Sunday, February 21, 2010

Revisiting Baptismal Record

Here's a lesson in doggedness, a trait all genealogists need. The previous post shows Crespin Torres' baptismal record in Spanish. Don't let Spanish scare you; these records are not impossible to decipher. You need to look for names and dates. The baptismal record states: "In the year of our Lord, IMPORTANT DATE (priest) baptized NAME, legitimate son of FATHER and MOTHER." A.P is for paternal grandparents and A.M. is for maternal grandparents (abuelos). In Crespin's case, his parents were Jose Anastacio Torres and Maria Josefa Montoya. A.P were Santiago Torres and Barbara Ortiz. A.M. were Juan Montoya and Maria Manuela Garcia.
The trick is to remember it's a baptismal date. Look in the text for something like "tres dias de NACIDO (three days after his birth).
But now we have a problem. Crespin was baptized on the 29th, which is three days after Oct. 26. Ordinarily, the record made closest to his birth would be the primary and most reliable source. But in this case, not only does Crespin's obituary and death certificate reference Oct. 25 as his date of birth, but the family KNOWS the date that the man celebrated his birthday was Oct. 25. One of Crespin's granddaughters, whose birthday is Oct. 26, did NOT share her grandfather's birthday date. The preponderance of evidence is: Crespin's birth date is Oct. 25, 1847.
See, it's never simple.

Source: Baptismal record of Jose Crespin Torres, San Miguel Catholic Church Baptisms 1821-1850, Family History Library Roll 16993. Scanned January 2009 by Maurine Pool

Update 6.26.2011 -- Here is further verification of the Oct. 25 birth date: Oct. 25 is the feast day of Saints Crispin and Crispinian, martyred Roman brothers and shoemakers.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Crespin Torres' Beginnings

Baptismal records from San Miguel Catholic Church provide proof of the birth of Crespin Torres. His full name was Jose Crespin Torres and he was born Oct. 25, 1847 in a village on the east bank of the Rio Grande called La Parida, just outside of Socorro, N.M. (In 1847, that community was in Valencia County; La Parida was later swallowed up by the river).

Crespin's parents were Jose Anastacio Torres and Maria Josefa Montoya.

(See hard-to-read baptismal record. Click on image, at top left, to enlarge).

Crespin was an orphan by age 3. We know this from his obituary (see earlier blog entry) and because he was living with his maternal grandfather Juan Montoya in the 1850 U.S. census. He lived to age 89.

Crespin (pronouced Kres-PEEN) is the Spanish variant of Crispin, a not-often-used name. It means curly-haired one. Those who remember Papa Crespin say he wasn't curly-haired, at least not later in life when he had a full gray beard and mustache. Below, see Crespin in the household of "J. Montollo" in an error-riddled page from the 1850 U.S. Census, Socorro, Valencia County, N.M. (Click image below to enlarge.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Census Time

On April 1, 1930, the census taker found patriarch Crespin Torres in Los Angeles. Sure he was a lifelong resident of Socorro, New Mexico. But on that date, the 82-year-old widower was in the household of his daughter Domitila Sanchez and family. Crespin must have gone to California for a short visit that spring. Every other record of Crespin -- birth, marriage, U.S. Censuses, death -- can be found in Socorro.

Note: The L.A. household includes Dometelia (misspelled) and sons Henry, Crespin and Joe, plus Joe's wife Patsy and son Joe Jr.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

José and Josie Torres

About 1918, José and Josie (Armijo) Torres moved to California from New Mexico.
They had some relatives already living in California.
José and Josie lived in Needles, California, a few years before settling in Fresno.
The couple had met and married in 1912 and remarried in 1914 at Sacred Heart Church in Albuquerque.
José worked for the Santa Fe Railroad.
They raised Esther, Santos, Dolores, Bob and Audrey. A son named Santiago died at 1-month-old on a visit to Socorro to be baptized. The baby was buried at San Miguel Catholic Cemetery, where family members remember placing a wooden cross made by half-brother Benny years later.
The family sometimes visited relatives in New Mexico by train.
And they frequently visited Los Angeles to see their Sanchez cousins. José's sister, Domitila Sanchez, and many of her descendants lived in L.A.
José and Josie are buried at Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles.
The above picture was taken about 1951.