Sunday, March 24, 2013

Journey of Discovery: Felipe Espinoza Jr., Part #1

Maternal Birth Ancestry

This is not the first time I have written about my grandfather Felipe Espinoza Jr.  In a previous post, I mentioned that he was the first Espinoza family member I met when I went to reunite with my Maternal Birth Family.  It was mentioned in the post  Felipe Espinoza Jr Funeral Card on July 8, 2011. [check it out]

My Espinoza research begins with Felipe Espinoza Jr., who took his first breath on March 3, 1926 in Wickenburg, Maricopa, Arizona and returned to the Great Spirit on October 8, 2010 in Torrance County, Los Angeles, California.

So the things I discovered through his obituary and supporting documents, is that my grandfather was married over 60-years and, lived in San Pedro, California for over fifty. He had served in the Army during World War II and was a member of a labor union during his civilian years.

My Goal was to find a document other than the wedding certificate that showed who Felipe parents were.  I was interested in seeing what his family composition was and who some of his siblings might be. I do not have the advantages of having close relational ties with my Espinoza family besides my mother and siblings.

When doing research on any individual, it is so important to exhaust all research documents that are readably available.    So going through Ancestry and Family Search I was able to locate the 1940 U.S. Census.  

(Note) [If you are not able to find the document on one search engine, always look at the other, because sometimes there are transcription errors or the census enumerator spelled the names according to how they heard it.]

Source Citation: Year: 1940; Census Place: Flagstaff, Coconino, Arizona; Roll: T627_101; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 3-3.

Let's get a closer look and see who is in my grandfather's household.

Felipe Espinoza, Sr. Household in 1940

Felipe Espinoza, head, 49 yrs, Mexico [My Great Grandfather]
Sophia, Wife,  48 yrs,  Mexico [My Great Grandmother]
Maria, daughter, 21 yrs, New Mexico
Lupe, daughter, 17 yrs, New Mexico
Magdalena, daughter, 15 yrs, Arizona
Felipe, son, 13 yrs, Arizona [My grandpa]
Oscar, son, 10 yrs, Arizona
Carmen, daughter, 8 yrs, Arizona
Ricardo, son, 6 yrs, Arizona

So in 1940 my Great Grandparents Felipe & Sophia Espinoza had 4 daughter & 3 sons living in the home.  My spirit feels so good being able to put names on my tree, and writing them into history.  

Now most of us family researchers know that there are pointers and tips when looking at census reports.  Well, I have the habit of looking at the whole document page of the census, then I look at a couple pages before and a few after the page I am looking at.

Well guess what I discovered?

Take a peek:

Fernando Munoz Household in 1940
I discovered that my grandmother Esther,[Felipe, Jr's. wife] had lived next door to Felipe in Arizona when they were teenagers.  So they practically knew each other all their lives!  I was so ecstatic to see this!!   I am so positive that there has to be a love story when one marries their childhood sweetheart!  [Then I wonder....."Was it an arranged marriage?"  

Fernando Munoz, head, 42 yrs, Mexico [My Great Grandfather]
Maria, wife, 33 yrs, Mexico [My Great Grandmother]
Felice, daughter, 14 yrs, California
Esther, daughter, 11 yrs, California [My grandmother]
Cecilia, daughter, 10 yrs, California
Baudrillo, son, 8 yrs, Nebraska
Fredrico, son, 6 yrs, Nebraska
Mary Lou, daughter, 3 yrs, Arizona
Genevieve, daughter, 1 yrs, Arizona

So according to the 1940 census, my Munoz Great Grandparents had 5 daughters & 2 sons living in the home.

Wow!  I have a large number of Grand Aunts & Uncles.  I wonder how many are still living?

I am very curious of the various locations the family resided.  "Nebraska" kind of knocked me off balance.  I am interested in seeing how the labor force and the need for work, would require the family to move around. [Time to get out the history books.]

So now the 1940 Census has the bonus section where they take two individuals from each page and give extra questions.  I wasn't going to analyze the bottom, but Ancestor's spoke and said, "You Better Look!"  So I did!  

Both of my Great Grandfather's names were on the supplemental questionnaire:


Felipe Espinoza, Sr & Fernando Munoz both were from Mexico and they both spoke Spanish...So now you know I can do better when it comes to learning the language.  Knowing these things really gives me the desire to learn a second language.  It just makes sense.

So now that the Ancestor's have spoken, we will be back with more information of my Grandfather Felipe Espinoza, Jr.  [When you research one, you end up learning about many.] 


  1. I like that, "When you research one, you end up learning about many." Girl, looks like you got lots more family out there! This is awesome. :)

    1. It really has been amazing!!! Thanks for keeping up with me.

  2. Saw your blog listed at Geneabloggers, congratulations. If you ever need any help with blogger let me know. Also, just what ever you do keep blogging it is very rewarding and you will soon meet many new cousins, that is if you haven't done so yet.

    Take care,

    Moises Garza
    We Are Cousins - My personal blog about South Texas and Northeastern Mexico Genealogy

    Mexican Genealogy - Blog where I help anyone with Mexican roots get started with their family history.

    1. Thank you so much Moises. I will be adding you to my readers list. I so appreciate your willingness to help..I am sure I will be calling on you.