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.
I know I have previously written about Maria Rosa V. but there is so much ground to cover and she is just fascinating. To review, she was married to Jose Juan Xaquez (Jaquez) and on August 4, 1760, 3,000 Comanche Indians descended on the Taos Valley, killing most of the men, a lot of the women and children, then capturing others. Our ancestor, Jose Julian, about two years old at the time, was left behind. However, Maria Rosa was carried into captivity along with 56 other women and children. She spent ten years as a captive, during which she had another child that was half Native, then was traded to the Pawnee Indians. It was with this tribe that she was found by Jean Sale dit Lajoie in 1767. He lived with her for a few years and then he traded for her and they went to the small village being established which became St. Louis, Missouri.
On July 3rd, 1770, Jean married Marie Rose. Jean Sale dit Lajoie was considered one of the thirty original settlers of St. Louis. Her marriage contract identified her as Maria Rose Vidalpane. The child that Marie Rose had in captivity, Antoine Xavier, was given the last name of Sale dit Lajoie until he was old enough to live on his own but with the understanding that he would have no claim as an heir.
Marie Rose had another child, Lambert Sale dit Lajoie, and he was a child of Jean, before they were married. After that, she had daughter Helene Sale dit Lajoie.
Jean Sale dit Lajoie left St. Louis in 1792 and returned to France alone. He never returned to St. Louis.
Jose Julian, our ancestor, traveled to St. Louis upon the news that his mother was alive. He signed a document on August 3, 1803, 40 years after losing his mother, relinquishing his rights to his mother’s estate and giving them to his sister Helene.
So, I know you guys know all of that but here is the interesting thing…I had an email from a gentleman by the name of Mark Redohl. Mark is a descendant of Maria Rosa Villalpando through her son Lambert. Mark has kindly shared this map with us.
As you can see, this is a portion of the St. Louis map that was made in 1804. One block to the left of the Catholic Church is a house marked M.R.S.L.. This is the house that Marie Rose lived in with her family. I used to hear people say she was buried under the St. Louis Arch but I never really understood what they meant. Back in the 1800’s a Catholic Church was built on the banks of the Mississippi River. The current church, Basillica of St. Louis, King of France, was built in the same location in 1837.
Many founders of St. Louis were buried in the cemetery attached to the church. The map hangs inside the museum for the St. Louis Arch. Maria Rosa Villalpando died on July 27, 1830 and was buried in the cemetery of the Cathedral Parish and her age was given as 104 years old.
Mark also shared a video that depicts what St. Louis would have looked like in 1804, including the church and cemetery where Maria Rosa would have been buried. Here is the link which takes you to the U.S. National Park Service website for the St. Louis Arch.
The Battle of St. Louis occurred on May 26, 1780 and involved the Native Americans and French Traders, who fought against the Spanish soldiers, colonists, merchants and slaves. This battle would have occurred at the steps of Maria Rosa’s home. I can’t imagine how frightening it would have been, after having been through the Native American raid twenty years prior, when she witnessed family and friends massacred, only to be held captive for ten years.
Helené Sale dite Lajoie was born shortly before she was baptized on August 11, 1773. She was the child of Jean Sale dite Lajoie and Marie Rose de Vial Pando (Villalpando). This is her picture.
Helene Sale married was married to Benjamin Leroux D’Esneval at the Catholic church in January of 1792. Her children were Joaquine Leroux, Gregiore Leroux, Sylvester Leroux, Marie Angelique Leroux, Watkins Leroux and Helene Leroux.
Helene Sale’s grandson, Judge Wilson Primm, 1810 – 1878 was the first historian of St. Louis. He was baptized Jean Baptiste but his father didn’t like the French sounding of his name and thus called him Wilson.
So Mark Redohl’s father’s grandmother was a woman by the name of Myrtle, her father was John Lambert, his father and grandfather were both named Jean Lambert. Jean Lambert’s father was Jean Lambert Salle dit La Joie, the son of Rose Marie Salle dit La Joie and Jean Salle dit La Joie. The first Jean Lambert was born in a Pawnee village, where his father rescued his mother from captivity. Mark has DNA matches to Jaquez descendants. I always feel fortunate to find others who are researching the same subjects as I, others who are willing to pass on the nuggets of information to the benefit of all. We thank you Mark Redohl, for reaching out and sharing.
Well, we are a week past our family reunion. I have to say, when I held the family reunion in 2016, I had billed the reunion as a Jacques family reunion. However, I had four separate sections of my family show up to the reunion. I knew, this year, that we should bill it as a Jacques/Archuleta/Lujan/Herrera reunion. Boy, did people respond.
It is so easy to be divided. These times of divisiveness permeate everyone’s lives. But, when we connect, and celebrate, our ancestors, we enlarge our hearts toward each other, toward our family and toward being open to keeping our connections alive.
Let’s look at our connections.
This first photograph is Rose Marie Lujan, Richard Jacques and myself. Pictures like this make me think of the 1930’s, when our families lived in Jackson and must have reached out to keep their close knit New Mexican connections to each other.
This next picture is Fred Herrera and Lissi Figueroa. The descendant of Celia Jacques Herrera and Celestino Jacques. They were two siblings who would have been very touched to see that this connection continues.
