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Ancestor 17: Alejandra Chapa died young and left three small children

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This is the 17th article in the project, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Alejandra Chapa is a paternal great-grandmother. She is a bit of a brick wall because her known lineage goes no further than her parents.

Alejandra was the fourth of 10 children born to Jose Francisco Chapa and Maria Feliciana Villarreal. She was born in Texas in April 1861. This information comes from the 1880 U.S. Census and the 1900 U. S. Census.

No one is sure where Alejandra was born, but she and her family were living in Rancho el Randado at the time of the 1880 U.S. Census. This ranching community in Zapata County was settled by immigrants who came from Mier, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Most of them were descended from Spaniards who left Europe in the 16th century to colonize Nueva Espana.

In January 1891, Alejandra married Jose Pedro de la Encarnacion Rios in Zapata County. This marriage information comes from the 1900 U. S. Census.

Alejandra’s marriage was her first marriage, but it was Pedro’s second. He married his first wife, Maria Jacoba Bazan, on June 1, 1863 in Mier. They had 10 children.

It is through Pedro’s marriage to Alejandra that the Rios-Everett connection is born.

Pedro and Alejandra had three children between 1892 and 1898, including Hilaria Rios Everett, who was born in Zapata County in 1898. She shows up as two years old on the 1900 census. That census indicates Pedro and Alejandra had been married 10 years.

Alejandra disappears from all records after 1900. Her children said she died in 1902 in Zapata County. The 1910 census shows Pedro as a widower with five children living in Duval County, not far from Corpus Christi, which means he left Zapata County between 1902 and 1910.

Alejandra’s daughter, Hilaria, said she was primarily raised by Joaquina Rios, her older sister from her father’s first marriage. Alejandra’s death no doubt left a lasting impact on each of Alejandra’s three young children.

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