, and French-Spanish), the volume leaves little doubt that it was intended to convey to the whole reading world that, yes, Christopher Columbus was not only an Italian born in Genoa, but as a natural consequence, also a Christian of proven faith.

The 1932 Colombo published by the city of Genoa (with the contribution of Giuseppe Pessagno and others) is the ultimate product of the "Scuola Genovese" whose scholars had been involved in Columbian Literature from the time of Gerolamo Bordoni in 1614 (as stated by Pessagno in his 1926 work) down to Ugo Assereto who, at the closing of the 19th century, had found the most assertive of all notarial deeds, thus crowning the already "synchronous documentation."

In 1904, Assereto had finally published his newly found document under the revealing title of The date of birth of Colombo asserted by a new document. This precious "Assereto Document," once matched with the one previously found in 1887 by Marcello Staglieno, definitely established the birth of Columbus, as previously mentioned, between August 26 and October 30, 1451.

In the preface to the multilingual Colombo, the mayor "Il Podesta'" of the city of Genoa thought to reassure his international readership of the primacy of Genoa on the longstanding issue of the origin of Columbus, categorically stating:

To reject the documents here assembled in their authentic and legitimate form is to deny the light of the sun; their acceptance signifies the freeing of truth from the infinity of idle words that are increasing every day in vain attempts to find outside Genoa the origin of the discoverer of America.

The Podesta' of Genoa
Ing. Eugenio Broccardi

In the all-inclusive commentary to the Colombo, one finds other statements which were in full agreement with the mayor and no less emphatic, including this direct warning to readers:

In order to destroy this chain of evidence it is necessary to suppress legal deeds committed to history...whoever wishes to deny the discoverer's Genoese origin must face this documentation...

I have faced head-on this fortress of documentation during the course of my years of research on the origin of Columbus, and must agree wholeheartedly that challenging these intimidating (but judicious) warnings places scholars in the plight of Don Quixote fighting the windmills. As far back as 1602, Salinerio in his Cornelium Tacitum, after having in his possession only a few Savonese documents related to Columbus, had voiced the same discouraging conclusion:

Christopher made such clear mention of his country, that it is most incredible that anyone today should doubt it or make research...

Yet, let me add, that from Salinerio to our own days, regardless of such advice or warnings, from time to time inquiries about the true origin of the famous man (whatever their nationalistic, ethnic or religious motives) have continued to surface, like stubborn weeds which refuse to go away. Hope never completely seems to die out of finding new interpretations of what are still undeniably perplexing and inexorable issues surrounding the origins of the great discoverer. What fuels this hope, many researchers including myself could testify, is curiosity, stubbornness, and progressive involvement.

In 1864, for example, Henry Harrisse (1829-1910), still young and doubtless unaware of the numerous implications and complexities of the Columbian Literature, wrote an essay optimistically titled Columbus in a Nutshell . As it turned out, Harrisse eventually abandoned his promising legal career and devoted the rest of his life to unraveling the mysteries left behind for future scholars to solve by the enigmatic Christopher Columbus.

Indeed, despite the copious documentation available today (and despite what many modern luminaries suggest) many aspects of Columbus's life are still stubbornly obscured by a thick veil of mystery which, quite justifiably, generate uncertainty and considerable suspicion. While some scholars, for whatever reasons, choose to ignore this historical veil, it forms an intriguing, irreducible arabesque which will not disappear even if one pretends it does not exist.

Much of the continuing mystery enveloping the private life of the great discoverer was, as we shall see, created or devised by Columbus himself, almost as if he envisioned himself the victim of unspeakable facts which could only be mastered or supported through tactics of secrecy, evasiveness, innuendo, and doubletalk. Although this assessment is rather frankly psychological, I believe it is fully supported by a careful examination and evaluation of his actions as well as by an analysis of certain intangibles of his private life. These personal idiosyncracies surface in his surviving writings as well as in the descriptions and analyses of him reflected in the works of many people who knew him personally.

One of the most celebrated detectives of the human mind, Cesare Lombroso, the 19th century criminologist, judged Columbus's penchant for secrecy so pronounced, in fact, that he labeled him decidedly paranoid. Consider, for example, the fact that after Columbus became famous, he eliminated altogether his family name from the signature in his letters. He substituted for the name a small pyramid of Roman letters spaced with strategically placed dots. For the past 500 years, this signature has represented a puzzle whose solution has remained as elusive as many other enigmas surrounding Columbus, all of which together give rise to the conviction that his motives were not mere eccentricity, but a concerted, deep-rooted desire to keep his true origin unknown.

What happens, sooner than later, to scholars who get intellectually involved in the sum of Columbus's apparent oddities is that they find themselves caught in an inexorable spider's web. One of these scholars, Harrisse, made in 1888 the following revealing statement justifying his many years of dedication to the captivating but thankless task of wandering through the dense thickets and enigmas of the Columbian literature:

The consolation that remains is that if a single copy survives, and the book has been honestly written, time may instill into its discarded pages new elements of life, and perhaps elicit from painstaking students of history a word or two of esteem and gratitude.

Harrisse was only one of the many scholars who dedicated their lives to wandering through the magic tunnel of the Columbian Literature, but certainly he fully deserves the belated title of "Prince of the Americanists" attributed to him by Carlos Sanz in 1958.

If Harrisse were still alive today, I would like to ask him one specific, very direct question: If it was known from the very beginning that Christopher was a Colombo born in Genoa, why did you neglect a promising legal career and spend the rest of your life trying to piece together the truth about his origins? Harrisse's hypothetical answer might be, "Why don't you read my books?" But his Columbus in a Nutshell does not confine the enigmas of Columbus to a nutshell unless it is a nutshell suspended in the center of an expanding web of contradictions and irreducible ambiguities.

My suspicion is that many writers on Columbian Literature enter the historical fray by wishfully thinking, like Harrisse, that they can write a book encompassing all of the complexities of the man in a few pages. Then after a while, without fully realizing it, they find themselves surrounded by enigmas on all sides; like Dante they find themself trapped in the middle of nowhere wandering on the verge of a Divine Comedy.

On this leit-motif, let me recount the story of my own entrapment in the Columbian labyrinth. In retrospect, it may have begun the first time I went to Mexico, but I failed to identify the symptoms which were those of an uncomfortable illness that affected me almost like the experience of seasickness. I was told my symptoms were nothing to worry about, that I was probably just another victim of "Montezuma's revenge." But in 1983 I traveled to the Dominican Republic, and there on the beautiful island of Hispaniola, I experienced again these same 'new world' symptoms of a vague sickness. Eventually I recovered from this sense of physical discomfort and what I now know to be the first signs of my Columbian entrapment. And wandered into the hills with my backpack, very much aware this time of feeling like a reincarnated Christopher Columbus in search of the ghosts of his adventurous era. From up there, the night view of the island was captivating, compelling: I stood among palm trees, under the starry arch of a tropical sky, with the moon silvering the surface of the exotic sea crowned by a string of small bays and coves, stretching as far as my eyes could see. Feeling caught up in mysterious influences, I spent three nights on the hilltop living in a primitive hut, "bohio," that seemed to be a relic from the preColumbian times. This experience was so overwhelming, I wrote‚ Lights Across the Bay , a romantic short story of an imagined Columbus drawn mostly from school-day fantasy and reminiscences.

In retrospect, I wish that my approach to Columbian Literature had remained similarly romanticized that way, but instead the Columbian web entrapped me and transformed me into a researcher, a historian compelled to write with the mind as well as the heart. Now after devoting so many years of almost compulsive investigation of the Columbian web, I hope that I can free myself by unraveling all that I have learned.

After this lengthy introduction to the dangers of Columbian Literature, let us focus in this chapter on the complex scholarship of Columbus' origins. We will conclude through a radical reinterpretation of a document known to Columbian scholars (but whose extraordinary significance has for various reasons been generally ignored), that Christopher was a child born out of wedlock and forsaken by a father who he probably never knew but who carried his family's name.

It goes beyond the scope of this work to attempt a psychoanalytical understanding of why Christopher kept to himself the traumatic secret of his humble beginnings. But one must recognize that Columbus lived during a time when both honor and fortune were attached to a family's name. And one can speculate that the humiliating experience of being born out of wedlock (difficult perhaps for some moderns to appreciate) strengthened Christopher's later determination to prove to himself and to his fellow men; and that the discovery of a New World was born, in effect, of compulsive overachievement and great individual struggle for personal rehabilitation.

For the reader to properly evaluate the conclusions I have reached on Christopher's modus vivendi and origin, he must now undertake to travel along a long tortuous road, composed of 15th century historical facts, of contemporary chroniclers and historians writing about Columbus, of a great body of circumstantial evidence and, of course, of the works of the First Admiral of the Ocean Sea himself.

To reiterate, what we know today of Columbus' Genoese origin derives primarily from notarial deeds in the possession of the State archives of Genoa and Savona, most of which were not found until the 19th century. From these deeds, one can establish, with a reasonable degree of certainty, that a Christopher, son of a Domenico Colombo, was indeed born in Genoa or nearby in the year 1451.

However, we must keep in mind that the search for the origin of the Discoverer did not begin in the 19th century. In the previous 300 years (particularly in the 16th century), considerable research work had already been undertaken in an effort to arrive at some vestige of truth about which family was in fact the real family of the famous discoverer. This search had not been simple or straightforward, but extremely controversial, producing in its wake an array of unreliable documentation.

Complexity was inevitable from the outset for the simple reason that, apart from the sparse information about Christopher's family, his own birth or baptismal paper was never available. It was not until after the "Concilio di Trento" (1545-1563) that the Roman Church authorized the issuing of baptismal certificates. Most churches, however, probably kept a listing of the baptized, an assumption whose particular relevance in the case of Christopher we will discuss later. On the question of Columbus's age, however, statements (unfortunately confusing) were directly recorded not only by Columbus, but by his son Fernando, and the historian Bartolome' de Las Casas. The latter two historiographers were in possession of Columbus' writings; they were in close personal contact with him and members of his family. Nevertheless, even so, remarkably, they seem unable or else unwilling to reveal anything conclusively elucidating the matter of Columbus's exact age. Naturally, their failure has greatly added to the mystery surrounding the true Christopher.

Columbus himself, in a letter addressed in 1501 to the Spanish Sovereigns, gave the following information:

De muy pequeña edad entre' an la mar navegando y lo he continuado hasta hoy; la misma arte inclina a quien la prosiguea desear saber los secretos deste mundo; ya pasan de quarenta años que yo voy en este uso.

By 1501, here Columbus writes, he had been navigating for forty years which, if factual, would indicate that he first went to sea in 1461. If by an early age, "de muy pequeña edad," we intend the age of 14, then he could have been born in 1447. The statement by Columbus was reported by his son Fernando in Chapter IV of his Historie... and by Las Casas in his Historia de Las Indias, Libro I, cap. III.

In the entry for Columbus's journal for December 21, 1492, we read this biographical information:

Yo he andado veinte y tres años en la mar, sin salir della tiempo que se haya de contar...

If we deduct 23 from 1492, we arrive at the year 1469, from which further deducting 14 years we are left with a birthdate of 1455!

It is not surprising, then, judging only from these two conflicting statements, taken from others just as contradictory, that a great natal confusion has plagued Columbian scholars since the very beginning.

To the information obtained from Columbus, Fernando, and Las Casas, we have to add similarly conflicting data obtained from his contemporary historians, namely Oviedo as well as Peter Martyr (Pietro Martire), a close friend of Columbus (and of his two children, namely, Diego and Fernando, who were pages at the Castillian court where Martyr was a teacher).

We will also recall interesting observations on Columbus's origin made by prominent historians such as Harrisse, Vignaud, Peragallo, etcetera. In particular, Henry Vignaud, referring in his Critical Study of 1903 to the historiographers who related intimately to Columbus, did not hesitate to suggest a conspiracy of silence on their part, expressing his concern as follows:

Columbus has never correctly reported his age...both his son and Las Casas, who have written his life in its fullest details, who knew him personally, who had been in the closest relation with all members of his family and who had had all his papers in their hands, maintain on this point a silence which is undoubtedly remarkable... when any special circumstances bring any individual prominently into light...the first questions asked about him bear upon his age and whence he comes...

Vignaud supports his theory of a conspiracy of silence on the fact that the abovementioned Fernando and Las Casas "did not wish to convey to us what they knew..." Considering this last statement by Vignaud, one wonders whether it ever entered the historian's mind that Fernando and Las Casas themselves were, perhaps, kept totally in the dark about the origin of Columbus.

After all, if, as I believe, Columbus had been born out of wedlock and then abandoned, obviously he would not wish to reveal more of himself than the world already knew, namely that he was born in Genoa and that from there he had left "de muy pequeña edad."

At this point, let us briefly summarize some basic historical information about the known life of the Discoverer which is imperative in comprehending notarial deeds and other evidence pertaining to his case.

From the traditional historical information obtained from Fernando (the second son of the discoverer, whose last name was "Colón"), Las Casas, and Christopher himself, we have a future discoverer who leaves Genoa at an early age. Eventually, he becomes an expert seaman who will navigate as Admiral the most unknown and perilous waters of the world. However, if from the multitude of notarial deeds, we examine contracts and obligations of various kinds which have been laboriously assembled from the archives of Genoa and Savona at the time when the Colombo family of Christopher lived in those two cities, a very different portrayal emerges.

For example, a notarial document drawn in Savona in 1472 indicates that at the age of 21 Christopher was still there working as a weaver; obviously he could not have started a meaningful sea life until at least 1473. We are presented then with two radically different stories. Now add to this difficulty the fact that no record exists indicating that Christopher, after he had left Genoa, ever called himself Colombo or Columbus. Throughout his known life, he used what amount to aliases; thus the whole matter of trying to identify the real Columbus becomes even more muddled.

This is not a fanciful assessment of the difficulty. Ever since Salinerio published in 1602 the first documentation from Savona, esteemed luminaries over the centuries have found themselves confronted with the perplexing task of matching the information obtained from notarial deeds with the accounts provided by Fernando, Las Casas, and Christopher.

With the hope of creating some kind of order from chaos, some scholars chose to discredit the works and words of those witnesses who knew Columbus most intimately, namely Fernando, Las Casas, and Christopher himself. After all, they had all long died and could no longer defend themselves; on the contrary, those scholars were alive and present.

Thus, Henry Vignaud (1830-1922), whose 365-page book of 1903 embraces some of Harrisse's perplexing finds and final assessment, practically accuses Columbus, Fernando, Las Casas, and even Bartolome' Colón, Columbus's brother, of fraud! However, Vignaud, becoming cautious at the end of his work and after having exhausted his theories, chose to reveal that he still maintained some reservations about the conclusions he had reached, stating:

However logical and convincing they may be, they cannot have other than purely hypothetical character.

Let us review the basic account of Christopher Columbus's whereabouts before he made his great and fateful crossing of the Ocean Sea, relying on traditional history, and my own assessment and interpretive commentary.

First of all, I see no critical reason why we should not believe Columbus's famous words when he stated that he was born in Genoa and that from there he had left at a very early age. Taking into consideration some of the legal documents and contemporary Genoese chroniclers, we can surmise that Christopher, perhaps at the traditional age of 12, was employed as an apprentice woolcarder in the shop of a Domenico Colombo, a woolweaver by profession. We can also surmise that the young Christopher was not at all fascinated by the prospect of spending the rest of his life engaged in such tedious work and patiently awaited the nights to rest and dream of a better world. An entirely New World which, hopefully, someday, he would try to reach following the direction of the breeze that inflated the sails of the caravels that so often he had observed leaving the harbor of Genoa for mysterious voyages toward the horizon.

If he followed Genoese tradition, then at 14, an age confirmed by Fernando, we can see him as a "mozo" or deck hand finally on his way to fulfill his ever present dream of escaping his life in Genoa, finding a new life in the sea, becoming an expert seaman and reaching his new world wherever it might be.

Except for the notarial documentation, there are no historical records that he ever called himself "Cristoforo Colombo" or its Latin equivalent of Columbus; however, at the time of his first departure, it is hardly possible to think that he did not do so. Still, no document pertaining to the maritime history of Genoa of that time has ever come to light revealing any sailor of this name (Pessagno).

After leaving Genoa for his first (and probably short) experience with the sea, Christopher navigated for many years over the Mediterranean Sea arriving as far as the Island of Chios and the African coast. During this time, again no historical records exist indicating that he ever called himself Colombo or any other family name.

Not until he resided in Portugal was he known as "Colón." And Fernando Colón, the second son of the discoverer who was born in Spain, admitted in the famous biography that the origin of his father "was not without some mysteries."

Concerning the arrival of Columbus in Portugal, we have information obtained from the notarial archives which contradicts Columbus's account as cited by Las Casas. In May of 1501, writes Las Casas, the Admiral (Columbus) was received by King Ferdinand in Segovia and, at that time, the discoverer, to make a point, stated that he had spent 14 years trying to convince in vain the Crown of Portugal to sponsor his great design.

It is generally accepted that Columbus moved from Portugal to Spain at the end of 1484 or in the first half of 1485.

If we accept Las Casas's reference, then we can deduce that Christopher first arrived in Portugal around 1470 with enough credentials as navigator to be able to submit, some time later, his plans and impress the Crown. On the other hand, according to the notarial deeds, Columbus did not put out to sea until 1473 and, as a businessman or trade representative, made it to Portugal only in 1476 (say some historians) by swimming to shore after surviving a sinking ship.

These conflicting dates are so important that throughout most of the 19th century, the best that scholarship had to offer was dedicated to the pursuit of determining the right date of Columbus's arrival in Portugal, thus solving the dilemma.

The credibility attached to other documents versus the credibility of the biographers underwent an arduous process of evaluation. And, as frequently happens, the documentation eventually won the day. The importance of finding the right date is self-evident because if one does not subscribe to the idea of a Columbus businessman who first arrives in Portugal in 1476 without having much prior experience as a navigator, but mostly experiences at sea as a passenger, not only is a particular document made questionable, but a whole series of supporting documents as well.

These documents, as we will see later, constitute the pieces of a very carefully assembled mosaic of legal evidence on the life and actions of a Christopher and his Colombo family of Genoa and Savona. In addition, if it can be established that Columbus did not arrive in Portugal until 1476, this in effect means that the Discoverer was not there in 1474, where and when, according to both Fernando and Las Casas, Columbus received upon request the famous letter and nautical chart (showing the westward approach to Japan) from the Florentine astronomer and savant Paolo Dal Pozzo Toscanelli. By this date, Columbus had enough cosmographical knowledge to build a globe and send it to the famed Florentine for his opinion on the idea of reaching Asia by navigating the Ocean Sea westward. Toscanelli replied by sending his encouragement, good wishes, the chart, and a copy of a letter that he had previously sent to a Portuguese canon named Fernam Martins.

A sketch of this much debated nautical chart that Las Casas stated that he himself had seen and that Columbus had carried with him during his first crossing of 1492 was eventually found in the 19th century in Florence annexed to a lecture by Toscanelli on the comet of 1456, and for this reason attributed to him. Now it belongs to the "Codici Magliabecchiani"of the "Biblioteca Centrale di Firenze" and the esteemed Florentine historian Gustavo Uzielli (1837-1911) refers to it in these words: "No doubt it was a similar sketch which Toscanelli employed to draw the map he sent to Martins."

In any event, whether Christopher reached Portugal in 1470 as an experienced sailor or in 1476 as a representative of a Genoese merchant house, he was to remain there until 1485.

We will relate a few important events of his Portuguese life as "Cristovam Colón" or "Christovao Colom" as the Portuguese chronicler João de Barros (1496-1571) called him in his work.

The ship that carried Christopher had sunk as a consequence of a fierce sea battle which took place some two miles off Portugal near Lagos and the future discoverer managed to survive by swimming to shore with the help of an oar that had floated free. Although injured, he recuperated with the assistance of helpful people and moved on to Lisbon which had at the time a considerable community of Genoese (Peragallo).

Much has been written about the life of Columbus in Portugal, but even the best narratives by the most prestigious historians reveal very little for the simple reason that no reliable documentation has ever appeared to substantiate any of his activities. One of the narratives most intriguing for its implications, however, is one by Salvador de Madariaga (Madrid, 1984, 4th ed.) under the title Vida del muy magnifico señor Don Cristobal Colón. Madariaga, incidentally, has Christopher landing in Portugald exactly on August 13, 1476. And as a consequence of having survived a "trial by fire" (to use the historian's words), the future discoverer immediately, then and there, was born again, "Volvio'a nacer." With a marvelous narrative of 500 pages, rich in insights and careful evaluations, the author suggests on the basis of considerable circumstantial evidence that Columbus could have been the son of a Jewish family who had moved to Genoa to escape the Inquisition and/or to seek better opportunities. Without the help of precious documentation, Madariaga's case could, of course, never be substantiated and the author himself was the first to recognize this fact.

To elaborate for the moment on the issue of a Jewish Colombo or Colom family in Italy, I consulted Dr. Raffaello Lattes of the Synagogue of Modena who mentioned to me that in the 19th century, there was in fact a rabbi in Leghorn named Colombo. He also showed me a booklet by Samuele Schaerf published in 5865-1925 and titled I cognomi degli ebrei d'Italia ( The lastnames of Italian Jews) which listed a Colombo. Having no direct bearing on my present work, however, my inquiry ended there.

In Lisbon, Columbus met his younger brother Bartolome' Colón who, like Christopher, had a great inclination for cartography. As everyone seems to agree, it was the study of this art form that helped both brothers start their Portuguese life. Where they learned and how they practiced such a talent is still one of the many mysteries of Columbian Literature. Some scholars suggest that they had studied in Genoa where almost certainly there were nautical schools. Madariaga states that Christopher was a "Doctisimo cosmografo" and already possessed considerable experience on the sea.

At the time of Columbus's arrival, the throne of Portugal was occupied by King Alfonso V. Even though his country was not yet seeking to change the shape of the world, in 1470 he had appointed his son (who in 1481 would become King João II) as chief of explorations and discoveries.

Whether Christopher by 1476 had been a proven seaman or just an aspiring one, no one denies that he navigated in 1477 from Portugal to Iceland, making observations on sea tides that later in 1497, I may add, John Cabot also made, indicating that Columbus may have gone further northwest than many scholars are generally willing to accept. He also undertook several voyages to the western coast of Africa and the island of Puerto Santo. Without going into details, it was in either Puerto Santo or in Lisbon that he met his future wife, Doña Filipa de Perestrelo y Moniz, daughter of Bartholomeu Perestrello of Italian origin from Piacenza who had been the Captain or Governor of Puerto Santo. From this marriage in 1479 or 1480, Diego Colón was born, the future Second Admiral of the Ocean Sea.

The ascent to the throne of João II in 1481 gave Columbus his last chance to gain a sponsorship from the new King for his grand design but, as we know, he failed. By the end of 1484, Columbus was a widower and with his child Diego, writes Fernando, secretly moved to Spain.

Tradition has it that Christopher Colón arrived in Spain at Palos de La Frontera on board a ship with his son Diego, then about five years old. Almost destitute, he found assistance at the nearby Franciscan Monastery of Santa Maria de La Rabida where he met Friar Juan Perez (who was a confessor of Queen Isabel) and Friar Antonio de Marchena to whom he confided his fantastic designs and showed his charts. Both of them proved receptive to the future discoverer's presentation, and worked to arrange an audience for him with the Sovereigns of Spain. Friar Marchena (who S.E. Morison describes as a "a man of imagination and human sympathy") was already well connected with the Royal Court as a "buen astrologo." The first audience with Queen Isabella took place in May of 1486 at the Alcazar of the Royal city of Cordoba. Before leaving for the court, Columbus left Diego under the care of the friars.