The next picture is Henrietta Archuleta Hayes and myself. She is the very last of that generation, a double first cousin to my dad. She is just as much a Jacques as I am an Archuleta. That is fun to think about. We are so lucky to have one of our original family members with us, well enough to travel and generous enough with her time that she traveled out to California just to attend. Here is a picture of her as a young lady. So lovely.
The number of parties our family has had in the past led to very fun pictures of different parts of our family, all of our connections.
Our Herrera connection is strong. My dad always felt close to his Aunt Celia and I just love this picture of Aunt Celia’s wedding anniversary from the 1970’s.
We have connections everywhere. Each person who came to the picnic made a new connection. We have new connections and new family.
So many lovely pictures, time well spent. My cousin Rose said she’d spoken to me more over the last two months than she had over my entire life. I’m grateful for the time we’ve spent together and I have a feeling it will continue!
So, if you follow my blogposts or your last name is Jacques, Archuleta, Lujan, Herrera or any form, thereof, there is a family reunion/picnic coming up. Now, this reunion is being planned for July, 2018. We had so many picnics in the past. That was always one of my favorite places to go with my parents. So, my cousin Rose has found a park that has lots of shade. This park is in Walnut Creek. A nice central location and not has hot as it is in Stockton. Always important in the summer. We’ll update you soon to the specifics.
We’ve had our DNA tested and it is so interesting. The DNA results are read in “centimorgans”. You receive 50 percent of your centimorgans (cM) from each parent, making up your 100%. However, there is a randomness to your cM. Full siblings won’t have the same genes and only identical twins have the exact same genes.
Parents/Children share approximately 3,400 cM. I had Hailey’s DNA tested and she and I share 3,465 cM across 68 DNA segments. I naturally assumed she was more “Jacques” then Bennett and I am fairly confident that this proves my theory. Haha, well, once we test her father, we’ll know for sure.
Full siblings share 2550 or so. My brother Tim was tested and he and I share 2,565 cM across 64 DNA segments. I’m not too surprised by this number. What would be interesting is if my sister Jackie will consent to a test. I’d like to see how her numbers compare to ours.
I also looked at some of the offspring of my dad’s double first cousins. So the double first cousins share the same four grandparents. However, because of the randomness of DNA that is inherited, there is no guarantee that you will get the same DNA. However, the double first cousins share a higher percentage than regular first cousins.
I looked at my result with Greg Quintana. His mother, Viola and my Dad were double first cousins. He and I share 528 cM across 31 DNA segments. If you compare that number to my first cousin, Donald Serna, with whom I shared 1002 cM across 36 DNA strands. Pretty interesting stuff. Donald is listed as my first cousin, Greg listed as my second cousin. I wish we’d had my father’s DNA tested compared to one of his DF cousins. Oh well, ever forward.
I have had several requests from people who are confused as to how they are related. I won’t bother going over the “double-first” cousin thing again, but what I will attempt to do is explain they are related.
Most of our relatives will be from one of three lines of the Jacques/Archuleta family. The head of the family is Juan N. and Ana Maria Lujan Jacques
Line of Juan N. Jaques and Ana Maria Jacques
These are the children of Juan J. and Ana Maria.
Most of the cousins we grew up with fall in one of three lines.
Josephine and Simon Archuleta
Celestino (brother of Josephine), and Tonita Jacques (sister of Simon Archuleta)
Celia Jacques Herrera
Aunt Celia’s family includes the Stewarts, Leroy and Freddie, Raymos’, Effie Knight’s family, Lujan family (Aunt Edna’s family) and all of the lines on the Herrera list. You can refer back to the main list.
Now, I don’t have all of the lists for the Archuleta families. But, as you can see from this list, there were 12 children and their families have grown exponentially.
Great Aunt Josephine’s family (Line #1) Aunt Flora’s Family (includes Anna Marie Lujan, Rose Marie Lujan, Sonny, Nick, Anita and Gloria)
Uncle Pete’s family (families of Richard, Dolly A. and Leilani Archuleta)
Uncle Archie’s family (Bobby and Diane)
Aunt Viola’s family (Greg and Sharon Quintana and family)
Donald Archuleta’s family (Deejo, Dion, David, Daryl Archuleta and families)
Henrietta Hayes and Family (daughters Dawn, Susan, Judy, Jean)
Uncle Milton’s Family (Frank, Donny, Dale, Nolan)
Aunt Esther’s Family (Karen, Damian, ,Duane, Bobby, Norma)
Brother Celestino to Josephine and Celia,
Feel free to refer back to the Jacques Grandkids list above, along with the Aunt Celia’s family list.
I hope that clears this up for everyone who had questions. But I know it won’t. Don’t worry, I’ve been studying this stuff for years and years and I don’t always have it correct too.
When Taylor was editing my posts for the Jacques/Archuleta family, she pointed out the fact that I’d never written about Uncle Frank. Truthfully, I don’t know very much, but I am willing to share what I do know.
Uncle Frank was born on December 12th, 1915. Here is the 1920 San Juan County, NM shows he is living with his parents and grandparents. Uncle Frank is just a year and a half younger than Uncle Fred.
My father did not have a lot of memories of his brother. My dad was 6 when Uncle Frank died and truthfully, the only story I have of him involves Uncle Fred. I have several cousins who say Uncle Frank was in a conservation camp. Truthfully, I have no idea. But what I did find was the 1930 Census.
