Tag Archives: Acuna

Mondays for Me #56 ~ A Great Resource

For some of you this may be old news, but for some of us this is a new experience! I recently joined a few Facebook groups designed for reminiscing about the town I grew up in. I was very surprised at how many there were, and they seemed to cover every topic available. One was called “Retro Tucson”, another one was “Remembering Tucson” and one was “Our Sonoran Arizona Ancestors”. To be honest, I ended up joining 6 groups.

As I get older, I realize that my memory isn’t what it used to be. I did buy a book about 23 years ago that asked questions about your life. It was structured to prompt you to write as much as you could remember about such topics like “What was your house like?”, and “What is your favorite memory of grade school?”. There were over 200 questions that you could answer and then you could hand the book on to your children or grandchildren so they could read about your life. I found this book a few years ago and it has helped with my memories. This is one reason I joined these groups, they help bring back memories of places and events.

Francisco & Ramona Acuna

The bonus to these groups is one I just discovered a couple of weeks ago. In the “Our Sonoran Arizona Ancestors” group I saw a lot of people posting photos of their parents or Grandparents, and writing a short paragraph about them. Now, I personally do not have any ancestors from this region, but my husband does. I have researched his family as far back as I could. Once it got into Mexico, the language barrier and the naming practices hindered me. So I decided to post a photo of my husbands Great Grandfather and I included a link to the story I had written about him. The response was amazing!

Letter to Francisco Acuna asking for his daughters hand in marriage

Yesterday, I posted about his Great Grandmother, and I was excited to see the response and very surprised to find so many of the people asking if we could be related. In one day I had contact with and verified 6 new cousins for my husband. The best part is one of his new-found relatives have offered to help me with the research in Mexico and with my lack of Spanish. I am now anxious to join other Facebook groups pertaining to my side of the family!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

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Filed under Acuna, Ancestry, Arizona, Facebook, Facebook Groups, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Monday's For Me, Uncategorized

Hitting the Jackpot on Facebook

Cousin Alex

Cousin Alex

Recently my husband’s Uncle passed away. When we attended his memorial we reconnected with one of his cousins Alex, the step-son of the Uncle.  After returning to Colorado Alex befriended both my husband and me on Facebook.

Alex’s mother Elisa and my husband’s mother Minnie are sisters. Alex learned both English and Spanish at home and he also spent a lot of time in Mexico visiting the other sister, Manuela and her twelve children. My husband and his sibling were raised in a home where their mother was trying to learn English and as a result never taught Spanish to any of her eight children. Having this language barrier has been a hindrance especially at family get togethers.  Not only did his Aunt and cousins not speak English but his Grandparents didn’t either.


After George and I got married my in-laws took us to visit Manuela and her family in Caborca Mexico. I had been to several Mexican cities in the past but they were all border towns. I was a little anxious about traveling farther into the interior of Mexico. To my surprise, I had a wonderful time. The inner part of Mexico is nothing like the border towns and Tia Manuela and her family were warm and cordial. We spent three days in this beautiful little town. I got to meet all of George’s twelve cousins and on the second night there my in-laws left George and I alone with them. I remember how awkward it was trying to communicate. It took almost a half an hour for one cousin to let us know that they wanted to take us out to dinner! With the use of hand movements and animal sounds we finally understood and off we went to the best dinner we have ever had!

Tia Manuela and family

Tia Manuela and family

Looking over Alex’s friends list I discovered that he was friends with several of the cousins in Mexico. I told my husband who immediately befriended them also. After about a week I decided I too should be their friends. I had developed a closed family group on Facebook a few years ago for George’s family Ancestry. I put their Genealogy on it along with documentation and photos and added his brothers and sisters and their families to it. His family was very appreciative of all my efforts. I even interviewed my in-laws and wrote stories about their childhood and ancestors.



After befriending his cousins I wrote to them that I was adding them to the group. I got a response in Spanish but I noticed the “Translate” link beneath the post. When I clicked on it the post was translated to English. I was really excited, finally communication! The six cousins have really enjoyed the group page. Many of the stories and photos they have never seen. Then yesterday something incredible happened. One of the cousin posted 15 never before seen photos of my mother-in-law, her sisters, her parents and Grandparents! She also said her mother had lots of photos and documents that she will post when she can. It has been a great blessing to all to connect with each other and to be able to share the family history.

