(This is my first article, I went through it to correct errors in dates and information I found online that I took as fact.) The true story before I romanticized it in Book 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Los Vidaurri of Mexico and Texas were a political dynastic family; it was a family that spawned four Acaldes (Mayors) and two Governors. Most genealogists fail to give this family it’s due. In other words, not much is said about them yet they cover the pages of Mexican and Texas history. Los Vidaurri were a family that amassed a great legacy only to erode over a period due to family arguing, the annexation of Texas into the United States and the political murder of their shinning star. In my humble opinion Los Vidaurri were an enigma, even to themselves.
During my research and quest of my family genealogy I understood that there were four arranged marriages that took place to ensure the growth and prosperity of the family. Thus, cousins would end up marrying cousins.
The first Vidaurri to enter the state of Coahuila, sometime before 1741 was my 6th great grandfather, Don Juan Antonio de Vidaurri. Don Juan Antonio had political aspirations and not only did he establish a ranch “, San Bartolome,” but he also married Dona Manuela Vasquez Borrego, then the only daughter of el Capitan Don Jose Vasquez Borrego. I compare my family to the Kennedy’s of Massachusetts, since Don Juan Antonio was a cut out version of the modern-day Joseph P. Kennedy. Both men shared the same vision for their families; only one family would have to endure and live through an execution and the other assassinations.
It is said that Don Juan Antonio de Vidaurri was a natural child of a man named Joseph de Vidaurri from Saltillo. We have yet to locate Don Juan Antonio’s baptismal record. It is suspected that he was born in 1728 in el Districto Federal. The marriage between Juan Antonio and Manuela was a match made in heaven, for Juan Antonio was a politically inclined young man.
Don Jose Vasquez Borrego, my 7th great-grandfather and Capitan Tomas Tadeo Sanchez de la Barrera (de la Garza y Falcon) were the first two to arrive at what is now known as the city of Laredo, Texas. Don Jose was in charge of the city’s political future and Don Tomas of the city’s military faction.
Family oral history tells us that in a sense Don Juan Antonio had made a pact with the devil; he agreed to allow Don Jose to raise his first two male offspring, Jose Fernando and Ramon Macario. He also agreed to follow his father-in-law to Hacienda Dolores, a land grant that was issued by the Count of Sierra Gorda, Jose Escandon.
La Hacienda de Dolores was founded on August 22nd, 1750. Don Jose brought thirteen families and fifty other people; Don Jose began the settlement at his own cost. He also had the settlement augmented to include his son-in-law Don Juan Antonio de Vidaurri.
At that time it was known to be the largest land grant to have been issued. The property spanned from the outskirts of Laredo to the present day San Ygnacio. The land grant was well over 300 thousand acres. My 7th great grandfather already owned several haciendas on the Mexican side of the border that would become the land that his other children would inherit.
It is said in history books that Don Jose was a very strange man. Based on family oral history, I could say that Don Jose preferred his son in-laws to his own sons. It is safe to say that if he had any weakness it was his daughters and any offspring that they would have. Don Jose adored his only daughter and her children.
Dona Manuela had died young and the two youngest male children being Margil and Francisco went to live with their grandfather. I must mention that Don Jose had remarried and that his 2nd marriage produced another daughter named Josefa Borrego. It is her lineage today that still carries the old mans political aspirations for his family.
Today if you look at the current Texas oil map, you will find the land grant called by its original name, The Vasquez Borrego y Vidaurri land grant. The property now combined after the marriage between Juan Antonio and Manuela spanned four of the Northern states of Mexico, this is why the family is known as Los Vidaurri de Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas y Texas.
Don Juan Antonio and Manuela had eleven children that have been found through the paper trail of baptismal records, however that is inconclusive since Juan Antonio’s last will and testament has yet to surface. The names of their children are: Jose Fernando, Ramon Macario, Jose Ygnacio, Rita Lizarda, Joseph de Jesus, Jesus Maria Lorenzo de San Jose, Rita Ana Veronica, Jose Maria Margil, Veronica Mariana, *Francisco, Maria Binencia, and Josefa.
The second Vidaurri to make the next marriage that would make sure the family’s political and financial future was Jose Fernando Vidaurri Borrego, Juan Antonio’s and Manuela’s 2nd child. His grandfather had raised Jose Fernando and it was not until his marriage to Dona Alejandra Sanchez de la Barrera y Uribe, the daughter of Capitan Tomas Tadeo Sanchez de la Barrera (de la Garza y Falcon) and the widow of Don Bartolome Vasquez Borrego that he found out his real surname was Vidaurri and not Vasquez Borrego.
Jose Fernando due to family oral history felt betrayed by both his grandfather and father. It took a whole year for Don Jose to convince his heir to come home. The rift however between father and son never mended, for Jose Fernando never felt close to the man who did not raise him nor the mother he hardly knew. I speculate that Jose Fernando never felt close to his many brothers and sisters. As a result I believe this being the reason his offspring ended up selling their shares of the land grant to outsiders and not family members.
Jose Fernando followed in his father’s footsteps and become Acalde of Laredo for two consecutive terms: 1777-1778. Jose Fernando was also a generous man and left each of his eleven children equal portions of the land grant. I believe that this was the first step towards the families decline; Most of the Vidaurri descendants chose to live in the city and had no interest in the farming of the land. However, it took several more generations for that to actually happen, first Juan Antonio through Jose Fernando had a 2nd great grandson Atanacio L. Vidaurri become Acalde of Laredo in 1875 as well as a lieutenant in the confederate army in the war between the states, and a 3rd great grandson Atanacio C. Vidaurri become Acalde of Laredo in 1899.
Jose Maria Margil, the 8th child of Juan Antonio and Manuela became Acalde of Laredo in 1814. Jose Maria Margil was the third Viduarri to make his marriage alliance; he married Josefa Borrego y Sanchez, the daughter of Don Bartolome Borrego y Alejandra Sanchez de la Barrera y Uribe. Their daughter Juana Maria Vidaurri y Borrego entered into the most important marriage of all, she married her cousin, Don Jose Santiago Vidaurri y Valdez. Don Santiago was the son of Pedro Jose Vidaurri Borrego, the natural son of Francisco Vidaurri Borrego, my 5th great grandfather and the 10th child of Juan Antonio y Manuela.
Don Santiago was the most feared and respected of men from 1850 –1867. He was known as EL Caudillo del Norte, “The War Lord of the North”. Don Santiago was Godernador de Coahuila Y Nuevo Leon from 1855-1864. Don Santiago was instrumental in the denouncing of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and helped with the plan labeled ” Restaurdor de la Libertad.” Don Santiago captured Monterrey in 1855 and was quickly proclaimed governor and military commander of Nuevo Leon. His army then quickly gained military control of Tamaulipas. He also annexed Coahuila into Nuevo Leon in 1856. Thus comes his title, “El Caudillo del Norte.”
After the murder of my tio Santiago, it became the Milmo Vidaurri that would end up with what was left of the Vidaurri Borrego Legacy, because they knew how to care for it and preserve it. Don Santiago and Juana Maria had several children. It was their daughter Pudenciana that married Don Santiago’s business partner and friend, Patricio Milmo. Don Patricio was a prominent Irish-born merchant and financier. Patricio and Pudencia’s daughter Pudencina Milmo Vidaurri married Albrycht Wojciech Radzwill, a polish prince in New York City circa June 1st, 1896.
Don Francisco Vidaurri Borrego my 5th great-grandfather also made a good marriage. He married Dona Maria Angela del Carmen Villasenor and through the paper trail of baptismal records, we located five of their children, all male: Juan Jose, *Jose Antonio, Francisco, and Pedro Jose y Juan Antonio de la Trinidad. My family link comes from my 4th great grandfather, Don Jose Antonio Vidaurri Borrego y Villasenor.
Through Francisco my 5th great grandfather, Don Juan Antonio de Vidaurri had one grandson carry the title of Governor of Coahuila Y Texas: Francisco Vidaurri Y Villasenor (1834). However the one that transformed and possessed all the family’s political ambition manifested into my tio Santiago, Don Juan Antonio’s great grandson and the 2nd great-grandson of Don Jose Vasquez Borrego.
