Monday, July 31, 2017

Maria Esther

Source: Ancestry. Maria Esther Suastegui, US Passport application, 22 Apr 1921.

Last week I started to recount the family of my 5th-great-grandfather Francisco Suastegui. While looking into information on Maria Engracia Suastegui, sister of my 4th-great-grandfather Pedro Suastegui, I found articles and references to Maria Engracia's half-sisters Maria Esther and Mariana. They had a close connection to Maria Engracia, and I thought their stories were worthy of remembering here on the blog. Perhaps there are descendants of Maria Esther Suastegui who may stumble onto this information.

Maria Esther Suastegui was born on 27 December 1857 in Magdalena, Sonora. She was a daughter of Francisco Suastegui and his second wife Concepcion Menendez. She was baptized on 14 February 1858 in Magdalena, Sonora. The baptism record misspells her mother's name as Mendoza.
Source: FamilySearch. Mexico Catholic Church Records, Image 102.
Maria Esther moved to the Arizona Territory sometime between 1870 and 1874. Just before her 20th birthday, she married Albert Gallatin Post on 20 December 1877 in Yuma, Arizona. He was a school teacher in Yuma, originally from Essex County, New York. Maria Esther and Albert had three children:
1. Mary Post, born 7 January 1879, died in May 1886
2. Asa Francisco Post, born 4 October 1881 in Yuma, died on 30 April 1966
3. Mariana Anita Calneh Post, born 7 January 1885, died 10 September 1938 (named after her grandmother Calneh Ames Post).

After the birth of their first child, Albert became the manager of a fruit and vegetable stand attached the Yuma Post Office. He sold that business in August 1879. He later became manager of a general store in Yuma, and was appointed to the Board of Supervisors for the county in the early 1880s.
Arizona Sentinel, 8 Feb 1879. 

In the 1880 US Census, the family appears in Yuma, Arizona. Maria Esther's sister Mariana was living with them. This arrangement provided the connection between Mariana and Albert's younger brother Garland Post.

In 1884, Albert and Maria Esther hosted the wedding of Mariana and Garland. The wedding was described in Arizona Sentinel newspaper, and I will share a copy of the article in my follow-up post on Mariana.

Albert became ill in 1885, very likely from liver cancer, and died on 2 April 1886 while seeking treatment in Tucson. The Arizona Sentinel ran a lengthy tribute to him the following day. The tribute also provides more color into the character of Maria Esther, as she cared for him in Tucson while other family watched their children back in Yuma.
Arizona Sentinel, 3 Apr 1886.
Maria Esther must have been a very strong woman. After the death of her husband, she lost her daughter Mary one month later. She took the proceeds from Albert's estate and bought a 160 acre ranch homestead in the Mohawk Valley near Yuma in 1890. It is interesting to see two of her future husbands (Peter Munson and James H. Graham) served as witnesses on her homestead claim:
Arizona Sentinel, 18 Oct 1890.
Esther married Peter Munson (often spelled as Monson) on 28 December 1890 in Yuma County, Arizona. Peter was a Swedish immigrant and land owner in Mohawk Valley. In August 1891, he took Esther and family to San Francisco. Munson later planted a vineyard and an orchard on his homestead.
Arizona Sentinel, 9 Jan 1892.
In 1892, Peter became a foreman with the Southern Pacific Railroad. Esther delivered a son, John Peter Munson, on 5 September 1892 while the family was in Los Angeles, California. Esther made regular visits there in 1893, 1894 and 1896 while the weather was hot in Yuma. She clearly enjoyed visiting Los Angeles and its seaside resorts. Perhaps this is something that was passed down from her father Francisco.

In 1895, Esther took a lengthy trip back to Mexico to visit family. A recap of the trip made it into the Arizona Sentinel, and it provides useful detail on connections to other members of the Suastegui family. Magdalena was the town of her birth, so it makes sense she would take her children there. The article says she was the guest of an uncle in Imuris, but I cannot tell who this might have been. The brother in Nogales was likely her half-brother, Jesus Suastegui.
Arizona Sentinel, 27 Apr 1895.

Esther divorced Peter Munson sometime before 1900. She appears as divorced in the 1900 US Census in Yuma, her occupation was a landlord. According to articles in the Arizona Sentinel, she owned multiple homes in Yuma as early as 1892 and made regular improvements to these homes on her own.
Source: Ancestry. 1900 US Census, Yuma, Arizona.

