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Introducing myself and giving the surnames and locations I'm researching

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By AlexisVillagrana1970 - Posted on 21 April 2010

Hello!

I wanted to take the time to introduce myself.  My name is Alexis Villagrana and I reside in Jefferson, Oregon USA.  It's so nice to have found your group and was so thrilled to have joined in the research!

I am fairly new at genealogy and have only been researching since mid December 2009.  Even though I am new at this, I've really taken a passion for it because I've always had a determined and investigative nature.  A lot of my family's history had been forgotten and even lost! 

Thanks to genealogy research, a lot of what was lost, is being recovered. My intent is to help preserve history as well as my own heritage!

Okay, now the surnames and locations I have been researching are:

 1.  The Villagran's from Zacatecas,
Mexico.

Descendants of Felix Villagran

                                                                                  Generation No. 1

1.  Felix Villagran was born on 12 July 1850 in Zacatecas, Mexico.  He married Apolinares Reyes probably around 1870 in Zacatecas, Mexico.
   
Children of Felix and Apolinares Villagran are:
2.    i.    Maria Villagran, b. Abt. 1896, in Zacatecas, Mexico.
3.    ii.   Antonio Villagran b. Abt. 1898 in Zacatecas, Mexico.
4.    iii.  Andres Villagran b. Abt. 1905 in Zacatecas, Mexico.

Note: My family surname
Villagran was changed to Villagrana upon them coming to the United States. 

I noticed the Villagran family had also resided in Chihuahua, Mexico, just prior to emigrating to their new residency in the U.S. around the spring or summer of 1916.

2. The Romo's of Encarnacion de Diaz, Jalisco, Mexico

Descendants of Jose Guadelupe Romo

                                                                   Generation No. 1

1.  Jose Guadelupe Romo was born 12 Sept 1887 in Encarnacion de Diaz, Jalisco, Mexico.  He married Gregoria Martin or Martinez? in 1906 in Jalisco, Mexico.
   
Children of Jose Guadelupe
and Gregoria Romo are:

2.   i.    Ramon Romo b. abt. 1910 in Jalisco, Mexico.
3.   ii.   Jose (Joe) Romo b. abt. 1913 in Jalisco, Mexico.
4.   iii.  Juanita (Jenny) Romo b. abt. 1916 in Jalisco, Mexico.
5.   iv.  Jesus (Chewy) Romo b. abt. 1920 in Jalisco, Mexico.
6.   v.   Sara Romo b. abt. 1922 in Gallup, New Mexico.
7.   vi.  Josephine (Josie) Romo b. abt.1924 in Gallup, New Mexico.
8.   vii. Esperanza (Hope) Romo b. abt. 1928 in Gallup, New Mexico.

Note:  Jose Guadelupe had a brother close to his age named Augustine Romo. I don't know too much about him just that he lived on a big ranch in Encarnacion de Diaz, which we have family photos of from the late 1960's, showing parts of the ranch.
Unfortunately, the last time my family was able to go to Mexico was in the mid 1970's.  I was only 4 years old at the time.

My brother had recalled during his 1960's visit to Mexico as boy, that one of our  relatives on the Romo side, was a Bishop or a spiritual man of some sort in the area of Jalisco; I believe in Encarnacion de Diaz? And my brother said that there is a shrine in the village dedicated to him.  I wish I knew the name of this relative!  This info has also been lost over the years because no one documented it and also because of aging, illness and death.

This concludes what I know about my family history. I apologize it is so long but I thought the info might be informative.  I am so curious to find out how it is/was that our ancestors and descendents from Mexico look somewhat caucasian with blue, green, hazel  as well as brown eyes; and our hair color ranging from brunette to blonde, even
red hair.  I heard that somewhere along the line, we obtained the French blood in us.  That it possibly happened when the French came to Mexico many years ago and mixed with the Mexican people!

Like I said, I am new so PLEASE feel free to offer any suggestions to a beginner genealogist!

Sincerely,

Alexis Villagrana

user id:  AlexisVillagrana1970

Hello Alexis, the genealogist Mariano Leal and many others, including a late uncle of mine, state that it is a myth that we are French. I also believe it is a myth. You can read Mariano's LOS+MITOS+SEFARDITA+Y+FRANCES at http://genealogia-mexico-occidente.googlegroups.com/web/LOS+MITOS+SEFARDITA+Y+FRANCES.doc?hl=es&gda=GIMQmVgAAADdrm5K-NpzlXRH1BLbkxIzCpSekLPUyGbB5BJybbec40_OUkf8gNsll7HvW3cjdtC9utRIadKdAzdMOsaDgXJeMPxMJwSSg-IOy9drq668wBo1YHcDYvgcK1MwRk9oTs4
Also, we look Caucasian because we are Caucasian from our Spanish ancestry. During the Last Glacial Maximum the Iberian Peninsula was a refuge for Europeans. Some of the descendants stayed and others moved on. They left the R1b DNA marker which is still prevalent in Spain. Later in time as Europe warmed and spread so did the people. Some returning to Spain including the east German romanized Catholoc Visigoths who invaded Iberia and established a kingdom. Many names and toponyms come from them such as Ricardo (Reccared) and Rodrigo (Roderic) and customs such as the use of a Coat of Arms. Supposedly the highest concentration of their descendants are in Asturias. Based on DNA the people of the British Isles, especially the Irish, descend from the Basque people of Spain. The migration is estimated to have taken place 8,000 years ago. R1b is present in Irish 90-98% and Basques 90-95%. Our people descend from them and it is why we are generally lighter than most regions of Mexico and it is why we are Caucasians. This is not limited to our area though. There are güeros all over Mexico with Monterrey and Chihuahua being others that have a large population of güeros.
Here is a link to the birth record of Jose de Guadalupe Romo baptized 15 Sep 1887 in La Encarnación, Encarnación de Díaz, Jalisco, Mexico son of Francisco Romo and Damasa Casillas - http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#p=recordResults;birthYear=1887;searchType=standard;surname=Romo;birthPlaceId=3974538;birthPlace=Encarnacion%20de%20Diaz%2C%20Jalisco%2C%20Mexico
The link to the marriage of Francisco Romo and Damasa Casillas with lots of other info - http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#p=recordimage;c=1473012;r=290259190;role=bride
Use that site http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#start to search for more births and marriages and post back. You will undoubtedly find others researching some of the same families once you report back.
I couldn't find more info on Felix Villagran, Apolnares Reyes, Gregoria Martín, or their descendants.
You can order copies of whole books through mail using the form found here - http://www.familysearch.org/eng/Search/Rg/frameset_rg.asp?Dest=G1&Aid=&Gid=&Lid=&Sid=&Did=&Juris1=&Event=&Year=&Gloss=&Sub=&Tab=&Entry=&Guide=FReqIGI.ASP
So if you found out the place Gregoria Martin was married in you could order copies of all the marriages of that town in 1906. For Felix Villagran since you already know the date the town is only needed to get a copy of that. Once they get all the church records for Zacatecas and Jalisco online we won't have to order microfilms or copies anymore but we will still have to browse a lot of images when we don't have exact dates and places.

Links for Visigoth history and DNA information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visigoths
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R1b
http://www.iberianroots.com/Statistics/mexico.html
http://www.iberianroots.com/Statistics/spain.html
http://sd-1.archive-host.com/membres/up/134696768219527874/ThegeneticlegacyallGraphs.pdf
http://www.ybase.org/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=511&PN=1
http://www.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?Group=Mexico-DNA
http://garyfelix.tripod.com/index63.htm

Armando Antuñano

IT is true, northern Spain is way different from the south there is a "mysticalfeeling" and very strong celtic culture. The Spanish and English are alsovery closely related.
Daniel

To learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saintsplease visit www.mormon.org