Close to the end of the 19th century, the influence of the Vidaurri family in Texas was near its decline. Sometime after the annexation of Texas into the United States, and by 1915 the remaining Vidaurri men who still worked the land awoke one morning to having lost what was their heritage by right. The remaining Vidaurri men who still held on to their family heritage were not men of letters, but farmers, cattlemen, and ranchers. They did not speak English, thus were unable to protect themselves against the Anglo settlers. I would like to believe that would not have happened if Don Santiago had not been executed. It is interesting how one mans death could cause such destruction within one family.
The Vidaurri’s of Musquiz, Coahuila had been hit hardest after 1867. They stopped drawing attention to their illustrious surname and began to use their surname of Borrego. They feared political persecution and ceased all political aspirations. However, even with the decline of the family, my 2nd great-grandfather Don Santiago Vidaurri Borrego y Vela still had some political clout. My mother recalled a family oral story that she had heard through out her childhood. The rumor is that my great-aunt Maria del Carmen had entered into a marriage with a very abusive man, legend claims that great-grandfather Santiago had made his son-in-law disappear. My great-grandmother Maria Daria had high hopes for her children and tried to make good marriages for them.
My grandmother Maria Antonia had a made a love match against her mothers wish’s. Our family oral history, as retold to me by my mother states that great-grandmother gave grandmother six months to change her mind, during those six months my grandmother had to do all the household chores, the cooking, cleaning and washing to prepare her for a life of poverty. Great-grandmother even made my grandmother sew her own wedding trousseau ~ Even with the threat of being disinherited my grandmother defied her mother and married my grandfather. Great grandmother true to her blue blood still gave my grandmother away in a proper wedding befitting a Vidaurri, but kept her word and disinherited my grandmother.
After the death of the elders and my great-grandmother, the rest of the family stopped talking to each other and about their legacy. The younger Vidaurri children had lost an interest in their heritage, in the managing of the haciendas and the grocery stores, and little by little they began to sell off what was left of their family legacy.
It is also the Azcarraga Milmo family today that owns all the Television and Radio stations in Latin America. Don Santiago’s 2nd great-grandson, Emilio Azcarraga Milmo, led the empire. He transformed the name Azcarrage Milmo into one of the top telecommunications monopolies in the world.
The characteristics, physical traits of a Vidaurri are a round face, big forehead and fierce eyes that can command from a room without words. The complexion is fair or a very light olive, tiny ears and small lips, with delicate small hands. The stance is regal, with an innate sense of dignity verging on entitlement. However, it is all a genetic code that plays out like Russian roulette. Other Vidaurri genetic traits are dimples, a shocking grey streak of hair, and wavy, curly hair.
I remember calling my aunt Maria in Mexico to ask her the name of my 2nd great- grandfather and she said with pride: Santiago Vidaurri and I thought to myself what kind of name is that? I can’t describe the emotions I had upon entering his name into Google’s search engine, I was humbled. Growing up I had no idea who and what my family legacy was. My sisters and I were brought up to be honest and hard-working, to take pride in everything that we did and to never make a gain at the cost of another.
I saw more than just names and dates; I saw men and women of flesh and blood that had lived so that we could step forward into the future. I saw my family. I still get tears in my eyes when I think of them, and now they are with me in everything that I do, I just want them to be proud of me. I write this because I want the world to know that Los Vidaurri de Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas y Texas existed and we continue to exist.
*NOTE The Milmo Vidaurri’s lost everything after the revolution and had to start over again just like all of the Vidaurri Borrego branches.
” Los Vidaurri de Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas Y Texas” by Jose Felipe de la Pena Vidaurri.
Texas Handbook online ” Capitan Don Jose Vasquez Borrego”.
Texas Handbook online ” Don Santiago Vidaurri “.
Verbal conversations W/ Miguel Munoz Borrego on family oral history of “Los Vasquez Borrego “.
Verbal Conversations W/ Jose Felipe de la Pena on ” Los Viduarri”.