Esther later moved to Imuris, Sonora with her former neighbor from Mohawk Valley, James H. Graham. Graham was a prominent land owner in Yuma and at the time was working for the Sonora Railroad in Imuris. She and James were married in Nogales, Arizona on 25 July 1903. News of their wedding appeared in the Yuma newspaper in April 1904.
Arizona Sentinel, 27 Apr 1904.
To put the location in perspective, below is a map showing the current routes between Yuma, Arizona and Imuris, Sonora. I have also extended the map to show Los Angeles and San Diego, regular places where Esther and James visited.
Source: Google Maps.
In the 1910 US Census, Esther appears with husband James living back in Yuma, Arizona. She maintained her own occupation as a landlady of her rooming houses. They were still living in Yuma during the 1920 US Census with Esther's daughter Anita Post, who was then a language professor at a state university.

To take the story further, I need to write about Esther's daughter Anita, her work as a language professor, and her extensive travels. Anita's travels provided an opportunity for Esther to see the world outside Arizona, California and Sonora. As a frequent traveler myself, this part of the story really held my attention. Esther applied for a US Passport in 1921, but this was not her first trip outside North America. The passport application itself deserves its own post.

Back from Tanzania

Photo by Patrick Jones. Mafia Island, TZ. 29 Jul 2017.

I am back from a conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and a fantastic 24 hour excursion to nearby Mafia Island. I will have much more photos from the island, but for now I'm catching up with the time zones and the day to day back in Northern Virginia. It was very nice to see a new place on the continent. Tanzania is a lovely country with friendly people. I was quite surprised with the ease of the place, and I very much hope to return there in the not too distant future.

Before I dive into travel photos, I am going to continue with the posts on the fascinating Suastegui family in Arizona. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Another branch of the tree

While continuing to look through the Arizona resources on, I have stumbled onto an under-researched branch of the Suastegui family. My 5th-great-grandfather Francisco Suastegui had two families, one by first wife and my 5th-great-grandmother Maria Josefa de la Peña, and a second family after her death with Concepcion Menendez. As I understand so far, here is what I have for these two families.

Children of Francisco Suastegui and Maria Josefa de la Peña:

- Pedro Suastegui, born 1826 in Altar, Sonora, Mexico
- Maria Jesus Suastegui
- Maria Concepcion Suastegui, 1836-1903
- Jesus Suastegui, 1837-1897
- Maria Engracia Suastegui, 1841-1891
- Jose Francisco Angel Suastegui, 1842-1846

Maria Josefa died sometime before 1852. Francisco Suastegui and Concepcion Menendez had at least the following children:

- Antonio Suastegui, born March 1853, died 24 November 1853 in Altar, Sonora, Mexico
- Maria Esther Suastegui, born 27 December 1857
- Mariana Suastegui, born May 1859, died July 1893

Maria Engracia Suastegui

Francisco's daughter Maria Engracia Suastegui married William Henry Harrison Burke in Magdalena, Sonora on 16 March 1859. They had a son on 29 November 1859 in Yuma, Arizona, Palatin (or Palatine) Robinson Burke. Given the dates, Maria Engracia was likely pregnant when she married Burke.

In 1860, the young family moved to Tucson, Arizona, where they appear in the 1860 US Census.
1860 US Census, Tucson, Arizona.

In 1880, they were in Maricopa County. The family had grown to three sons.
1880 US Census, Maricopa County, Arizona.
William Burke died on 31 July 1890 in Yuma, Arizona. His obituary appeared in the Arizona Sentinel on 2 August 1890, recounting an adventurous life.
Arizona Sentinel, 2 Aug 1890.

Maria Engracia Suastegui died on 9 November 1891. Her obituary appeared in the Arizona Sentinel on 10 November 1891.
Arizona Sentinel, 10 Nov 1891.
Area newspapers mention two of the Suastegui siblings in connection with Maria Engracia, her half-sisters Maria Esther Suastegui and Mariana Suastegui. Following these two sisters has uncovered quite a fascinating story for each, stories that will have to wait until after I return from some upcoming travel.

Francisco and Laura

Arizona Daily Star, 16 Nov 1954.
Working backward from Amelia Suastegui Vasquez, this post completes the research on her parents Francisco Suastegui and Laura Vasquez. Francisco died in Tucson on 15 November 1954, and I have included his obituary above. Laura's obituary is below, she passed away on 18 January 1980.
Arizona Daily Star, 20 Jan 1980.
When I wrote about Laura last year, I referenced the voyage she took with daughter Amelia and son-in-law Frank Vasquez in 1956. Here is another clipping describing the trip:
Arizona Daily Star, 5 Apr 1956.
There are additional articles on the family but I am now working backward on the Suastegui line. More posts to follow in the near future.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Snapshots of a full life

Arizona Daily Star, 15 Aug 1998.

When I started researching the family of Francisco Suastegui and Laura Vasquez, I did not realize the fascinating story that would be found. Francisco was a Mexican diplomat and son of jeweler and silversmith Rafael Suastegui. Rafael was a grandson of Jose Antonio Suastegui and Maria Ignacia Canete, my 6th-great-grandparents. Laura was a daughter of noted blacksmith Adolfo Vasquez and Amelia Heras. Adolfo was a son of Concepcion Suastegui and Francisco Vasquez, and Concepcion was a sister of my 5th-great-grandfather Pedro Suastegui. While there is a family connection to Francisco and Laura, I know am a bit far removed from a direct connection to the family. I also know that there is a large branch of distant cousins on this side of the tree who may find this information, so I hope this is useful to them.

