Home Page – Rincón del Refúgio


Home Page – Rincón del Refúgio

mexico city, san luis potosi

The Rincón is the common name given to the rancho community area located near the capital of San Luis Potosí, of the state of San Luis Potosí. The bottom image gives you an idea of the geographical areas surrounding the state. San Luis Potosí is located approximately 225 miles NE of Mexico City. The Rincón is where all of our ancestors come from.  The people make a living farming, raising some animals and of course some hunting of deer deep in the hills. There are several distinct ranchos in the same area, with the one nearest any transportation being La Sequedad, which roughly translated means “the dryness”, or “the drought”. Near there is another rancho, Temescal. Both are in fairly arid territories. From Temescal, there is the Zammaripa clan, many of whom have settled in California and married into our Castillo family. The image at the top shows several of the ranchos spread throughout the country side. By following La Sequedad and continuing to Paso Blanco there is a trail/road that one can follow all the way to the end where the Rincón del Refúgio is located. There are other ranchos along the way but the Google map was not able to locate all of them, just the ones showing in the image. The landscape changes with the change in elevation. From the desert type of environment at La Sequedad, as one progresses onto the other ranchos, the land becomes greener and more fertile. And it seems that with the changing elevations thre are different varieties of nopales, a food staple of everyone there. By the time one arrives at the Rincón, it is almost tropical with some many tall, beautiful trees. Our Abuelo, Bartolo, lived alone for who knows how long high up in the mountains at a place called Rancho Viejo. It is very beautiful up high and that is where he lived for many years after our Abuela Diega passed away in 1935. The “ruralness” of the area is changing, some of the primitive road is being paved giving the outside world access to the ranchos, and where in the past life was very primitive, there is now electricity. Plumbing isn’t there yet nor is natural gas, but eventually I’m sure. With change some things will be lost forever, for good or bad remains to be seen. A couple of things come to mind about the “ruralness” of the area. One of those being that way back when the dirt road was more of a trail than a road, a bus used to come by once a week to take the people into the capital of  San Luis Potosí to shop and sell their wares at the mercado. The bus used to come in at night and park at the furthest rancho, El Rincon, and before sunup would begin taking on passengers. From the Rincón it would make its rounds to all of the ranchos picking up passengers along the way until people were hanging on the sides, sitting on top and sharing the inside with small animals and a very crowded bus. The bus would take everyone home at the end of the day and the last ones being dropped very late at night. Probably now most people drive their own vehicles into town as the road is much improved and times have changed. One of the other peculiar aspects of life back then was the weekly bath. It used to be that the men would bathe one day and women the next. High up on hillside our ancestors constructed a large catch basin made of rock that caught the water coming down from the top of the mountain. The water was the main source of irrigation for crops and to give the cattle and horses a drinking source. Because of these reasons, it was forbidden to use soap when bathing. All one could do was soak themselves and rub down with a rag to get the grime off using the super cold water in the catch basin. The people have always lived a simple, peaceful life and hopefully that will never change. Our ancestors have lived there who knows for how long living off the land, remaining humble and passing those traits onto all of us.

Cabecera Municipal: Villa Hidalgo

Población Indígena: 23. Lénguas Indígenas NAHUATL y HUASTECO.

This most recent online search reveals that perhaps there are only 23 residents in Villa Hidalgo that are Indigenous and the two native languages spoken are Nahuatl (Aztec?) and Huasteco. The Huasteca tribe is the one that was most predominant in the state of San Luis Potosí and their musical style is still popular in the area. Villa Hidalgo is the closest town to the ranchos and where official documents are maintained

Villa Hidalgo got its name in 1854, from Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla a Catholic priest and leader in the war for independence from Spain.  At the end of this year the name was changed to Villa Iturbide, the Royal House of México. In 1928 the legislature changed its name back to Villa Hidalgo,

And the Rincon was also known by another name, El Molcajete, I just never found when it was first named Molcajete and when it changed to El Rincon.



Our Family Ancestry

I began to research Mom and Dad’s histories around 2017 when I got out of the City of Hope hospital and had a lot of downtime doing a whole lot of nothing. I sort of began my WordPress site and the joined Ancestry around the same time. But I think I joined Heritage, then 23andMe first before realizing they were not very helpful in tracking down history and that is when I joined Ancestry and found them to be quite helpful. I also found Family Search.org as another site in finding about family history. The Mormon church needs to be credited for doing a lot of volunteer work in helping everyone find their ancestors stories and history. The information provided on our families going back about 200 years comes mostly from Ancestry’s computers. As you enter data of someone into the family tree you are building, the computers sniff out the connection to other ancestors and send you a hint of another person and asks if this person might be related. If you accept the hint, the computer automatically puts it into the tree under the specific name of the person you entered. Sometimes there are quite a few hints and you need to go thru each to see if they are related. Often times there is someone with a similar name but from another region. In 2019 members got a ancestry lineage report showing what they thought might be all of your ancestors going back quite a ways. There were a lot of names to go through and sort out who belonged to who. I found that almost everyone listed was an ancestor, I just had to piece together the puzzle to figure out who belonged to who. All of what is listed below is the result of that. I begin with my Mom’s side first with her parents, Bartolo and Diega, and finish up with my Dad’s side of which I found out was quite large and I am still coming up with names here and there.

Bartolo (1888-1981)  and Diega Loredo (1889-1935)

Bartolo’s parents:Margarito Castillo (1857-1927) and Yrenea Vigil (1867-1933)

Margarito and Yrenea’s children: Bartolo, Quirino, Juan, Julio, Catarino, Candelaria, Victoria, Maria

Margarito’s parents:Juan Castillo (1817?) and Feliciana Vigil (1829-1903)

Juan & Felicianas children: Manuel 1850, Margarito 1857, Prajedis 1852, Urbano 1844, Petra 1846, Maxima 1848, Pascual 1841, Franco 1839, Barbara 1837

Yrenea’s parents: Jose Leonides Vigil (1841-) and Cipriana Castillo (1844-1901)

Leonides and Cipriana’s children; Yrenea 1867, Bernabe 1869, Margarito 1871, Paulin 1874, Norberto 1875, Perfecto 1877, Gerarda 1880

Cipriana’s parents: Jose Maria Castillo (1811) Maria Longina Alejos (1819)

Maria Longina Alejos parents: Felipe de Jesus Alejos (1798-1882), Maria Dominga Morales (1801)

Children of Felipe & Maria: Maria Longina (1819), Maria Antonia (1821), Maria Carmen (1823), Jose Pedro (1829)

Felipe de Jesus Alejos parents: Felipe de Jesus Alejos (1773), Margarita Ruis (1773)

Juan Cipriano Ordones (1781), Maria Josefa Sanchez, parents of Marcelo Ordones

Cirilo’s parents: Marcelo Ordones, Maria Feliciana Bargas, married 1809

Marcelo & Feliciana’s children: Jose Agustin, Josefa Maldonado

Leonides Vigil’s parents: Jose Cirilo Vigil (1820), Maria Paulina Ordones (1821)

Cirilo Vigil’s parents: Francisco Vigil (1800), Maria Ysabel Castillo

Diega Loredo’s parents:

Norberto Loredo (1848/1850-1935), Nicolasa Cuevas (1863-1959

Norberto’s parents:

Eugenio Loredo (1818), Casilda Rosales (1823)

Eugenio and Casilda’s children: Benigna (1844), Norberto (1848), Clara (1840) Maria Felix (1855)

Eugenio’s parents: Pablo Loredo, Manuela Ribera

Casilda’s parents: Juan Rosales, Antonia Castilleja

Nicolasa Cuevas parents:

