For the longest time in my searching I figured Leonardo Escalante was an only child. No family member had ever told me differently. We usually see our genesis story as “it begins with two people.” I knew they were. To find anything else though was difficult. My great-grandfather didn’t leave many clues for me to follow. I was starting to think he avoided government forms or was always on the move. I later discovered that it was the census takers inability to spell Escalante properly that was the difficulty.
For a while there, I had been caught in the ease of online document hunting. I was also at a research stand still so I did some old fashioned work. I requested Tia Panchita’s certificate of baptism from Santa Clara Church, Oxnard, CA.
Her godfather was the same as my grandfathers’, Eduardo Gonzalez (of Gonzalez Road, Oxnard, CA fame). But her godmother was a woman named Anna Romo. Who?? Well, now. Isn’t that odd? And how fun! I could investigate a new person.
Back on Ancestry, I dug up Anna Romo. I found several forms on her. I even managed to find this tiny picture of her, at age 79. The best surprise was that her full name was Anna Escalante de Romo! She was Leonardo’s sister.
Be still my investigative heart! Now that she was family, I could order her death certificate. That form was another wealth of information. Anna Romo died at the home of her sister, Maria Ramirez de Barbachano. Maria was listed as half-sister. In a very short span of time Leonardo had two sisters. The family tree just got fuller.
Ana Escalante was born in 1862 in Hermosillo. Leonardo came next in 1866. Not too long after, their father dies. Their mother, Mariana, remarries Juan Ramirez. They have a daughter together, Maria Lucia Ramirez born in 1870.
Anna married David Romo. They left Sonora and moved to Ventura County, CA where they lived for almost 20 years. They later moved to Orange County, CA. Leonardo loved this sister. He and his family followed. Maria married Manuel Barbachano. He was in charge of the San Pedro Custom House in northern Sonora. Later they moved to San Diego where he was in charge of customs at Tiajuana.
Due to Leonardo’s early death in 1915, his children never met their Tia Maria. The Escalantes and the Romos knew each other very well, especially the older children. However, my grandfather never mentioned them. I’d bet money though, he named one of his sons after Rodolfo Romo, who would have been his playmate and friend as they were around the same age.
I do believe that Leonardo had more siblings. I haven’t found them yet, but they are out there some where. If anyone who reads this can give me a few hints, I’d love to follow up.