Monthly Archives: November 2011

1920 Civil Marriage of Yldefonso Zamora Mendoza and Felipa Rios Gonzalez in Los Aldamas, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

The following is the 1920 Civil Marriage transcription of Yldefonso Zamora Mendoza and Felipa Rios Gonzalez. Yldefonso Zamora Mendoza is my great-grandfather though my mothers paternal side of the family. He was the father of Juan Tanguma my grandfather. Elena Tanguma had him out of wedlock with Yldefonso. You can check out the family group on my previous post. This document lists Yldefonso’s parents as being Gabino Zamora and Paula Mendoza. They are the same as listen in Luis Zamor’a Baptism.

Original Image:

FamilySearch > Mexico, Nuevo León, Civil Registration, 1859-1962 > Los Aldamas > Matrimonios 1909-1923

Transcription of Original Image:

Matrimonio No. (Numero) 19 del Sr. Yldefonso Zamora; y la Seta (Senorita) Felipa Rios

Acta numero (44) cuarenta y cuatro En la Villa de Los Aldamas Estado de Nuevo leon a las (7) siete de la noche del dia (4) cuatro de Octubre de 1,920 hallandome constituido en la casa del Sr. (Senor) Lucio Pena mayor de edad casado labrador y de esta vecindad, ante mi el C. Anastacio Cantu Juez del Registro Civil en esta Municipalidad comparecieron con objeto de celebrar su matrimonio el Sr. (Senor) Yldefonso Zamora ser soltero de (30) treinta anos de edad labrador hijo legitimo del Sr. (Senor) Gabino Zamora y de la Sra. (Senora) Paula Mendoza y la segunda selibe de 16 dieciseis anos de edad hija legitima del Senor Andres Rios ya finado y de la Sra. (Senora) Ma. (Maria) Del Pilar Gonzalez originarios de C. (Ciudad) Mier Tamaulipas con residencia en la Congregacion El Arcabuz Jurisdicion de C. (Ciudad) Mier Tamaulipas. Agregaron que habiendo trascurrido el termino fijado por la ley para las publicaciones que se hicieron: declarado por los testigos en el acta de la presentacion no haber impedimiento que los inhabilite para el matrimonio ratificado un consentimiento y llenado los requicitos que la ley previene para la validez de este contrato: piden al presente Juez autorise su union. En virtud de ser cierto lo expuesto por los contrayentes les interrogue si es su voluntad unirse en matrimonio y habiendo contestado afirmativamente. Yo el Juez hise la solemne y formal declaracion que sigue: En nombre de la sociedad declaro en perfecto legitimo e indosuluble matrimonio el Senor Yldefonso Zamora y a laSenorita Felipa Rios. Fueron testigos de este acto los Senores Juan Mendiola y Ygnacio Salinas de este origen y vecindad. Con lo que termino la presente que leida que les fue la ratificaron y firmaron los que supieron hacerlo con migo el Juez: Doy fe.

Anastacio Cantu

Genealogical Studies of Cadereyta Jimenez, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

If your genealogy research has led you to Cadereyta, Nuevo Leon, Mexico then you are aware that many of it’s records have not been indexed by FamilySearch. But you are in luck is a great resource when it comes to Cadereyta. They also have a great article about Paleography And Reading Spanish Genealogy Records. They have three books that are for sale that will help you in your research; Continue reading

My Papa Lalo, Don Eulalio Contreras Garza

This guest post is brought to you by David Cantú Garcia. It is an awesome story and you will enjoy reading it. Thanks David for sharing.

