"Our family did not come to the United States, the U.S. came to our family." --tnm
This is the land of our Native American ancestors who shared it with the the Manzanares, Martinez and other farming families in what is now the "Southwest".
His wife Maria Josefa Espinosa, known as "Mama Tefa". Photo taken circa 1880 (The first permanent photograph was developed in 1826).
His son, my Great Great Grandfather, Jose Bonifacio married Guadalupe Trujillo, born in Capuline Colorado. Known as Lupe or "Mamacita".
Though short, Jose Bonifacio Martinez was known as "Papa Martin. "He was a good businessman and a successful farmer." --Stella Lucero.
A visit to the family plot at "Los Valdezes" know known as Seven Mile Plaza, near Monte Vista, Colorado reveals a pivotal element of U.S. and world history.
When viewing the photos of Papa Martin and Mamacita's grave markers given to me by my Aunt Stella, I observed: "Lupe has a small marker, why does "Papa Martin" have such a big one?"
Stella remembered that Papa Martin and Mamacita were well off, which explains his large marker when in died in 1916. He was survived by his wife Lupe who died in the flu Pandemic of 1918. Because of the severity of the epidemic, Stella recalled: "They buried them fast."
Which explains her smaller grave marker, she was a victim of the 1918 Flu Pandemic.
Between March 1918 and June 1920, one of the "greatest natural disasters of human history" took place. The Pandemic of 1918 infected 500,000,000 worldwide, one third of the world's population of 1.6 billion at the time, killing between 50 and 100,000,000, spreading as far north as the Arctic and to the remote Pacific islands.
It would have been just another flu epidemic except for World War I.