The path of a persistent genealogy researcher is strewn with bits and pieces of information. Some require further work, while others coincidentally fall into one’s lap. The following are just two examples.
One day my sister handed me a few photos and newspaper clippings. The collection belonged to her mother-in-law, Luisa Gonzales, whose maiden name had been Gaskey. The group of photos included one of her grandfather, Frank Hazard Gaskey, a very blonde Tennessee original. The accompanying newspaper clipping told about Gaskey having gone to California during the Gold Rush. He later was a California Volunteer, taking part in the Civil War “Battle of Glorieta, New Mexico”.
Upon learning this, I immediately went to my books where I found that he had served under Col. Chivington, infamous for leading the slaughter of 900 Native Americans at Sand Creek. I wondered if Gaskey took part in the atrocious killings.
As time went on I ran across Gaskey’s name in Texas land grant lists, and as a trustee for a school district around Fort Davis, Texas. I am constantly amazed at how extensively the lives of Southwestern Texas descendants are interwoven.
Also among the pictures was a picture of a handsome, uniformed man. The intriguing photo was dedicated to: “La Nina Maria Luisa”, and signed by Colonel Juan Dozal.
What? – I wondered, was a Mexican Colonel doing in New Mexico? Sometime later I ran across a photo of Pancho Villa (of Mexican Revolution fame) and his Dorados (“The Golden Ones”), no names. I hit the books again only to find Colonel Dozal mentioned in a book about General Toribio Ortega, one of Villa’s Generals.
Pancho Villa had been in El Paso where he prepared to take part in the Revolution. He crossed the Rio Grande into Mexican territory. Among the nine men who accompanied him from the beginning was Colonel Juan Dozal, his second in Command. According to Luisa, Colonel Dozal was courting one of her beautiful Aunties.