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La Liga de Las Americas

In search of my Enríquez ancestors  

by Gloria Enríquez

Special to La Prensa


My questions began at age 6, with the death of my father— Encarnación Enríquez II—as I wondered why I did not see any of the Enríquez family at the funeral.  Mom said Dad was orphaned at such a young age and his younger sister had died the year before.  Mom believed that all his relatives were dead. 


As the years went by, I still continued to wonder about the Enríquezes, but where do I start?   Texas is such a huge state and there is a lot of ground to cover.  I would certainly have to wait until I was old enough to travel.  I not only wanted to know who they were, but perhaps they could tell me something about Dad in his younger years.

What did he like to do? What was his favorite ice cream? There had to be someone out there related to him, there just had to be.


My search began in September of 1999 and all the information collected over the past six years led to the creation of the Enríquez Family Tree.  A cause for celebration, indeed!  This fantastic result was made possible with the enormous contributions of Ernest Flores García (my fourth cousin, and best friend) and Agustin Ayala (my 2nd cousin, once removed), who are both from Texas. I am eternally grateful that I met cousin Ernest García, who has helped me tremendously and continues to do so, and for all the countless hours of phone interviews that I was able to conduct over the years.


As it turns out, the “discovered” Enríquez Tree contains over 900 names (8 generations), dating back to 1775, with thousands of official documents and a huge photograph collection of over 500 photographs; all our research has been recorded on our database, Family Tree Maker, version 10. 


The greatest concentration of Enríquezes live/d in Texas but we also have relatives in the states of Arizona, California, New York, Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, and Wisconsin.


This research has been a wonderful experience and I am pleased that my dream has finally come true. I now have this special connection with the relatives that I could not find for years, and so many of them! 


In the fall of 2003, I had a dream there was this sense of celebration in the heavens, as they too were very pleased with this entire project.  My research has been, and continues to be, a success due to the assistance and dedication of all my relatives, to whom I am very thankful.

Glora Enríquez with her brother Emanuel in Bowling Green, Ohio, exploring their genealogy.

In 2004, I was able to obtain pictures of my Enríquez grandparents and great grandparents, but wait, it does not stop there, as I also ended up with pictures of my mother’s side of the family, the Martínez and Hernández great grandparents. 


Word had gotten out about my research, and they all wanted to share their pictures.  It seems as though the ancestors all wanted to be found too, as it all came together so quickly.  I am truly amazed and feel very blessed, Gracias a Dios!


The Enríquez Family Tree is dedicated to my father, Encarnación Enríquez II, who is dearly missed by his wife Juanita Hernández Enríquez Avila, and his children: Encarnación III, Emanuel, Estefan (deceased), Ester, Alfredo, Jesús, Gloria (yours truly), Juan, María, Raymundo, Linda, and Elena (deceased).


Stay tuned for more details in future columns of La Prensa.


And you might want to consider taking up genealogy as a hobby if you:


  • Are a history buff and enjoy reading historical novels. Your family history should be your greatest interest here.

  • Like to solve puzzles, kind of like being a detective.

  • Look at old family photographs and wonder about the people in them—who were they, what did they do for a living, how are they related to you, how did they die, where were they buried, what where their hobbies, what skills did they posses, did they serve in the military?

  • Can’t pass a cemetery without wondering if you have any relatives there or if there is someone there by your surname.

  • Love to listen to your grandparent’s stories of days gone bye.


For comments or reaction to my research, or if you just want to blog concerning genealogy, please contact Gloria at: [email protected]






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