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Epifanio Nepomuceno Jacques

Uncle Epi was born on April 7, 1911, the year William Howard Taft was president. That is a hell of a long time ago. He was born in Blanco, New Mexico and was the oldest child of Celestino and Tonita Jacques. His parents had been married in 1910 and were living with Celestino’s parents, Juan N. and Ana Maria Jacques. I have tried to give my own perspective on my aunts and uncle that I have written about thus far. However, with Uncle Epi, he was only a memory to my father and I, unfortunately, never met him. But, we are able to get to know him in a variety of ways. jacques kids He is the oldest in this picture and so darn handsome. You can tell by the way he’s holding Aunt Jane what a good big brother he is and he’s wearing a suit. How adorable is that. By 1920, they are still living with Juan N. and Ana Maria and Celestino is working with his father as a farmer.

1920 Census

Here is that census. Uncle Epi is 9 years old, is in school, and can read and write. If we jump to 1930, the family is now living in Denver, Colorado.

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By now, Grandpa Jacques owns a ranch and is raising stock. That makes sense as adult children were expected to stay at home and help their parents and families. Uncle Epi is 19, Aunt Della is 18, Uncle Ernest 16, Uncle Fred 15, Uncle Frank 14, Aunt Jane 13, Aunt Dorothy 10, my dad Timothy is only 2 and a half, and Aunt Angie was only four months old. That is a full house. We are fortunate to have my cousin Perpetua (Perpie) give us an accounting of how Uncle Epi and Aunt Nora met. Nora Garcia was selling cosmetics door to door and she wanted to see who lived in her old house. It was the Jacques family. Tonita told Aunt Nora to come back when her son was home, as he was the one who was working and had money. Aunt Nora became friends with Aunt Della. Uncle Epi and Aunt Nora started dating and got married on December 9, 1931. Uncle Epi Such a cute couple. You can see how attractive they are and they look totally in love. Now, I can assume the idea of her son getting married sent Tonita straight over the edge. It would have been that way with any of her sons getting married. No woman would have been good enough for Tonita. I am certain it was as rough for Aunt Nora as it was for my own mother. Something tells me Tonita was not the most generous when it came to her son’s time or affection. Eloisa (sister-in-law) & Nora Garcia I love this picture of Aunt Nora and her sister, Eloisa. She is so stylish and beautiful! I am certain this is what she looked like when she met Uncle Epi. Here is Della’s wedding picture and both Epi and Nora were attendants.epi in della's wedding You can tell how close Aunt Nora was with her new sister in law. Here is another of some of Aunt Nora’s family. This is a picture of Ben Garcia, Emma Garcia and an unknown person. For most of my life Aunt Emma lived with Aunt Nora and always came to family parties with her. Ben Garcia & Emma Garcia Epi and Nora’s first child was Imelda. She was born on July 9, 1933 in Denver, Colorado. So this was during the Great Depression and Uncle Epi and Aunt Nora were still living with Grandma and Grandpa Jacques. Grandpa Jacques finally told Uncle Epi and Aunt Nora they should move out, since life with Tonita was unbearable. I don’t blame them one bit. It certainly would have been unbearable, no doubt. They had Joanne in 1935, Rosalie in 1937, Frank in 1939, Perpie in 1940, Richard (Dickie) in 1942 and Jimmy in 1943. Uncle Epi Here he is, Uncle Joe Serna on the left, Uncle Epi on the right, holding one of his babies (I suspect it is Joanne, who would have been a bit older than Rosemary). Epi Jaquez & Nora Garcia Here he is again, this time with his sister Angie, Aunt Nora and his two oldest babies. Epi 4 On the far left is Angelina Garcia, Aunt Nora’s sister, then Aunt Dorothy, Aunt Nora, Imelda, Angie,Tim, Tonita, Aunt Jane, Celestino, then Uncle Epi holding Joanne and Viola in front of Grandma Jacques. Uncle Epi was a big tease and liked to tease his sisters about their weight. He was also an avid reader. Epi and Nora stuck it out in Denver for a bit longer but received many letters from the family saying how much better it was in California and so they moved in 1941. Dickie was born in Pittsburg, California and Jimmy was born in Stockton, California. There was another baby by the name of Ralph who was born after Imelda, but he died from pneumonia. Perpie says that Uncle Epi wanted another boy after Frank but she was born instead. She says her dad felt bad because she was a girl, but then started calling her his “Queenie” and that Epi took her everywhere with him, including to visit his mother.  Epi was devoted to his mother. Uncle Epi worked hard for his family. His jobs included working as a post man, part time work at a service station on Wilson Way in Stockton, just two houses away from their home, and working in the shipyards. Epi did all of the clothes and grocery shopping for his family. He was a hands on dad. In Colorado, he was a parishioner of St. Cajetan’s Parish in Denver. He was President and Secretary of the Holy Name and Christian Doctrine Society, a member of the Knights of Columbus, helped start a Credit Union, and was elected it’s first secretary. Here is a copy of the Stockton City Directory from 1942 when they lived at 1429 E. Channel in Stockton