> To: research@lists.nuestrosranchos.com
> From: fandemma@gmail.com
> Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2010 08:18:36 -0700
> Subject: Re: [Nuestros Ranchos] Introducing myself and
>
> Hello Alexis, the genealogist Mariano Leal and many others, including a late uncle of mine, state that it is a myth that we are French. I also believe it is a myth. You can read Mariano's LOS+MITOS+SEFARDITA+Y+FRANCES at http://genealogia-mexico-occidente.googlegroups.com/web/LOS+MITOS+SEFARDITA+Y+FRANCES.doc?hl=es&gda=GIMQmVgAAADdrm5K-NpzlXRH1BLbkxIzCpSekLPUyGbB5BJybbec40_OUkf8gNsll7HvW3cjdtC9utRIadKdAzdMOsaDgXJeMPxMJwSSg-IOy9drq668wBo1YHcDYvgcK1MwRk9oTs4
> Also, we look Caucasian because we are Caucasian from our Spanish ancestry. During the Last Glacial Maximum the Iberian Peninsula was a refuge for Europeans. Some of the descendants stayed and others moved on. They left the R1b DNA marker which is still prevalent in Spain. Later in time as Europe warmed and spread so did the people. Some returning to Spain including the east German romanized Catholoc Visigoths who invaded Iberia and established a kingdom. Many names and toponyms come from them such as Ricardo (Reccared) and Rodrigo (Roderic) and customs such as the use of a Coat of Arms. Supposedly the highest concentration of their descendants are in Asturias. Based on DNA the people of the British Isles, especially the Irish, descend from the Basque people of Spain. The migration is estimated to have taken place 8,000 years ago. R1b is present in Irish 90-98% and Basques 90-95%. Our people descend from them and it is why we are generally lighter than most regions of Mexico
> and it is why we are Caucasians. This is not limited to our area though. There are güeros all over Mexico with Monterrey and Chihuahua being others that have a large population of güeros.
> Here is a link to the birth record of Jose de Guadalupe Romo baptized 15 Sep 1887 in La Encarnación, Encarnación de Díaz, Jalisco, Mexico son of Francisco Romo and Damasa Casillas - http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#p=recordResults;birthYear=1887;searchType=standard;surname=Romo;birthPlaceId=3974538;birthPlace=Encarnacion%20de%20Diaz%2C%20Jalisco%2C%20Mexico
> The link to the marriage of Francisco Romo and Damasa Casillas with lots of other info - http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#p=recordimage;c=1473012;r=290259190;role=bride
> Use that site http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#start to search for more births and marriages and post back. You will undoubtedly find others researching some of the same families once you report back.
> I couldn't find more info on Felix Villagran, Apolnares Reyes, Gregoria Martín, or their descendants.
> You can order copies of whole books through mail using the form found here - http://www.familysearch.org/eng/Search/Rg/frameset_rg.asp?Dest=G1&Aid=&Gid=&Lid=&Sid=&Did=&Juris1=&Event=&Year=&Gloss=&Sub=&Tab=&Entry=&Guide=FReqIGI.ASP
> So if you found out the place Gregoria Martin was married in you could order copies of all the marriages of that town in 1906. For Felix Villagran since you already know the date the town is only needed to get a copy of that. Once they get all the church records for Zacatecas and Jalisco online we won't have to order microfilms or copies anymore but we will still have to browse a lot of images when we don't have exact dates and places.
>
> Links for Visigoth history and DNA information:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visigoths
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R1b
> http://www.iberianroots.com/Statistics/mexico.html
> http://www.iberianroots.com/Statistics/spain.html
> http://sd-1.archive-host.com/membres/up/134696768219527874/ThegeneticlegacyallGraphs.pdf
> http://www.ybase.org/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=511&PN=1
> http://www.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?Group=Mexico-DNA
> http://garyfelix.tripod.com/index63.htm
>
> Armando Antuñano

I believe that it comes down to semantics. You could argue both ways. The truth of the matter is that many of the ancestors of the first immigrants to los altos jalisco had themselves ancestors that descended from an area which we traditionally say was part of the iberian kingdoms but was split up with the north being in present france and the southern portion in present Spain. The rodriguez de frias y hijar can also add french ancestors from farther north in the center of modern day france.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

-----Original Message-----
From: fandemma@gmail.com
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2010 08:18:36
To:
Subject: Re: [Nuestros Ranchos] Introducing myself and

