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Dayna Yorba-Ruiz and The Avilas of Choix, Sinaloa Mexico

Updated February 7, 2008

About Our Family Research

Thanks to research completed by a relative Terry Avila Zumwalde, I was able to gather all of this information about my family history on my grandmother's side.

My great-great grandfather Blas Avila was born in 1856 in Choix, Sinaloa, Mexico. He was married to Teodosia Ruiz in 1879 in Choix, Sinaloa. He was of Yaqui Indian descent. They had five children: Francisco, Blas, Dionisio, Elijia, and Maria Avila. They lived in Agua Cerca, Sinaloa, which was near Choix.

My great-grandfather was Dionisio Ruiz Avila, and he was born on January 3, 1880 in Agua Zarca, Choix, Sinaloa Mexico. His first wife was Inez Valenzuela, who passed away. They had three children, one whom was named Romelia. After he was widowed, he married my great-grandmother Manuela Martinez of Nayarit, Mexico after meeting her on a farm in Nogales. My great-grandmother was born on March 21,1897, and it is believed that they married sometime during 1915 in Nogales, Arizona, during which time they lived in Calabasas. They had their first child Blas in Arizona on May 26, 1917. After Dionisio had left two of his previous children behind with his parents, he moved to California around 1918 with his daughter Romelia, his new son Blas, and his 2nd wife, Manuela. Their second child Teodosia (Tida) was born in Downtown Los Angeles in 1920. They had five more children: Daniel (born August 6, 1922), Dionicio (Nicho)born August 2, 1924, Grace (born July 11, 1926, Gloria, Mary Dolores (born April 27, 1932), and Carmen (born 1934/1935). Sadly, Romelia, Dionisio's daughter from his first marriage, drowned in a swimming accident as a teenager (around 14 years old). The family had settled in the historic Los Angeles area of the Chavez Ravine at 1814 Paducha St. Los Angeles. Dionisio died on December 16, 1934 in Fresno, CA of a cerebral hemmorrhage. His family remained living in Los Angeles and his children attended Lincoln High School. The family continued to live in the Chavez Ravine until they were forced out around 1949-1950.

Forced out of her home, Manuela purchased a home on 1309 Sandborn in North Hollywood which had two smaller houses behind the main house. It was here that her children grew and raised their own families.

Growing up in the historic area of Los Angeles, which is now known as the Dodger's Stadium, my grandmother Mary Dolores Avila met her first love, Ursulo Ruiz Mejia (born 2/16/30). They met in 1947 and were married on September 9, 1950. They had five children: Sandra Olivia (11/10/51), Michael (10/12/53), Eileen Lorrette (8/15/55), Nancy Rene (4/13/59), and my mother, Emily Linda (8/20/63). In 1955, Ursulo (called Butch) and my grandma Dolores bought a home at 313 E. Elm St. in Fullerton and all attended Fullerton High School.

During this time, my great-grandmother Manuela had moved to a house on 3rd St. in La Puente. It is there that she passed away on February 14, 1971 from heart failure (enlarged heart). My grandmother Dolores and Ursulo divorced around 1974 and she later married a second time to George Salazar Mejia (no relation).

The Avila's of my grandma's generation which are deceased are as follows: Dionicio Avila (Nicho) 1/27/03, Daniel Avila (5/14/93), Blas Avila (12/14/97), Mary Dolores (Avila) Mejia (11/16/98), and Grace (Avila) Yanez (10/2/05).

As for my mother, Emily Mejia, she met my father Juan Ricardo Yorba as a young teenager, and I was born on July 27, 1979. She later married my stepfather, Leonard Gerra on December 21, 1985. On January 31, 1988, my brother David Joseph Gerra was born, and on June 25, 1991 my brother Kevin Daniel Gerra was born. My parents now reside in Hesperia, CA.

My own daughter, Caylin Yorba-Ruiz was born on June 18, 1997 to myself and Raymon Ruiz. We had our second child, Gabrian Nicholas Yorba-Ruiz on March 17, 2004. Raymon and I were finally married on July 7, 2004. For now, this is where our immediate family ends, but in all reality, there is

Family Photos
  • Painting of Grandma Dolores by Aunt Gloria (235 KB)
    This painting was done based on the previous glamour shot by my grandma's sister Gloria in 1994.
  • Dionisio Ruiz Avila, Manuela Avila, Blas & Tida (121 KB)
    This is the only picture I have seen of my great-grandfather Dionisio. (Early 1920's)
  • Grandma Manuela posing with a garden hose (137 KB)
    Only 4'11", happy, and posing for the camera! I wonder which house this is?
  • Great-Grandparents Dionisio and Manuela Avila (113 KB)
    This is a newly acquired photo of my great-grandparents.
  • Grandma Dolores & Butch (115 KB)
    Here is a photo of these two in a wedding together.
  • Grandma Manuela's family (149 KB)
    I found this photo in my grandma Dolores' album. So far, we are only able to identify grandma Manuela on the far right (back), her sister Juanita on the left, and their mother Victoria Ana Barron Martinez. We have not yet identified the other children.
  • Chavez Ravine Protest (108 KB)
    This photo was archived from the Dept. of Special Collections/UCLA Library online. The Avila family grew up in the Chavez Ravine at 1814 Padicha St. in Losa Angeles until they were forced out around 1950.
  • Unidentified Barron Relatives (87 KB)
    This is a picture of relatives from the Barron side of the family, which was my great-great grandmother's family line. They are said to have been Irish and then moved to Spain, Chile, and then Nayarit Mexico. Eustace Barron was a rich miner and it is believed that this is how the Barrons of Mexico were established.
  • Chavez Ravine 1953 (115 KB)
    This is another picture of what the Chavez Ravine looked like before it was the home of Dodger's Stadium. I have been told that there is a book on the families who lived there entitled,"Chavez Ravine: 1949: a Los Angeles Story" by Don Normak, which has photos and stories of peopl who lived there. I can't wait to buy it! This photo was archived from the Dept. of Special Collections/UCLA Library online.
  • My grandma Dolores as a little girl! (165 KB)
    This is the only picture I could find of my grandma as a little girl. I assume it was in the mid-late 1930's.
  • Grandma Dolores as a young woman (205 KB)
    Here she is posing at an address of 312 1/2. I'm not sure about that address, but I know she once lived at 313 E. Elm St. in Fullerton. They bought that house new in 1955, and lived there for 13 years.
  • Grandma Dolores, youthful and having fun! (139 KB)
    Another picture of grandma, perhaps at a party? I can guess this took place in the 1950's.
  • Grandma Dolores and Grandpa Butch (239 KB)
    Another picture of grandma (with child). Also around the 1950's?
  • A glamour shot of grandma Dolores (278 KB)
    Grandma as a young, beautiful girl!
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