One of my many hobbies is genealogy and I’ve done pretty well on my mom’s side of the family thanks to my mom’s cousin. He is a writer and has written a couple of books about the history of the teeny, tiny town where my parents are from in Zacatecas, Mexico. In the books he includes details of some of the founding members of the town. Through these books I was able to fill in some of the blanks on mom’s side. My father’s side is a different story. The buck stops with my paternal grandfather and pretty much everyone is now deceased (including my father) that could help fill in some details.
A couple of years ago I was asking my Tio (Tio means uncle and he was one of the few remaining descendants on my father’s maternal side at that time), of the history of my dad’s family. I first wrote of my Tio Nacho when he passed away a few months back. That whole side of the family can remember anything and everything. Unfortunately I did not inherent that gene. My sister did though, so unfair. Anyway when I asked him if he knew when the family might have come over from Spain he began to tell me about my great, great (I’m not sure how many greats back) grandfather who came over with his brother. They came upon this area of Mexico and decided they liked it. Both were single and still sowing their wild oats. One of them had what he thought was a great idea.
Now this is where you will see a typical macho-type behavior – he thought it would be ‘fun’ to see who could populate the town the most. Now since they of course both had the same last name (Martin del Campo – the whole thing is the last name), how would they distinguish between all these children and future descendants? Easy - one of them would shorten the last name to Martinez. So all the descendants of Martinez would be from the line of one brother and all the descendants of Martin del Campo would be the line of the other brother.
How they kept track I don’t know. And horror of horrors did they go around impregnating every girl they came across? I surely hope not. Perhaps they just married and convinced their wives to have as many children as possible. And then convinced their sons to do the same? It boggles the mind.
This totally makes no sense but what can you expect from a macho man? Tio Nacho could have totally been pulling my leg. However……It would kind of explain why there are so many families with these last names in that area.And the line has blurred on whether one is from the same line of family or not. So crazy.
As far as tracing my family history I think I’m doomed to failure.