Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Foods We Eat

Sometimes I really hate being the youngest child, the youngest grandchild. I feel like my kids got cheated out of a life with my parents. They did, no question. The best way I know how to share my parents is with the foods they would prepare. The foods that permeated our lives. Chile and beans, tortillas, biscochitos. These are the foods that mean so much to me, the meals my dad enjoyed. Dad always used his tortilla as his spoon. So these are the foods that I’ve passed on to my kids. While away at college, my youngest asked me where I bought my chile from in New Mexico. My usual place was closed due to Covid but I gave her the name of a different place. She ordered it for herself and then I made a video that we sent to her so that she would have directions. I thought, oh boy, my dad would have been proud. I sure was. When I post something to Facebook that I’ve made, my cousins all comment on it, making everyone feel that pull of our past, of our parents.

Hailey’s chile

Chile and Beans

We have so many family friends and relatives that would show up at our house on Sundays and Dad would make chile and beans. He would have sweat dripping from his forehead but it was a damn good meal. After my mother died, Dad stayed at my house for a bit. He would put himself on a bar stool next to my stove and direct me how to make chile. Thank goodness he did that. Dad had made chile for so much of my life but I never paid attention to the process. Now, I’ve taught my children to make it so that our tradition will continue.

New Mexican food is so different and so much a fabric of our lives, even those of us raised in California. My ancestors brought their food with them and each of our families eat in the same way. My father used to drive to New Mexico from California, just for a weekend, just to eat dinner. He’d leave California on a Thursday, get to New Mexico, eat dinner on Friday, eat on Saturday and make sure he had one more meal on Sunday then drive home, making sure he had his fill until the next trip.


When my parents married, my mother sat with her mother in law and watched her make biscochitos because she knew how much my father loved them. Now, my father didn’t like the flavoring of Anise, so my mother removed it and replaced it with vanilla flavoring. My father just loved those cookies. I made them with my mom a lot, as I was the youngest kid left at home and she needed help kneading the dough. I was glad I was there to help. The shapes of the cookies are made by knife and they were the shapes that my grandmother had used.

Traditional shaped biscochito cookies

Fresh Flour Tortillas

My mother made the best tortillas. She always used Bisquick and always kneaded them, taking off her rings and spent time getting them just right. She said that her friend from high school, Alice Garcia, had taught her how to make them. Once in a while, she would save part of the dough and turn them into bunuelos.  You can deep fry the flour tortilla and she would serve it with honey and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Pinto Beans

The first time I made a pot of beans, my kitchen filled with a smell so delightful that I said, “Oh my gosh, it smells like Uncle Fred’s house!” I was so happy. Being at my Aunt or Uncle’s houses were always great places. Our families would be gathered and the sharing food, people coming and going and the smell of pinto beans permeated the kitchen.


My Dad was not someone who ate vegetables. Meat and potatoes? Yes. Vegetables? Never. But, once in a while, my mother would make zucchini and fresh corn. I just thought this was something my parents made. I had no idea that it had a name and no idea that it was a dish made in New Mexico.


For me, this is all of my cousins. If it was holiday time, most of our family parties would include Posole (although my mother didn’t enjoy it and she was glad when my dad had it at other homes).

Lamb Riblets

When I was young, I didn’t understand that when my Dad made lamb riblets, it was food that came from a cute sheep. The smell of the kitchen was always peculiar, and my dad would open the oven door and the riblets would sizzle, grease dripping down to the bottom of the pan. My father always told us that his sister Dorothy would pluck the eyeballs out of the lambs and that she would eat said eyeballs. Just the idea of it was terrible. We are not the only family with that same story. Apparently our ancestors heritage, those who raised and ate goats and sheep, runs deep. Every family seems to have a similar story.

