Saturday, November 29, 2014

Parting Shot from the Lake

Thanks to my brother in law for getting this photo of me walking after our little guy to the end of the dock at Lake Murray on Thanksgiving Day. We had a nice time visiting with family, and plan to go back there when it's warmer.
Photo by Brian Havens. Lake Murray, SC. 27 Nov 2014.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving in Columbia

We've been in Columbia, South Carolina for the past few days celebrating the holiday with my wife's family. Yesterday morning I did my own "turkey trot" 2 miles around Little 5 Points in Columbia, and spotted the street art below:
Photo by Patrick Jones. Little 5 Points, Columbia, SC.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Thanksgiving Day 2014.
We spent the day at Lake Murray, SC. The kids enjoyed some fishing, even if the only catch was a fully preserved set of fish bones along the shore.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Lake Murray, SC.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Sophia w Uncle Brian.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mining the Probate Files

I spent part of the early morning research hours this weekend combing through the Barren County, Kentucky probate files on FamilySearch, in the hopes of finding something, anything on the Cain family of my 2nd-great-grandmother Mary Alice Cain Read and her brother Harl Cain. This involved flipping through over 800 pages of probate files, carefully looking for any reference to the Cain family. So far, I haven't found anything, although I am still looking through Volume 14, 1883-1888.

I did find the estate settlement for my 4th-great-grandmother, Emily A.H. Ballard Read. The writing is faint but it looks like the estate was closed on 6 March 1887.
Source: FamilySearch, Barren County probate inventories, Image 261.

The estate was divided among the following: James William Read, Isaac Franklin Read, Guilford Dudley Read, George W. Read, Bland B. Read (all sons of Emily), Richard and Ella Tamblin (children of Emily's daughter Angelina Read Tamblin), Sarah Read Jewell (daughter of Emily), and the heirs of Samuel B. Read (shares held by Bland B. Read).

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Christmas Project

Two years ago my Mom and I took the AncestryDNA test. With this season of Finding Your Roots providing renewed interest within the family in DNA testing, my wife took the test this summer. My Dad and sister currently have their tests in processing with the Ancestry Lab. I'm hoping their results will be back before Christmas. Whether the results are back in time or not, I committed to giving my Mom a book highlighting some of the findings on her branches of the family, mixed with photos and lineage details somewhat like the book Dr. Gates gives his guests on the show. This is becoming the "Christmas Project".
Photo by Patrick Jones. Boomer, 25 Dec 2003.
My struggle now is editing the information from various locations, photos, plus details from 713 blog posts down into something manageable, simple and attractive. I'm beginning to pull together ideas for the outline, in order to arrange the contents in an interesting way. I think I am leaning toward just highlighting a few stories, but having this be mostly photos and images. As I go through the process of pulling it together I'll have a few posts, so look for more after Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 21, 2014

First Generation Americans

This is a photo of my Granny (on the right, "Lily", Lydia Campuzano), sisters Jessie and Berta and probably some cousins, in an undated photo from the early 1930s. They were the first generation born in Arizona of the family of my Mexican great-grandparents, Plutarco Campuzano and Manuela Portillo.
Photo source: Patty Marple. Campuzano siblings.
My great-grandparents came to this country on foot, and as far as I've been able to tell, they never became citizens. They worked hard and raised a family. My Granny and her siblings were born Americans. Their descendants are now spread across the US (with one in Europe), raising families and working to contribute to America's present and future.

I know this is a divisive issue in this country right now. For me, the closing words of the President in last night's address hit home. If you didn't watch the speech, Time has a complete transcript at

"My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too. And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or what our last names are, or how we worship. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal – that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.

That’s the country our parents and grandparents and generations before them built for us. That’s the tradition we must uphold. That’s the legacy we must leave for those who are yet to come."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


This week I've been tracking the family of my 2nd-great-grandmother Teresa Diaz, following her siblings in the hopes that this might uncover more information on the Diaz family and their parents Jose Jesus Diaz and Dolores Quijada, my third-great-grandparents from Hermosillo, Sonora. In yesterday's post, the 1913 border crossing manifest for Maria Diaz de Mirazo included a sworn statement listing a brother Gregorio Diaz as attending the February 1911 wedding of Maria Diaz and Francisco Mirazo. This post follows the trail of Gregorio Diaz.

