Well, grandma was right - her grandfather (my great-great-great grandfather) did survive the battle. He was 11 months old. His mother (my great-great-great-great grandmother), and her sister (my great-times-5 aunt) also survived. His name was Alejo Perez, Jr. and his mother was Juana Navarro Alsbury. The Navarro clan (Juana's father and his brothers) played a major role in the birth and growth of San Antonio. They served as alcaldes (Spanish mayors) and other elected officials for the city, and as legislators for the state. Two of them drafted and signed the Texas Declaration of Independence.
I often wondered how Alejo, his mother, and his aunt came to be in the Alamo in the first place. Grandma had stories for that, too. "We're related to Jim Bowie." Um ... what?? That was it? That was her explanation? As if that were a plain old vanilla reason for why her grandpa was at the Alamo. After discovering her other stories were true, I definitely believed her but I needed more info. After some research, I found out Bowie was married to Juana Navarro's cousin, Ursula. Bowie's wife and children died during a cholera outbreak, but he was still concerned about Ursula's family in San Antonio. He decided to bring them to the Alamo in order to protect them. Juana nursed him when he was injured and Bowie later died during the battle. Out of all those who fought at the Alamo, only eleven survived. Of those eleven, three were my ancestors Jim Bowie tried to protect. Learning this history made that cold stone building feel much cooler and more personal.
The Boyfriend did the research to uncover my family's history. Going back to San Antonio and visiting the Alamo with him was amazing. He was so excited to see my family's name on the city's monuments and that made the trip even more exciting for me.
We took a lot of photos over Christmas last year. Pay no attention to that wild windswept hair!
This timeline is right out front of the Alamo and shows the events leading up to and following the battle. Alejo Perez's date of death is noted for all visitors to see!
Jose Antonio and Jose Francisco were two of Juana Navarro's uncles. Her father (my great-times-5 grandfather) was the Alcalde of the city (mayor). (His brother in-law was the lieutenant governor.)
Me and my great-times-6 uncles. Just chillin'.
We weren't supposed to take pictures inside the Alamo but we were sneaky little critters.
List of the original fifteen Spaniards that came from the Canary Islands to Texas. Joseph Antonio Perez is Alejo Perez's ancestor on his father's side. We've been in San Antonio for a looooooooooong time!!
Eugenio Navarro, another of Juana's uncles, was the first elected treasurer of San Antonio. He's entombed in the Cathedral of San Fernando, the church founded by the original 15 Canary Island families. Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett are also entombed here.
As Pee Wee learned, there is no basement in the Alamo. But there is a bar called The Basement across the street!