What I did on my first day of summer vacation.

Last week I was on vacation.  I had no plans on going anywhere, my husband and I planned on painting my daughter’s bedroom, but that was about the most exciting thing we did.

I take that back, the most exciting thing that I did was visit the Los Angeles Family History Center on my first day of vacation.  I was really excited and the night before made my research plan, double checked the center’s hours, and made sure I had driving directions so I didn’t get lost.

Who was I researching for you ask?  No one.  This trip I was looking for information on the state of Zacatecas in Mexico.  Specifically, I had three books that I wanted to look at that would hopefully tell me which parish of the Roman Catholic Church would cover where my ancestors lived.  I need this information so I would know where to direct my written inquiries on my ancestor’s birth, death and marriage records.

The three books I was looking for are (I’m sorry but I don’t know how to put the spanish accent marks here):  Directorio eclesiastico de la Arquidiocesis Primada de Mexico (Directory of the congregations and clergy of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico), Directorio eclesiastico de toda la Republica mexicana (Directory of the Roman Catholic Church throughout the Republic of Mexico), and Mexico: guia general: divisiones eclesiasticas (A general guide to the ecclesiastical divisions of Mexico).

I found these books by searching the catalog on http://www.FamilySearch.org.  I searched for “Mexico – Church” on their website and these three books popped up.  Unfortunately, the LAFHC do not have these books on their shelves.  I was told to first try interlibrary loan through a local library and if that doesn’t work, then I would need to take a trip to Salt Lake City, UT to look at the books at the SLCFHC because they don’t send books from the Utah main library to other family history centers like they do for the films.  Although I was a little disappointed, I was happy to find another book that they did have called Diccionario Porrua de Historia, Biografia Geografia de Mexico, which I believe translates to The Dictionary of History, Biography and Geography of Mexico.  This book had all of the cities my ancestors are from, Fresnillo de Gonzales Echeverria, Valparaiso, and Zacatecas, the capital of the mexican state Zacatecas.

I am going through the copies I made from this book and using google translator to try to read what it says.  Later today, after I pick up my daughter from her first day of school, we will head to the library and try for the interlibrary loan.  I’ve got my fingers crossed.  Could you please help me and cross your fingers too?  Thank you.


Thursday’s Tip – Make sure to check city directories!

Last night I was doing some research on the internet, ok to be honest, I was just poking around with no real focus.  I was looking at my grandfather’s page that I have on Ancestry.com.  I was just looking at some of the documents, again, no real focus here on what to look at.  I clicked on his 1930 census and looked at it again.  I saw that my grandfather was listed as living at 142 Jalisco Street, Montebello, CA with his brother living next door at 140 Jalisco St., CA.  I decided to look for the address on Google maps but nothing showed up.  The street Jalisco doesn’t exist anymore. 

Well I decided to see what other places my grandfather has lived in.  I have a few other address in Los Angeles that I got from his Immigration Petition, but I check the city directories to see what that database had listed.  I found my grandfather in the 1950 City Directory for Montebello living at 50 Plymouth, Montebello with his third wife, Mercedes.  This was very interesting as it was the first piece of evidence that my grandfather and his wife Mercedes were a couple. I only have my grandfather’s Immigration Petition where he states that he was married to Mercedes, but I have nothing else to collaborate that fact, other than the city directory listing I just found..  Just out of being a thorough genealogist, I decided to look at the page before my grandfather’s listing to see if there were any other Luna’s listed and lo and behold, I not only find one of my uncles listed as a roomer at my grandfather’s house, but several cousins living at 144 Jalisco Street, Montebello!!!  What a coincidence that my grandfather and his brother lived next door to my cousins 20 years earlier! 

I decided to look up the Plymouth address on Google Maps but that too no longer exists.  So I decided to get to the bottom of this and emailed the City of Montebello, Planning department.  I got a response that I had emailed the wrong department and that the person who responded will be forwarding my email to the proper department, Engineering Division.  I am hoping to hear from them soon.  

Never underestimate the value of the City directories!!!

My Aspirations – August – Part Two

Updates Continue…

WRITING: Blog – Well I really dropped the ball with this one.  For the past three weeks, I didn’t participate in the exercises.  I am dissapointed in myself, but I will continue to try to participate more.  I really want to make my blog the best it can be.