A point of minor controversy is exactly when Columbus left Diego with the friars of La Rabida, indicating just how seriously scholars have researched the life and actions of Columbus in Spain, particularly his first years. Both Harrisse and Navarrete have brought forward a court deposition of 1515 by a Garcia Hernandez, friend of friar Juan Perez, who testified that Diego was not left at La Rabida at the care of Franciscan friars until 1491!

Christopher Colón, the widower, while in Cordoba met Beatriz Enriquez who became his mistress and in 1488 out of wedlock gave birth to his second son Fernando, already very familiar to us as the author of his father's biography, the famous Historie...

Dated May 5, 1487, we possess (thanks to the Documentos Diplomaticos assembled by Don Martin Fernandez de Navarrete in book II of 1825) a first document certifying the presence in Spain of Columbus. He is identified simply as Cristobal Colomo "Extrangero." On this date, 3.000 maravedis were paid to him by Alonso de Quintanilla on the order of the Bishop of Palencia for unspecified services rendered to their Highnesses of Spain.

On March 20, 1488 Columbus received a letter from the Portuguese King João II addressed to Cristovam Colón, "our special friend in Seville." In summary, this brief letter informs Colón that the King is willing to re-examine his plans and that he can go back to Portugal without fear of being persecuted by the law.

On May 12, 1489, an order was issued by the Spanish Sovereigns to officials, justices, et cetera, and all other subjects of Castille to facilitate and assist Cristobal Colomo in traveling to court and other places in their Kingdom. Let me comment that this order which was widely circulated undoubtedly provoked the envy of many officials who subsequently joined the growing list of his detractors. They must have asked themselves who this stranger was who deserved so much attention.

We come to the most interesting of the Spanish documents, dated April 17, 1492, "Villa de Sancta Fe de La Vega de Granada." It contains the famous agreements, or "Capitolaciones," between the Sovereigns of Spain and a foreigner, exapprentice woolcarder from Genoa who is identified as "Don Cristobal Colón," their Admiral.

With the fall of Granada and the end of the war with the Moors, the Sovereigns of Spain finally consented and agreed to organize an expedition led by Columbus which would reach the Indies by going westward. According to these capitulations, Columbus would gain the titles of Admiral of the Ocean Sea, Viceroy and Governor General of all lands that he would discover, and take for himself to use as he wishes ten percent of whatever would be acquired overseas, whether pearls, precious stones, gold, silver, spices or any other merchandise. Further, the agreement specifies that if the said Don Cristobal Colón wished to contribute one eighth of the expenses required to equip future expeditions, he would be entitled to one eighth of their profits as well. And also that the rights to these entitlements, covered by hereditary laws, upon the death of Don Cristobal Colón would pass on to his successors in perpetuity.

It is superfluous to comment here on the extravagance or quixotic aspects of these agreements dictated by a Columbus who appears extremely fearful of deceptions and frustrated by so many years of constant procrastination. As it turned out, Columbus had reason to be wary; all of these Royal Grants did not constitute, to paraphrase Madariaga, a juridical document but only the basic draft for one. In fact, when Columbus returned from his second voyage to the New World of 1493-1496 (see Chapter 9), some of these grants and privileges were abruptly withdrawn, and the discoverer found himself surrounded by detractors, growing hostilities and indifference, all of which would endure to his death. Surely his original fears and suspicions of being deceived were eminently justifiable.

What is mindboggling about these capitulations is the thought of what ten percent of all the exports from the Americas would be worth today. Consider only, for example, the petrodollars earned from Mexico and Venezuela's oil sales abroad!

From 1496, the financial position of Columbus, highly indebted already with what today we may call promissory notes, did not ameliorate; in fact, it grew progressively worse and the only income he could count on was the 10,000 maravedis life pension that the crown had granted to him in 1493 for having been the first to sight a flickering light in the New World.

Columbus had renounced a noble title and large estate in exchange for his peaceful retirement from the political enterprise that the New World had become. He was still hopeful of setting out on a new voyage of exploration, and survived precariously for two years, having no visible possessions, and living on whatever he could carry on his horse, wandering, like Dante, from place-to-place as he had done before his great discovery. Being a man of Spartan customs and of an extraordinarily resourceful mind, the material pain was probably not as unbearable as feelings of ingratitude and obsolescence.

For some time in 1497, Columbus was the guest of one of his few remaining friends, Andres Bernaldez, the curate of the Royal Palaces. Bernaldez seems to have been a graceful confident to whom Columbus revealed in detail some of the most interesting aspects of his actions in the New World. Bernaldez put this material to good use when he wrote his Historia de los Reyes Catolicos D. Fernando y Da. Isabel. One intriguing aspect of the curate's Historia is that he is the only contemporary historian who ever mentioned Columbus's age. He revealed that when the discoverer died, he was more or less 70 years old. This statement presumably remained hidden since his work would not be published in Granada until 1856 (see endnote 1). Since Columbus died in 1506, if the esteemed curate's estimate were accurate, he would have been born on or around 1436. When in 1887 a document was found (in the archive of Genoa by Marcello Staglieno) of a Christopher Columbus born between 1446 and 1451, the curate's assessment of the discoverer's age became the focus of a controversy among the most prominent historians.

The dilemma was obvious: how could it be possible, on the one hand, to assume that the respected and reputable Bernaldez had been wrong when he had known Columbus so intimately? On the other hand, how can one doubt the content of a notarial document? Eventually, some scholars found a compromising solution that would spare Bernaldez's reputation by assuming that Columbus must have looked much older to him than his real age or that, as a consequence of clerical error, 70 had been written instead of 60.

One cannot help but wonder about this enigmatic Columbus. Why was he not more candid and forthcoming, and at least reveal his age for posterity knowing that he was a famous man? Why was he so mysterious about his beginnings that not even his son Fernando, or Las Casas, Martyr, or Oviedo could penetrate his secrets? But to add a comment to these hypothetical questions, Columbus was not merely a secretive man; he possessed, above all, the uncompromising virtues of a Biblical man who believed devoutly that his life had been designed for a particular mission. From his writings, we know he could not succumb to secular forces, to either defeat or compromise.

After two years of practical confinement in Spain, which would have sufficed to demoralize anyone else, he finally sailed away on May 30, 1498, engaged in a new mission which on August 1 would result in the discovery of an entire new continent: South America.

Before leaving on this voyage, Columbus was preoccupied with the future of his two children and the uncertainty related to his fragile capitulations with the Spanish sovereigns. He wrote the most revealing and, at the same time, most puzzling of his compositions: his first testament dated February 22, 1498, endorsed with the cryptic cabalistic signature which we have described earlier. This testament, or Mayorazgo, asserting the rights of his first son Don Diego Colón, was published in nine printed pages by Navarrete in 1825. His son Don Diego since May 8, 1492 had been the page of prince Don Juan at the court of Castille and was now joined on February 18, 1498 by his halfbrother Fernando as a page to the Queen. Leaving his two children temporarily behind in good hands and with a drawn testament, Columbus once more pursued his appointed destiny on the Ocean Sea.

Even to attempt a summary of the content of this lengthy testament would be a hopeless task and I will mention only the most pertinent passages. Columbus reminds the Sovereigns of how much he has contributed to the treasury of Castille through his personal struggles and, with pleading words, wants reassurance that the crown of Spain will protect his rights which he here wills to his son Don Diego Colón who carries the legitimate name of his father and his ancestors which is the one of Colón, "Llamados de los de Colón." Should Diego die without male heirs, the rights should pass to his halfbrother Fernando and likewise if he should die without male heirs, the inheritance should pass onto his brothers Bartolomy and then James (Diego) in perpetuity. It is further specified that the rights must follow a male line and that under no circumstances should it switch to a female, unless a male can no longer be found as legitimate heir.

Here let me point out that this last-mentioned part of the Will is the key, as we will see later, that caused search from 1578 on in several Italian localities to produce a male Colombo eligible to inherit the rights in spite of the fact that the name mentioned in the Will is "Colón" and not Colombo. To the chagrin of many future historians, the discoverer fails to mention the name of his father and refers to his family predecessors as belonging to the Colóns which he states to be his true lineage, "mi linage verdadero." The discoverer also reminds the Sovereigns that he came to serve them in Castille having been born in Genoa, "siendo yo nacido en Genova." He charges Diego, or whoever inherits his rights, to maintain and support in the city of Genoa someone of their "lineage" who will establish himself there as a citizen with a house and a wife because in that city he will be able to enjoy favors and "the things that he may need." He ends the paragraph with his most popular statement: "Since from there I left and there I was born." Further on, he returns to the subject of Genoa and again charges the inheritor "to always endeavour for the honor and welfare of the city of Genoa."

It certainly seems clear from all of the above statements that Columbus intended to emphasize the fact he had been born in the city of Genoa and not in the Republic of Genoa or somewhere else. Why his son Fernando would at a later time visit several other places in Italy to locate his father's birthplace and relatives remains another unsolved mystery.

In his testament, Columbus did not forget to protect his soul as well. He suggests to the inheritor that he invest the future income granted by the Sovereigns at the bank of Saint George in Genoa in secure instruments paying six percent, and that he utilizes some of this income to help King Ferdinand in case he launches a Holy mission to go forth and conquer Jerusalem. He also specifies that in a suitable location of his beloved island of Hispaniola, a church be built named "Santa Maria de la Concepcion" as well as a hospital with the most modern equipment, similar to those in Castille and Italy.

Now we come to perhaps the most puzzling part of the Will in which Columbus instructs Diego (or whoever will be the recipient) how to sign or endorse their papers. They must sign it, as is his own practice, without any family name whatsoever; and regardless of how many titles they may acquire, they must identify themselves only with the title of Admiral. The signature is required to be exactly as he details it:

El Almirante

To reiterate what we have said before, Columbus never used a family name in any of his letters, substituting in most of them "Xpo FERENS" instead of "El Almirante" as shown below:


In this puzzle, "Xpo FERENS" stands for a latinization of Christopher, the carrier of Christ, or symbolically his cross. Most scholars have attempted to solve the puzzle by attributing its significance simply to Columbus's religious fervor; but I perceive this cryptic signature as much more complex, as layered with levels of intrinsic meaning which we can only find by looking at it within the context of his very personal nature. I believe we can detect in this formulation the intimate trauma of a Christopher born out of wedlock and abandoned by his father, as I have premised earlier. The Christopher that shares with the Biblical Moses not only a Godly mission, but the childhood suffering and abandonment as well. A Christopher unsure of his origin, of his family name, who had arrived at the time in his life when he can be true to himself, finally, and shed all of his previous aliases of Colonus, Colón, Colom, or Colomo, just as he had earlier abandoned the appellation of Colombo which did not belong to him. A Christopher who chooses to manifest his resolve to purge himself of all that is not his, but in a manner which will not openly reveal his secret, which will not expose his already stained reputation to the added burden of being publicly known as a bastard.

Later in this chapter, I will bring this matter into clearer perspective. For the time being, let me note only that since Columbus himself expressed the wish to be identified only as Christopher or "the Admiral," I see no good reason why I should not adhere to it and identify him more frequently in my own text in such a manner.

As we know, the Admiral was brought back in chains from his third voyage, arriving at Cadiz on November 20 or 25, 1500. In addition to this great humiliation, he had lost all the privileges and "mercedes" granted to him from time to time to appease his fear and suspicion concerning the basic concessions formulated in the Capitulations of 1492.

What is almost impossible to fathom is how the Admiral, after having experienced all of these debilitating struggles, succeeded in rehabilitating his mind and body and successfully organized a fourth expedition to the New World. He left Cadiz with four small and wormeaten caravels on May 11, 1502. On this mission, he took with him his son Fernando, then only 14 years old. The unfailing determination of this man who never seemed to succumb to overwhelming odds is another of the mysteries surrounding his life.

In the year or more that he spent in Spain before leaving for this fourth and last voyage, Christopher drew up a modified version of his testament of 1498. This new version of 1502 has never been found, but the Admiral himself mentions (in the last and final codicil to his testament of May 19, 1506) that he had indeed executed it and that before leaving, he had entrusted it for safekeeping with other of his papers to Friar D. Gaspar in the monastery of "Las Cuevas en Sevilla." This latest codicil of 1506 is of importance and we will return to it later.

Waiting to embark on a voyage of exploration in which he would discover Central America and survive an incredible trial, the Admiral was in poor health, and naturally concerned this voyage could be his last one, at least on this earth. Apprehensive as ever that all of his Royal grants and privileges would eventually be proven unworthy of the paper they were written on, he collected and illustrated them in a book and sent a first copy for safekeeping to the prestigious bank of Saint George in Genoa. I have a facsimile of this precious book of privileges in my possession. Its dimensions are 11½" x 8½" x 3/4" and it is titled Cartas y Previlegs. , Cedulas y otras Escrituras de Dõxpoval Colón Almirante Mayor dl Mar Oceano, Visorey y Governador de las Islas y Tierra Firme.

Several of the pages are decorated with charming flowery designs, and in the space of one entire page is depicted the Colón emblem or family heraldic crest granted to him by the Spanish sovereigns upon his triumphal return of 1493. It is divided into four parts with the first two sections on top showing, on the upper left, a golden castle against a red field, and on the upper right, a rampant lion featured with human expression in his eyes and endowed with a menacing protruding red tongue, and protruding red penis as well. The Lion is depicted in a silver field. Lion and Castle, of course, are the heraldic symbols of "Castile y León." The lower two parts of the page show, on the left, a silver ocean with innumerable golden islands and a golden continent; and on the right, a deep blue ocean interspersed with five large golden anchors. The entire emblem must have been designed by the discoverer himself and rich patterns of its intrinsic meaning can be genuinely appreciated.

According to the words of the Admiral, the copy which he forwarded to the Bank of Saint George was of red Moroccan, and secured with a silver safety lock.

The fact that the Admiral chose to deliver his most valued possession and manifested his intent to entrust his "potential" future income from the Indies to the Bank of Saint George, "Ufficio di San Giorgio in Genova," was a well calculated move as will be evident from the following documentation and commentary. The bank paid the high interest rate of six percent (a high rate for the 16th century? Columbus seems to imply that it was) and at this time, an investor could not find a more secure place in the world than in that bank. Richard Davey (who wrote a historical appraisal of that financial institution in the National Review of October 1892) summarizes the power of Saint George at this time:

The bank of Saint George, for seven hundred years, held an unrivalled position in the world, and combined the qualifications of the Bank of England with those of the East India Company.

Davey further informs readers who may have an interest in history that:

At the siege of Acre, Richard I, fighting side by side with the brave Genoese, placed England under the patronage of the Genoese Patron Saint, George of Cappadocia. He also took from the Genoese banner its Red Cross and placed it at the centre of the national flag of Old England.

What may be pointed out as an "ironia del destino" is that Christopher, by discovering the New World, was the major cause that ruined Italian commerce with the Orient, which inevitably brought the Great Republic of Genoa to its doom. The discoverer undoubtedly had another important thing in mind when he tried to tie the financial future of his children with the Bank of Saint George. This clearly surfaces in an examination of the content of his correspondence with Saint George which had developed with the consignment to it of the book of privileges and other papers. The "Ufficio," besides being a commercial bank, was responsible also for tax collections and for all of the other financial transactions inherent in the administration of the Genoese Republic.

The revealing correspondence mentioned above comprises five letters dated from March 21, 1502 to December 27, 1504. The most important feature of this correspondence is that neither Christopher nor his son Diego are ever identified with a last name, as if either they had none, or else an appropriate one for them could not be found! Not once are the names of Columbus, Colombo, Colón, et cetera mentioned, incredibly remarkable since the parties related at an ambassadorial level. This omission could be justified to some extent on the part of the Admiral; but for officials of the Bank of Saint George to follow through in this strange fashion, in those days of highly reverent diplomacy, is nothing short of amazing. The Admiral signed with his cryptic signature and the Bank addresses him as "Domino Christoforo," our beloved fellow citizen, "amatissime concivis."

The first letter is dated in Seville, March 21, 1502, and accompanies the book of privileges that the Admiral forwards through the Genoese merchant in Seville, Francisco de Ribarol, to the Genoese Ambassador Nicolo' Oderico at the court of Spain to be shown to officials of the Bank of Saint George to appraise his financial resources. Christopher pleads with the Ambassador that since he is leaving for overseas, to notify as soon as possible by letter his son D. Diego as to where the book will be kept. The letter also reveals that the Admiral had obtained new royal "guarantees" and that the Sovereigns "promise" to give him all that is due to him and that they will protect the rights of Don Diego.

The second letter is dated April 2, 1502, and is addressed to officials of the Bank to be delivered through the good services of the Genoese Ambassador. Like all the letters of the Admiral, it is written in Castillian and since quite brief, I will translate it in its entirety:

To the most noble gentlemen of the most magnificent office of St. George.

Most noble gentlemen,

Even thus my body is here, my heart is there at all times. Our Lord has bestowed upon me the greatest mercy that was ever given to any man except for David. The result of my labors already shine and they would produce a great light if the blanket of the government would not conceal it.

I am returning to the Indies in the name of the Holy Trinity to come back promptly but since I am a mortal I leave with my son D. Diego the charge to deposit in your institution all the income that will be obtained from my rights. One tenth of which, every year forever, should pay for the taxes on wheat, wine and the victuals to the relief of the population of Genoa. If this tenth will amount to something accept it; if not, accept my good will. What I ask for is that this son of mine be well respected.

Mr. Nicolo' Oderico knows more about my affairs than I do and to him I have consigned my privileges and other papers to keep in a well guarded place after you have examined them. The King and the Queen my Lords are pleased to honor me more than anyone else.

May the Holy Trinity protect your noble persons and the increase of the magnificent office.

The next two letters are both dated December 8, 1502. One is the reply to the Admiral who is addressed as "Domino Christoforo" and beloved fellow citizen; the other addressed to Don Diego to reassure him of Genoese hospitality and to remind him of the tax relief generously offered to the city by his father. Unfortunately, officials of the Bank delayed the reply to Don Diego for eight months instead of "as soon as possible" as the Admiral had requested. This delay apparently caused the discoverer upon his return to write to Oderico the last letter dated December 27, 1504, expressing his disappointment by reminding them of the saying "Who serves city hall does not serve at all."

As it turned out, no document was ever found showing that the Bank had received any investment by the Admiral or his heirs. Both letters from the Bank were written in vulgar Italian still quite readable today and basically correct. I make this observation because misinformed writers have suggested that the Admiral did not write in Italian since Italian could not be understood on paper. In point of historical fact, there were and still are available more letters written in vulgar Italian or Genoese than one would wish to read. I suspect instead that if Christopher, who was certainly not an illiterate, did not write in Italian the reason was probably personal, another one of the mysterious reasons surrounding his secretive life.

Concerning the bank's long delay in answering Don Diego, one may speculate that officials, having been well informed by Oderico of the shaky legal status of the Capitulaciones and of the discoverer's departure from Spain, did not attach much urgency to the matter of the Admiral's finances.

I may add purely by way of historical footnote that this famous book of privileges is known to have remained, eventually, in the possession of Nicolo' Oderico who kept it in his house in Genoa; in 1670, one of his descendants donated it to the Republic of Genoa.

In spite of his many detractors, the Admiral left for his fourth and last voyage in a fleet of four old and very badly equipped caravels destined never to make it back. That he himself survived to tell the story must have been seen by everyone, including his Sovereigns, as little short of a miracle.

Before concluding this dissertation on Christopher's epistolary relationship with the Bank of Saint George, let us cite revealing passages of the last letter of December 27, 1504 in which the Admiral, in fact, complains to the Genoese Ambassador Nicolo' Oderico at the Spanish court not for having received a delayed answer from the bank (as the Admiral emphasizes strongly) but for not having received an answer at all! One may ask, then, how could the Admiral complain of not having received a reply when the Bank in fact had written a reply which was eight months late? What happened to the two letters from the bank written to him and Don Diego?

My attempt to find a plausible answer to these questions has revealed a twist in the whole affair which I will try to unravel with a closer evaluation of this letter of December 27, 1504, from a very concerned Admiral to the Genoese Ambassador in Spain, Nicolo' Oderico.

My interpretation of the letter may reveal also the quincentennial question of whether when the great discoverer died on May 20, 1506, he was rich or poor. As will be apparent from the content of this letter, written seventeen months prior to his death, the Admiral not only seems to have died with no visible possessions (he did not own his own house, for example), but probably left this world with debts incurred by the phantom collateral of his Royal privileges and contested capitulations. The Admiral had miraculously returned home, so to speak, in 1504 after two years of explorations (see Chapter 9) and a shipwreck in Jamaica where he would be abandoned even after Governor Ovando of Hispaniola had known for months that he had survived there. He came home from this tragic last voyage with some gold that had belonged to him in Hispaniola. But one may assume that being old and sick from the gout, and God knows what else, and having no house of his own in Spain, as previously stated, he could only find refuge in a boardinghouse.

The Admiral had landed in Spain on November 7, 1504, and at the time of his writing to Oderico on December 27, over fifty days had lapsed. Upon his return, he confided to the Ambassador that he had been very ill and unable to attend to his financial affairs. Then the Admiral complained that he had not received any reply at all to the two letters he had forwarded to Oderico along with his papers and book of privileges. At this point, we are left to speculate on the reasons for the Admiral's lack of up-to-date information on a matter obviously important to him. We can assume that during his two year absence, the letter addressed to him had simply got misplaced. But what about the letter sent to Don Diego? Christopher himself supplied the answer when he further informed Oderico that his son Don Diego had not yet been able to gain his rights as had been agreed by the Crown. Here then is evidence that the Admiral, before leaving for his mission, had stipulated an agreement with the Crown for Don Diego to administer his income during his long absence. This being the case, it becomes evident that, since Don Diego during the two year absence of his father had no income at his disposal from the Royal grants to invest or administer, he elected not to raise an unpleasant issue, simply keeping silence and thereby sparing his sick father additional sorrow.

But could Oderico have played his hand in this as well? The Admiral, after all, had admitted in his letter of April 2, 1502, to the officials of the Bank of Saint George that "Oderico knows more about my affairs than I do." And what, we may speculate , did Oderico know? He knew two important facts: one, that numerous intrigues surrounded the discoverer in Spain; and two, that the Admiral had left on what must have seemed by many, or actually been hoped, a voyage of no return.

From reading this letter to Oderico, it seems clear that Christopher, at least at this late date in his worldly affairs, would be concerned about the primogeniture rights of Don Diego to whom the future of Fernando as well as his other protegees was attached.

Don Diego, still a page at court, was already 24 years old in 1504, and Don Fernando who had been at sea with him for two years (having left his position as a page of Queen Isabella), now at the age of 16, was "a second son" unemployed and in need of assistance. That the famous Christopher was beginning to sense his mortality is manifested in the final words of his letter to Oderico, which reflect concern not for himself but for his children. These words also suggest the not unusual predicament of a man who, after having masterminded a great design, ultimately discovers he has become its victim. Unless his last energies were employed in defending his rights, the future of his beloved children would be compromised.

