First contact of many

Yesterday, I said I would make it point to call a first cousin once removed that resides in Stockton, CA. I have never met this person or knew that she existed. The only things that I knew about her was that she was born in Minnesota and moved to the San Joaquin area and that she was born in 1940 the daughter of Anatalia Reza and Fausto Gonzalez and few siblings. I opened up my family tree so that I would have information on the spot.

I made the call despite my hands becoming sweaty from nerves. The phone rings a male voice answers the phone. I ask for Mrs. Cline, I hear in the background the mail voice saying for you Margaret. I silently clear my voice hoping Mickey Mouse does not come out. I introduce myself and explain the connection I have with her cousin Crestina Reza. Cousin Margaret was surprised to hear from me, we discussed the linage and how I was connected to Refugio and Refugia who are my great grandparents. That is when it started to click for her. We talked about Uncle Manuel that lost his leg. Margaret did not know that he passed in 1982 so I had to inform of that fact. Off the track a bit, sometimes when I make these calls, I feel like an Officer or Detective informing a loved one that a person is no longer with us. Ok, back on the train. Then she asked about her cousin Teresa sister to my Aunt Cris. I had to inform of her passing as well.

Although, Margaret did not have any information about the family except for some that I had already knew, she gave her childrens names so that I could put them on the family tree. I also learned that she was babysat by my great grandmother Refugia Flores {Reza}. I also learned that once my great grandmother Refugia died that the family split up in different direction. With that information, I am now able to paint a picture as to why the family are scattered in every direction. I was not disappointed in the call I made, I made a new connection, found a little more information about her children that I did not have and she even offered me a place to stay in the event I am able to go to California and visit with them. That was sweet of her since she barely knows me, but family is family. She collected my contact information, told to call any time and the call ended…Contact made.

Two post in one!

March 3, 2015, I decided to give this one person in my family tree a call yesterday evening. Not long ago, I was sent some information from one of my cousins that lives in Phoenix, Az and with that information was a letter from these people Vincent and Lois Reza with their contact information at the bottom. I made the call the phone rang and went to voice mail. I started to leave the message but as soon as I said the names Refugio and Refugia Reza a woman answered the phone. We spoke for a few minutes on how I was related to Refugio and Refugio father Nicolas Reza. The woman turned out to be Lois Vincent’s wife that does the genealogy stuff (as her husband put it). Lois informed me that Vincent was out and about at the moment. Frowny face that Mrs. Reza could not see, but I still spoke to her for a while and then her husband walked in the door and she explained who I was. Vincent got on the phone who is eighty-one years strong by the sound of his voice. I was not sure but I could of swore I heard or sensed a military background in his voice. I only say that because I used to work as a Tech Support technician and when you learn the tones you can hear someone smiling or ready to crack you with a whip. I called this person for a few reasons, one to make the connection, two, to find out where he obtained a portrait of my great grandfather Refugio and to let them know that there are other relatives that are alive. I must admit this gentleman had some information that I was not aware of. Vincent explained to me how he got the Portrait, turns out that back in those days there were traveling salesmen that would go camp to camp and offer their services and one of these salesmen offered to take a portrait of Refugio claiming that it would be like a photo. Now back in those days from what I was informed by Vincent is that cameras were a rich mans game and back then during the depression era salesmen did not care about the color or race of a person to offer said service. I can believe that because during the depression era my dad told me that some restaurants would charge a person for water, things were tough during that time frame and that is putting it mildly. Vincent even talked about the Japanese during the WW II that my Dad was in.

Refugio RezaThis is a copy of the portrait that Vincent obtained so many years ago. They originally shared this with one of my cousins that lives in Phoenix, Az. When I saw this portrait on my cousins family tree, I was shocked to see what my great grandfather look like, I never got to met the man he died way before I was born.

Vincent and I exchanged contact information and the call ended. I went to my tree in Ancestry to search for millitary records because that was an itch that needed to be scratched like the ones you might get on your back and no matter how you try to ignore it it just won’t go away; just like that, I had to solve this to see if was a soldier at one point in his life. After about ten minutes of digging, I found it. Turns out that he was a Marine.

Name: Vincente Reza
Muster Date: Oct 1954
Rank: E2
Station: Co E 2Ndbnreinf 2Ndmar 2Ndmardiv Fmf,Mri 2 Camp Lejeune N C

Source Information U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1798-1958 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.
Original data:
Muster Rolls of the U.S. Marine Corps, 1798-1892. Microfilm Publication T1118, 123 rolls. ARC ID: 922159. Records of the U.S. Marine Corps, Record Group 127; National Archives in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1893-1958. Microfilm Publication T977, 460 rolls. ARC ID: 922159. Records of the U.S. Marine Corps, Record Group 127; National Archives in Washington, D.C.

I had a very productive two days and now I think I will give my eyes a rest from this and turn to the boob tube.

6 thoughts on “First contact of many

Add yours

  1. If my memory serves me right, I believe the original was a fiber based possibly convex print, taken in black and white and hand tinted for color. The copy I received was a digital or scanned copy including the image of the original frame. I took a photographic Image and restored minus frame.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay! So happy you talked to Vincent and Jean. And the puzzle keeps coming together. I’m so excited about all the great work you’ve done on our family tree. Vincent and Jean must have been pleased to have the information on Refugio and Refugia as that was one of the missing links.


    1. Thank you Angelita, yes they were but as we both know Jesusita information is like the needle in the hay stack. Sometimes you just got to step back, chill and then maybe you might something. I am glad you viewed my blog.


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