Lauriano Vidaurri’s Branding Iron


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brand1We were given a very special treat, an image of Lauriano Vidaurri’s branding iron and the document registering it with Zapata County.

brandThis was a gift given to us by Ms. Lupita Barrera, Director of Education and Interpretation of The Institute of Texan Cultures.

Lauriano Vidaurri was a descendent of Fernando Vidaurri Borrego, Acalde of Laredo Texas and grandson of Dn. Jose Vasquez Borrego.

It’s a w over a 5, does anyone know what it means?

Page one of viduarri brand-1

Thank you Lupita!


Translated Letters of Emperor Maximillian and Empress Carlota to Santiago Vidaurri


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I asked  Benjie Castrillo to translate two family letters for me,one from the Emperor Maximillian and the other from  Empress Carlota,  after the death of Juana Maria Vidaurri de Vidaurri. The original letters are archived and stored away, this translation was made possible from a copy that was given to me by my cousins Patricio Milmo Hernandez and Patricio Guerra ‘O’ Hart. Thank you Benjie!

(Maximilian Letter translation)

My Dear Counselor Vidaurri

We have received the letter that announces the cruel blow that wounded you as a result of the death of your noble wife.

We certainly understand the pain that you have suffered as a result of your loss and it has hurt us as well. It has hurt us (illegible) the part we had at your misfortunes

Your courage we do not question, you conducted yourself with dignity and firmness and your character is at the heart of men who we appreciate even more.

We have already delivered orders to the chairman of the assembly of the State (illegible) where we propose the amount of the allowance which should ensure the destiny of your children.

With the assurances of benevolence

Yours affectionately

(signed) Maximilian

Chapultepec January 12, 1866

(Death Notice)

The 14th of December At 10:05 P.M.

Deceased in Monterrey, the Lady Juana Maria Vidaurri de Vidaurri

Christian Souls, my prayers shall be for thee

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth…yet in my flesh I will see God…that is my hope which lies in my heart. Job: XIX

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies. John: XI

He is not God of the deadbut of the living. Matthew: XXII

The King, by whom all live, come and worship.

Invitatory Psalm for the Funeral Mass

Three hundred days indulgence applicable to purgatorial souls, for each of the above verses

(Carlota Letter translation)

Chapultepec Palace January 12, 1866

Lord Counselor

With deep feeling I have been informed of the misfortune that has just befallen you and I know how cruel this event should be for your heart. Providence has also subjected me to a painful ordeal and I also have a very recent experience of how painful it is to lose those whom we love.

However we have the consolation of religion to revive our courage and teach us not despair. As for the future of your children, you should not doubt what the generous heart and care of the Emperor.

Please receive the assurances of my benevolence. (Signed) Carlota

State Councilor D. Santiago Vidaurri

Las Piedra de Sillar – Part 2


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Las Piedra de SillarI wanted to post an original picture of Las Piedras de Sillar, they are located at La Pista at La Mesa de Cartujanos, Candela, Coahuila, MX.

You can see in the picture where I am sitting, at the altitude we are the winds are blowing madly in the 105 Mexican degree heat.

Me at Las Piedra de SillarYou can see that there is nothing behind me….

I’m looking forward to my next visit.

Las Peidras de Sillar


La Piedra de Sillar - La Mesa de Cartijanos, Candela, Coahuila, MXDn. Santiago had these piedras de sillar placed in that location for the purpose of placing his armies flag there whenever he was in residence, this way he let his enemies know that if they wanted to find him, they could.

During all of my visits, I had my picture taken sitting gently on those rocks, why? Because behind those rocks is nothing.

All guests that live for adventure have their pictures taken there….the last time I had my picture taken the wind was blowing like crazy and made me look bigger than what I actually am….perhaps one day I will share that picture with you guys.

isn’t this beautiful?

Unfounded Accusations


Ronnie C. Tyler - Santiago Vidaurri pageRecently last week I found an accusation that is completely unfounded and once again I found myself swearing like a sailor.

I’m sorry, but I take every negative comment against Dn. Santiago Vidaurri y Valdez personally and will defend him come hell or high-water, I don’t care who you are or what proof you claim to have.

The accusation was that he tried to have Benito Juarez assassinated and failed.  First of all, if Vidaurri had made such an attempt I can assure you he would not have failed as he would have put the bullet in him himself, Vidaurri would never have allowed another person to commit the sin, much less hide behind another.

The reasons why this is unfounded?

1. Vidaurri on more than one occasion pardoned men for betrayal and spared lives, i.e Lazaro Garza Ayala and Ignacio Commonfort among others.

2. Vidaurri did not believe in wasting human life, and provided safety and protection to those less fortunate ,i.e. allowing African slaves to enter Mexico and sending back The Texas Rangers when they tried to invade Mexico to retrieve  the runaway slaves and severing the hand of an unruly solider instead of killing him.

