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Ancestor 21: Jose Juan Alanis was a Texas cowboy with Spanish ancestors

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This is the 21st article in the project, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Jose Juan Nepomuceno Alanis is a maternal great-great grandfather. He was baptized May 19, 1839 at Inmaculada Concepcion Catholic Church in Mier, Tamaulipas, Mexico. His parents were Jose Eugenio de Alanis and Maria Gertrudis Pina.

The next available record for Jose Juan is for his marriage to Maria Ignacia Pena. They were married May 14, 1860 at the same church where he was baptized in Mier. His wife had also been baptized there.

Jose Juan appears in the 1880 U.S. Cenus, living with his family in Duval County, Texas. He and Maria Ignacia have seven children at the time of the census. They range in age from one year old to 17. Their oldest child, Maria Francisca Pena, was already married by this time. Jose Juan's occupation is vaquero, which is Spanish for cowboy. His son, Leandro, who is listed as 17, also has an occupation of vaquero.

Jose Juan’s life as a cowboy on the untamed Texas frontier may not have been that far removed from that of his ancestors. He was descended from Spaniards who served in the military in the 17th century. His ancestors include Capitan Diego Gonzalez, born 1670 in Mexico, who was the son of Sargento Mayor Diego Gonzalez, who was the son of Capitan Bartolome Gonzalez, who was born in Sevilla, Spain.

There are no records of any kind for Jose Juan after the 1880 census. By the 1900 census, his wife, Maria Ignacia, is living with her son, Benito, age 25, and his wife. Family tradition states that Jose Juan died before or in early 1900.

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