Gregorio appears in the California Death Index as having passed away on 18 November 1956 in Los Angeles. It lists a birth date of 12 March 1874, born in Mexico, his mother's maiden name as Quijada and father's name as Diaz. I've ordered a copy of the full death record from LA County to see what else is there.

In the meantime, I put this information into Ancestry's database and hit a match for Gregorio Diaz in the US World War I Draft Registration Cards for 1917-1918 living in Elbert County, Colorado. This record includes his signature, and states that he was working as a farm laborer for Bench Brothers in Agate, Elbert County, Colorado (as of 12 September 1918 from the reverse of the card). He listed is nearest relative as Ysabel Diaz, at an address unknown. Right now I don't know if this is the same Gregorio Diaz I'm searching for, but the birth date makes me think it may be a match.

A few years earlier, there is a Gregorio Diaz who appears in the US Census in La Junta, Otero County, Colorado, working on the railroad. The census lists his age as 38, which is close to the age of the Gregorio born in 1874. It also says that he arrived in the US in 1907. The whole page shows railroad workers originally from Mexico.
Source: 1910 US Census, La Junta, Otero County, Colorado
The Denver Public Library Digital Collection had a photo of an Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad engine stopped at La Junta, Colorado in 1915. I'm checking to see if Gregorio shows up in any railroad employment records in Colorado during this time period.
Source: DPL, 1915 AT & SF engine at La Junta, CO
There is a Gregorio Diaz in the Otero County marriage register for 1917. On 7 May 1917 he married Juana Gimenez. Otero County is about a 2 hour drive almost directly south of Elbert County. It is possible Gregorio left the job with the railroad and moved north to work on the farm after he married Juana. It is also possible this is a different person than the one who registered for the draft in 1918, so I'm hoping there is an employment record still available from the railroad which may clear this up.

I was not able to find Gregorio Diaz in the 1920 US Census in Colorado. There is a Gregorio Diaz born about 1874 living in Hermosillo as a widower in the 1930 Mexico Census, but again I'm not sure if this person is the same as the Gregorio Diaz who appeared in Colorado or the one from the death record in California.

I'll post a follow up on Gregorio once I receive the death record from LA County or additional information from the Colorado Railroad Museum.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Diaz-Mirazo Family

On Sunday I posted a copy of the marriage record for Maria Jesus Diaz and Francisco Mirazo from February 1911. Maria was a younger sister of my 2nd-great-grandmother Teresa Diaz. I found a copy of Maria's obituary in the 19 April 1967 edition of the Tucson Daily Citizen, which states that she passed away on 17 April 1967. She had lived a long life, some of it spent in Hermosillo and Nogales, Sonora, as well as in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona.
Source:, 19 Apr 1967 Tucson Daily Citizen.
I already posted a copy of the 1930 Mexico Census showing Maria and Francisco living in Nogales, with brother Manuel Diaz. Maria and Francisco had at least the following children:
- Francisco Mirazo (born 10 November 1911 in Hermosillo)
- Dolores Mirazo (born about January 1913)
- Gustavo Mirazo (born about 1916)
- Leonardo Mirazo (born 27 March 1918 in Nogales)
- Agripina Mirazo (born 15 January 1920 in Nogales)
- Socorro Mirazo (born 1923)
- Aurora Mirazo (born 1924)

Maria and family (husband and children Francisco and Dolores) crossed the border at Naco, Arizona on 4 June 1913. Interestingly it shows that Maria had previously visited the US in 1907.
Source: Ancestry, US-Mexico Border Crossing records