Seferino Cuevas (1837-1917), Maria Nabor Reyes (1835-1917)

Children of Seferino Cuevas and Maria Reyes:

Macedonio (1872), Regino (1872), Placida (1870-1912), Nicolasa (1864-1959),

Teodoro (1865), Francisca (1868-1912), Desideria (1875-1956)

Seferino’s parents: Jose Maria Cuevas, Maria Faustina Dimas, Eugenio Reyes (1813), Pascuala Vasquez (1821-1881) Maria Navor Reyes parents

Jose Luis de Jesus Dimas (1761), Maria Luisa Basquez (1760), parents to Maria Faustina Dimas, Cristobal Dimas (1740), Maria Matiana de la Cruz (1740) parents of Jose Luis Dimas

Joseph Deciderio Trinidad Reyes Mendes (1793-1861), Maria Inocenia Abila (1793), parents to Eugenio Reyes Jose & Ponciana Rosales, Maria San Jose de Abila (1775), parents to Maria Ynocenica Abila

Geronimo Vasquez, (1790), father to Pascuala VasquezYsidro Antonio Reyes (1770), Maria Rosalia Mendes, (1770), parents of Joseph Reyes Mendes Dad’s Family:Espiridiona Rios, (1846/1848-1904), Dad’s Mom, Sostenes Rios (1827-1896) Jesusa Saucedo (1832-1892), Espiridiona’s parents. Sostenes and Jesusa’s children: Espiridiona (1848-1904), Lázara (1849) Juan de la Cruz (1853) Dionicio (1855) Arcadia (1859) Asunción (1861) Esutacio (1864) Amada (1866)Jose Sebastian Rios (1808-1896)

Sesaria Sustayta (1816) , Sostenes’ parents, Sebastian and Sesaria’s children: Maria Ysidra de la Asención (1817) Maria Christobal (1819) Jose Sostenes (1827)Elenterio Saucedo

Maria del Jesus Valerio, Jesusa Saucedo’s parents     






Family Trees

I have found that families married other close families, and sometimes married other relatives. A lot of the ranchos were populated by the same families so you has to meet someone at a fiesta from another rancho that was not a relative. Even though the ranchos weren’t super close to each other, it looks like everyone knew each other and that had a lot to do with close marriages between families.


Left This World Too Soon

The average person might know one or two people who left this world too soon due to some unfortunate incident such as a vehicle accident or illness.

But those of us who grew up in Hawaiian Gardens have had to deal with more than our share of untimely deaths that involved sometimes tragic, sometimes violent ends to a life cut way too short. I will try to place them in chronological order as best my memory serves me.

Gary Weyrick: Gary was a kid I met while attending Killingsworth Elementary in 1962-63. He and I became good friends and that friendship lasted through our first year of high school in 1963. We both signed up to play for the “C” football team. I really don’t recall the exact details, but recall that he got together with some other kids playing football at the park on the weekend and somehow he wound up getting hurt on a play that caused a medical emergency he would not recover from. His death was the first untimely death to touch me in a very personal way.

Mike Miller: The next time I encountered an untimely death was not too long out of high school (1966). Mike married Christine in 1968 in Downey. Mike was about 2  years ahead of me in school. I was not super close to him, but I was close to his brother Pat who I played a lot of ball with. He had a sister, Cindy, who always seemed to be around the same bunch of people we hung out with. I knew Mike had a future playing pro ball, he had been drafted by the Angels. I would run into Mike here and there and he was always cool around me. Since we didn’t run around in the same circles, I didn’t know too much about him. So it was a big shock with I heard his wife had over died from asphyxiation, in 1970, which is most likely tied to drugs. Not too long after that, Mike took his own life in 1970 at her gravesite at Forest Lawn Cypress, using drugs and alcohol to end his life. So now I am barely out of high school and I already know of 3 people that left this world too soon.

Rick Griego: Rick passed away from an accident, possibly around the early 70’s. All I think I can recall is that he was out climbing or hiking and he fell to his death. So long ago, but seems like we traveled to Bakersfield or Fresno for his services. He was a good guy and fun to be around.

Eddie Reza’s girlfriend – Eddie Reza was a guy I used to hang around a lot, he had an older brother, Mike, that hung around us a bunch and married on of the Hernandez girls. I can’t recall the name of his girl friend, only that she was either from Stanton or Crow. She was a good gal, but I didn’t get to know her really well. She and Eddie would be around for a party or at one  of the dances. I don’t recall the circumstances, other than hearing that she died of an  overdose at her house. This was sometime in the early 70’s. 

VietNam: All of  us had to register for the draft as soon as we turned 18. During high school we all heard about this place, VietNam, which no one had ever heard of before. Somehow the US got involved and all we knew was that a lot of soldiers were dying in some place in Asia and that none of us were looking forward to registering for the draft. If I recall correctly, two of the guys from the Gardens didn’t want anything to do with the chance of getting drafted and going to this new war so they took off. Henry Baca was one of the guys that we all used to hang around with and he was the first to go underground and hide. The other guy was named Gustavo, can’t recall his last name, but he took off for México and I don’t know if he ever came back. Quite a few of us got drafted and sent to Asia, most of us were lucky and didn’t come back in a body bag, but a couple guys from the neighborhood weren’t so lucky.


Danny Diaz: Killed in a helicopter crash, 1968. He and his team are buried in a mass grave out of state. He was one of my best buds in high school and might have been the first casualty from the hood.


Juanito Guzman: Was 3 years ahead of me in school, but I knew him and his family when we were all kids working on Tanaka’s farm picking string beans. He and Danny both died in 1968.

Marcello Barrios: Uncle to Chacho, Cissy and David Barrios. He died in combat in 1969. Marcello was a few years older than me and he ran with a different crowd so I didn’t know him real well. He would come by and hang out with us younger guys once in awhile.

James Fry: Was a school mate of mine, met him in Killingsworth in 6th grade and he was a good buddy all the way through high school. Supposedly he had an opportunity to play college football in Washington, or somewhere up north, but the draft took away his dream. He also perished in 1968

There were other casualties of the war, although not from combat, it was from Agent Orange, a chemical the military was using. We didn’t know we were being exposed to it’s harmful effects until years later when a lot of soldiers began to come down with various types of deadly illnesses. A few of the guys from the neighborhood that succumbed to Agent Orange later in life were Bobby Aparijo, Albert Martinez and David Manriquez. They all suffered from complications before passing away.

Hernandez Brothers, Rudy and Jessie: Rudy and Jessie were always around us, Rudy being good friends with older brother Buck and Jessie more like our age. Think he was about 2 years younger than me and Rudy was about 5 years older. Their sisters were close friends with my sisters, so family wise, we were close to them all. Don’t recall the exact year, maybe around the early 80’s, as I recall, Rudy had gone to his Dad’s house and found him dead of a heart attack. Apparently the shock of finding his father deceased was too much for  Rudy and he wound up dying at the house too, also from a heart attack. When it came time for the services, Jessie was really distraught and could not bring himself to attend. It doesn’t seem like too long after the services, that Jessie decided to he could not live with his anguish and jumped into the swollen Coyote Creek river.

Butch Armijo: Seems like everyone liked Butch, his real name was James or Jimmy, he was always just Butch to all of us, all 5 feet of him. He could always be found hanging out with Lee Daniels, GG Holman and Mike Hagan. It was a funny group of friends as GG, Lee and  Butch were 5 feet tall and Mike was about 6 feet tall. Butch was always around the Gardens, either walking or riding in someone’s car. Never knew him to have any issues, he was just a fun loving guy. Last I heard about him was he became devoutly Christian and sort of distanced himself. He had been renting a small place from Huero Hurtado, and that is where he took his life with a handgun, sometime in the late December of 1970.

