Monthly Archives: November 2011

Los Treviños, Tamaulipas, Mexico

Los Treviños is situated in the Municipality of Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, Mexico. As you get closer to town the first thing you see is its water tower which was barely constructed in the 1990′s. It is literally a one road town with homes to either side of the road. The sign with the towns name indicates that the population was over 200, but as you drive past the town you will hardly see a soul. The small town has tree small stores, a church, a school, and a cemetery. The first store is owned by Leonel Treviño, the second by Albento Treviño and the third by Arturo Treviño. There is also a small place where fish is sold run by Orlando and I can not recall his last name. The evangelical church is named Templo Ebenezeer and it still holds services. The school last I knew was closed down and looked rundown. The Los Trevinos Cemetery is a few miles away from town but it is still the resting place to locals and people that had left but whose last wishes were to be buried among their loved ones.

To be honest I have not been able to find much information about the history of this small town, but one can assume with certainty that the name comes from the predominant last name of Treviño, which most of it’s residents carry. I have asked older people as to the history of the town but no one has given me any answers. About ten years ago on our way to Congregacion El Arcabuz Tamaulipas, as we were in the outskirts of the small town I noticed a fountain just to the left of the road. I asked my father Lauro Garza Marroquin if there had ever been a house right there and he stated no. He mentioned that the fountain was the center of the old plaza of the original town site for Los Treviños. He mentioned that the Plaza was surrounded by Jacales but that there had been a great flood and they were all destroyed. He mentioned that the people had moved to higher ground and that they eventually rebuilt in the present location. I asked my father if that flood had been in his lifetime and he stated no, that it had been way before he was born but that the old people from town would talk about the flood. The only recorded flood that I have been able to find occurred in August 27, 1909 where the river San Juan kept rising until August 29th of that same year (Leal, 1982). The river that flooded Los Treviños was not the San Juan river but the San Antonio River and both of their waters come from around the same region and are only about ten miles apart. There is a very strong probability that this was also the flood that devastated the first towns settlements.

Map of Los Treviños Tamauliaps, Mexico.

The rectangle represents where Los Treviños is currently located and the small square
represents the old town settlement. 

From looking at the above image it seems that no real planning took place on the current layout of the town since it seems that people built their homes were ever they had property at. The town currently has no town square or Plaza as they are called.

Water Tower at the North entrance of town.

Water Tower at North entrance of town built in the 1990′s.

Note: If anyone has more information about this town let me know.

Sources:

  • Garza, Lauro. Personal Communication, about 1998.
  • Google Earth, “Los Treviños” 26°10’32.46″ N  99°07’58.07″ W. September 30, 2010. November 22, 2011.

Old Starr County Maps at The Portal To Texas History

I was Searching through The Texas Portal to Texas History and I found the following maps about Starr County. Click on the View in High Quality link at the bottom of each image to view the maps. Their quality is stunning. These two maps have excellent layout of the South Texas Land Grants in Starr County, Texas.

Click to View High Quality

Starr County

Date: 1935
Creator: unknown
Description: Cadastral map of Starr County, Texas in the South Texas Plains region. Some notes are marked in color. Scale ca. 1:60,000.

 

Click to View High Quality

View in High Quality

Starr County
Date: 1896-02
Creator: unknown
Description: Cadastral “tracing” map of Starr County, Texas in the South Texas Plains region. Some notes and features are marked in color; locations of ranches, lagunas, roads, surveys, and creeks are noted. Scale ca. 1:133,334 (4000 varas per inch).

 

Several of my ancestors are listed on both of these amps. Also some of my wife’s are also listed. Let me know if you find your ancestors also.

Sources:

  • First Map

Map of Starr County, Map, 1935; digital image, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth88977 : accessed November 16, 2011), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas General Land Office, Austin , Texas.

  • Second Map

Map of Starr County, Map, February 1896; digital image, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth88982 : accessed November 16, 2011), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas General Land Office, Austin , Texas.

Microsoft’s SyncToy – Keeping Your Genealogy Data Backedup

SyncToy Logo

On an earlier post I wrote about using DropBox to keep your Genealogy data safe, but for those of us that may be looking for another approach here is SyncToy from Microsoft.

I found SyncToy a few years ago and I have been using it since then. As some of you all know the method I use to organize my Genealogy documents is a Folder Tree method. This folder contains numerous sub-folders and in them there are over 34,000 files (by files I mean scanned documents, photos, etc..). The size is almost four gigabytes of data.

What SyncToy does is keep two folders synchronized. The way I have mine set up is that I am using an old computer that I had lying around and I am using it as a network storage. I have a network drive mapped to a shared folder on it or you can simply attach a USB Drive to your computer. Then after you setup SyncToy to monitor both the folder on your computer and your shared forlder, SyncToy takes care of the rest. The first sync may take from a few minutes to hours depending how many files you may have. Once the first sync is done the subsequent syncs will only sync any new files or modified files making the process super fast. If you do not have network storage like I do, it also works with external hard-drives and USBs.

