Alright, this is the third time I loose this message!... I just want to post an extremely important follow up to my previous follow up, which I can't believe I had missed before.Thanks to Mrs. Agin for bringin this issue to mind and causing me to think again about something I had dismissed as just interesting and coming to realize it is crucial in the history of the Loya family group and in the reuniting of the two American branches separated by hundreds of years. I am especially grateful that this was brought to my attention just before I sent my book to the printers.
Briefly, again, for the third time and I hope it doesn't delete on me again!!!!... By the way, this information is Copyright Alex Loya 2004 all rights reserved. I had mentioned that in the small isolated towns of Chihuahua, Batopilas and Vaqueteros, some of the Loya who live there consider themselves of French origin. I had thought it was interesting, but it is crucial. Those towns are very isolated and have been so for a long time. The Loya there are known for their refusal to intermarry with strangers, some of them bear double Loya Loya surnames and, although they have preserved their European looks, a few of them had had congenital problems, not all, but a few. I mention this to underscore their level of isolation. The towns are also very old, the town, or city, of Parral, Chihuahua, which is the hub for all these little towns, dates to the year 1630 and those towns are mentioned in the same documents. The first individual Loya is listed in Parral in the year 1632. The poulation of Loya does not increase in Chihuahua but until the year 1707, coinciding with the development of the city of Chihuahua, which had been founded as a mission in the year 1690, into a city in theyear 1705. In other words, the isolated towns of Chihuahua where some of the Loya understand themselves as of French origin date to the 1630's and at least one Loya lived in the area at that time, and was joined later at the turn of that century by more Loya families. Now, the towns of Texas where the Loya are from on the American side of the Rio Grande are older that the oldest towns of Chihuahua, with Penitas, Texas, close to the Gulf Coast dating to 1520, Presidio, Texas on the Big Bend, dating to 1580, and San Elizario, Texas in El Paso County dating to, or the foundation of it, to the year 1598, showing us the route of migration of the Loya family group of Texas and Chihuahua entering through Brazos Santiago harbor, wich dates to 1523, and travelling up the Rio Grande on the American side ending their migratory process in Chihuahua in the year 1705-1707, with the exception of that one Loya who ventured out of the area of San Elizario and travelled what today is about a 6 to 8 hour trip by car in 1632 to Parral, the first settlement in Chihuahua. MOre followed when there was more civilization. But although the Texas Loya towns are older than the oldest Loya towns of Chihuahua, and although they were isolated for a long time, they stopped being isolated after the 1740's-50's when Spain began to colonize that area more. The isolated towns of Chihuahua, however, remain isolated to this day, that is why their understanding of themselves is so important.
At any rate, the very first Loya immigrants from Navarre to the New World are recorded as travelling in the year 1535, being followed by one kinsman in 1574. These Loya immigrants of 1535 came as a family at a time when the conquest of the American continent by the Spaniards was still underway, America was not yet called America by Mercator, and the Loya were still not registered as a family in Navarre. The persons listed in 1535 are a father and his son and an uncle, who are listed because they are the heads of family, which coincides with the tradition passed down by some families, including mine, that all of the Loya of Texas and Chihuahua descend from three brothers and their families. A father and son and an uncle would indeed qualify as "brothers" in the development of an oral tradition.What is absolutely crucial which I had missed until now that Mrs. Agin prompted me to take another look, is that the migration of the fathers of the Texas/Chihuahua Loya family group ocurred in 1535, that is, only 23 years after Spain had taken their half of Navarre away from the French in the year 1512! Now, we now that the father and uncle had to be older than 23 years old since their son/nephew is listed and that would indicate to us he was an older teenager, at the youngest. What this means is that the fathers of the Loya family group of Texas and Chihuahua were born before Spain had taken theire territory away from the French, which means that they were actually born French!
The fact in the most isolated towns of Chihuahua which are islolated to this day some of the Loya think of themselves as of French origin,together with the fact that the Loya fathers of the Texas/Chihuahua Loya who migrated in the year 1535 were actually born French would tell us several very important things:
1. The process of hispanization of the Loya of Texas and Chihuahua occurred after they had immigrated to the New World.
2. The French identity of the Loya from the isolated towns of Chihuahua is yet another confirmation that, indeed, those three Loya heads of household who are listed as immigrating in 1535 are the fathers of all the loya of Texas and Chihuahua.
3. This point is extremely important, it shows us the identity and possible motivation of emigration from Navarre of the Loya fathers, it shows us why they migrated to the area of Texas. Remember, they had been born French, and the French for many years were bitter against the Spaniards for having taken half of Navarre away. Why would they migrate to the area of South Texas throug a window of opportunity which closed soon thereafter and did not open till 200 years later,and far, far away and isolated from the rest of Spain's holdings in the New World? Why so early after Spain took Navarre away from the French? It seems evident that they wanted to get away from Spain, and from the Spanish civilization recently established in Mexico City under Hernan Cortez. Why is the tradition preserved to this day among some of the most isolated Loya that they are of French descent, together with their staunch refusal to intermarry with strangers? The answer to these questions lies in the motivation for their journey, and that, it is evident, was to preserve their French identity! It is evident, then, that the fathers of the Loya of Texas and Chihuahua came to America as French Italians who had been forced to become Spanish subjects. What they wanted to avoid by migrating to the most isolated frontier of the New World, however, finally overtook them and the process of hispanization ocurred over the centuries, but those in the most isolated towns preserved that tradition.what this means to us is that the Loya from New York and Vermont and Quebec came to America as French Italians, some Hueguenots some Catholic, while the Loya from Texas and Chihuahua came to America also as French Italians, but they became Hispanicized.Both groups were born French, and had been French for at least 3 or 4 generations from the time they fled from Tuscany. The Loya from New York/Vermont/Quebec are French Italian, while the Loya from Texas/Chihuahua are Hispanicized French Italians, and, of course, this establishes that we are all indeed family, which should legitimize the next Loya family reunion.