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Thursday, August 16, 2012

California Families Voted

Voting was important to our Torres relatives.

José Torres’ daughters recall that their father believed strongly in the vote – and that fact helped us zero in on when José left New Mexico and moved to California. It shows how long he and the family lived in Needles. José is registered as early as 1917 in Needles, San Bernardino County. After 1923, he is regularly registered in Fresno.

“California Voter Registrations, 1900-1968” database at ancestry.com doesn’t have every year listed, but it gives a sampling of years to help you see where relatives lived.

The records show that Domitila Sanchez also was a voter. She is registered in Los Angeles in 1930, in Fresno in 1938, and in Los Angeles in 1950 – consistent with family memories and census records.

José and Domitila were registered Democrats, by the way.

The voter records do not list ages. And if a name is common, the records may not help much. But if you are pretty sure that a relative lived in a particular place, the voting records can help verify it.

Many of our relatives can be placed at specific addresses in the ’50s and ’60s based on these records.

As far as New Mexico is concerned, ancestry.com does not currently have a comparable database.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

1940 Census: Descendants of Domitila Sanchez

In 1940, Domitila Sanchez was 70 years old and living with her daughter and son-in-law in Fresno. Families of Domitila’s other children were split between California and New Mexico.

Here’s a rundown:
  • Frank F. Sanchez lived on Atrisco Road in the Albuquerque area with his wife and five children. Two of his children, Plutarco and Moises, were already grown and in their own households in Albuquerque.
  • Victor B. lived on Marble Street in Albuquerque with his first wife and six children.
  • Domitila’s granddaughter Andreita Gonzales (Domitila’s eldest child Marcelina had died) lived on a farm in Lemitar, N.M., with her husband and five children.
  • Henry Sanchez and his first wife lived on Nord Street in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles called Willowbrook.
  • Joe and his wife lived on Soto Street in Los Angeles with two children.
  • Where’s Crespin Sanchez? The newly released census index doesn’t help in finding this son of Domitila’s. Could he be a lodger at the home of the Bartolo Najera family in Stockton, Calif.? Maybe, but there is not enough matching information to confirm that. Crespin lived in the Los Angeles area most of his life, and is listed in Los Angeles voting records in the ’40s and ’50s.

Summing Up: Several recent blog posts have looked at our family members in the 1940 census. What did we learn? One couple was separated. One young man had joined the service before WWII broke out.
But mostly, the year 1940 set the stage for a lot of movement by our family members. Most of our families answered, “Where did you live in 1935?” with the answer “same place.” It would be interesting to see what the answers would be in 1950 to “Where were you in 1945?” But unfortunately that is not a question in the 1950 census. And it will be 10 long years before those records are released.