What a man, he made all the John Wayne’s look like punks. Papa Lalo, as I called him, was my father’s foster father and his baptismal Padrino, but he was the only Grandpa I knew on my father’s side. Don Eulalio Contreras Garza, my grandfather, was born in El Rancho de Los Solis’s outside of La Grulla Texas in Starr County on February 12, 1876. His father Apolonio Contreras Villarreal and his mother Demetria Garza Solis were descendants of the original porciones grantees. Demetria Garza died on 30 Apr 1930 at Precinct No 5, Starr, Texas, she died at the age of 82 years of age, her birth year is 1848, her birthplace was Ciudad Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico her father’s name was Nepomuceno Garza and her mother’s name was Maria Eugenia Solis she was buried at Solis’s Cemetery in La Grulla Texas on May 1st 1930

Papa Lalo stood more than six feet three inches tall, straight as a wooden soldier. His eyes were a penetrating light brown, his hair pitch black; even as an old man he still had a bounce in his step, a strong hand shake and plenty of black hair. He had the face of a movie star and was well versed in history and politics. He worked on his father’s fields and properties until 1895 when he built a blacksmith shop on family property at the old river crossing at the contraband river crossing at Villarreales and Valadeces Tamaulipas on the Mexican side of the river but he maintained his residence and his own farming business properties in what is now Los Solis’s de La Grulla Texas.

In 1897, that river frontage on the Rio Grande was a contraband crossing from Valadeces to La Grulla where small appliances, dry goods and other necessary goods would be traded back and forth. The crossing could quite easily be negotiated by swimming across, by chalupa or on horseback. I recall him saying that his blacksmith business would clear him as much as five dollars per month and that much money was hard to come by during the depression of that time.

He was a strong, versatile, easy-going workaholic. His workdays were often sixteen hours or more. He spent most of this time over the hot coal-fired forge and large anvil, hammering an edge on plows or horse shoes and other items used in farming communities around on both sides of the river. Business grew and he purchased an additional forge and anvil and in 1900 he built a huge guest house to help feed and accommodate the travelers and farm workers. He would welcome every one and became quite the politician.  When I met him 47 years later we were calabaza candy salesmen. Papa Lalo would make candy, barbacoa, chicharones and cabrito in the back yard and he and I would go to La Grulla to sell our merchandize, and he made me carry the money and make the sales pitch and handle the money and the change. He made me feel like the most important and fortunate person in the world. He made sure I would keep that feeling for the rest of my life.

On Sundays, he would load his farrier equipment and apply his other trade: shoeing horses in surrounding communities. El Rancho de Los Villarreales, el Rancho de Las Cuevas, or Camargo and Valadeces always had several horses to be shod and one Sunday each month was spent at those places. The money made on Sundays not only kept him in business, but also kept many area farmers, ranchers and the local dairy in business supplying his needs. Money was scarce, but credit was never refused at Papa Lalo’s shop. Most payments were in the form of essentials, such as eggs, chickens, butter, hams, fruit and garden produce. On more than one occasion, horses, calves and even live hogs were delivered to his home as payment for his services.

Papa Lalos’ ‘s shop was becoming a focal meeting point at the river during the terrible turn of the century. People would come to the crossing, drop off their various jobs and visit while their repairs were being made. His Guesthouse had become a sort of social center. In time it became a safe place for political discussion.

One historic event that Papa Lalo talked about was when in 1906 El Carnicero from San Miguel de Las Cuevas Abelino Mata, and Papa  Meme came to see him to discuss a way in which military merchandise could be crossed into Mexico. At that time Revolutionaries were preparing for a revolution in Mexico and they were organizing meetings with leaders in Tamaulipas. The revolutionaries needed weapons and were willing to go to all means to obtain them.

The weapons would be acquired from sources in San Antonio then passed over the Rio Grande River in boats at Papa Lalo’s Crossing from La Grulla to Valadeces or Villarreales and from there the weapons would be taken to the El Rancho San Vicente del Potrero to be delivered by mule drawn wagons to points west and south.

This is where and how Papa Meme, Tio David, Papa Silverio, and all of our great uncles and Papa Lalo met. Papa Meme worked for the Mexican Government and patrolled the Mexican side of the river as a border agent from Ciudad Rio Bravo, then called La Estación del Ebano, to Ciudad Mier. Papa Lalo was now serving breakfast lunch and dinner at his Guest House (Casa de Huéspedes) and Papa Meme would drop in from time to time to freshen up, enjoy a warm meal and indulge in good coffee and good conversation.

