Monthly Archives: February 2019

A Gift

My favorite show on T.V. is called, “Finding your Roots” with Dr. Henry Lewis Gates (or Skip, as he’s called by his friends.) One of my favorite parts of his show is his “book of life” he creates for each guest. He tells the story of how he named this part of the show, “It comes from a black spiritual…Oh Write my Name, Oh Write My Name, Oh Write My Name-In the Book of Life”. Dr. Gates always says that we all have ancestors waiting to tell a story and our job is to find those ancestors, open the door and let them tell their stories. He pulls out an enormous book along with a poster size family tree and details stories, stories of the ancestors that have been lost to time and distance. Dr. Gates is a Harvard professor, very intelligent, and you can always tell how amazed he is with the stories he reveals to his guests. There are many people on my tree that I’d love to find a picture of, a picture I could hang my hat on, a picture to point to and say, there, that is my ancestor.

Now, we’ve received a gift.

I had an email today from a dear woman by the name of Diana Landry. She had reached out to me, and wanted to contact and get some information from Mark Redohl. As you will recall from my last post on Maria Rosa Villalpando, Mark was the person who had given us the information about where Maria Rosa had been buried. Diana’s grandfather was Jose Vicente Rivera. His maternal side is the line to Maria Rosa Villalpando. Diana spoke to Mark and then had a chance to visit the St. Louis Arch. Now, she has shared what she found.


This is Maria Rosa Villalpando, along with her story which is now displayed at the St. Louis Arch Museum. I am so pleased about having received this photograph. Diana Landry, thank you.

One other thing I was going to share with you was some information shared by a gentleman by the name of Dave Silva. Dave reached out to let us know that Maria Rosa’s house was on Spruce

Street, between 3rd and 4th streets in St. Louis. Third Street no longer exists, but it would be about one city block east of Busch Stadium and about three or four blocks south of the Old Courthouse and Arch grounds.

So there you have it. We now have a photograph of Maria Rosa Villalpando. We are so lucky to have had someone looking out for us Jacques family members, willing to take the trip then share what they found. I can’t thank you enough, Diana. I am absolutely going to get myself to St. Louis one of these days, so I can see that photograph in person.

I can’t help but believe Dr. Gates would be so pleased.