The recent death of the Queen put an additional burden on the Admiral's ability to further claim his rights. The Queen has died, he lamented to Oderico, and I was not present, adding: "God be with her." His beloved patroness Queen Isabel had expired in Medina del Campo on September 26,1504. As of now, the Admiral confided, he had not the slightest idea regarding the future of his affairs. I believe, he added wistfully, that Her Highness must have made provisions to cover them in her will, and that "the King, my Lord, is a sufficient guarantee." But King Ferdinand of Aragon was only titular King of Spain and, the whole matter of the Admiral's inheritance upon his death, as we shall see later, went before the court and Don Diego eventually lost his case.

With the Queen gone, half the team went with her and the old seaman was left alone to nurse his wounds and plan a fifth voyage in his dreams. Christopher, the First Admiral of the Ocean Sea, died in Valladolid, Spain, on May 20, 1506. According to tradition, his body was set to rest there in a Franciscan convent. In 1507 (according to the 1878 work by Harrisse), the remains were transferred to the Monastery of the "Cartuja de Las Cuevas" in Seville. This would be only the first of several other relocations. After June 2, 1537, but the year cannot be established with certainty (Harrisse), the discoverer's remains along with those of his son Don Diego, who had died in Puebla de Montalvan near Toledo on February 23,1526, were transported to the island of Hispaniola and interred in the Cathedral of Santo Domingo. In the same Cathedral would also be interred the remains of Christopher's grandson Don Lujs Colón, son of Don Diego,and probably the First Admiral's two brothers, namely Bartolome' and Diego Colón, plus Christopher II, the discoverer's "biznieto" or greatgrandson (Harrisse). When in 1795 (with the Treaty of Basel), the Spanish part of the island was surrendered to France of Napoleon, the remains of the First Admiral were pompously transferred to the Cathedral of Havana, Cuba. To be rigorous about a controversial matter, writes Harrisse, the remains transferred to Havana could have been those of the discoverer's son Don Diego. With the independence of Cuba in 1898, the presumed remains of the discoverer were transported to Spain where they were reinterred once more in the Monastery of the "Cartuja de La Cuevas" in Seville where they still rest today.

On the eve of his death on May 19, 1506, Christopher in the presence of witnesses and the public notary Pedro de Hinojedo, ratified his last testaments of 1498 and 1502 and codicil that he had drawn on August 25, 1505 (Archive of the Duke of Veragua). The codicil of 1506, handwritten by the Admiral, is of particular importance for the present work because the Admiral added, as a last recollection and in his own hand, a brief list of creditors whom he mentions by name. Except for one, they are all Genoese, men from the old days when he lived in Genoa, Savona, and Portugal, to whom he owed money or favors. Their names are those also mentioned in the notarial deeds which later in the 19th century would be found and coordinated by researchers of the Genoese school whose work of establishing the origin of Columbus will be later brought into perspective.

Below is a listing of those names, the intended compensation, and (within parentheses) the date of the corresponding Genoese notarial documents which relate to some of those names: the inheritors of Geronimo del Puerto father of Benito del Puerto, chancellor in Genoa, twenty ducats or its corresponding value (September 22, 1470, notary Giacomo Calvi, Genoa).

To Antonio Vazo, Genoese merchant who used to live in Lisbon, 2500 Portuguese reals.

To a Jew (no name) who used to live near the Jewish Gate in Lisbon half a mark of silver to pay for a priest to pray for his soul.

To the inheritors of Luis Centurion Escoto, Genoese merchant, 3000 Portuguese reals.

To the inheritors of Paulo de Negro, Genoese, five ducats or its corresponding value (August 25, 1479, notary Gerolamo Ventimiglia, Genoa. This is the Genoese deed from which it can be argued that Christopher Columbus was born in 1451.)

To Baptista Espindola or his inheritors, if he is dead, 20 ducats. This Baptista Espindola (clarifies the Admiral) is the son-in-law of the above-mentioned Luis Centurion and was the son of master Nicolao Espindola of Locoli de Ronco (Ronco Scrivia) who was in Lisbon in 1482.

With respect to the authenticity of the Admiral's testament of 1498, Navarrete seems to confirm it by stating that, even though only an unnotarized copy, it had been used in several court proceedings without ever being found to be apocryphal. The codicil of 1506 (which mentions the previous executions of the testament of 1502 and codicil of 1505), I may add, can be considered authentic, having been found in the archives of the Duke of Veragua.

The Admiral's two sons, Don Diego and Don Fernando Colón, who had received an aristocratic upbringing as pages at the court passed into history as well-educated men who gained much respect for their prudent but likable personalities. Don Fernando, whose financial position was tied to his older brother's, became a known literary man by writing his father's biography, the famous Historie... When he died in 1539, he left a collection of thousands of precious books, some of which are housed today at the "Biblioteca Colombina" in Seville. Don Diego after the death of his father spent considerable time in and out of court to assert his inherited rights aided by his noble wife Doña Maria de Toledo, the niece of the famous Duke of Alba, a relative of King Ferdinand. Don Diego secured only the title of Second Admiral of the Ocean Sea and, in 1509, became the Governor of Hispaniola. He fathered seven children by his wife and two more with two different women. In 1523, his Governorship was revoked and he returned to Spain where he died in 1526.

Let us return now to the main subject of Christopher's origin and family name. After the Admiral returned in 1493 from his first voyage of discovery (elaborated in Chapter 9), he addressed two similar letters in Castillian relating the account of his voyage: one to Luis de Santangel, and the other to Rafael Sánchez to be forwarded to the Spanish Sovereigns. The Sanchez letter reached Italy and was printed in Latin in April of the same year. In this letter, the discoverer was identified for the first time in print as "Christofori Colom." The following June 15, Rome, the Florentine poet Giuliano Dati poetically rendered the discoverer's adventures in vulgar Italian verses, identifying him as "Xpofan Colobo," a Latinization of Cristoforo Colombo (see chapter 9). It would be interesting to know how Dati came to know Christopher's last name, but I speculate that since Christopher had been known to be originally from Genoa, Dati must have looked in that direction. In 1498 the Venetian Marcantonio Coccio (1436-1506), a humanist and historian popularly known as Sabellico, published in Venice his work titled Sabellici Enneades identifying the discoverer as "Christophorus cognomento Columbus, vir rei maritimae assuetus..." (a man accustomed to maritime matters). And in Genoa, probably in 1499, Antonio Gallo, chancellor of the Bank of Saint George, would also identify him as "Christophorus Columbi." Gallo's work De Navigatione Columbi..., however, would not be published until 1733. The other contemporary Genoese historians, namely, Bartolomeo Senarega (official annalist of the republic) and the Bishop Agostino Giustianiani, copied from Gallo and we will analyze their contributions later.

What is both revealing and paradoxical at the same time is that the Italian historian Peter Martyr (who had known Christopher for many years) called the discoverer "Christophorus Colonus." And when Fernando Colón in his Historie... tried to explain to readers why his father was called Colonus, or why he also went by the name of Colón, he resorted to inconclusive guesswork, revealing ignorance on this subject, conceding that "with respect to the truth about such a name and last name it did not come about without some mystery." Imagine this concession from the discoverer's own son who, during the Admiral's last two-year voyage, had shared situations of life and death with him. Now he is a mature man engaged in writing the biography of his father, a famous man, and he must explain to readers his inability to provide basic genealogical data, including the first name of the Admiral's father, which he justifies on the vague religious grounds that "our Lord was pleased that his parents be less known."

Fernando Colón took on the task of writing his father's biography for two specified reasons: The first, he writes, because his father had been so occupied and worried about other things he had neither time nor leisure to do it himself. The second, he emphasized, because others had attempted to do it without knowing the true facts. And when he said "others," he specifically singled out the Genoese Dominican friar Agostino Giustiniani, Bishop of Nebbio in Corsica who, in 1516 and again in 1537, had published two works which seemed to Fernando not only untruthful, but to taint the memory of his father. In effect, the only thing that the respected scholar Giustiniani had done was to put into print his Psalterio Poliglotta of 1516. For the first time in Columbian Literature, we have (in addition to obvious errors on the Admiral's discoveries) a few sparse biographical notes. He had stated that "Christophorus Columbus" was a Genoese by nationality and of plebeian origin, "Vilibus ortus parentibus." Such a characterization, even today, could infuriate a sensitive son. As a consequence, Fernando sought to find a noble origin for his father, hoping to contradict Giustiani. He traveled to Italy, visiting several places where he had located a Colombo of some rank to interview, striving to find relatives of stature that he could call his own. He failed to find any.

But why did Fernando look outside of Genoa? In trying to solve this riddle, Harrisse scrupulously investigated Fernando's movements in Italy. He found him in Genoa in December 1520; in Savona on January 2, 1521; on May 1521, in Ferrara; in July of the same year in Venice; and in November in Treviso, et cetera. In 1537, the other work by Giustiniani, Castigatissimi Annali (or brief chronicles) was published, causing Fernando additional pain. Fernando had almost concluded his biography, but now felt he had to include in his work critical answers to Giustiniani. He did so by inserting these answers at the beginning of his Historie...

In the new publication, Giustiniani (who died in 1536 in a shipwreck) had reiterated that "Colobo" of first name Christoforo was of plebeian parentage and justified this assertion by specifying that Columbus's father (who remained nameless) was a woolweaver, while Christoforo himself worked as a silkweaver. In order to cover himself from the anticipated offensive reaction of Fernando, and from whoever else might think his revelations offensive, Giustiniani made it clear he was taking his cues from Antonio Gallo. The prestigious Chancellor of the Bank of Saint George, Gallo was a man beyond reproach. Giustiniani's new work may well have hastened Fernando's death who died only two years later in 1539, overcome by the difficult biographical burden he had imposed upon himself, in addition to attending various other trying tasks for the Crown of Spain. He was fifty-one years old, unmarried and left no heirs.

Fernando's reply to Giustiniani was formulated in these terms: I can accept, he conceded, my father being of plebeian origin, but not a "mechanic," meaning a man employed in manual labor. That he could not accept. "My father," he emphasized, with diluted rancor, "may have been of plebeian origin; that is not a disgrace." In this quote of a Biblical passage from the Admiral himself, Fernando reveals his feelings about Giustiniani's new characterization of his father:

David the most prudent King, was first a shepherd and afterwards chosen King of Jerusalem, and I am servant to that same Lord who raised him to such dignity.

On the charge that his father was engaged in manual labor, Fernando refused to concede. He insisted that a man who could draw maps and execute great designs could only be a man of great intellect and learning. Fernando's defensive approach was reasonable against Giustiniani, who probably thought he was simply recording the truth. As it turned out, these literary exchanges of views between Fernando and Giustiniani represented the first controversy to openly surface on the mysterious origin of the Discoverer. Had Christopher been less secretive and more forward with his future historians about his origin, the main victim would have been Columbian Literature. What today has developed into a mountain of scholarship would probably have remained a small hill!

Giustiniani had given to scholars a key that led to Antonio Gallo. But what actually Gallo knew about Christopher would remain locked up in his diaries until 1733, when finally they were published in the prestigious Rerum Italicarum Scriptores of the Modenese priest Ludovico Antonio Muratori. Now scholars could finally learn the knowledge of Gallo, which had remained secreted away as if in deference to the wishes of the Admiral. According to some scholars, Gallo in fact had known Christopher personally, and probably also his family. His work in the Rerum... appeared (in Latin) in the year 1506 with the title, The navigation of Colombo in the Ocean never before explored. A fairly long composition that today would not affect many scholars, in 1733 this sparse but revealing personal data on the navigator served as the catalyst that propelled a 200-year search for the true Christopher Columbus.

Gallo reveals that Christopher was the older of three brothers, Bartolomeo being the second born, and Jacobo (James or Diego) the younger, all of them born in the city of Genoa from plebeian parents. Their father was a woolweaver (as Giustiniani had stated) and all the sons woolcarders (Giustiniani had labeled Christopher a silkweaver). At the age of puberty, "et pubere deinde facti," Cristoforo and Bartolomeo took to the sea (this statement confirms the assertions of Fernando, Christopher himself, Las Casas, et cetera). The first to leave, adds Gallo, was Bartolomeo who went to Lisbon, Portugal, where he painted nautical maps and later persuaded Christopher to join him, instructing him in that profession.

The work of Bartolomeo Senarega (the other contemporary Genoese "official" chronicler of the Republic) was also published in the Rerum... but, except for suggesting that Christopher was a "scarzadore" (a vulgar term) rather than "carminatore" (a woolcarder), he literally copied the work of Gallo. Gallo, Senarega, and Giustiniani all shared one common omission: they did not mention the name of Christopher's father, almost as if afraid of revealing the Admiral's long kept secret.

I have no way of knowing who, in those early days, was the first to state that Christopher's father was named Domenico; perhaps it was the Discoverer himself or one or both of his two brothers Bartolomeo and Giacomo. We know, however, from legal deeds found in the 19th century that Christopher, while still living in Genoa and Savona, declared himself to be the son of Domenico Colombo.

In 1535, the Spanish historian Fernandez de Oviedo (1478-1557), in his Historia General y Natural de Las Indias, libro II, cap. II, fol. ii, states that, according to what he had learned from some Genoese, the father of the discoverer was named Domenico, "Viviendo Dominico Colom, su padre...". Thus Oviedo may have been the first writer to set under the light of print the presumed name of the great discoverer's father.

Fernando Colón in his Historie..., published in 1571, surprisingly does not reveal any name for the discoverer's parents. In Chapter I, in fact, he states that:

...since the major part of his undertakings (the Admiral's) were the work of some mystery, so what concerns his name and last name it did not come as well without mystery...

In Chapter II, specifically titled, "Who were the father and mother of the Admiral...", Fernando does not reveal the names of Christopher's parents either. Then, finally, in Chapter LXXIII (73), he belatedly (and strangely) reveals Domenico as the father of Bartolomeo.

Fernando leaves his readers to wonder why he chose to reveal the name of Bartolomeo's father in Chapter 73 when he could not provide a name for the Admiral's father in Chapter II, which was specifically dedicated to the discoverer's mother and father!

This issue of Christopher's paternity is crucial to the present work, and we will return to it later.

To summarize, Oviedo in 1535 was able to discover a name for Christopher's father (attributing his unique knowledge to the help of some Genoese), but Giustiniani, Senarega, and particularly Gallo, Martyr, Las Casas, and Fernando, who knew the Admiral intimately, could not "discover" (and certainly they knew more Genoese than Oviedo) a name for him. This fact is indeed remarkable!

Nevertheless, events of 1578 related to the Admiral's rights of inheritance popularized the Colombo nomenclature in Italy. In this year, we know there were at least 200 Colombos in the city of Genoa alone (and many more throughout the Republic, Piedmont, and other areas of Italy and the Mediterranean basin), many of whom labored mightily to find documentary proof they were indeed the true relatives of the great discoverer. Their rush was justified, since at stake was the honor of being a descendant of the famous man, an annuity of 1000 gold doubloons, the honorary title of Admiral of the Ocean Sea, and two noble titles, namely Duke of Veragua and Marquese of Jamaica. And the whole lot in perpetuity.

One recalls that in his will of 1498, which was ratified in 1506, Cristobal Colón had established a clear line of descendants eligible to claim his rights as inheritors; they were required to be males of the same "lineage." A female could accede to such inherited rights only if a male were no longer available. This turn of events occurred in 1578. Don Diego Colón, the Second Admiral of the Ocean Sea, son of Christopher, had died in 1526. He passed to his first son, Don Luis Colón, the Third Admiral, the family rights. Don Luis went to court, by now a family tradition, to reassert his rights. Emperor Charles V was now occupying the throne of Spain as Charles I, and magnanimous enough (after the intercession of Fernando Colón, a bachelor, and the arbitration of Cardinal Loaysa, President of the Council of the Indies) to grant to the Third Admiral, Don Luis, the title of "Capitan General," equivalent to the Governor General of Hispaniola, but in practice simply an honorary title.

Nevertheless, Don Luis sailed for Santo Domingo to assume his new role. To briefly summarize his experiences, he quickly met with so many difficulties that he returned to Spain to assert his rights in court. This time the Emperor finally reached an agreement with Don Luis which was apparently the result of a satisfactory compromise to solve the longstanding issue of the First Admiral's rights. In exchange for the ten percent of the New World's products and titles, which had originally been granted to the great discoverer, Don Luis in 1537 (probably quite happily) accepted in addition to the title of Third Admiral, the titles of Duke of Veragua and Marquise of Jamaica. With these titles he received an annuity of 1000 Spanish gold doubloons in perpetuity. For the record, on February 12, 1830 by Royal Order, the annuity was reduced to 23.400 pesos, and charged against the following treasures:

The Philippines 4.000 pesos
Puerto Rico 3.400 pesos
Cuba 16.000 pesos

When Spain lost Jamaica to England, the Marquisate of Jamaica dissolved in the wind. By 1912, the annuity was raised (adjusted for inflation) to 24.000 pesos and was still granted in perpetuity to the Duke of Veragua of that time.

Don Diego Colón, the son of the discoverer, had left seven legitimate children: Don Luis, as well as six others, Felipa (a nun), Maria Colón y Toledo, Juana Colón y Toledo, Isabel Colón y Toledo, Cristoval Colón y Toledo, and Diego Colón y Toledo. Don Luis, the Third Admiral and Duke of Veragua, after having lived (to all accounts) a rather dissolute life, including a prison stint in Oran, died without leaving a legitimate son. The inheritance passed on to his brother, Don Cristoval Colón y Toledo, the Fourth Admiral, who had one son, Diego, and one daughter, Francisca. When Don Cristoval died, the rights were passed on to his son Don Diego, the Fifth Admiral. Don Diego, the Fifth Admiral, died in 1578 without progeny and therefore the direct male line of the First Admiral Cristobal Colón, at this time terminated. Doña Francisca Colón, daughter of Don Cristoval Colón y Toledo, the Fourth Admiral, claimed the inheritance and readied herself to do battle in court. But she was not the only Spanish claimant. There were also the descendants of the other three daughters of Don Diego Colón, the Second Admiral, namely, Don Cristoval, son of Maria Colón y Toledo; Don Nuno of Portugal, Count of Gelbes, son of Isabel Colón y Toledo; and the elderly Doña Juana Colón y Toledo.

On the throne of Spain sat King Philip II who, some scholars suggest, felt little sympathy for the Spanish nobles or, for that matter, for the idea of a female becoming the Sixth Admiral. It transpired that King Philip had little trouble in finding other pretendents whom he was more willing to support in the Spanish court. Word soon spread throughout Italy; many Colombos, claiming to be direct descendants of the First Admiral, frantically searched notarial archives in order to appear at the Spanish court armed with as much documentation as possible. Once the Colombo last name was accepted as equally valid as that of "Colón," the last name of Christopher (as shown in his testament), the next step was to determine what, in fact, his father's name was. This was the key to start assembling all the proofs of parentage. The name of Christopher's father, of course, also had to be the same name as the father of the two well-known brothers of the discoverer, namely Bartolomé and Diego (Jacobo, Giacomo).

As earlier confessed, I have been unable to find knowledge of how and when the name Domenico became officially established. I can only paraphrase once more what Christopher's own son concluded after his many speculations and conjectures about his father's parents: he did not know, the subject remained obscure to him.

Italian pretenders to the inheritance were circumscribed by the fact that most documented evidence revealed that names such as Domenico, Christopher, Bartolomeo, and Jacobo (Giacomo) were fairly common among the Colombos of Italy. The biggest challenge lay in sorting out these names in such a manner that they all belonged to the same family. Eventually two of these pretenders succeeded in actually incorporating a name for Christopher's grandfather as well; a third, even the name of his greatgrandfather. One of three known claimants was Anton Francesco Colombo, a canon and doctor from Piacenza. He had accumulated all the documents pertaining to his predecessors, a Colombo family of farmers owning their own land in Pradello, a hamlet in the province of Piacenza. He presented a genealogy traced back to the 1400s which included a Giovanni Colombo, the grandfather of the discoverer, and also a Bertolino Colombo, his greatgrandfather. Unfortunately for Anton Francesco Colombo, however, he was forced to drop out of the race when he could not produce conclusive evidence relating him to Christopher. Perhaps he reconciled himself with the thought that at least the grandfather of the discoverer could have been the Giovanni Colombo from Pradello. He also failed to produce evidence that the third son of Domenico was named Giacomo.

Below is the family tree of the Colombos from Pradello:

                     Bertolino Colombo (1400 ca)

                         Giovanni (his son)

                  Domenico                             Nicolo'

     Cristoforo Bartolomeo (unnamed)       Giovanni Domenichino

This family tree is probably the first attributed to Christopher Columbus. We have accounts of the Colombo family of Pradello from Pietro Maria Campi, a canon in Piacenza who recorded them in detail in his work of 1651, Dell'historia ecclesiastica di Piacenza. Campi had met with Anton Francesco Colombo in 1621 and had seen the notarial documentation pertaining to the case which he identified and described. Campi reported that in 1443 Domenico Colombo moved to Genoa and became a seaman; in 1470, his sons Cristoforo and Bartolomeo had gone to sea as well and never returned. Campi further stated that eventually Anton Francesco Colombo was forced to abandon the case before becoming a petitioner at the Court of Spain because the original of a particular document he considered essential to his case was in Genoa. The asking price of 50 "scudi" was beyond the reach of his purse; besides, he was suspicious of becoming the victim of a fraud. This good canon from Piacenza may well have been the first genealogist to produce a family tree for Christopher that included his greatgrandfather; even so, he could not produce for Campi a potential mother for the discoverer.

The next claimant was a Bernardo Colombo from the village of Cogoleto on the Italian Riviera, located between Genoa and Savona. We know his account from Felice Isnardi who in 1838 in Pinerolo, Piedmont, published a dissertation on the Colombos of Cogoleto. Bernardo Colombo, writes Isnardi, was a poor peasant. With the help of others who hoped to share the inheritance, Bernardo armed himself with what he hoped was sufficient documentation to become a petitioner and traveled to Spain in 1586 to present his case to the Supreme Council of Madrid. Of course, Isnardi comments apologetically, he did not succeed. Being a poorman, how could he compete with the likes of the Toledos and Gelbes? In his long dissertation of 1838, Isnardi dwells on the analysis of some of the most important of Cogoleto's documents.

One in particular is of importance because it is a Domenico Colombo's testament, and it introduces a mother for Christopher. Her name is Maria, wife of Domenico Colombo and daughter of Iacobi Iusti, from Lerdra near Cogoleto, "Maria ejus uxor et filia Iacobi Iusti de Lerdra villa Cogoleti." This testament records Domenico residing at the time in Cogoleto, with three sons, "Christophorum, Bartholomeum et Iacobum nuper natum (just born)." The testament is dated in Cogoleto, August 23, 1449 and notarized by Agostino Chiodo.

Another document of Bernardo is dated in Cogoleto, August 25, 1468, notarized by Gaspare Ardissone, and indicates a Domenico Colombo of Cogoleto, son of Giovanni, appearing for a sales contract. On a document dated August 25, 1477, notarized by Antonio Sibantolone, is recorded the name of a Cristoforo Colombo, son of Domenico of Cogoleto. Isnardi also mentions that in the annals of the Dominican fathers of Taggia (dating back to 1460), an entry exists under the year 1498 which translating from the Latin reads: Christopher Columbus a Ligurian from Cogoleto located between Savona and Genoa.