Jackie Jacques-Horton -” When I was staying with Uncle Fred, a buck walked past the window and Uncle Fred said, “Jackie, get my gun.” He got the gun then shot the deer. It was snowing, there was blood in the snow. The buck had been frolicking in the snowbank. Uncle Fred took his truck down there, picked it up and then hung it in the garage. Uncle Fred and Aunt Alice had venison that night for dinner and the heart was in the sink. Aunt Alice told Uncle Fred, “If you want Jackie to do the dishes, you better get the heart out of the sink.”

Diane Archuleta – “I also remember coming home from school and looking into the oven to see what was cooking only to discover that my dad was roasting two goat heads. Now that was a scary sight with four big eyes staring back at you. My dad loved those things. To each his own and to me that was never a good experience. Will never forget those giant eye-balls looking straight into my eyes as I bent down to get a peek.”

I remember a trip back to Blanco and my Aunt Esther’s son Dwayne offered me a bite of his sandwich, almost daring me to try it as his sister Karen looked on. Well, after I took a bite and just after I started chewing they both started to laugh and told me it was a brain sandwich. Needless to say, I stopped dead in my chew! I don’t recall it tasting that bad, it was the thought of it all.”

Taken by Ashley O’Shea this goat says he is our friend and we shouldn’t eat friends lol

Sheri Boyman – “Grandpa Pete also ate goat head! I was very young but never forget walking into the kitchen and seeing a goat head on the table.”

Sharon Williams – “When (Grandpa) Celestino lived with us for a short time, I would come home from school and see two goat heads on the counter that my mother had prepared for him. I didn’t eat dinner those nights”

Valerie Sandoval – “…my dad used to butcher lamb and goats in our back yard and our neighbors were thrilled. One time, I looked in the freezer and saw cow eyes and tongue and almost had a heart attack”

From the position, I cannot tell if this is Uncle Onofre or Uncle Bert but someone is getting ready to get the goat

I have to admit that our family members raised in New Mexico probably ate very similar to our ancestors. Our families that came to California brought those food stories/preparations and spices with them, but we were raised with a bit more of a California flair.

In June of 2016, I took my family on a trip to New Mexico. I spent the night with my cousin Frank Archuleta and in the morning, he made fried potatoes and eggs. The smell of those fried potatoes was so similar to my Uncle Fred’s fried potatoes, that I could envision my Uncle Fred. Uncle Fred was a fabulous cook and Frank’s breakfast was spot on.

2016, Jacques, Taylor and Hailey in Chimayo, NM
Stuffed Sopapilla

In August of 2018, Tim, Jackie, Hailey and myself traveled to the family reunion in Blanco. My cousin Donny Archuleta put on a spread that was fantastic and included Sweet Masa Green Chile Tamales, Spit roasted lamb, Seafood Paella cooked in a dutch oven over a camp fire, Green Chile, Red Chile, Beans, Tortillas. It was so good, shared on the land of our ancestors.


Facing the River
Donny Archuleta
Family sharing a meal

I’m going to end my post with the poetic words of my cousin Steven Stewart. If you look for him on Facebook, he is listed as Stiven Kyle Jaquez.

“Generally, I like to think, when I put my masa to rise in the light of day, that my tortillas de harina carry the sun inside of them. That, when I bite them, I take a piece of the glowing sky inside me. To me, making them, they are a pathway, a dance, a ritual through which I follow the movements and patterns of my ancestors on their ranch in Blanco, New Mexico. Making the dough, rolling it out, brings me closer to them. Tortillas de harina are special because, by speaking to different people and watching how the tortilla is made by different family members, I was able to recreate my great grandma Celia’s tortilla recipe. My dad always told me that he remembered his grandma’s tortillas being fluffy and supple. How did she do that? Well, my Uncle Freddy, before he passed on, told me the secret “my mom always used yeast.” Yeast- that means LIFE, living microscopic beings, not baking powder (monocalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate and corn starch). When I was making the tortillas, I let the stories guide me as I kneaded the dough, and I let the angels watch over my shoulder as I placed the masa by the fire to rise in the warmth. Along with other secrets to the recipe, they came out perfect, fluffy, supple, and moist, even the day after. And I didn’t even follow a recipe. La cocina is magic, not a measurement.