If you ever want to access your files through the web look into Abyss Web Server, No-Ip, and eXtplorer file manager, I currently have access to all my documents from anywhere. Setting up and hosting your own server can benefit many Genealogist but unfortunately it is too technical for this post.

I only keep my Gedcom database in Dropbox. My pictures, over 25,000, I have them backed up on my home server and as added security on DVD’s tucked in my fire and flood proof safe. Everything else, in my opinion, is replaceable.

Description From Their Web Site

SyncToy, a free PowerToy for Microsoft Windows, is an easy to use, highly customizable program that helps users to do the heavy lifting involved with the copying, moving, and synchronization of different directories. Most common operations can be performed with just a few clicks of the mouse, and additional customization is available without additional complexity. SyncToy can manage multiple sets of folders at the same time; it can combine files from two folders in one case, and mimic renames and deletes in another case. Unlike other applications, SyncToy actually keeps track of renames to files and will make sure those changes get carried over to the synchronized folder. - www.microsoft.com

Download

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=15155

Sources:

http://www.microsoft.com

Artecitas Ranch Cemetery, Starr County, Texas

The following video was recorded by Jimmy Martinez and listed its description as “Lost Cemetery 4 miles East of La Grulla”. I thought to myself maybe I can find its name by doing some Genealogy research? After a few minutes I found it, Artecitas Ranch Cemetery, since it is now located in what used to be called Artecitas Ranch located in Starr County Texas.

I did a quick search with the name and dates on the first tombstone belonging to Alberto Ortiz. I found Albertos Death Certificate wich indicates that he was born  I found the following in the United States Census, 1900. Felipe Ortiz is the head of household and listed Anita (Garcia) as the wife with the following children listed; Josefa Ortiz, Inocencio Ortiz, Alberto Ortiz, Franquilina Ortiz, Nicomedes Ortiz, and Petra Ortiz. I have found living descendants in Sullivan City, Texas which is only three miles North of the cemetery. The reason for the family abandoning the cemetery, I do not know. What I do know is that Artecitas Ranch is no longer theirs.

Video from Jimmy Martinez You Tube page.

Other Mentions of Artecitas Ranch

Garcia, Esteban - May have been related to Anita Garcia.

If anyone has any more information about this ranch or its cemetery please leave me a comment or contact me.

Part of Map Showing Artecitas Ranch in 1935 Starr County Map

See Original Map at The Portal To Texas History

1949 School Picture in La Palmita, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

Bellow you will find the 1949 school picture of La Palmita, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. I came across it couple of years ago when a coworker Martin Ramos asked me about genealogy and he told me that his family was originally form La Palmita and that he had a book that he wanted to share with me. That book was “La Palmita Muerte Entre Las Lomas” by Armando Leal Rios. It is form that book that I share the following information with you. Continue reading

Old Hidalgo County Maps at The Portal To Texas History

I was browsing through The Texas Portal to Texas History and I found the following two maps about Hidalgo County. You can download them but the quality is not that great, but if you check the View in High Quality link that I have included. Their quality is stunning. The first map also has excellent layout of the South Texas Land Grants in Hidalgo County, Texas. If you are currently researching land grants this maps is perfect. Tip: try doing an overlay in Google earth and it is interesting. Continue reading

Dia de Accion de Gracias (Thanksgiving) as Celebrated in Northeastern Mexico

Thanksgiving in the United States

Our Thanksgiving holiday tradition in the United States traces its origins to the 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. Evidence has also been found for an earlier harvest celebration on the continent by Spanish explorers in Florida during 1565, as well as a thanksgiving feasts in the Virginia Colony. The initial thanksgiving observance at Virginia in 1619 was prompted by the colonists’ leaders on the anniversary of their settlement. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted after a good harvest. - Wikipedia Continue reading

Ensure Your Blogger or WordPress Blog Gets Listed Appropriately in Google by Using Sitemaps

What good is it to have a Genealogy or Family History Blog if it does not get listed appropriately in Google. Yes I am aware that there are other search engines but for today let us just focus on Google since it accounts at least for more than 50% of all searches. Let me just be clear about this, creating a site map for your blogger (blogspot) or wordpress blog does not guarantee that every single post gets listed in Google. A site map does help Google index your blog posts appropriately. Also be aware that I tried to do this post with the most up to date and complete information and if anyone knows something different let us know on the comments.

First Thing is First

You need to sign up for Google Web Master Tools and once that has been done you will need click the red button that labeled “ADD A SITE” and enter your blogs address. Once your website appears like the image on the left click on the link right of the thumbnail. This will take you to the Dashboard for your blog.