3. Vidaurri was not hot-headed and focus was in keeping Mexico safe, he refused to escape to safety until he made sure that Juarez was secure in office after The French Intervention.

I have never been a big admirer of Ronnie C. Tyler’s Biography of Vidaurri, but now I am grateful that he did not romanticize him. If Viduarri had tried to assassinate Juarez, Tyler would have written about it, he did not glorify Vidaurri or paint him as a hero, but wrote the cold hard truth of a man that had a lot to do with frontier politics and the Civil War.  Tyler’s book isn’t 100% accurate as he did not have complete access to  all personal letters or the book of correspondence between Juarez and Vidaurri, or the rest of the archives. There are isolated circumstances as  to why Vidaurri  joined Maximilian,  and he only chose Maximilian  when Juarez made it impossible to do otherwise.

The argument I have with The Juaristas is that they do not give Vidaurri proper credit for the prosperity of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon and defeat of the Conservatives. I also don’t like the back-stabbing Juarez conducted on Vidaurri and forcing him to choose sides between the corrupted Liberals and Conservatives, not to mention the French.  The truth is that Vidaurri was the only Mexican Historical politician that did not abuse his power and was against corruption of any kind. He continues to be maligned to this very day by ungrateful Mexican historians, politicians and everyone else too ignorant to educate themselves on the Truth About Mexican History.

On Page 14, Chapter One of his book he mentions the event that was distorted by The Juaristas on Wikipedia. I am posting it here for your reference.  It states that Vidaurri’s son Indalecio was hot-headed and that Vidaurri allowed Juarez to flee unharmed. We must remember that no one was allowed in Nuevo Leon with weapons, Juarez and his men had been un-armed and assignation would not have been difficult.

Personally, I would not be upset if this accusation were true, what I find deplorable is the accusation itself, especially without proof.

All of my sources are listed on my bibliography page, where are theirs?

For anyone trying to malign Vidaurri’s memory, I ask you to present your sources, I want the title of the book, name of the author, page number and link to where my cousin and I can purchase it.

If you can give me that information just maybe we can have a conversation.

Otherwise, shove it!

La Capilla, La Mesa de Cartujanos, Candela, Coahuila, MX



La Capilla - La Mesa de Cartujanos, Candela, Coahuila, MXOn my way to the Ferry Building to get lunch this afternoon I ran into a street artist with the most beautiful water color paintings of San Francisco, I had to buy one and he asked me if I was a tourist, and I’m like, no I live here.

Not only am I in-love with my city, but I am in-love with La Mesa de Cartujanos, and any image that I see of it.

I mean I use a picture of La Capilla as my iphone wallpaper, that’s how important that church is to me, that’s where tio Santiago and tia Juanita are buried and I’m sentimental.

So I asked John Tunni the artist if he would take a commission and he said yes and isn’t it beautiful?

I’m torn between giving it to my cousin Alberto, although he owns a beautiful painting of La capilla painted by cousin Jose Felipe or keeping it, even though I can always have another made.

These are originals and no two will ever be alike.


Dn. Juana Maria Vidaurri Borrego


Retrato Autor desconocido Óleo sobre tela  94.5 x 79.5 CMS Por la parte del reverso dice: “El día 12 de julio de 1833 se retrato D. Juana Ma. Vidaurri Vazquez y Borrego. Villa de la Punta de Lampazos Nuevo Reyno de Leon”

Autor desconocido
Óleo sobre tela
94.5 x 79.5 CMS
Por la parte del reverso dice:
“El día 12 de julio de 1833 se retrato D. Juana Ma. Vidaurri Vazquez y Borrego. Villa de la Punta de Lampazos Nuevo Reyno de Leon”

I love it when various family members have an interest in our mutual family.  Recently an inquiry was made as to how Juana Maria Vidaurri y Vasquez Borrego was related to Dn. Santiago Vidaurri Borrego y Valdez?

Dn. Juana Maria was the youngest child of Dn. Jose Maria Margil (Margil) Vidaurri Borrego and Dn. Josefa Vasquez Borrego Sanchez.

Josefa was the daughter of Dn. Bartolome Vasquez Borrego(nephew to Dn. Jose Vasquez Borrego) and Alejandra Sanchez de la Barrera y Uribe(daughter to Tomas Sanchez de la Barrera, founder of Laredo, Tx.)

Jose Maria Margil (Margil) Vidaurri Borrego was the son of Dn. Manuela Vasquez Borrego and Dn. Juan Antonio de Vidaurri.  He was Dn. Jose Vasquez Borregos grandson.

Juana Maria was Dn. Santiago’s 2nd cousin and wife. (Santiago was the son of Pedro Jose, grandson of Francisco Vidaurri Borrego and great grandson of Dn. Jose Vasquez Borrego)

She had the big forehead and tiny lips and ears of a Vidaurri Borrego and the blue eyes of her great grandfather Tomas Sanchez de la Barrera.

