“My father (or grandfather) fought with Pancho Villa” or
“My grandfather was tall and blue eyed”
The above are two oft-repeated phrases I overheard during my youth.
The “tall and blue-eyed” statement came from my maternal Grandmother (Rosa Flores) in reference to her father, Manuel Flores. Somehow I never bothered to ask my mother, who had known him, if this was true. After they were both gone, I went to Ojinaga and got the rest of the story.
I was told that Manuel’s grandfather had been sequestered off the streets of Paris, France and chained to other youths. He was then brought across the Atlantic to do battle against Mexico. As a fledgling overzealous genealogist, I quickly figured that if Papa Manuel had been born in Julimes in 1844, surely the battle that his father (Richard) participated in had to be “The Pastry War of 1838”?
Apparently some drunken Mexican soldiers did some major damage to a French Bakery. France was demanding payment of $600,000 for damages done to its citizens. When Mexico made no move to pay, King Philippe of France sent a Fleet to San Juan de Olua off the coast of Vera Cruz where they launched an attack that began the war.
Along comes Ex-President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna on his white horse. While he did manage to drive the French back, it did cost him a leg. But that’s another story. I quickly figured that Papa Ricardo had been left behind by the French Army. Because part of the story is that he had to cross an enormous river to get to Julimes, Chihuahua, I quickly deduced that it had to be the Rio Panuco that runs east and west just north of Vera Cruz. I typed a version of the incident and pasted it below the only photo of Papa Manuel.
Fast forward to a year ago. Since familysearch.org now provides access to actual baptism records on the internet, I went back two more generations prior to papa Manuel. All were born in Julimes, Chihuahua! So…which war was the original Flores involved in?
Papa Manuel’s mother, Ysidora Carrasco, and his two brothers eventually settled in Cuchillo Parado, Chihuahua, Mexico. One brother (Calistro) died in the Mexican Revolution. I have no record of the other. Today there are many Flores descendants in Aldama , Chihuahua. Hopefully I will hear from them via this blog.