I may add that if this entry did exist, it would indicate that from the very early times, Cogoleto attributed to itself the honor of having the great discoverer as its native son. In fact, by perusing the Atlas Novus Mercator printed in "Amsterdami" by "Gerardi Marcatoris" in 1638, I discovered that he identified Cogoleto as: "Coguretto Christophori Columbi patria."

In 1650, writes Isnardi, a priest named Antonio Colombo lived in Cogoleto. In the facade of the house that local tradition wants to be the birthplace of Christopher, Antonio had written three inscriptions of which a curious one reads:

Unus erat mundus; duo sunt ait iste, fuere.

There was but one world; let there be two said he, and it was so.

I must restate that Isnardi wrote his dissertation in 1838 at a time when the city of Genoa itself was warming up to assert itself, with its own documentation, to be the true birthplace of Christopher. Isnardi's work, therefore, became part of a growing controversy. However, although I have not examined all of Isnardi's documentation, his work is of considerable importance in this study.

In the family tree of Christopher, according to Isnardi, a name for the discoverer's mother appears for the first time:

Giovanni (of Cogoleto, dead in 1449)

Domenico (residing in Cogoleto in 1449, married to
Maria, daughter of Iacobi Iusti of Lerdra near Cogoleto)

Cristoforo Bartolome Giacomo (just born)

The last of the three Italian claimants of whom some documentation is available was a unique character. His name was Baldassarre Colombo of Cuccaro Monferrato, a small town in Piedmont between Alessandria and Casale. What is remarkable about Baldassarre is that he possessed hardly any valid documentation to support his case. Nevertheless, not only did he travel to Spain practically destitute to present his petition, but he survived to the end of the proceedings. He remained one of the very few last petitioners facing the court, battling no less than Doña Francisca Colón, the very determined daughter of Cristoval Colón, the Fourth Admiral of the Ocean Sea. The uncompromising determination of "Baltasar Colón" (so named in the court papers) must have appeared to many as a character trait that could only belong to a reincarnated Christopher Columbus.

The proceedings took place in Madrid, then a small city of 30.000, and must have been a great show with the audience taking enthusiastic sides. Baltasar was presumably quite popular, receiving considerable support not only from his sympathizers, but even from King Philip II himself who eventually agreed to pay him supporting expenses (probably by popular demand) to be (eventually) deducted from his future inheritance. The account of Baldassarre Colombo was written in 1808 by Galleani Napione who published his dissertation, Della patria di Cristoforo Colombo, dissertazione. I was also able to obtain precious information on the case from a 1586 Spanish printing showing a partial transcript of the court's proceedings titled: Apuntamiento del hecho por parte de Don Baltasar Colón, Doña Francisca Colón, Don Cristoval Colón pretensores del Estado de Veragua, en los articulos siguentes que estan vistus (NY Public Library Rare Book Division). Napione points out that Baldassarre was able to convince the court that Cristoforo, in fact, was the son of his Domenico Colombo. The historian writes that two witnesses had apparently been sufficient to prove that Baldassarre's Domenico was the legitimate father of Christopher. From a document presented and dated May 23, 1443, Cuccaro, notarized by Pavone de Bulzano, one can deduce that "Dominico de Columbus," son of the last "Domini Langae," was living in Cuccaro in 1443 and, according to witnesses, had three sons named Cristoforo, Bartolomeo, and Giacomo.

Below is the family tree of Baldassarre Colombo as shown in Napione's work:


Enriotto Franceschino Domenico (living in Cuccaro in 1443)




Baldassarre (petitioner)

Unfortunately, Baldassarre lost his case as did Doña Francisca. In 1608, the inheritance was granted by the court to Don Nuño of Portugal, Count of Gelbes, who thus became the Sixth Admiral of the Ocean Sea, Duke of Veragua, and Marquis of Jamaica.

One may ask why there were no petitioners to the Spanish proceedings from the city of Genoa where Christopher himself said he was born and where in the XIX century most of the documentation on Christopher's family would eventually be found. I have been unable to answer this legitimate historical question although I have perused the works of Genoese chroniclers and historians of the XVI and XVII centuries. The lack of records of Genoese claimants, if any existed, could be one answer. Another possible answer is that, in spite of the fact that Cristobal Colón or Colom had declared himself born in Genoa, the quintessentially prudent Genoese were unsure of his family's real origin and last name. (This assumption I will explore later by examining the work of the Genoese historian, Filippo Casoni [1662-1723].)

An important letter published in 1892 by the abbot Angelo Sanguinetti (titled Della Patria di Cristoforo Colombo, annotations and notes by G.B. Fazio) shows that the Government of the Republic of Genoa, by vote of the "Serenissimo Senato," gave instructions by letter in 1586 to their Genoese Ambassador Giambattista Doria in residence at the Spanish Royal Court to contribute his assistance to Genoese subjects petitioning for the inheritance. This letter clearly indicates that the Genoese had accepted Cogoleto as the true birthplace of Christopher Columbus; therefore, one concludes, in 1586 the Genoese as yet had found no documentation whatsoever to assert their claim that Genoa was the actual birthplace:

The Colombo of Cogoleto (Christopher Columbus) who is so great in Spain, as you know, has among other things ordered in his testament, according to our understanding, that in his memory a house (?) of his last name be permanently established in Genoa and that for its support he has assigned a good income; furthermore, it seems that his inheritance is open to his relatives and to those related to his last name. It is said that in Madrid his inheritance is disputed among some Spaniards of his last name and some of our subjects who pretend to be his true relatives.

Since this affair is very important and it is righteous to protect our own subjects, we want that you procure a copy of such testament. You will be able to obtain it easily from doctor Scipione Caneva who is at that court. If what we have inferred above is true you must not only obtain the testament but also provide to our Genoeses as much help as you possibly can.

Waiting for your news, we know that you will not fail our expectations.

This letter is something the Genoese Government "may have done," because I cannot confirm that the original of this letter ever existed. In this regard, it is also important to note that the work of the abbot Sanguinetti was not published until 1892 (Savona), the time when controversy on the birthplace of the discoverer was reaching its apex. However, this letter clearly endorsing Cogoleto in 1586 as the origin of Christopher Columbus is historically compatibile, as late as 1638, with the Mercator Map which stated: "Coguretto Christophori Columbi patria." Concerning the assistance to Genoese subjects that the Senate of Genoa may have been concerned with, this aid appears to have been particularly directed to Bernardo Colombo of Cogoleto and other Genoese expatriates in Spain who may have considered themselves related to the discoverer.

To repeat, my research on works of Genoese chroniclers and historians of the XVI and XVII centuries has failed to reveal any trace of Genoese claimants. In fact, in the work of Uberto Foglietta, 1559 (Roma) Di Uberto Foglietta, della Republica di Genova and its revised edition of 1575, Milan), among the famous citizens of Genoa not even Christopher Columbus is recorded! For the historical record, among Genoese Captains mentioned in Foglietta's annals of 1475, there is Biagio D'Assereto, captain of thirteen ships and three galleys who valiantly broke up the Aragonese Armada near Genoa; in 1467, Lazaro Doria with six ships fought the Catalans and acted well, "si comporto' bene"; in 1466, Captain Simone Vignoso, with three ships, was at the service of the Republic of Genoa during the "exploit" in Chios; in 1477, Ludovico di Riparolo, Captain of six galleys acted well, et cetera, to the year 1500. Foglietta was obviously concerned about Genoese captains, but the fact that he never mentioned Christopher Columbus, presumably the most famous of all Genoese captains, is a remarkable omission.

My research of 15th and 16th century Genoese annalists (apart from Giustiniani, Gallo, and Senarega) has yielded no results either. Nor does the Genoese historian Senator Federico Federici (who died in 1647) offer any information about the Genoese Colombos. The annals of the 18th century Genoese Gianbattista Richeri (like Federici, of Patrician origin) failed to shed more light on the issue; his annals from 1299 to 1502 record the existence of 18 Colombos, but no Domenico or Christopher appears in his Foliatum Notariorum Genuensium (1724 ca.) (original resides at the "Biblioteca Comunale Berio di Genova"). The MS. of Guglielmo Da Cassina includes annals dated from 1191 and offers no lead either.

In summary, until we reach the 18th century, heralded by the 1708 work of Genoese annalist Filippo Casoni (1662-1723), the Genoese do not appear concerned about locating the great discoverer's family in the city of Genoa. Nor do they appear preoccupied with whether documents in their notarial archives could prove such existence "with any degree of certainty." Genoese scholars until the time of Casoni, it seems, had a real problem in pairing the name of Colón or Colom with documentation showing the name Colombo. In fact, this uncertainty endured even after 1708 since Casoni's work, which produced a great revelation, was not published until 1799 (Genova). Genoese scholars of the 16th and 17th centuries, one may speculate, waited before pronouncing themselves for the ultimate outcome of the Spanish Court's examination of the documentation presented by the Colombos of Cuccaro and Cogoleto.

The verdict of the Court had not been favorable to the Colombos of Cuccaro and Cogoleto. But one determining factor had emerged from the Spanish hearings, namely that not only had the last name of Colombo been accepted as equally valid as the name of Colón, but Spain had also legitimated as legal precedent the name of Domenico as Christopher's father and Giovanni as his grandfather. The city of Genoa had stayed on the sideline, but the fact that Christopher now had a well identified Italian family was a great breakthrough for anyone concerned with his origin.

Genoese scholars nevertheless remained extremely cautious about taking a firm position until the 19th century when they could produce "hard genealogical facts" on their own. However, while the Madrid court proceedings were still in progress, the jurisconsult Giulio Salinerio from Savona, Genoa's sister city, published in 1602 (Genoa) some legal deeds related to the Admiral. These had previously been found in the local archives of his city by Giovanni Giacomo Pavese (1566-1612?). Salinerio published these deeds in his work, Adnotationes Iulii Salinerii iureconsul Savonensis ad Cornelium Tacitum. One document dated in Savona, March 2, 1470 (notary Giovanni Gallo), states that Bartolomeo Castegnelli of the last Nicola Fontanabuona bound himself as apprentice to serve his master Domenico Colombo, a woolweaver and tavernkeeper, citizen of Genoa and son of Giovanni from Quinto, until the next Easter.

This document from Savona represents the first piece of what eventually (once it became integrated with later 19th century documents found "piecemeal" in the archives of Genoa) would become a complex mosaic establishing the most accepted genealogy of the discoverer. Based on a Domenico Colombo as father of Christopher which paternity had been accepted by the Spanish Court, this important document shows multiple levels of implication. It reveals that Domenico is a citizen of Genoa and that his father, named Giovanni, lived in Quinto (a small village on the Riviera five miles south of Genoa) and that any further research for Christopher's past relatives would have to lead in that direction. It further shows that Domenico resided at the time in Savona, working as a tavernkeeper and a woolweaver which latter activity he previously professed in Genoa. It confirms the statement made by Antonio Gallo that Christopher's father was a "textor" or weaver in the wool manufacturing business or "lanifici."

A second document from Savona, dated September 10, 1484, states that Giacomo Colombo, son of Domenico a citizen of Genoa, voluntarily pledges and bounds himself for 22 months as an apprentice, "famulus et discipulus" to Luchino Cademartori in order to learn the craft of woolweaver, and that the aforesaid Giacomo was over 16 years of age. Here we have the name of the youngest of the three sons of Domenico also mentioned by Gallo, who stated that Giacomo was the younger, "ac tertium fratrem Jacobum." If Giacomo in 1484 was at least 16 years old, we deduce he could have been born in 1467.

A third document dated in Savona, January 26, 1501, states that in that year the neighbors of the Colombo family declare before a magistrate of that city that "Cristofori, Bartolomei et Jacobi de Columbis quondam Dominici, et ipsius heredum..." Or, in substance, that the three sons of the last Domenico, here named, and his heirs are absent from Savona and are known to be living in Spain. The document further explains that "Jacobus" has assumed the Spanish version of his name and is known as Diego: "Jacobum dictum Diegum."

With this last document presented by Salinerio, a new family tree for Christopher can be drawn:

Giovanni Colombo (from Quinto)

Domenico (a woolweaver citizen of Genoa, dead by 1501)

Cristoforo Bartolomeo Giacomo (Diego)

(In 1501, known to be living in Spain)

In 1602, then, Salinerio lays claim to the first Savonese connection. This will be of great importance later in the 19th century when the Genoese begin to assert their claim to Columbus. Soon after Salinerio's revelations, however, the Genoese began to stir the waters. In 1614 (six years after the Spanish hearings were concluded), the Genoese Gerolamo Bordoni published in Milan a new Italian edition of Don Fernando Colón's Historie... . Bordoni, according to Giuseppe Pessagno, was the Master of Ceremonies of the Republic of Genoa. He dedicated his work, F. Colombo vita di C. Colombo, to the Most Serene Republic of Genoa. At the beginning of this new edition, he added (possibly for the first time in print) the letters of correspondence dated 1502 between the Bank of Saint George, Christopher and his son Don Diego, as well as excerpts from the testament of "Cristobal Colon" of 1498 and the codicil of 1506. We analyzed these three letters earlier in this chapter: the letter of April 2, 1502, wherein the Admiral signs with his cryptic Roman lettering and "Xpo ferens"; and the two letters of December 8, 1502, addressed by the Bank to "Domino Christoforo... amatissime concivis" and to Don Diego, his son. The name Colombo or Columbus does not appear in any of them.

Bordoni, unfortunately, does not add to this correspondence any documentation (if available) relative to the Genoese family of Christopher. For this documentation to become public, another century would have to pass until 1708 when Genoese Filippo Casoni takes on the task of presenting a Genoese genealogy of Christopher's family. He does so in a work which would be posthumously published in Genoa in 1799 titled, Annali della Republica di Genova. The Discoverer's epitome is (just as Gallo's) under the year 1506.

Casoni begins this annal with a most revealing statement: Cristoforo Colombo, he writes, ended his days at the age of 60! This abrupt statement, after 200 years of total silence on the part of the Genoese annalists, comes as a dramatic revelation. It clearly implies that, having died in 1506, Christopher must have been born in 1446. But Casoni has many more surprises in store. He attempts to equate the last name "Colom" (used occasionally by the Discoverer) with that of Colombo. Casoni arrives at this intriguing similitude in oblique fashion: The family of the Colombo, "or rather of the Colom," he contrives, has been very honored in the region of Liguria since ancient times! What this clever manipulation of the two last names tries to convey is that "Colom" stands for nothing else but Colombo. With this artifice, his Christopher Colombo is created, and he can now proceed to formulate the discoverer's Genoese genealogy from the documentation which must have been available to him at the time.

Casoni's predecessors had been stymied by the many aliases of the Admiral, i.e., Colom, Colón, Colonus, and Colomo, and they had been unable or unwilling to resort to Casoni's daring assertion. The ancestors of Christopher, Casoni reveals, lived in an area called "Terrarossa" near Nervi on a slope of "Monte Fasce," located somewhere between Moconesi and Fontanabuona which gives the name to the valley where an old tower called the "Colombi" is still located. Christopher's grandfather, he further reveals, was named Giovanni from Quinto who was still alive in 1440. The father, named Domenico, was a citizen of Genoa living in the parish of Santo Stefano (the Benedectine Abbey of Santo Stefano dating from 972 A.D. which still exists today near "Via 20 Settembre" and is now under parochial priests). Now Casoni throws the genealogical bombshell: the mother was named Susanna Fontanarossa, and she was born in Saulo Luogo near Nervi. For many years, Domenico and Susanna "vissero insieme" (lived together, were they not married?) and their first "fruit" was Cristoforo!

Obviously Casoni was a qualified and well-respected scholar who knew all too well how to employ the meaning of words. After Christopher, two more "males," according to Casoni, were born: Bartolomeo and Giacomo. Also a daughter (Casoni does not name her, but considerately refers to her as daughter rather than as "female") who married one Giacomo Bavarello. Christopher lived in his parents' house which, the annalist suggests, must have been quite affluent, since Domenico besides his possessions in Quinto had also acquired two houses in Genoa in a good neighborhood and was self-employed in the honorable profession of woolweaving. Nevertheless, he comments, Christopher and Bartholomy disdained such a mundane profession and, following Genoese tradition, went to sea "in 1459." According to Casoni, then, Christopher sailed away to sea more or less at the age of 14, which corresponds with the discoverer's own statement.

Below is the new Colombo family tree, according to Casoni:

Giovanni (from Quinto alive in 1440)

Domenico (a citizen of Genoa, lived with Susanna Fontanarossa, born in Saulo Luogo near Nervi)

Cristoforo Bartolomo Giacomo (a daughter, married to Giacomo Bavarello)

So in 1779, the munificent Casoni`s work opened a floodgate of information that would feed Columbian Literature for two hundred successive years. We will now document how with the birth of the 19th century, many scholars took full advantage of Casoni`s extraordinary revelations.

However, before entering this new century of critical studies pertaining to the origin of the discoverer, it is of importance to briefly resume our chronological paths through the earliest documentation. First was Giulio Salinerio who in 1602 brought to light just a few documents from Savona; then the annals of Pietro Maria Campi in 1651 on Anton Francesco Colombo from Pradello; and lastly Filippo Casoni's work, which would be published posthumously in 1799. Clearly, then, this documented evidence over the course of two centuries appeared as sparingly as the finding of needles in a haystack. This is understandable not only because the research was laborious, but also because literary men and scholars in general have always been reluctant to expose themselves to ridicule or unpleasant criticism.

To my knowledge, the first 19th century publication which appeared in print was the work (already examined) of Galleani Napione (Giovanni Francesco, Count of "Cocconato and Passareto"). Under the auspices of the Imperial Academy of Sciences of Turin, he published his 1808 dissertation on Baldassare Colombo of Cuccaro, detailing this remarkable man`s exploits at the Spanish Court hearings of 1578. With his dissertation, Napione revived the claim of Cuccaro as the true fatherland of the great discoverer, and may have provided the sparkling flame that ignited the interest of 19th century scholars, motivating them to at least challenge his preposterous assertions.

Still, scholars came forth reluctantly, as we see in the case of Tommaso Belloro who, after Napione, published additional documentation on Columbus. During my research, I had come across the name Tommaso Belloro, a literary man from Savona who had apparently published a book in Turin in 1810. I hoped he had produced important new findings on this issue. Determined to find his book, I traveled to Italy, where after making various telephone inquiries, was finally succesful in locating it. The product probably of a limited printing, this book upon examination appeared more intriguing than a rare document. When I examined it, I realized at once its cover and preface were as revealing as its contents. For one thing, the author`s name did not appear on the cover, only the names of the owner of the printing press in Turin and the typesetter, who was Genoese. The name of the author, however, had been identified by the library from the preface and written by hand on the cover as G.T. Belloro and catalogued as such. The title on the cover, in itself somewhat ambiguous, reflected in its formulation the evidence of great prudence. In English translation, it reads: Notice of 15 papers concerning "a" Savonese family of the Colombos. Inside, the author dared to be more explicit, the English translation reading: Notice of documents existing in the notarial archives of Savona concerning "the" family of Christopher Columbus. The preface, written in letter format to the publisher in Turin, is a piece of adroit literary craftsmanship in its careful evasiveness, being written by Giuseppe Nervi in the name of his father-in-law, Giovanni Tommaso Belloro "who is not well." Nervi elaborately clarifies the intentions of Belloro, stating: truly he had not intended on his own volition to write this commentary, but the publisher had expressly requested it; that the new findings presented in this book concerning Columbus were naturally inherent in such a "restless subject"; that this commentary, no matter how it ends up being interpreted, will not really matter anyway; and besides, "a panel of prominent literaries from different places, as soon as they are able to get together, will deliberate on it." In any event, paraphrasing Nervi, the documents presented (which he considered indisputably authentic) prove that Christopher Columbus was born on the "Liguria Marittima" (Italian Riviera) and the people of Pradello or Cuccaro should be pleased that Columbus' grandfather Giovanni may have originated in one of these two places.

In his conclusions, Belloro disclaims even further his own responsibility by reminding readers that the deeds presented (14 from Savona and one from Genoa) had already been examined by men of the calibre of Pavese, the notary Andrea Siri, Salinerio, Pollero, Verzellino and, finally, by Belloro himself, a distinctive literary man with profound knowledge of such ancient documents. From these legal deeds, asserts Nervi, one can ascertain that Christopher's grandfather lived in Quinto and his father Domenico in Genoa. In 1470 (from what may be deduced from the deed of April 14, 1472, Genoa Not. Ambrogio Garumbero), Domenico "parted from some land sold in Bisagno (near Genoa) and his possessions in Genoa" and established himself in Savona where he lived with his three sons, "Christofaro, Bartolomeo, and Giacomo." Here he joined the local association of wool-manufacturers and woolweavers. In 1473 (March 12, Savona, Not. Federico Castro Delfino), Domenico appears as a master woolweaver, and in 1474 (August 19, Savona Not. Giovanni Ruggero) purchases some land in Valcada, village of leggine, Savona. At an unknown date, Domenico dies in Savona (Belloro presumably guessed). Nervi, unfortunately, made no mention of Christopher's mother as Casoni had done in his revealing annals.

Soon after Belloro's publication, a panel of Genoese scholars did, in fact (as noted by Nervi), take on the "restless subject" of Christopher`s origin. These scholars, namely Serra, Carrega, and Piaggio, who were sponsored by the Academy of Sciences, Literature and Arts of Genoa, published their findings in 1812. Their work is titled: Ragionamento... or Reasoning in which is confirmed the general opinion on the Fatherland of Christopher Columbus.

In their 53-page report critically analyzing the pretensions of Pradello, Cuccaro, and Cogoleto, the academicians conclude simply that they "concur" with the prior assessment of various other scholars including the American ambassador Barlow, the geographer Haltebrun, the American annalist Holmes, and the erudite writer Corniani. Such scholars as these "no less than us," the Academicians state, believed it certain that Christopher was not only a Genoese by origin, but also by birth.

In all fairness to these name-dropping academicians seeking concurrence in the opinions of distinguished authority figures, they did produce important leads which proved their research had been as thorough as possible. They referred to the information obtained by Belloro from the archives of Savona and regretted that Casoni`s revelations were left unsubstantiated. Still they elaborated on Casoni`s findings, implying that Domenico, for example, was married to Susanna Fontanarossa, contrary to Casoni`s statement they were merely "living together." The academicians were prompt to appreciate Casoni's precious information that Domenico had lived in the parish of Santo Stefano, and capitalized on this important historical lead. By concentrating their investigation in this direction, they learned that this parish was in fact during Columbus' time much populated by woolweavers. They also discovered that the records of the Benedictine Abbey of that name (after monks had relinquished it in the 18th century) had been removed to the archives of the city-hall during which relocation many of them had been lost. An ancient manuscript of Genoese genealogies, claims the academicians, confirms these facts. In the past, some footnotes had been added to the MS. by a well-known, respected notary named Piaggio, an ancestor of one of the present investigating academicians. The notary had written that he had seen a baptismal list in the papers of that abbey, ever since lost, with the name of Christopher. And, additionally, that the monks who owned that part of the city had given to a Domenico Colombo a long-term lease (emphyteusis) on a house. Piaggio was correct, state the academicians, since their own examination of some records at the archives (located in a small book of receipts, dated from 1456 to 1489) confirmed that Domenico had paid rent to the monks up until 1489 for a house he inhabited in "vicoletto di Mulcento" or Mulcento alley which his son-in-law later took over. They also discovered that Domenico, concurrently with the house in Mulcento alley, had leased another one near the gate of "Sant' Andrea (or Porta Soprana). But at this point in their search for documentation, the academicians seem to have lost their impetus.

