#52Ancestors: Source Identified For My 2nd Great Grandmother’s Obituary (Maria Aurelia Compean)

My 16th 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.

I’m no longer a few weeks behind in this series. I am now 6 weeks behind in this series (the challenge is on week 22). I initially blamed my tardiness on being super busy at home, work, and with my volunteer work. However, the extended lapse can be blamed on the recent diagnosis of some critical health issues that had wiped me out for a while (you can read about that on my food blog).

But I’m determined to chronicle at least 52 Ancestors this year, so I’m playing catch-up.


My 16th ancestor is my 2nd great grandmother Maria Aurelia COMPEAN (1858-1963)

Aurelia was and still is referred to by her family as “Little Grandma”. She was born around 1858 (I have no birth record for her) in the village of Tomascal, municipality of Armadillo de los Infante, state of San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Aurelia married Rafael NIETO, who died while the family still lived in Mexico. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1919, crossing via Laredo, Texas on 14 March 1919, destined for Long Beach, California. Little Grandma died in her home in Long Beach, on 17 February 1963. You can read more about her life in my earlier biographical post.

When I first started researching my Nieto and Compean lines in 2004, my great aunt — married to Aurelia’s last living grandchild in my line of her family — sent me what information she knew about Little Grandma, including this obituary clipped from the newspaper.

Obituary clipped from the newspaper, then photocopied and mailed to me in 2004 by my great aunt.

I was thrilled to have an obituary; very few of my ancestors have had obituaries written. But, the historian and librarian in me cringed when I saw that that newspaper name and date were not clipped as well, or at least scribbled on the back. Which means I could never properly cite the obituary in my genealogy database or work.

So I was very happy to finally find this same exact obituary on Ancestry earlier this year. It is from the February 16th, 1963, Home Edition of the (Long Beach) Independent.

Ancestry.com. Independent (Long Beach, California) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.

Now comes the hard part, the continued painstaking process of finding records in Mexico to verify the biographical claims made by her family in the obituary.

After crafting a source citation in my Family Tree Maker 🙂

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0 thoughts on “#52Ancestors: Source Identified For My 2nd Great Grandmother’s Obituary (Maria Aurelia Compean)”

  1. I have a similar mysterious newspaper clipping issue. One of my mom’s cousins found a photo with a caption in Spanish that was clipped from a newspaper in his mother’s mementos after she passed away. No article is attached, and there is nothing noted about it at all. I haven’t found any sources for late 1920’s or 1930’s Mexican newspapers. I’ve tried ancestry and google, but no luck so far. Do you have any suggestions?

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