Friday, November 29, 2013

Death Record for Manuel Portillo

I have been looking page by page through several thousand images in the Mexico, Sonora Civil Registration files for Hermosillo, trying to find an entry for my 2nd-great-grandfather, Manuel Portillo. This afternoon I found an entry dated 27 March 1906, on image 559 of 1841 in the Defunciones 1900-1916 for Hermosillo.
Source: FamilySearch, Sonora Civil Registration, Defunciones 1900-1916
My rough translation is that Manuel died at 6pm on 26 March, and that he was 48 years old (putting his approximate birth year as 1858). The record also lists his parents as Manuel Portillo and Maria Bernal.

I am going to continue searching through the remaining 500 images in this set for Hermosillo, in the hopes that I'll come across other members of the Portillo family. This is a big find though, as this has been a pretty blank spot on the family tree.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Prep, 2008

Looking back over old photos, here's one showing a checklist of pre-Thanksgiving ingredients (taken November 2008 in South Carolina).
Photo by Patrick Jones, South Carolina, Nov 2008

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Menu, 1898

Via the Digital Public Library of America & the University of Nevada-Las Vegas digital collection, is a copy of the menu for Thanksgiving dinner (24 November 1898) from The Bates House in Indianapolis, Indiana. I had not thought of looking up historic restaurant menus before, but saw this on the DPLA Facebook feed today.
Source: DPLA, UNLV Collection

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Recoleta, Buenos Aires

This set of photos is from the Recoleta neighborhood next to the plaza and historic cemetery of the same name in Buenos Aires. A highlight of the area is Persicco, a gelato spot located across from the plaza (appearing in the photo below across the street from the big green building). This was so good I went there twice.
Photo by Patrick Jones, Recoleta, Buenos Aires
Photo by Patrick Jones, Recoleta, Buenos Aires
Photo by Patrick Jones, Nuestra Senora del Pilar
Photo by Patrick Jones, Recoleta, Buenos Aires
Photo by Patrick Jones, Recoleta, Buenos Aires

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Photo - Street Art Buenos Aires Part 1

This past week I have been in Buenos Aires, Argentina for meetings. Over the course of the week I snapped some photos of the surrounding area while out on morning runs. Here is the first in a series of street art shots.
Photo by Patrick Jones, Buenos Aires, AR

Photo by Patrick Jones, Buenos Aires, AR
Photo by Patrick Jones, Buenos Aires, AR
Photo by Patrick Jones, Buenos Aires, AR

Monday, November 11, 2013

Baptism Record for Manuela Portillo

It took a while to find this, but in the Catholic Church Records for Hermosillo, Sonora, bautismos 1904-1907, was the baptism record for my great-grandmother Manuela Portillo. This occurred on 7 August 1905. This confirms Manuela was born in Hermosillo.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Connection to the Lopez and Montano Families

In looking back at my great-grandmother Manuela Portillo's arrival information into the US from November 1922 (see my post titled Manuela's Arrival from May 2012), I recall Manuela listed a cousin, Cleotilde de Montano as who she and her mother Teresa Diaz were going to visit in Tucson. I am assuming Cleotilde was related to Teresa & the Diaz family, not to the Portillo side of the tree.

I have been trying to use AncestryDNS results & matches in the hopes of finding the connection between Cleotilde, Teresa and Manuela. I'm posting this in the hopes that other Lopez and Montano researchers may find this post and have information that helps complete the link between Teresa, Manuela and Cleotilde.

Cleotilde Lopez de Montano
According to the Tucson City Directory for 1922, Cleotilde Montano worked at the Tucson Steam Laundry in the Barrio Viejo neighborhood in Tucson. This was the first place where Manuela Portillo took a job when she came to Tucson.
1922 Tucson City Directory, via
Cleotilde died on 7 May 1946 in Tucson, Arizona. According to her death certificate, she was born Cleotilde Lopez, daughter of Refugio Lopez and Isabel Colmenero, in Chihuahua, Mexico. I am not so certain she was born in Chihuahua though. She married Felizardo Montano in Mexico. In the 1920 US Census, Cleotilde appears as head of household, at the corner of Convent and Simpson Street in Tucson (Barrio Viejo). The record also shows that Cleotilde came to the US in 1916.
Cleotilde's son Reynaldo Montano, who appears in the 1920 US Census, took a job as a railroad fireman after he arrived in the US in 1916. His border crossing record shows that the Montano family moved from Hermosillo to Tucson.
8 May 1946, Tucson Daily Citizen
Cleotilde's funeral announcement from the Tucson Daily Citizen provides valuable clues on her family, listing the names of five of her daughters. After comparing the border crossing records, and finding a funeral notice for Cleotilde's sister, Rosalia Lopez Ramos, I have a better picture of her family.