In 1930, the Jaquez family was living in Denver, Colorado. Uncle Frank is just 14 at that time.
Sadly, Uncle Frank died as a very young man, in the early 1930’s. The only thing I know for sure is when Uncle Frank was on his deathbed, they had called for the priest to come and administer last rites. He refused. Uncle Fred took a shotgun and returned with a priest. Thank God for Uncle Fred. I know it would have meant a lot to my family that he get his last rites.
To say that this is all I know feels pitiful. So, this year, one of my first goals is to obtain copies of his death certificate as well as a copy of his baptism record. I know my cousin Tommy has begun gathering a lot of documents from the church in this regard and thus I will post an update for Uncle Frank. God rest his little soul.
The dawn of the new century did not shine bright on the Jacques family. By early January, it was apparent that my mother’s health was in fast decline. By the first week of January, it was clear my mother would not make it to her surprise party. I’d already sent out all of the invitations, so I had to cancel all of our plans and turn around and call everyone, explaining the situation. Instead of coming to her birthday party, they’d be coming to tell her goodbye. Several of her girlfriends from school came to Stockton to visit her. I believe every single family on my dad’s side of the family arrived. It is difficult to remember everyone as one day slid into the next over the course of the next two weeks. The one person who had been my best friend was preparing to leave us. I don’t have enough time in the day to explain my relationship with my mother, but I spent every possible minute with her that I could, and I won’t ever regret it.
Of course, it was most difficult on my father. My parents had such a great love for each other. They knew each other as well as one person can know another and loved each other through every up and down imaginable.
Ruby Mae, whose father had nick named her Jubie, returned to her first family on February 1st, 2000. I know my Grandma Flora, my Grandpa Charles and my Aunt Jean were all so happy to have her home again. I was not. But I had two children, one seven and the other just past his second birthday. I would have to push forward.
The day mother passed away, Jackie and I had been sitting at the end of her bed. No one had left mother’s side and we had simply rotated, taking turns to just sit near her. When she stopped breathing, it was the absence of sound that shocked me. I felt as if I were in a magnifying glass that had been scrunched tight then turned upside down. When it was flipped back, my life was no longer felt the same. Mother’s hospice bed was in the dining room and everyone had lined up to kiss her goodbye before they took her out. I bent over and kissed her forehead, but my tears rolled onto her cheeks. Dad had been standing behind me and said, “See that? Your mother doesn’t want to go. There are tears rolling down her cheeks.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him they were my tears.
Mother’s funeral was well attended, and she was laid to rest at Cherokee Memorial Park. My dad was already suffering from Parkinson’s disease and thus he had a tough time getting around. He was still driving, just to the store or he’d meet me at church on Sunday morning. Eventually he moved into several different senior apartments.
The following summer my nephew Eddie got married in North Carolina. We all flew to North Carolina, including Dad. I left Taylor here in California, as she was in my cousin’s wedding and I would be returning in time for that ceremony. Jacques stayed with his Grandma Bennett.
When I got back to California, summer was ending. I’d taken you kids to the pool when I realized my bathing suit had shrunk. I thought that was so odd.
A month later, I was laying on my back in bed on a Sunday morning when I felt Hailey kicking inside of me. I was so shocked. Truthfully, it was the best thing that could have happened to Dad. He was so pleased with that new baby. I was in a quandary. I wanted to name Hailey after my mother, but I also knew Momma wasn’t fond of her name Ruby and I didn’t know if I could put the name Jubie on a little baby. I settled on Hailey J. Marie Bennett.
I finally gave Hailey just the letter J for her Grandmother. Papa was so damn happy and loved spending every minute with her he could. He would also say Hailey was stubborn. Boy, he exactly right. But Dad’s health problems progressed. I moved him into our home while he waited for another apartment to open up, one where he could have increased care.
In 2001, my brother Tim took Dad on a cruise with Aunt Fran and Uncle Don. His health had declined but my brother was certain he could handle taking dad and he did. He did such a great job taking care of Dad. I can’t even tell you how close Tim became to Dad and my mother would have been so proud of my brother. Dad had a great trip. Tim would push Dad up to the casino and he’d play black jack for as long as he liked. Dad won a ton of money, too. It was a memorable trip.
Dad’s first great-grandchild, Kylee Marie O’Shea had been born and Dad was so pleased with that baby too. Those new little lives put a spark back in Dad. Also having Dad live with me really gave me an opportunity to learn how to cook chili. I had watched him do it a million times but now, he’d sit on a stool in the kitchen, next to the stove and show me step by step. I am so fortunate. Although I’d lost my best friend, I turned that role over to Dad. Jackie and I would never have gotten to know him so well with Momma here and that was a great silver lining.
When my Dad turned 75, I had a birthday party for him. He loved his children and grandchildren and we took lots of pictures together.
Dad had booked another cruise for 2003 but by February, the doctor decided Dad was too ill to go on the cruise. Dad had already paid for the trip and wanted me to take the cruise with Tim. First of all, I would be leaving Dad and all three of my kids. That was tough. I was worried Dad wouldn’t make it until I returned. But he assured me he would be here when I got home. So glad Jackie would visit him while I was gone too. It was a great cruise but very difficult to relax.