Epi City Directory listingEpi was well loved. I know this for a fact because my father loved him greatly. When my dad was getting ready to take off for the army during World War II (The Big One), he went to tell his brother good bye. Uncle Epi said they should go and get their picture taken together, since Daddy was leaving. They went down to the photographer’s studio and arrived to find that it was closed. They were never able to get their picture taken together and this was the last time my father saw his brother.

Epi 2 Here he is in approximately 1941 or 1942 with Frankie along with Uncle Ernest, Ernie, Grandpa Celestino, and Grandpa Juan N. Here is another adorable picture of Frankie. Frankie Jaquez Uncle Epi’s story is a sad one. He was working at the shipyard and had volunteered to take someone else’s shift. He was working down in a ditch when he was hit on the head with the bucket of a backhoe and was killed. What wasn’t known at the time was that the backhoe operator was drunk and the company covered it up, saying that he had fallen. So painful to think about that and it left a huge hole in his family that was impossible to fill. Perpie remembers the funeral. “I remember the funeral and all the crying and darkness and Grandma fainting and all the drama around me but we were not allowed to grieve. My mom was a pillar or at least I thought so because I never saw her cry until I was much older.” They tried to get my dad home from overseas for the funeral but that was not to be. Instead, they took a picture of Uncle Epi in his casket. Epi 3 My father put together a memory page for Uncle Epi. I could always tell my dad felt terrible for the way he lost him and how it affected his family. Epi memorial Grandma Jacques immediately blamed Aunt Nora. Obviously, Aunt Nora had no blame in his death so Tonita wasn’t being rational, but she had lost her precious son and I can’t imagine the horror of that situation. Epi Jaquez obit After Uncle Epi was gone, my dad said Aunt Nora would go to the cemetery and talk to Uncle Epi’s headstone, asking him what she should do when she would have a problem with one of her kids. Talk about a strong woman. Aunt Nora went on to raise her family on her own. She had her Garcia family to rely on and Aunt Emma lived with Aunt Nora and helped her in numerous ways. We continued to see our cousins intermittently, but I know my father always grieved for his brother and that loss, just as his wife and children did. My dad attended Perpie’s daughter’s weddings, as his representative. I love that. My dad stepped in for his brother. Epi 6Joanne, Jimmy, Imelda, Aunt Nora and Perpie at Aunt Della’s funeral.

I spoke to Dickie recently who said, “The time your Dad and Mom spent with us was very special. I took your Dad around the State Capitol where I worked and I remember as he was leaving he took me aside by myself and told me how proud my Dad would have been of me and the tears just started flowing.” That trip to New York meant a lot to my dad and I was pleased that it meant a lot to Dickie as well. We lost Uncle Epi well before we should have and his loss was a gigantic hole in the entire family. Epifanio Nepomuceno Jacques died on January 17, 1945 in Stockton, CA, leaving behind his loving wife Nora and seven children, Imelda, Joanne, Rosalie, Frank, Perpetua, Richard and Jimmy. He is, indeed, sorely missed. 063We took flowers out to Uncle Epi’s grave today and it still looks great, 70 years later!

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CF and Tonita Jacques 52 Ancestors/52 Weeks

Maria Antonia Archuleta and Celestino Fidencio Jacques

To be fair, I have little memory of my grandparents. Celestino Fidencio Jacques was born on November 15, 1886 in Blanco Canyon, Largo, NM to Juan N. Jaquez and Anna Maria Lujan. Seeing as he was already 79 years old when I was born, I was the last grandchild (numbering approximately 33), and I wasn’t named after him (Jacqueline Celeste), I had little contact with him. I do remember him but not in any personal way. I actually remember his brothers better than I remember him, as they came to California for his funeral. But before I get to that, let’s start from the beginning.