Cleotilde married Felizardo Montano in Mexico, possibly in Hermosillo, although I have not yet looked for a marriage record for her there. He died before 1917. Their children were:
- Felizardo Montano Jr, born about 1890 (possibly in Guaymas)
- Reynaldo Montano, born about 1894/1895 in Hermosillo
- Cleotilde Montano Sarabia, born 14 March 1897, died 31 October 1974 in Los Angeles
- Adela Montano Colocio, born 27 July 1899 in Hermosillo
- Aurelia Montano Garcia, born 22 July 1900 in Hermosillo
- Mercedes Montano Sotomayor, born 27 June 1902, died 23 August 1982 in Los Angeles
- Josefina Montano Robles

According to Rosalia Lopez Ramos' death certificate, she was born in Alamos, Sonora on 4 September 1862. She married Ignacio Ramos. Her border crossing record from 1910 listed a birth place of Chinipas, Chihuahua. This is not too far from Alamos, so it is possible that Alamos was the nearest church to report her birth. I have included a map showing Chinipas in relation to Sonora below.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Buddha Amida, Rijksmuseum

This photo is of the Buddha Amida, in the Asian Pavilion at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. I took this picture during my layover en route to Bali on 20 October.
Photo by Patrick Jones - Buddha, Rijksmuseum

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Valparaiso, 1852

The image below is from the Getty Museum's Open Content program, showing a daguerrotype of Valparaiso, Chile attributed to photographer Carleton Watkins from about 1852.
Source: Getty Museum
I like to think this is a view that my third-great-grandfather Gabriel Vasquez would have seen prior to moving from Chile to Mexico sometime before 1858. Earlier this week I received a reply from the Archivo Nacional in Chile, directing me to the local archives in Valparaiso. I am hopeful they may have some records on the Vasquez family, perhaps a baptism record for Gabriel or marriage record for his parents, Jose Vasquez and Agustina Rojas.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Timeline in the case of Captain John Thornhill

The murder of Captain John Thornhill on 24 June 1865 provides a view into activities off the battlefield during the Civil War. In East Tennessee, the sides were not always clearly described as Union or Rebel. As covered previously in this blog, Thornhill, the nephew of my 4th-great-grandmother, died from bullet wounds fired by men of his own company, the 9th Tennessee Cavalry. The subsequent court martial and state court actions were well documented, and went into great detail into the facts of the case. This post is an attempt to bring the case into focus, given the contentious scene in East Tennessee at the end of the Civil War.