Although the academicians revealed no further information on the second house of Domenico, a legal deed found later indicates this house had also been leased from the monks of Santo Stefano and was located just outside the city walls in "Vico Diritto." This document dated January 18, 1455, now resides at the "Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana" Cod. 9452, part II, Not. Giovanni Recco. Today this two-story house with backyard has been restored and is known as the "Casa di Colombo." It is located in "Piazza Dante" just outside the surviving gate of "Porta Soprana." (For further information on the Casa di Colombo, read the comprehensive work of Marcello Staglieno.)

In 1812, then, only two years after Belloro's work, offering a Savonese connection, had been published, and the information provided by the academicians on the whereabouts of Domenico in Genoa had been made available in the Ragionamento..., a clear challenge was sounded for further Genoese scholars to take up the gauntlet of Columbus' origin, and carry the battle forward.

In 1818, Sig. Luigi Bossi published in Milan his Vita de Cristoforo Colombo. His work, however, based not on new research but commentaries on the Ragionamento... and other previously known information, offers no new leads. In his interesting appendix, he illustrates the early Spanish and Italian letters Spanish and Italian letters pertaining to Christopher. He also comments on the Historie... of Don Fernando Colón and wonders at the strange fact that the biographer chose "for some particular motives" to pull a veil or "tirar un velo" on the obscure origin of his father. Bossi sets the date of Christopher's birth, in Genoa or nearby, of ca. 1445, thus concurring with Casoni. Later the authoritative Harrisse would agree on setting the date at 1446, a chronology which remained generally uncontested until 1887 (and even afterwards) when the Genoese Marquis Marcello Staglieno found evidence in a newly discovered deed that Christopher could have been born before October 31 of the year 1451.

In 1819, the Genoese cleric Don Giambattista Spotorno, a new member of the "Genoese School" called to order, so to speak, by the academicians, namely Serra, Carrega, and Piaggio, published in Genoa his work, Della origine e della patria di Cristoforo Colombo. Spotorno gives us inside information about what was really known at the Academic Circle of the Genoese on the birthplace of Christopher. It turns out they could not agree, in fact, whether he had been born in Genoa or nearby. The cleric records the findings up to that time on the thorny issue of Columbus' genealogy. He comments on the Ragionamento..., quite literally copying the most salient parts. So far as new findings in Genoa or elsewhere, he apparently had nothing new to add. From Savona, he excerpts nine of the already known documents, and concludes (contrary to Casoni) that Domenico was a poor man who could not raise 250 lire over a period of five years to pay a debt. He adds that Domenico lived in Savona many years, and in 1474 was still alive and well.

In 1823, Spotorno masterminded the Codice Colombo-Americano , published by the city of Genoa, a comprehensive collection of papers pertaining to Christopher Columbus. The book includes the letters in facsimile of the correspondence exchanged between Columbus and the Bank of Saint George as well as a substantial portion of the Spanish documents found by Muñoz and Navarrete, whose work is described in Chapter 9. This publication undoubtedly raised great interest in Italy, but does not interest us insofar as it offers no new revelations from the Genoese scholars.

Fifteen years later, the town of Cogoleto revived its own claim as the birthplace of Columbus. Its patriotic countryman Felice Isnardi published his work of 1838 with a lengthy title that leaves no misunderstanding to Italian readers: Dissertazione onde e' chiarito il luogo preciso della Liguria Marittima Occidentale ove nacque Cristoforo Colombo. If translated into English liberally, the title would read, more or less: Dissertation in which it is clarified that the exact birthplace of Christopher Columbus is Cogoleto! From this work by Isnardi, we earlier obtained information about Bernardo Colombo`s petition to the Spanish court in 1586.

We can only speculate about what motivated Isnardi to assert so fervently the "birthrights" of Cogoleto at this particular time. Perhaps it was the pretensions which had been set forth in other places. But Isnardi's patriotic passions may have been directed particularly at the Genoese scholars. Although Genoa had not yet come up with hard facts, the highly successful publication of Codice... had promoted Genoa to the forefront of Columbian scholarship. Thus Isnardi's fervent defense of the primacy of Cogoleto may well reflect his irritation with the composed attitude of the Genoese scholars, their prudent silences, their proverbial pride, which seemed to infer that the entire world should take for granted that Columbus was born in Genoa.

Isnardi rested his case for Cogoleto with a statement as unequivocal as the title of his work: "We challenge anyone and 'guai' (great trouble) to whoever will accept our glove!" Genoa did not respond to his challenge, probably because the most important documentation supporting a Genoese Columbus resided in the archives of Savona. No doubt Savona was, in fact, already more than satisfied in being able to prove that the great discoverer, in his long stopover in their city before sailing to fame, had actually been their beloved fellow-citizen. But Savona picked up the glove anyway, beginning in earnest a fierce battle of printed works between literaries which lasted for considerable time. If Christopher himself had been present, he would probably have been anxiously awaiting the outcome, hoping to find out, finally, where his mother Susanna in her wanderings on the Italian Riviera, had settled long enough to give him birth.

The Savonese lawyer Giambattista Belloro, brother of Tommaso, acting more or less as Genoese surrogate, armed himself to do battle, publishing in 1839 his Critical review on the dissertation of Felice Isnardi . Belloro created an informed and eloquent answer to Isnardi, supported by deeds which had newly emerged (the battle of the deeds!). Isnardi's now desperate defense quickly began to crumble. Finding the printing presses of the "Stamperia Casamara" of Genoa obviously well-disposed toward his efforts, Belloro published in the same year an appendix to his previous work. In it, he sets Cogoleto's pretense to Columbian supremacy back to 1568, when Bernardo's petition had been rejected by the Spanish Crown for insufficient documentation.

If the Belloro-Isnardi squabble should have been a catalyst to stimulate needed research work in Genoa, it unfortunately failed. The War of Independence interfered until the 1861 unification of Italy, which became a Kingdom under King Victor Emmanuel II of the House of Savoy, and Genoa emerged as regional capitol of "Liguria." With nationalistic spirit at high peak, the Genoese School finally developed the determination to establish a team of researchers dedicated to find the legal evidence and settle, once and for all, the issue of Christopher's birthplace. The team was led by the last archivist of the Bank of Saint George, Cornelio Desimoni, who became superintendent of the State Archives of Genoa; it included the Marquis Marcello Staglieno and L.T. Belgrano. Joining their effort in order to certify to the world their findings, was the French-American Henry Harrisse, the internationally known expert on Columbian documentation. Harrisse arrived in Genoa in 1867; in 1888, he had published both in New York and London his Christopher Columbus and the Bank of Saint George, recording the positive results of the Genoese general effort. He had already published these results in French in 1884 under the title, Christophe Colomb son origine... . An Italian version of the 1888 work was also published in Genoa in 1890.

Recounting his experiences in Genoa, Harrisse uses the collective "we," including Desimoni, Staglieno and Belgrano. They had gone to work examining "mountains of bundles of documents" at the Bank of Saint George including tax collections, which had been one of the responsibilities of the defunct Bank. They also poured over the "Tabella Defunctorum," or the listing of the deceased. Their efforts at the Bank, however, yielded very few results. The most important documents, Harrisse reveals, were found in the Special Section of the Notarial Archives, where all deeds were collected after the death of each public notary.

Summarizing their findings in his work, Harrisse described dozens of new documents, but uncovered no new legal evidence that Christopher was born in Genoa. However, a document of great importance was found, I may add, by Staglieno who published it in 1887 in the Giornale Ligustico A.XIV, p. 239. Dated October 31, 1470 Not. Nicola Raggio, this document shows that a Christopher Columbus, son of Domenico, was at that date "over" 19 years old. This established that Christopher's date of birth had to be between 1446 and 1451 (the lengthy Genoese statutes of the time contained different majorities, reaching to the age of 25). Harrisse opted for a birthdate after May 24, 1446 and before March 20, 1447. The other luminary of the time, Henry Vignaud, argued instead for a birthdate of 1451. In any event, this new finding by Staglieno would tax the skill of scholars and stir up controversy at least until 1904. In this year, the scholarly journal Giornale Storico e Letterario della Liguria... La Spezia, 1904, 25ma, vol. 5, pp. 5-16, announced a great new find on the birthdate of Christopher by the Genoese General Ugo Assereto. Sometime toward the end of the century, while searching for ancestral documents, the General found in his hands what turned out to be a highly revelatory document. This "Assereto Document," dated Genoa, August 25, 1479, Not. Gerolamo Ventimiglia, indicated that a Christopher Columbus of an unnamed father declared to be at that time a citizen of Genoa "approximately" 27 years old. Once compared with the Staglieno find of 1887, this precious new evidence set the birthdate between August 26 and October 30, 1451. Unfortunately for the present work, Harrisse maintained his preference for his 1446 dating. He died in 1910 without expressing in print, to my knowledge, his authoritative opinion about this amazingly lucky find. Although the Assereto Document is a legal deed, it fails to record the paternity of Christopher, an omission which continues to arouse scholarly attention even now.

A summary of the relevant facts derived from the latest finds of Genoese researchers (which are still considered generally valid today) is provided by the 1926 work of the Genoese Giuseppe Pessagno. These conclusions as well as his own further studies were published in the Miscellanea Storica-Atti della Societa' Ligure di Storia Patria, vol. III.

Fundamentally, Pessagno states in his general work, "the Columbian question, apart from useless polemic, is reduced to the following points": Columbus was born in Genoa in 1451 from Domenico of Giovanni and Susanna Fontanarossa of Iacobo. He had three brothers, Bartolomeo, Giacomo, Giovanni-Pellegrino, and a sister, Bianchettina, who married Giacomo Bavarello. His father Domenico, a woolweaver by profession and moonlighting as an innkeeper, also served two short terms as the keeper of Olivella's Gate, not far from his residence in Mulcento alley. He was appointed for this post by the city of Genoa. His other house was in Vico Diritto outside Saint Andrea`s Gate, or Porta Soprana. Regarding the history of Columbus during the early years of his life, Pessagno provides this assessment of his whereabouts: in 1465, the 14-year-old Columbus sailed for what must have been short voyages since, in 1473, he was still working in Savona. From1473 to 1475, he may have joined the Genoese naval expeditions to the island of Chios in the Levant. In 1476, he was probably on board ships of the Genoese merchants Spinola and Di Negro, in a convoy directed to England. His ship was attacked near Cape S. Vicente, was on fire and sinking, but Columbus survived by swimming to shore, later reaching Lisbon. In 1477, on ships probably owned by Doria, he navigated to Bristol. In 1478, in the services of Di Negro, Columbus reached the Portugese Island of Madera; in 1479, he was in Genoa (Assereto Document) where he testified on behalf of Paolo Di Negro.

After this brief summary of Pessagno`s conclusions, we arrive in the chronology of events to the 1932 work, Colombo, published by the city of Genoa. For all practical purposes, our literary journey has now come full circle back to the first Genoese work introduced in this chapter. "Dulcis in fundo,"--I will now make my own critical contribution to the study of the origin of Christopher Columbus. In my interpretation, a 525-year-old document (probably first published by Giambattista Belloro in his 1839 work) offers compelling proof that the discoverer was in fact born out of wedlock and abandoned by his real father, a father most probably he never knew, although he carried his family name.

In this Latin document dated in Savona, August 7, 1473, Not. Pietro Corsaro, Susanna Fontanarossa agrees to the sale of rights to the house which her husband Domenico Colombo leased in Mulcento Alley near Olivella's Gate. Susanna is present with only two (of their five) children to give their legal authorization to the transaction. The two children are identified as "Cristoforo and Giovanni Pellegrino," sons of the aforesaid parents. In addition to her husband Domenico Colombo, there are two witnesses, namely Bartolomeo De Cademartori and Pascuale Di Castagnello from Fontanabuona, both of whom knew Susanna and are acting in her behalf.

This basically summarizes the content of the two-page notarial deed. As clearly shown in its original text (and my English translation) and the photocopy of the original deed presented below, the notary has curiously crossed out the names of "Cristoforo and Giovanni Pellegrino," as well as other critical passages relating to their paternity.

Latin transcript with the parts crossed out by the Notary emphasized:

In nomine Domini, amen. Anno salutiffere nativitatis eiusdem millesimo quadringentesimo septuagessimo tercio, indicione sexta secundum cursum civitatis Saone, die vero sabati, septima mesis augusti.

Sozana filia quondam Iacobi de Fontanarubea de Bezagno et uxor Dominici de Columbo de Ianua, ac Christoforus et Iohannes Pelegrinus filii dictorum Dominici et Sozane iugalium, et cum auctoritate et consensu dictorum parentum suorum, presentium, consensientium et auctoritatem eorum prestantium, constituta in presencia mei notarii et testium infrascriptorum, sponte, consulte, deliberate, sciens et perfectam scientiam habens dictum Dominicum de Columbo virum ipsius Suzane, et patrem ipsorum Christofori et Iohannis Pellegrini, vendidisse et alienasse et seu vendere et alienare velle quondam domum ipsius Dominici sitam in civitate Ianue, in contrata porte Orivelle....

English literal translation (except for the date):

In the name of the Lord, amen. Year of the salutary nativity of the Lord 1473, injunction sixth according to the course of the city of Savona, Saturday the seventh of the month of August.

Susanna daughter of Jacob of Fontanarossa in Bisagno and wife of Domenico Colombo from Genoa, and Christopher and Giovanni Pellegrino, sons of the aforesaid consorts Domenico and Susanna, and with the authority and consent of their aforesaid parents, present, in agreement and guaranteeing with their own authority, convened in the presence of myself, a notary, and of the undermentioned witnesses, freely, consult, deliberate, * knowing and been perfectly cognizant that the said Domenico Colombo, husband of the said Susanna and father of the aforesaid Christopher and Giovanni Pellegrini, has sold or alienated or desires to sell and alienate a house of the aforesaid Domenico situated in the city of Genoa, in the street of the Olivella's Gate...


My interpretation of why the notary has crossed out the names of "Cristoforo and Giovanni Pellegrino" differs significantly from the analysis offered by authoritative scholars of the past, whose reasoning is still generally accepted by historians.

Contrary to previous interpretations, the two children are, as the document clearly indicates, "Cristoforo Pellegrino and Giovanni-Pellegrino"--not "Cristoforo and Giovanni-Pellegrino Colombo," sons of Domenico. It follows, then, that the two abovementioned children are to be identified only as sons of Susanna Fontanarossa, although their mother was, at the time of this deed, married to Domenico Colombo. We must assume then that after Susanna had given birth to Cristoforo and Giovanni, fathered by a man whose last name was Pellegrino, she must later have met Domenico Colombo and probably (as Casoni states) lived with him for some time. Eventually Susanna married Domenico Colombo and in time their union produced three more children, namely Bartolomeo, Giacomo and Bianchettina, who became Cristoforo's half-brothers and half-sister. It can be assumed also that Cristoforo later on became generally recognized as the son of Domenico Colombo, as indeed the two witnesses in the deed testified to the best of their knowledge.

Why did the notary cross out the names of "Cristoforo and Giovanni Pellegrino?" I reason it was because Domenico Colombo had not legally adopted them. The notary has left intact, in fact, the name of the mother, but significantly crossed out the words establishing Domenico Colombo as the father of the two children: patrem ipsorum Christofori et Johannis Pellegrini...

...and father of the aforesaid Christopher and Giovanni Pellegrini...

At the end of the deed, the notary recorded, without further cancellations, the presence of the two children as agreeing and consenting to the sale.

For an explanation why the other three children of Susanna and Domenico were not included in the transaction, I refer readers to the following explanations offered by scholars:

In 1896 (Comm. Colombiana, parte 2, vol. I, p. 32), Marcello Staglieno states, for example, that Giacomo, being at the time (i.e., 1473) less than 18 years old, was not yet of legal age. In considering the omission of Bartolomeo's name from the deed, Staglieno argues only that he must have been out of the country ("certainly he was not in Savona."). The scholar does not mention the absence of Bianchettina's name, but my own research shows that as a daughter, she possessed no rights of entitlement (in Liguria, daughters, according to Roman law, were not heirs to their father).

Staglieno offers no reason why the notary crossed out critical passages of the deed, presumably not wishing to engage in a critical examination of a document so potentially controversial. However, he did record the fact that Cesare De Lollis, another historical luminary, did not agree that Bartolomeo was out of the country. De Lollis had asserted, in fact, that according to a deed of Savona, dated June 16, 1480 Not. Ansaldo Basso, Bartolomeo was still in town because on that date (7 years later) Domenico had given power of attorney to him.

However, neither Staglieno nor De Lollis, in their apparent squabble, focus attention to the real issue in the document, which is not whether Bartolomeo was in or out of town, but why the two children are given the last name of Pellegrino. This clearly documented fact simply cannot be ignored or deflected by scholars.

Henry Vignaud considered this critical document in his London work of 1903, titled Critical Study.... After explaining the general content of the deed, Vignaud then presents only the first part of the passages which were crossed out by the notary:

...Christopher and Giovanni Pellegrino, sons of the said couple Domenico and Susanne and with the permission and consent of the said parents, present, consenting, and authorising...

His opinion of the notary's reason for crossing out this particular passage is stated as follows:

Thus the notary, after thinking it was well to stipulate that it was with the sanction of their parents that Christopher and Pellegrino convey their consent to the intended sale, judged this formality needless and suppressed it.

Having offered an acceptable reason for the cancellation by the notary, Vignaud does not elaborate further, and offers no analysis of the other deleted passages.

But if we examine more closely the crossed-out section of the deed presented by Vignaud, we see that the following words were also deleted:

...the said parents, present...

Vignaud`s interpretation does not take into account the real legal motive prompting the notary to cancel out the phrase attesting the presence of "the said parents..."--the parents were not in fact present, only the mother Susanna!

Vignaud also failed to bring into clear perspective the most salient passage crossed out by the notary:

...and father of the aforesaid Christopher and Giovanni Pellegrini...

In essence, precisely the passage which clearly indicates Domenico was not the father!

In the final analysis, then, Vignaud offers at best only a partial interpretation, obscuring or refusing to deal fully with the real content and significance of the deed.

Let us now explore the opinion of the expert documentarist Henry Harrisse. As we shall see, this task is difficult insofar as Harrisse couches his interpretation in language which is evasive and philosophically cryptic in the extreme, obviously reflecting the scholar's desire, in spite of his elaboarate disclaimers, not to upset the status quo of canonical interpretations.

Consider the following quote from his Christopher Columbus and the Bank of Saint George, New York, 1888, p. 74:

Yet the human mind is so constituted that it is materially impossible to make tabula rasa (to forget) of all previous knowledge. What we need to guard against, therefore, is that the document should be made to tally (agree) a priori (first) with what is already known. On the contrary, it is the information that we possess (what we believe is the truth) which must a posteriori (afterward) tally (agree) with the document. Now everybody is aware (believes) that Domenico Colombo had not two children only, but five, viz., Cristoforo, Giovanni-Pellegrini, Bartolomeo, Diego, and a daughter, Bianchinetta, married to a cheesemonger called Bavarello. How is it, then, that only two of these children are mentioned in the summons?

[Emphasis mine]

I have emphasized critical passages and placed interpretive aids inside the parentheses, to aid readers in following Harrisse's argument. What he seems to be saying "with extreme caution" (in order not to upset the well-established scholarly canon based on the fact that Domenico and Susanna had five children while this deed mentions only two)--is that we must contend with these two and forget, for the moment, the other three!

Of the two children shown in the deed, Harrisse must certainly have had an opinion about the surprising last name of Pellegrino, but he declines further speculation. On page 78 he returns, in fact, to the subject of our deed, reassuring the reader that the "only one new element" presented in the document is the name of Christopher Columbus' mother:

We gather from the present act only one new element for our analysis, viz., the name of Christopher Columbus's mother. [Emphasis mine.]

I find it extremely difficult to believe that Henry Harrisse, one of the most expert documentarists of his time, was not aware in 1888 that Susanna, wife of Domenico Colombo, appears in a previous deed dated May 25, 1471, Genova, Notary Francesco Camogli. This deed was published by Giambattista Belloro in his "Revista Critica..., Genova," 1839, pp. 40, 55, and 56. Susanna is identified as "Susanna figlia Del Quondam Giacomo de Fontanarossa e moglie di Domenico Colombo."

The "only one new element" in the deed of August 7, 1473 is not Susanna, Christopher's mother, but her son Giovanni-Pellegrino whose name does not appear in any other deed!

In my opinion, the four abovementioned scholars simply could not conceive or, if so, could not reveal the simple fact established by this unique deed, namely that Christopher Columbus' real name was, in fact, Christopher Pellegrino. Instead they chose to agree, on paper at least, to a child with two hyphenated first names, called "Giovanni-Pellegrino." This curious concoction can only be understood, if not exactly justified, if we consider the general unwillingness of 19th century scholars to upset the established Columbian canon, risk their academic reputations, and create chaos in the great mosaic of synchronous deeds so laboriously assembled in Genova and Savona on the genealogy of Christopher Columbus.

The only question which remains is when Cristoforo Pellegrino called himself "Cristoforo Colombo." One must assume naturally that when Christopher grew to adulthood in Italy and needed credentials, he would identify himself as the son of Domenico Colombo. Three notarial deeds exist, in fact, in which Christopher, in the presence of witnesses, identified himself precisely in this manner. With respect to the testimony of these witnesses, however, it must be kept in perspective that witnesses testify "only to the best of their knowledge."

These documents consist of three legal deeds, all related to debts incurred by Christopher.

The first dated in Genova, September 22, 1470, Not. Giacomo Calvi., reveals a 19-year old Christopher stipulating a compromise for a debt incurred by him and his father Domenico Colombo.

The second dated Fossatello, October 31, 1470 Not. Nicola Raggio (a Staglieno find of 1887), finds Christopher declaring himself to be older than 19 years of age. The future discoverer is here engaged in a business deal with a certain Pietro Balesio of Porto Maurizio (located on the coast, some 46 miles west of Savona), binding himself to pay him "48 lire, 13 soldi, and 6 denari di Genova" within one year as settlement for a quantity of wine received by him and his father Domenico. In addition to woolweaver, this document indicates that Christopher moonlighted as a sailor on coastal voyages in the Riviera, and got Domenico to guarantee his affairs, eventually leading to Domenico's involvement as a tavernkeeper in Savona.

The third deed of August 26, 1472, Savona, not. Tommaso del Zocco, has Domenico Colombo, wool-weaver, living in Savona, and his son Cristoforo declare to owe to Giovanni Signorio "50 lire di Genovini" for 7 "Cantari" (circa 172 lbs. each) for wool sold to them.

From the deed of August 26, 1472, Christopher is not found in any other deed until 1479 (except the one of August 7, 1473). During this period from 1473 to 1479, Christopher was at sea, and we have no record of how he called himself.

Once he arrived in Portugal, we know that he dropped the last name of Colombo and came to be known variously as Colonus, Colón and Colom. In 1479, the navigator briefly returned to Genova, summoned there by a controversy between Lodisio Centurione and the two brothers Paolo and Cassano Di Negro. We know this from a deed dated in Genoa, dated August 25, 1479, not. Gerolamo Ventimiglia (Assereto find, published 1904). Here Christopher Columbus declares himself to be "approximately" 27 years old.

