Tag Archives: History

The Kingdom of Zapata

Here is a great book for anyone interested in the County or city of Zapata. It was written by Virgil N. Lott and Mercurio Martinez as a work to compile the history of Zapata county commissioned by the County Commissioners of Zapata county back in 1951.

The reason for this is mentioned in the book as follows,

The action was decided upon due to the inevitable inundation of a part of the county from the waters of the Falcon Dam which will destroy many of the historic landmarks of the county, including the county seat, Zapata, and other villages, many of which were founded in the early eighteenth century by colonists and their children, who were settled on this frontier by Escandon, the great colonizer of all time. The first colony on the north banks of the Rio Grande was at Dolores, Zapata County, Texas, in 1751, and from this establishment many of the present population of Starr, Zapata and Webb counties originated.

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Gene Fernandez’s Presentation at RGVHGS

The May 2014 meeting of the Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Genealogical Society was a very informative and interesting one. The presenter for this month was non other than Gene Fernandez. His passion for history and the preservation of History is evident. Gene’s presentation was very informative and it was also fun to hear it since he is an excellent presenter. Continue reading

Historia, Geografía Y Estadística Del Estado de Tamaulipas

I came across a very interesting book that was published back in 1873 by Alejandro Prieto. It does mention several of my ancestors but most important it contains important information about the state of Tamaulipas. The title of the book is Historia, Geografia y Estadistica Del Estado De Tamaulipas”. You never know you may just find your ancestors in this book.

This book can be valuable when it comes to our genealogy research since it may provide you with additional clues as to where to look for documents and also a window as to what our ancestors may have had experience politically.

Cover of book:

This book is freely available form Google Books just click on the following link: Get your copy.

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

100 Years of Jim Hogg County History – South Texas History Volume 1 Issue 1

I don’t remember how I came across this publication “South Texas History” but I am glad that I came across it. So far there are 8 published Issues. In the future two months I will be posting one each week on this blog.

South Texas History is published once per month and it’s purpose is to publish History about South Texas including photographs and family stories. The reason that I am sharing this Magazine with you all is because you never know, you might find your ancestors listed within the pages of this magazine. Continue reading

Soy de Duval – A blog Focusing on the Early History of Duval County, Texas

A week ago I received an email from Alfredo Cardenas inquiring on how to go about getting some documents form Star county. Fortunately, I was able to help him with that. I wish that was the case with everyone that contacts me, but I digress. In that email he also mentioned that he had just started a blog titled Soy de Duval which focuses on the Early History of Duval County, Texas. Continue reading

7 Weekend Reads From The Rio Grande Guardian On Culture and Border Life

Rio Grande Guardian Small Logo The following are seven articles published by various authors on the Rio Grande Guardian’s website. I thought that it would be a great idea to share them with you. They talk about genealogy, history, and current cultural icons. All of them involve South Texas and Northeaster Mexico in one way or another. Hope that you enjoy them.

 

Garcia: Juan Bautista Chapa, a notable explorer

EDINBURG, January 27 – There were certain other explorers who arrived in what is now Texas following Alvar Cabeza de Vaca and his Spanish soldiers’ landing on Texas soil in 1528.

 

López: Gutiérrez de Lara brought Texas its first taste of independence

SAN ANTONIO, January 1 – In sharing with others the beauty of early Texas history, there is an increasing positive response from South Texas folks in particular.

 

García: Myths and Facts about South Texas Spanish

EDINBURG, January 1 – Columnist Lino García, Jr., has penned an op-ed for Guardian readers this holiday period about South Texas Spanish.

 

García: Early educational institutions in Colonial Spanish Texas

EDINBURG, November 22 – When Pánfilo Narváez and Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca along with a few hundred Spanish soldiers landed on Galveston Bay on November 6, 1528, the exploration and the settlement of the territory of Texas brought into this state European institutions that still prevail.

 

López: More than an Expedition

SAN ANTONIO, November 5 – Just over 200 years ago, a town priest in Central Mexico decided to bring justice for all in Mexico, including Texas, its northern province.

 

García: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
EDINBURG, October 8 – On October 12, 1492, Cristóbal Colón and his Spanish crew aboard three ships, La Pinta, La Niña and La Santa María, sailed from the mother country of Spain and landed on what later became known as America.

 

Idea for a Tejano Monument at the state Capitol started at UTPA
EDINBURG, March 29 – It is a little known fact but the idea to build a monument honoring the heritage and contributions of Tejanos at the Texas state Capitol in Austin was born at the University of Texas-Pan American.

The above listed stories come from the Cultura and  Border Life sections of the Rio Grande Guardian. These two sections also contain a lot more stories on various topics. If anyone has interesting posts that they know about let me know, I will be posting them on Saturdays.

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