My husband did a great job. He took care of the kids, with his parents’ help, but he also took the kids to see their Papa while I was gone. It was one of the nicest things anyone had ever done for me.
I returned home to find that dad’s decline was real. It was time for him to go into a rest home. We had him moved and it wasn’t long before Dad’s time was small. By the last week of his life, I called my relatives to come and say goodbye to him. But his humor didn’t leave him, not even at the end. Toward the last days, we were sitting around his bed and he asked for a coke. Paul went off to get a soda from the machine and when he returned with a Pepsi can, my Dad joked, “I said Coke.” Daddy had a fun sense of humor. Dad left us on June 30, 2003.
Both of my parents were gone. So many great things happened for our family over so many years and the sadness will continue, but my parents go on. They really do. When I see Hailey’s eyes light up at gossip, I think, lord, my mother continues.
My parents surely must have been watching the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014. My Mom would have jumped ten feet off the ground. Damn, she loved her Giants. That continues through each of us.
Where do we go from here? We go forward. We can’t go back. Every once in a while, I’ll have chili and beans and think, damn, Dad would have appreciated that meal. Or I see a Twinkie and laugh, cause Momma loved Twinkies. Our life wasn’t perfect. My parents weren’t perfect. But we had the best parents for us. We came from a great love. That continues. You children will continue. My parents would have been very pleased, indeed.
The 1990’s arrived and found my parents in a new town. They had moved to a retirement community, just south of Red Bluff, CA and east of Corning, CA. Corning was the area where Mother had moved to as a child in mid-1930. Rancho Tehama was down a very long 10 mile drive off Interstate 5, then past a cow pasture and up into the foothills. The houses were mostly mobile homes and Mom’s property had about a half-acre of land, on a hillside. Their home had two bedrooms and a built in hot tub. There was one bathroom.
One of the consequences of our parents moving was Aunt Jackie moving into her own apartment. With our parents gone, her apartment was very close to our duplex and thus she came to our house all the time. We all traveled to Mom’s a lot.
In fact, when I was very pregnant with Taylor, about 8 months, we’d driven to Rancho Tehama for the weekend and traveled with Aunt Jackie. She was driving my car back, Paul was in the front seat and I was laying in the back seat (I wasn’t feeling great). We had our windshield busted out by a bird. It was very scary. We pulled over on the median and then I drove home the rest of the way, busted windshield and all.
Max Theodore Dodson was born on September 22, 1991 and the following year, Taylor Carson Bennett was born on September 14, 1992. We went to Rancho Tehama a lot when they were little. It was a three hour drive from Stockton. We traveled constantly.
We’d arrive on Friday night at 10 p.m., as we left when Paul got home from work at 7 p.m. Mother would be in bed already and Daddy would be up watching t.v. but really he was waiting for us to arrive. Momma would come out to say a quick hi then straight back to bed. We’d get up on Saturday and they’d make a huge breakfast about 11. By the afternoon, I’d be playing Scrabble with my parents. The house smelled of cigars, as Daddy smoked his cigar while playing at the table.
For dinner, they’d make steaks marinated in olive oil and garlic. The smell of the barbeque always made your mouth water. There were twice baked potatoes and garlic bread. They were such great cooks.
By Sunday, we’d run to Red Bluff to grocery shop. I loved that little town. It was very quaint. That was really when Walmart became a big box store and we’d shop at the one in Red Bluff because it was the only place in town to get what you needed. On the Fourth of July, we’d go to town for the fireworks display. The whole town showed up and the fireworks were shot over a pond. There was only one movie theater and we’d go there during the summer.
Mom and dad had a huge satellite dish, in order to get all of the television channels that they wanted to watch.
Daddy planted vegetables and fruit, along with tulips. My dad planted flowers at every home they lived in.
My parents started traveling. The year Tara was five and Eddie three, my parents had taken them to Disneyland. I got to go on that trip as the teenager so that I could take them on the rides. This time, in the early 1990’s, my parents had purchased a van and took all five of their grandchildren to Disneyland. Tara was 15, Jim was 14, Eddie was 13, and Anthony and Nick were both 10. They had such a great trip. Of course, Nick and Tara fought the entire trip. It happens.
The 1990’s is the decade my parents took a trip back east. Mother had been wanting to travel so they got in their van and drove from California to New York to view the autumn colors. They stopped at my cousin Dickie’s house in New York. My parents got the biggest kick out of that visit. Dickie took them to where he worked in the Senate, and they were very impressed. They thought Lorraine and the kids were great. But mostly, my dad was so damn proud of Dickie and he knew his brother Epie would have been so damn proud of him too.
They also took an Alaskan Cruise. They absolutely loved Ketchikan, Alaska. They were very impressed with all of the ice and of course, made wonderful cruise friends. That’s how my parents were, they could make friends anywhere, with anyone.
They also took a trip to Alabama along with my Aunt Kay and my cousin Cynthia Paulson. They visited with all of my Grandpa Hardin’s relatives and my mother was happy to meet so many cousins. Most of them were redheads and Mother fit right in.
