Thursday, March 31, 2016

March 31, 1492 Jews Expelled from Spain

In 1469 Catholic monarchs King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella married to unite the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile. On March 31, 1492 they gave the Jews four months to convert or leave Spain. Many Jews converted to Christianity to escape persecution, but many "conversos" continued practicing Judaism in secret.

“Tens of thousands of refugees died while trying to reach safety. In some instances, Spanish ship captains charged Jewish passengers exorbitant sums, then dumped them overboard in the middle of the ocean. In the last days before the expulsion, rumors spread throughout Spain that the fleeing refugees had swallowed gold and diamonds, and many Jews were knifed to death by brigands hoping to find treasures in their stomachs.”

The Spanish Inquisition is the most famous of the inquisitions carried out between the 12th and 19th centuries by the Roman Catholic Church.

Image of a page of the original Edict
Signed by Ferdinand and Isabella
Source: The Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, Israel.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

...More on the Fajardo, Labadie and Padilla Family Tree

Last month on February 16, 2016 at 2:00 pm., my dad's first cousin Lola passed away.  I remember her as a beautiful, petite, red head who was quiet and kind hearted. She was always dressed beautifully and loved to dance. She had been married to the love of her life, John Solano, since 1949. John was also an adorable, sweet soul who loved to play music. They were a perfect match. They had two adorable children Andy and Lorraine. This month on March 17, 2016 at 2:00, one month and one day after Lola passed away, John joined her in heaven. Truly a love story that would make a great movie. I just imagine that Lola greeted John in heaven and they happily waltzed away together.

 Johnny and Lola
with their children Andy and Lorraine
and grandson Steve

Before I started my ancestry research, it was difficult for me to understand the relationship I had to the trail of "relatives" that came over and sat in my parent's living room speaking "Spanglish" over a pot of coffee. Other than the numerous first cousins, aunts and uncles that we spent holidays with, at my maternal grandma Rosita's farm in Puerto de Luna, I just accepted that I was somehow related to anyone that came over and spoke "Spanglish."

Lola and my dad were first cousins. Twice. My dad's mother Josefita Labadie was married to Doroteo Fajardo and her older sister Lucinda was married to Doroteo's older brother Victoriano Fajardo. Lucinda and Josefita's parents were Dorotea Dolores Chavez and Juan Labadie but when they were young girls their father passed away and their mother married Antonio Montoya. I imagine that my grandma Josefita's stepfather was a very nice man because she named my father Felipe Montoya Fajardo. This created a lot of confusion when I began doing research on my father's side of the family tree. It took me over a year to narrow down where the French name Labadie came into play in the family tree.  To confuse things even further, church records showed that my grandparents were married on May 12, 1915 my father was born May 26, 1915. Then only 3 years later in 1918 my dad's mother Josefita passed away of the Spanish Influenza. At some point during that 3 year period, my dad's sister Anita was born. My dad spent a lot of time with his first cousins so they were in fact much more like brothers and sisters.

Lola was from a large family and had an older brother named Jose that my father was very close to growing up. Jose married my mother's younger sister Connie before he went to serve in WWII.

My mother Agueda Padilla,
with her younger sister Connie
and Connie's husband Jose Fajardo
In Puerto de Luna, NM

When Jose and my father Felipe returned from the war, Jose and Connie convinced my mother to go out on a date with my dad. She had mixed feelings about the whole thing because my dad had a Ford Model T and was known for charging the girls a quarter for a ride in his car from Santa Rosa to Puerto de Luna for the dances on the weekend. Soon, my mom would just pay him for the whole night with the money she made working at the post office so she wouldn't have to share him with the other girls. Within a month of dating, my dad's step-mother Perfecta became deathly ill in Amarillo, where his father and his new family had moved to so my grandpa Doroteo worked for the Santa Fe Railroad. My mom refused to go with him because it was improper for her to go on a trip with him so.... he asked her to marry him. He admitted he was afraid that if he left her in Santa Rosa, one of the others who had just returned from the war would swoop her up. I didn't hear this story until shortly before my mother passed away in 2005 after asking her why I had never seen wedding photos. There were none.

Here's Doroteo and Josefita's family tree compared to Vicoriano and Lucinda's. They are both Fajardos on their father's side and Labadies on their mother's side:

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

So as I mentioned my mother Agueda and her little sister Connie married the two Fajardo boys. Here's the comparison of our family trees. Much like the family trees above, only in this case, the women are Padillas and the men are Fajardos.

My Mom and Dad's Family Tree:

Click on image to enlarge

Aunt Connie and Uncle Jose's Family Tree:

Click on image to enlarge

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Happy International Women's Day!

Happy International Women's Day!

This is a day of gratitude to all of the women (and men) in our lives and those that have gone before us, who made freedom and opportunity for women possible in our lifetime. I especially want to thank my mom for doing her best to make a better life for her children. She was very active in the Democratic Party and used to take me with her to work on elections. I can't thank her enough, however, I did get to take her to the governor's mansion when Anne Richards was Governor. 

Here's to each and every one of you! 

Click here to hear Michelle Obama speak about
International Women's Day