Hello Alexis, the genealogist Mariano Leal and many others, including a late uncle of mine, state that it is a myth that we are French. I also believe it is a myth. You can read Mariano's LOS+MITOS+SEFARDITA+Y+FRANCES at http://genealogia-mexico-occidente.googlegroups.com/web/LOS+MITOS+SEFARDITA+Y+FRANCES.doc?hl=es&gda=GIMQmVgAAADdrm5K-NpzlXRH1BLbkxIzCpSekLPUyGbB5BJybbec40_OUkf8gNsll7HvW3cjdtC9utRIadKdAzdMOsaDgXJeMPxMJwSSg-IOy9drq668wBo1YHcDYvgcK1MwRk9oTs4
Also, we look Caucasian because we are Caucasian from our Spanish ancestry. During the Last Glacial Maximum the Iberian Peninsula was a refuge for Europeans. Some of the descendants stayed and others moved on. They left the R1b DNA marker which is still prevalent in Spain. Later in time as Europe warmed and spread so did the people. Some returning to Spain including the east German romanized Catholoc Visigoths who invaded Iberia and established a kingdom. Many names and toponyms come from them such as Ricardo (Reccared) and Rodrigo (Roderic) and customs such as the use of a Coat of Arms. Supposedly the highest concentration of their descendants are in Asturias. Based on DNA the people of the British Isles, especially the Irish, descend from the Basque people of Spain. The migration is estimated to have taken place 8,000 years ago. R1b is present in Irish 90-98% and Basques 90-95%. Our people descend from them and it is why we are generally lighter than most regions of Mexico
and it is why we are Caucasians. This is not limited to our area though. There are güeros all over Mexico with Monterrey and Chihuahua being others that have a large population of güeros.
Here is a link to the birth record of Jose de Guadalupe Romo baptized 15 Sep 1887 in La Encarnación, Encarnación de Díaz, Jalisco, Mexico son of Francisco Romo and Damasa Casillas - http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#p=recordResults;birthYear=1887;searchType=standard;surname=Romo;birthPlaceId=3974538;birthPlace=Encarnacion%20de%20Diaz%2C%20Jalisco%2C%20Mexico
The link to the marriage of Francisco Romo and Damasa Casillas with lots of other info - http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#p=recordimage;c=1473012;r=290259190;role=bride
Use that site http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#start to search for more births and marriages and post back. You will undoubtedly find others researching some of the same families once you report back.
I couldn't find more info on Felix Villagran, Apolnares Reyes, Gregoria Martín, or their descendants.
You can order copies of whole books through mail using the form found here - http://www.familysearch.org/eng/Search/Rg/frameset_rg.asp?Dest=G1&Aid=&Gid=&Lid=&Sid=&Did=&Juris1=&Event=&Year=&Gloss=&Sub=&Tab=&Entry=&Guide=FReqIGI.ASP
So if you found out the place Gregoria Martin was married in you could order copies of all the marriages of that town in 1906. For Felix Villagran since you already know the date the town is only needed to get a copy of that. Once they get all the church records for Zacatecas and Jalisco online we won't have to order microfilms or copies anymore but we will still have to browse a lot of images when we don't have exact dates and places.

Links for Visigoth history and DNA information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visigoths
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R1b
http://www.iberianroots.com/Statistics/mexico.html
http://www.iberianroots.com/Statistics/spain.html
http://sd-1.archive-host.com/membres/up/134696768219527874/ThegeneticlegacyallGraphs.pdf
http://www.ybase.org/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=511&PN=1
http://www.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?Group=Mexico-DNA
http://garyfelix.tripod.com/index63.htm

Armando Antuñano

Thank you so much for your reply with all the information and links for me to read and study!!!

Yes, there are a lot of myths floating around out there... There was a rumour among the Villagrana family that we were related to Poncho Villa. It was also speculated that our name started off as being Villa and as time went by, the "gran" and the "a" were later added, hence making the speculation we were related.

I quickly found out that José Doroteo Arango Arámbula was better known by his pseudonym Francisco Villa or its hypocorism Pancho Villa.

It was later on that I was able to look at The Villagrana Family Crest-Coat of Arms sign my brother had purchased and view the origins of our name.

You know how in my post I mentioned about a Romo on my mom's side of my family being a Bishop or some spiritual person? Well a relative told me today that this Romo was a saint who has a shrine in Encarnacion de Diaz. So I just wanted to update...

I am still reading on all the information you provided but wanted to contact you back right away to thank you so very much for the wealth of information you provided me... I will definitely post back after reading all you provided!

-Alexis Villagrana

I do not have the surname Villagran in my great-grandfather's line but I can check again, as his family was living in Zacatecas, Zacatecas at that same time period.

To answer your question, as opposed to what the first reply you got here was, it could very well be a possibility you have a foriegn ancestor. Zacatecas was in the middle of both the Mexican Civil War, also known as the Guerra Reforma, as well as the French Intervention. Aside from French soldiers, you had a whole bunch of foriegners associated with the French Foriegn Legion, as well as the Austrian Legion which was composed of men from all over the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Emperor Maximillian wanted a strong core of soldiers for his army once the French left, so he especially wanted bachelors from his native homeland to come and marry into Mexican families, which some subsequently did. Even the French commander, Marshal Bazaine married into the Mexican aristocracy.

Also, as another point, sure many Spaniards may be of Celtic origin, but I think they are also ignoring that nearly all of Spain and all of Portugal was under North African control at one time or another. A reason why so many Spaniards have a dark complection, otherwise known as a "Mediterranean" look. Most conquistadors, as well as most Spanish men who came to settle in the first hundred years after the conquest came from southern Spain, where North African influence would have been the strongest.

Just some interesting points of history to consider before you start excluding what you are told through family stories.

I have a friend who is Spanish Basque, his surname is Lazarraga, he looks "mediterranean" possiblybecause of his basque blood, then again I have met light basques. I guess in reality it all depends on yourpersonal genealogy. From personal experience northern spaniards tend to be the lightest on overall average.I have studied the history of Spain and am aware of Northern Africans, settling on the Iberian peninsula.
Daniel

> To: research@lists.nuestrosranchos.com
> From: texn_4_ever@yahoo.com
> Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2010 21:12:54 -0700
> Subject: Re: [Nuestros Ranchos] Introducing myself and
>
> I do not have the surname Villagran in my great-grandfather's line but I can check again, as his family was living in Zacatecas, Zacatecas at that same time period.
>
> To answer your question, as opposed to what the first reply you got here was, it could very well be a possibility you have a foriegn ancestor. Zacatecas was in the middle of both the Mexican Civil War, also known as the Guerra Reforma, as well as the French Intervention. Aside from French soldiers, you had a whole bunch of foriegners associated with the French Foriegn Legion, as well as the Austrian Legion which was composed of men from all over the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Emperor Maximillian wanted a strong core of soldiers for his army once the French left, so he especially wanted bachelors from his native homeland to come and marry into Mexican families, which some subsequently did. Even the French commander, Marshal Bazaine married into the Mexican aristocracy.
>
> Also, as another point, sure Spanish may be Celtic, but I think they are also ignoring that nearly all of Spain and all of Portugal was under North African control at one time or another. A reason why so many Spaniards have a dark complection, otherwise known as a "Mediterranean" look. Most conquistadors, as well as most Spanish men who come to settle in the first hundred years after the conquest came from southern Spain, where North African influence would have been the strongest.
>
> Just some interesting points of history to consider before you start excluding what you are told through family stories.

Adrian,

I was not ignoring Islamic Spain. I was using the history and the results of scientific research by professional genealogist to explain a direct question of why OUR ancestors look Caucasian. Spain having been under North African control has nothing to do with us being Caucasian, especially since Spain has much more European DNA than North African. Also him having a foreign ancestor still does not answer the question why the rest of us look Caucasian. Lastly, if so many of us are Caucasian due to French and soldiers of the French foreign legion why is it that professional genealogists using science and birth records haven't found these ancestors?

Armando

First off, it did sound as if you were ignoring North African history in Spain. All this talk of Celtic Spanish heritage, it felt as if you were ignoring the part of Spain where most Spanish conquistadors came from. Now, I know Zacatecas and most of northern Mexico seems to be different. I myself do not dispute what you say, as my ancestors from northern Chihuahua, at least those I've traced to Spain, all come from northern Spain. The Castile half that is.
I do agree with Daniel in that it really does depend on the individual's own geneology, and not simply the fact of which part of Spain one's ancestors came from.

The other part sounded rather sarcastic, I never said all Mexicans of that area of fair complection are of French heritage. What I was trying to refute was you pointing someone down the geneological path you believe and saying the other one is just a myth. If that is so, then you surely do not know Mexican history.
Many foriegners, not just French, found their way into Mexico one way or another. In Texas, many early Anglo settlers intermarried with Tejano families. In southern New Mexico and in west Texas, many early American settlers married into influential Chihuahuan families.

We are both trying to provide information to help people, but calling someone's family history being based on a "myth", when it might be a fact, does not help his research.

Hello Daniel,

You are right. In the north they are generally lighter. Yes there are Basque that are dark, but just as many if not more that are light.
For other readers here are some faces of Basques from Athletic Club de Bilbao. They only have Basques on their team. http://www.athletic-club.net/web/main.asp?a=1&b=1&c=0&d=0&idi=1
I get Television España Internaciónal TVEI and almost every time I see them show faces of people of the Basque political parties on the news I see güeros. You can watch their newscasts at http://www.rtve.es/

Armando

Adrian,

You are missing the point. The answer was in a general sense about of our area of research. There are a lot of güeros in our area of research and his ancestry is shared with those same people. They are people that I personally know and are also güeros. I have lived and gone to school in the area. I brought up the fact that there is a myth of us being descendants of French is because it is just that a myth. It is spread too often and to this day. They even had the wife of a second cousin of mine believing that exact myth. This myth should be stopped when there is no proof of it being fact. Beside it totally ignores Spanish history, the Spanish people, and the real Mexican history.
I do have a cousin that has French ancestry but he has a French surname. My wife is from Chihuahua and she is a güera. She doesn't have any foreign blood going back four generations. I am fully area of the history of Mexico and of our area of study. What happened in southern New Mexico, west Texas, and Chihuahua doesn't change the ancestry of Los Altos and surrounding areas.

Armando

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