Lenny Holmes, Cindy Wilkinson, Kay Paulson, Tim and Jubie and all that is left of the fireplace where Charles Hardin was raised in Alabama
House as it was when Charles Hardin lived in Falkville,AL
They also took a cruise with Aunt Fran and Uncle Don. They were the best of friends and just had such a fantastic trip together. Of course, when Mother traveled, (prior to everyone carrying a cell phone) I would go for days without hearing from her and it would drive me crazy. It drives me crazy now, not being able to call Momma. In Dad’s video, you can hear Uncle Don say, “Jubie, phone’s for you. Cookie’s calling you again”. Hahaha. That video made me laugh. As much as it makes me cry, it makes me laugh too. Yes, I’d called Uncle Don like seven times while Mom and Aunt Fran were shopping. I might have been a bit impatient. And Uncle Don loved me.
Every time my parents would go on a trip, I’d go stay at their place for a weekend while they were gone. It was never as fun when they were gone.
We also made more than a few trips to New Mexico. The first, when Taylor was just 6 months old. Here she is at the Grand Canyon on our way home.
The next New Mexico trip was in 1996, when Taylor was four. Tim, Jackie and Paul and I along with Taylor, Cammie, Jim and Nick met up with Mom and Dad. They’d driven with Eddie. It was a great trip.
For as much as they loved living in Rancho Tehama, Momma kept her doctors in Stockton. Consequently, she would come back to Stockton every time she had a doctor visit, so in between our trips up there, they’d come back and stay a day or two at a time.
When I was pregnant with Taylor, Momma and Daddy came and stayed for about a week, driving us to the hospital. I went into the hospital and my Mom and Dad took your dad out to dinner. I was perturbed, to say the least. I thought it very unfair that I was laboring away and my parents decided he needed to go eat. Haha, makes me laugh to think of it now. With the pain my mother had, I knew it was very difficult for her to sit at the hospital hour after hour with me. Part way through the night, she had to leave for a few hours but Maxine stayed with me. See, Momma was very happy that Maxine was strong and resilient and able to sit for the long hours my mother couldn’t.
After an emergency C-section, my Mom and my Mother in law were outside of the nursery window, waiting for Taylor to be brought out, along with your aunts, and they both started screaming and jumping up and down when Paul came out with that baby. Paul couldn’t figure out how they knew it was a girl but that pink knit hat had given it away. Gosh, they were so happy. Taylor was the first Bennett granddaughter (followed by Lauren, then Hailey) and the second for my mom and dad. They took us home from the hospital, too. Mother let my dog, Buddy, smell that new baby, then told him that she was ours. Buddy was a very good dog and the only time he misbehaved was licking Cheerios off Taylor’s fingers.
In 1995, we had a 40th birthday party for Tim. That was a very fun day.
Mom and Dad had a good run living in Rancho Tehama.
Mother battled health problems for the entire decade.
Two more great events occurred in the 1990’s. Aunt Jackie and Uncle Roger got married on September 27,1997.
Jim and Stefanie got married on December 28, 1997 in Monterey, CA and then had a church wedding on November 28, 1998. Taylor was the flower girl in each of these weddings.
Eddie was supposed to be in Jim’s wedding but Eddie had enlisted in the U.S. Army and thus missed the service. Anthony filled in for his brother.
These were the last big events my parents were to participate in.
The last grandchild to be born while my mother was alive was William Jacques Bennett. I had toyed with the idea of naming him William Charles, after my grandfather but then I thought about it and really liked the idea of naming him our family name.
The one event that crystallized our family life in the 1990’s was the year we all celebrated Christmas at my mom’s house. I don’t think Jacques was born yet, but every member of our family was present. Usually there would be someone missing from a holiday, but that Christmas, each and every one of us was present. All nineteen of us, under one roof. And yes, one bathroom. That was a hell of a holiday. My mother was so damn happy. We sang songs, ate Christmas dinner, opened gifts, it was every holiday movie rolled into one, much to my mother’s delight. There were people sleeping in every room. Mother had the kids make Christmas lists for her and then she purchased every single item on the list. She said she needed to spoil them while she could.
In the last three years of the 1990’s, Mother’s health really deteriorated. She had a new tumor and we found that the cancer was active again and had spread to her brain. She was 69 years old and was coming up on a big birthday. By the new decade, she would be turning 70 years old. I had another great brainstorm…we should throw Momma a big bash for her birthday. It was going to be a surprise party and I had her invitations designed. Unfortunately, the party was never meant to be.
The turn of the new century was kind of weird. Everyone thought that the whole Y2K thing was real, that at midnight, all of our computers would explode, that the internet would self-destruct and that time would stand still. It didn’t. Paul and I went to dinner on New Years Eve with Momma and Daddy at Stockton Joe’s. Then we picked up the kids and took them back home. But in a way, time did stop for us. Momma had brain surgery, trying to eradicate the cancer. It didn’t work. She and Dad had been forced to sell their home in Rancho Tehama and move back to Stockton. We spent our last Christmas together, as a family, in a small rental home here in Stockton on East Benjamin Holt Drive.
Growing up, my mother had been very particular about her Christmas Tree. She always liked a Silver Tip Christmas Tree. I went out and bought one with elegant branches and that Christmas Tree smell.
I hung all of her lovely decorations and then tinsel, strand by strand. We tried to make it the best Christmas we could. But there was a pall in the air, one that we couldn’t run from, couldn’t hide from, one that would change us forever.