Peculiarly for a legal deed, this document does not indicate the paternity of Christopher. Why this omission of paternity? Because Christopher no longer lived in Italy, and therefore, I believe, had no further need of Domenico Colombo's patronage. Furthermore, he had no further reason to fear that by dropping his acquired paternity of Domenico, he would offend or dishonor in some way his stepfather. One assumes also that Domenico could have been sensitive about his wife's previous relationship with Pellegrino, and that whenever in Italy Christopher "renamed himself Colombo" in deference to Domenico.

We know that Domenico was still alive from his presence in documents until September 30, 1494, Genoa, not. Giovanni Battista Passirola.

So far as known, Christopher never used the name of Colombo after he left Genoa. He adopted instead various aliases: Colonus, Colón, Colom, or Colomo. Finally, all of the aliases, the assumed names, are abandoned after the great discovery of 1492 achieves his status and wide recognition. A last name was no longer of importance; the mysterious cryptic signature appeared, "Xpo Ferens," Christopher as the carrier of Christ. The Admiral frequently compared himself to David, and most particularly with Moses, a kindred soul born out of wedlock and also abandoned by his beloved father, but who pursues his great destiny under the tutelage of a spiritual father. At this time, Christopher feels the need to detach himself from secular names and to create a new name which identifies him with the world of the Holy Trinity.

However, the most compelling evidence we have affirming that Domenico was not Christopher's father comes from the Historie... of Fernando. In Chapter II, specifically titled, "Who were the father and mother of the Admiral...", Fernando fails to reveal their names. Finally, 71 chapters later (Chapter LXXIII), in the course of describing the Admiral's entrance into Sto Domingo, he curiously reveals that Domenico was the father of Bartolomeo. If Domenico had also been the father of Christopher, why could not Fernando state this simple fact in Chapter II, specifically dedicated to the Admiral's mother and father? Let us examine the crucial passages in Fernando's account of his father's entrance into the harbor of Sto. Domingo:

...therefore to the end his (the Admiral's) provisions might not fail him in time of need, he stood to the eastward of Santo Domingo, into which harbor he sailed on the 30th of August; for here the Lieutenant his brother (Bartolomeo) had appointed the city to be built on the east-side of the river, where it stands at present, and was called Santo Domingo in memory of his father, whose name was Domenico. [Emphasis mine.]

Here, in specifying Domenico "as his father" and not their father, Fernando clearly and unequivocally denotes Domenico as the father of Bartolomeo, and not of Christopher, a statement which has generally been misinterpreted by scholars.

In Chapter I, Fernando invokes the aliases of his father and mused on the extraordinary mysteries of his genealogy:

...and so he (the Admiral) called himself "Colón." Considering this fact, I believe that, since the major part of his undertakings were the work of some mystery, so what concerns his name and last name it did not come without mystery. [Emphasis mine.]

In concluding this critical study on the origin of Christopher Columbus, I would like once more to emphasize that the curious deed of August 7, 1473, offers the final clue to the mysterious paternity of the discoverer. Years ago, when I first undertook the task of examining and analyzing the marvelous mosaic of undoubtedly authentic deeds from the State Archives of Genoa and Savona, I was immediately aware this one enigmatic deed did not fit into the pattern so carefully laid out by scholars; and yet I, like other scholars, felt captivated by its outstanding features. However, unlike them, I have tried to explain and articulate its uniqueness, rather than attempting to ignore its supposed discrepancies from the already perfected and synchronous documentation. In doing so, I feel confident that my expanded interpretation is essentially correct. I believe that far from adding more mystery to the origin of Columbus, my critical study reveals the final key to Christopher Pellegrino's quincentennial secret. A secret which he carried within himself all of his life, feeling it so great a burden that he devised strange and esoteric strategies to conceal it from the world.2




1. Apparently, the original text of Andres Bernaldez was available to Juan Bautista Muñoz who, in his 1793 work titled Historia del Nuevo Mundo, p. VIII, states that it was "...lo texto original, casi integro..." (...the original text, almost integral...). Muñoz sets the year of birth for C.C. in 1446 (Libro II, p. 42).

2. As an interesting coincidence, I have noticed that in the Jewish cemetery of Modena there is an early 20th century sepulchre of one Jacobo Pellegrino. This fact could be interpreted to mean that Cristoforo Pellegrino's father could have been of Jewish origin.

To contact the author, send mail to:

Tagliattini & Associates
405 East 56 Str. #4A
New York NY 10022




Descendants of Cristóbal Colón
(a/k/a Cristoforo Colombo, a/k/a Christopher Columbus)
by Michael K. Smith 
Sent by John Inclan

NOTE: In many cases in this lineage, you will find only one child named. The qualifier "only known child" really means the only one known to me. The sources I've used here focus on the passage of the key titles down through the generations and frequently omit to even mention younger children. If you can resolve any of those unknowns, I would very much like to hear from you!

Generation One
1. Domenico1 Colombo, a Genoese weaver, married Susanna Fontanarossa, probably circa 1445. 
Children of Domenico1 Colombo and Susanna Fontanarossa, all born in Genoa, were: 
+ 2 i. Cristoforo2Colombo, born 1446?. 
3 ii. Giovanni Colombo; born circa 1447; died before 1477 in Genoa. 
+ 4 iii. Bartolomeo Colombo, born 1448?. 
+ 5 iv. Bianchinetta Colombo, born 1464?. She married Giacomo Bavarello. 
+ 6 v. Giacomo Colombo, born 1466?. 

Generation Two
2. Cristoforo2 Colombo (a/k/a Cristóbal Colón, in Spain and Portugal) (Domenico1); born 1446? in Genoa; died 20 May 1506 in Valladolid; buried in Santo Domingo Cathedral (. . . and is probably still there). [NOTE 1] He married Philippa Moñiz circa 1470 in Lisbon. [NOTE 2] He was granted the titles Viceroy & First Admiral of the Indies. 
Cristoforo2 Colombo also had a mistress named Beatriz Enriquez. Their only child was: 
7 i. Fernando3 Colón; born 1488 (illegitimate) in Córdova; died 12 July 1539 in Seville; buried in Seville Cathedral.The only child of Cristoforo2 Colombo and Philippa Moñiz was: 
+ 8 i. Diego3 Colón, born 1480 on Porto Santo Island. He married Maria de Toledo. 4. Bartolomeo2 Colombo (a/k/a Colón) (Domenico1); born 1448? in Genoa; died after October 1514 in Santo Domingo; buried in San Francisco Church, Santo Domingo. Unmarried. He was Governor of Hispaniola. 

The only known child of Bartolomeo2 Colombo, by an unknown woman, was a daughter: 
9 i. ___(?)___3 Colombo; born circa 1508 (illegitimate) in Seville?; died after 1511 in Seville. 5. Bianchinetta2 Colombo (Domenico1); born 1464? in Genoa; died 1516? in Genoa?. She married Giacomo Bavarello (a cheese merchant). She apparently lost all contact with her brothers, who never mentioned her name. 

The only known child of Bianchinetta2 Colombo and Giacomo Bavarello was: 
10 i. Pantaleone3 Bavarello; born 1490 in Genoa; died after 1515 in Genoa. He married Mariola Chiegali, daughter of Domenico Chiegali.6. Giacomo2 Colombo (a/k/a Diego Colón) (Domenico1); born 1466? in Genoa; died 1515 in Seville. He was originally a weaver in Genoa until called to Spain by his eldest brother, Cristoforo; he entered ecclesiastical orders in Seville later in life. Unmarried. 

Giacomo2 Colombo had an illegitimate daughter by a servant girl in the household of his nephew, Diego, in Santo Domingo: 
11 i. ___(?)___3 Colombo; born in Santo Domingo. 

Generation Three
8. Diego3 Colón (Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 1480 on Porto Santo Island; died 23 February 1526 in Montalban (near Toledo); buried in Santo Domingo Cathedral (. . . remains probably mistaken for his brother's and moved to Havana Cathedral, then to Seville Cathedral). He married 1508 Maria de Toledo, daughter of Fernando de Toledo (Grand Commander of Leon) and neice of Fadrique de Toledo (Duke of Alba). He held the title 2nd Admiral of the Indies, and was Viceroy of Hispaniola. 
Children of Diego3 Colón and Maria de Toledo, all born in Santo Domingo, were: 
12 i. Felipa4 Colón y Toledo; born 1510?; died probably between 1542 and 1548 in Santo Domingo. Unmarried. 
+ 13 ii. Maria Colón y Toledo; born 1511?. She married Sancho de Cardona y Liori. 
+ 14 iii. Juana Colón y Toledo; born 1512; died circa 1592. She married Luis de la Cueva. 
+ 15 iv. Isabel Colón y Toledo; born 1513; died 1549. She married Jorge de Portugal. 
+ 16 v. Luis Colón y Toledo; born 1522; died 3 February 1572 (in exile). He was married three times -- perhaps four times, depending on your interpretation. 
+ 17 vi. Cristóbal Colón y Toledo; born 1523; died August 1571. He married 1st Leonor Zuazo; married 2nd Ana de Pravia; married 3rd Magdalena de Anaya y Guzmán. 
+ 18 vii. Diego Colón y Toledo; born 1524; died 1546. He married Isabel Justinien. 

Generation Four
13. Maria4 Colón y Toledo (Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 1511? in Santo Domingo; died 1578. She married Sancho de Cardona y Liori, Marquis of Guadelesti and Admiral of Aragon. 
Children of Maria4 Colón y Toledo and Sancho de Cardona y Liori were: 
19 i. Cristóbal de Cardona y Colón; born 1545?; dsp. 6 November 1583. He held the titles 3rd Duke of Veragua, 5th Admiral of the Indies, Marquis of Guadeleste, Admiral of Aragon. 
20 ii. Luis5 de Cardona y Colón; dsp. before November 1583. 
21 iii. Maria de Cardona y Colón; died 5 August 1591. She married Francisco de Mendoza (Marquis of Guadelesti & Admiral of Aragon jur. ux.). She held the titles Duchess of Veragua, Marquesa of Guadeleste. He entered the church after his wife's death and died as Bishop of Siguenza. 14. Juana4 Colón y Toledo (Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 1512 in Santo Domingo; died 1592. She married Luis de la Cueva (died 1580), Captain of the Guard to Emperor Charles V, and brother of the Duke of Albuquerque. 
Children of Juana4 Colón y Toledo and Luis de la Cueva were: 
+ 22 i. Maria5 de la Cueva y Colón; born 1547?; died 1600. She married Carlos de Arellano. 15. Isabel4 Colón y Toledo (Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 1513 in Santo Domingo; died 1549. She married 20 May 1531 (as his 2nd wife) Jorge de Portugal (1st Count of Gelves and a member of the royal house of Portugal). 
Children of Isabel4 Colón y Toledo and Jorge de Portugal were: 
+ 23 i. Alvaro5 de Portugal y Colón ; born 1535; died 29 September 1581. He married ___(?)___ de Córdova. 16. Luis4 Colón y Toledo (Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 1522 in Santo Domingo; died 3 February 1572 (in exile) in Oran; buried at the Franciscan Monastery, Oran (his remains were later moved to Santo Domingo Cathedral). He married 1st Maria de Orosco 1543 in Santo Domingo (she married 2nd 1542 in Santo Domingo, Francisco Castellanos, Treasurer of Honduras). He married 2nd September 1546 in Santo Domingo,Maria de Mosquera, daughter of Juan de Mosquera and Ofrasina de Pasamonte (she married 2nd April 1571 in Venice, Alonso de Villareal; she died 13 September 1571 in Venice). He married 3rd (secretly) May or June 1556 in Madrid, Ana de Castro (she died circa 1566); they married formally in 1560 and again in 1563. He married 4th(?) (secretly) in 1564 in Madrid, Luisa de Carbajal (she died after 1608). [NOTE 3] He held the titles 3rd Admiral of the Indies, 1st Duke of Veragua, Marquis of Jamaica. 
There were no children of Luis4 Colón y Toledo and Maria de Orosco. 
Children of Luis4 Colón y Toledo and Maria de Mosquera were as follows: 
24 i. Maria5 Colón y Mosquera; born 1548?; died between 1605 and 1610, a nun at the Bernadine Convent of San Quirce, Valladolid. 
25 ii. Felipa Colón y Mosquera; born 1549?; died 25 November 1577 in Valladolid?; buried at the Bernadine Convent of San Quirce, Valladolid. She married 1573, her cousin, Diego Colón y Pravia, son of Cristóbal Colón y Toledo and Ana de Pravia. She held the title 2nd Duchess of Veragua. There were no children of Luis4 Colón y Toledo and Ana de Castro. 
Children of Luis4 Colón y Toledo and Luisa de Carbajal (all of them ruled illegitimate) were: 
26 i. Juana5 Colón; born 1541 in Santo Domingo; died after 1570? in Spain. 
27 i. Cristóbal5 Colón y Carbajal; born 1565 in Spain; died 1600 in Spain. [NOTE 4] 
28 ii. Petronila Colón; born circa 1570 in Oran; died between 1651 and 1660. She married Luis de Sotomayor, governor of the fortress of Melilla, in North Africa, opposite Gibralter. 17. Cristóbal4 Colón y Toledo (Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 1523 in Santo Domingo; died August 1571 off the coast of Peru. He married 1st Leonor Zuazo, daughter of Alonso Zuazo, Acting Governor of Santo Domingo, 1531-1533 (she died shortly after the marriage). He married 2nd in Santo Domingo (as her 2nd husband) Ana de Pravia (born in Santo Domingo; died after about 20 years of marriage to Cristóbal; her 1st husband was probably Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa, who was executed in 1548). He married 3rd Magdalena de Anaya y Guzmán (born in Salamanca), daughter of Francisco Girón Villasandino and Juana de Guzmán. [NOTE 5] He was Chief Constable of Hispaniola. 
There were no children of Cristóbal4 Colón y Toledo and Leonor Zuazo. 
Children of Cristóbal4 Colón y Toledo and Ana de Pravia were: 
29 i. Diego5 Colón y Pravia; born circa 1551 in Santo Domingo; dsp. 27 January 1578; buried at the Bernadine Convent of San Quirce, Valladolid. He married 1573, his cousin, Felipa Colón y Mosquera, daughter of Luis Colón y Toledo and Maria de Mosquera. He held the titles 2nd Duke of Veragua, 4th Admiral of the Indies, Marquis of Jamaica. He was the last direct male descendant of the Discoverer. [NOTE 6] 
+ 30 ii. Francisca Colón y Pravia; born circa 1552; died April 1616. She married Diego de Ortegón. The only known child of Cristóbal4 Colón y Toledo and Magdalena de Anaya y Guzmán was: 
+ 31 i. Maria5 Colón y Anaya; died before 1604. She married Luis de Avila. Cristóbal4 Colón y Toledo also had, by an unknown woman, an illegitimate daughter: 
32 i. Marcelina5 Colón; died after 1578 in Santo Domingo? She married Hernando de Padilla, son of Captain Adriano de Padilla. 18. Diego4 Colón y Toledo (Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 1524 in Santo Domingo; died and was buried 1546 at Nombre de Dios in Panama. He married 1544 Isabel Justinien (a commoner). [NOTE 7] 
There were no children of Diego4 Colón y Toledo and Isabel Justinien. 
Diego4 Colón y Toledo had four children, all illegitimate: 
33 i. ___(son)___5 Colón; born circa 1508 in Burgos, to Constanza Rosas. 
34 i. Cristóbal5 Colón; born circa 1508 (mother unknown); died after 1523. 
35 ii. Francisco Colón; born after 1510 in Santo Domingo; died 1546 in Veragua (killed by Indians). 
36 iii. Francisco Colón; born 1546 in Santo Domingo. He married Violante ___(?)___. 

Generation Five
22. Maria5 de la Cueva y Colón (Juana4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 1547?; died 1600. She married Carlos de Arellano, a marshal of Leon. 
The only known child of Maria5 de la Cueva y Colón and Carlos de Arellano was: 
+ 37 i. Juana6 de Arellano y de la Cueva, married Francisco Pacheco de Córdova. 23. Alvaro5 de Portugal y Colón (Isabel4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 1535; died 29 September 1581. He married ___(?)___ de Córdova. He held the title 2nd Count of Gelves. 
Children of Alvaro5 de Portugal y Colón and ___(?)___ de Córdova were: 
+ 38 i. Jorge Alberto6 de Portugal y Córdova; born 1566; died 1589. He married ___(?)___ de Vicentelo. 
+ 39 ii. Nuño de Portugal y Córdova; born 1568 in Seville; died 9 March 1622 in Madrid. He married ___(?)___ de Bastida. 30. Francisca5 Colón y Pravia (Cristóbal4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born circa 1552; died April 1616. She married 1567? in Santo Domingo, Diego de Ortegón (a judge in Panama circa 1571, then in Quito circa 1575). 
Children of Francisca5 Colón y Pravia and Diego de Ortegón were: 
+ 40 i. Guiomar6 de Ortegón y Colón; died 1621. She married Diego de Portugal y Botti. 
+ 41 ii. Jacoba de Ortegón y Colón; died April? 1618. She married Francisco Vallejo Vela. 
+ 42 iii. Ana de Ortegón y Colón. She married Baltasar de Alamos. 
+ 43 iv. Josefa de Ortegón y Colón. She married Francisco Paz de la Serna. 
44 v. Maria de Ortegón y Colón. 
45 vi. Francisca de Ortegón y Colón. 
46 vii. Catalina de Ortegón y Colón; died a nun at the Convent of St. Isabel, Olmedo. 
47 viii. Isabel de Ortegón y Colón; died a nun at the Convent of St. Isabel, Olmedo. 
48 ix. ___(?)___ de Ortegón y Colón; died before April 1616. 31. Maria5 Colón y Anaya (Cristóbal4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); died before 1604. She married (as his 1st wife) Luis de Avila, Judge of the First Instance of Santo Domingo. (He married 2nd Francisca Sandoval and had further issue.) 
Children of Maria5 Colón y Anaya and Luis de Avila were: 
49 iii. Cristóbal de Avila y Colón; born 30 June [or 27 August?] 1579 in Santo Domingo; died 1580. 
50 iv. Luis de Avila y Colón; born 15 September 1582 in Santo Domingo; dsp. 2 July 1633. Retroactively, he was 4th Duke of Veragua, 6th Admiral of the Indies. 
51 ii. Juana de Avila y Colón; died young?. 
52 i. Maria6 de Avila y Colón; died between 1596 and 1621. 
53 v. Magdalena de Avila y Colón; baptized 20 July 1591 in Santo Domingo; died after 1621. 

Generation Six
37. Juana6 de Arellano y de la Cueva (a/k/a Colón de Toledo y de la Cueva) (Maria5de la Cueva y Colón, Juana4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1). She married Francisco Pacheco de Córdova, Marquis of Villamayor and Governor of Nueva Galicia in Mexico.
Children of Juana6 de Arellano y de la Cueva and Francisco Pacheco de Córdova were: 
+ 54 ii. Carlos Pacheco de Córdova y Arellano; born 1602 in Guadalajara. He married Juana Maria Torres y Portugal. 
+ 55 i. Nuño7 Pacheco de Córdova y Arellano. He married Maria de Mendoza. 38. Jorge Alberto6 de Portugal y Córdova (Alvaro5de Portugal y Colón, Isabel4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 1566; died 1589. He married ___(?)___ de Vicentelo. He held the title 3rd Count of Gelves. 

Children of Jorge Alberto6 de Portugal y Córdova and ___(?)___ de Vicentelo were: 
+ 56 i. Leonor7 de Portugal y Vicentelo. She married 1st Fernando de Castro. She married 2nd Diego Carrillo de Mendoza y Pimental. 39. Nuño6 de Portugal y Córdova (Alvaro5de Portugal y Colón, Isabel4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 1568 in Seville; died 9 March 1622 in Madrid. He married ___(?)___ de Bastida. 
Children of Nuño6 de Portugal y Córdova and ___(?)___ de Bastida were: 
+ 57 i. Alvaro Jacinto7 de Portugal y la Bastida; born 1596. He married his cousin, Catarina de Castro y Portugal. 40. Guiomar6 de Ortegón y Colón (Francisca5Colón y Pravia, Cristóbal4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); died 1621. She married 15?? in Valladolid, Diego de Portugal y Botti, son of Jorge de Portugal y Colón. 

Children of Guiomar6 de Ortegón y Colón and Diego de Portugal y Botti were: 
58 i. Diego7 de Portugal y Ortegón; dsp. 1 October 1627. 
59 ii. Francisca de Portugal y Ortegón; died 30 November 1630. Unmarried. 
+ 60 iii. Ana Francisca de Portugal y Ortegón. She married Diego de Cárdenas y Balda. 41. Jacoba6 de Ortegón y Colón (Francisca5Colón y Pravia, Cristóbal4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); died April? 1618 She married 1615 in Olmeda (as his 1st wife), Francisco Vallejo Vela. 
Children of Jacoba6 de Ortegón y Colón and Francisco Vallejo Vela were: 
61 i. Antonio Diego7 Vallejo y Ortegón; died in infancy. 
62 ii. Manuel Antonio Vallejo y Ortegón; born 10 January 1617 in Olmeda; dsp. 20 May 1641 in Vercelli, Italy, of wounds received in battle. Retroactively, he was 5th Duke of Veragua, 7th Admiral of the Indies. [NOTE 8] 42. Ana6 de Ortegón y Colón (Francisca5Colón y Pravia, Cristóbal4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1). She married Baltasar de Alamos, a scholar and member of the Council of the Indies. 
The only known child of Ana6 de Ortegón y Colón and Baltasar de Alamos was: 
63 i. Teresa7 de Alamos y Ortegón. She married Garcia Tello de Sandoval. 43. Josefa6 de Ortegón y Colón (Francisca5Colón y Pravia, Cristóbal4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1). She married Francisco Paz de la Serna, a judge of the Audiencia of Coruña. 
The only known child of Josefa6 de Ortegón y Colón and Francisco Paz de la Serna was: 
+ 64 i. Josefa7 Paz de la Serna y Ortegón. She married Martin de Larreátegui. 

Generation Seven
54. Carlos7 Pacheco de Córdova y Arellano (a/k/a Colón de Córdova y Bocanegra) (Juana6de Arellano y de la Cueva, Maria5de la Cueva y Colón, Juana4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 1602 in Guadalajara; died 5 September 1646. He married Juana Maria Torres y Portugal. He held the title Marquis of Villamayor and was Governor of Nueva Galicia in Mexico. 