More than once Papa Meme told me about participating in meetings at the guesthouse discussing political subjects and sharing stories of the Mexican Revolution with his friends such as the Flores Magon brothers and others who motivated el Tio David and others to finally join the Revolution.  And I still choke up when I recall how his eyes would swell up with tears when on occasion, he would tell me of how armed gringos would fire upon on and commit bloody atrocities against our people, especially in isolated rural areas. These brutal incidents against U.S. citizens of Mexican descent would quickly prompt an aggressive counter response from some quick tempered Tejanos, especially when the authorities would side with the gringo criminals, and he would answer with their own retaliation against the vile gringos and authorities. The result was a reign of turmoil and violence in the lower Rio Grande valley marked by atrocities, depredations, cruelty, and bloodshed, with the Texas Rangers establishing fear and terror among the Tejano population in an effort to maintain Anglo-American social control. According to him, it was a war.

The Rangers had become the vicious perpetrators of Terrorism, violence and mayhem creating the only topic of discussion at Papa Lalo’s Guesthouse. The summary executions of “meskins” as they were called by Rangers were by no means, isolated events, nor were the Rangers the only perpetrators. Local sheriffs and other gringo town officials, along with the general Anglo populace, also became involved. Thousands of our ancestors fled their lands in the United States for refuge in Mexico in the face of the Ranger and Sheriff raids and the rampant gringo terrorism.

My Grandfather Lalo was an unofficial politician on both sides of the border and over the years Papa Lalo had emerged as a leader in his community on both sides of the river. A corrupt Porfirio Diaz dictatorship in Mexico and the racist Ku Klux Klan Rangers in Texas made living outside the law as a contrabandist a necessity and the only possible means of survival and support. Contraband was simply commerce. He personally had been Godfather to hundreds of new born babies that would be crossed over from Mexico and baptized and registered on the north side off the river, he was everybody’s Padrino. He was my father’s Padrino he was my Tia Nene’s Padrino and if I recall correctly my Tia Lala is named after him. For the poorest of the poor Papa Lalo’s guesthouse became their Ellis Island. Papa Lalo was a statue of liberty for them, their entry to a better life if they could get beyond the border. His hopes of economic and social advancement for his people were dashed by the terror of the Anglo violence. In spite of his best efforts conducting meetings and organizing Benevolent Associations, along with those who shared his views, they soon became convinced that living in south Texas was living in a war zone. At least that is the excuse that my Tio David Garcia gave when he announced that he had sold his general store where Sam Fordyce now stands, was buying horses and rifles, equipping a troop of jinetes and of to the revolution he would go.

Copyright © David Cantú Garcia. All rights reserved. To reuse this article please contact.

Family Tree Builder – One of My Favorite Genealogy Software Programs

I have been using Family Tree Builder since I can remember, for sure since before 2005. As time goes on it has evolved into a more robust solution to manage your family tree. If you are looking for a good program to manage your family’s information and don’t have much money, you are in luck.

This program is completely free, and if you ever want to get its full functionality you can, but then you would have to pay for it. So far I am very happy with the free version and have not seen the need to upgrade. Give it a try. I have tried several paid programs and won’t mention them but I just feel (my own opinion) that they are too cluttered and navigation is kind of cumbersome. I currently manage over 15,000 names and Hundreds of Photos and Documents with Family Tree Builder.

Family Tree Builder in Action with sample Gedcom:

Download the free software:

1881 Index of Marriages in Los Aldamas, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

The following is the 1881 index image of marriages of the Civil Registry of Los Aldamas, Nuevo Leon Mexico. Please note that the official at that time just listed the names that appeared on that year by male or female and in alphabetical order. I listed them in male and female columns and wrote their last name followed by first name.