In August 1998, the Arizona Daily Star published a long interview with then 90-year old Amelia Suastegui Vasquez, daughter of Francisco Suastegui and Laura Vasquez. It is a great interview and captures the recollections of someone who clearly lived a full life. In her early years she lived the life of a diplomat's daughter, even attending a reception at the White House in 1926. She trained as a concert pianist and moved to New York City, Washington DC and Mexico City.
Arizona Daily Star, 15 Aug 1998.
In 1939, Amelia married Frank Vasquez. They moved back to Tucson where he was continuing the family business in ornamental ironworking. The interview notes that Amelia took painting classes in her 70s at the University of Arizona. I wonder if any of her paintings are around in Tucson today.

Amelia passed away on 9 September 2004 at the age of 96. My great-grandfather Plutarco Vasquez Campuzano also lived to be 96, so there must be something in the genes for the family in Arizona. Amelia's obituary says she is survived by 24 grandchildren, 48 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren. She left a great legacy and clearly lived a fascinating life. If any distant cousins stumble on this page or others I have posted on the Vasquez and Suastegui branches of the family, I would be interested to know more about her art and if there are any old photos of family life in Tucson.
Arizona Daily Star, 10 Sep 2004

Returning to the Vasquez Family

Arizona Daily Star, 8 Feb 1938.
The addition of more newspapers for the Arizona Daily Star on has provided an opportunity to go back and see what references I may have missed on branches of my Arizona lines. One such example is above, a death notice for Amelia Heras Vasquez, widow of Adolfo Vasquez.

Adolfo and Amelia's son Raul Vasquez was featured in the Arizona Daily Star in April 1941, in a story on his work as an ornamental metal craftsman. I have included the photo of Raul below.
Arizona Daily Star, 6 April 1941.
Another article from 1953 describes the well-known ironwork of Vasquez and Vasquez. Raul and son Frank Vasquez were responsible for the ironwork in the All Saints Church on South Sixth Avenue and the restoration of the San Xavier Mission.
Arizona Daily Star, 28 Jun 1953.
Raul's son Frank has another connection to the Suastegui side of the tree. In 1939, Frank married Amelia Suastegui, daughter of Francisco Suastegui and Laura Vasquez.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Off to the baile

Arizona Daily Star, 4 Feb 1934.
The images above are from old wood cuts and drawings by J. Ross Browne, about 1860. These first appeared in his book "Adventures in Apache Country", and were reprinted on the front page of the Arizona Daily Star on 4 February 1934.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Yellow Wagon

Arizona Daily Star, 18 February 2016.

New articles from the archives of the Arizona Daily Star have been added to, so I am looking back through the expanded collection for stories I may have missed on the Campuzano, Vasquez and Suastegui families. February 2016 featured a story about the Vasquez family and a yellow wagon commissioned for Amelia Vasquez in 1954 that was featured in the 1964 & 2016 Tucson Rodeo Parade.
Source: Arizona Daily Star, 18 February 2016. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pow Wow DC 2017

Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Madsteez. 9 Jun 2017.
With my travels over the past month I failed to post photos from the new murals painted for Pow Wow 2017 in Northeast DC. Here is a recap of my street art walk on 9 June 2017.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Martin Swift.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Ricardo Gonzalez.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Lotus Flower Mural. 9 Jun 2017.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Metro + Lotus Flower Mural.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural for Pow Wow DC 2017.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Pow Wow DC 2017 mural. 9 Jun 2017.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural for Pow Wow DC 2017.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Key Han.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Key Han. 9 Jun 2017.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Julia Chon. 
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Julia Chon. 9 Jun 2017.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural for Pow Wow DC 2017.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural for Pow Wow DC 2017.
My photos of murals from last year's edition of Pow Wow DC are available here.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Photo - Art at Milano Malpensa Airport

Photo by Patrick Jones. Painting at Milan Malpensa. 1 Jul 2017.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Paintings at Milan Malpensa. 1 Jul 2017.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Painting at Milan Malpensa. 1 Jul 2017.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Fly by Clipper, 1946

Miami News, 10 July 1946

The advertisement above appeared in many newspapers around the US in 1946. Perhaps Marie Ray Sexson and husband Bert saw the ad and decided to escape to Havana for the weekend just after Thanksgiving 1946.

Many airlines were advertising service to Havana around this time. An ad by Chicago and Southern Air Lines from the Indianapolis Star in November 1946 is below.
Indianapolis Star, 10 Nov 1946.