Second

Once on the Dashboard go to Site Configuration > Sitemaps. Then you will see a button labeled “Submit a Sitemap” click it and then you will be prompted to enter your sitemap’s address. Enter the following exactly as it appears without the quotes “/feed/“.

Final URL should look like this “http://yourblog.blogspot.com/feed/” or “http://yourdomainname/feed/”

Finally, if you had previously signed up for Google Web Master Tools and a sitemap address appears with the following “/feed/” at the end.

Sources: 

Apolonio Contreras de La Garza and Demetria Garza Solis and Their Children

1st Generation
Apolonio Contreras was born in 1844 in Mexico and died on an unknown date. he was the son of Jose Manuel Antonio Contreras Trevino and Rafaela de La Garza Olivares. He married Demetria Garza on Aug. 17, 1874 in Starr, Texas, USA. Demetria, daughter of Epamuseno Garza and Maria Eugenia Solis, was born in 1848 in Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico and died on Apr. 30, 1930 in La Grulla, Starr, Texas, USA. I have yet to discover who are the parents of Epamuseno Garza and Maria Eugenia Solis, if anyone knows please contact me.

Children of Apolonio Contreras and Demetria Garza

  1. Eulalio Contreras was born on Feb. 2, 1876 in Texas, USA and died on Dec. 22, 1957 in La Grulla, Starr, Texas, USA.
  2. Felix Contreras was born on Mar. 1, 1879 in Cuevitas, Texas, USA and died on May 16, 1945 in Los Villarrerales, Tamps Mexico.
  3. Refugio Contreras was born on Jul. 4, 1881 in Texas, USA and died on March 21, 1958 in La Grulla, Starr, Texas, USA.
  4. Juan Contreras was born About 1885 and died on an unknown date.
  5. Juana Contreras was born on May 6, 1886 in Cuevitas, Hidalgo, Texas, USA and died on an unknown date.
  6. Paula Contreras was born in Jun. 1891 in San Miguel, Tamaulipas, Mexico and died on Nov. 2, 1921 in La Grulla, Starr, Texas, USA.

2nd Generation (Children)

1. Eulalio Contreras was born on Feb. 2, 1876 in Texas, USA and died on Dec. 22, 1957 in La Grulla, Starr, Texas, USA.  He married Paula G. Paula was born About 1880 in Mexico and died on an unknown date.

2. Felix Contreras was born on Mar. 1, 1879 in Cuevitas, Texas, USA and died on May 16, 1945 in Los Villarrerales, Tamps Mexico.  He married Porfiria Gonzalez. Porfiria, daughter of Inez Gonzalez and Felipa Salinas, was born in 1885 in Los Villarreales, Mexico and died in 1920 in Los Villarreales, Mexico.

3. Refugio Contreras was born on Jul. 4, 1881 in Texas, USA and died on Mar. 21, 1958 in La Grulla, Starr, Texas, USA.

4. Juan Contreras was born About 1885 and died on an unknown date.

5. Juana Contreras was born on May 6, 1886 in Cuevitas, Hidalgo, Texas, USA and died on an unknown date.

6. Paula Contreras was born in Jun. 1891 in San Miguel, Tamaulipas, Mexico and died on Nov. 2, 1921 in La Grulla, Starr, Texas, USA.  She had two previous marriages before marrying Jose Francisco Perez on May 24, 1911 in Starr, Texas, USA. Jose Francisco, son of Jose Encarnacion Perez and Maria Dorotea Lozano, was born on Feb. 12, 1865 in Encadenado, General Terán, Nuevo León, Mexico and died on Feb. 14, 1942 in La Grulla, Starr County, Texas. (See Photo of Them)

Sources: FamilySearch, and Personal email with David Cantu.

A Quick Guide to Spanish Units of Measurement of Length aqnd Area

When doing my research into South Texas Land Grants and Land titles the terms “leguas” and “varas” would show up very often in most documents. Since till this day the Porciones are still mentioned on land titles as they have been mentioned in such documents since they were granted by the king of Spain. In a nut shell I found the following chart on wikipidia.com that will help us bring into context all those Spanish Measurement terms. I noted the Castillian system since it is the most important one.

Castilian system of units

Spanish

English

Length in pie

Length in SI Units

U.S. Units

punto

11728

0.1613 mm

0.00635 in

línea

1144

1.935 mm

.0762 in

pulgada

inch

112

23.22 mm

.9142 in

pie

1

27.86 cm

10.969 in

vara

yard

3

0.8359 m

32.909 in

paso

5

1.3932 m

54.850 in

legua

15,000

4.1795 km

2.597 mi

Vara Measurements differ by locality:

1 Vara (Texas-Spanish) = 33 1/3 inches (as decided by the first Texas Land Commissioner)
1 Vara (Southern Colorado) 32.993 inches
1 Vara (Florida) 33.372 inches

I put an emphasis on “varas” because they are the type of measurement that is widely used in these documents as you all will see once I start transcribing some of them.

Sources: