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The Gilbert Patiño Library and Research Center


Meetings are normally held at 9:30 a.m. every first Saturday of the month on the first floor, Main Auditorium, of the San Antonio Public Library, 600 Soledad Street, San Antonio, Texas. Visitors are always welcome to attend.  Membership is not required.  Speakers at the meetings are people with a passion for history, professional historians, genealogists, archaeologists and researchers.                                                                                                  Follow Us On Facebook


For the November Meeting
Date: Nov 5, 2016
Speaker: Art Martinez de Vara
Topic: History of Von Ormy

Mr. Martinez de Vara is an attorney with The Martinez de Vara Law firm. He received the Doctor of Law from St. Mary’s University School of Law and has a Master of Arts in History from Sam Houston State University. His thesis, “José Francisco Ruiz – A Texas Revolutionary.” Other degrees include a Master of Arts in Systematic Theology, St. Mary’s University, a Bachelor of Arts in History, University of Colorado at Denver, 2003-Honors Thesis, “Use of Media and Propaganda in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict,” He also attended the University of Texas at Austin, Plan II Honors Program/Computer Science and DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Houston, TX.

He has also been an Adjunct Professor of Business Law at Our Lady of the Lake University since 2014. In his professional experiences he has served as:
• Chief of Staff/General Counsel, State Sen. Konni Burton, District 10, 84th Legislative Session, 2014 – 2015
• City Attorney, City of Kingsbury, Texas, 2015 – present
• City Attorney, City of Sandy Oaks, Texas, 2014 – 2015
• Publisher, Lone State Community Newspapers, 2008 – present

• Chief of Staff/General Counsel, State Rep. John V. Garza, District 117, 82nd Legislative Session, 2011 – 2013
• Attorney, Ramírez, Marrou & Martínez de Vara, PLLC, 2007 – 2010
• Judicial Intern, Hon. Xavier Rodriguez, U.S. District Court, Western Dist. of Texas, 2006
• Summer Intern, Fulbright and Jaworski (San Antonio Office) 2006
• Software Engineer, various firms, 1997 - 2003

Mr. Martinez de Vara has been elected to various offices and has done public service as:
• Mayor, City of Von Ormy, 2008 – 2015
• Electoral College, Presidential Elector for Texas Congressional District 23, 2008
• Commissioner, Bexar County Emergency Services District No. 5, 2006 – 2008
• Director, State Association of Fire and Emergency Districts, 2007 – 2008
• Acting President, Texas Municipal League, Region 7, 2014
• Vice-President, Texas Municipal League, Region 7, 2012, 2013
• President, I-35 South Partnership of Cities, 2012
• President, South Texas Partnership of Governments, 2012
• General Counsel and Board Member, South Texas Regional Water Alliance, 2012-2014

As an author he has won a number of writing awards.
• Texas State Genealogical Society’s Writing Award, 2016
• Presidio La Bahia Book Award for Best Original Research in Spanish Colonial Texas, Sons of the Republic of Texas, 2014
• Texas State Genealogical Society’s Writing Award, Reference Category, TSGS, 2014
His recent professional honors and awards include:
• “Outstanding Lawyer” – San Antonio Business Journal, 2015
• “Super Lawyer - Rising Star”, Business Litigation, Texas Monthly Magazine, 2014
• Named “Founder of the Liberty City Movement” by San Antonio Express News, 2014
• Business Journal, Who’s Who in American Energy for work in Eagle Ford Shale Public Policy, 2012, 2013 and 2014
• Profiled in the American Bar Association Journal, January 2011
• SceneInSA Magazine “Best Lawyers, Business and Corporate Law,” 2010
• SceneInSA Magazine “Rising Legal Star,” 2009
• “25 Extraordinary Minorities in Texas Law” - Texas Lawyer Magazine, 2009
• Rookie Firefighter of the Year, Jarret Volunteer Fire Department, 2006

Leadership programs include; Texas Lyceum, Director. 2011 – 2012, Leadership San Antonio, Class 35, 2010 and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber - Alex Briseño Leadership Development Program, 2008