Richard Magaña – Richard was part of great bunch of guys from Los Alamitos that we used to hang around with a lot, coming to our dances then hanging out in the hood with us. There was Richard Garcia, the Gomez brothers, then there was the Rocking Devil too, and Charlie, and Adam Ruelas. I don’t remember how or when, but it seems that I recall that Richard died in a auto accident on the road to Vegas, maybe late 70’s or early 80’s. 

Eva Ruelas: Eva was sister to Adam Ruelas, they lived next to the old church in the barrio that Alex Castaneda named the Animal Hall. My brother Buck was her bitch for a long time. she really had him around her finger. I remember one time at the American Legion at one of our dances, she was having  an argument with him when all of a sudden, wham, she smacked him in the face in front of a lot of people. She liked to party and was always at out dances, a very good looking lady. But guess she had her issues that finally overcame her and she died of an overdose at home, don’t know what year it was.

Mike Hagan: Mike was a wild kind of guy, but fun to be around, always good for laughs. I knew him fairly well, but I knew his Dad a lot better as he hung out with us at our house and came over to a few cookouts at our house. He just liked hanging out with us even though he was already way up in his years and we were all his son Mike’s age. Mike liked his booze and some drugs, no secret there, but he always seemed to be in control. I will never forget when he passed away from a drug overdose at his home he lived in by himself in the Gardens. His Dad came over to our house to break the news and he was really shaken up talking to us about his death. Mike was still a young guy, maybe around or close to 30 at the time of his passing.

Jim Archuleta:

Paul Hernandez: A few years back, I had visited Armando Muniz and it was then he related to me that Paul had overdosed on cocaine. I don’t recall the year this happened or about how old Paul was when he OD. Paul had always been with a band for as long as I knew him. He always seemed to enjoy himself playing percussion. I didn’t know him well enough though to realize he was into cocaine and who knows what else.

Santos from Artesia: Santos was one of the last of the hard core hoodlums from Artesia. I used to think we had a lot of good relations with many of the guys from Artesia as many of them we knew from high school or from the old days when a lot of their kids played ball with our kids at Artesia Park. Santos had a reputation as a bad ass, but the times we bumped into each other he was cool with me, but he did make some enemies along the way. I do recall one time when my brother Buck was having a brew with one of the guys at the bar next to Mike’s Chinese restaurant in the Gardens. I remember Buck telling me the Santos and another of his cronies walked into the bar with guns and began to rob the cash register. He spotted my brother Buck, whom he knew, and made the bartender gave them each a beer before he took off with the money. Again, do not recall the year, but all I heard was that someone that had it in for him caught up to him somewhere and he was found in a dumpster that had been set on fire with him inside. What a way to go, hope he was dead before they lit him up. 

Dennis Kelley – Dennis married Silvia Wade, who grew up across the street from us. They wound up living next door to where Silvia grew up and directly across from my uncle’s house. Over time, Dennis would see us come back from our deer hunting trips and every now and then he would come over and ask about where we went and how we hunted. At the time he got married, all I knew about him was that he had been in the Navy and now as a civilian, he worked as an Engineer at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc. Eventually he asked my uncle if he could tag along and see what and how we went about hunting for deer. In time he bought a hunting rifle and became just one of the guys and developed into a very proficient hunter himself. Another thing he introduced himself to was boxing at the Grand Olympic Auditorium. Don’t remember how but he found out that we liked to go the weekly boxing matches in LA but he began to go with my brother Buck. He really liked the boxing and deer hunting. He always seemed to enjoy the times he spent with us and was a super mellow guy, never saw him get excited about anything. Over time his love of the outdoors led him to join the Montrose Search and Rescue squad. He spent time in the forest looking for injured and lost hikers. I began to hear about his deteriorating health from my uncle. Dennis had come by to visit from Newbury Park, where he now lived, but he no longer drove due to either dementia or alzheimers, don’t know which it was. I did manage to be at my Mom’s when Silvia brought him around, and while he did recognize me, he was no longer the same guy. Somewhere about 2005, he wound up using his deer hunting rifle to take his life in the backyard of his home in Newbury Park. Guessing maybe he sort  of knew what was going on with himself and didn’t want to continue living like that, but no one really knew for sure. He was a great friend and neighbor.

Tommy Bomber: I never knew his last name, it was always just Tommy Bomber. I got to know Tommy in the 70’s when Mario Chavez and family moved next door to us. Mario’s daughter, Olivia, was born in Lakewood and Tommy Bomber was her God Father.  Not too long after Mario and his family settled in they began to have get togethers and that is when I got meet Tommy and the rest of the bunch of Harley bikers. They weren’t a gang like the Hell’s Angels, just a bunch of guys that liked their beer and riding their Harleys. They were all hard core bikers, preferring the old style of motorcycles that used a “kick start” pedal instead of going for the push button ignition start. All of the bikers were pretty cool guys, never knew of any problems with them, they weren’t Angels, but they were all cool guys. And as far as Tommy, I always knew him the way he is in the picture, always in a T shirt and jeans. The only time I saw him not in his biker uniform was when Mario married his second wife, Adriene. Both Tommy and I were in the wedding and I heard him pull up to the church in his Harley. But when he came upstairs he had on the wedding attire. It was so weird seeing him without his T shirt and jeans. Over the years I was lucky to share a bunch of brews with Tommy and got to really like him a lot. But around 2018 I got word that Tommy took his life at his place in the desert near Palmdale. Supposedly he went outside and used a shotgun to take his life somewhere in the street outside his home. I never heard from anyone as to what was bothering him so much that forced him to do this to himself. He was a Navy veteran and I did manage to attend the burial service at the Arlington Veterans Cemetery in Riverside County.

Martin Castillo 1980-2015 – Martin was son of my cousin, Paco. I played plenty of baseball with Paco and his brothers. Many years ago, a few of the brothers lost children to untimely and unexpected deaths. But Martin’s suicide was something unexpected given his age. I had heard he was ill, perhaps it was terminal and he didn’t want to deal with the illness, but I don’t know for sure why he took his life. His parents brought him to CA from TX to be buried near his grandparents in Lakewood.

Yolanda Corona 1954-1986

Yolanda always seemed to be enjoying life, having fun with everyone at parties and out dances. For awhile her family lived behind us at the old Whisman house. I don’t know when her family moved out of the Gardens, maybe in the late 70’s. We had just heard she committed suicide either upon being the in the police academy or after, don’t know which.

James Fry: 1948 – 1968

Was a school mate of mine, met him in Killingsworth in 6th grade and he was a good buddy all the way through high school. Supposedly he had an opportunity to play college football in Washington, or somewhere up north, but the draft took away his dream. He also perished in 1968

Our Family Tree

In the beginning, there were 5 brothers and one sister. Quirino, Bartolo, Julio, Catarino, Juan and Candelaria. There were two other sisters but both died in infancy. Two of the brothers married two sisters from the Loredo family. Julio (1895-1982) married Eustolia (1891-1985) and Bartolo (1886-1981) married Diega (1891-1935), Bartolo and Diega being our grandparents. One of the other sisters, Gabina, married Porfirio Castillo. Even though Porfirio was not part of our DNA tribe, he was nonetheless a Castillo except he was from one of the other ranchos in the same area. And Porfirio’s brother, Lorenzo (Lencho) wound up marrying Lorenza Loredo. I have no idea who Guadalupe settled down with.