By the dawn of the 1980’s, we’d moved to Stockton, CA. My Grandma Tonita had passed away in the 1970’s, but by the 1980’s my Grandma Flora was ill. After my Grandfather Charles’ heart attack and passing in 1960, she had remarried in 1965. She had married Neil True. My mother wasn’t fond of him, but got along with him, for my grandmother’s sake. We all called him Pappy.
By 1980, Grandma Flora was 78 years old, had suffered a stroke and was then diagnosed with breast cancer. My mother moved her off the hill where she lived in Nevada City, and moved her into a small duplex off of Quail Lakes. Pappy had health issues too. Aunt Kay took care of all the bookwork/banking for them, so my mother took care of Grandma and Pappy. My mother was very close to her mother and she did her level best to take good care of her. However, it was difficult for her to deal with Pappy. My mother would hire someone to take care of Grandma Flora and Pappy would fire them. My mom took a lot of stress from him. Eventually, my mother gave in and she cared for Grandma and Pappy herself during the day and I would get done with school and go and stay there at night, taking care of them. They were mostly asleep the entire time I was there, however I did make them dinner, help them get into bed and then sleep over.
We finally found a nurse that was a godsend. Her name was Emily. Suffice it to say, Grandma Flora liked Emily and so Pappy wasn’t able to fire her.
My mother’s time was consumed by her parents. However, Momma also had three grandchildren with whom she spent a great deal of time.
When we moved to Stockton, Tara Lynn was about two years old. There was a double fireplace that went from the family room to the dining room. Tara would peek through the fireplace and say, “I see Papa through the willow”. Willow was her name for window. She was such a cute baby.
By 1982, Grandma Flora was very ill and not doing well. She finally passed away on May 22, 1982. My mom was devastated. I’ll never forget the sight of her laying on her bed, sobbing. As soon as my grandmother had passed, Pappy’s “family” had arrived to take over with Pappy. They immediately wanted all of the money in Grandma’s account and began packing up their things, including Grandma’s belongings. My mother was so incredibly hurt. She internalized all of the stress and pain
At one point, my sisters and I may have broken into my grandmother’s home and retrieved everything of hers that we could. We may have.
My father squired mother away for a brief trip, hoping to get her back on her feet.
Eventually, Pappy’s family took him to Washington to live out his days. However, once he, too, had died, they shipped him back to California so that he could be buried with Flora.
A short time later, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Mother felt certain that she had developed the cancer from the extreme stress she had suffered. She was probably correct. She also found out she was suffering from diabetes. She had a mastectomy then had radiation and chemotherapy. She fought back.
I used to play Scrabble with my parents. We’d sit at the kitchen table and play for hours at a time. We had such a great time playing that damn game. My mother was difficult to beat. She’d really get a thrill if she got a great word score. She was very competitive and found it impossible to hold back and then my dad would get tired of losing and decide he didn’t want to play any more. So my mom would think about letting him win but she just couldn’t do it. We played games all the time including Dominos, Black Jack, Thirty-One, Poker, and Uno. But we’d always go back to Scrabble.
I graduated from high school in 1983
My parents had two more grandchildren, Anthony Laubenstein and Nicholas Stromgren.
My dad had been working in the Bay Area when we moved to Stockton and he continued to do so. He’d drive down to San Jose on Monday morning, some weeks he’d stay there for the entire week and then return to Stockton on Friday night. We lived at 3218 Harper’s Ferry Court. They were very happy to be back in the town where they’d met.
I met your dad, Paul, in 1984. We’d dated for several years then became engaged. My mother took my mother in law Maxine out to lunch by themselves. I was kinda worried about it but my mother drove them to the Nut Tree in Vacaville for a lovely lunch (as my mother was inclined to do). When they returned, I asked my mother what they talked about. She was cagey, just said that everything was fine. Truthfully, I think my mother was trying to gauge how Maxine would be as a Grandparent. I think my mother recognized that she wouldn’t be on this earth as long as she wanted, wouldn’t be able to grandmother you kids as she thought you deserved. The only thing my mother told me about that lunch was that she was surprised Grandma Maxine had said your dad wasn’t her hardest child to raise, haha.
In 1986, my cousins Rose Marie and Anna Marie Lujan threw a 70th birthday party for Aunt Flora (my dad’s double first cousin).
My parents and really our entire family had the best time. It was a Roaring Twenties costume party and they just had a ball. My dad had a few drinks and my brother ended up driving all of us home.
1987 was the 35th Anniversary. I knew my mother was ill, I didn’t foresee her celebrating their 50th Anniversary, so I put together a wedding for them. My parents had run off to Las Vegas (my Aunt Jean had notoriously given them six months before they divorced) and I just felt they really deserved a large affair. I planned it as if it were a wedding. It was amazing. All of my dad’s friends from when he was a teenager showed up. Relatives and friends alike, it was a hell of a shindig. I was very proud of how their wedding turned out. It was a great party.
By 1989, Paul and I got married. My parents paid for most of my wedding and it was a real opportunity for them to throw a fancy wedding.
We got married at Morris Chapel (yep, same place mother had married that other man) and had close to 200 people attend. Having my dad walk me down the aisle meant the world to me. My mom and Maxine lit two candles on the alter then your dad and I lit one unity candle. We had a nice wedding. Paul and I went on our honeymoon on a Mexican cruise. My mom was mad because I hadn’t called her during my honeymoon.