He has recently appeared in the following media outlets discussing public policy issues: New Yorker Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Texas Public Radio, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Houston Chronicle, Austin American-Statesman, San Antonio Express-News, Univision, BBC News, Yomiuri Shimbun, Texas Tribune, Texas Public Policy Foundation Policy Orientation, Texas Insider, KTRH Radio, Watchdog Radio and more. He also served as Hispanic Market Communications Adviser – Greg Abbott for Governor Campaign, in 2014

His recent publications include:
• Jose Francisco Ruiz- A Biography, forthcoming on Texas State Historical Association Press
• Dios y Texas: Essays on the History of Von Ormy, Texas, Alamo Press, 2016 which was the Winner of the 2016 Texas State Genealogical Society’s Writing Award Report on the Indian Tribes of Texas in 1828, Alamo Press, 2014, Winner of the 2014 Presidio La Bahía Award Sons of the Republic of Texas, Annual award for the best book on Spanish Colonial Texas.
• History and Records of Mission San Patricio de Bexar, Santa Helena Publishing, 2013 and Winner of the 2014 Texas State Genealogical Society’s Writing Award, Annual award for the best reference book on Texas Genealogy.
• History and Records of Paso de las Garzas, Texas, Santa Helena Publishing, 2009
• Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association, various articles
• Encyclopedia of Texas Music, Texas State Historical Association, various articles

Mr. Martinez de Vara has also made various presentations to genealogical, historical and community groups. Some of his presentations are:
• Highlighting Tejano Perspectives on the Texas Revolution
• El Noreste - The Founder’s Effect in Genealogical Studies of Northeastern Mexico and South Texas
• Understanding Historical Spanish Naming Patterns
• The Indian Papers of José Francisco Ruiz
• José Francisco Ruiz: Report on the Indian Tribes of Texas in 1828
• The History and Records of Mission San Patricio de Béxar at Béxar, Texas.
• Tejanos and the First Republic of Texas
• José Francisco Ruiz and the Tejano-Mejicano Dialectic
• The Early Years of José Francisco Ruiz: 1783-1821
• Tejano Decision Makers of the Texas Revolution.
• Blas Herrera – Hero of the Alamo
• Paso de las Garzas - A Tejano Community on the Lower Medina River

Note: In November, 2009, the Society rented a building on the campus of Holy Rosary Parish to house our Library. The Parish is located at 159 Camino Santa Maria just north of Culebra Rd. The Library is manned by volunteers on Saturdays, except the 1st Saturday of the month. The hours are 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. There is no charge to use the Library and one need not be a member of the Society. Map and directions

Help for the beginning genealogists.

The Society assists individuals in getting started with genealogical research through beginner's workshops.  Beginners also receive assistance from the more experienced members of the Society.

Contact one of the following individuals by email or phone to schedule an appointment:

Dennis Moreno             210-647-5607            dennis.moreno@sbcglobal.net
Yolanda Patino             210-434-3530            patinogil@sbcglobal.net

Download a copy of  "A Guide to Beginning Hispanic Genealogy"

Past speakers of the monthly meetings:

Date Speaker Topic
April 3, 2004 Dr. Alonso Perales The Marroquin Family
May 1, 2004 Dr. Gerald E. Poyo Tejano Regional Identity in the 18th and 19th Centuries
June 5, 2004 Dr. Carolina Castillo Crimm The De Leon Family - based on her newly published book
July 3, 2004 Richard Santos Sephardic Jews in Northern Mexico
August 7, 2004 Robert H. Thonhoff The Battle of Medina
September 4 2004 Dr. Felix Almaraz The Canary Islands
October 2, 2004 Dr. Rosalind Rock The Indians at San Juan Capistrano Mission
November 6, 2004 Terry Muska Spanish Guitar Music
December 4, 2004 Nora Cantu McMill Morocco: Land of Contrasts
January 1, 2005 None None
February 5, 2005 Martha Duron Jimenez TBA
March 5, 2005 Joel Escamilla Discussion of the Planned Trip to Saltillo, Mexico
April 2, 2005 Sister Maria Carolina Flores Microfilm Resources of Interest to the Genealogist at the Center for Mexican American Studies & Research
May 7, 2005 Lic. Lucas Martinez Sanchez The Verimendi Family including UrsulaVeramendi, wife of James Bowie of Alamo fame.
June 4, 2005 Adan Benavides Aspects of the history of San Fernando Church( before becoming a cathedral).
July 2, 2005 Robert Garcia Book review of "Tejano Participants in the Texas
Revolution of 1835-1837".
August 6, 2005 Robert Tarin Genetic Genealogy
Sept 10, 2005 Felix Almarez From the Battle of Medina to Texas Independence
Nov 5, 2005 Frank Faulkner Genealogical Resources in the Texana/Genealogical Department
Dec 3, 2005 Terry Muska Played Mexican and Spanish music on guitar.
Feb 4, 2006 Santiago Escobedo San Juan Dam: A Weir on the San Antonio River
March 4, 2006 Dora Veracruz Martinez Ranching during the Mission Period
April 1, 2006 David McDonald Against Anglo Avarice: The 1838 Struggle of the Descendants of Joaquin Leal to keep their land.
May 6, 2006 Alonzo M. Perales The Indigenous Cultures of South Texas and Northern Mexico
June 3, 2006 Lucas Martinez Sanchez The Blanco Muzquiz Family
July 1, 2006 Eduardo J. Hinojosa The Agualeguas, Nuevo Leon Marriages
August 5, 2006 Jean A. Shuntz Hers, His and Theirs: Community Property in Spain and Early Texas
Sept 9, 2006 Mary Margaret McAllen Amberson Her Book "A Brave Boy & Good Soldier" John C. C. Hill & the Texas Expedition to Mier
Oct 7, 2006 Alvaro Canales Santos Santa Rosa Colonial, An Essay on the Earliest Families, 1777
Nov 4, 2006 Francis Galan Tejano Roots of East Texas: The Original Spanish Pioneers at Presidio Los Adaes
Dec 2, 2006 Rudi R. Rodriguez Tejano.com Activities
Feb 3, 2007 Fred Martinez Early Families of Villa Del Carmen En Medina
Mar 3, 2007 Frank de la Teja Spanish Missions in Texas
Apr 7, 2007 None Genealogy Workshop
May 5, 2007
Carlos Recio
Motivaciones Patrióticas Durante la Guerra México-Estados Unidos
Jun 2, 2007 Dan Arellano Battle of Medina and Its Significance in Texas History
Jul 7, 2007 Warren Stricker Genealogical Holdings at the Alamo Library
Aug 4, 2007 Louis F. Fisher His Book: The San Antonio Riverwalk
Sept 1, 2007 Nancy Minor The Apache Problem in Texas and North Coahuila, 1880s
Oct 6, 2007 Raymond Gil Villanueva Mr. Villanueva's Experience in Being Able to Reclaim Land in Mexico That Had Been Abandoned By His Family During the Mexican Revolution.
Nov 3, 2007 Alonso M. Perales Folklore in Genealogical Research. Music and Songs Presented as well as Folktales of the Spanish Colonial Period.
Dec 1, 2007 Rudi Rodriguez A Musical Program: The Cojoint Heritage Taller plays music from the past.
Feb 2, 2008 Frank Faulkner Jr. His Book: "Historic Photos of San Antonio"
Mar 1, 2008 Jerry Thompson His Book: "Cortina: Defending the Mexican Name in Texas"
Apr 5, 2008 Joe Lopez His Book: "The Last Knight" (Don Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara Uribe)
May 3, 2008 Juan Felipe Blackaller Granada Archives and Records Available for Research in Monclova, Mexico
June 7, 2008 Jose M. Peña His Book: Inherit the Dust From the Four Winds of Revilla
