Jose Martin Cruz married my Great-Great Grandmother, Maria Mauricia Faviana Verdugo (1863-1941), on May 16, 1885 in Compton, Los Angeles. Jose Martin (Morales) Cruz and Mauricia Verdugo are found in the 1900 census living in Long Beach, California with Mauricia’s widowed mother, Basilia Verdugo, and 7 children ranging in age from 23 to 2 years old.
Later, in the 1910 census we find Maria Mauricia Faviana Verdugo (1863-1941) widowed and living alone in the San Antonio Township. The San Antonio Township was formerly part of the Rancho San Antonio owned by the Lugo family; Mauricia’s paternal and maternal aunts had both married into the Lugo family, so it is not unlikely that she had been provided a home to stay in from a close relative. As recounted below, 2 younger daughters of Mauricia at this time were inmates in an orphanage; the older children likely found their own way and the whereabouts of the two youngest Cruz children is undetermined as of 1910.
Rosa Maria Cruz was the second daughter of Jose Martin (Morales) Cruz (1854-1920) and Maria Mauricia Faviana Verdugo (1863-1941). She was born in Long Beach, California on June 6, 1896; one of nine children. The youngest child, daughter Aurelia “Ray” Cruz (1906-1923) reportedly died at the Weimar Sanatorium in California of tuberculosis, but I can find no record of her death in Weimar records under Cruz or under her married name of Stevenson.
It is unclear what family difficulties occurred between 1896 and 1910; but Rose and her younger sister, Florence Ambrosia Verdugo Cruz 1901-1983), are found in the 1910 census as inmates at the Los Angeles Orphanage. Rose was 13 and Florence 9 years old. Per Rosa Maria Cruz she came to San Diego when she was 14 years old (presumably with Florence) to live with her brother, Marshall Verdugo Cruz (1888-1951), who either owned or worked for the moving company, Triangle Transfer & Truck Company. Marshall would have been a fairly recent transplant to San Diego himself, as he is found previously in the 1910 census, at 20 years old, living in Los Angeles as a boarder in the home of Carmen Marquez, with his 23-year-old brother, Benjamin F. Cruz (1887-?).
Rosa Maria Cruz is perhaps found (in the 1920 census) living in Pomona, California; the wife of Reginaldo Palomares Vejar and mother of a 3 ½ year old daughter Regina Teresa Marcelline Vejar (1916-2016). A second daughter, Henrietta Josefina Vejar (1921-1988), was born in San Diego (per family history); whether Henrietta was Reginaldo Vejar's daughter or the daughter of Henry Cesena remains unclear, but by 1923 Rosa was again in San Diego and had remarried Vernon Monroe Kemp (1903-1968), the father of her third daughter, Helen Marie Kemp (1924-2005).
In a column about Rosa Maria Cruz outlining her life when she was 79 years old, she claimed Mission Indian and Spanish descent, she claimed (it seems mistakenly) that the famed Maria Eulalia Perez (1766-1878) was her 5th Great Grandmother. Rosa stated that the Verdugo family came from Majorca, Spain and were landowners in Pasadena and of the Rancho Los Cerritos in Long Beach. Rancho Los Cerritos was a part of Rancho Los Nietos and was held by Maria Manuela Antonia Perez y Nieto (1791-aft.1835) and her husband Juan Ignacio Guillermo de Cota (1768–1844). Juan Ignacio Guillermo de Cota’s marriage to Maria Manuela Antonia Perez y Nieto was his second. He had been previously married to Maria Manuela de Jesus Lisalde (1777-1803), the daughter of Maria Tomasa Lopez (1756–1778) and Captain Pedro Antonio Lisalde (1753-1818).
Rosa Maria Cruz bought a house in San Diego at 1942 Thomas Street in 1929 and lived there until 1974 when she moved to De Anza Trailer Park on Mission Bay. Rose recounts fishing in Mission Bay with her family using chicken wire during the Depression. She tells that she, 2 sisters and her mother, Maria Mauricia Faviana Verdugo, were involved in the founding of St. Briget’s Catholic Church in Pacific Beach. There was no Catholic Church and they sold Spanish dinners to raise funds to build the church. Her nephew, Richard Severn Rash (1921-1988), the son of her sister Florence, was the first altar boy at St. Briget’s and her mother Mauricia Verdugo would pass away before the church was completed.
In a letter from Tecate, Mexico dated 12 August 1883 from Maria Mauricia Faviana Verdugo to Martin Cruz:
Senor Don Martin Cruz,
My beloved brother,
I will be glad if when you receive this letter in your hands you will find yourself and all of my other brothers and sisters in good health. My brother I wish and hope with anticipation to see all of you. The days seem so long. I received your wonderful letter, from which we received such great joy. I cannot tell you when we can go, I worry about the health of our father and mother. After this Novena and request to St. Francis I hope to be able to see all of you. Let me know when you will go to Sonora so I can commit myself to repaying this debt as promised to St. Francis. Let me know when you go, please do not stop writing to me. Next is only to find a job to make enough to pay my debt to St. Francis.
My greetings to Erlinda and Chachon, greetings from mother and father, from Margarita and from the rest of the family, and the heart of your sister who wishes she could see you.
Maria Mauricia Faviana Verdugo refers to her husband as her brother and to her family members as her brothers and sisters. Why Mauricia Verdugo was in Tecate is unknown. Her greeting to Erlinda seems to refer to Erlinda Lopez (1876-1941), the daughter of Geronimo Lopez (1829-1921…3GGU) and Maria Catarina Lopez. Erlinda married Joseph W. Alexander (1870-1965). Margarita would likely be Mauricia’s sister, Maria Margarita Verdugo (1863-1924). Margarita Verdugo married Jose "Vicente" Nicolas Melendrez (1864-1905). Whether the “our father and mother” refers to Martin Cruz’ parents or Mauricia’s is unknown, but the presence of Margarita seems to point to a greater possibility that it was Jose Joaquin Juan Pedro Verdugo (1832-1889) and Maria Basilia Perez (1824-1908), who were, in this case, living in Tecate, Mexico.