Alex and Petrita Jaquez – 52 Weeks/52 Ancestors
When I search for an ancestor, I like to look at the entire picture: the area where he or she came from, what the climate was like, what happened in that town while they lived there, historically what their area was known for, what the people did, who they were, and how my ancestor fits in. Good lord, searching the Jaques/Jacques/Jacquez and Archuleta/Lujan/Vigil/Herrera families is so time consuming, disjointed, and confusing that I must offer my sincere apologies if you get lost along the way. I will do my best to unwind these threads as we go. I am working my way back in time but wanted to take time to finish the Juan N. and Ana Maria kids since we’d already looked at a couple of them and because I met a lot of these ancestors. That way I am able to give a personal view to my blog. These ancestors mean a lot to me, just like when I blog about my mother’s ancestors. Uncle Alex and Uncle Onofre will forever be tied in my memory, the only time I remember meeting them, at my Grandpa Jacques’ funeral.
Alex Jaquez was born on December 20, 1888. His given name was Alejandrino and with the loss of the 1890 Census, we must look to the 1900 Census for our first clue to his upbringing. His parents were living in Blanco, NM but Alex is not listed as living with them. I understand that his sisters went away to school and thus I can only imagine that is where 12 year old Alex is living during this census.
This is the same shot, but a clearer version
By 1910 Alex is back at home, now age 22 and though he doesn’t have an occupation listed, he most certainly would have been helping on the ranch.
He married Petrita Cevada on January 20, 1913.
I can picture all of the men in Blanco New Mexico lining up to fill out a draft card before the impending war. The card indicates that Alex was married and had two children. At that time, Petrita also must have been pregnant.
Their first child was Juan Nepomuceno Jaquez, born October 11, 1914. (He later goes by John and that is the name on his headstone).
Their next child was Margarite Jaquez-Jaquez, born February 17, 1916, (Married to Chano Jaquez)
By December 4,1917, their third child, Arturo Alexandro Jaquez was born, rounding out their family.
By 1920, they are living in Largo, NM and living close to Juan N. Jaquez and T. Simon Archuleta. Uncle Alex is a farmer. His son, Juan N. (John) was 5, Margarite was almost four, and Arturo was 2 years old.
His father, Juan N. Jaquez, patented 320 acres of land in Southwest Farmington, across from where McGee Park is currently located. The document patenting this land was signed by President Calvin Coolidge who was in office from 1923 to 1929.
By 1930, Alex and Petrita live in Aztec, their kids now 16, 14, and 12. Alex is a flock master, presumably with his brother Onofre.
I cannot locate Uncle Alex on the 1940 census and that is so frustrating to me. I know he continued living in that same Blanco/Aztec/Farmington area (like everyone in our family) but I have not found them as yet. I also searched Aunt Petrita’s name but found nothing. I hate brick walls and sometimes it takes a lot of effort to get past them. So, I will persevere until I have climbed over it. (If you are a movie buff, I am picturing Louis Gossett Jr. saying, “That’s right, walk around Sugar Britches!” If you haven’t watched An Officer and a Gentleman, you are missing out!)
Back to the matter at hand, my cousin Joe Telena had the obituary that was in the newspaper in New Mexico when Uncle Alex passed away, one short year after I had met him. In my memory of him and Uncle Onofre, both were as nice as could be. I am willing to bet that my Aunt Della had these newspaper articles saved. Joey put them on Ancestry.com and I pulled them from there.
The first article states that a family burial plot was made from the land the Uncle Alex purchased. It is the same land that his father, Juan N., had purchased in the 1920’s and lost in the depression. Uncle Alex purchased the land back and it is on that property that he is buried. The land was deeded to his three children.
Uncle Alex was a rancher for most of his life, but in the 1920’s also worked briefly for the New Mexico State Commission during the administration of Governor Arthur T. Hannett, a Democrat. When his daughter says that he was a big Democrat, it made me laugh. My father and all of his siblings were Democrats and were very proud to be so.
His son in law said that Uncle Alex was interested in people and never met a stranger. He was a neighbor to all. His daughter said he also loved to quote poetry. Isn’t that sweet? I like that. If he knew someone was ill, he’d have to go check on them. She said that since he’d died, she had heard from nieces and nephews that whenever he greeted anyone, it was always with a smile and his arms open wide.
His daughter says of him, “Babies loved him, even if they didn’t know him.” That made me laugh because I am the same way. Random babies who don’t know me will end up wanting me to hold them. Last August, I spent an entire airline flight to San Diego holding a random stranger’s baby. I am glad to know I got that trait from Uncle Alex.
I was so pleased to read this obituary because it speaks to his character, what a caring person he was, and how he must have idolized his father, working to buy back the land that his father lost in the depression. It is so obvious that he was a man who cared for his parents, his siblings, his wife, and his children. We are proud to have Uncle Alex on our tree.
Alejandro J. Jaquez died on November 20, 1974 in Blanco, NM. His wife Petrita passed away on March 23, 1981. They are buried together, in the Jaquez family plot.