By the time my wedding was over, Dad decided it was time for him to retire and for them to really start traveling.
We got married in September. We’d go to my mom’s house for dinner every night after work, because I knew Momma would be making dinner and really, why should I have to make a whole dinner too? Haha.
By November 1989, my parents sold their home on Harper’s Ferry Court and had moved three hours away to Rancho Tehama. Their home was in a small community up in the foothills just south of Red Bluff, CA. We really enjoyed spending time there. I also learned how to cook for myself. The end of the 1980’s found my parents squirreled away in a region where there were birds to watch, deer who visited and a daughter who called her mother every day, sometimes three and four times a day.
The new decade brought about new grandchildren, a new home and the end of the Jacques family as we knew it.
After our Santa Clara home sold, we lived for a brief time on Sioux Lane and then moved to our next home at 6027 Sylvaner Way in San Jose. Today, that home is valued at $1,446,000 but back in the 1970’s it was a just a lovely home in a new subdivision. It was a single block off Almaden Expressway and the streets that surrounded it were Zinfandel, Rhinecastle and McAbee.
Camille had moved out with her friends, Susie and Annie Ellis for a brief period of time, but by 1973, she was married to David O’Brien.
When we first moved to Sylvaner, Tim was just graduating from high school and then he took off for Europe to go backpacking with his friends, Rainey and Christie. Laurie had a bedroom there too, but in short order, both she and Tim had moved out and the only ones left living at home were Jackie and myself.
It is important to stop for a minute and reflect on my mother’s health. Her physical health was greatly impacted by a single event that took place in 1968. She had been working for Lockeheed Electronics when she fell down a flight of stairs, damaging her shoulder and breaking her back. She suffered great pain and for most of my childhood, my mother was either in the hospital, just getting out of the hospital or simply in pain. She eventually had five back surgeries, a knee replacement, and rotator cuff surgery. She suffered from debilitating migraines as well and physically her pain never ceased. However, my mother was the single most optimistic person I knew. She would be in devastating pain physically, but she’d plaster a smile on her face, sing a song and just be the nicest person around. She loved dancing with Tim. On Sunday mornings, they would get the newspaper and read it in bed. We would eventually find our way into their bedroom because we loved hearing my mom and dad talk about everything. It was so wonderful to listen to their conversations that everyone would end up in the same place. We’d climb into their bed and just chat up a storm and laugh. Eventually, mother would head to the kitchen and start breakfast. She’d make eggs and fried potatoes, but the crème de la crème were her biscuits. She made homemade biscuits that were simply heavenly.
Dad would come in to help her and she’d turn on her favorite music, usually a Frank Sinatra tune. She always wanted to dance with my dad, and even though she knew her back and leg would suffer, she just couldn’t resist. They really did have a great love for each other. It was a fun way to grow up.
Because the “big kids” had married or moved out, Jackie and I spent a great deal of time with our parents. In 1974, they took us on a road trip to Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming and we visited Expo 74’, the World’s Fair. This took place in Spokane, Washington. We had a fun trip.
We also visited the 1976 American Freedom Train. It was a train that pulled into San Jose and it was filled with American Memorabilia. This included George Washington’s copy of the Constitution, Martin Luther King’s pulpit, a rock from the moon and the one item that impressed me the most, Judy Garland’s dress from the Wizard of Oz. This was such a cool event.
Mom, Jackie, Me
Dad and Mom
About this same time, Marriott’s Great America was opened in Santa Clara. We also visited this upon their opening as a family, including the big kids. This was the only time I ever rode a roller coaster, as my brother in-law David made me ride Willard’s Whizzer. By the way, there were no seatbelts nor bars, only the force of the ride kept you in the seat. There was a fatal accident on this train and it was eventually taken down. Scary to think about it now haha.
By 1977, Laurie was married to Brian O’Shea and she was pregnant with Tara Lynn. My parents were elated about their first grandchild.
We also had a dog by the name of Muffin. Mother said she looked like a ragamuffin when she was brought home and so that was what we called her. She was pregnant at the same time as Laurie. Muffin was a very intelligent poodle/terrier mix. She wasn’t allowed down the hall in our bedrooms and was to stay in the family room. Muffin would sneak down the hall to my bedroom, snatch up a Barbie Doll and chew her feet off. I lost a lot of my dolls like that.
In the spring of 1977, Mom and Dad took me and Jackie on another trip. This time, we drove to my Aunt Fran and Uncle Don’s home in Florida. The Jones’ were friends that my parents made in Santa Clara. They would play cards together and just have the best time. My mother was a little older than Aunt Fran, so mother took Aunt Fran under her wing. They had started out as friends with Uncle Ron, Uncle Don’s brother, and his wife Aunt Bonnie. Our families grew up together and felt like family. We drove from CA to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Dad did the driving. The first day he drove all day and night, then we stopped by noon the next day. After that, we headed to Alabama and had a chance to visit my Uncle Bryan and Aunt Lillie in Birmingham. He was my mother’s uncle and she was very close to him. We also got the opportunity to meet Uncle Tom, my grandfather’s other brother.
