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Crispin Donnel born in Corpus Christi, TX - San Antonio Donnels
Posted by: Erica C (ID *****9512) Date: May 21, 2010 at 16:03:09
  of 687

I am researching my geneology, but I seem to have hit a wall. My family comes from the blood line of Donnels in San Antonio, TX. So far, I have only been able to go back as far as Crispin Donnel, who was married to Catarina Vasquez. As far as I can tell, they had two sons:

Blas Donnel
Teodoro Donnel

Now, Blas was born in Tilden, TX and I'm not sure where in Texas Teodoro was born. Their mother, Catarina (Caterina?), was apparently Mexican. Their father, Crispin (Crespin?) was born in Corpus Christi, TX according to his death certificate (which I found online), and he died in San Antonio, Bexar, TX. His death certificate lists him as having died in 1917. It says he was born in 1847.

According to a Bexar County census form from 1900, Crispin is listed as "Crespin Donald" and Catarina is listed as "Catarina V De Donald" and of course, the boys are "Blas and Teodoro Donald." Crispin's birthdate is also quite different, being listed as 1864. Now, there's a possibility they're not the same people, but this seems unlikely.

Birth and death certificates as recent as my grandmother and her siblings have their last name spelled every possible way from DONNEL(which, in current history, is what is acknowledged as being the correct spelling, but may not have always been the case), Donnell, Donel, to Donle, Dannel, and Donald. The story in the family has always been that it's an Irish name and was once O'Donnel and that somewhere along the line, the "O" was dropped, but who knows?

This is where I need your help. On the 1900 census form, Crispin lists his father as having been born in England (not Ireland, but I'm thinking it could possibly still be Ireland), and his mother as having been born in Mexico.

Now, he was born in Corpus Christi, sometime in the mid-1800s. What would an immigrant from the UK be doing there at that time? I know Galveston was a major port, so I have looked through some passenger lists and explored that possibility. But I have also considered the possibility that he came to America at a younger age and lived somewhere else in the U.S. before joining the military and traveling down to Texas for the Mexican-American War? I've searched lists of soldiers of that war as well. I realize there could be any number of possibilities as to how he came to be in Texas, but so far I've found nothing concrete.

Hopefully someone here can keep me going with information they might have. I'd really, really appreciate it! It's so much fun finding out about your family!

Thanks ahead of time! :-)

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