Home Page – Rincón del Refúgio

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 4 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 marries 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 & 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 the close in 1887.

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

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, 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.

He married Nicolasa Cuevas in 1886, Villa Iturbide, San Luis Potosí. Iturbide is the same as Villa 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 Irinea Castillo, grandfather Bartolo’s parents, besides Norberto and Nicolasa

Margarito & Irenea, Bartolo’s Parents

Margarito Castillo was born in 1862 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 1884 or 1885 at Villa Hidalgo

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

They had 5 sons, Bartolo, Quirino, Julio, Juan and Catarino. They also 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 1893. She married at 16 to Dámaso Castillo, also from the Rincon. 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.

Hermanos Castillo

Abuelo Bartolo aug 24 1886-1981Abuelita Diega 1891-1935

Bartolo Castillo 1886 – 1981, Calfornia

Diega Loredo 1891 – 1935

Married Diega Loredo in 1912

Bartolo and Diega, our grandparents, had 8 children: Gertrudis, Teofilo, Fidel, Bartolo, Gabriel and Norberto. Tragically, they had two  children that died in infancy. Ynasia was 5 months old when she died in 1919 and Cecelio was 3 months old when he died in 1922. Abuela Diega died in 1935, Waco, Texas, at the age of 44


011 Tio Quirino, Tia Maria, Mom011 Tio Quirino, Tia Maria, Mom

Quirino Castillo 1888 – 1977

Maria Vargas 1890 – 1969

Married Maria Vargas in 1908

At the 1930 census they had 7 children living with them; George, Bartolo, Reymundo, Antonia, Fidel, Pablo and Jesus


Julio picture134 Tia Eustolia

Julio Castillo 1894 – 1972, Calfornia

Eustolia Loredo 1891 – 1985, California

Married Eustolia Loredo, 1932


Juan pictureRegina

Juan Castillo 1903 – unknown date of death

Regina Sifuentes 1905 – 1997

Married Regina Sifuentes, she was from El Tepozan, Cerritos

At the 1930 census they had 9 children; Rosa, Timotea, Andrea, Desideria,
Ventura, Tereso, Agapito and Santos




Catarino Castillo 1905 – unknown date of death

married Virginia Campian


What came to light, by accident, in 2019, was the discovery of two sisters of the brothers that died in infancy. Victoria Castillo was born in 1900 and died at 5 months of age. the other, Maria Lucia Castillo, was born on 1897 and died in 1899. There was a third sister, Candelaria, born in 1893. She married Dámaso Castillo, also from the Rincon, in 1908. After marriage they moved to Allende, Coahuila. In 1930 they had three children; Juan, Petra and Concepción

Hermanas Loredo

Nicolasa Cuevas was the head of the Loredo sisters. She was born 1865 and died 1959 in Southern California. She married our great grandfather, Norberto Loredo,  in 1886, at Villa Iturbide, San Luis Potosí. Iturbide is the same as Villa Hidalgo, just don’t know what year the name change happened.

The oldest of the sisters, Lorenza, was born September 26, 1887, or 1889 and passed away in 1937, Cameron, Texas. She married Lorenzo Castillo, not related to our clan, in 1904, Villa Iturbide, San Luis Potosí

Abuelita Diega 1891-1935

Diega Loredo was born November 25, 1889 and passed away in 1935 at Waco, Texas. She married Bartolo Castillo on December 31st, 1912, at Villa Iturbide, San Luis Potosí

134 Tia Eustolia

Eustolia Loredo was born on November 9th, 1891 and passed away in 1985 in Southern California. She married Julio Castillo in 1932, Villa Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí

Gabina Loredo (2)

Gabina Loredo was born October 25th, 1893 and passed away in 1983 in Southern California. She married Porfirio Castillo, Lorenzo’s brother, on December 28, 1912, Villa Iturbide, San Luis Potosí

Daría Loredo was born October 25, 1893, in Iturbide, San Luis Potosí. She was a child born to Norberto and Nicolasa that none of us knew about and have been unable to locate a death certificate for her

Guadalupe Loredo was born October 20, 1895 and passed away in 1984 at Rockdale, Texas. She married Aurelio Castillo, again no relation to our clan, in 1920, at Cameron, Texas

Eduarda Loredo, was born October 22, 1895, or October 13, 1895. Same as Daría, this was another child born to Norberto and Nicolasa that we were unaware of and have also been unable to find a death certificate for

Some of the dates are in conflict as are many other records I have come across. Perhaps it was the way record keeping was done in the old days.