So, I wasn’t expecting last night to happen at all. It was deep. It was spiritual. I had only been planning to find leña (firewood) in order to boil beans- but I got a message from my cousin Yvonne, asking for tips for flour tortillas- I didn’t think the suggestion would have led me to dedicate my afternoon making typical plates treasured by my family. Making them was special because, just like how it was my mission to relearn and keep the language of my dad’s elders, it has become my mission to keep and preserve our foodways, and especially reviving the ancient “conocimiento”(knowledge) embodied in la cocina.

When I was preparing the dough, I thought “well, if I’m making beans and tortillas, I might as well make some chile verde, too!” I was worried when I started making it, because I had, in my head, the idea that to make green chile I needed Hatch chiles and in Nicaragua you can’t find those. But I remembered on the rancho in Blanco, my family probably used whatever was in the garden, watered from the river. I almost could hear in my intuition “agarra del jardín/take from the garden” So I trusted my gut, and threw all the chiles I could find (bell pepper, chiltoma, jalapeño) together with a TON if garlic, onion, squash, a bit tomato, pepper, salt, oil, naranja agria (sour orange)…

While I was boiling down the different chiles….the revelation/conocimiento came to me- there here is potent medicine in chile. It has heat, volatility, it burns like a sun in your gut, giving you life-fire. And it reminds you, above all, of your connection to this earth, in it’s simplicity and power- a reduction of chiles. Of course, it isn’t anything wildly popular like tacos al pastor, but it represents the sting of life, and the struggle in the deserts. It was beautiful, for a moment, to feel close to my ancestors in that distant place in the rancho. It was beautiful to intuitively recover the knowledge that la comida is both magic and medicine. Making a make-shift chile verde took up new meaning with the looming fear of the Coronavirus- it felt like a protective potion, my secret weapon to ward off COVID-19

Stay healthy friends- make some chile! – Stiven Kyle Jaquez

I couldn’t have said it better, my family. Stay healthy and make some chile for dinner!

New Mexico Family Reunion, Myself, Steven Stewart, Tim Jacques, Hailey Bennett, Jeanne Nixon, Magic Jaquez

1918 Spanish Flu/Covid 19 Alfred and Ivy Burgess

So, today is the anniversary of the Covid-19 Pandemic. This year, for as slow as it has been, has gotten away from me. Last year at this time, my youngest had come home from college, worried that she was living in a dorm and that she would contract Covid. I agreed and we moved her home lock, stock and barrel. Her classes would continue but they had moved all classes to online study to finish out her freshman year. Covid-19 was everywhere. At one point in March, I’d decided I better get to the grocery store to fill up my cart with flour, eggs, meat, and anything I thought we’d be able to use. It was devastating to walk into a Walmart Grocery Store and see row after row of empty shelves. I ended up leaving with a box of cake mix and some canned peaches and that was it.  It was depressing. From there, I decided I’d better hit another grocery store, one that I knew was not as well shopped. I had better luck there but the prices of the food they had were exorbitant (which is why I only shopped there periodically, their prices were not raised because of the pandemic, they were just expensive). After that, I had my groceries delivered every week. No more choosing my own fruit and vegetables, no more making my dinner plans and instead basing my menu upon what the grocery store had delivered or what restaurant we had deliver food.

Almost all of our occasions were spent at home. On my birthday, we did go on a hike but we ate our takeout dinner in the car on the way home. Amazon became my friend. It was great to have a place to order anything I needed and get it to my house with relative ease. I got used to wearing a mask anytime I left my home but I really only felt comfortable at home.

This year has given me plenty of time to research and to think. I had been searching for a long time and I had spotted two ancestors, husband and wife, who had died within days of each other. I thought, oh dear, that is not a good sign.