July 5, 2008 Cynthia Leal Massey Her Book: Helotes: Where the Hill Country Begins
Aug 2, 2008 Ed Mata La Familia Medina y Vidiaurri
Sep 6, 2008 Raul A. Ramos The Transition: Bejarenos to Tejanos
Oct 4, 2008 Ward S. Albro A Celebration of Life: The Day of the Dead in Oaxaca
Nov 1, 2008 Felix D. Almarez Following the Footsteps of Fray Juan de Padilla Thru 16th Century Archives in Spain and Mexico
Dec 6, 2008 Carmen Tafolla and Sharyll Tenayuca Emma Tenayuca and Her Legacy
Feb 7, 2009 Richard Gonzalez History of the Lipan Apaches
Mar 7, 2009 Robert Garcia Trinidad de los Santos Coy
Apr 4, 2009 Felix Almaraz, Jr. Muslim Heritage Contributions to Spanish Legacy
May 2, 2009 Reynaldo Rodriguez Cortez La Batella de la Angostura also known as The Battle of Buena Vista
Jun 6, 2009 Jose Antonio Lopez Nights of Wailing, Days of Pain (Life in the 1920's South Texas)
Aug 1, 2009 Gilberto M. Hinojosa Faith Based Activism, the Catholic Church and the Chicano Movement: An Oral History Project
Sep 5, 2009 Ed Mata Places and Faces of San Antonio, A Pictorial Presentation of Early San Antonio to the Mid 1900's
Oct 3, 2009 Miguel Angel Munoz Borrego The Aguirre Family During the 17th and 18th Centuries In Saltillo
Nov 7, 2009 Juan Tejeda La Historia y Raices de Musica Conjunto
Feb 6, 2010 Art Martinez Paso de las Garzas - A Tejano Community on the Lower Medina River
Mar 6, 2010 Sergio A. Iruegas Los Bexarenos Genealogical Society Preserving Hispanic Heritage: A Proposal for Partnering With the Texas Historical Commission and Federal Agencies
Apr 3, 2010 Frank de la Teja Tejano Leadership in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas: Enhancing our Understanding of Texas History
May 1, 2010 Miguel Angel Munoz Borrego "El surgimento de los archivos historicos perroquiales en lo noreste virreinal mexicano, 1576-1730...Donde estan los papeles?”
Jun 5, 2010 Lucas Martinez Sanchez Santiago Vidaurri Valdez: La Region Familiar de Un Hombre del Norte
Jul 3, 2010 Patsy Pittman Light Dionicio Rodriguez: His Art
Aug 7, 2010 Richard Bruce Winders The Creation of Coahuila y Tejas and Its Role In The Texas Revolution
Sep 4, 2010 Jude Valdez Living in Two Hispanic Cultures
Oct 2, 2010 David R. McDonald Jose Antonio Navarro - The Biography, Summary of Research Done, General Review of the Book, and A Short Reading of a Selection
Nov 6, 2010 Leticia M. Vacek San Antonio Records, Archives and Digital Collections
Dec 4, 2010 James B. Oliver Exploring The Spanish Colonial Acequias of San Antonio
Feb 5, 2011 Alfred Redriguez The Bexar County Spanish Archives - A Review and an Update
Apr 2, 2011 Rudi Rodriguez Hispanic Heritage Matters
May 7, 2011 Kay Hindes Historic 19th Century Farm and Ranch Complexes of Bexar County
Jun 4, 2011 Armandina Galan Sifuentes Concepcion Charli Gortari de Losoya: A Resident of Mission Valero and an Eyewitness to the 1836 Battle of the Alamo
Jul 2, 2011 James T. Escobedo Iron Men and Wooden Carts: Tejano Teamsters and the Texas Cart War
Aug 6, 2011 George Farias The Col. Montemayor Hispanic Genealogy and History Research Library Collection
Sept 3, 2011 Art Martinez de Vara The Early Years of Jose Francisco Ruiz: 1783-1821
Oct 8, 2011 Gerard "Jerry" Rickhoff Bexar County Clerk: Duties and Responsibilities, and the Spanish Archives
Nov 5, 2011 Jesus (Corky) Rubio Memoirs, Reflections, and Essays: Adding Life to Genealogy
Dec 3, 2011 Rudy Sandoval Seeds That Fell On Good Earth, Part II
Feb 4, 2012 Alonso Perales Indigenous Cultures of South Texas and Northern Mexico
Mar 3, 2012 Ed Mata The Mexican Revolution: Its impact on Texas, San Antonio and the Refugees
Apr 7, 2012 Jesse Villarreal Events Surrounding the Writing of the Book "Tejano Patriots of the American Revolution"
May 5, 2012 Juan F. Blackaller Granada Los Censos Pliografiados de Monclova y La Region que datan del Siglo XIX
June 2, 2012 Amy M. Porter Women and their Wills in Late Spanish Colonial Bexar
Jul 7, 2012 Mauricio Gonzalez Puente