Cut out of Original Image:

FamilySearch > Mexico, Nuevo León, Civil Registration, 1859-1962 > Los Aldamas > Matrimonios 1881-1901 Pages 1 -34

Transcription of names from above image:

Males:                                                  Females:
Martinez, Asension                             Cantu, Alejandra
Guerra, Anastacio                               En         , Angeles
Salinas, Andres                                   Reyna, Antonia
Lopez, Antonio                                   Alanis, Andrea
Garcia, Antonio                                   Vela, Eclilia
Trevino, Blas                                       M        , Florencia
Garza, Bacilio                                     Maldonado, Francisca
Pena, Victor                                        Ramos, Francisca
Alanis, Bonifacio                                 Salinas, Hermenegilda
Castillo, Francisco                               Elisondo, Ysabel
Alanis, Felipe                                      Pena, Ysabel
Cantu, Guadalupe                                Ledesma, Juana
Pena, Gabriel                                       Reyna, Jesusa
Leal, Higinio                                        Rangel, Leocadia
Castillo, Juan                                       Ayala, Nestora
Salinas, Lumano                                  Resesndes, Natividad
Rios, Macario                                      Pena, Nieves
Barrera, Matias                                    Garcia, Paula
Cantu, Narciso                                     Rios, Refugio
Garza, Pablo                                        Elisondo, Rafaela
Sanchez, Pedro                                   Cantu, Susana
Lopes, Refugio                                    Cantu, Sanjuana
Carrion, Santiago                                 Pena, Tiburcia

Source: FamilySearch

Guest Post: Victor Garcia and Guadalupe Alanis – A Love Story

This guest post is brought to you by Michael Garcia.

After reading a recent post by Moises about his great grandparents’ relationship, I thought I would follow in kind and share a love story from my own family’s history. The following story was told to me by my aunt, with additional information added by her cousin:

My grandfather Victor Garcia was born in 1926 in Los Aldamas, Nuevo León. When Victor was 10 years old his father, Bernardo, died from a gangrenous infection. After his father’s death Victor started traveling between Mexico and the U.S. as a migrant worker.

As a young man Victor fell in love with a beautiful girl from Los Aldamas named Guadalupe Alanis. Victor would later describe her to his daughter (my aunt) as being very beautiful with black hair and green eyes. Victor asked Guadalupe to marry him and she agreed. Needing money to build a life together Victor returned to the U.S. for work. When Victor returned to Los Aldamas he discovered that while he was gone Guadalupe had passed away from tuberculosis.

Distraught over Guadalupe’s passing Victor left Los Aldamas. A year later Victor met and married a girl (my grandmother) he had met in Texas and spent the next 50 years of his life with her.

Using the information I got from the story I tried to find any additional information about Guadalupe. All my aunt knew was what she had heard from my grandfather – and that Guadalupe had a brother named Jose. I searched the 1930 Mexico Census and found two girls around my grandfather’s age in Los Aldamas, both of which had brothers named Jose.

Guadalupe Alanis #1 was born on December 5, 1928 to Antonio Alanis and Maria Alanis and lived just one street over from my grandfather as a child. Her known siblings were: Dorotea (1915), Rosa (1917), Josefa (1918), Carmen (1920), Jose (1921), Antonio (1922), and Ubaldo (1925).

Guadalupe Alanis #2 was born on May 23, 1929 to Alejandro Alanis and Maria Luis Pena and lived a couple of miles from Los Aldamas in Estacion Aldamas. Her known siblings were: Ramon (1920), Alejandro (1922), Jose (1924), and Maria (1926).

Apart from the above information I could only assume that since my grandparents were married in 1949 Guadalupe most likely died between 1946-1948.

If anyone knows anything about this story, or is perhaps related to either of these Alanis families please let me know.

Copyright © Michael Garcia. All rights reserved. For permission to reuse this article contact Michael at

Crimson Editor for Your Genealogy Website

Ok i’ll be honest this might not be nearly remotely related to genealogy, unless you count modifying your genealogy website, then it is a great tool. I use Crimson Editor to modify the template to this website. Also it is excellent to modifying templates for WordPress. I discovered this great tool years ago and use it to develop and modify websites.

It also provides search functionality to search text within text files or if you need to replace a certain word on multiple documents. Best thins it highlights in different colors markup languages.

Best of all it is completely free!

Description from their website:

  • Crimson Editor is a professional source code editor for Windows.

  • This program is not only fast in loading time, but also small in size (so small that it can be copied in one floppy disk).