The back of the manifest included hand written testimony of the marriage of Maria and Francisco in Hermosillo on 6 February (the year was actually 1911, not 1913). It also lists attendees of the wedding, including Maria's mother, Dolores Quijada, her brothers Antonio Diaz, Tomas Diaz, Gregorio Diaz, sister Teresa Diaz, Teresa's three children (one would have been my great-grandmother Manuela, as well as Francisco's brothers Jose Mirazo, Leonardo Mirazo, sister Francisca Mirazo, among other relatives. The statement also says the marriage was witnessed, and that they have a certificate, presumably in Mexico. A similar but shorter description of the marriage is on the back of Francisco's border crossing manifest. My assumption is that this detailed information was provided to help satisfy to the border officials that Maria and Francisco were actually married.
Source: Ancestry. Back of Francisco Mirazo's entrance manifest.
The text is hard to read, but according to Francisco's statement it looks like they lived with Dolores Quijada in Hermosillo after they were married, and that she is "very old" in 1913. My guess is she was about 73. It also confirms Teresa Diaz was present at the wedding.

Maria crossed the border again a year later on 6 June 1914 at Nogales. It shows that she had been living in Phoenix, Arizona at the time.

I remember my Granny recalling visiting her cousins in Nogales and also their visits in Tucson. Perhaps the old photos I posted in 2012 for Hispanic Heritage Month include some of the Mirazo cousins.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Manuel Diaz

Following the trail of the Diaz family, I looked in the US-Mexico border crossing records. On 26 May 1910, Manuel Diaz, a younger brother of my 2nd-great-grandmother Teresa Diaz, crossed the border at Naco, Arizona. The record shows Manuel was a carpenter, short (5 foot 1), from Hermosillo, Sonora. According to the record Manuel was 35 years old. He listed his mother, Dolores Quijada, in Hermosillo as next of kin. Manuel was traveling to Douglas, Arizona for a week to visit Jesus Arvayo. It's hard to tell but it looks like he listed Jesus as "brother-in-law." Manuel had $15 on him when he crossed the border.
Source: Ancestry, US Border Crossing Records.
Douglas is a mining town located on the Arizona-Sonora border, about 32 miles east of Naco. Perhaps Manuel was going for work.

Manuel appears again in the 1930 Mexico Census in Nogales, living in the household of brother-in-law Francisco Mirazo and his sister Maria Diaz. The census says that Manuel was 44, but he would have been 55 in 1930.
Source: Ancestry, 1930 Mexico Census.
I'll have more on Maria and Francisco in another post. After they were married in Hermosillo in 1911, the couple ended up in Nogales. I remember my Granny telling stories about going to visit her Mirazo cousins in Nogales when she was young. In 1929 when she went to Nogales with her parents Plutarco and Manuela Campuzano, they visited the Mirazo/Diaz family. She would have also seen her uncle Manuel. I don't know yet what happened to Manuel, if he stayed in Nogales and worked as a carpenter into old age. But it is good to have another piece of this family puzzle.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Piecing together the Diaz family

Back in December 2012, I posted a baptism record for my second-great-grandmother Teresa Diaz. Or at least at the time I thought it was the correct one. Last week fellow researcher Pat sent me the right one, along with several other baptism records for siblings of Teresa. While I fixed my earlier post with this updated information, I had not yet posted a recap on the Diaz family. This post covers what I know so far.

Now that I have the correct entries for Teresa, I also have updated names for her parents, my third-great-grandparents. They were Jose Jesus Diaz and Dolores Quijada. I don't yet have a marriage record for them, but I believe they were married in Hermosillo, Sonora sometime around 1862-1865. I think this roughly puts their birth years around 1840-1844.