Children of Carlos7 Pacheco de Córdova y Arellano and Juana Maria Torres y Portugal were: 
65 i. Francisco Domingo Pacheco; born 24 February 1639. He followed his father as Governor of Nueva Galicia in Mexico and has numerous descendants in the Spanish nobility. 
+ 66 ii. Juana Teresa8 Pacheco. She married Manuel Exarch de Belvis. 55. Nuño7 Pacheco de Córdova y Arellano (Juana6de Arellano y de la Cueva, Maria5de la Cueva y Colón, Juana4 Colón y Toledo, Diego3 Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1). He married Maria de Mendoza. 
The only known child of Nuño7 Pacheco de Córdova y Arellano and Maria de Mendoza was: 
+ 67 i. Maria8 Pacheco de Córdova y Mendoza. She married Gaspar Ibañez. 56. Leonor7 de Portugal y Vicentelo (Jorge6de Portugal y Córdova, Alvaro5de Portugal y Colón, Isabel4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); died 19 April 1618. She married 1st Fernando de Castro (son of the Count of Lemos). She married 2nd Diego Carrillo de Mendoza y Pimental, Captain-General of Aragon and later Viceroy of Mexico. 
The only known child of Leonor7 de Portugal y Vicentelo and Fernando de Castro was: 
68 i. Catarina8 de Castro y Portugal. She married her cousin, Alvaro Jacinto de Portugal y la Bastida, son of Nuño de Portugal y Córdova and ___(?)___ de Bastida. The only known child of Leonor7 de Portugal y Vicentelo and Diego Carrillo de Mendoza y Pimental was: 
69 i. ___(?)___8 Carillo de Mendoza y Portugal. 57. Alvaro Jacinto7 de Portugal y la Bastida (a/k/a Colón de Portugal) (Nu¤o6de Portugal y Córdova, Alvaro5de Portugal y Colón, Isabel4 Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 1596; died 1636 in Lisbon. He married his cousin, Catarina de Castro y Portugal, daughter of Fernando de Castro and Leonor de Portugal y Vicentelo. He was a Captain-General in the Spanish army. 
The only known child of Alvaro Jacinto7 de Portugal y la Bastida and Catarina de Castro y Portugal was: 
+ 70 i. Pedro Nuño8 de Portugal y Castro; born 13 December 1618 in Madrid; died 13 December 1673 in Mexico City. He married ___(?)___ de la Cueva. 60. Ana Francisca7 de Portugal y Ortegón (Guiomar6de Ortegón y Colón, Francisca5Colón y Pravia, Cristóbal4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo , Domenico1). She married Diego de Cárdenas y Balda, Captain-General of Cantabria and a member of the Council of the Indies. 
Children of Ana Francisca7 de Portugal y Ortegón and Diego de Cárdenas y Balda were: 
+ 71 i. Lorenza8 de Cárdenas y Portugal. She married Luis Enriques. 
72 ii. Catarina de Cárdenas y Portugal. She married Francisco Tutavilla. 
73 iii. Francisca de Cárdenas y Portugal. She married Francisco Tello. 64. Josefa7 Paz de la Serna y Ortegón (Josefa6de Ortegón y Colón, Francisca5 Colón y Pravia, Cristóbal4Colón y Toledo, Diego3 Colón,Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1). She married Martin de Larreátegui, a judge and a member of the Council of Castille. 
Josefa7 Paz de la Serna y Ortegón and Martin de Larreátegui had 7 sons and 1 daughter, including: 
+ 74 i. Diego8 de Larreátegui y Paz de la Serna; born 15 August 1640. He married Esperanza de Carvajal. 
+ 75 ii. Francisco de Larreátegui y Paz de la Serna; born May 1646 in Madrid. He married ___(?)___ de Ventura de Angulo. 

Generation Eight
66. Juana Teresa8 Pacheco (Carlos7Pacheco de Córdova y Arellano , Juana6de Arellano y de la Cueva, Maria5de la Cueva y Colón, Juana4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); died 1693. She married Manuel Exarch de Belvis. 
The only known child of Juana Teresa8 Pacheco and Manuel Exarch de Belvis was: 
+ 76 i. Francisca Maria9 Exarch de Belvis ; born 1666. She married Francisco Belvis de Moncada. 67. Maria8 Pacheco de Córdova y Mendoza (Nu¤o7Pacheco de Córdova y Arellano, Juana6de Arellano y de la Cueva, Maria5de la Cueva y Colón, Juana4 Colón y Toledo, Diego3 Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1). She married Gaspar Ibañez. 
With 3 other sons, Maria8 Pacheco de Córdova y Mendoza and Gaspar Ibañez had: 
77 i. Josef9 Ibañez y Pacheco (who had three sons). 70. Pedro Nuño8 de Portugal y Castro (a/k/a Colón de Portugal) (Alvaro7de Portugal y la Bastida, Nu¤o6de Portugal y Córdova, Alvaro5de Portugal y Colón, Isabel4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 13 December 1618 in Madrid; died 13 December 1673 in Mexico City. He married ___(?)___ de la Cueva. He was Viceroy of Mexico in 1672, and was a Knight of the Golden Fleece; retroactively, he was 7th Duke of Veragua, 9th Admiral of the Indies. 
The only known child of Pedro Nuño8 de Portugal y Castro and ___(?)___ de la Cueva was: 
+ 78 i. Pedro Manuel9 de Portugal y la Cueva; born 25 December 1651; died 10 September 1710 in Madrid. He married ___(?)___ de Ayala. 71. Lorenza8 de Cárdenas y Portugal (Ana7de Portugal y Ortegón, Guiomar6de Ortegón y Colón, Francisca5Colón y Pravia, Cristóbal4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1). She married Luis Enriques. 
The only known child of Lorenza8 de Cárdenas y Portugal and Luis Enriques was a daughter, name unknown: 
79 i. ___(?)___9 Enriques y Cárdenas, who married the Duke of Arce (name unknown). 74. Diego8 de Larreátegui y Paz de la Serna (Josefa7Paz de la Serna y Ortegón, Josefa6 de Ortegón y Colón, Francisca5Colón y Pravia, Cristóbal4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 15 August 1640; died 13 April 1685 in Valladolid? He married Esperanza de Carvajal. He was chief criminal judge of Valladolid and a Knight of Santiago; retroactively, he was 6th Duke of Veragua, 8th Admiral of the Indies. 
The only known child of Diego8 de Larreátegui y Paz de la Serna and Esperanza de Carvajal was: 
80 i. Martin9 de Larreátegui y Carvajal; dsp. 29 August 1741. He was a cavalry officer, and was retroactively 7th Duke of Veragua, 9th Admiral of the Indies. 
81 ii. Ana de Larreátegui y Carvajal; died 1771, a nun. 75. Francisco8 de Larreátegui y Paz de la Serna (Josefa7Paz de la Serna y Ortegón, Josefa6 de Ortegón y Colón, Francisca5Colón y Pravia, Cristóbal4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born May 1646 in Madrid. He married ___(?)___ de Ventura de Angulo. He was a member of the Council of Castille. 
The only known child of Francisco8 de Larreátegui y Paz de la Ser and ___(?)___ de Ventura de Angulo was: 
+ 82 i. Pedro Isidero9 de Larreátegui y Ventura de Angulo; born 13 May 1695; died 14 February 1770. He married ___(?)___ de Embrún. 

Generation Nine
76. Francisca Maria9 Exarch de Belvis (Juana8Pacheco, Carlos7Pacheco de Córdova y Arellano, Juana6de Arellano y de la Cueva, Maria5de la Cueva y Colón, Juana4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 1666. She married Francisco Belvis de Moncada. 

Children of Francisca Maria9 Exarch de Belvis and Francisco Belvis de Moncada were: 
+ 83 i. Josef Vincente10 Belvis de Moncada; born 1690. He married Ollala Ibañez de Mendoza. 78. Pedro Manuel9 de Portugal y la Cueva (Pedro8de Portugal y Castro, Alvaro7de Portugal y la Bastida, Nuño6de Portugal y Córdova, Alvaro5de Portugal y Colón, Isabel4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 25 December 1651; died 10 September 1710 in Madrid. He held the titles Duke de la Vega, Marquis of Jamaica and Villamiza, Count of Gelves, Admiral of the Indies. He was Viceroy of Galicia in 1676, Viceroy of Valencia in 1679, Viceroy of Sicily in 1695, President of the Council of the Orders, and a Knight of the Golden Fleece. He married ___(?)___ de Ayala. 
Children of Pedro Manuel9 de Portugal y la Cueva and ___(?)___ de Ayala were: 
84 i. Pedro Nuño10 de Portugal y Ayala; born 17 October 1676 in Madrid; died 4 July 1733 in Madrid. He held the titles Duke of Veragua, Grandee of the First Class. He was Viceroy and Captain-General of Sardinia in 1707, Viceroy and Captain-General of Navarre in 1712, and a member of the Council of the Indies. He was the last descendant in the male line of the Portugal family, and was obsessed with the idea of recovering Jamaica for Spain. 
+ 85 ii. Catalina de Ventura y Portugal de Ayala; born 14 July 1690; died 1740. She married James Stewart (her 2nd husband?). 82. Pedro Isidero9 de Larreátegui y Ventura de Angulo (Francisco8de Larretegui y Paz de la Serna, Josefa7Paz de la Serna y Ortegón, Josefa6 de Ortegón y Colón, Francisca 5Colón y Pravia, Cristóbal4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); married ___(?)___ de Embrún; born 13 May 1695; died 14 February 1770. He held the title Count of Torre Arias, and was Vice-President of the Council of Castille and a Chevalier of the Order of Alcantara. A professor of law at Salamanca University. After years of study on the case, he reopened the inheritance suit in 1765, after it had been dormant for a century. Retroactively, he was 8th Duke of Veragua, 10th Admiral of the Indies. 
Children of Pedro Isidero9 de Larreátegui y Ventura de Angulo and ___(?)___ de Embrún were: 
+ 86 i. Mariano10 de Larreátegui y Embrún, married ___(?)___ de Ramirez de Baquedano. 

Generation Ten
83. Josef Vincente10 Belvis de Moncada (Francisca9Exarch de Belvis, Juana8Pacheco, Carlos7Pacheco de Córdova y Arellano, Juana6de Arellano y de la Cueva, Maria5de la Cueva y Colón, Juana4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 1690. He married Ollala Ibañez de Mendoza. 

The only known child of Josef Vincente10 Belvis de Moncada and Ollala Ibañez de Mendoza was: 
+ 87 i. Pascual Benito11 Belvis de Moncada; born 1727; died 1781. He married Florentina Pizarro Picolomini. 85. Catalina10 de Ventura y Portugal de Ayala (Pedro9de Portugal y la Cueva, Pedro8de Portugal y Castro, Alvaro7de Portugal y la Bastida, Nuño6de Portugal y Córdova, Alvaro5de Portugal y Colón, Isabel4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 14 July 1690; died 1740. She married (as her 2nd husband?) James Stewart (Baron of Bosworth, Duke of Berwick & Liria, Grandee of Spain), son of James FitzJames (Duke of Berwick-on-Tweed, created Duke of Liria by the king of Spain), who was the illegitimate son of James Stewart, Duke of York (who later became James II, King of Great Britain), and Arabella Churchill. Catalina appropriated the title "Duchess of Veragua," which should have gone directly to her son. 

Children of Catalina10 de Ventura y Portugal de Ayala and James Stewart were: 
+ 88 i. Jacobo Francisco Eduardo11 Stewart y Portugal; born 28 December 1718; died 1785. He married Maria Teresa de Silva. 86. Mariano10 de Larreátegui y Embrún (Pedro9de Larretegui y Ventura de Angulo, Francisco8de Larretegui y Paz de la Serna, Josefa7Paz de la Serna y Ortegón, Josefa6 de Ortegón y Colón, Francisca5Colón y Pravia, Cristóbal4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1). He married ___(?)___ de Ramirez de Baquedano. He was Superintendent of Police of the Kingdom and a member of the Council of Castille. He became 9th Duke of Veragua, Marquis of Jamaica, and 11th Admiral of the Indies by decision of the court in 1790. [NOTE 9] 

The only known children of Mariano10 de Larreátegui y Embrún and ___(?)___ de Ramirez de Baquedano was: 
+ 89 i. Pedro11 de Larreátegui y Ramirez de Baquedano; born 9 September 1801; died 1866. He married ___(?)___ de la Cerda y Palafox. 

Generation Eleven
87. Pascual Benito11 Belvis de Moncada (Josef10, Francisca9Exarch de Belvis, Juana8Pacheco, Carlos7Pacheco de Córdova y Arellano, Juana6 de Arellano y de la Cueva, Maria5de la Cueva y Colón, Juana4 Colón y Toledo, Diego3 Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 1727; his estate was probated 1781. He married Florentina Pizarro Picolomini. 

Children of Pascual Benito11 Belvis de Moncada and Florentina Pizarro Picolomini were: 
90 i. Juan de la Cruz12 Belvis de Moncada (a/k/a Moncada y Colón); born 1756. He held the titles Marquis of Belgida & Villamayor, Grandee of Spain. 88. Jacobo Francisco Eduardo11 Stewart y Portugal (Catalina10de Ventura y Portugal de Ayala, Pedro9de Portugal y la Cueva, Pedro8de Portugal y Castro, Alvaro7de Portugal y la Bastida, Nu¤o6de Portugal y Córdova, Alvaro5de Portugal y Colón, Isabel4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 28 December 1718; died 1785. He married Maria Teresa de Silva, daughter of ___(?)___ de Silva. He held the title Duke of Veragua. He was a general in the Spanish army. 
Children of Jacobo Francisco Eduardo11 Stewart y Portugal and Maria Teresa de Silva were: 
+ 91 i. Carlos Fernando12 Stewart y Silva; born 25 March 1752. He married Catalina Augusta (Carlota) von Stolberg. 89. Pedro11 de Larreátegui y Ramirez de Baquedano (a/k/a Colón y Ramirez de Baquedano) (Mariano10de Larretegui y Embrún, Pedro9de Larretegui y Ventura de Angulo, Francisco8de Larretegui y Paz de la Serna, Josefa7Paz de la Serna y Ortegón, Josefa6de Ortegón y Colón, Francisca5Colón y Pravia, Cristóbal4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 9 September 1801; died 1866. He married ___(?)___ de la Cerda y Palafox. He held the titles 10th Duke of Veragua, Marquis of Jamaica, 12th Admiral of the Indies, and was a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor. 

Children of Pedro11 de Larreátegui y Ramirez de Baquedano and ___(?)___ de la Cerda y Palafox were: 
+ 92 i. Cristóbal12 de Larreátegui y de la Cerda-Palafox; born 9 June 1837 in Madrid; died 30 October 1910 in Madrid. He married ___(?)___ de Aguilera. 

Generation Twelve
91. Carlos Fernando12 Stewart y Silva (Jacobo11Stewart y Portugal, Catalina10de Ventura y Portugal de Ayala, Pedro9de Portugal y la Cueva, Pedro8de Portugal y Castro, Alvaro7de Portugal y la Bastida, Nuño6de Portugal y Córdova, Alvaro5de Portugal y Colón, Isabel4Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 25 March 1752; died 1787. He married Catalina Augusta (Carlota) von Stolberg, daughter of the Prince of Stolberg. He held the title Duke of Veragua. 

Children of Carlos Fernando12 Stewart y Silva and Catalina Augusta (Carlota) von Stolberg were: 
93 i. Jacobo Felipe Carlos13 Stewart y Stolberg; born 25 February 1773 in Paris. He married Maria Teresa de Silva y Palafox. He held the title Duke of Veragua and was the ancestor of the present family of Berwick-Alba. 92. Cristóbal12 de Larreátegui y de la Cerda-Palafox (a/k/a Colón de la Cerda) (Pedro11de Larretegui y Ramirez de Baquedano, Mariano10de Larretegui y Embrún, Pedro9de Larretegui y Ventura de Angulo, Francisco8de Larretegui y Paz de la Serna, Josefa7Paz de la Serna y Ortegón, Josefa6de Ortegón y Colón, Francisca5Colón y Pravia, Cristóbal4 Colón y Toledo, Diego3Colón, Cristoforo2Colombo, Domenico1); born 9 June 1837 in Madrid; died 30 October 1910 in Madrid. He married ___(?)___ de Aguilera. He held the titles 11th Duke of Veragua, Marquis of Jamaica, 13th Admiral of the Indies. He served as Minister of the Interior in 1890 and Minister of Marine in 1902. [NOTE 10] 

Children of Cristóbal12 de Larreátegui y de la Cerda-Palafox and ___(?)___ de Aguilera were: 
94 i. Cristóbal Colón y Aguilera; born 12 September 1878; dsp. (murdered) 10 August 1937. He held the titles 12th Duke of Veragua, Marquis of Jamaica, 14th Admiral of the Indies. [NOTE 11] 
95 ii. Genaro13 Colón y Aguilera; died in infancy. 
+ 96 iii. Maria del Pilar Colón y Aguilera. She married Manuel de Carvajal y Hurtado de Mendoza. 

Generation Thirteen
95. Maria del Pilar13 Colón y Aguilera (Cristóbal12de Larretegui y de la Cerda-Palafox, Pedro11de Larretegui y Ramirez de Baquedano, Mariano10de Larreteg


por Ángel Custodio Rebollo Barroso

Fue un navegante nacido en San Sebastián allá por 1475. Posteriormente estuvo un tiempo viviendo en Palos de la Frontera. Según manifiestan algunos historiadores, fue como piloto en el cuarto viaje de Colón.

Era un individuo que estaba muy mal conceptuado por dedicarse a la captura y tráfico de esclavos. Para efectuar las capturas construyó en Trinidad un gran bohío en el que exponía baratijas de las que atraían mucho a los indios y les convencía que si venían con él a Santo Domingo, se reencontrarían allí con las almas de sus antepasados.

Una vez convencidos los encerraban y llevaban encadenados para su venta en el mercado, lo que originó numerosas protestas de los Dominicos y Franciscanos, aunque estas protestas no fueron oídas y las ventas continuaron por algún tiempo.

Fue con Ponce de León como maestre de un barco que cargaba mercancías de todo tipo y cubría la ruta entre La Española y Puerto Rico. En 1513 formó parte de la expedición de Ponce de León, fue consejero de Pánfilo de Narváez y fruto de su carácter logró llegar a encomendero, teniendo a su cargo a más de cien indios. Cuando en octubre de 1520 regreso a Cuba, el Gobernador Diego de Velásquez le concedió una encomienda con 80 indios. También se dedicó durante algún tiempo a obtener perlas utilizando a sus esclavos, con cuyo negocio ganó mucho dinero.

En 1528 se instaló en La Habana , ya que fue nombrado teniente del gobernador y allí falleció.

En algunos libros es conocido como Juan Bono de Quejo ó Quexo.




por: Ángel Custodio Rebollo Barroso

Es Almonte un bonito pueblo de la provincia de Huelva, en España, que en el siglo XV formaba parte del Condado de Niebla. De Almonte partieron muchos españoles para la aventura americana y quien sabe, querido lector, si alguno de ellos fue el que dio origen a que tu familia se formase al otro lado del Atlántico. Actualmente Almonte es un pueblo próspero, dedicado a la agricultura, ganadería y tambien al turismo, con dos atractivos muy importantes, la Romeria del Rocío, las más importantes de las que se celebran en España y la playa de Matalascañas, con una gran afluencia de turismo alemán.Por los datos que poseo, desde Almonte partieron para las Indias a partir de 1511 y hasta  1599, las siguientes personas:

El 17 de julio de 1511, ANTONIA GARCIA LA PAVONA ,  mujer de Diego de Denia, hija de Pero Pavón y de Ana García la Pavona , vecinos de Almonte. No hemos podido localizar datos sobre su marido, pero suponemos que marcharía anteriormente con la tropa.

TOMÉ DE MORILLO, hermano de Francisco de Morillo y su criado GREGORIO, hijo de Diego de Padilla, el 6 de abril de 1513.

ALONSO DE LEPE y su hermano HERNANDO DE LEPE, hijos de Diego de Lepe y Leonor González, vecinos de Almonte, partieron el 28 de junio de 1513.

El 18 de agosto de 1513, fue autorizado para embarcar un grupo compuesto por las siguientes personas: JUAN DE POZUELO, hijo de Miguel Sánchez de Agüela y de Juana Rodríguez, vecinos de Sevilla y sus criados PEDRO DE CARACENA, hijo de García de Caracena y Catalina Gómez, vecinos de Caracena; PEDRO CALDERERO, hijo de Pedro Calderero, vecinos de Almonte y Juan de la Fuente , vecino de Lodares.

ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ, hijo de García Gutiérrez y de Teresa Hernández, vecinos de Almonte, autorizado para marchar el 19 de septiembre de 1513.

El 4 de septiembre de 1514, fue autorizado para embarcar ANTÓN DE ALMONTE, hijo de Ruy Sánchez y de Marina Alonso, vecinos de Almonte.

Ya en 1516, el 26 de enero, partió para Indias, GREGORIO DE VILLALOBOS, hijo de Diego de Padilla y de Teresa Villalobos.

Nos encontramos con otro ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ, de Almonte, pero este es hijo de Rodrigo Gutiérrez y  de Leonor Martín, Curiosamente va acompañado de PEDRO GARCIA, hijo de García Gutiérrez y de Teresa Hernández, y fueron autorizados con fecha 12 de octubre de 1517.

FRANCISCO NARANJO, natural de Almonte, hijo de Alonso Naranjo y de Juana Pérez, fue a Nombre de Dios, el 10 de abril de 1534.En la misma fecha está GOMEZ DE ALMONTE, hijo de Pero Jiménez y de Isabel de Almonte.

PERO GONZLEZ DE ANDRADA, hijo de Antón Ruiz de Andrada y de Juana Pérez, La Castellana , natural de Almonte. Embarcó para San Juan de Puerto Rico el 28 de abril de 1534.

El 15 de abril de 1535 fueron para San Juan de Puerto Rico, los siguiente almonteños: BARTOLOMÉ GONZÁLEZ, hijo de Cristóbal González y Beatriz Hernández; ANA PEREZ, hija de Alonso Pérez y de Leonor Martin y LEONOR LOPEZ, hija de Pedro López y Ana Pérez.

ALONSO LARIOS, vecino de Almonte, hijo de Alonso Larios y de Catalina Martinez, fue autorizado para marchar a Rio de la Plata , el 2 de agosto de 1535.

Para Nueva España, en 11 de marzo de 1538, fueron DIEGO RUIZ, vecino de Almonte, hijo de Antón Ruiz y de Inés Garcia, acompañado de su mujer, INES ALONSO LA RENDONA , y su hija ANICA.

Y  esta vez fue para Tierra Firme, cuando FRANCISCO MARTIN, de Almonte, hijo de Francisco Martin y de Juana Martin, fue autorizado el 9 de octubre de 1538.

El mercader DIEGO DE MUNDACA, natural y vecino de Almonte, hijo de Gonzalo de Lepe y de Juana González, soltero, partió para Perú en 1555.

Tambien este mismo año y para Perú fue SEBASTIAN DE ALARCÓN, natural y vecino de Almonte, soltero, hijo de Diego de Alarcón y de Ana Cabrera.

HERNANDO DE LEPE, natural de Almonte, que habia marchado en 1513, paso a residir en Puerto Rico y fue autorizado para marchar de nuevo,  el 17 de abril de 1563 junto con su mujer JUANA DIAZ, y su hijo DIEGO DE LEPE..

El 7 de junio de 1578, el que marchó fue CRISTOBAL DE AVILÉS, natural y vecino de Almonte, hijo de Gonzalo de Lepe y de Constanza Avilés, con destino al Rio de el Hacha.

DIEGO GARCIA, natural de Ronda, el 27 de julio de 1580, fue autorizado apara ir a Santo Domingo, con su mujer, FRANCISCA GODOY, natural de Almonte, hija de Juan de Almonte y de Catalina Martin, con sus hijas MARIA, LEONOR y FRANCISCA  

En 1593, el 13 de enero, FRANCISCA DE PINEDA, soltera, natural de Almonte, hija de Juan Viejo y de Isabel de Rivera, fue a Nueva España, como criada de Juan Trigón.

