Thursday, October 18, 2012

Martinez-Dominguez: Spain or Mexico?


My mother says she has always been told that her maternal grandfather, Celso Martinez, was born in SPAIN and deserted the Spanish Army and went to Mexico.  The only information that is currently available to support this is an index card with the name MARTINEZ, Celso Alfredo       #548376  from the  U. S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992.  This card is listed in the New York Court District, which would be correct for someone coming from Spain to the U.S. However, at the current time, to get access to the actural document, one would have to physically go to the National Archives in Washington, D.C.  I'm not sure what kind of records would be available if he entered thru Mexico.

The only other documentation I have for Celso is a 1930 Census.  It is the census record that clears up his birthplace, which he lists as MEXICO.  Although he may have lied about this since proof wasn't required then.  Another interesting thing from the census is that his name is spelled - Selso.  This may have been an error by the person filling out the census form. Perhaps it was Celso's father who defected to Mexico, it will take more information than is currently available, to determine this. So Here is the Story of Celso Martinez:

Celso Martinez was born in Mexico about 1850. Nothing is known of his parents or where he came from in Mexico.  At the age of 20, he emmigrated to the United States in 1870.  Celso was in his thirties when He married 14 yr old Andrea (Rodriguez?) about 1865.  They had 10 children: Abundio, Lazaro, Maggie, Cadeno (1902), Eusebia (1907), Emsbra (1906), Pedro (1909), Isabel (1917), Dominga (1919) and Lucia (1921).  In 1930, all but the older three children and Emsbra were living on a farm in Bastrop, Texas.  They were renting their home and it was valued at $2,000.00. Celso was 80 years old.   They were farmers and worked hard all week.  On Friday nights, they would clear all the furniture out of their front rooms and the children who all played instruments would play.  The workers, neighbors and family would gather for a big dance. By 1939, Selso had moved to Austin, TX.  My mother was born in 1936 and remembers that "he always walked us to a store at the end of 6th St and bought us ice cream.  That was when you could get 3 scoops side-by-side.  He had a long white beard and always wore a black suitcoat."
Celso died sometime before April 1940, as Andrea is listed as a widow and shown living at 1200 E. 5th St in Austin, Tx.

If you have any information to share about Celso Martinez or his family please let me know and if you find errors in this LifeStory please leave a comment below.  I am continuing to research this family and will update as information becomes available.

After posting, I rechecked the dates and Celso may have had a wife before Andrea and the older children my be from this first marriage. His first wife may have died leaving him with small children to care for and that would explain a quickly arrainged marriage with 14 year old Andrea.


Joel Garza said...


Celso is my great great grandfather. My grandmother Ofelia (daughter of Eusebia) told me the same story about the family being from Spain at some point. I haven't found anything to confirm this, but I do know that Celso's death certificate states he was born in "Old Mexico." It also lists his parents and their birthplace - Mexico. His Father's name according to the death certificate is Santana Garcia Martinez. His Mother's name was Juliana Montelongo. I have not been able to locate any information on either Santana or Juliana. I still haven't confirmed where in Mexico Celso might have been from. What is interesting to me is that Celso went by the last name Martinez when his last name is really Garcia. My grandmother has always told me that he changed his last name from Garcia to Martinez when he left Spain. This makes me wonder if maybe the family story is correct and there is some connection to Spain. Do you have any more information on Andrea Rodriguez?