#52Ancestors: Rosie Salas (b. ca. 1923)

Rosie Salas and her three surviving children, 1940s.

My second week in Amy Johnson Crow’s “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” family history blogging challenge.

The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.

This week’s ancestor is my grandmother Rosie Salas (b. ca. 1923). I don’t know if Rosie is alive or dead. I haven’t seen her since the funeral of my grandfather Benjamin Robledo (1919-1990). Rosie and Ben divorced when my father was very young, and neither parent raised my father. He and his younger brother were raised by their grandmother Maria Nieto (1887-1974), and their bachelor uncle Alfred Robledo.

Rosie has always been one of my brickwalls because my father and his extended family lost touch with her decades ago. My father knew practically nothing about his mother’s youth and family. He remembers her telling him that she was born in Nogales, Arizona. That’s it. That’s the only lead I have had to work with for the 15 years I have been researching my family history.

Until last year.

In May 2013, during one of my regular searches on FamilySearch for records cross-indexing my father’s ancestral surnames, I came across what must have been a somewhat recently added record and image…the marriage certificate and license for Rosie Salas and my grandfather.

October 24, 1942 marriage license for Ben Robledo and Rosie Salas.

Benjamin and Rosie were married on 24 October 1942 in (of all places) Anaheim, California (practically my backyard!). Both listed this as their first marriage. Ben, age 23, worked as a welder and Rosie, age 19, worked as a waitress. Both lived in Los Angeles, so I can’t figure out why they chose to marry in Orange County instead of closer to their homes.

But, best of all…this marriage certificate finally provided my first clues into Rosie’s family history! Rosie indicates she was born in Arizona, and she lists the names of her parents. Rosie claims her father, Steven Salas, and her mother, Victoria Jimenez, were both born in New Mexico. These are my first solid leads to investigate and confirm for this side of my father’s ancestry.

Dad was thrilled when I shared this information with him.

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