#52Ancestors: Tracking Down My Great Grandfather Estevan Salas

My 28th entry 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.

My 28th ancestor is my great grandfather Estevan “Steven” SALAS (b. 1888). I did not even know the name of my great grandfather until the May 2013 discovery of the marriage records for my grandmother Rosie SALAS and my grandfather Benjamin ROBLEDO (1919-1990). He is identified on that marriage record as Steven Salas from New Mexico.

I blogged in January about Estevan’s wife, my great grandmother Victoria JIMENEZ (b. ca. 1891), which provided some discoveries and details about Estevan. I do not have a marriage record for them.

Estevan and Victoria show up together on the 1920 U.S. Census, living in Deming (Luna County), New Mexico with Victoria’s sons Richard and David from a previous marriage. Their daughter Rosie is not born yet. Estevan is described as:

  • 33 years old, white, male, married.
  • Unable to read or write. Able to speak English.
  • Born in New Mexico, with both parents also born in New Mexico (both Spanish-speaking).
  • Employed as a laborer in a building.
1920 U.S. Census showing Estevan Salas, wife Victoria, and stepsons Richard and David. Image courtesy of Ancestry.com.

By 1921, Estevan and Victoria had moved to Phoenix (Maricopa County), Arizona, where they show up in city directory records (Estevan’s name is spelled “Esteban”). 

A bit more detail is available about Estevan from his World War I Draft Registration. 

Estevan “Steven” Salas registered for the draft on 05 June 1917 in Luna County, New Mexico. He states his date of birth as 24 January 1888, and claims to be a natural-born U.S. citizen (New Mexico became a U.S. territory in 1850, and state in 1912), born at the Mimbres River, near Deming, New Mexico. Estevan was employed at this time as a laborer at the Deming Smelter. Estevan claims no prior military service. He notes that his wife and two children (this would be Victoria and her sons,) are solely dependent upon him. The draft board describes Estevan as medium height, slender build, with brown eyes and hair, no baldness, and no physical disabilities.

Word War I Draft Registration. Estevan’s signature is at the bottom. Courtesy of Ancestry.com.
Word War I Draft Registration. Courtesy of Ancestry.com.

I have no information about Estevan beyond 1921, including a date of death.

But by the 1930 U.S. Census, Victoria and the children were living in Orme (Maricopa County), Arizona. Son Richard is listed as the head of household, and Victoria is listed as widowed. So, if she was indeed widowed by 1930, Estevan died sometime between 1921 and 1930.

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