Alfred Burgess and Iva (Ivy) Blossom Nichols Burgess

Ivy Burgess’ headstone
Alfred Burgess’ headstone

Alfred Burgess was born in Kansas on February 2, 1878, 6 years after his brother Henry Carter Burgess. Alfred is the youngest child of John and Rutha Burgess. Rutha was 42 years old when she had him. When Alfred was born, his oldest siblings were 20 and 22.

Alfred married Ivy B. Nichols Burgess on January 19, 1898 in Durant, Indian Territory. He was 20 years old and his bride was 16.

Alfred and Ivy’s marriage license

On the 1900 Census, they still lived in Durant, Indian Territory and Henry C. Burgess lived with them. Henry Carter Burgess was 28 years old and met his wife LuWilla while he lived there. Grandma Flora (Burgess, Hardin, True) was born in Durant as well.

By 1910, Alfred and Ivy had moved to Taylor, Texas.  Their oldest daughter Maybelle was born in 1903 (just one year younger than Flora), daughter Rosa was born in 1906 (one year younger than Aunt Ovola), and daughter Lora was born in March of 1910.

The next document that I found for Alfred was a WWI Selective Service System draft registration card.  

They were living in Taylor, Texas and his wife Ivy was listed as his next of kin.  He was working as a laborer and was 40 years old. His description was listed as medium build, medium height with blue eyes and starting to bald but brown hair.  This form was filled out in 1918. The next form was his death certificate.

At 44, On January 3, 1919, his physician began caring for Alfred. He died six days later. His cause of death was Pneumonia with a contributing factor of Influenza.

The Spanish Flu/Influenza Plague of 1918

When the 1918 Influenza pandemic began, it was not thought of something to be panicked about and symptoms were simple sore throat, fever and headache. People were advised to follow a healthy diet. As the soldiers who were stationed at forts began to exhibit more deadly symptoms, their cases were misdiagnosed as other diseases. At an army camp in Massachusetts, one soldier was sent to the hospital. The next day, it was 15 soldiers. At the pandemic’s worst point, 1,543 soldiers were diagnosed with the flu in one day. And so it goes.

That camp was 35 miles from Boston. From there, it spread to other cities until it had reached across the U.S.. By November, physicians said that death came fast upon the people suffering from influenza.

It was thought that the origins of the influenza pandemic began with a bird flu and that perhaps it had transmitted to a pig and from there to humans.

Alfred Burgess died on January 7, 1919 and his wife Ivy died on January 13, 1919, just a week apart.

When I first discovered that this couple had died so closely together, I was saddened. I had met my grandmother’s cousin Maybelle Carthen, as my grandmother stayed close to her. Here she is with my mother and Grandma Flora on a trip to Aunt Kay’s house in Fresno. Maybelle was 17 years old when her parents died, Rosa was 13 years old and Lora just 9 years old.

My mother Jubie, Maybelle, Flora in Fresno

Alfred’s brother Jimmie and his wife Maggie had one son, Ralph, who died at the age of 20 and one baby girl that had died early. Jimmie and Maggie took in all three of the girls and finished raising them.

Maggie Nichols Burgess and her sister. She took in and raised the three orphan girls.

Maybelle and OB Carthen celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary

Now, this pandemic has certainly brought home the anguish those who lived through the 1918 Pandemic must have gone through and the terrible devastation it would have left on their psyche.

I recently received my second shot of the Moderna vaccine. I decided to go grocery shopping last week. It had been a long time since I picked my own food off the shelves and I really missed buying what I saw in the store instead of what I had ordered. Walking down the aisles, I could only picture the empty shelves I’d seen the previous year. I still wear my mask at work (I’ve been tucked away in my office, by myself, for a year!) and anytime I go to a store or am near other people. Tomorrow, it will be two weeks since we received the second shot and after that, we can be with other people who have had both of their shots too. I can’t wait for that to happen. To gather with family and friends and not be panicked.  I feel so sad for all of the families who have had devastating losses and whose lives are forever transformed because of the pandemic. We can count our blessings that our family has arrived on March 12th intact, if not a little worse for the wear. I think I shall continue researching and will continue my work on my ancestry blog. It is time to get back to the business of living.

