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Ancestor 27: One census record sheds light on the life of Hilario Cruz

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This is the 27th article in the genealogy project “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.”

Hilario Cruz is a maternal great-great-grandfather. He was born in Mexico in 1847. This information comes from the 1910 US Census, the only document that exists for Hilario Cruz.

There is quite a bit that can be gained from this census document. It states he was 63 years old in 1910, which is how to attain the 1847 birth year. It also states he arrived in the United States in 1852, which means he left Mexico at age five. His parents are not named in the census, but it states both his parents were also born in Mexico.

This document states he was the head of his household and he had a wife and children living with him. They lived in Duval County, Texas in 1910. The census states he and his wife had been married 41 years. This means they married around 1869.

The census states they had 21 children, but only seven were living in 1910. There is no information on how the other 14 children died.

In 1910, Hilario’s children were ages 23, 20, 18, 15, and 11. All five children were single at that time. Hilario’s wife, Gregoria Ruiz, was 55, placing her birth around 1855.

The one person not listed on this census document is Gregoriz Cruz, the maternal great-grandmother who married Eulogio Flores. It has always been the belief that she was Hilario’s oldest child, born in 1886. This would make her 24 at the time of the 1910 census. She married around 1907 and was already starting a family of her own by 1910. Since she is not listed on Hilario’s one document, Gregoria Cruz’s birth information comes from the 1930 census, 1940 census, and her death certificate. The death certificate names her parents and other biographical information.

Since there was one other child alive in 1910, it may be that this unnamed child was actually the oldest and Gregoria was the second oldest. This would make a total of seven living children of Hilario Cruz.

The census states Gregoria’s immigration year was 1860. This means she was five years old when she came to the United States. Since both Hilario and Gregoria came to the United States as children, it is possible they were married in Texas in 1869. There is no marriage record in Texas or in Mexico available at this time.

The census also states that Hilario and his entire family spoke Spanish as their native tongue.

When it comes to occupation, Hilario is listed as not having an occupation. This could be because of his age, but the census also states Hilario was blind. There is no way of knowing if he was born blind, had an accident, or had an illness that caused his blindness.

Hilario’s older sons’ occupations were listed as Laborer doing odd jobs. His daughter, age 18, was listed as not having an occupation. His 15-year-old son was also listed as Laborer doing odd jobs. The youngest child, a son age 11, was listed as not having an occupation.

No one in the household was listed as being able to read or write except Narcisa Cruz, although the census stated she did not attend school. She was 18 at the time. It possible she was self-taught or had completed school prior to the census.

Hilario owned his own home and did not live on a farm. This means he and his family may have lived in a town in Duval County and it may account for why Hilario’s sons held odd jobs, since they did not live on a farm or ranch.

Because there is only one census record for Hilario Cruz, there is no detailed marriage information, no death information, no information on occupation or his medical condition. While this one census document reveals much about Hilario, there are still many unanswered questions about him.

To receive email alerts when a new article is posted, click on the “Subscribe” button next to my photo and bio, located at the bottom of this page or at the top of my main articles page. Follow me on Twitter: @ancestrysleuth to get other genealogy news. I am also the National Hobbies Examiner and write about people and their favorite hobbies. Follow me @funhobby for more hobby news. Other links of interest:
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