Sunday, February 6, 2011

Elizabeth Laura Walton & James B. Garcia - Albuquerque NM

   The search of family history and genealogy leads to many history lessons as new information brings new questions. A minor note on a census record can lead to new questions and new opportunities to delve into history.

One of our family stories is that my great-great grandmother’s father got students from the Carlisle Indian School to work on his farm in the summer. One of his daughters fell in love with one of the boys and they ran off, got married, and lived in New Mexico.

This story resulted in lots of questions, mainly, is the story true, did the Carlisle Indian School send students out to work in the summer, and what happened to the farmer’s daughter and Indian student. The answer to the first two questions is yes. Laura Walton left Pennsylvania, married James B. Garcia of Acoma Pueblo, and they lived in Albuquerque New Mexico. Here’s some of their story.

James B. Garcia was born about 1868 and lived in Acoma, New Mexico. He was a full blooded Pueblo Indian of the Acoma Band. He was sent to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, PA, arriving August 24, 1884. He entered Carlisle in the 2nd grade and was in the 8th grade when he was discharged on September 14, 1891. His records at the school show he was sent "To Country" three times to "Patrons", where he worked farming for the "Patrons". He went to Patron Jos. Walton, Shickshinny, Luzerne Co., PA on March 4, 1889 and returned "From Country" September 13, 1889.

Laura Walton (also known as Elizabeth Laura or Lizzie) was born February 28, 1867 to Joseph and Lavina Walton. The 1880 US Federal Census (Census) shows the family living in Salem Twp., Luzerne County. Joseph Walton owned about 600 acres where he farmed and produced lumber. Laura would have been 22 years old when James came to work on the farm.
In 1900 Laura, age 33, was living with her father and a nephew Clyde Walton in Hazleton with five boarders in the home. Laura and James married in 1903 and are shown living in Albuquerque on the 1910, 1920 and 1930 Census’ with her listed as Laura E. Garcia. The census records show she didn’t just ‘run off’ with James, but waited more than 11 years to be with him.

On the 1910 Census Laura reports having 2 children but none surviving, so it is doubtful that they had surviving children. An undated family history reported they had twin boys.

James completed a survey in 1911 and returned it to the Indian School in Carlisle. He reported he married Miss Laura E. Walton on Penna. and was living in Albuquerque. He reports he has his home at 725 S. Edith St., Albuquerque and a property on 2nd street. James wrote that he did not attend any schools after leaving Carlisle and "I did not graduate at Carlisle I was only up to 12 grade in Miss Cutter’s room." He writes that he is working for A.T. & S.F. RR Co. (Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway) - "my principle work has been railroading at present time I am working in Santa Fe shops at Albuquerque. Census records list him as a machinist for the railroad.

A 1916 directory for boarding houses for tuberculosis patients listed "Mrs. Garcia’s House" at their home address on Edith street in Albuquerque with Mrs. J.B. Garcia as proprietor.

US Indian Census Schedules for New Mexico list James as a member of the Acoma Band of Pueblo Indians. He is listed with his mother Maria Vicente Garcia until her death in 1920. The 1920 Census lists Jas. Garcia, age 58 as "married to white woman, lives Albu." US Indian Census Schedules for 1932 and 1933 list James B. Garcia and wife Lola C. Garcia as not living at the jurisdiction (Acoma) where enrolled, but living in Albuquerque. James is listed as a full Acoma Pueblo Indian and Lola as a not eligible white.

Both James and Laura died in 1939 and are buried at Sunset Memorial Park cemetery in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The family story also was that Joseph disowned Laura because she married James. I don’t know if this is true but if it is I believe he forgave her. In October 1904 Joseph Walton of Salem sold for $500 the coal and other mineral rights belonging to him of land in Salem Twp. To Mrs. Lizzie E. Garcia of New Mexico and Clyde Walton (his grandson) of Philadelphia.

If you’ve been to both Acoma New Mexico and Luzerne County Pennsylvania you know how different the land and people are. That Laura left her family and all she knew to be with James in a culture and land so different speaks highly of their love.

I pieced this story together using: US Federal Census and US Indian Census Schedules; James B. Garcia’s records from the U.S. Indian School at Carlisle, PA from the NARA; Luzerne County Deed records; family history records; and trolling Google. One family story took me on a history tangent from the Indian School in Carlisle to Acoma NM to the Santa Fe Railroad.  Isn't genealogy grand!


No comments: