Family Tree Lessons from Tia Patricia: Lesson 3

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Lesson 3

Lesson Three: You have a photo with an unidentified building or part of a building in it from San Antonio, Texas. Maybe only the names of a few people in the photo and an approximate date like the 1920's or 1940's. You can look up on the old Sandborn's fire maps the different plats of the streets. Look first at the at a census records which are pubic information and find out the address for the person--- for example let's use names from someone in our forum-- the bride Aunt Adela Rios Briseno and the groom Federico Garza. Look up the family to which Federico Garza belonged. You will see the street addresses. Then go to the Sandborn's maps and look at the sketches for something that matches the photo in your possession. I have done this before with photos from clients who have only a few clues and one or two photos. I used this method to match the photo below of my Italian American ancestors the Molteni sisters and my great grandmother Matilde Biasioli Molteni who lived at 706 S. Frio Street not far from downtown San Antonio in 1924. I used the US City Directory to cross check.I was searching to find out WHERE the photo was taken. That second wooden frame house was still standing in 2015 when I last visited San Antonio. The second photo shows the front wooden porch on Lewis Street in 1926. My mother Catherine Jane Molteni Powell is the small child in the second photo. She was born in 1924 and I approximated the photo to be taken around 1926. Sanborn Maps of Texas - Perry-CastaƱeda Map Collection at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas. 

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps - Texas (1877-1922) .... San Antonio 1885 Sheet 2 (1.2MB) [includes The Alamo]; San Antonio 1885 Sheet 3 (1.7MB); San Antonio

Family Tree Lessons from Tia Patricia: Lesson 2

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Lesson 2
Lesson Two: Start to write up little stories of one person from your family tree. Put it in a real folder or an online folder. One person per folder. Here is what I wrote about my grandmother and I am still adding to it. Katherine Coy Molteni b. 1899 San Antonio, Texas and died in 1995 was the daughter of Juan Andres Coy and Antonia Hernandez. Both the Coy and Hernandez families are founding families of the settlers of San Antonio. Her 2 brothers were William Joseph Coy 1898-1971 and Andy Coy b. 1900. Katherine Coy was married to George C Molteni on 4 April 1923. She had 3 children: Anita Katherine, who died at birth in 1924 , Catherine Jane, who was born in 1925 and George Coy, born 1928.

She and her husband were faithful Catholics and attended mass at the Little Flower Basilica on Zarzamora street. She had devotional candles in her bedroom and a large statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I am her first granddaughter and have this wonderful statue in my bedroom now in 2017. My grandmother also had a large print of a painting of the Virgin Mary. She attended Ursuline Academy for Girls in downtown San Antonio and was called "Coy" by her classmates. As a young woman, she was a member of the Latin American Club and attended other social events which were reported by the society page of the San Antonio newspapers. Her cousins were Cordelia and Susie Fisk, daughters of Isabella Hernandez and Ben Fisk. Her husband's sisters were very involved in the raising of Katherine's children, as they had no children of their own. George's sisters were Anita, Mary, Carrie, and Josephine. Often on Sundays, George Molteni went to 233 W. Lullwood to visit with his mother Matilde Biasioli Molteni and his unmarried sisters. When the home of my grandmother's parents Juan Andres and Antonia Hernandez burned down, the parents moved in with their daughter Katherine Coy and her husband George Molteni and their 2 children Catherine Jane and George. They added on to the house at 1627 W. Craig Place. My grandmother liked to play cards and bunco and listen to baseball games. She was a devoted grandmother. Her 8 grandchildren were Patricia Susan, Deborah Ann, Robert Joseph, Jeanne Marie, Andrew Coy , Barbara Jane Powell and their cousins Dave Coy and Tony Molteni. She lived at 1627 W. Craig Place, which used to be called Pennsylvania Avenue when the property was first purchased. After the death of her husband, she moved in with her daughter Catherine Jane at 6222 Dove Hill in Thunderbird Hills. Due to the complications of diabetes, she became blind in her old age. Finally she lived out her remaining years at a nursing facility called the Chandler House, a historic Victorian house on W. French Street in San Antonio. She liked to listen to baseball games in Spanish. She is buried in San Fernando Cemetery #2 with many other family members. R.I.P.

written by oldest granddaughter Pat Powell aka Patricia S. Gerecci.

San Antonio's Founders Monument: A Historic Initiative

A bronze monument honoring the four founding communities of San Antonio is being commissioned, in honor of our City's TriCentennial.
Being Honored are:
  • Native Americans
  • Spanish Presidio Soldiers
  • Spanish Friars and the
  • Canary Islanders
This monument will represent San Antonio's historic beginnings in 1718 and how the blending of these four communities has helped shape the unique culture that makes San Antonio so special.

To be located on the historic Bexar County Courthouse property the five-piece bronze statues will be installed in front of the courthouse in the area that is still the heart of San Antonio's downtown Civic Center.

The artist for this bronze statue is Armando Garcia Hinojosa he is an artist and educator from Laredo, Texas, who is known for some half dozen major pieces of sculpture, including the Tejano Monument on the south lawn of the Texas State Capital in Austin. The 12-piece monument was unveiled in the spring of 2012.  Mr. Hinojosa was recognized by the State of Texas as artist of the year in 1982 - 1983.