Timeline of Events

- About 1841, John A. Thornhill born in Jefferson County. Son of Joseph Thornhill and Mary Polly Gass.
- 6 May 1863, John A. Thornhill joins the 9th Tennessee Cavalry, age 22.
- 15 May 1863, Thornhill came with a squad of recruits to Camp Nelson, Kentucky. He was given authority by Colonel Parsons to raise a company in the 9th Tennessee Cavalry, and would be Captain of the company if he could raise enough recruits. Testimony states that Thornhill brought 15-20 recruits into the company.
- 20 June 1863, Thornhill had a squad of men at Lexington, Kentucky
- July 1863, Thornhill left Kentucky for Tennessee to recruit
- 15 Aug 1863, Thornhill musters at Camp Nelson, Kentucky
- 9 October 1863, Thornhill was in Knoxville, Tennessee. The regiment arrived in Knoxville on 9 October and remained through 15 December 1863. Witness states that Thornhill was insubordinate in Knoxville. Thornhill ordered by Parsons to remain behind, Thornhill returns to Jefferson County afterward.
- 5 January 1864, Thornhill was at the household of Frances Rankin in Jefferson County, per testimony of Frances and Sarah J. F. Rankin
- 20 January 1864, Parsons orders Thornhill back to the regiment or his name is to be dropped from the company.
- February-March 1864, witness claims Thornhill and 3-4 associates were trading horses in Union County, Tennessee
- 28-29 March 1864 - Incident involving Captain Thornhill and Colonel Parsons, Thornhill has an argument with Parsons that he should command the company of men he recruited. Parsons orders Thornhill to be arrested, Thornhill shoots at Parsons but misses. One witness states that Parsons fired back and hit Thornhill in the throat. Thornhill taken into custody.
- April 1864, Thornhill released from military prison in Nashville by Colonel Parsons.
- Spring 1864, Thornhill was in the saloon of A.C. Carter in Nashville, Tennessee. Witness testified that Thornhill made statements he intended to kill Colonel Parsons, Captain Rutherford, Lieutenant Bell, and others
- May 1864, Thornhill was in Nashville, Tennessee, spoke with Lieutenant Nothem and C.B. Phillips about raising his concerns with Colonel Parsons at his earliest opportunity.
- June-July 1864, Thornhill seen in Nashville. Argument between Thornhill and Col. Rutherford, and Captain Bell and R.E. Newman (associate of Thornhill). Witnesses state that after the altercation, Thornhill & Newman threaten to kill Parsons, Rutherford, Bell and Armstrong (Armstrong had prevented Thornhill from hitting Parsons with his bullet in March 1864).
- August 1864, Samuel Rankin & John Thornhill met on horseback, Thornhill said they had been friends but until his difficulty with Parsons was resolved he had no further use for Rankin.
- December 1864, Joseph Jones and his Thornhill cousins returned to Panther Springs, Tennessee after hearing about the troubles involving John Thornhill. Joseph Jones claimed to be detailed to John Thornhill's command between 26 June 1864 and 28 February 1865.
- February-March 1865 - witness claims that Thornhill attacked Sergeant Joseph Carman, Company D, 9th Tennessee Cavalry while he was traveling through Jefferson County.
- 24 June 1865, Thornhill shot and killed in Jefferson County, Tennessee. On that day, Colonel Parsons had ordered Captain Bell to apprehend Thornhill. Bell delegated that authority to Job Powell of the 9th Tennessee Cavalry. The specific order was if Thornhill resisted arrest in anyway, he was to be shot.
- 1 & 3 July 1865, request for an investigation into the murder of John Thornhill filed
- 27 July 1865, general court martial of Colonel Joseph Parsons convened in Chattanooga, Tennessee
- 16 August 1865, testimony taken in court martial of Colonel Parsons
- 15 September 1865, testimony from a family member of Thornhill published in the Knoxville Whig
- 10 October 1865, Colonel Parsons found not guilty of murder in the 1st degree, but found guilty of ordering Thornhill to be killed. Major General Stoneman ordered Parsons to be released, as Parsons had "a sincere though mistaken idea that the fatal act was necessary for the safety of himself and his friends and also upon the recommendations of his reviewing authorities."
- 11 October 1865, testimony from John Wilson, that he rode a train with Thornhill from Russellville to Knoxville and during the train ride Thornhill appeared vindictive toward Colonel Parsons. Wilson indicated that Thornhill felt that he had been wronged by Parsons and intended to kill him.
- 16 October 1865, testimony from Henry Paine that Thornhill brought horses to sell in Knoxville, and he heard Thornhill say he intended to kill Captain Bell, Lieutenant Rankin and Colonel Parsons.
- 9 November 1865, Major General Gillem orders the release of James Berry and P.M. Riggs, privates in the 9th Tennessee Cavalry, for their roles in the killing of John Thornhill. Gillem stated that Berry and Riggs were acting under orders of their superior officers while in U.S. military service.
- 3 January 1866, the Thornhill case and civil conflict in Dandridge, Tennessee made it to the desk of President Andrew Johnson
- 12 to 30 March 1866, report developed for President Johnson describing the case, sent to the Secretary of War.
- 11 June 1866, letter from Major General Thomas describing how Job Powell had been arrested a second time by civil authorities in Dandridge for the murder of John Thornhill.  Thomas ordered the release of Powell
- 29 August 1866, news clipping from the Knoxville Whig describing the indictment of Colonel Parsons. Judge Swan sustained the plea to dismiss the case against Parsons and dismissed the indictment.
- I am still working on the timeline between 1866 and the Supreme Court decision in 1870.
It is clear from the testimony in the case that Colonel Parsons and Captain Thornhill had an altercation in Nashville. Parsons removed Thornhill from command of Company B. Thornhill fired on Parsons, and missed. Thornhill was taken into custody and sent to prison in 1864. Various witnesses claimed Thornhill was a desperado and an outlaw. Many of the officers of the 9th Cavalry claimed to fear for their lives that Thornhill might kill them because they supported Colonel Parsons. Several of these officers also testified that they did not feel safe traveling through Jefferson County, Tennessee, for what Thornhill (or his supporters) might do. 

Thornhill was known for a hot temper, and that "he had the character of a man who would revenge an injury that he had received to the fullest extent" (testimony of David R.N. Blackburn). Another witness said "I think he was a brave man, but not an efficient officer." Others noted he was reckless and "resorted to a system of plunder with the aid of ready associates." Counsel on behalf of Colonel Parsons set out the case of Thornhill as a desperado who would not stop until he had taken revenge against Parsons.

Testimony of Richard Thornhill

The record of the case included testimony from Richard Thornhill, uncle of Captain Thornhill and brother of my 4th-great-grandmother Elizabeth Thornhill Jones. I include a copy below from the 11 October 1865 issue of the Knoxville Whig:
Testimony of J. T. Rankin

The 1 November 1865 issue of the Knoxville Whig contained a copy of the testimony of J. T. Rankin. This testimony noted that my third-great-grandfather, Joseph Jones, and his brothers, Marion and Martin Jones, were associates of John Thornhill. I knew this before, but it is helpful to see it in the witness testimony, as well as some detail on Joseph Jones' involvement in horse trading during the Civil War.
More on the Supreme Court Case

I sent an inquiry to the Law Library of Congress for information on Rankin v State of Tennessee, 78 US 380 (1870), in the hopes that some material on the case still exists. This week I received a reply, and the Archives has on file a transcript of the case with some documents from the lower court. There is also a copy of the brief submitted by the State of Tennessee. I have to be physically present at the Archives to access this information, and I hope to do so in the coming weeks.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday Photo - Sunrise Series

The set of photos below is from last week in Bali, Indonesia. I woke up early most days to run along the beach as the sun came up. This particular morning I happened to watch a fisherman and child in the low tide. Bali is a magical place.
Photo by Patrick Jones - Bali, Oct 2013
Photo by Patrick Jones - Bali, Oct 2013
Photo by Patrick Jones - Bali, Oct 2013
Photo by Patrick Jones - Bali, Oct 2013
Photo by Patrick Jones - Bali, Oct 2013