From Marfa Public Radio:
It’s a Saturday afternoon in March, and Elisa Madrid and Oscar Hinojos are sitting at a table at the community center in Redford, filling out a handwritten family tree.
“They had two kids – Macario y Celestino, am I right?” Madrid asks. “Or they had more?”
“They had more,” Hinojos says. “It’s Macario, Celestino, and Amelio, who ended up moving to Midland.”
Like many of the 50-some people in this room, Madrid and Hinojos are related — but until today, they’d never met. They’re still disentangling exactly how they’re connected.
“Mi abuelo y el abuelo tuyo, primos segundos,” Elisa says, tracing her finger along her careful notes. “Then your father and my father, third cousins. Which leaves you and I…”
“Fourth cousins,” Hinojos says.
They got in touch through a Facebook group for the descendants of Redford’s founders. And after months of trading photos and stories about their ancestors, dozens of those group members came together for this event: a reunion of long-lost relatives on the border.
For Madrid, that meant driving 20 minutes down the road from Presidio. For Hinojos, it meant a four hour trip from Midland. For others, like their cousin Diana Madrid Mullar, who lives in Maryland, it was a more dramatic journey — some 30 hours in the car.
“My husband decided he could drive all night, so we drove all night and we didn’t stop until Fort Stockton,” Mullar says.
The occasion is an anniversary: in 1872, just over 150 years ago, the state gave out land grants here to 22 people — including Elisa Madrid’s great-great-great grandfather.
Madrid’s family once owned the land we’re sitting on, and she went to school in this very building. Outside, she shows Hinojos the parcel boundaries.
“Our property is from the corner of that chain-link fence all the way to the river,” she says, pointing.