Different people on my family tree will intrigue me and beg for their story to be told. I like when I can add pictures (not able to do that very much on my mother’s side. Had to rely on documents and stories told by other people). Fortunately, on Great Uncle Onofre, we have pictures to help paint our picture. Onofre Reyes Jaquez was born on January 6, 1895. He was the last son born to Juan Nepomuceno and Ana Maria Jaquez. With older brothers and sisters and two younger sisters to follow, Onofre was a middle of the pack kid.
As you can see, Uncle Onofre had a charming little face. When we look at the 1900 census, he is living with his parents and younger siblings in Blanco, NM. As every neighbor had the last name Jaquez, I would imagine it was very crowded, very busy and easy to get lost. I would think growing up in a family owned business and living at that business (on a farm), you get to know your job very well and it probably never leaves you. I can only imagine that is how it was growing up at a time when outside communication was nil. You would have had your family and your farm, probably the entirety of your life.
By 1910, the family is living in Blanco and Onofre was 15 years old. Now, he probably has 14 years of experience at his job (fine, an exaggeration, but just probably just by a year!). There is a world event on the horizon, looming ever closer that must have shook his world and everything he was used to.
This is what intrigued me about Uncle Onofre. On June 8, 1917 he filled out this draft card. He would have been 22 years old, not married, had no children to support, and he simply wanted to raise his stock. I think that is such an endearing quality. I read a lot of writing books (shocker) and there is a theory and book called The Hero’s Journey, written by Joseph Campbell. He identified certain steps that the hero of a novel always takes on his journey through the story. The first step is the ordinary world and the second step is the call to adventure. Step three is the refusal of the call, step four is meeting with a mentor, and finally, at the end of Act 1, is the crossing the threshold into the journey. It is clear that these are the steps the Uncle Onofre took leading into World War 1.
According to the picture, it was taken at Camp Kearney. Camp Kearney is in San Diego County and was established July 18, 1917. It was one of 32 camps created in May of 1917 to house and train army troops making their way to World War 1 battlefields. He also trained at Camp Funston in Junction City, Kansas.
Also included in these army pictures is Richardo Jaquez. Not quite sure how he is related but I know that he is (aren’t they all). I am not sure how long he served in the army (still slogging through Army records) but he is included in the 1920 New Mexico WWI records. He is also included in the 1920 Federal Census for Blanco along with his parents and siblings.
Onofre R. Jaquez married Alvina Martinez in 1928. He was 33 and Alvina was 22. By the 1930 census they live in Aztec, Onofre 35 years old, and they were living in town. His daughter Stella was 1 ½, Mary Jo was 6 months old, and his job title was Flock Master of sheep. Isn’t that great? So he continued to care for his sheep.
The 1940 Census shows them living in Cedar Hill in the San Juan area of New Mexico. Onofre is now 45 years old and he and Alvina have added to their family. Stella is 11 years old, Mary Jo is 10, Buster (Onofre Jr.) is 8, Georgia is 7 and Gilbert is 2. I am not sure what year Dolores was born, but she rounded out their family. They were living on a farm and raising stock. They seem to be pretty consistent people.
So many things say New Mexico to me. These include chili, beans, tortillas, sopapillas, pinon. For me, Uncle Alex and Uncle Onofre say New Mexico. In 1973, they arrived from New Mexico for my grandfather’s funeral. It was a big deal. I was 8 years old and it made a big impact on me. I had very little personal memory of my grandfather, but they were both very nice and I remember feeling so happy that I had met them and how nice they seemed.
I found this great article about his daughter, Georgia Jaquez Lewis, that ran in the Aztec Newspaper in 2013. She was honored for a lifetime of work in the Civil Rights and justice for minorities. She was given this award by the Governor of North Carolina, Gov. Purdue, who bestowed the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award.
Isn’t that great? Here is a quote from the article
“She was born and raised in Northwest New Mexico and fondly recalls attending grade school 70 years ago in the one-room schoolhouse in Cedar Hill. ‘The small white building still stands with its bell and steeple, even now serving in good stead as a community hall,’ she said.”
Here is one more quote, “I am proudly loyal to them and my four Hispanic ancestor families – Jaquez, Lujan, Martinez and Vigil – who were among the first European settlers to colonize America over 500 years ago”.
That is why I love ancestry research. Right there, in that article we learn of a really great woman who is out making a name for herself and who appreciates her heritage. Isn’t that awesome? Last quote from this article.
“She was North Carolina’s first Hispanic judge, serving as a civil and criminal magistrate.” They go on to say she didn’t go to law school and get her degree until her youngest daughter had left for college. ”
This is just one example of what a great family Uncle Onofre and Aunt Alvina raised.
We visited New Mexico, stopping to visit Aunt Alvina with my mom and dad when Taylor was little and I am so glad to have met her.
Uncle Onofre passed away February 8, 1980 and Aunt Alvina passed away on May 7, 2003, two short months before my father passed away.
That, folks, is a life well lived.