We all share the same great grandmother, Nicolasa Cuevas, or Mama Gasa, as she was affectionately known.  She lived out her final years in Long Beach and thankfully was part of our lives when many of us were young kids. All of the Castillo’s and Loredo’s were raised in the area of the Rincon del Refugio in San Luis Potosí, and this is where our ancestors have lived since who knows how long back in history. However, I think that possibly the Loredo clan may be from the area known as Armadillo de los Infante. Its close by, and I think this because they had several events conducted in this area. But its just a guess.

Of the 5 brothers, the offspring of Bartolo and Julio wound up settling in CA, with the offspring of Julio and Eustolia producing a huge amount of Castillo’s that probably number in the hundreds and are too numerous to know all of them. Juan and Quirino remained in the Rincón where they lived out their remaining years. Catarino settled in Laredo, Texas. Additionally, some of Julio and Eustolia’s offspring married into some of the Zamarripa family whose roots are tied into a rancho named Temescal, which is not too far from the rancho, La Sequedad. So we wind up having quite a number of relatives through marriage to whom many of us are close to. Two of my Mom’s brothers, Fidel and Teofilo, wound up settling in Wisconsin. My Mom’s other brother, Bartolo, would eventually settle down in Laredo, Texas. And of course, Mom’s two other brothers, Gabriel and Norberto, settled in Cali. So our clans are spread out around the country. One of Bartolo’s brothers, Quirino, wound up having one of his Grandaughters, Loma, settle down in Illinois, so we have a number of family in that part of the country as well.

Abuelo and Abuela moved to Texas in 1935,most likely to work the cotton fields, when the kids were quite young. Tío Beto recalls that Abuela became very ill and since they were in a remote area there was no medical help available. Tío seems to recall that Abuela died from pneumonia at the age of 44. She is buried in the town of Asa, not too far from Waco, Texas. After Abuela’s passing, Abuelo moved the family back to San Luis Potosí about 1937

Mom (1913-2001) and Dad (1892-1974) wound up settling down in Valley Mills, Texas, in 1938 and remained there with Carmen and Licha being born Texans. Not entirely sure of the year, but around the early 40’s, Mom and Dad wound up moving to Long Beach, CA where they lived for a few years at 22438 Alameda St., until they moved and settled down in Hawaiian Gardens.

In researching our many family ties, I constructed family trees for the Rios-Castillo clan, one for the Gallardo (Tia Paula’s family), another for the Lara (Tia Juanita’s family, one for the Perez (out cousins from Colton) and one for the Padilla (Tia Teresa’s family). What was very surprising was how the families married into relatively close clans from other ranchos that shared family ties already. Some of Tia Paula’s ancestors are from the Cuevas from Lagunillas, the same Cuevas that gave us our great grandmother, Mama Gasa. Her family also has ties to another Castillo clan from Lagunillas. Her Tia Maria married Quirino Castillo. One of his children was Hilario Castillo who married Mom’s 1st cousin, Conrada Castillo. And one of their daughters, Patricia, married one of Tia Juanita’s brothers, Julio. Tia Paula also has a Vigil ancestor in her tree, and that is related to our great great grandmother Irenea Vigil, Margarito’s wife. Tia Juanita;s family also is connected through marriage through ranchos La Sequedad and Temescal. And our connections to the Perez go back about 200 years. The Rios lived in Hacienda de Bocas and the Perez mostly from the neighboring hacienda, Bocas. I found one of the Perez had married one of the Saucedo in the early 1800’s, and the Saucedo were Dad’s grandmother’s last name. Dad’s sister, Lázara, had a daugher, Eulogia, that married Pomposo Perez and that began our blood relation to the Perez clan. Dad’s sister, Melquiades, married Santos Caldera, and that is how we became related to the Calderas from Coahuila/Chihuahua. The Rios and Perez families lived in the haciendas until the Spanish began to make some harsh changes and the families moved out of that area and they wound up settling down in the the town of Mexquitic de Carmona, San Luis Potosi. From there some moved to Coahuila after marriages and some of the Rios and Perez moved to Cali, and a lot of them settled next to each other in Colton, CA. Some of the Perez still live in the area and only a couple of the Rios live there now

Family History in Fotos (1)

Most of these photos were found in my Mom’s large truck after she passed away. I had not seen hardly any of them and when I began to scan and download I did not recognize many of the people in the photos and thus do not know who all of them are. But the ones I do know, I have tried to add the information on each photo that I do know something about. Many are from the old country, some are from TX and many are from when we were all kids growing up in Long Beach and Hawaiian Gardens.

Abuelita Diega 1891-1935Mama Gasa 2 (2)

Diega Loredo, our Abuela, and our her Mom, Nicolasa Cuevas (Mama Gasa), our great grandmother

Gumecindo Perez
Gumesindo Perez, Dad’s primo

Family History in Fotos (2)

Quirino and Juan
Tia Maria, Tio Quirino, Tio Juan, Tia Regina. Quirino and Juan are abuelo Bartolo’s brothers.
Quirino Castillo and Maria Gallardo from Lagunillas rancho, with one of their grand-daughters. Maria is Tia Paula’s tia. This Quirino is Hilario’s father and not Bartolo’s brother.

Gabino Rios (1892 – 1974)

Dad, Gabino, was born on February 19th, 1892 and passed away on September 27th, 1974. He was 21 years older than Mom who was born in 1913

Not too much is known about Dad’s personal history, it is actually a bit of a mystery. He did not originate from the area of the Rincon but possibly an area to the west of there. I have tried to research his records and found one website that had his birthplace as Mexico City.

Gabino Rios_edited-1This document seems accurate as it lists his death place in Long Beach, so guessing when I entered his date of birth and this came  up, it might be right. But, when he re-entered the US in 1921 through Eagle Pass, Texas, he listed his birth place on his immigration document as San Luis Potosí. No way to tell which is right as no documents have been found that shows where he was actually born

Then when he crossed over to Texas in 1917, the immigration document lists his last place of residence as Aguascalientes. Could be that during this time the revolution in Mexico made him move around and this is where he resided in 1917

Dad 1917

When I was quite  young I spent time talking to Dad about his early years. Being of young age at that time I naturally figured I would always retain those shared conversations. Now I only have some glimpses of those recollections, some of which I will share.

One of those things that is still very confusing is who his real Mother was. I recall ever since I was a kid, once in awhile Dad or Mom would mention his Mother’s name, Espiridiona. Her name appears on his death certificate as Espiridiona Contreras. But when going through Mom’s trunk, where she stored documents and photographs, we came across his passport application of 1921 and on this document his parents are listed as someone with surnames of Garcia for his mother and Ramos for his father. I have no clue as to the names listed on the document and don’t of course ever recall Dad mentioning these names. Searches using these surnames have drawn blanks as well. But  when Dad crossed over to TX thru Eagle Pass in 1921, his immigration document questionnaire asks who he is going to visit and he notes that he is going to visit his uncle, Jesus Contreras. So this last name of Contreras has some meaning, I just have not been able to find out where or how it came from.

With some help from Maria Caldera Mitchell, a cousin from my Dad’s side who resides in Houston, I have found some other info on Dad’s Mom, Espiridiona. She was born possibly in 1846, Hacienda de Bocas, SLP. Her parents are listed as Sostenes  Rios and Jesusa Saucedo. With two of her children, no spouse is listed, it appears they were born out of wedlock. With one child it notes the child’s father is unknown, and with the other child, it merely lists her as being single.

