Tuesday, May 27, 2014

52 Ancestors: #21 ~ The Signature of Nicanor Matus

This is part of the "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" Challenge begun by Amy Johnson Crow, author of the blog No Story Too Small.

Last week, I introduced you to my 2nd great-grandmother, Raymunda Villatoro Vasques. I also shared what could be photos of her. One of those photos is the photo at the top of this post. I know the little boy in this photo is my grandfather, Debs Warren Webster. It may be that he and his sister, Carlota, were visiting their grandparents, Nicanor Matus and Raymunda Villatoro Vasques. So, the adults in this photo could be Nicanor and Raymunda. I wish I knew for sure, but I don't.

In any case, today, I'd like to tell you what I know about my maternal 2nd great-grandfather, Nicanor Matus.

Nicanor was born around 1852 or 1855 in El Espinal, Oaxaca, Mexico. The reason there's a discrepancy in Nicanor's birth year is because his stated age differ in two separate birth records. In his daughter, Crecenciana's, birth record from 1900 he said he was 45 years old, which would mean he was born in 1855. But, in a birth record in which he was a witness, his stated age was 45 and the record was from 1897. That would mean his birth year was 1852.

Nicanor's signature is present, not only on his daughter's birth record, but also on at least two separate birth records in which he served as a witness.  The signature below was from a birth record dated 15 April 1899. In that birth record he stated his age as 45 years old.

There's just something special about seeing an ancestor's signature, isn't there? You may have noticed that I have a tab at the top of my blog dedicated to sharing my ancestors' signatures. I've now added Nicanor's signature to that list.

Nicanor and Raymunda were the parents of four children:

  1. Esther Matus Villatoro (1893-1919) [my great-grandmother]
  2. Catalina Matus Villatoro
  3. Francisco Matus Villatoro
  4. Crecenciana Matus Villatoro (1906-1973)

There's a lot I don't know about Nicanor Matus. I don't yet know who his parents were or if he had any siblings. I don't know where he passed away or his exact date of death. I do know, however, that he died before 7 March 1925 because Nicanor and Raymunda are both listed as deceased in their son, Francisco's, marriage record which is dated 7 March 1925.

I have a lot of research to do to learn more about my 2nd great-grandfather, Nicanor Matus. I'd especially like to find out who his parents, grandparents, and so forth were. And also if he had any siblings. As I learn more about my Matus ancestors, I'll share that information here on my blog.

Thanks for reading!


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  1. What a great photo! And a fascinating story... I hope you are able to fill in some of your blanks on this family in the near future... I look forward to seeing what you find out

    1. I just finished a blog about heirlooms and I mentioned how I found a handwritten postcard by my 3x Great Grandma, completely by accident. In case you're interested in the story- :-)

  2. good luck filling in the holes to the story.

  3. Yes, there is something special about seeing an ancestor's signature! The oldest one I have is for my 2nd great grandfather who lived 1828-1912. Seeing his signature makes him more real

    Nancy Vest


    1. Hi Nancy,

      Yes. I agree with you. Seeing our ancestors' signatures does make them seem more real. It's cool that you have your 2nd great-grandfather's signature. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Oh I agree about seeing an ancestors signature! When I saw my great-great grandfather's signature on his Civil War pension I got goose bumps! Good luck as you research Nicanor. I think he has many stories to tell you!




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