In America today many people can name the country of their ancestors' origin. But few can tell the story. Here is the known account of our family history.  Almost everyone who comes to America from their home land leaves for a second chance at life—a fresh start, a new beginning.  Individuals who leave their homes for life in a New World are undoubtedly courageous. This is the reason our family is here in America today. The earliest known Lopez to have immigrated to the New World is Diego Lopez. He arrived here in 1509 from Spain. The Spaniards colonized Mexico from 1519 to 1820.

The first known member of our family was Luis Lopez. He met Rafaela Ruiz approximately in the 1840s' and they were married on December 16, 1850. They were married in the small town of Jaral De Progreso, Guanajuato, Mexico where they lived their life in the farming community. They had several children, one of those being Ygnacio Lopez. He too spent his life in Jaral Del Progreso with the majority of family members preferring to live near his birthplace in order to help with the farming and household.  He worked at a ranch for his Uncle near the Presa Santa Ria. Years later he met Maria Florencia Garcia in or around 1883. They were married on February 16, 1885 in Jaral Del Progreso. There they reared their seven children. The children in order of birth were Jose Antijio, Francisico, Natalia, Emilia, Rosa, Victor, and Jose Teofilo Nicanor Lopez.

Nicanor Lopez, the youngest, was born on January 7, 1904 on  "El Romance"  a ranch near Victoria De Cortazar in the state of Guanajuato in Mexico. The town is located about six hundred and fifty miles south of Laredo, TX. He lived in the farming village until the death of his father Ygnacio Lopez.  His father was shot and killed by the Mexican bandit Pancho Villa.  Nicanor stated that he decided to come to United States to escape the struggles he was encountering in his homeland and to realize a better living.  He would say “to make some money”.

A few days before his 20th birthday in 1924, he decided to depart for America. Along with a friend named Margarito Cisneros , he packed his few possessions and came to America, crossing the border near the Nuveo Laredo area.  He said when he crossed the Rio Grande the river was dry so he never got wet.

He entered the United States on Jan.9, 1924, the only one from his family to come to the United States.

After a few short months, his friend decided to go back to Mexico while Nicanor on the other hand went further north to the small community of Three Rivers, TX.

There he gained employment as a ranch hand. While there he met a young lady named Yrene Cornelia Baladez in Caron, a small ranching community about twenty miles east of Three Rivers,TX.

On September 16, 1911 on a ranch in Bee County, TX Yrene C. Baladez was born. She was the daughter of Celso Baladez and Antonia de Luna.  Her maternal grandparents were Rafael de Luna and Teofila de Luna. She too as Nicanor was the youngest of twelve children. They were Francisca, Celso, Hilo, Rafael, Felis, Genevevo, Andrea, Delfina, Marta, Pabla, Anita, and Yrene.  Her father, Celso Baladez, is buried in Robstown,Texas and her mother in the Texas Valley.

Nicanor would state that he first laid eyes on Yrene in the early part of 1924.

Four years later the couple exchanged vows in the courthouse at George West,TX.

Nicanor Lopez and Yrene C. Baladez were married on February 28, 1928. They lived their lives in close proximity to Three Rivers where they made a living farming and ranching.  That same year the first of many children was born.

On Dec.10, 1928 a baby girl named Florencia Lopez was born. She was named in honor of Nicanor’s mother.  Next, the first son, Bernardo Lopez, was born on Aug.20, 1931. Clemente Lopez was born Nov.23, 1932, followed by Felipe B. Lopez on Aug. 23, 1934, Dionisio M. Lopez on Oct.18, 1936.   Two years later Rosa Lopez was born on Dec. 18, 1938, Carolina Lopez on Nov. 28, 1940 and Angelita Lopez on Feb.28, 1943.  A year later in 1944 Jose Lopez was born but regrettably died at birth.  All of the above brothers and sister were born on ranches in Live Oak County. Thereafter, the Lopez family took a 1945 trip to the state of Mississippi to work the cottons fields.  The couple’s only set of twins, Floyd D. & Elvarista Lopez  were born in Gunnison,MS. on Oct.26, 1945.

Nicanor decided to move the family back to Texas after the cotton season was over.

Two years later the youngest of the males, Santos Lopez, was born on Nov.1, 1947.

Soon thereafter on Jan.1, 1950 Baudelia Gradalupe Lopez was born.

The youngest of the females, Adriana Lopez, was born on Nov.16, 1951.

After many years of working and taking care of children, Yrene and Nicanor continued to enjoyed marriage life. In 1970 they moved to Three Rivers retiring from farming and ranching. 

On Nov.1991 they were interviewed for a family video regarding their life story.

They were asked the following question.

 1. What were the happiest moments of your lifes?

Apa jokingly said he had no happy moments.  Ama said the happiest moments of her life were when all her children were young and happy.

2. What do you enjoy doing in your life?

 Apa said he liked to work in the garden, and listen to music, especially the song, ‘Yo Soy Mexicano”.  Ama said she liked to see the Spanish soaps, can, cook, sew quilts, work in the flower garden at which point Apa said “I don’t like to cook”.

3. What are your favorite foods?

 Apa stated he liked seafood, fish soup, and shrimp and Ama said she enjoyed rice, onions, tomatoes, and caldo {soup}.

4. How do you feel about your life?

 Apa said he was content and happy with the years he had lived in this world. He also thanked God for the food he had to eat while millions were starving.  Ama felt happy with her life and said she had no complaints.

5. What is your wish and advice for future generations?

 Apa said when he left this world his wish was for all families to be happy, for God to bless them, to be thankful for what you have and he hoped you would have no troubles.   Ama said she wanted her sons and daughters to live well.  She wished for her family to live as Brothers and Sister…  No Fighting, and always remember that you are brothers and sister. 

Even though Nicanor never made the millions he dreamed of, he and Yrene did accomplish something more valuable than money. They had a family of fourteen children, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, which led to the LARGE, LOVING and CARING FAMILY that we are today. Yrene passed away on February 22, 1992 and Nicanor on August 31, 1997.

May God Bless them always for giving us this opportunity of Life in The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Lopez Family Picture, circa 1908

This picture was taken approximately in 1908.  Nicanor Lopez is seated in front on the left.  One of his brothers Victor Lopez is seated to his right.  On the 2nd row from left to right are The Baby Name Unkown, Jesus Lopez Ruiz (Esposa de Un Primo Hermano), Rosa Lopez (Hermana of Nicanor), His mother, Maria Flora Garcia de Lopez and father, Ygnacio Lopez are centered and right behind him. Next are Amilia Lopez Garcia (Hermana Segunda), Natalia Lopez Garcia (Major Mujer). In the back row from left to right are Francisco Lopez (Segundo Hombre), and Antioguio Lopez (Major Hombre). To see a larger size photo, click on the picture.

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