The moral of the story is: with today’s technology there is no reason not to reach out to those family members who may speak a different language than us.

I realize I may be a little late in discovering this great option of Facebook translating posts for us, but I thought I’d share just in case there are some who like me, were not aware of it!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available onAmazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.


Filed under Acuna, Ancestry, Facebook, Family History, Genealogy

52 Ancestors- Week #3 – Ramona Salazar Acuna – A Woman of “Tough” Discipline

Tubac, AZ
Tubac, AZ

Ramona Salazar was born in the small village of Tubac, Arizona on August 23, 1898. Ramona’s parents were Yaqui Indians from Northern Mexico. Tubac is situated about 20 miles north of the Arizona-Mexico border but at this time Arizona was still a territory of the United States.

Juniper Tree
Juniper Tree

Ramona’s father Santiago worked in the silver mines that surrounded the village. Her mother Ramona Tadeo took care of the home and the raising of the children. When Ramona was just 4 years old her mother died, so she went to live with her Grandmother. It is said that Ramona enjoyed living and growing up in this area as there were plenty of wide-open places with rolling hills covered with desert shrubs and tall Junipers trees that grew by the banks of the Santa Cruz River that flowed past the village. The Coronado National Forest surrounds Tubac on 3 sides with magnificent views of the mountains.

In the summer of 1912 at the age of 20, Francisco Acuna came to Tubac to find work. There he met and fell in love with Ramona. They decided to get married, but both families were against it. They said Ramona, who had just turned 14 three months earlier, was too young to get married. Not listening to their relatives Francisco and Ramona ran away to Mesa, Arizona, and got married on November 13, 1912. When the family found out they all agreed that there was no way this marriage would last.

House in Randolph, AZ
House in Randolph, AZ

The young couple moved back to Tubac and began raising a family. They had 4 boys and 4 girls. One of the girls, Ramona Jr, died when she was 1 month old. Francisco took work as a laborer on farms and he and their growing family began to move from farm to farm working and living in the labor camps. After many years Francisco saved enough money to buy a large piece of land with a house on it in Randolph Arizona. He paid a total of $600 for it all. The home never had running water but that did not stop Ramona from having a large garden, growing food for her family to eat. She also grew some of the most beautiful roses in the county. Their small house was always open to any visitor and every morning family and friends would stop by for coffee and breakfast.

After a few years, Francisco built a larger home on the property. This one also did not have running water; it had dirt floors covered with rugs and a large outdoor stone oven. Ramona was happy and content with her life, regardless of the hardships. Those who knew her said she never lost that childlike wonder of the world and youthful fun.


In 1943, Ramona’s oldest son Francisco “Pancho” Acuna was drafted into the army. Ramona was so afraid that her son would not return home to her. Just before he left for Europe Ramona went to her church and made a deal with God. She told him that if He would watch over Pancho that she would cover her hair with a scarf and not take it off until her son returned home safely. Ramona’s hair was a source of pride for her, it was long and thick and it was the envy of others. She then took out a scarf, braided her long hair, pinning it up on top of her head, and covered it with the scarf. She stayed true to her vow the entire time her son was gone. She said the scarf was a daily reminder to pray for her son and to believe that God would keep him safe. At the end of the war, Pancho did indeed return home safely. By this time Ramona was so grateful that she continued to wear a scarf as a reminder of how God took care of her son, wearing a scarf every day until her death almost 30 years later.

Acunas old
Francisco & Ramonas garves

On November 13, 1973, Ramona and Francisco’s large family gave them a dinner for their 61st Wedding Anniversary. They attended a church service before the dinner and during the ceremony, Francisco fainted. When he came to he said, “This will be our last year together.” 3 months later on February 28, 1974, Francisco died. 10 months later on December 25, 1974, Ramona joined her beloved Francisco.  They were married for over 61 years, proving all the people who said these two young people would not last as being wrong.

Ramona Salazar Acuna is my husband’s maternal Great Grandmother.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available onAmazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.


Filed under #52ancestors, Acuna, Ancestry, Arizona, Family History, Genealogy, Salazar