DIEGO MARTIN RIOSECO, natural de Almonte, Regidor Perpetuo de la Villa , hijo de Gonzalo de Rioseco y de Francisca Hernandez, fue con su mujer, Inés de la Barrera y sus hijos FRANCISCO JIMENEZ DE LA BARRERA , HERNANDO PRIETO DE LA BARRERA , RODRIGO DIAZ MUÑOZ y BENITO DE LA BARRERA , el 13 de noviembre de 1595 a Perú.

Tambien a Perú, marcharon el 5 de agosto de 1598, fueron los naturales de Almonte, GONZALO DOMINGUEZ, hijo de Alonso Martín e Isabel Pérez y FRANCISCO GONZALEZ BALLESTEROS, con su mujer  FRANCISCA PEREZ CORNEJO.

El 8 de agosto de ese mismo año, fue autorizado JUAN DE MALAVER, natural y vecino de Almonte para acompañar a Francisco Gonzalez Ballesteros comos su criado.


Jeay Guy, un belga enamorado de Sombrerete y Zacatecas

Eulalio Contreras, corresponsal / OEM / Informex

Hace 25 años llegó a Zacatecas el belga Jeay Guy Longo el cual califica a Sombrerete como la muestra clara de los que es el México Profundo, el México verdadero que enamora por lo que decidió quedarse para siempre en este municipio, de cuya cabecera munciipal se declara como su ferviente admirador.

En Junio del año de 1981 llegó a esta ciudad esta personaje el cual nació en Bruselas, Bélgica hace poco más de 50 años. Según relata el mismo Jean Guy. Ese tiempo conoció a Rita Jiménez quien luego fue su novia y luego dice, lo atrapó con las garras del matrimonio.


Recuerda que Rita Jiménez quien en el año citado (1981), trabajaba para la embajada mexicana en Bruselas, lo deslumbró de manera cautivadora por lo que le pidió que fuera su novia, petición a la que ésta aceptó sin chistar "Fuimos novios durante 3 años y luego decidimos casarnos para luego, venirnos a Sombrerete la tierra de Rita mi esposa", refiere Jean Guy sentado en su estudio particular.

Para este belga no le fue difícil adaptarse a Sombrerete el cual dice tiene un clima agradable amen de que no se tienen índices elevados de delincuencia. Además calificó a los sombreretenses cómo gente cálida "Sombrerete es bonito sin duda tiene una gran calidad de vida aunque también tiene la desventaja de que carece de fuente de empleo lo que hace que la supervivencia en la ciudad en algunas ocasiones se complique".

En la ciudad es conocido como "El gringo", mote que dice que en verdad no le agrada; con un acento característico de quien habla el idioma inglés, refiere que de manera definitiva no le agrada que le digan "El gringo", ya que dice que él tiene su nombre y que le gusta mejor que lo llamen como tal, no obstante señala que durante los 25 años que ha vivido en Sombrerete jamás ha tenido algún problema con personas algunas "pues trato de llevármela bien con todos" expresa mientras que se toca su tupida barba blanca y sus ojos claros de manera bulliciosa se mueven detrás de sus gruesos anteojos.


Desde que llego a la ciudad, Jean dejó entrever su gran gusto por la fotografía actividad que dice le cautivó desde que tenía 7 años tiempo en el que dice fue cuando tomó por primera vez una cámara fotográfica. Recuerda que la primera cámara que tomó entre sus manos fue una de marca AGFA de 120 milímetros de rollo ancho con la que comenzó a realizar ésta que es su pasión., la toma de fotografías.

Al denominarse cómo un fotógrafo de acción más que tomar a lo estático, el belga señala que con mucha humildad siente que tiene la cualidad para tomar el ángulo correcto lo que le ha valido cubrir varios conflictos con bastante éxito.Ésta actividad ha hecho que Longo haya visitado entres 58 y 60 países de manera aproximada.

Dice que su pasión, la fotografía, le ha permitido estar en varios conflictos, algunos de ellos complicados,los cuales de manera afortunada ha sacado adelante de manera adecuada.


Hace 25 años Jean Guy Longo llegaba a Sombrerete y desde luego tenía que vivir de algo por lo que decidió montar un estudio de fotografía el cual se ubica en la calle 5 de mayo de ésta ciudad muy cerca de la plaza principal de la misma.Ahí atiende a decenas de gentes que conocedoras de su capacidad,acuden con él a que les tome sus fotografías para tramitar algún documento.

Según este singular personaje,la gente confía en él para que les elabore éste tipo de trabajos con lo que a la fecha estima que ha tomado en su estudio, aproximadamente 56 mil fotografías.

Tiene actualmente 30 cámaras fotográficas y se declara enamorado de su NIKON de 35 mm y en lo digital de su Olimpus 120 MAMIYA, las cuales dice son sus favoritas de entre las docenas de cámaras que posee.

Enfundado en una camisa amplia y de colores vivos,Jean quien es de complexion alta y robusta dice que no tiene gusto especial por algun tipo de ropa y que la comida de Sombrerete le gusta toda, excepto el pipian y las tortasa de camarón "Lo demás le como todo" expresa con una sonrisa franca mientras que fija su mirada en las decenas de fotografías que se ubican en su estudio de las cuales no tiene gusto especial por alguna,aunque se destaca la que tomó al estadio de maracaná en Brasil.


Este belga dice que desde siempre se enamoro de Sombrerete y que actualmente sólo va a Bruselas su lugar de origen, cada 2 ó 3 años" mas bien refiere., vienen amigos artistas míos a visitarme acá cómo es el caso de Marc Bigles quien es un pintor belga connotado. Destaca que también tiene una gran amistad con el pintor local Martín Jiménez quien es pariente de su esposa.

Seguro de si mismo señala que ve difícil que un día pueda irse a Bélgica el país que lo vio nacer pues señala que el se siente ya "un belga Sombreretense" y que le sería difícil dejar este que considera un municipio único cómo lo es Sombrerete.

Sent by Mercy Bautista Olvera


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In 1890, Curtis J. Lyons, an authority on 19th Century "Big Island" (Hawai'i) history, read a paper to the Hawaiian Historical Society.
He paid homage to California vaqueros who taught Hawaiians to punch cattle "back in the thirties, long before the birth of the modern cowboy."

"At Waimea. Hawaii, on the highland plateau (still the Big Island home of Parker Ranch, one of the largest spreads in the U.S.), there ranged wild cattle descended from (British Captain George) Vancouver's original importation (1792,1793), long-horned Spanish cattle like unto the modern Texas steer. At Waimea the Mexican Hispano-Indian found his home and occupation He was called by the Hawaiian specifically, Huanu, Hoke, Hoakina, etc. These names, of course, meaning Juan, Jose, Joachim, etc.. . .whom I saw in my boyhood. He was called generically, Paniolo or Espagnol, the words that nowadays mean 'cowboy.'

". . .These Spaniards were the men that taught the Hawaiians the conquest of the wild herds of Mauna Kea (Note: a 13,000+ foot volcanic mountain); not tens, but hundreds of thousands, of skeletons have bestrewn the sides of the old mountain. 

" They rode the descendants of the old Moorish horse--the tough bronco. . ."

Jaoquin Armas and his brother Felipe were two of these California vaqueros to become paniolo in the 1830s. I would be very grateful to learn of sources of information about them as well as any of the others.

Galal Kernahan at GALAL@LWORLD.NET

UC Berkeley Press Release
Sent by Jaime Cader

Eric Stover, director of the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center (second from right), takes a blood sample from a relative of a missing child in a village in central Salvador. (Robert Kirschner photo)

DNA database offers Salvadoran war orphans key to stolen past 
By Yasmin Anwar, Media Relations | 12 June 2006

– A DNA database developed by the state Department of Justice and the University of California, Berkeley's Human Rights Center holds the key to the past for hundreds of children kidnapped by soldiers or otherwise separated from their families during El Salvador's 1980-1992 civil war.

Sisters Imelda and Heidi Marroquin of Boston prepare to meet their biological family in El Salvador. (Photo by Liz Barnert)

Untold numbers of babies and youngsters were snatched by soldiers from their families - in some cases as war trophies - during military sweeps to wipe out leftist guerilla sympathizers during the armed conflict. Some were raised on military bases. Others were placed in orphanages or foster homes. Many of the younger ones were adopted by families in the United States and Europe who were led to believe the children had been orphaned by the war or abandoned by their parents.

"Decades later, the families of these abducted children are still searching for their children," said Eric Stover, director of the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center, which does research on war crimes, among other abuses. "DNA analysis offers the best hope of positively identifying these children - many of whom are now young adults - and reuniting them with their relatives."

Among those searching for clues to the past is Angela Fillingim, a UC Davis sociology student adopted by a Berkeley couple from El Salvador in 1985 when she was six months old. This past January, she learned the identity of her biological mother and plans to visit El Salvador next year to meet her and other blood relatives. But Fillingim, 21, is timid about pressing them for too many details.

"I've been afraid to ask because I know it's very painful," she said.

Leading the charge to reunite these children with their Salvadoran relatives is Asociación Pro-Búsqueda de Niñas y Niños Desaparecidos (Search for the Missing Children), whose cofounder, the late Father Jon Cortina, asked Stover for help in 1994 when Stover was executive director of the Boston-based Physicians for Human Rights.

Stover, an authority on forensic science and human rights, traveled to Pro-Busqueda's headquarters in San Salvador and launched the "DNA Reunification Project." In 1996, he brought the project with him to UC Berkeley when he became director of the Human Rights Center. Later, he asked the state's Jan Bashinski DNA lab in Richmond, Calif., to contribute to the search. The partnership has expedited the completion of the database, which is set to be turned over to Pro-Búsqueda in July.

In the last decade, Pro-Búsqueda has located at least 300 of the more than 700 children reported missing. With revelations about the military abductions emerging in newspapers and on Web sites, Salvadorans who were adopted internationally have contacted Pro-Búsqueda, DNA matches have been made and reunions arranged.

"Pro-Búsqueda is not trying to undo adoptions, but really is trying to give young people an opportunity to know their biological background and their families, and work out a relationship with them," said Rachel Shigekane, senior program officer at the Human Rights Center, which is part of UC Berkeley's International and Area Studies.

Evenings and weekends, volunteer forensic scientists add profiles to the genetic family database at the Jan Bashinski lab so that when a missing child is located, his or her DNA can be run through the database. When a child is located, emotions range from feelings of abandonment to fulfillment, said Liz Barnert, a medical and public health student at UC Berkeley and UCSF who has witnessed reunions, or reencuentros, between missing children and their Salvadoran relatives.

The armed conflict between El Salvador's government and the insurgent Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FLMN) claimed more than 75,000 lives. A peace accord signed in 1992 led a United Nations Truth Commission to investigate human rights abuses carried out by the military. But though the commission found numerous violations, a 1993 amnesty law barred prosecution for any war crimes.

To date, there have been no Salvadoran governmental investigations into the missing children. Pro-Búsqueda receives no support from the Salvadoran government, and relies largely on volunteers, according to the Human Rights Center.

UC Berkeley public health student Liz Barnert (right) interprets for family members at the reunion in El Salvador. (Photo by Lucio Carrillo/Asociación Pro Búsqueda de Niñas y Niños Desaparecidos)

As a Pro-Búsqueda volunteer and fellow with the Human Rights Center last summer, Barnert assisted in the collection of DNA samples from all over El Salvador. An excursion would typically entail a three-hour drive, one hour of it on a bumpy road, and a trek through one or more cornfields.

While some Salvadorans were eager to cooperate with her, grateful for help in finding their missing relatives, others were reluctant and even suspicious of Barnert's motives. For example, Barnert recalled one gentleman farmer who rode in on his horse to a DNA collection gathering, and aggressively fired questions at her. Barnert explained what she was doing, and offered him the only free chair on the patio. "'No, you sit down. You need to work,'" he said.

As a result of that collection effort, the database is close to complete. Now, Shigekane said, efforts must turn to tracking down and collecting the DNA of children who were adopted internationally. That requires outreach, research and more money - money the Human Rights Center doesn't have, she added.

Another obstacle is resistance from adoptive families who are afraid to unlock the door to the past. "The saddest thing is when the child has been located, but there hasn't been a reunion," Barnert said.

Indeed, Marco Perez Navarrete, a psychologist with Pro-Búsqueda who provides counseling for members of these estranged families as they get acquainted, said the reunions are a critical step in the process of integrating various parts of one's identity.

"In this way, the young person and his or her biological family can begin to regain their dignity as human beings," he said.

Angela Fillingim was adopted from El Salvador by a Berkeley couple when she was six months old. Her birth mother (below, with her brother) has since been identified.

Fillingim says she's lucky that her parents, both Caucasian social workers, did not feel threatened by her efforts to learn Spanish and explore her roots. On the contrary, she said, they supported her each step of the way.

Her search intensified during her sophomore year at Berkeley High School when she learned about El Salvador's civil war. Then last summer, she traveled to El Salvador and met with Pro-Búsqueda representatives, as well as with Barnert, to whom she gave a DNA sample. In December, she was contacted by Pro-Búsqueda staff members who had tracked down her mother through paperwork and other investigative methods. DNA confirmation of their relationship is pending.

So far, Fillingim has been able to establish that her mother was from the northeast Chalatenango region, which had been the target of a nine-day counter-insurgency operation in 1982 that left hundreds dead. As yet, she is unclear exactly how she got separated from her family, but her mother has indicated that she put her up for adoption because it was too dangerous to keep her in Chalatenango. 

Fillingim is planning a trip to meet her mother and teenage brother for the first time in summer 2007, before she starts graduate school. She's nervous about the reunion, but said she feels secure and grounded enough to face her past.

"It's not like I'm trying to find a family. I have one," Fillingim said. "I'm trying to find myself in relation to my family. I'm taking baby steps.


Venezuela data
Ethnic groups: mestizo 67%, white (Spanish, Italian, 
Portuguese, Arab, German) 21%, black 10%, Amerindian 2% (1993)
Total Armed Forces: 82,300 (2003)
Merchant marine: 57 ships (2005)
Religions: Roman Catholic 89.5%, Protestant 2%, other Christian 1.4%, 
 non-religious/atheist 2.2%, Spiritist 1.1%, other 3.8% (2000) 


Basque language television in Europe
One of my specialist subjects in 'Web-land' is television stations in the minority languages of Europe (it's amazing how many there are). In connection with Basque language television here's what should be an absolutely fascinating link for you if you have Basque forebears and you live in America.



Aguimes, Gran Canaria Information
Sent by Bill Carmena

This is the home of Josef Morales who came to Louisiana in 1779 on the Spanish Frigate San Ignacio de Loyola.


Latin American Colonial Era

Latin American Colonial Era
Sent by Johanna De Soto 

EXPLORERS AND CONQUISTADORS   Links to each of the following: 
Exploration: The Americas 
Hernán Cortés 
Juan de Grijalva 
Pedro de Alvarado 
Bartolome de las Casas 
Bernal Diaz del Castillo 
Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca (1490-1557) 
Ferdinand Magellan 
Francisco de Montejo 
Francisco Pizarro 
Juan Ponce de Leon 
Gonzalo de Sandoval 
Cristobal de Olid 
Diego Velazquez 
Headless remains of Nicaragua's conquistador founder discovered (Francisco Hernández de Córdoba) 
Black Conquistadors: Armed Africans in Early Spanish America 
'Conquistadors': A Conquest Whose Daring Matched Its Cruelty 
'Conquistadors': PBS Examines the Spanish Invasion of the New World 
Disease Transfer at Contact 
The Introduction of the Horse into the Western Hemisphere 
The Map That Named America May Now Call It Home 
Encomienda or Slavery? The Spanish Crown's Choice of Labor Organization in Sixteenth-Century Spanish America 
Vatican Is Investigating the Inquisition, in Secret 


Essential news and tips for family historians, Aug. 31, 2006                    
Combining DNA
Google News Archive 
LINKPENDIUM, The Definitive Directory
For What's New in Genealogy


F A M I L Y  T R E E  M A G A Z I N E  E M A I L  U P D A T E
Essential news and tips for family historians, Aug. 31, 2006     

You already may have found your celebrity doppelganger on the new, still-in-beta
Web site MyHeritage (
That feature got the Israel-based family history site widespread media coverage
outside genealogical circles.

Eventually, the site's photo recognition software will be genealogically practical
as well as fun: You'll be able to upload ancestral photos to MyHeritage and use
the software to search other users' photos for matches. MyHeritage CEO Gilad Japhet
says the photo database will become increasingly useful as more visitors upload their ancestors' pictures.

The site has other goodies, too, including a free genealogy software program, family
Web site hosting (currently, you need an invitation to create a site--see MyHeritage
for details) and a genealogy "super search" of 400-plus genealogy databases, such as ( and the subscription site (you must be a subscriber to get record details). You can search on a name and up to nine variations, plus a birth year and country. A results table shows the number of matches per site and sends you to that site for details.

I tried the search on mike haddad and didn't find any positive matches among
the 118,000 or so results--which included non-genealogical information such as
staff on a Library and Archives Canada page (with mike and haddad occurring in different names). Webmasters may resolve such quirks as beta testing continues.

Japhet told me the free features will stay free, but he'll probably add fee-based
enhancements such as an automated Web search. He's working on making the site
compatible with the Safari Web browser for Macs; for now, you'll have to surf it
using Internet Explorer or Firefox.


The Houston-based genetic genealogy company Family Tree DNA will purchase DNA-Fingerprint
A smaller testing company headquartered in Berlin. The enlarged company's new
laboratory is scheduled to open Sept. 15 in Houston.

New DNA-Fingerprint customers will send their samples to Family Tree DNA, which
also will handle customer support for those tests. The new laboratory will process current DNA-Fingerprint customers' tests without service interruptions. DNA-Fingerprint tests will be available to Family Tree DNA customers once the lab is operational.

Family Tree DNA founder Bennett Greenspan hopes the acquisition will lead to new
opportunities for German surname project administrators to access participants in
Europe's German-speaking countries.

Google News Archive
Here's a new service from Google that provides an easy interface to newspaper archives going back to 1700.
Sent by Janete Vargas

LINKPENDIUM The Definitive Directory
Sent by Janete Vargas

Genealogy Links (5,040,224)
Localities: USA (544,388)
Surnames: Worldwide (4,495,836) 
Outdoor Activities Links (3,345)
K & W's climbs (1) 
Hiking trails by locality: USA (3,344) 

What's Happening at Linkpendium August 08, 2006:
Installed 7,369 new genealogy links. August 01, 2006:
Installed 27,355 new genealogy links. July 27, 2006:
Installed 8,779 new genealogy links. July 24, 2006:
Installed 9,485 new genealogy links. July 19, 2006:
Installed 7,850 new genealogy links. July 16, 2006:
Installed 7,271 new genealogy links. 
Installed 162 new hiking links. July 13, 2006:
Installed 5,546 new genealogy links. July 09, 2006:
Installed 7,037 new genealogy links. July 04, 2006:

Installed 2,711 new genealogy links. Older news from Linkpendium ... 
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Linkpendium© Copyright 2006 - All Rights Reserved
Updated Tuesday, 08 August 2006, 02:20pm Pacific 

For What's New in Genealogy !

Genealogy Today has been committed to keeping genealogists informed of the latest resources and research techniques.
Sent by Janete Vargas


Sent by Paul Newfield III
In French, but it has a good collection of good links.


Looted Peru Headdress Recovered in London       
Stone Slab Bears Earliest Writing in Americas , Veracruz, Mexico       


Photo in the News: Looted Peru Headdress Recovered in London
Sent by John Inclan

August 18, 2006—A Peruvian treasure lost for nearly 20 years has turned up in the offices of a London law firm, local police announced yesterday. 

London's Metropolitan Police took possession of a pre-Inca headdress—estimated to be at least 1,300 years old—made by the Moche civilization of northern Peru (map of Peru). The object is due to be returned to Peruvian authorities. |

The gold artifact, which bears the image of a feline sea god with octopus-like tentacles, had vanished from a royal tomb in Peru in the late 1980s. It was brought to the law firm by a client who says he did not know that it had been stolen. 
Michel Van Rijn, an international art dealer who helped police track down the artifact, said in a statement to police that the headdress could be worth nearly a million British pounds. 

"It's impossible to overestimate the importance of this piece," Van Rijn said. "It … will draw enormous crowds when it is finally retuned to a museum or gallery [in Peru]." 
Christine Hastorf, an anthropologist at the University of California, Berkeley, is an expert in early South American civilizations. She says the gold ornament was intended to be worn with the face on the user's forehead and the octopus limbs reaching high above the wearer's head. 

"If you see Moche pottery, you'll see the elegant people, and they'll look surreal because they have this wild thing on their heads," Hastorf said. "That's what this would be." 
Peruvian archaeologist Walter Alva excavated one of the most famous Moche sites, the Royal Tombs of Sipán, in 1987 under a grant from the National Geographic Society. (National Geographic News is part of the National Geographic Society.) 

Alva told police that he is thrilled that the recovered headdress will soon be returned to Peru. "Without a doubt this is a very important moment in the worldwide war against illicit art and the looting of my country," he said in a statement. 
—Richard A. Lovett 

Extracts: Stone Slab Bears Earliest Writing in Americas , Veracruz, Mexico
By Andrew Bridges, AP
Sent by Rafael Ojeda and John Inclan

WASHINGTON (Sept. 15) - An ancient slab of green stone inscribed with insects, ears of corn, fish and other symbols is indecipherable so far, but one message is clear: It is the earliest known writing in the Western Hemisphere.

The ancient Olmec civilization probably produced the faintly etched symbols around 900 B.C., or roughly three centuries before what previously had been proposed as the earliest examples 
of writing in the Americas.

"We are dealing with the first, clear evidence of writing in the New World," said Stephen Houston, a Brown University anthropologist. Houston and his U.S. and Mexican colleagues detail the tablet's discovery and analysis in a study appearing this week in the journal Science. The pattern of symbols covering the face of the rectangular block also represents a previously unknown ancient writing system.

The text contains 28 distinct glyphs or symbols, some of which are repeated three and four times. The writing system does not appear to be linked to any known later scripts and may represent a dead end, according to the study.

Other experts not involved in the study agreed with Houston and his colleagues that the horizontally arranged inscription shows patterns that are the hallmarks of true writing, including syntax and language-specific word order.

"That's full-blown, legitimate text -- written symbols taking the place of spoken words," said William Saturno, a University of New Hampshire anthropologist and expert in Mesoamerican writing.

The text is roughly arranged in rows across the block's face, which is almost exactly the dimensions of a standard legal pad. At 5 inches thick and 26 pounds, the tablet is far more hefty, but still portable.

There is little hope of deciphering the meaning of the text. The small size of the block and the faintness of the inscription imply the text was not a public document, but instead was meant for intimate reading, Houston said. Some suggested it may have had a ritual use.

Based on other materials, including pottery sherds, believed found with the slab, team concluded it is roughly 2,900 years old. Isolated signs similar to those inscribed on the block also appear on even older figurines found elsewhere in Mexico.

In 2002, other experts claimed an Olmec cylindrical seal and chips from a stone plaque contained the oldest examples of writing in the Americas. Some have disputed their interpretation of those symbols, which date to roughly 650 B.C.

The find bolsters the early importance of the Olmecs, who flourished between about 1200 B.C. and 400 B.C., before other great Central American civilizations such as the Maya and Aztec. They are best known for the massive heads they carved from stone. The village where the block was found is close to a site called San Lorenzo, believed to be the center of the Olmec world.




                12/30/2009 04:49 PM