What I find fascinating is that when she had this painting done, the artist documented her name using the Vasquez, when in reality they didn’t use it anymore.

She was beautiful and I imagine kind to her family, as when I asked my tia Maria what the names were of my 2nd great grandparents she said: Santiago y Juanita.

Basically, it wasn’t tia Juanita, but she had heard her name mentioned within the family and it somehow stuck. I think it’s because the family was really close, especially the families of Dn. Jose’s chosen heirs: Jose Fernando, Ramon Macario, Jose Maria Margil and Francisco.


How to Search for Your Family Connection

First you need to determine what part of Mexico or Texas your branch is from.

There were 4 original heirs that received the majority of the latifundo. Everyone received a portion, but that was determined by Don Jose and the portions were not equal.

*Fernando Vasquez Borrego  resided in Texas and Mexico. He ended up with the majority of the Latifundo on the Mexican side and lost it in a dispute that you will find mentioned in A Family Mexican Empire by Charles H. Harris.

Jose Fernando Vidaurri Borrego resided in Laredo, Tx.

Jose Maria Margil Vidaurri Borrego resided in Laredo, Tx and parts of Mexico – his children could be in either location.

Francisco Vidaurri Borrego only lived in Musquiz, Coahuila. So if you are from there you should research La Villa de Santa Rose, it’s the only church and 5 generations of my mother’s family was married there, starting with Francisco Vidaurri Borrego.

Ramon Macario Vidaurri Borrego left after a dispute with his brother Jose Fernando and there is no further documentation on him.

The other remaining Vidaurri children resided in Laredo, Tx.  Only Francisco Vidaurri Borrego and his family stayed in Mexico, including El Viduarismo: Santiago Vidaurri y Valdez and his family. Francisco’s branch includes Long Vidaurri,  Milmo Vidaurri, Vidaurri y Villasenor etc.

Those are the places your search should begin  and look for the books in my bibliography page. Our cousin Jose Felipe did an extensive search, as he is from Jose Fernando Vidaurri Borrego’s line and he updated it regularly whenever he discovered new information.

If you read Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4 and Book 5 you will have all of your questions answered as to the names of all of Don Jose’s children and grandchildren, names of his haciendas, dates, size of latifundo etc.

If you buy any of the books I mention you will have all of the information I have with regards to our mutual family.

My mission was to connect myself to the Vidaurri Borrego’s of Musquez  and I did it with the help of the people I mention in my About Page.  It was easy for me since my 2nd great grandfather shared the same name as Governor Vidaurri y Valdez, everyone who  researched Governor Vidaurri y Valdez had my information and graciously  gave it to me.

I did not have to continue to do research, I was lucky.  But I did research how the Mexican side of the family lost our inheritance and how we came to prominence.

I basically love our mutual family history and if anyone want’s to share their tree I will gladly post it for you on a separate page: My branch is Ortiz Vidaurri, as that was the last time we carried the name, through my grandmother.

With that being said, everything that I know is mentioned in this blog.  I hope you find it helpful.

My best,

Cousin Anita

La Mesa 2006 – Part 2



I look at these pictures and my heart wants to jump out of my chest, that’s how amazing it is to actually be there in person.  It’s truly an amazing experience, one that believe me I have never taken for granted.

I see these pictures and I am home sick, although I have no right to feel that way, it is how I feel.  I feel a connection with the land, maybe because I spent years dreaming about being there and paying my respects to Dn. Santiago in person.

La Puerta to La Capilla

La Puerta to La Capilla

La Capilla

La Capilla

La Capilla

La Capilla

My cousins Liz & Alberto Milmo and me,

My cousins Liz & Alberto Milmo and me.

La Puerta - La hacienda

La Puerta to La Hacienda – the front door.

Rancho Encinas

Rancho Encinas

Me at Rancho Encinas

Me at Rancho Encinas


La Mesa – 2006


My first visit to La Mesa de Cartujanos was in 2006.  I made the trip out there with my cousin Jose Felipe de la Pena Vidaurri and his lovely wife Karen.

I shared countless dinners with them and outings during our visit to Monterrey and they hold a special place in my heart.  I remember our many walks and our breakfasts of Mexican Papaya.

I stayed at El Hotel Ancira and they stayed at The Sheraton, which was just a block away. We went shopping together and most importantly we went to Rancho Encinas and La Mesa together.

These are pictures taken during that amazing experience, because seeing La Mesa for the first time is mind-blowing.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we did taking them.

Karen & Jose Felipe in front of La Capilla

Karen & Jose Felipe in front of La Capilla



Jose Felipe & Patricio Milmo -

Jose Felipe & Patricio Milmo –

First sighting of La Mesa

First sighting of La Mesa

La Mesa

La Mesa

La Capilla in the distance

La Capilla in the distance

Getting closer

Getting closer

Another view from the air

Another view from the air

La capilla 5