Family Documentation

During around the time I was going to City of Hope for my stem cell transplant, I knew I was going to have a lot of spare time to work on my storing my photos for my website and also to investigate some of our family history. Most of my research success has come from using FamilySearch.org, a site run and maintained by Mormon church. They do a wonderful job of archiving historical documents, not only from the US, but from México as well. I found documentation on my Mom’s side without too much trouble, but am having difficulty in finding much of anything from my Dad’s side. I will continue to look for some of his story. I did find one relative through 23nMe DNA website whose great grandmother, Eulogia Rios, is related to my Dad although she does not know how. She lived in an area of San Luis Potosí, known as Rancho de Bocas, quite a ways from El Rincón where Mom was from.

I will post the documents I have found in chronological order with a little explanation below each.

Name: Maria Yrenea Vigil Castillo
Gender: Female
Christening Date: 15 Jul 1867
Father’s Name: Jose Vigil
Mother’s Name: Cipriana Castillo
Maternal Grandfather’s Name: Jose Maria Castillo
Maternal Grandmother’s Name: Longina Alejos


This is a record of baptism for our great grandmother, Bartolo’s Mom, Yrenea Vigil, in 1867 at Villa de Hidalgo


Name: Margarito Castillo
Spouse’s Name: Ma. Yrenea Vigil
Event Date: 07 Jan 1885
Event Place: Villa De Hidalgo,San Luis Potosi,Mexico

This is marriage document for our great grandfather, Margarito Castillo, Bartolo’s father. Married in Villa de Hidalgo on 1885. Yrenea was 18 at time of marriage. Margarito’s birth date continues to elude.

Gumesindo Perez jpeg

Gumesindo Perez, cousin of Dad, baptism record in 1892, same year Dad was born. Baptism was in Mexquitic, a long way from Villa de Hidalgo to the south east. His mother, Eulogia Rios, a relative of Dad, baptized her three children all in this same area of San Luis Potosí, although at different churches.  His record is lower left of ledger


1911 Bartolo Castillo jpeg

Grandfather Bartolo was traveling to San Antonio, Texas, at the age of 25, traveling alone at time. Lists his father as Margarito Castillo

Name: Diega Loredo
Arrival Date: 26 Jan 1917
Arrival Port: Laredo
Gender: Female
Race: Mexican
Photograph Included: No
Affiliate Record Identifier: A3379_54-0073

In 1917, great grandmother, Diega Loredo, traveled to Laredo, Texas, to work in fields picking cotton with rest of the famil

Name: Gertrudes Castillo
Arrival Date: 26 Jan 1917
Arrival Port: Laredo
Gender: Female
Race: Mexican
Photograph Included: No
Affiliate Record Identifier: A3379_12-5088

Mom, traveling with Abueo, Abuela and Teofilo in January of 1917. Entered at Laredo probably on the way to work the cotton fields. Mom was 4 years old at this time


Name: Maria Cuevas
Event Type: Immigration
Event Date: 1917
Event Date (Original): 1917
Event Place: Laredo, Webb, Texas, United States
Gender: Female
Age: 52
Birth Year (Estimated): 1865
Birth Country: Mex

Great Grandmother, Nicolasa (Mama Gasa) Cuevas, traveling with the family to Texas in 1917. Norberto, Mama Gasa, Bartolo, Diega, Mom and Teofilo were all together on this journey in 1917


1917 Teofilo & Bartolo Castillo jpeg

Tío Teofilo was traveling with grandfather Bartolo, in 1917, when he was 1 year old. They were en route to Hillsboro, Texas, probably to work the cotton fields. Abuela Diega was also traveling with them

1917 Teofilo Castillo(2) jpeg

Tío Teofilo’s admission to Laredo, Texas, 1917

Name: Norberto Loredo
Event Type: Immigration
Event Date: 1917
Event Date (Original): 1917
Event Place: Laredo, Webb, Texas, United States
Gender: Male
Age: 67
Birth Year (Estimated): 1850
Birth Country: Mx

Great grandfather, Norberto Loredo, traveling with family to Texas in 1917. Norberto was father in law to Bartolo, so makes sense they were all together to work the fields. He was 67 at this time. Not exactly a young guy for this kind of trip

1917 Norberto Loredo 3 jpeg

Great Grandfather Norberto’s admission to Texas in January of 1917


1917 Dad jpeg

Dad traveling to Laredo, Texas, in April of 1917. Traveling alone, lists his last residence as Aguascalientes. Not traveling with our family then as he maybe didn’t know them and Mom was only 4 years old in 1917. The Revolución was still going on, maybe he had already been shot up and was just getting away from the violence. No idea as to why he would be coming from Aguascalientes.

