Category Archives: Towns

Monte Christo Historical Marker, Hidalgo County, Texas

The following are photos and the transcription of the Monte Christo historical marker located on Conway Rd and Monte Christo Rd just north of Mission Texas. I pass through this marker about twice per month and finally decided to take some pictures and share them with you. I wonder how many of our ancestors heard about this town maybe they even visited it. Continue reading

Indians, Padres, Settlers, Ranchers, Farmers, and Education – History in A Mural

I grew up in La Grulla, in South Texas. This small quiet town is only a few miles away from the river bordering Mexico and about 60 miles from where I was born and raised. When I was going through Jr. High I used to see the following mural each day for three years, 6th – 8th grade, and never got tired of seeing it. It would cause many questions and also remind me of the small Mexican town of El Arcabuz. El Arcabuz used to have a similar mural but instead of depicting the heritage of its area as the following picture does.  The one in El Arcabuz depicted the rise and birth of a nation, depicting characters as Miguel Hidalgo and Benito Juarez. I wish I had a picture of the one in Arcabuz but I don’t, I asked on their facebook page to see if anyone has one.

This is the Mural at the La Grulla Middle School taken by Jimmy Martinez

La Grulla Middle School MuralYou can see Jimmy’s post in Facebook and according to comments on face book the mural was painted in 1976 – 1978 by  Mr. Sergio Higareda.

As you can see the mural depicts this areas rich heritage and history. Starting with the indigenous people and then the effort of the church to Christianize them. Then we see the the Spaniard rule by the sword and the ranching that ensued. Then this area became part of the United States and towards the end we see farming that still continues to this date. Finally science and education.

Survival The Historical Heritage of La Grulla, Texas 1749 – 1974 a thesis by Narciso A. Guerra and Imelda G. Guerra

I found this book at the University of Texas Pan American’s Special collections. If you are from La Grulla or just want to know more about it I highly recommend the following book. “Survival The Historical Heritage of La Grulla, Texas 1749 – 1974 a thesis by Narciso A. Guerra and Imelda G. Guerra”.

The authors also list their family connection to the first Longorias of La Grulla. You can also find a full map of La Grulla.

I just wish I had more time to go over it since you are not allowed to take it out of the Library I just quickly browsed through it.

If anyone else knows about any other books about La Grulla or it’s people let me know so that I can lsit them here.

Congregacion Arcabuz, Tamaulipas Mexico

Congregacion El Arcabuz is the name of the Mexican town that has played an integral part in the lives of both my Paternal and Maternal ancestor lines and also in my own life. This town is known by several names: El Arcabuz, Arcabuz, and Congregacion El Arcabuz. *Since first writing this post I have come to find out that it also used to be called San Andres del Arcabuz.

As of today this town it lies at the south most part of the Municipality of Miguel Aleman and borders El Rio San Juan (the San Juan River) which is the dividing line between Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon. Half of the town is on high ground covering a small hill and the rest in low ground. The lower part of town has suffered several floods.

It’s History

It is possible that the name El Arcabuz came from the european predecessor to the musket named Arcabuz wich was widely use from the 1400’s to the 1700’s (Wikipidia). *In fact it was was named after this weapon. The story is that one of the early settlers lost an Arcabuz while crossing the river San Juan near this town and since then it has been called El Arcabuz.

The exact date of the towns founding is unknown to me but According to Galindo, in a Box labeled G-25 in the Mier Casa De Cultura Archivo De Mier (Mier Archives) there is a folder labeled 1753 with an undated survey of the Mier Ranches. Arcabus appeared as having 16 Jacales and no stone buildings. If the date of the folder is correct we can safely assume that this town can date its history prior to 1753. The town currently has stone buildings but they were probably built during the 1800’s. *The official founding was on 1767 when my 5th great grandfather Francisco Angel de La Garza received his land grant. It is also mentioned in the document that he received that land grant due to having already established a ranch on said land. You can read it here: 1767 Land Grant of Francisco Angel de la Garza – Mier Porcion 14

The cemetery can also support this claim since some of the oldest tombs are made out of brick and are above ground with dates prior to 1770’s

Other than Galindo’s thesis I have not found any other documents or books detailing El Arcabuz’s history and I fear that its only remaining history is slowly dying as the eldest of its residents dye. *Thanks to Jose Garza I now know the real History of El Arcabuz and you can read it here The History of El Arcabuz, Tamaulipas, Mexico

El Arcabuz On the Web

There is a club whose name is El Arcabuz Social Club and they have two web pages with old photos. Page 1Page 2

I have also found a Facebook page titled Yo Tambien Soy De Arcabuz Tamaulipas, they also have alot of photos. I found pictures of my uncles parents in there. They also have some historical photos of town and some of its events.

Genealogy

El Arcabuz, serves also as the Civil Registry for half of the Municipality. Births, Deaths, and Marriages are still recorded in it’s Civil Registry Books. It is located in front of the plaza.

Also it’s cemetery is northeast of town and has graves dating back to the mid 1700’s. If I ever go back to this town one of my goals will be to transcribe the whole cemetery, if anyone is interested let me know.

I have also found the MyHeritage website for the Family Tree of Ricardo Salinas. He has many people from El Arcabuz including some of my family and ancestors. I have tried contacting him but unfortunately he has not responded to my messages.

People that lived in this town can also be found at Ancestry.com and FamilySearch on their Border Crossing Collections. I also tried searching the Mexico 1930 Census but it seems that all of the municipality of Miguel Aleman Tamaulipas Mexico is Mission from it.

Google Earth Map

Source: “El Arcabuz” 26°04’18.69″ N  99°07’33.57″ W. Google Earth. October 18, 2007.
December 4, 2011.

Sources

* Last Updated 11-16-2013

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.