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Ancestor 7: Pedro Rios, man of mystery, disappears after raising two families

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This is the seventh article in the project, "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks."

Jose Pedro de la Encarnacion Rios is a paternal great-grandfather. While little is known about him, much is known about his ancestors who left Spain to form the earliest governments of New Spain, known today as Mexico.

Pedro was baptized August 7, 1842 at Inmaculada Concepción Church in Mier, Tamaulipas, Mexico. He was the son of Jose Juan Antonio Sabas Rios and Maria Cecilia Isaguirre.

He married his first wife, Maria Jacoba Bazan, on June 1, 1863 in Mier. They had 10 children.

Pedro first shows up in the United States on the 1900 U.S. Census, which indicates he arrived in Texas in 1888. He married his second wife, Alejandra Chapa, in Zapata County, Texas on Jan. 8, 1891. It is through his second wife that the Rios-Everett connection is born.

Pedro and Alejandra had three children, including Hilaria Rios Everett, who was born in Zapata County in 1898. She shows up as age two on the 1900 census. That census indicates Pedro and Alejandra had been married 10 years.The 1910 census shows Pedro as a widower living in Duval County, not far from Corpus Christi.

Pedro disappears after that, but oral family history is that he died in 1931, although there are no records of his death. He was said to have left his family for Mexico, but no one knows when that happened. In the one known photo of Pedro he is an old man, so it seems odd he would leave Texas for Mexico at an advanced age. However, he is gone and there is no trace of him.

The family story is that he was a teacher in Mexico, but there are no records of that either. His occupation is listed as laborer on the 1900 census and he is listed as being able to read and write but not speak English. Based on that information it is likely he could read and write in Spanish. His occupation is listed as a farmer on the 1910 census.

Pedro’s lineage goes back to Diego de Montemayor, who was a Spanish Conquistador, explorer, and the second governor of the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Montemayor is credited with the founding of the City of Monterrey, which is the capital city of Nuevo Leon.

By the time Pedro Rios was born in 1842 it is unlikely his family knew of his pedigree. None of his lineage information was passed down through oral family history but has only been found through years of genealogy research.

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