Jose Julian Jacques 1758-1820


So, as we wind our way through and past the Covid-19 Pandemic, we can spend a little bit of time on our ancestors. Their stories are important as we look to how we came to be, how our DNA imprints our lives and how we are connected.

I ordered a magazine by the name of “Herencia” (Heritage in Spanish) and Volume 14 Issue 4 from October of 2006 has a wonderful article about Jose Julian Jaques, the son of Juan Joseph Jaques and Maria Rosa Villalpando. Jose Julian was the child (probably about two) who escaped the brutal attack on the village and was most likely raised by his mother’s family before M.R. was carted off by the Pueblo Indians.

I was given permission from Ronaldo Miera, the President of Herencia, to share this article with you on my blog. This article contains letters regarding J.Julian. How cool is that?

Jose Julian Jacquez was born in approximately 1758 to Maria Rosa Villalpando. I have written extensively about her but haven’t shared the story of Jose Julian. His father was Juan Joseph Jacquez and on August 4, 1760, a Comanche attack occurred at the Villalpando Estancia in Taos Valley, NM. This Estancia comprised of about seven different households and many people were killed in the attack. Over 56 women and children were taken captive, including Maria Rosa. Juan Joseph was killed in the attack but Jose Julian, age two was not harmed nor was he kidnapped. (Truthfully, they probably took all the children they could turn into slaves and he was too young).

With his mother kidnapped and his father dead, we are not positive of his upbringing but can only assume his mother’s family raised him. We know that Pablo Villalpando, Maria Rosa’s reported father, escaped the attack as he was not at home when it occurred. We suppose that her family members that were left raised him.

In 1783, in San Juan Pueblo, Rio Arriba, Jose Julian, now 25 years old, married Maria Paula Martin.

They had 9 children as follows:

Juan Manuel Jaquez                                                       1784

Maria Gertrudis Jaquez                                                 1787

Juan de Jesus Jaquez                                                      1788

Felipe de Jesus Primero Jaquez                                  1789

Maria Manuela Jaquez                                                   1790

Maria Pacifica Jaquez                                                     1792

Manuel Benancio de los Dolores Jaquez                 1794

Felipe de Jesus Segundo Jaquez                                1795

Maria Ysabel Jaquez                                                       1797


Maria Paula Martin, wife of Jose Julian, passed away in 1798. Jose Julian remarried in 1798 and had two more daughters.

So now that is the background to Jose Julian’s story. And, just in case you don’t know, Felipe de Jesus Segundo Jaquez is our direct ancestor and the father to Jose Eusequio Jaquez, grandfather to Juan Nepomuceno Jaquez, great grandfather to Celestino Fidencio Jaquez, great-great grandfather to Tim Jaquez and great, great, great grandfather to myself.

Now back to the Herencia article. My favorite thing about this article is that the authors, Patricia Sanchez Rau and Henrietta Martinez Christmas have cited the letters that they found in relation to Jose Julian. Their article does judge Jose Julian but we can discuss that after we look at their article.

The article supposes that in 1802, Jose Julian, in some unknown fashion, is made aware that his mother is still alive and resides in St. Louis. He sets out for Missouri. It was a dangerous time to travel and he could not have left without permission. He must have farmed out his 8 children to relatives and then he left with his second wife and two daughters for Santa Fe where he obtained permission from Governor Nava to go to St. Louis. In 1803, J. Julian has met his mother and half sister, Helene Sale Leroux. He signs a document yeilding his claim against his mother’s estate. For his signature, he was given $200 and the document was witnessed by Jose Ortiz and Francois Valois.