1919 Ynasia Castillo Death Certificate jpeg

In August of 1919, our grandparents lost a child, Ynasia, at the age of 7 months due to acute indigestion. They were living on a farm near Norwood, Texas which is near the border of Louisiana, NE of Houston.

1922 Cesilio Castillo Death Certificate jpeg

Then again in February 1922, our grandparents lost another child, Cecelio, at the age of 3 months due to bronchial pneumonia. They were living on the Steiner Farm in Waco, Texas at this time. Unbelievably tough times for our family back then. Mom was 9 years old at this time but she never mentioned to any of us of her little brother’s passing.

1930 Lara Clan Census jpeg

Found this census taken in 1930 of the rancho, Cerro Grande, where our Tía Juanita’s family was from. The Lara clan can be seen on lines 3-7, 16-21 and 31-39.

Diega Loredo Castillo Death jpeg

Then very unexpectedly, Abuela Diega passed away in May of 1935 from pneumonia while they were living in Waco, Texas, probably living on a farm while working the fields. So now Abuelo is left to care for the brood by himself, but at least Mom is now 22 years of age and guess she picked up all of the slack cooking, cleaning and washing.

1939 Teofilo Castillo jpeg

Just a few years later, Teofilo leaves alone for Waco, Texas in 1939, he being the oldest son now at 23 years of age

Marriage Certificate

The year before, 1938, Mom and Dad are married in Waco. No idea as to when Mom took off with Dad to Texas, but it had to be sometime after the passing of Abuela in 1935. So Mom is gone and Teofilo too, leaving Abuelo to care for Fidel, Bartolo, Gabriel and Norberto

Draft Registration 1942 a

In 1942 Dad had to register for the draft even though WWll was over. Mom and Dad were living on a farm in Valley Mills, TX, just outside of Waco

Growing Up

It was like growing up in a rural area like you might read about in books. But it was great if you were a kid with lots of places to explore and play in. At one end of our dirt road was a horse owned by the Smith family. He was friendly and easy to pet but always fenced in. Next door lived Don Rafael, who I think lived alone in an old  house. I remember he had a car and would sometimes take us to the doctor. Even though he was ancient at that time he seemed nice but at the same time was a little spooky. I remember our mailboxes for everyone living there, were at the end of street, all on one big piece of lumber. It was kind of fun going to get the mail, so far away from the house. With so much dirt to play there was also a never ending supply of rocks. With us and a  kid friend who lived across the street, David, we used to have rock fights with each other. That was a blast, just kinda stupid now that I can think about it, but it was one way of making the most of nothing. When it rained the water puddled up everywhere, especially at the other end of the road in front of the Hernandez house. Steve, Tom and Paul lived there along with their sister, Lola. We used to go the puddle and pick out the tadpoles swimming around the puddle and bring them home into a hole we filled with water. In the picture at the top there was the palm tree in front of Tío Gabriel’s first house. Sometime after we got a little older we somehow got ahold of a pellet rifle and a BB gun. We used to practice shooting down the pigeons that lived there, then we would eat them. I remember them being pretty tasty. Now only doves are hunted and eaten. With the BB gun we would also shoot the meadowlarks that flew into the weeds across the house, they were good to eat too. Gophers were always around and they were fun to try and gun down. In the empty lot across from the  house, an old Trading Post shack was still there right where Norwalk Blvd is. I remember we used to try and look inside but it was always closed up ever since I can remember. Dirt was always good for playing marbles too and that was something we would do a lot, steelys and perrys and other names for marbles I can’t recall. Not too far away on Norwalk Blvd was our version of Walmart in those days, the Nagashima second hand store. Think that was the only place  Mom and Dad would buy us shoes and clothes. Seems like Mom would buy one pair of jeans for us then constantly patch them up so we could keep using them. And back in those days Taps were used fairly common on shoes to help extend the life of the soles and heels. Dad had one of metal stands you could put the shoe on and nail down the taps and also to repair loose soles. And where the Food 4 Less is now, I barely remember there used to be some sort of giant auction or swap meet where Mom and Dad would take us to buy a chicken or other things for the house. I just remember it seemed really big with lots and lots of things for sale. That was kind of an adventure going there. Then sometime when we all still quite young seems like I recall it burning down to the ground, big giant color of yellow in the sky.