Melquiades was Dad’s sister and she was born in 1883 in Villa de Santiago del Rio, San Luis Potosí. She married in 1909 to Santos Caldera at Nuevo Leon, Coahuila. We are related to the Caldera clan from Gomez Palacio through this marriage. Melquiades had a girl, Esidia, born in 1912. In 1913 she had another girl, Angela, and she is the one that came to visit us in the early 70’s. Her granddaughter is Maria. In 1919 she had a son, Pedro Calamaco, but he died in 1919. Another child, Marcial was born and died in 1909. Her husband, Santos, died in 1918 from the Spanish Flu epidemic. Melquiades passed away in 1960 at Gomez Palacio, Chihuahua.

One of Dad’s brothers, Delfino, was born in 1885 at Villa Ahualulco, San Luis Potosí. He married Eloisa Perez in 1921 at Hacienda el Alamito, San Pedro, Coahuila. They had a daughter, Eulalia, in 1922, then tragically, Delfino passed away from the Spanish Flu the same year.

On Delfino’s birth registration it notes that his mother, Espiridiona Rios, was 40 at this time, so if this is accurate, then she was born in 1845, although one baptism record shows her baptism occurring in 1846.

I was unable to find any hard evidence of Dad’s birth record so we may never know where he was born for sure. On the death registration for Espiridiona in 1904, it notes that she was originally from Hacienda de Bocas when she passed away in 1904 at Hacienda de las Esperanzas in Coahuila.

And was also unable to find any concrete evidence on Anastacio or Cruz as well, two other brothers Dad had talked about. There are plenty of records with these names but none show a connection to our Rios family. Searches failed to turn up their birth or baptism records. But just recently I came across an immigration record that shows a Anastacio and Cruz traveling together to TX in 1906, they were both teenagers at the time and coming from a Rancho La Piedad in Coahuila, very close to Piedras Negras.
This is the town that Dad came from in 1921 when he crossed over to TX thru Eagle Pass.

Tacho & Cruz 1906

But this is not definite proof these are his brothers as it does not say where they born or who their parents are. But their birth years at this time, 1888 and 1886, are close to Dad’s age and I do recall him telling me about having his brothers work with him at the slaughterhouse somewhere in the old country.

Dad also had a cousin, Gumesindo Perez, living in Colton, that he used to visit and took us along for the ride. Never knew how we were related, just that we were. In 2019 I came across some records that had clues as to how we were related. Dad’s Mom, Espiridiona Rios, had parents listed on her death registration as Sostenes Rios and Jesusa Saucedo. Then on her baptism record, these same parents are listed again. When I was searching for info on the Perez clan, I came across a baptism record for Lázara Rios and her parents were listed as Sostenes Rios and Jesusa Saucedo. This would mean that Espiridiona and Lázara were sisters. Lázara had a daughter, Eulogia Rios, who wound up marrying Pomposo Perez. One of their children was Gumesindo Perez, Dad’s cousin. So now this would explain how we came to be related to the Perez clan from Colton. Through some of this new information I found that Dad had a bunch of uncles and aunts, 9 siblings altogether. Espiridiona 1846-1904, Lázara 1849, Juan de la Cruz 1853, Dionisio 1858-1901, Asuncion 1861, Arcadia 1859, Eustacio 1864, Amada 1866, and Sebastian 1869. Dad’s abuelos were Sostenes Rios 1808-1896, and Jesusa Saucedo 1832-1892. Sostenes’ parents were Sebastian Rios and Sezaria Sushayta. Jesusa’s parents were Elenterio Saucedo and Maria del Jesus Valerio

So far it appears that the Rios and Perez clans both had baptisms and marriages at the same place, San Miguel Mexquitic de Carmona, San Luis Potosí. But, both clans were also originally from Rancho de Bocas and Hacienda de Bocas, both very close to each other but a good distance away from San Miguel. In 1846 the Count of Peñasco sold Hacienda de Bocas to Juan de Dios Pérez Galvez making living conditions worse with the result the locals beginning a revolt which was eventually crushed by the government with help from Aguascalientes authorities. And perhaps with the changes in living conditions, this may have motivated the Rios and Pérez clans to move out of the area and how they all wound up living in Mexquitic de Carmona

Some of our ancestors settled in Colton, CA, as did Gumesindo Pérez and his parents, Pomposo and Eulogia. Through census records I found that there were several Rios families that settled in Colton, sort of next door to the Perez families. There was Pomposo and his wife Eulogia, Eustacio and Secundina, Gumesindo and Lucina, Juan and Paula, and Jose and Sarah, Cruz and Luz, Alberto Carlos and Maria Rios. All of the families lived very close to one another, mostly around K and L streets in Colton, CA. But with so many Rios families living next to Gumesindo, why didn’t Dad tell us about them, or at least visit them while we were in Colton visiting with Gumesindo. The Perez and Rios families grew up and lived next to one another in San Luis Potosí at the Hacienda de Bocas area, then looks like they all moved to and lived around Mexquitic de Carmona in San Luis Potosí before a lot of them followed each other and finally residing in Colton, CA. Anyone’s guess as to why there wasn’t any communication between Dad and his many relatives, perhaps there was some horrible incident that happened in the old country or in Texas that caused the rift. All of the people that might know are gone now so we will never know what happened. One thing all of us recall when visiting the Perez family in Colton was the pit stop we would make to the tortilleria. We would always grub down on fresh tortillas with butter. Dad would tell us that this was Tío Carlos and Tía Maria. So that is how we took it and had no clue as to who they really were, we just called them that since that is what Dad told us. So all these years none us really knew anything about the bakery or tortillas until 2020. By accident I found some business listings for Colton and discovered Carlos Tortilla Factory, owners, Alberto Carlos and Maria. Alberto married María, who was my Dad’s 1st cousin, she being a daughter of one of his uncles, Dionicio, who passed away in 1901. And Eulogia, who married into the Perez family, was also a 1st cousin being a daughter of one his aunts, Lázara. Maria and Eulogia both lived out their years in Colton. But we never associated with any of her children, probably because they were much older than us. 

One of the earliest recollections of our conversations was he told me that before marrying Mom, he had been married before. All I can recall is that his family all perished, from what or how I don’t recall or if he ever explained that to me or how many children he had, if any. During a search in 2019, I stumbled across some cemetery records with the Rios last name in Asa, Texas. The segregated Santa Cruz cemetery in Asa is the same cemetery where grandmother Diega Loredo and her infant daughter, Ynasia are buried. I found one infant whose father is listed as Gavino Rios. Then I found another child, Sanguano, also listing the father as Gavino Rios. Both of the death records I was able to find show the father as Gavino Rios and the mother as Dominga Lopez. The infant Rios was born on July 10th, 1927 and it shows that the infant died of colitis on July 21st, 1927. The other child was born on May 6th, 1925 and died of whooping cough on July 27th, 1926. The mother, Dominga, died on July 9th, 1927, just after giving birth, according to the death certificate. What I have found in the search for historical records are many contradictions in dates. Dominga’s death certificate shows her death as July 9th and the infant child being born on July 10th and dying on July 21st. The attending doctor wrote her death information on the certificate but it does not add up when the infant is supposedly born one day after her death, then dying later in the month, yet the certificate notes she died at childbirth. But the find of these three individuals does add up to what Dad had told me about his first family dying. He never did say if this first family was in México or Texas. But all this took place in the Waco area and this is where he settled down with Mom after they were married in 1938 in Waco. All this info was found by accident while looking up info on the Santa Cruz cemetery hoping to find great grandfather Norberto buried there, instead maybe discovered Dad’s first family. At the time of death, Dominga Lopez was 34 years of age, one year younger than Dad. Her father’s last name was Lopez and her mother’s last name was Morey. I looked up this surname and it is Scottish. The Scots began arriving in Texas in the early 1800’s and the county of McLennon is named after one Scot as is the city of Cameron near Waco

Would have made for a great book if I had been intuitive enough to jot down some notes of our conversations.

