Celia Jaquez Herrera was the very last child born to Juan Nepomuceno Jaquez and Ana Maria Lujan. She was born on January 24 1899, the very last year of the 19th century. On the 1900 census, she is living with her parents and her siblings. She is one year old, her sister Lucia is 3, brother Onofre 5, and brother Selestino, age 13. Interesting that her name is spelled Selia on this census as well as Celestino’s name, also spelled with an S. Also interesting that her brothers Alex and Bert and sisters Josefina and Sarah are missing from this census.
By 1910, her siblings are back home, the family living in Largo, NM and Selia (still spelled like that on this census as well) is 11 years old. Her brother Celestino has already gotten married and his wife Tonita is also living with them. In this picture of her sister Josefina’s wedding, Celia is on the left.
Celia was very close with her sister Lucia as they were two years apart. They must have been close with the Archuleta family. Here is a young Celia along with her two besties. I only knew Aunt Celia when she was elderly, however, looking at this picture of her as a young girl, she must have been a kick!
By 1920, Celia is still listed on the census with her parents in Largo, but her daughter Maria Edna, who was born on November 28, 1919, is not listed on this census. I am not sure why but I do know Maria Edna was born in Hutchinson, Kansas. Celia’s name is now listed as being spelled Celia, with a C, and she is 21 years old. Her brother and his wife still live in the family home, too, along with their six children.
I really love that we can trace her path from childhood to adulthood and beyond with the Census. By 1930, she is married to Fred Herrera and has been for five years. He was born on April 27, 1900 in New Mexico. In 1930, they are living in Jerome, Arizona. Living with them are their daughters, Marie Edna, age 10 and Effy age 2. They also have his brother, Filadalfio Herrera and a nephew Alfonso Martinez living with them as well.
Young Celia and Fred Herrera
Fred was working as a miner in a copper mine.
The 1940 Census shows they are living in Jackson, California and that they have lived there for five years (the census asked where they lived in 1935). Her brother Celestino and his family also lived in Jackson in approximately the same time, as they moved when my dad was 7, just around 1934. Their daughter Marie Edna is not listed as living with them but the population of their household has exploded. Effy is now 12 years old and joining the family are Palmera, (Polly) age 6, Freddy, age 5, LeRoy, age 3 and Jeraldine (spelled in this fashion on this census) age 2. Talk about stair steps!
Fred is working, again as a miner, this time in a gold mine.
Eventually, in the 1940’s, they moved to Stockton, where they spent the rest of their days. Here is a copy of the City of Stockton Directory. I like these because they also include their residence address along with the occupation.
As you can see, Fred is now a heavy equipment operator.
I don’t have any memory of Fred (I was only 9 when he died) but I knew Aunt Celia. She was a really great and fun person. She loved people, loved to visit and she always seemed as if she had a secret she was just waiting to tell, as if she could reveal the secret to life.
We saw Aunt Celia a lot. Weddings
Steven Stewart and Celia Herrera
Gloria Lujan, Geri Herrera Ramos, Viola A. Springall, Celia J. Herrera and Flora A. Lujan
Dolly Archuleta and Celia J. Herrera
My dad would visit her regularly. If he got any where close to her house, he’d tell my mom, “Let’s stop and see my aunt”. Being the youngest, I was at home with my parents and we visited with her a lot. She would speak to my father in Spanish and offer him a shot of Southern Comfort, her drink of choice. She would tell stories and laugh, always a great time to be had.
Her daughter Geri would tell her, “Mom, we’ve got a baby shower coming up. Start another blanket.” Aunt Celia was very famous for her knitting.
Aunt Celia was dearly loved and took that love with her when she left us. She passed away on February 1, 1996 and is buried at the San Joaquin Catholic Cemetery in Stockton, CA.