How I found “La India in The Cave”
During my second trip to Ojinaga, I met with primo Manuel Tercero Proano, the former presidente de Ojinaga. Manuel’s grandfather (Deciderio Tercero) was a descendant of early La Junta soldiers.
Deciderio married Susanna, the sister of my grandpa Esteban Lujan. At the time that we met, Manuel was prepping primo Victor Sotelo Mata who would be running for presidente when Manuel would reach the end of his term. I related my mother’s story about my great-great-grandfather having kept an Indian mistress in a cave.
Some months later, Manuel, who spent much time organizing records at Ojinaga’s Cathedral (Nuestro Padre Jesus), sent me a seemingly insignificant scrap of paper that cites my great-grandfather Hilario Lujan and Chona Saez as “natural parents” of Concepcion!
Bingo! I now had the name of La India! But how was I to find those primos? Down the line I made the acquaintance of Joyce Means, author of “PANCHO VILLA DAYS IN PILARES”. She mentions not only Concepcion but another brother, Ygnacio Lujan. Soon a reliable Ojinaga source told me that indeed there had been “primos” who worked at the T. O. Ranch of Pilares, Mexico, and that Ygnacio Lujan had been Straw-Boss there. I had searched in vain for descendants of Elisa and Eloisa, daughters of Ygnacio. I had kind of put my search on the back shelf until recently when I received an e-mail from a prima (Andrea Saenz Holms) who lives in Arizona. She is a highly accomplished scholar, a poet and an all-round beautiful individual.
Now that my primo, two-time Ojinaga presidente Manuel Tercero Proano is gone, I would like to return the little scrap of paper, The Baptism record of Concepcion Lujan Parents: Hilario and Chona Saez, to its rightful place. At the time the primo sent it to me he stated that it was better in my hands because it was not being properly cared for at the church rectory.
Indeed, when I went to the rectory, folders dating all the way back to the early 1700’s sat on a shelf in the open, exposed to dampness and extreme heat. I might add that the last time I was there a book of 1860 entries was missing! The last I heard was that the State of Chihuahua had taken these records over. Now that El Primo is not here to suffer repercussions for having taken the entry, I shall return it to its rightful place.