One of the other memories is from when he was a young man. All I do remember is that he and his brothers worked in a slaughterhouse. Dad told me that this is where all new cuss words are invented.  His brothers were Delfino, Anastacio and Cruz. With Maria’s help, I found he also had a sister, Melquiades Rios. She was born about 1883 and married in 1909 to Santos Caldera. This is how  we came to be related to Maria Caldera from the Gomez Palacio area. I don’t recall seeing any letters from his brothers in Mom’s trunk. Around 1970 or so, one of Dad’s relatives, his niece Angela Caldera, came to visit us. Guessing she was around 50 or 60 when she came by. Like a dummy I didn’t grill her about any other relatives of Dad living in the old country. I do remember that she was from the area of Gomez Palacio which I believe is in the state of Chihuahua.


The above is from a journal we found in Mom’s trunk. It was written by Dad’s brother, Delfino. He appears to have been the official secretary to this men’s organization from 1920, the year the Revolución ended. It might appear to say “Group of Fresno #3”

Book of Meetings of the Defense Society Membership followed by Installed Directive.

Delfino took notes from sessions of their meetings, all from 1920, dating from January through April of that year. This might be part of a series of notes but this journal was the only one found. There isn’t any specific mention of the nature of this society, but since it mentions Defense in its title, it might have something to do with the violence of the Revolución. In one of the sessions, the president of the society does refer to being or having better safety. The members are noted to be delegates so possibly they each represented a community. There were usually about 25-30 members at each meeting and the meetings were always in the evening. The last entry is Delfino’s resignation. He is not specific as to the reason for his resignation but does it with much humility and dignity. A copy of his resignation is below.


All of the aforementioned meetings took place in Matamoros, Coahuila, which is close to Torreon, Coahuila, and Gomez Palacio in the state of Chihuahua. Delfino was born in 1885 in Ahualulco, San Luis Potosí, and died in 1922 from the Spanish flu. He married Eloisa Perez and they had a daughter, Eulalia Rios, in 1921 at Coahuila. Eulalia passed away in 1983 at 95 years of age.

With help from Maria, she found from her family that a lot of the Rios clan perished in San Luis Potosí and they moved to the Coahuila area around the turn of the century.

Dad married Mom on February 5th, 1938, at St. Francis Church in Waco, Texas. Mom and Dad’s courtship was anything but normal. Mom and Dad never did tell us of their marriage details so I suppose we all assumed they were married in the rancho like everyone else. Many years later it came out in conversation with some family members that Abuelo Bartolo was not keen to them getting married. Dad never even mentioned how they met. But one thing seems to be sure and that was Abuelo was not going to give his blessing. My Abuela, Diega, passed away in Asa, Texas, in 1935. Upon her death my Tío Beto recalls they all returned to the rancho. So sometime soon after, either Dad kidnapped my Mom or they just eloped and went back to Texas. Legend has it that Abuelo found out where they went and he came gunning for Dad. So that might explain why they quietly married in this small church. Supposedly the local priest gave them shelter from Abuelo. The witnesses at their wedding were two people that don’t sound like relatives, they just wanted to get married and didn’t have a wedding celebration with any family in attendance.

Dad crossed over to the US for the first time in 1917 through Laredo, Texas. The Revolución was coming to an end in 1920 and Dad may have been cut loose due to a few wounds he suffered. I remember once when he was admitted to the hospital they found some shrapnel in his chest area. And on one of his wrists he showed me two bumps instead of one where he had gotten wounded another time. I don’t recall if he ever told me where he fought. A couple of things about this time I do recall, one was where he was present and witnessed Pancho Villa shoot someone dead in front of the men, guess it was execution style. He also related to me that food was hard to come by when they had to travel and sometimes they would eat a horse or just pull chile off a tree and eat that as there wasn’t anything else to eat.

There seems to be a recollection about his time in the Revolución. I was pretty young but I am pretty certain I saw a six shooter he brought with him from the old country. I think it was stored above our old shower stall when we lived in the old house. I never saw it again and didn’t even think about it till a few years ago. It’s not in the house anywhere that I know of so maybe my Mom gave it to one of her brothers for safe keeping.

When we were all very young I can still remember Dad liking to smoke non-filtered Camels and I think Lucky Strike cigarettes. He also would buy some tobacco in the blue Bugle Boy tins and roll his own, but I don’t think he did that too often.  He liked his wine too, like in real cheap Thunderbird wine. He would hide it in our shed and we always knew where it was stashed and we would sometimes steal a swig here and there. Safe to say it was not going to win any wine tasting contest.


Who is Guiferial Rios? This is another mystery from Dad’s family. The above document is what was used during World War ll when rations were a way of life for everyone. Food and gas purchases needed this booklet and/or stamps to make purchases. When we found these in Mom’s trunk I was befuddled by the name on this booklet. It is obviously not a typo and there is a booklet for Dad and Gabriel. Neither of my Tío’s was in the US during this time so they have no clue as to this might be. I googled the heck out this name on various web sites with not one hit. I remember when I was probably maybe around 12 when Mom showed me the booklets and stamps to try and explain how they lived in the recent past. Of course I paid no attention and didn’t read the entries on each booklet. Too bad. Maybe a relative of Dad lived with us for a while but no one seems to remember. So this mystery will continue as to who this person was. You can see our old address in Long Beach on the top booklet for Gabriel.

Dad worked in the carpentry business, not exactly sure as to what he did. Before he had a car he would walk to work somewhere far off, maybe Long Beach. Nowadays we drive our cars just to go get the paper. That’s a time when Men were Men. I do recall a couple of times Dad took us to his work site when he finally got a car. My brother and I would just hang out on the job site picking up empty soda bottles to sell later on. That was one good way to earn a little money back then. Dad would sometimes gather up some of the leftover electrical wiring and bring it home. In the back by the chicken coop he would pile it up and burn off the insulation material. Then when he would have enough copper wire he would take it to a metal recycler and sell it. It was always something to look forward to when he got home from work and we would open his lunch pail to see if he had any good left overs so we could wolf it down. Guess we never had enough to eat in those days.

I think Dad’s first car was maybe a Pontiac. I still can’t get over how gross it was when we were out driving around and being in the seat behind Dad when he hacked a big loogie out his window and the spray would come in through the back window. Yuck!

Dad also belonged to a Men’s Society at Holy Family Church in Artesia. I remember he would wear his suit to the 7:00 a.m. mass and he would help collect the donations in the little baskets. Every now and then there would be a fundraiser dance at the gym next to the church and he would always volunteer to help with the cleanup the next morning. Somehow we would always get volunteered to help clean up with him too.

Dad had a bit of a gut on him when he retired. Don’t remember when, but diabetes eventually changed his physical appearance and he lost a lot of weight towards the end. Mom had to change his diet quite a bit and that really got to him. Especially the salt and chili’s he liked to eat. He and I both liked to munch on the peppers besides some salsa Mom was always making.