In addition to my second-great-grandmother Teresa, they had at least the following children:
- Jose Miguel Diaz, born 6 February 1869
- Jose Antonio Miguel Diaz, born 14 April 1871
- Manuel Diaz, born 1875
- Emelina Diaz, born 26 August 1879
- Maria Jesus Diaz

The baptism record for Jose Miguel Diaz is below:
Source: FamilySearch, Sonora Catholic Church Records. Image 537.
 Another son was born in 1871. Jose Antonio Miguel Diaz was baptized on 16 May 1871.
Source: FamilySearch, Sonora Catholic Church Records. Image 276.
The baptism record for Emelina Diaz is below, dated 27 August 1879.
Source: FamilySearch, Sonora Catholic Church Records. Image 319.
Teresa had another sister, Maria Jesus Diaz. She married Francisco Mirazo. This was the family that my Granny and her parents went to visit in Nogales in 1929 (see my blog post titled 1929 Visit to Nogales). Pat sent me a link to the marriage record for Maria Jesus and Francisco, from the Sonora Catholic Church records (starting at image 102). They were married on 6 February 1911 in Hermosillo. The record lists Maria Jesus' father as deceased, so he died sometime before February 1911.
Source: FamilySearch, Sonora Catholic Church Records. Marriages 1910-1912.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Trail to Tucson, 1854

This lithograph is from the New York Public Library Digital Collection, showing the trail to Tucson, Arizona from Sonora, Mexico by artist John Russell Bartlett. Perhaps this is a view that my Mexican ancestors may have seen on an early crossing to Tucson.

Source: NYPL Digital Collection. Bartlett, 1854.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Photos from Lebanon

Here are several photos from last week's morning runs in Beirut. There is a certain beauty to this stretch of coast along the Mediterranean. It is easy to see why people having been living here for thousands of years.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Raouche Rock, Beirut.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Beirut, Lebanon coast, 6 Nov 2014.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Beirut coast.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Sunrise over Beirut. 5 Nov 2014.
Photo by Patrick Jones. After the run, 5 Nov 2014.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Three Guineas for a Game Certificate, 1811

Findmypast has a free weekend in honor of Veterans Day (through midday Monday). I've taken advantage of the opportunity to search on my British ancestors. In the 2 October 1810 edition of the Kentish Gazette, is a list of persons who obtained general game certificates. I think this must have been the equivalent to a hunting license. The cost of the game certificate was three guineas. My 5th-great-grandfather Samuel Oyler obtained this game certificate in 1810, and again on 20 September 1811. The list shows Samuel living in Hawkhurst, Kent, England.
Source: Findmypast. Kentish Gazette, 2 Oct 1810.
Source: Findmypast. Kentish Gazette, 20 Sept 1811.
This Samuel was the grandfather of my 3rd-great-grandfather Samuel Oyler, who arrived in the United States on 26 May 1828 at the age of 6.

Street Art Beirut Part 2

Continuing from yesterday's set of street art photos from Beirut, on my second morning I ran from the hotel through the western point of the city and back. Along the way I found a huge wall by Chilean street artist Inti Castro and artwork on the soccer stadium for Nejmeh SC. Later in the day while returning from AUST, I spotted a mural by Zepha from the 2013 Graff'Me Lebanon Festival.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Wall by INTI, Hamra, Beirut.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Art on Nejmeh SC stadium.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Pele, Nejmeh SC, Beirut.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Wall by Vincent Abadie Hafez aka Zepha.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Street art & Beirut traffic. 6 Nov 2014.
The day ended back in Hamra. Down the street from the hotel is an alleyway with open air restaurants and pubs. February 30 had eclectic art and good music. A few shots from inside are below.
Photo by Patrick Jones. February 30, Hamra, Beirut.

Photo by Patrick Jones. Interior wall February 30.
Photo by Patrick Jones. February 30, Hamra, Beirut.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Street Art Beirut Part 1

This past week I've been in Cairo, Egypt and Beirut, Lebanon for various meetings. I went to Cairo in November 2008, but this was my first visit to Beirut. In the mornings I would go for a run and explore the neighborhood of Hamra Street. Here is the first set of street art pictures from those runs.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Hamra, Beirut, Lebanon. 5 Nov 2014.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Next to De Prague, Makdessi Street, Hamra.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Makdessi Street, Hamra, Beirut.
Photo by Patrick Jones. 5 Nov 2014.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Beirut, Lebanon.
Beirut was a nice place. Quite a lot of street art, but unfortunately I didn't have much time on this visit to see some of the city's street art hot spots beyond what I found in Hamra. More photos to follow.