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He was born smack dab right in the middle of the pack. His older siblings were Sara, Filberto, and Josefina. Then Celestino and his younger siblings Alexandro, Onofre, Lucy, and Celia. As most of the US Census for the year 1890 was destroyed, we must jump ahead to 1900. We find him at the age of 13 living with his parents and siblings. It appears that perhaps his name was originally spelled Selestino. His father was listed as a farmer. Selestino was listed as being in school and that he can read, write, and speak English. I do love that. When you look at his handwriting, you can see how lovely it was. For being raised on a farm, school work was important to this family.

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By the Thirteenth Census which was taken on 15th day of April in 1910, we find Selestino still living with his parents at the age of 23, and according to this Census, he was already married to Tonita, age 21. They were married on December 13, 1909. About this time is when he must have changed the spelling of his first name to Celestino, as that is what is listed on this marriage license.

cf and tonita pic

I came across this document one day when I was visiting Aunt Della. I used to drive to Manteca to visit her and take her grocery shopping. She never learned to drive and lived by herself in the 1980’s, so I would drive down, take her to lunch, take her grocery shopping, and then just visit with her. One day we were looking at stuff in her bedroom and when she opened her drawer, I saw what looked like a very old certificate that had been rolled up and kept in her drawer. I asked her about it and she pulled it out to show me. On the back, Celestino had written his and Tonita’s birth dates, along with all of his children, the day they were born and his first three or four grandchildren (yes, at number 33 I didn’t make the list, hahaha). I thought it was extraordinary. I asked Aunt Della if I could borrow it for a bit. She said I could and I promptly took it to a framing shop and had it put in a special frame with glass on both sides so that we didn’t lose the information Celestino had written about his family. I returned it to Aunt Della and she was very pleased with how I had it framed. She decided that I should have it back after she passed away.

Tonita Archuleta was the second to the youngest of her family. If you need a refresher on her parents and heritage, look at my last post of Ricardo DeJesus Archuleta and Maria Adriana Valdez. She had four older brothers but her closest sibling in age was Simon. Her youngest sibling was Geronima.

tonita

Their first child was Epifano Nepomuceno Jaques, born April 7, 1911. These are the rest of their children:

Delavina Sinforosa Jaquez (Aunt Della) October 7, 1912
Eduardo Ernesto Jaquez (Uncle Ernest) October 13, 1913
Fidencio Amarante Jaquez (Uncle Fred) November 12, 1914
Francisco Audelio Jaquez (Uncle Frank) December 12, 1915
Juanita Sinforosa Jaquez (Aunt Jane) March 30, 1917
Rosa Dortella Jaquez (Aunt Dorothy) November 3, 1920
Timoteo Celestino Jaquez (Daddy) December 9, 1927
Angelina M Jaquez (Aunt Angie) November 20, 1929

394Fred, Jane, Eppie, Frank and Della

When they lived on the ranch, Tonita was responsible for cooking for her entire family, along with all of the ranch hands too.

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One of the joys of researching ancestry is when you come across documents that your ancestor has signed. Here is the draft card for Celestino from World War II.

CF Jacquez

Celestino was working on the farm and by 1935 they had moved to Montrose, Colorado, trying to earn a living.

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This is the directory listing for 1938 when Celestino and Tonita were living at 612 E. Jackson Street in Stockton.

CF Jaques

 

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By May 9, 1940, Celestino and Tonita are living in Stockton, along with their children: Timothy, age 12, Angelina, age 10 and granddaughter Maryann Viola, age 5. Celestino had been unemployed for 78 weeks, after having been employed by Public Emergency Work as a laborer for Street Improvement.

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About this time, Celestino left the home and Tonita was left to care for the remaining children at home. Timothy did his best to step in for his absent father, becoming the head of the home and helping with his younger sister and niece. Timothy signed up for World War II then sent his paycheck back to his mother and helped purchase her home.

 

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In the end, they were not friends (in case you can’t tell, they are leaning away from each other here in approx. April of 1962)

I do have some memories of Tonita. I can remember sitting on the floor behind her rocker because Uncle Ernest had walked in (he liked to scare me). She had a little glass bird that would tip down (I liked to play with it), but her house was very scary.

After she was ill and in the rest home, my Aunt Angie took Jackie and I to visit Grandma. Each of her grandchildren received a rosary at her funeral.

Grandpa Jacques’ brothers, Uncle Alex and Uncle Onofre both came for his funeral. They were both very nice and I thought it was so exotic that they had come from New Mexico (I was eight).

I think if we examine their relationship and their lives (not too closely, please), the best conclusion we can make is that they made some really great parents. My father was a really great man, loving, responsible, and he thought he was very funny (yes, I know, I have the same “I’m funny” quality). He did the best that he could by his wife, his children, and anyone who knew him.