  • While it can serve as a good replacement for Notepad, it also offers many powerful features for programming languages such as HTML, C/C++, Perl and Java.

  • Syntax Highlighting for HTML, C/C++, Perl, Java, Matlab and LaTeX. Also, it can be extended for other programming languages based on custom syntax files.

  • Other features include undo/redo, user tools, macros, spell checker and more.

Get Crimson Editor:

1923 Marriage Index of Los Aldamas, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

The following images are of the index of the marriages that took place in Los Aldamas, Nuevo Leon, Mexico in 1923. Following the images you can find a transcript of them for easier searching and also easier browsing.

Cut out of original images:

FamilySearch > Mexico, Nuevo León, Civil Registration, 1859-1962 > Los Aldamas > Matrimonios 1909-1923

Marriages for 1923 
I have transcribed the names in the above document and have matched each couple to make it easier to search for them. 

Number           Page    Male                                        Female
12                    16        Salinas, Antonio                      Tanguma, Guadalupe
13                    20        Garcia, Apolonio                     Rios, Rafaela
18                    28        Salinas, Benigno                     Salinas, Maria
4                      6          Trevino, Catarina                    Guerra, Cesarea
8                      11        Trevino, Emeterio                   Garcia, Martina
15                    22        Garza, Espiridion                    Garcia, Felipa
16                    22        Ramirez, Francisco                  Guerra, Juana
19                    29        Martinez, Felipe                      Garza, Josefa
6                      8          Aguilar, Gumercindo              Salinas, Eufemia
10                    14        Lozano, Guadalupe                 Pena, Maria
29                    41        Leal, Guadalupe                      Pena, Maria E.
28                    39        Alanis, Hipolito                       Narela, Margarita
7                      10        Lopez, Jose                             Alanis, Guadalupe
11                    15        Alanis, Jesus                            Alanis, Elisa
22                    31        Salinas, Jose                            Pena, Ynes
25                    37        Flores, Jose Maria                   Pena, Leonides
21                    30        Vasquez, Luis                         Garcia, Jesusa
27                    38        Garza, Luis                              Cantu, Beatriz
2                      3          Garza, Nazario                        Rios, Paula
3                      5          Loepz, Narciso                        Alanis, Martina
23                    32        Lopez, Pablo                           Garza, Conrada
24                    33        Lopez, Panfilo                         Salinas, Gullerma
26                    37        Manzanares, Pablo                  Carillo, Josefa
30                    44        Rios, Pablo                              Rios, Catarina
1                      3          Lopez, Roberto                       Salinas, Olivia
14                    21        Guerra, Regino                        Garza, Concepcion
20                    29        Garza, Regino                         Salinas, Eulalia
5                      7          Leal, Trinidad                         Salinas, Ramona
9                      13        Salinas, Trinidad                     Rios, Ernestina
17                    23        Zarate, Tomas                         Garcia, Juana

Source: FamilySearch

Updated the Resources Page

I have just finished updating the resource page on this blog. I will be doing the updates once a month, that way I list every resource I mention the previous month. Check them out, by the way should I some how mark the new resources added with new label or just list them with no indication of which are the new ones? Any suggestions please let me know. Thanks.

Resource Page:

Remembering Our Heroes

Since the birth of this country countless men and women, born in this country and other countries, have paid the ultimate price to protect our ideals, our freedoms, and our way of life.

Here are some resources to help us never forget them and at the end are some links to help support our soldiers who are still and currently defending our country. For a full list of all American Wars follow this link.

World War One

World War One Memorial Foundation
World War One Museum



World War Two

The World War II Memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S., the more than 400,000 who died, and all who supported the war effort from home. Symbolic of the defining event of the 20th Century, the memorial is a monument to the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the American people. The Second World War is the only 20th Century event commemorated on the National Mall’s central axis.

Vietnam Veterans

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall USA website is dedicated to honoring those who died in the Vietnam War. Since it first went on line in 1996 it has evolved into something more. It is now also a place of healing for those affected by one of the most divisive wars in our nation’s history.


Support Our Troops

Don’t forget of our current military forces deployed around the world.