MY FRENCH GREAT-GRANDPA

21 May

 “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.

3 Responses to “MY FRENCH GREAT-GRANDPA”

  1. Debra Pimentel May 21, 2012 at 2:14 PM #

    Always a pleasure Elisa to follow your postings, and watch how you have put together a family history with your gathering and determination to keep going and gather as much as possible until the clear picture comes into view, I commend you on your work and all that you have put into this, it has been I know truely an adventure of Love and a Passion to learn of the Ancestors who lived before us. Thanks to you the rest of us will be able to tell our own children and grand children these stories of how we came to be. God Bless Prima

  2. Debbie Pimentel October 19, 2012 at 6:22 PM #

    Elisa, as I am rereading some of your stories, I thought to myself of what it said and how Manuel came from France to Mexico, My own Great Great-Great-Grandfather came from France we were told the Rede name is French, but where? Who? and how far back? Your story lead me to think could there possibly be a connection here? So interesting and something baffling and sad to read the different histories, the lives of our ancestors. I had never heard of this in any history lessons or books, that young men of France were taken right off the streets of France and placed on a ship , to be sent over Seas, But thinking back now I did see something on a Documentary of England I believe it was were the younger men were given drinks in a bar and when they had finally drank enough he would be hit over the head, and the bartender would drop the floor from under the customer , that would put him into a room under ground he would be sold to a ships captain and had to work for his board or be thrown over, So basically got their crew for free. dirty dealings back then! The stories about how they came to this country, are amazing, and hard to believe in this day and age. Such hardships. Thanks again Prima for all you have shared. Elisa if you read this please email me trying to get a hold of you deb

  3. Debbie Pimentel January 9, 2013 at 8:00 PM #

    Elisa , this is prima Deb, I have some exciting news to share with you please give me a call cell phone only 209-380-0928 or connect with facebook or email of course I have tried several times to contact you, please give a call at your earliest convenience. Cousin Deb.

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