On a suggestion from Chaug, I did a search on Dad using an older birth date. So instead of searching in 1892, I extended the search all the way back to 1882 and came up with a possible hit. On this document I found for this year, Item #90, a Feliciano Rios is  reporting a birth of Gabino  but in Mexico City, DF. This is a long way from San Luis Potosí, but on another record I found a few years ago, it listed him being born in Mexico City, DF, and his death as 1974, Long Beach, CA. So this record appears correct except it did not include any other details except for place of birth. The real odd thing is that when Feliciano presented him for birth registration, he tells the municipal office that Gabino’s parents are unknown. So was Dad an orphan? No way to really find that out now. And searches for Feliciano didn’t turn up anything even though his last name was also Rios. It was the first time I had come across his name. But on the birth registration for 1882, it lists his birthday as February 19th, which is the birthday he has always used. so maybe this is really him being born in 1882 instead of 1892. So maybe after all these years, we find that he might have been 10 years older that he told us, or maybe he didn’t even know he was 10 years older than what he thought too.

Towards the end he always said he didn’t want to die in a hospital, he wanted to die at home. But on his last incident he had to go to Long Beach Community Hospital on Signal Hill. Myself, Mom and little Tacho went to visit with him and he was  feeling good. We all hugged him when we left for the night. But Dad said to me when we hugged, “I don’t feel like I’m going to die”, guess he somehow knew the end was near.

Later that evening Dad passed away in the hospital.

Mom (Tula) (1913 – 2001)

What I am remember from my earliest memories of Mom, is she was always doing something. When she wasn’t in the kitchen cooking, making tortillas, she was either washing clothes, cleaning, or sewing our clothes. Mom used a Singer sewing machine that was operated by a foot pedal and she made  dresses and shirts on it. I barely remember when Dad would wake up early to get to work and of course Mom would be up making him his chow and getting him some coffee for his breakfast. I don’t know why any of us has not died of a heart attack by now as I always remember Mom using Farmer John  manteca to cook for everything. We used to buy the lard in a big giant tub as we used to go through the stuff pretty good. And when  Mom wasn’t using the Farmer John manteca she would save the grease from bacon and use that later on in something else. But the lard is what gave Mom’s flour tortillas the great flavor. In the kitchen, every now and then, Mom would drop some dishes or a pot or pan, and when that happened she would always say “Hay viene la visita”, company is coming over.

Seems like Mom was always making some salsa too using her molcajete. That was pretty hard work but she never complained. Nowadays have to guess almost no one uses the molcajete to make salsa, it’s easier to use a blender

Ever since I can remember Mom always went all out for Christmas. Setting up the manger with all the little animals and the wise men all around the empty manger. At Christmas Eve, I think, was when she would have us help her sing the carols and lay baby Jesus to rest in the manger. Then after this we would all chow down on tamales she always made for the celebration.

Since Mom grew up in the hills she knew about crops and gardening. In the vacant lot next to the old house Mom grew vegetables for our consumption. Corn, squash, tomatoes and of course chili.

Another part of our daily diet was chicken and rabbit. Mom and Dad had a chicken coop in the back yard of the old house. We had a few chickens and one big nasty rooster to take care of the hens. It was sort of an adventure when we took turns to get eggs out of the coop as the rooster would try to scratch you with his claws. Every now and then Mom would take out one of the hens for dinner. She would get the hen to lay down and place the neck on a chopping block, then whack! Off with her head! It was sad to see but fascinating for us as kids to watch the headless chicken flop all over the place squirting blood.

While we were all very young, Mom would have us walk with her to the ranch to pick string beans at Tanaka’s Farm, usually on the weekends and during the summer too. This was located somewhere by Centralia and where the 605 freeway is now. There was one other ranch we used to work at where Forest Lawn Cemetery is now. Same thing, picking string beans.

Mom was involved in the church choir as soon as St. Peter Chanel opened for business in the Gardens. She was joined by Tía Juanita and Tía Paula too.

None of us ever asked Mom about how she met Dad and their early life. So it has been a journey trying to unravel  this mystery of our parents. Recently I found out from Tío Beto and Tía Paula, that after our Abuela Diega passed away in 1935, Abuelo Bartolo and the remainder of the family stayed in the Waco area until 1937. It was then that Abuelo wanted to head back to the rancho in San Luis Potosi. Tío Beto recalls that by this time, he was 8, and he remembers that Mom was already “novia” with Dad. And that didn’t sit well with Abuelo and was the reason he wanted to go back to the rancho to get Mom away from Dad. On the night they were to begin the trek home, Mom hid and took off and went into hiding. Tío does not know who she went to stay with, but she had friends in Waco, probably from the church there. So she stayed hidden until Mom and Dad were married in secret at St. Francis Church in Waco, Texas, on February 5th, 1938. They settled down in Valley Mills, Texas while working on a farm in the area at least until 1942 when Dad had to register for the draft in 1942 at the age of 50.

Abuela, Diega Loredo, (1891 -1935)

Abuela Diega Loredo had four sisters: Eustolia, Lorenza, Gabina and Guadalupe. All of the sisters eventually married men whose last name was Castillo although not all were related, merely from different clans. Gabina married Porfirio and Eustolia married Julio who was abuelo Bartolo’s brother. So we have two sisters marrying two brothers, Eustolia marrying Julio and Diega marrying Bartolo.

Abuela Diega passed away at a very young age from pneumonia while in Texas, mostly likely there helping to pick cotton or other crops before returning back to El Rincón. I can recall Tío Beto relating to me that although he was quite young when this happened, he remembers they were in a very rural area which means that no medical help was close by to help.

Our grandparents lost two children, both very young, and probably due to the rural location they were in, suffered premature deaths. The first child, Ynasia, passed at 7 months old from acute indigestion in 1919.Ynasia Castillo Death Certificate

The second child, Cecelio, passed in 1922 from pneumonia at about 3 months of age. Unimaginable to know how devastating this was to our grandparents. These were tough times for everyone, medical care not a given for anyoneCesilio Castillo Death Certificate

But Abuela somehow dealt with the loss of two children and perservered.

Abuela Diega passed away at a very young age from pneumonia while in Texas, mostly likely there helping to pick cotton or other crops before returning back to El Rincón. I can recall Tío Beto relating to me that although he was quite young when this happened, he remembers they were in a very rural area which means that no medical help was close by to help.

Our grandparents lost two children, both very young, and probably due to the rural location they were in, suffered premature deaths. The first child, Ynasia, passed at 7 months old from acute indigestion in 1919.Ynasia Castillo Death Certificate

The second child, Cecelio, passed in 1922 from pneumonia at about 3 months of age. Unimaginable to know how devastating this was to our grandparents. These were tough times for everyone, medical care not a given for anyoneCesilio Castillo Death Certificate

Abuelo and Abuela endured their  losses and continued to care for the family, traveling back and forth between San Luis Potosí and Texas until she finally succumbed to pneumonia in 1935 at the young age of 44 near Waco.

Diega Loredo Castillo Death jpeg

Abuela’s death certificate, 1935, Asa, TX

004 Abuelas Headstone, Waco, Tejas

007 Abuelita and Mom

Abuela and Mom, maybe Mom was around a teenager at this time

005 Mom & Abuelita

Painting done of Mom, Abuela and one of the  younger siblings. Original was in color

Abuelo, Bartolo Castillo (1886 – 1981)

Abuelo Bartolo was born in 1886  and passed away in Cali in 1981. He was a traveling man, going from the Rincón to Texas various times in his young life, guessing to work in the cotton fields around Waco and Hillsboro. His life was also difficult in that our Abuela Diega passed away when she was only 44, from pneumonia, while in Texas, leaving him to care for the 5 boys and 1 daughter. That had to be challenging, but at least my Mom was 22 at the time and have to figure she had to take over the cooking, washing, and cleaning besides helping to work the fields.  I found some immigration documents from 1917 that shows Abuelo and his father in law, our great abuelo, Norberto, crossed with the families from México to Texas heading to Hillsboro, TX. They all could have been seeking work or they may have been getting away from the violence of the Revolución. After Abuela Diega passed away in 1935, then my Mom goes to Texas and elopes with Dad, in 1938, in a secret wedding in Waco leaving Abuelo to care for the brood all alone. At least Teofilo was 22 at this time and he can help out, but then he takes off for Texas in 1939 guessing to be close to future wife Emeteria (Teresa) near Waco. That still leaves Abuelo with Bartolo, Norberto, Gabriel and Fidel. Had to be some hard times caring for the boys by himself up in the hills or in Texas.

