Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Palacios Family Connection

As a family historian, I have been really fortunate to have access to various internet tools to get this job done. It was much harder “back in the day” when you had to guess dates and send away for paper hard copies from state agencies.

Recently, I got connected with several new-to-me family members via Facebook. When I see they have old pictures of their family posted, who also happen to by MY family as well, my heart gets all race-y, like I’ve been doing aerobics, but without all the sweating.

So this week, I have seen on Facebook a few Palacios family members. I know of them because Tio Ruben married into their family. I even have them listed on my tree on Ancestry because I love making branches bigger.

But two things happened that have changed my “oh-so-well-thought-out” theory of family lines. I saw a picture of the Palacios family, and Ancestry released 200 million new documents from Mexico. My theory was shattered. So here is the rewrite.

Francisco Palacios was the son of Jesus Palacios and Consuelo Soltero. He was born around 1873 in Phoenix, AZ.

Francisco Palacios.

Francisco Palacios. Photo Courtesy of L. Escalante.

He married Herminia Sanchez in Santa Ana, Sonora, Mexico. Here is a picture of her on a Travel Manifest from 1927.

Herminia Sanchez de Palacios, 1927.

Herminia Sanchez de Palacios, 1927.

Tia Cuca Palacios-Escalante’s nephew had a great picture of his family on his page. It’s this one. He let me borrow it. (Thank you Ramon)

The Palacios Family.

The Palacios Family. (Back row (L-R)  Chuy Estrada, Victoria Valencia, Dolores Figueroa, Francisco Palacios, Jose Cruz Palacios, Armida Valenzuela, Francisco Fernandez, Maria Montijo, and Cuca Escalante. The lady sitting on left, I could not find a name for. Herminia is sitting on right.

These were Herminia’s children, minus two, not in the picture. I thought it was odd that Armida was in there, as I had always thought she was Francisco Sr’s sister. I HAD thought she was Tia Cuca’s aunt. Thanks to the new documents I could now find, I discovered the truth!

Civil Registration of Jose Maria Valenzuela and Armida Palacios' wedding.

Civil Registration of Jose Maria Valenzuela and Armida Palacios’ wedding. March 2, 1914.

She is Tia Cuca’s sister. AND she was married to Jose Maria Valenzuela (Rufina’s brother). What this means for me is that her children were first cousins to my Grandfather Alberto. WHAT??? According to the above document (and a little help from, Jose Maria was a widower. He was 38 years-old when he married his 16 year-old bride, Armida. She was young when she was married! Here is her dashing older husband.

Jose Maria Valenzuela's travel manifest, 1927.

Jose Maria Valenzuela’s travel manifest, 1927.

This explains how Ruben met his wife in Santa Ana, Sonora. He must have gone to see his uncle. And met the lovely Palacios daughters and brought one home.

Tia Cuca and Tio Ruben's wedding day. Matron of Honor: Panchita Escalante de Garcia. Best Man: Alberto Escalante.

Tia Cuca and Tio Ruben’s wedding day. Matron of Honor: Francisca Escalante de Garcia. Best Man: Alberto Escalante. If anyone knows the little girls names, please tell me.

But this was a difficult new idea to wrap my brain around. I stayed up late a few nights trying to draw the following diagram. It should really be 3-D. But this is the best I could do.

The Valenzuela Family Tree.

The Valenzuela Family Tree.

Now I am hoping that Palacios cousins will look at this and give me some feedback. But, if I have this right, Ruben was first cousin to Armida’s children AND their uncle by marriage. I guess I can now call her Tia Armida, as she is my great-great-aunt. I don’t know if Armida’s family was close to her other sisters-in-law, Guadalupe V de Garcia or Margarita V de Samaniego. Anybody? Anybody?

There was a tradition in the 1940s-1950s in our extended families. When couples were transitioning to new circumstances, such as new marriages or moving, many children were sent to live with other relations. My aunt was sent to live with Tia Chuy Palacios Estrada for a while. The general idea had been Tia Chuy was just sweet to take the girls in. However, if Armida was Alberto’s aunt, then the Palacios family was our family too.

I must take this moment to once again mention that none of these details were known to my mom or aunt. I did go with my parents to interview Tia Cuca in 1991. I trusted that my Spanish-speaking elders would tell me any vital information I might need to know. This information is on the tape. You can even hear acknowledgement from them, but no one mentioned it to me. So, I had to wait 25 years to discover it on my own. Thank you, thank you very much.

Francisco Palacios died in 1940. I found his Death Registration today.

Death Registration of Francsico Palacios, 1940.

Death Registration of Francsico Palacios, 1940.

I have much of this information fleshed out on my Escalante family tree on Ancestry. If I have it wrong (gulp), any help would be so very greatly appreciated. While I work to be annoyingly careful on who gets on the tree, I can obviously make mistakes. It did not occur to me that Tia Armida would have been so young when she married. [My paternal grandmother was 13 when she married. Shaking my head at a rookie mistake.]

BUT, it sure made for a fun week of searching and connecting the dots. All over again.