The total cost of the five piece bronze statues are $750,000 with Bexar County partnering with the Canary Islands Descendants Association to make the implementation and location a significant part of San Antonio's historic landscape.

Join us in making this TriCentennial gift a reality.  For more information or to donate you may contact us at or you can go to the donate button on the tabs above.

Click here for more information about the list describing the 16 families.

Purpose of the Association

  1. To encourage and promote all educational studies and historical and genealogical research that enhance the historical, cultural and civic significance of the accomplishments of the sixteen original Canary Islands families who founded the Villa de San Fernando, now the City of San Antonio.
  2. To foster and perpetuate the preservation of documents and artifacts identified with the culture and life of the Canary Islanders’ history in San Antonio, Texas.
  3. To initiate, and promote programs, lectures and civic events which are intended for the general public, and which are conducted to memorialize historical sites and buildings associated with the Canary Islanders’ history in San Antonio, such as San Fernando Cathedral.
  4. To establish and promote the celebration of significant days and commemorative civic events that celebrate those special days linked to the Canary Islanders’ history in San Antonio.

Family Tree Lessons from Tia Patricia: Lesson 1

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Lesson 1

For the Hernandez research conducted over 30 years, I have 416 people 473 records and 107 photographs
For the De Los Santos Coy-Hernandez-Salinas research, I have 432 people 813 records and 163 photos.
My research began before the advent of the Internet, before microfiche or computers or databases. I was in libraries, scouring public records, visiting cemeteries, collecting family photos, Bibles, holy cards, wedding guest books, funeral guest books, examining baptism records in the churches where the baptisms took place (archive work). This is called primary source research. I have pages and pages of personal interviews with family members and extended family members and friends of these families.
It is my honor to share all this with anyone who is curious to find out where they came from and how many of us are closely connected.. It is upon the lives of those who have gone before us that our life is possible. Because of their hard work, sacrifices, choices, and values, we had the opportunity to become who we are today. Many of our ancestors were uneducated or not formally educated,but they bought books,pencils, and paper for their children. They taught lessons to their children in cooperation, sacrifice, teamwork and the importance of family.
Many women lived and worked and raised large families without the convenience of machines like dishwashers or washing machines or dryers. No micro waves. No cars. No Internet.. No GPS. No sonograms. No computers. No cell phones.

The History of Domingo Bustillos

Domingo Esteban Bustillos, was born August 1779, in Bexar County, Texas, and died November 1854. Domingo Bustillos, my 7th great-grandfather, has a very rich history in San Antonio, Texas. I am honored to have him as an ancestor. I have been trying to research my family history and I never seemed to make any real progress. I've been a collector of documents and my genealogy is a chaotic mess. With the help of my daughter, we will be trying to organize all my paperwork which will be one lengthy project. I think my frustration is that we have so many lines to research and I feel like I’m going in circles. My vow to my ancestors is that I’m finally going to get it together and get all this paperwork organized so I can tell their stories. I’ve been meeting with family historians and they have been very helpful in showing me how to get organized. I will be sharing my ancestor’s stories, a little at a time, and I will also be sharing other researcher’s work in future posts. I have received permission from the individuals to share their stories. If it wasn't for my grandmother's quest for knowledge about our family history I would have never gone down this path. I want to thank my elders for the research they have done. I hope to make them proud and finish what they started. With the proper documentation, I was able to prove my lineage to Domingo Bustillos, which I find to be a very important part of the process. In my experience dealing with vital documents, I have found it be very important to search for name misspellings if you are unable to locate a document. I have run into a few of those incidents so far with several family members.

I want to thank my cousin Erika A. Haskins for all her hard work in putting this together for the Handbook of Texas Online.

Please check out the link below for more information about Domingo Bustillos.

Handbook of Texas Online, Erika A. Haskins, "Bustillo, Domingo ," accessed July 05, 2017,
Uploaded on April 28, 2015. Published by the Texas State Historical Association

Oral History Project

This is the first of many videos to come. Hope you enjoy them! I want to thank the interviewees and my daughter for her editing skills. If you would like to be interviewed, contact me by email. For Residents of San Antonio only, but you don't have be related to us. Every story is important.

Check out our other oral history videos:

The Oral History of Ross Medina II

They Don't Understand How Hard It Is

Why can't our kids understand how hard it is for us parents to let go and let them grow up? We have devoted 18+ years to caring for them, making sure they are safe, hopefully teaching them life lessons and praying that they don't make the same mistakes that we did. As a parent it's hard for me to see them make mistakes but sometimes they need to learn on their own.

My baby girl will soon be 24 years old. She's always concentrated on her studies. Lately, she has decided to get a life (how dare she). Of course I'm going to worry when she's not within arm's reach. I try very hard not to worry. I am trying not to text her so much when she goes out. I'm a worry wart and I always have been.

My son is 30 years old and lives in another state and I worry tremendously about him. He has caught on to what I am doing so now he knows that I call every Sunday morning to make sure he survived the weekend. He always texts me "I'm alive, Mom" and we laugh and continue our conversation. No matter what age our children are they will always be our babies. I always think of the worse case scenario. The world is not the same world we grew up in. I hope they understand it's because I love them and not because I'm trying to control their every move.

I trust them both to make the right choices in life. It's all the other people they encounter along the way that worry me. I'm very grateful that my daughter still likes to hang out with me and my son still calls me every other day. I am proud to have raised such awesome children who I know will go far in life.