Category Archives: Books

El Rancho in South Texas: Continuity and Change From 1750

Doing my family genealogy has thought me that ranching was a very huge part in the family structure. Also my ancestors had been ranching cattle, goats, and sheep for hundreds of years. In fact through both of my parents sides I am part of the first generation that will no longer be cattle men. It is this reason that I just wanted to share with you another great book that I really like. It was written by Joe S. Graham and it is titled El Rancho in South Texas: Continuity and Change From 1750. I am barely half-ways but the information is very valuable.

I know that some of you grew up in South Texas Ranchos and I know this from the emails that I get. I myself was raised not in a South Texas Rancho but in a Northeastern Mexican Rancho just 14 miles away from the border. The similarities in ranching and even the old jacales were the same. Also the stone houses used for fortification can still be found in Continue reading

The Conquistadores and the Crypto-Jews of Monterrey

While conducting Genealogy Research I came across “The Conquistadores and the Crypto-Jews of Monterrey” by David T. Raphael. It turned out to be an excellent book. It is full of great genealogical information, many of my own ancestors are mentioned within it’s pages. there is even a whole chapter dedicated to my 11th great grandfather Diego de Montemayor. Another whole chapter is dedicated to my de la Garza ancestors.

What I really loved about this book was Gaspar de Castanos entry into New Mexico and his brush with the Pueblo Indians. It is in my opinion an amazing chapter that shows clearly  a first hand account of how the Spaniards with way less numbers than the local population would conquer them.

After reading this book it is now one of my favorite. It not only provides great information but also contains transcriptions of original documents. You may also want to pay attention to the citations since that will Continue reading

Families of Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico Volume One

Great news, yesterday Mr. Rendon released the first volume of his twelve volume series about the families of Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. Bellow you will find a picture of the eBook and also a copy of the email that I received. If your ancestors are from Coahuila I highly recommend that you download this eBook.

Cover of Families of Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico Volume One

Copy of email:

This email is going out to everyone in my genealogy address book.

Below find a link to the first volume of Families of Saltillo.

It is over 500 pages so it may upload slowly.

Families of Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico Volume One

http://home.earthlink.net/~cnltmex/scmv1.pdf

Best Regards,

Crispin Rendon

Remember, even if you do not have ancestors form Saltillo I recommend that you download this eBook since you never know when you will come across ancestors form Saltillo.

Aquellos Primeros Saltillenses, eBook by María Elena Santoscoy Flores

The eBook “Aquellos Primeros Saltillenses” by Maria Elena Santoscoy Flores is a great resource to anyone who has traced their ancestors to Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. This book provides essential knowledge about the origins of Saltillo and the perils of its founders and early settlers. It also describes their main activities through which in the middle of the semi-desert lanscape where able to build one of the most important cities of northeastern Mexico.

I have yet to read the full book but I have already found mentions of several of my ancestors specially Alberto del canto and Diego de Montemayor. If you are doing Genealogy research on any of the early settlers you might want to look towards the end of the book. The author provides the family trees of most of them. Continue reading

The News From Brownsville

Are you interested in the history of Brownsville, Texas? Even if you are not I highly recommend that you get a hold of a copy to Caleb Coker’s book “The News from Brownsville: Helen Chapman’s Letters from the Texas Military Frontier, 1848-1852″. This book, as the title mentions, is just a compilation of the letters that the authors ancestor Helen Chapman sent her mother while she lived in Brownsville, Texas.

Helen Blair was the wife of William Chapman, Fort Brown’s first quartermaster. They were founding citizens of Brownsville, Texas. In her letters from the South Texas frontier, she commented on social conditions along the Rio Grande, expressing her opinions on a wide variety of topics.

While reading this book you will get a sense as to how life was so fragile during those years and with any sickness you could die and many did. You may have come across this in your own research where you may find your ancestors without a father or mother at a very early age. She also writes of the battle of Palo Alto and of the Americans route to Monterrey and latter the Americans route through Veracruz and to Mexico City, during the Mexican American War.

One of the things that strikes me about this book was how she mentions the corruption of Mexican officials and the poverty of the population with the exception of a few. I thought well things have not changed in Mexico. Continue reading

The Story of Union Forces in South Texas During the Civil War

As many of you know I attended the Rio Grande City High School and My class was one of the last classes to attend the old High School which is situated in the grounds of Historic Fort Ringgold. Every morning the bus used to drive us past an old small house in much disrepair on top of a small round hill and some other small tall hills further back towards the river.

It was a great shame that in history class they never mentioned Fort Ringgold or even that small house. It was years latter while in college that I learned that that small house was used by General Robert E. Lee during some part of the Civil War and the small hills where used to place cannons to try and sink any Union Steam ships.

I recently came across a PDF document titled “The Story of Union Forces in South Texas During the Civil War” it was Compiled and Edited by Norman Rozeff from the Harlingen Historical Preservation Society. It is an 82 page document detailing the history of the Union Army in South Texas. Continue reading

The Families of Santiago, Nuevo Leon, Mexico Volume Five

Are you doing Mexican Genealogy Research on your ancestors of Santiago Nuveo Leon? If so this past Sunday I received the email listed bellow from Crispin Rendon letting me know that he has published “The Families of Santiago, Nuevo Leon, Mexico Volume Five”. This volume covers all the church marriages from 1835 to 1841. He also includes the families of each couple. This eBook is an excellent resource and you should download a copy of it.

The Families of Santiago, Nuevo Leon, Mexico Volume Five, eBook Cover:

Continue reading

65 Cuadernos Del Archivo de Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

The following is a list of the 65 Cuadernos Del Archivo de Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. They are all in Spanish. These 65 eBooks are about the history, geography, and archaeology of the state of Nuevo Leon. I am sure that if you read all the titles you are sure to find one that will interest you. If you  re building a digital library I highly recommend that you download all of them. You never knwo when thwy will come in handy. As for me I have only read two of them # 25 EL CRONISTA ANONIMO by Israel Cavazos Garza, since it is about my 9th great grandfather Juan Bautista Chapa. The other one that I have read is #36 LA CATEDRAL DEL NUEVO REINO DE LEON by Aureliano Tapia Mendez, since many of my ancestors are buried there.

I know that these eBooks will provide you also with great historical context and also provide you with genealogical data and clues. Continue reading

Slaves of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

The Mexican Genealogical eBook Slaves of Monterrey Nuevo Leon Mexico is, as it’s cover describes it, a compilation of Hundreds of Notary Documents Translated by: Dahlia Rose Guajardo, Dhlia Palacios, Eusebio Benavidez, Tony Vincent Garcia and Crispin Rendon.

It is a sad thing that Spaniards had slaves but what is even sadder to me is to see my own ancestors buying and selling slaves as if they were property. You might also find your ancestor as being one of the slaves. The majority of the slaves were either Black or Mulattos.

It is not mentioned in this book but one of my ancestors was a Morisco meaning that his parents were Mulatto and Indian.  A Mulatto is the designation given to children of  a Spaniard and black African. The earliest mention of him is In Ciudad Mier in the middle of the 1700’s and this eBook makes me wonder if he or his family were ever slaves. Continue reading

Families of Salinas Victoria, Nuevo Leon, Mexico In 9 Volumes by Crispin Rendon

Here are the links to the nine volumes by Crispin Rendon in his series about Salinas Victoria, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. They are truly a genealogical treasure. This series covers that time period of 1755 to 1769.

Make sure and download them to your digital library that way you have them on hand when you need them. Or you can always book mark this page for future reference. Continue reading