Genealogy –  I am going to enter the NGS Family History Writing Contest.  The award for this context is a paid trip to the following NGS Annual Conference.  Well I am going to enter for the 2013 NGS Annual Conference that will be held May, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Although I have plenty of time, I want to make sure that it is as perfect as it can be.  I want to make sure all my “t’s” are cossed and my “i’s” are dotted.  I was a bit intimidated with starting my draft.  As with any writer, it is always hard to write that first sentence on a project, but once I got going, I was on a roll!  I picked the family I wanted to write about and I used the BCG Genealogical Stanards Manual’s Compiled Genealogy Example as a guide (that was the only book I had available at the time).   My only intention was to prepare a very rough draft of an outline but I ended up completing the first generation and half of the second, and all from my memory!  I still need to finish the rest of the second generation and then on to the third and possibly fourth generation.  When I have finished with the rough draft, I still need to use Creating a Winning Family History, Including a Guide to the Family History Writing Contest book, which is published by NGS to make sure it is formatted the way NGS wants it to be. In all, it was a good start, and out of the 4-10K word limitation, I already have 2,100 done! 

OTHER:  Blog Site Change – Well, my decision was made and I decided to simplify my blog website a bit more and make it easier to read.  I changed the theme of the blog and deleted the clutter.  I am going to have a personalized header made but won’t be able to do it till the end of August or September.  So in the mean time, I picked my favorite picture from the list of default pictures available for this theme.  Please be patient while I am waiting to get the customized header.  One thing to note, at the bottom of my page, is now a link to my other blog, One Crafty Mom.  Its a craft blog that I also have.

On to my August Aspirations!!

Well August is going to be a very busy month for me.  I have my Sanchez Family Reunion on the 13th, my daughter will be on vacation with her dad for one of the first weeks of the month and her and I will be on vacation the week of August 22nd.  We plan on painting her room during out vacation, but also get out and do a few fun things including sneaking in a genealogy research trip here and there.  So I will be trying to keep things light this month.

RESEARCH:  Project Sanchez – continue working on it.  Luna – Spend one day during vacation and get a copy of the divorce records for my parents.  Spend another day and go to the FHL in Los Angeles and research my great-grandparents in Mexico (Teach my daughter how to prepare for a day of research at the same time (research log, items to take, ect…).

ORGANIZATION:  See Sanchez Family Reunion below.

EDUCATION – Not only work on my Genealogical Library list, but also work on my Genealogical Education list as well.

WRITING:  Blog – Continue participating in the 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog challenge and try to post as least twice a week if not more.  Genealogy – If there is any time left, work on the draft entry for the NGS Family History Writing Contest and try to get the next generation and a half done.

OTHER:  Sanchez Family Reunion – 1) Order the entre for the meal, 2) make three cakes for dessert (yellow cake/chocolate frosting; coconut cake; carrot cake) 3)organize folders for my family pictures that I will be scanning at the reunion and get my photos that I want to share in the proper folder, 4) prepare an evaluation form so that we have feedback for the next reunion, and help my daughter get her things together for her entertainment of the younger kids (crafts and toys).

Have a great Monday everyone!!!

My Aspirations – August – Part One

First the updates:

RESEARCH:  Project Sanchez – has really taken off this past weekend.  I am very proud of myself that I not only finished one box, but finished the other box and a half that I had. 

The stacks of paper that I ended up with.

As you can see, I ended up with several stacks of paper on the table.  The two and one-quarter stacks in the background are the piles for my in-direct relatives.  The smaller stack in the foreground is my direct relatives.  Am I done?  Heck no!  I still have about 5 more lateral file drawers to go through, but that’s ok.  I just am happy that I accomplished this one aspiration to finish going through the boxes that I currently had.  It’s the little steps that we need to celebrate! 

Mexican migration through Central Mexico and U.S. migrant farm workers of the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s – this has been a tough aspiration.  I have spent at least 5-7 hours over the past week and a half, searching for any information on these two subject.  There is practically nothing on the migration paths taken through Central Mexico into the U.S. in 1918.  There was some information on a program for migrant workers called “the Bracero program” during the 20’s-40’s in which the U.S. contracted with Mexico to bring their citizens to work in our fields.  However, I don’t believe that my grandfather was a part of that program.  My next move, interview my oldest aunt who just a few months ago celebrated her 99th birthday!  I need to verify a few things about when she, my grandfather, grandmother and great-grandmother migrated from Mexico in 1918.  I am hoping she remembers, she was 9 years old at the time.

ORGANIZATION: Scanned Photos – I still haven’t done this.  Project Sanchez consumed this past weekend.  Because of the reunion coming up, it has to be prepared and done so this will consume my up coming weekend! 

EDUCATION:  My genealogical library – I also haven’t done this as well and for the same reasons a listed above.  Although this has no urgency, I am hoping to have it done before the end of this week.