Here is the first article

page 1 J. Julian-1

page 2 j.julian

The article says that “Jose Julian Jacques the amount of 200 pesos in hard currency” in exchange of transfer to his sister Helene his inheritance”.

Jose Julian must not have left St. Louis immediately but eventually made his way back down the Mississippi River to Natchitoches, Louisiana then San Antonio, Monclava, El Paso then Santa Fe. Julian was stopped by the military of Texas and made a declaration of goods to Governor Joaquin Ugarte. The Governor describes Jose Julian’s appearance in this document (the listing of items Jose Julian was carrying with him) and he says that Jose Julian was very dirty in appearance (good lord, in the document it claims that Jose Julian hadn’t bathed or cleaned his clothes in two years!!).  This letter is dated March 4, 1804.

page 3 j julian

Just thinking about this travel/path, on the road, either by boat, horse or walking, and carrying these objects with him. But our Julian doesn’t head right home. For someone who was trying to take these fine belongings to his family, he simply disappears.

After the meeting with Governor Ugarte, he was not heard from for a while. The next document is a letter written in 1809 from Maria Francisca Pacheco looking for information or news about her missing husband Julian Jacques. “Her letter is the sad pleading of an anxious wife to have her husband shipped home.”

The Governor writes back that he has been located and that a Vicente Cruz has loaned Julian 150 pesos to pay his debts so that he can return to New Mexico.

But, as you can see in the next letter, that didn’t happen. Julian goes into hiding again and no way to know where he is during this period.  Finally, a warrant for his arrest is put out for his immediate return to New Mexico for his family.

Brigadier General Antonio Cordero indicated that Julian has given a deposition as to his whereabouts.

Page 35

J. Julian Jacques is finally brought in person in front of Governor Antonio Cordero at San Antonio De Bexar.

J. Julian was very surprised that anyone was looking for him. The actions of the Governor are unknown.

On October 9, 1815, Julian Jacques was escorted by a militia and that Jose Julian has made his way back to New Mexico and to the arms of his loving wife on October 9, 1815.

So there it is. Jose Julian Jacques left to visit his mother in 1802 and returned home to a loving wife in 1815, twelve years later.

I think the saddest thing is Jose Julian dies in 1820, five short years after his return. Did he reunite with his own children, those that he’d abandoned, our ancestor and his siblings?

The very last document listed in this article is the will of Maria Rosa Villalpando.


The writers of this article, Henrietta M. Christmas and Patricia Rau are not related to the Jacques family. But they do have questions posed in the article. The best person to have answered their questions would have been Tommy Martinez. I wish he were still here because i know he would have had an opinion about this article, these letters and the questions posed.

I did ask Henrietta Christmas her thoughts about Julian. She said she thought of him as a “scoundrel” haha. Her thoughts are that he got to see St. Louis and venture out and coming back to sheep and plowing fields wasn’t in his plans. Clearly, his descendants are ages 18-5 when he leaves, not including his second wife and her two daughters. When he returns, all living children are grown, no need for him to parent anyone.

I think of my father as a good father and a good man. I think of Juan N, his grandfather as a good father and a good man. My Grandfather Celestino, may have been a bit more like Julian. Good to some of his children, not great for all of them. This is just my opinion. But, I have to look kindly on Julian, too. He produced 9 children, one of which was Felipe de Jesus Segundo. He married Maria del Carmen Lujan in 1817 in San Juan Pueblo, NM and we have a book that shows his descendants (it was revised in 2016) and compiled by Tommy Martinez. The total number of those descendants listed in his book are approximately 4000 people. Could we be at 5000 now? I’m not sure, but it would not surprise me.

Tommy's book

So thank you J. Julian Jacques, for your perseverance and your genes, good and bad.


