Martha doesn’t own anything tangible that belonged to her birth mother. I’m not sure any of Librada’s children have posessions of hers. In another post I’ll explain why.
Martha has vivid memories of a dress she wore when she was 3 years old, around the time she was separated from her mother. She has always believed her mother embroidered the light blue flowers on the dress. If you see Martha’s face while she describes the dress, you can tell how important this memory is to her. It’s all she owns of her mother.
That’s why while researching Librada Mendoza, any original documents found feel like gold.
Librada was born Wednesday, June 29, 1921 in Aguililla, Michoacan, Mexico. This is Tierra Caliente. Known for its hot climate, averaging 83 degrees year round, and residents with hot tempers. Wikipedia says:
The region is characterized by low human development and civil unrest, and has become an epicenter for Mexican drug production (notably opium poppy) as well as drug trafficking.  It is mainly inhabited by indigenous communities.
Doesn’t sound very hospitable. Librada’s life followed suite.
Very little is known about her parents or ancestors. We have been told my some of Librada’s children that her parents had a large hacienda in Aguililla and sold gold and silver in addition to selling candles. I haven’t been able to find anything about them online yet other than Librada’s baptismal record.
Church records are one of the best sources for Mexican ancestry research. The records are published on the familysearch.org website. With a birth, marriage or death date you can go page by page through church books. Armed only with Librada’s date of birth given to us by Martha’s half sister, I started looking through familysearch.org’s archive of the Catholic church Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe. On page page 424 of 545, bottom right hand corner, entry number 376 – “Librada del Coacoyül”.
In the Church Parrish of Aguililla of the bishop of Zamora (handwritten above that is the name of a town, Oracambaro?) on July 21, 1921, el Presbitero Jose Mendez baptized a girl, born (day has a line through it), July 1921. Her name is Librada, legitimate daughter of Maria Jesus Estrada and Pedro Mendoza, grandparents are Jose Maria Mendoza and Librada, and Ysidro Estrada and Francisca Lopez. God parents are Lorenzo Cisneros and Maria Chaves.
Bingo. Librada’s parents full names as well as both of her grandparents. A photo of the page in an old church records book. It’s what we own.