Historia Gráfica de la Bandera Nacional y Símbolos Patrios

Aug 4, 2012 Dan Arellano The Battle of Medina
Sep 1, 2012 Open Forms Member genealogical presentations
Oct 6, 2012 William Bowlin Not So Quiet On the Western Front: Marines in the American Revolution
Nov 3, 2012 George Farias The Proposed Establishment of a Hispanic Genealogy and History Research Center of the Americas and the Role of the Col. Ernest Montemayor Collection
Dec 1, 2012 Hector Cardenas The San Antonio Fire Museum Society
Feb 2, 2013 Ted Herrera Traditions of Indigenous Tribes
Mar 2, 2013 Larry Kirkpatrick Three Battles of Bexar - 1813
Apr 6, 2013 Joseph Lippert The Clash of Cultures in South Texas Missions 1550 - 1794
May 4, 2013 Bob Perkins Jose Menchaca and Correcting the Spelling of the Road Named In His Honor
Jun 1, 2013 Maria Teresa Everett The Guanche Connection to the Canary Islanders
Jul 6, 2013 Leslie Stitz Stapleton Documents and Articles at the Alamo Library
Aug 3, 2013 Mark Wolf Brief History of Presidio San Saba and its Mission Massacre
Sep 7, 2013 Kay Hindes Acequias in Brackenridge Park and The Water System Trail
Oct 5, 2013 Santiago Escobedo The Missions of San Antonio
Nov 2, 2013 Sergio and Melinda Iruegas The Historic La Bahia Road from San Antonio to Goliad
Dec 7, 2013 Art Martinez de Vara His New Book "The History and Records of San Patricio de Bexar Church at Bexar, Texas"
Feb 1, 2014 George Nelson The Model of the Alamo 1836
Mar 1, 2014 Thelma Garcia Celestino Her Book: "Are We Almost There"
Apr 5, 2014 Doug Baum The Texas Camel Corps
May 3, 2014 Rodolfo II (Rudy)Alvarez Ramirez Doña Francisca Alvarez - Angel of Goliad
June 7, 2014 Jesus Moron Hispanic American Art in the United States
July 5, 2015 Dan Arellano Mission Valero
Aug 2, 2014 Jesse O. Villarreal Sr Tejano Patriots of the American Revolution, 1776-1783, Vol 2
Sep 6, 2014 Steven Gonzales El Camino Real de los Tejas: Past and Present
Oct 1, 2014 Martha Menchaca Her Book- Naturalizing Mexican Immigrants: A Texas History
Dec 6, 2014 Jelain Chubb Collections at the Texas State Library and Archives Every Family Historian Should Know About
Feb 7, 2015 Fr. Bob Wright Fr. Refugio de la Garza, Controverted Religious Leader
Mar 7, 2015 None Genealogy Exchange
Apr 4, 2015 Mary Margaret McAllen Her Book, Maximilian and Carlota: Europe’s Last Empire in Mexico
May 2, 2015 Alfredo E. Cardenas His Book- Balo's War: A Historical Novel About the Plan of San Diego
Jun 6, 2015 Erika Arredondo-Haskins The Hispanic Center of Texas: Research Center, Library and Museum
Aug 1, 2015

Dr. Gabriela González

Jovita Idar: Journalist, Teacher and Activist
Sep 5, 2015 Joe Perez General Galvez and Spain's Assistance to the American Revolution
Oct 3, 2015 Institute of Texan Cultures Tour of Los Tejanos Exhibit
Nov 7, 2015 Jose Antonio "Joe" Lopez Preserving Early Texas History
Dec 5, 2015 Officers Los Bexarenos: Moments in Time
Feb 6, 2016 Santiago Escobedo Explaining the Battle of the Alamo
Mar 5, 2016 Moises Garza Online Mexican Genealogical Resources
Apr 2, 2016 Ed Mata Real de Catorce: Pueblo Magico
May 7, 2016 Fred Valdez Research & Life Among the Ancient Maya: Field Venues and Expriences
Jun 4, 2016 Jesus F. de la Teja A Women's History of Early San Antonio
Jul 2, 2016 Ernest Menchaca San Buenaventura En El Virreinato 1721-1821
Aug 6, 2016 Cythia Leal Massey Researching Oral History: How a Family Story Inspired Death of a Texas Ranger
Sep 3, 2016 Four Discussion Leaders Sharing Family History
Oct 1, 2016 Dan Arellano The French Connection to the Alamo and a Brief Report on the Research he did in Viesca, Saltillo and Guerrero, Coahuila