My husband, Ron Ruiz, and I recently took a trip to retrace his family’s history. One of the highlights was a visit to the town of Doña Ana, New Mexico. My husband’s g-g-grandparents, Pasqual De La O and Nicolasa Fernandez, settled here in about 1850 with their eight children. Their next daughter, Martina De La O, was born in Doña Ana in 1853 and was raised there and perhaps in the nearby area of Mesilla / Las Cruces. She married Juan Lopez in 1867 and they had two children in Doña Ana before they made the move to El Paso, Texas around 1873. Some of Martina’s siblings stayed in Doña Ana and raised their families and their De La O descendants still live there today.
The old De La O Saloon has been turned into a visitor’s center.
Martina’s Baptism Record 1853
Photograph of Martina De La O
Martina De La O and Juan Lopez’s youngest daughter, also named Martina, was raised in El Paso and married Manuel Ruiz. Below is a family photograph of Martina De La O with the Manuel Ruiz family.
Ruiz Children: Left to right – Isaac “Chapo”, Eloise “Loche”, Esther, and Joel
Sometimes connecting the familiar dots is as simple as finding an address. I was helping a friend verify who her father was. She knew his name and that he had been her mother’s landlord. I found an announcement of her 1949 birth in the local newspaper – that listed an address. I found the name of her “potential” father – as the owner of that address. The one picture of her father, that her mother had saved – He was painting a building – with that address visible. I found that address on google maps – and it was the same building in the photograph of her father. Eventually, we were able to verify it all with DNA, but it was nice that all the facts lines up so nicely, all because of an address.
We Bought Our Baby – Legally.
This article is from 1957 about the Adoption Institute of Los Angeles. I have been helping a friend that was adopted through the Institute find his birth family and it was quite a frustrating search. I have recently found his family using AncestryDNA — but I wasn’t very happy to find this article about “buying” babies! 😦
Sometimes family photos are found in albums. Other times in more unlikely places. 😳 Mugshots from jail records.
In the early 1900s, these were all the rage and they are making a comeback! I guess everyone loves the man in the moon. Pictured are my mother and father-in-law, Joel Ruiz & Frances McVay Ruiz.
My Husband’s G-Grandmother: Librada Varela Lopez (1863-1951)
“When Texas became a state in 1845, it was the beginning of the end for the Indian.” Alan Minter, the Assistant Attorney General of Texas
Despite a DNA test confirming 25% Native American, my husband’s heritage has been difficult to document. Over time, his southwestern ancestors forgot the native language, lost their tribal identity, had their land stolen, and eventually married outsiders. Although he has relatives that are part of the Tiguas in Ysleta, Texas—none of his close family has ever been legally registered with a tribe.
78 years ago, my dad was adopted from an orphanage. Through a DNA test on Ancestry.com, I was able to find the family of his birthfather and we had a grand reunion. I was able to find something wonderful that I didn’t know was missing – the Knox Family