DNA Surprises


I like to periodically review my DNA matches on my Ancestry account. Most of my matches in the early days of DNA tests showed all of my cousins that I’d grown up with or at least knew of them and could point to someone on my tree and know how they were related.  However, I came across a name that I couldn’t match with any line and she was listed as a second cousin. After tons of messages, I realized she must be a descendant of an Archuleta cousins and I’m pretty sure I was correct. She came to a family reunion and she met an Aunt and Uncle, and it was so great to get to know her.

I also ran a DNA test on my daughter Hailey. I found a surprise on her Bennett line. A relative that had been adopted was a DNA match and we found that Paul’s aunt shared a father with Paul’s grandfather. Confusing, right? Jerry Springer would have loved that story.

Now, I have a DNA match that is fun and surprising, especially for my Jacques/Archuleta cousins.

Mom and her sisters
Virginia, Ruby and Kathleen Hardin

Escaping the Dust Bowl, Charles, Virginia, Ruby (center) Kathleen and Flora

When my mother arrived in California, her father, Charles Hardin, had driven them from the Texas and New Mexico area, looking for work. Mother had a lot of cousins in Alabama and Missouri, as that is where her parents had been born. The Dust Bowl travelers arrived in 1935 California and headed to a place where Charles had family, in the Corning area. Charles’ mother, Lula Young Hardin, had a sister by the name of Eugenia Adderine Young Trapp. Eugenia had married Henry Trapp and their son was Jack Trapp. Jack married Etta Thomas Trapp. These people were family, friends, just about the Hardin’s entire world.

The Trapp family began in Tennessee and South Carolina. The 1930’s arrived and along with the Great Depression, the teenage Etta was living in Texas. Her stepfather had died, leaving her mother Mary with seven children and 160 acres of land to be farmed. Etta and Jack were married about this time, hoping for a better life. Dropping prices for cotton forced farmers to search for other employment but in Texas, there was no other employment.

trapp couple
Jack and Etta

The Trapps had their first two children, Dorothy Fay in 1928 and Doris Jean in 1930. Dorothy remembered, “My sister and I would be outside playing and a big sand storm would suddenly come up. The sand would blow against our bare legs and sting so bad. They would run to the house as fast as they could, screaming, “Mama, Mama.” After the storm, the sand would pile up in big drifts like snow.

jack trapp and kids
Jack Trapp with the children

Etta and Jack were forced to walk away from 160 acres in Texas and Jack became a wandering wage earner, taking any job he could find. They traveled to New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and back to Texas.

Etta’s sister Cora and her family had moved to Corning, CA where her husband Carl and her father in law found work picking olives, peaches and prunes. Knowing that times in Texas were bad, she urged Jack and Etta to come to California. Etta had four children: Dorothy- 5, Doris- 4, Bill- 2 and Bobby, a new born baby. They were living with Etta’s mother and her own 5 children. Jack traveled to California, alone with no money and no transportation. He hitched rides along Highway 66, and jumped trains to California. When he reached Corning, he worked picking fruit until he had enough money to send a train ticket to his wife and four small children. One train ticket. The children were allowed to ride for free.

Etta packed all she could carry into a few boxes and started to board the train with her belongings and her four children. The conductor wasn’t happy and said if the train was fully occupied, she could only take up one seat. He told her he couldn’t promise she would make the connecting train in Barstow. Bill had a leg infection and couldn’t walk and with an infant, she relied on her 4 and 5 year old girls to carry their belongings. She had no money for a second ticket.

Dorothy could recall being a small girl and being carried by some CCC boys (Civilian Conservation Corp) who worked at the station. Etta was grateful to reach her final destination of Vina, California but the train pulled into the only public building. There was no one to meet her. She watched the train pull away, still clutching her meager belongings and her babies.  She had been afraid she’d gotten off at the wrong stop. Not too long after that, her husband Jack and sister Cora came running up for a joyous reunion.

