Cinco De Mayo


(Please be aware this post was written in 2004 and published at that time in the Houston Chronicle (Houston, Texas) newspaper. Some of the news in this post, therefore,  may not be current. Current and future posts on this blog may revisit and update news on this and other posts on this blog. If you have questions and/or suggestions, please send Mic a note using the comment page -Don’t forget to use the orange “subscribe” button to receive new posts-Thanks, Mic)

Mexico celebrates two independence days, Diez y Seis, the sixteenth of September and Cinco de Mayo, the fifth of May. September 16 is the date in 1810 Mexico considers her colonial independence from Spain, the mother country. It took several years, however, before Mexico actually rid herself of Spanish rule and influence.

The fifth of May is the date in 1862 Mexicans under Texas born General Ignacio Seguin Zaragoza humiliated and defeated French Emperor Napoleon III’s troops at Pueblo. The French troops at the time were considered the worlds best trained and equipped. They also out numbered the Mexicans two to one. It would be several more years before the French actually left Mexican soil but the battle at Pueblo set the stage for their final defeat and eventual departure.

In 1862 the Americans were involved in a Civil War. Had the French been successful in their conquest of Mexico and empire in America they may have been able to attack and defeat a tired and divided war-torn United States.

So, speculatively speaking, Americans in the United States might be appreciative of the Mexicans who stood their ground against Napoleon III and consider Cinco de Mayo a bi-country celebration. After all Cinco de Mayo celebrations consists of food, drink and merriment. Not a bad idea.


The Harris County chapter of the Czech Heritage Society of Texas will hold their quarterly meeting Sunday May 2nd at the Czech Heritage Society Library and Archives, 4117 Willowbend. Registration will begin at 2 P.M.

The meeting will featured Antonin Tony Kudrna speaking on Czech history. Kudrna is a native of Teskovice near Ostrava in the northern Moravian area of the Czech Republic. Anyone interested in Czech heritage is welcome.

Information about the society is available on the Czech Heritage Society of Texas website at or by calling Anna Krpec at 713-726-0282 or Lillian Pivonka at 713-861-7403.


Mickey Margot Gracia of Magnolia has recently published some marriage records Northern Mexico and Texas Hispanic researchers will find invaluable. Marriages of Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico During the Spanish Colonial Era, 1689-1822 is available for $55, postpaid, from the author at 27127 Holly Lord, Magnolia, TX 77355.

Monclova the state capital of the Mexican state of Coahuila, was a colonial immigrant gateway for settlers headed north to San Antonio, Nacogdoches and other early areas of Texas. Not only was Monclova the door to Texas it was the capital of Texas until 1836 when Texas became a Republic. While many early settlers in Texas, Hispanic and Anglo, lived north of the Rio Grande, many retained their friendships and family ties with Monclova after the Texas Revolution.

Garcia transcribed and translated the marriage records from microfilm copies of the original owned by the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints. Because there were some missing dates in the microfilmed records she visited Monclova in December 2002 to view the original marriage books but was denied access to them by the priest having custody over them.

Spanish records and Spanish Catholic church records, in particular, are the envy of the genealogical world. The marriage records of Monclova are a Godsend to anyone finding ancestors named in the records. As translated by Garcia the records reflect the name of the bride, the groom, the parents of the bride and groom, the place of birth of the bride, the groom, the parents of each. They also reflect the maiden names of each of the women. In addition the records often give the race, residence, military rank and occupation of some of the parties as well as the names of sponsors of the marriage.

Because the Spanish colonial system was a caste system based on place of birth and race Garcia was faciniated with the array of precise race classifications. She found people noted as being of European birth and their Mexican born Creole offspring so noted plus a multitude of admixtures of Spanish, Indian and Black.

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