Abuelo and Abuela lost two children, both at very young ages. Baby Ynasia passed away in 1919 at the age of 7 months from acute indigestion. Then in 1922 they lost another child, Cesilio, at the age of 3 months, to pneumonia. Unimaginable to fathom what they were going through during these difficult times. Hard enough traveling all the way from the Rincón only to lose two children in Texas. Mom was only 4 with the passing of the first child and 9 years old when the other passed in 1922. It had to have been scary for her seeing a sibling die. Maybe that is why our Abuelo Bartolo was such a cranky guy, going through all of this suffering then Mom and Teofilo leaving him alone to care for the younger boys a few years later on.

When I traveled to the Rincón to see where our ancestors are from, I got a chance to spend a lot of time with Abuelo at the rancho and on the road as I brought him to the US to stay with the family. Got a close up look at his colors when he wanted me to accompany him to the mercado in downtown San Luis Potosí. A bus would drive around to the other ranchos to pick up the people that wanted to buy or sell things in the mercado. As he didn’t want the bus to leave us behind, he banged on the door of the bus in the wee hours of the morning, cursing at the driver until he was forced to open the door. The bus always parked overnight at our rancho as it was the furthest out, then it traveled the dirt road picking up people at the other ranchos along the way. Never could have imagined our grandfather being that ornery. Some of the relatives had warned me of his temper but I didn’t think he would act the way he did. That was just the beginning.

Once when we were on the road way out somewhere and the AC wasn’t working on the bus, grandfather got super upset that the driver would not open the windows on bus since we were cooking from the heat and humidity. Well his tantrum almost got us kicked off on the highway and the bus came to a stop ready to unload us if gramps didn’t calm down. Luckily I was able to get him to settle down until the next stop where we changed bus lines. When we had the reached the border one time, the customs people looked at the documents I had brought for Abuelo and was told that I was missing some other documents and we wound up having to return to San Luis Potosí to secure the necessary document. Can’t recall what it was but when I began the process of securing his passage I was given certain information that I thought for sure it was all I needed to get Abuelo to the US. I had a tough learning experience but at last I finally got everything we needed and we crossed in Texas.

We somehow managed to get through this travel adventure and I was able to get him on a plane to take us to Cali. He looked out the window of the plane and commented that we weren’t moving and would never get to our destination. It was a big relief to finally get us close to home, I was wondering at times if it would ever happen with so many difficulties endured during our travels together. But there were some rewarding moments, like the first night we spent in the capital of San Luis Potosí. I hadn’t even realized it, but it was September 16th, Mexican Independence Day. Abuelo of course passed out very early and I stepped outside our hotel room to see what the commotion was all about when suddenly fireworks began to shoot off all over the plaza. It was an amazing sight to see everything so lit up in fireworks. That turned out to be the highlight of the trip. And now I can’t even begin to recall how many days we were on the road before being able to cross into Texas. Somehow I was able to contain myself from just leaving Abuelo alone and taking off by myself. He was very difficult to get along with even at his advanced age. Can’t imagine what he was like when he was younger, must have been scary for our Tíos growing up as kids around him back then.

Norberto and Nicolasa, Diega’s Parents

Nicolasa Cuevas was our great-grandmother, Mother to abuela Diega Loredo. She was known affectionately as Mama Gasa ever since I could remember but do not know how she got her nickname.

Mama Gasa was born on or about 1863. One or two records indicate she was born in 1864, another in 1865. Her father was Zeferino Cuevas and her  mother, Maria Nabor Reyes. From what I found, the Cuevas clan was from the rancho, Lagunillas, not  too far from the Rincón. Maria Reyes was also from Lagunillas.

On February 6th, 1886, Mama Gasa married Norberto Loredo in Villa Iturbide. This was the name used for the town that is now known as Villa de Hidalgo. Norberto was born approximately 1850 although no official document was found for his birth date, this is only from immigration documents.

Her first child, Lorenza, was born on September 26th, 1887, and baptized in Armadillo de los Infante, which is fairly close to the Rincón, although maybe not that close in 1887 if traveling by horse.

Not much is found for Mama Gasa until 1917 when the entire clan traveled to Laredo, Texas. She along with Norberto, Abuelo Bartolo, Abuela Diega, my Mom and Teofilo all traveling together.

After that, the next document found for Mama Gasa is a census from 1940 when she was living with her son-in-law, Lorenzo, (Tio Lencho), in Long Beach,  who had married Lorenza, and his family, Frank, Ralph and Cruz. Norberto is not living at this time, he passed away in Texas possibly around 1920 or 1935, but no records can be found to confirm date of death. He was about 13 years older when they were married. And Lorenza had also passed away at the time of this census.

Zeferino Cuevas was born 1837 and passed away 1917. Mama Gasa’s Mom, Maria Navor-Reyes, was born 1842, but date of death unknown. Mama Gasa had a sister, Placida, born 1870 in Armadillo de los Infante, and passed away 1912. Placida married Anastacio Vega in 1889 in Iturbide. She also had twin brothers, Macedonio and Regino, born 1872 in Villa de Hidalgo.

Our great grandfather, Norberto Loredo was born on either 1848 or 1850 at Armadillo de los Infante, San Luis Potosí. He passed away in 1935 or maybe 1920, Rockdale, Texas. This is what the records say that were found on him, but as of May of 2019, the county of Milam, Texas has been unable to locate his burial site or record of his death. He may have died at an earlier date but the county records department personnel were unable to find him using an older date of death.

Norberto married Nicolasa Cuevas in 1886, Villa Iturbide, San Luis Potosí. Iturbide is the same as Villa de Hidalgo.

His father was Eugenio Loredo, and his mother was Casilda Rosales. Eugenio was born in 1818 and Casilda was born 1823. They were married at Villa Iturbide in 1837, she was 14 at the time and he was 19 years of age

On another record, it says the household members at the time were Gumecinda and Celestino Castillo, Porfirio’s parents, and Margarito and Irenea Castillo, grandfather Bartolo’s parents, besides Norberto and Nicolasa

Margarito and Irenea, Bartolo’s Parents

Margarito Castillo was born in 1862, Rio Verde, and died in 1927 at 65 years of age

Irenea Vigil was born in either 1866 or 1867 and died in 1933

Margarito and Irenea were married in 1885 at Villa de Hidalgo

Irenea’s father was Jose Vigil and her mother Cipriana Castillo

Margarito’s parents were Rafael Castillo and Rafaela Mejía

They had 5 sons and three daughters. The sons were Bartolo, (1886-1981),Quirino, (1888-1977) Julio, (1894-1972) Juan (1903-) and Catarino (1905 -). They also had 3 daughters, Victoria, Maria Lucía and Candelaria. Victoria died in infancy, born in 1900 and died the same year at 5 months of age. Maria Lucia was born in 1897 and died in 1899. Candelaria was born in 1892. She married at 16 to Dámaso Castillo, also from the Rincon but his family is from rancho Lagunillas. The last record found on her was a census from 1930 where she lived with her husband, Dámaso Castillo, in Allende, Coahuila, with her three children, Juan, Petra and Concepción.