Growing up we had lots and lots of weeds all around us, so guess that is why we used to have mice in our old house. I remember as a kid we could hear them crawling around inside the walls. Scary if you are a kid. There were  horny toads still living in the area and every now and then we would see a weasel. One of the things we used to do as kids was play dead out in the field. It would get the big black buzzards to circle overhead. Now I don’t even think you can find a black buzzard if you looked for one, seems like they are all gone. Just like the Monarch butterflies. Don’t recall at what time of year it was but we would get waves and waves of these beautiful butterflies launch out of the fields. It was a sight to behold for us kids.

One of the lasting memories was when we had to work the fields picking string beans. There used to be a farm near where the 605 freeway is and somewhere by Centralia. Mom would lead us walking there from the house fairly early in the morning on weekends and in the summer when school as out. All of us would follow in a line like a bunch of baby ducks. Sometimes the beans were grown in vines something like 4 or 5 foot high rows that were close to each other. That really sucks when its hot, with no breeze coming in. Our yield for the day would all go into these sacks that could weigh as much as we could carry over our shoulders. They were all piled together and weighed one at a time and tallied for our family. I think our yield would fetch like 2 or 3 cents a pound. It was hard work but sometimes fun. There were other families there from the Gardens; Castillos (Mom’s cousin), Rodriguez (Reynaldo’s family), Guzman, and then the Salcido family from Artesia. There were probably more, just can’t recall all of them. The Tanaka family owned the farm and I remember them being a great family. We used to call the owners Mama and Papa Tanaka. There was one nasty lady that worked for the farm to keep an eye on us, think her name was Mrs. Stevens, kind of like a drill sargeant for the bean fields. The area around the farm was fairly rural and there were cottontail rabbits and pheasants in the area. I do remember Tío Gabriel taking us there on the weekends once in awhile while he shot a pheasant or rabbits in the weeds around the farm. When we weren’t working the Tanaka farm we would walk over to another farm right off Carson near Bloomfield where Forest Lawn is now. Same string beans plus there were also some bush beans that were grown close to the ground. Think they had these at both farms. There was one other farm in the area somewhere along Centralia that was owned by someone that I think we used to call Don Valentín. He grew some squash, tomatillo and some other things. I don’t think all of us went there to work, I can only remember going to work there with Tío Beto to help him pick crops.

Dad had relatives living in Colton. One of them was around his age, Gumercindo Perez. If Dad ever mentioned how he was related I don’t remember. He could have been a cousin or nephew. I barely remember when Dad would drive out to Colton taking the streets all the way since there  weren’t any freeways yet. And I can’t forget Tío Carlos and Tía Maria. I think they either owned or worked at a tortillería. When we would visit them at the shop we could eat up on fresh tortillas. We called them Tío and Tía but I don’t know if they really were my Dad’s Uncle and Aunt.

Some summers we were able to borrow a lawnmower and go around the neighborhood looking for lawns to cut. We did get some jobs as kids and used the money for comic books and candy or gum. In those days the gum came in packs with baseball cards. Always wonder how rich we could all be if my Mom hadn’t tossed our cards in the trash when we were moving into our new house sometime around 1962

Then there were some summer days when we didn’t have to work the fields and we would play baseball like almost all day long at the school down the street. At that time there was a school, Bloomfield, where we went from Kinder to 5th grade right at the end of Ibex. Some of the boys in the neighborhood would get together and we would pick teams. There were the Whisman brothers, Nixon brothers, Mollinedo brothers and a few other boys from the hood. We used to  call our ball field Yankee Stadium and we would use the canal by Horst St. as the home run fence. Nothing but old wood bats in those days and whenever the bat cracked by the handle we would try and put a nail in the cracked part then use tape around it to try and give the bat a little more life.