Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What is a name?

A show that I'm sure to watch every week is Who Do You Think You Are? Its about tracing your family roots and finding out where you come from. PBS also has Finding your Roots which is really rich in history and detail. So after watching these shows I decided to trace my grandmothers side because there is a lot of mystery surrounding that side of the family. There were stories that my great grandmother was French Basque and that she and her sister were left in America with an adoptive family while the rest of the family returned home to France.

Turned out that wasn't so at all, my great grandmother was born in 1901 in a mining town in Arizona and her mother, Soledad Abencerraje was Mexican- not French at all.

When I was deciding on the surname for twins Grasiella and Tatiana for my book Mishap & Mayhem, I chose the name Najera for many reasons, first it belonged to one of my grandparents and I liked that the name was different and unique.

As I started working on my next story 'Murder on Mars' and as I was choosing the names, I decided to go with Lopez for the main character. Lopez is the name of another one of my grandparents who left Lugo, Spain and traveled to America on his own. Instead of going through Ellis Island he entered the U.S via Mexico on Nov 29, 1909 (my grandmother use to say he traveled via Banana boat!) What made him decide to leave Spain? His entry papers say that he was visiting a relative, that he had twenty dollars on him and listed his father as his next of kin. I may never know why he left everything behind, but what I do know is that he met and married Soledad's daughter and they had two children one of them my grandmother, until his murder while he was on his way to a bank in El Paso, TX. I suppose the only way I will learn why he left Lugo, Spain is to travel there my self and see what I can find. I've been to Spain- Madrid and Barcelona, but I never thought to visit Lugo, I don't know why not, but now I have a really good reason to.

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