Friday, May 4, 2012

Gallegos Men


I received a great gift recently, something I have been wanting since I started my genealogy research: A photo of my paternal Great-Grandfather Luis Gallegos. Amazingly, I had photos of six of my eight great-grandparents. The only two photos I didn’t have were the two I was most curious about, probably because I have done the most research on them. One was Luis, my father’s grandfather, and the other is Diego Antonio Chavez, my mother’s grandfather. Hopefully I’ll track down a photo of him soon when I go visit relatives in Grants.

This is a photo of Luis and his bride, Victoria Trujillo, on their wedding day, Sept. 5, 1910. Luis and Victoria, my Great-Grandmother, were married at Immaculate Conception Church in Las Vegas, NM. I assume the man and woman on either side of them are their padrinos, but I’m not certain. I received the photo from my cousin, Mary Sue (Marissa) Curnutte, whose late father, Clemente Gallegos, was the eldest son of Luis Gallegos. Clemente was also my Grandpa Carlos’ brother. I am grateful that Marissa shared the photo with me.

My mom admiring the flowers at my grandparents' home in Las Vegas
Marissa told me previously, through e-mail, about her memories of Luis and Victoria, her grandparents. (I will write about Victoria soon.) She remembered the home on Eight Street in died in 1972. Marissa recalled visiting her grandparents at that home, which she believes Luis built. She said her Grandfather had a “green thumb and always had a beautiful vegetable garden out back and a beautiful lawn and lots of dahlia flowers in the front yard.” That memory seemed familiar to me. Then I remembered that my mom, Bea, had told me about dahlia flowers in the front yard of the same home, only many years later when her father-in-law – my Grandpa Carlos – used to care for them. After some digging, I came across a photo with the flowers among my parents’ albums.

Luis Gallegos was born May 24, 1890 in Los Tecolote├▒os, a small mountain village just north of Las Vegas. It was also called San Ignacio, which is the name that exists today. Sometime between 1900 and 1910, the year he got married, he had moved to Las Vegas. He was 20 years old when he was married to Victoria, who was born in nearby Anton Chico.  Luis worked for most of his life as a janitor at the high school in Las Vegas. Luis and Victoria had seven children, and all five sons served in the military – three, including my grandfather, served in World War II. One son, Eloy, died during battle in Italy. I found a newspaper clipping that said the American flag was flown at half-staff at the high school where Luis worked, in memory of his fallen son. The two youngest, Bennie and Albert, served in the Navy during the Korean War. They had two daughters, Angelica “Nancy”, and Griselda “Grace,” who is 92 years old and lives in Albuquerque.

My Grandpa Carlos died in 1980, just eight years after his father passed away. I was only 3 when Luis died, so I don’t have a memory of him. Since I was just 11 when my Grandpa died, I don’t remember talking to him about his father. Since I started my research two years ago, I have talked to my Dad and my Grandma Rise, who was Luis’ daughter-in-law, about him. They both describe him the same way, a very kind man.

I need to do more research to track down cousins in California to see if the Gallegos name has been carried down further generations from Bennie and Arthur. I know that Clemente had a son named Luis Gallegos, who lives in Albuquerque. I need to get in touch with him, too. On our branch of the tree, the Gallegos name extends to me and down to my two daughters, Carin and Isabella, and my brother Jon, and his three sons, Alek, Derrick and Tanner. I pulled the following photo of Luis from his wedding at the age of 20. I also had a photo of my Grandpa Carlos at his wedding, at about age 24. I found photos of my Dad, myself and my brother at around the same age, just out of curiosity.
Luis Gallegos 1910


Carlos Gallegos 1942

Gilbert Gallegos Sr. 1962
Gilbert Gallegos Jr. 1989
Jonathan Gallegos 1992

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