That is our takeaway. CF and Tonita must have done something right. That spark of specialness in them and in their relationship has been passed down into their children, our children, grandchildren, and those to come. So, our hats are off to you, CF and Tonita, for giving our family a good start.

Juan Nepomuceno Jacquez – 52 Ancestors/52 Weeks

 

Juan Nepomuceno Jaquez was born on April 6th, 1856 in San Pedro County, Colorado to Jose Eusequio Jacquez and Maria Francisca Vigil.

daddy and Juan NThis is a great picture of my daddy, sitting in front of Juan Nepo’s headstone.  My dad made a special trip to the cemetery to see his grandfather’s grave, and I love that dad’s cigars are firmly in his pocket, a fresh cigar in his hand. I think my dad’s strong sense of family pride came from his grandfather.

Ha, I’ve digressed.

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Juan N (Dad called him Juan N) was born in Colorado but by 1880 was living in Blumfield, New Mexico, in the Rio Arriba area. He was 26, his bride Ana Maria Lujan was 19, and they had a one year old daughter, Sara.

 

juan n 2

This is such a great picture of the Jaquez family. Here is Ana Marie Lujan, Juan N. (young lady between them is labeled as a servant) then the baby in her lap is my Great Aunt Celia, the little boy in the middle is Great Uncle Onofre and the little girl on Juan N’s lap is Great Aunt Lucy.  The notes at the bottom show this photograph was taken in approximately 1899.

Juan N. ancestors

This is his ancestry: His father is Jose Eusequio Jaquez, Grandfather Felipe de Jesus Jaquez, Great Grandfather Jose Julian Jaquez (son of  Maria Rosa Villalpando in my previous post).

While Juan was born in Colorado, on the 1860 Census we find him in Culebra, Taos, New Mexico Territory. His father is listed as Jose Eusequio Jaques, age 31, mother Francisca Vigil 28, and siblings Victoria Jaques, age 5, Juan Nepi Jaques, age 4, and Josefa Jaques, 9 months old.  His father is listed as a farmer.

In 1875 he married Ana Maria Lujan in San Pedro de Culebra, Costilla Parish, Colorado, USA. There seemed to be a lot of travel between New Mexico and Colorado and that was a tradition that continued for many years.

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According to the Territory of New Mexico Report of the Secretary of New Mexico, the State Representatives for Rio Arriba County in 1907 were Diego Archuleta and Juan N. Jaques. Not the first time you will see those two names, Archuleta and Jaques, linked.

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This picture hung in my dad’s home for years and is now hung in my living room.

In 1925 Juan N. and Ana Maria celebrated 50 years of marriage.

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I think I love this picture the best. He looks so proud, so proper, and so pleased with themselves, as if we have been let in on a secret. His occupation is always listed as farmer and yet in these pictures they are dressed in their Sunday best, ready for their close ups. What a great looking family.

 

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Look at this big bunch of grand kids he has, too. Everyone wanting to get in the picture.

381Names are written around this picture, by I assume my cousin Tommy, looks like Juan N. is seated on the tail end of a pick up, surrounded by more grandchildren.

jacques family This is one of the most recent photographs I have featuring Juan N. I love this picture. It looks like it is from Aunt Dorothy’s wedding. They were married January 14, 1939. In the center, wearing a flower corsage, is Aunt Dorothy, holding her hand is Uncle Sam. Just behind him is my dad, behind my dad is Uncle Ernest (look at Aunt Elsie’s face directly between Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Sam). Next to Aunt Dorothy is Grandpa (Celestino) Jacques, then next is Grandma (Tonita) Jacques and next to her is Juan N. He came to California a lot, spending time with all of his children and grandchildren. Aunt Angie is at the top of the porch, Aunt Celia at the end of the porch, Aunt Della and Uncle Joe on the step above. Just behind Aunt Della is Uncle Eppie holding Perpie. Here is a different shot of the same day, more kids in the background.

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This is another great picture of Juan N. here with his son Celestino, Grandsons Ernest and Eppie and Great Grandsons Ernie and Frank.

Juan 2

 

Juan Nepomuceno died on May 29, 1943 in Denver, Colorado. This is what he left behind:

244This is only part of it, of course. This was taken at a Jacques-Jaquez-Jacquez family reunion in New Mexico.

I implore each of you, if you can, to ask your parents what they know of their history, where their parents came from, where they lived, who they loved and how they died. I promise you there are great stories buried in their history. Okay, I’m off my soapbox now.