Afterward, we drove out of Alabama, just ahead of a tornado. The sky was very black and quite frightening. We pulled into Pensacola, Florida in the afternoon. After securing a hotel, we drove around to see the town and have dinner. The entire town was closed. We couldn’t find anything open. We finally got back to our hotel and found that they were on a hurricane warning. That was scary too. The next day, we arrived in Titusville. We stayed at Aunt Fran and Uncle Don’s for several days. We visited the Glass Bottom Boats and the Kennedy Space Center. We also visited Uncle Ron and Aunt Bonnie and when we left Florida, we stopped to visit Uncle Don’s parents in Georgia.
Kennedy Space Center
On the way home, we drove through Memphis, TN but my dad refused to stop at Graceland, Elvis Presley’s Estate. I still hope to get there one day haha.
Jackie at the Atlantic Ocean
Jones Family, Don, Fran, Donna, Russ
Don Jones and Ron Jones Families
We drove back across the US and ended our trip in Las Vegas. We stayed in a two-room suite and we went to a dinner show and saw Dean Martin. He put on a great show. We spent Jackie’s 16th birthday in Las Vegas.
When we arrived home, our dog Muffin had a litter of 9 pups. That is a big litter for such a small dog. A couple months later, Laurie had her first baby. My dad thought she should name her baby Tara Linda because he liked the name Linda, but she was named Tara Lynn. My parents were so thrilled with that new baby. A short seven months later, they had their first grandson as well. Cammie had her first baby, James Matthew, in 1978 and by 1979, Laurie had her next baby, Edward Allen.
As the 1970’s came to a close, my parents’ lives were filled with their grandchildren. But they were itching to move out of San Jose. The traffic was getting worse and they really wanted to return to Stockton, the town where they had met. Our parents sold our home and in November of 1978, we moved to Stockton. Jackie wasn’t pleased to be moving in the middle of her Senior year of high school. She stayed with a friend for the last month of school then joined us at Christmas. She graduated from Lincoln High in June of 1979. My parents were pleased to be back in Stockton. My Grandma Flora’s health was getting worse as the 1970’s ended and she, too, moved back to Stockton. As we close the 1970’s decade, my parents were relatively healthy, certainly happy and busy with parents, children and grandchildren. But as always, Tim and Jubie’s great love was the cornerstone of our family.
I am a big proponent of obtaining as much documentation as possible. You cannot verify information without it. When you are researching an ancestor, there are some records that I love.
This first record is my father’s birth certificate. As you can see, he was born on December 9, 1927 at 5:00 a.m. Also, my father obtained the copy of this record on March 1, 1954. His name is spelled out as Celestino Timoteo Jaquez. He is listed as the 11th child born to this mother and that upon his birth, he was the 8th child living. My grandfather Celestino’s occupation is listed as Odd Jobs, my grandmother Tonita’s occupation is listed as housewife. Interesting to see Grandma Tonita’s birthplace listed as Gobernador, NM which was located in Rio Arriba County. The county seat for Rio Arriba is Tierra Amarilla.
Celestino is listed as being born in Blanco, NM.
I know my cousin Tom Martinez is working on the records from the church, so I hope to be able to obtain a copy of those records as well.
The next record is a death certificate for Grandpa Celestino. This one is much easier to read. I like seeing who provided the information for the death certificate. This one was provided by Aunt Della and gives Grandpa Jacques’ address as her address, 1840 Charmeran, San Jose, CA. She reported that Grandpa Jacques had been in California for 38 years, bringing us back to 1935 when he arrived here. That fits with the information we know. He died of pneumonia and Arterial sclerosis heart disease. It lists his date of birth as November 15, 1886 and his date of death December 29, 1973.
The last record here is for Juan Nepomuceno Jacquez. I had a harder time obtaining this record and so I received a letter back, stating that they could not give it to me. They said only a child/grandchild could obtain it. I laughed and said, my Grandfather died in 1973 and my father died in 2003. I had to send them the death certificates for my father and my grandfather both in order to get this one. As you can see they stamped it for genealogical use only. Juan N. was born on April 8, 1856. His father is listed as Jose O. Jacquez and his mother listed as Franciquita Vigil. They were both born in Colorado. Interesting to see that this time, it is my grandfather Celestino providing the information for the death certificate. He died on May 28, 1943 and is listed as a widower.
I have been searching for a death certificate for one of my great-grandparents. My Grandma Flora’s father, Henry Carter Burgess. I have been searching for a long time. I don’t have his date of death, nor do I know where it occurred. I don’t know where he’s buried and it drives me crazy. I found a few people had a date of death for him on Ancestry.com. Now, sometimes you run across someone else who has pertinent information to your research. However, I felt like I had discounted those individuals and thought, shoot, I should revisit this information. I pulled the Find a Grave site and found this picture.
I still didn’t feel like this was correct. Then I found the death certificate online.
Okay, once I found this, I was certain. This is not my Henry Carter Burgess. The date of birth is wrong, the spouse name was wrong. Also, his father’s name was John W. Burgess and my Henry Carter was born in Kansas, not Indiana. This was not my ancestor.
One of the biggest lessons to remember when searching on Ancestry.com or any other site, is that you must know what you are looking for, or you will end up with incorrect information on your tree. The best source for you is to interview your relatives now. Now, before you lose the opportunity.