Image (2)
Henry Trapp (father of Jack), 1-5-1857 to 12-1957…100 years old

Etta, Jack Trapp and Charles Hardin in the front yard of Shafer Drive, Santa Clara

My grandparents, Charles and his wife Flora had three daughters: Kathleen, Jeanie and Ruby. Jack and Etta had five children, Dorothy Fay, Doris Jean, Bill, Bob and Harley. Etta’s sister Cora also moved to the same area. She was married to Carl Smithers. The Smithers had four children, Onera, Jeremy, Imogene and Joyce. My mother used to call Cora Smithers “Aunt Cora” and she considered her children to also be her cousins, although they weren’t. But the little Hardin family was so relative poor, they clung to these family members. Whenever my mother would tell a story about them, I’d always ask, are these the real cousins or the fake ones? Mama would laugh.

Smithers and Hardins
Cora and Carl Smithers, Flora and Charles Hardin

Onera Smithers, Jeremy Smithers, Jubie Hardin (top row, L to R), seated Imogene and Joyce Smithers

Doris and Dorothy
Doris and Dorothy

Bobby and Bill
Bob and Bill


I visited with Bill Trapp and his wife Margaret not too long ago. I just love them and  I have known them all my life.

bill and margaret and me

So, last week, I was tooling through the DNA matches on my tree and I came across this one. “MCasados70”. It showed that we had ancestors in common – with both have a direct line to G.W. Young and Mary E. Duncan. I knew Uncle Bryan called her Grandma Young, and then I stopped on the button that shows what the ethnicity is, how it compares to my own and what we have in common.

                                                                         Me                                           MCasados70

England                                                          47%                                              58%

Indigenous Americas—Mexico           18%                                              14%

Ireland                                                          14%                                              8%

Spain                                                             10%                                            4%

Odd, I thought, he has almost as much Native American as I, that is kinda funny. So I pull up our matches…

2nd Cousin

Doran Archuleta

Gregory Quintana

Jennifer Kosich

I thought, how is that possible? Our matches are Jennifer Kosich (my cousin’s daughter on my mom’s side) and Greg Quintana and Doran Archuleta from my dad’s side…What the heck?? Hahaha so, a relative of my father’s married a relative of my mother’s and yes, my parents would have loved knowing that. Mother’s cousin Doris, was born the same year as my mother. She had three daughters, Virginia, Gladys and Patricia. Patricia married Rudy Casados and their sons were Manuel and David.

In the 1980’s, my mother had a family reunion of sorts at our home in Stockton. The whole Trapp crew arrived to a backyard bbq with stories, songs and love.

Mother would have said it was “old home week”. These were the people she had grown up with, who’d known her mother and father and had so many shared experiences.

When I went to their home, Bill and Margaret Trapp had shared the Trapp family book with me. It was written by Dorothy Trapp’s daughter, Abbie Ehorn. She very graciously allowed me to share the Trapp family story and their pictures.

Trapps and Hardin
Charles Hardin, Carl Trapp, Henry Trapp, Minnie Trapp and Minnie’s daughter Roxie

Casados Family Line:

So, I have not solved this connection as yet. I can see (because I am obsessed with family lines that are not my own lol) that the Casados line starts in the Los Angeles area with a Rudolph Casados born about 1925. He was born in Abuelo in Mora County, New Mexico. His parents were Benjamin and Francisquita Casados. Mora County is very close to Santa Fe, NM. A lot of our relatives came from Santa Fe. Benjamin’s mother may be Valdez although I haven’t confirmed that.

So, to the Jacques/Archuleta family, and the rest of you, I will continue researching. I love making a connection.

At the end of the Trapp Family Book, Abbie writes that she’d inherited all the old photos and albums and that her mother had started an album with stories and some names and dates. On the last page of her mom’s album, she’d placed a note that said, “Would it be worthwhile, or fun to get together some sort of remembrance or book? Please think about it”. I appreciate Abbie sharing the Trapp family story, photos,  and her mother’s words. Her mother was correct.