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My Family Roots: Genealogy

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It has been said that learning about the past is a process of learning about oneself, and the study of familly histories can help us understand the past and prepare us to meet the challenges of today. Some North Americans can trace their histories back to Mexico, and this presentation is about one such individual: Ana Maria Cavazos. Ana Maria Cavazos was born on June ninth, 1908, in Reynosa, Mexico. She was the eleventh of twelve children.

Her father, Jesus Cavazos, was originally from Victoria, Texas, but his family moved to Mexico around 1855. As was common at the time, Jesus spent much of his life raising cattle and farming cotton.

Ana's mother, Juana Castro, was the oldest of six brothers and sisters. Juana and Jesus were married in 1880. Ana's family moved to the United States during the Mexican Revolution in 1913. Their family experienced much hardship, both financial and physical. Yet in spite of obstacles, many of them triumphed over the forces of exclusion and poverty to emerge as successful farms and businessman.

Ana grew up in Texas and met her future husband, Abel Contreras, in 1929. Ana and Abel Contreras were married in 1931 and were the parents of eleven children. The principles of faith, integrity, and family oneness permeated their lives, and have given their posterity a great legacy. Indeed, we can benefit greatly from our family histories.

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