In my previous post I introduced you to my great-grandmother and how she had children with different last names. One of them was my paternal grandfather, who was born in born in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1900.
Around 1916 my grandfathers and his (half) brothers decided to come to the United States.
At the immigration office they said they were brothers wanting to cross.
The immigration officer noticed all the last names were different on the paperwork. He questioned them about it. Didn’t they say they were all brothers? Why were their names different?
Rather than complicating things with stories of their mother and all their fathers, the oldest one told them they would use his name, because, well, he was the oldest!
As a result, my grandfather changed his name. This became my father’s last name, and my maiden name.
The brothers traveled to Kansas City, Kansas. Some descendants still live there today.
When my grandfather was a young man a horrible misfortune struck.
At the time people commonly traveled by hopping aboard moving trains. Once when he did this, he slipped and fell. The train badly injured one of his legs. He developed gangrene and the leg was removed.
My grandfather also journeyed to El Paso, Texas where he met my grandmother.
After they met he tried to get her attention by throwing pebbles at her window.
She took a large rock and decided to throw it back! She hit my father in his injured leg, which hadn’t fully healed. My dad says she felt really bad and felt sorry for him! Talk about a way to start a romance!
They eventually married. My grandmother gave birth to my dad’s older brother in El Paso.
To have employment, they traveled to different states in time for the harvesting seasons.
For instance, this photo shows my grandparents and my uncle in Colorado sitting on a pile of sugar beets. My grandmother is also expecting my aunt.
They journeyed to New Mexico, where my dad and aunt were born. Eventually they came to California where more children were born.
Some of the family stayed in Mexico with my grandmother, and some went with my grandfather and uncle to the U. S.
Eventually they re-united in California.
Some of my grandfather’s siblings returned to Mexico then changed their names back to their original names, even though my grandfather never did. He did keep his original name as a middle name.
One things I find interesting is that both of my dad’s parents had a changed last name! For the story behind my grandmother’s name, see my post called Unusual.