The Felix del Barrio family

the Felix B. del Barrio family / 

      la familia de Felix del Barrio

Felix B. del Barrio, proprietor of Casa del Felix B. del Barrio, 
San Diego, Texas
María del Pilar Perez ("Pilarita") -- b. 20 December 1847,
   Sabinas, Nuevo Léon, México

In the words of Felix B. del Barrio, "hoy 15 de junio de 1868 a las tres y media de la mañana me case en el Arroyo de Concepción con Pilarita Perez" [today 15 of June of 1868 at three and a half in the morning, I was married in the Arroyo Concepción with Pilarita Perez].  Felix gives the names of their padrinos:  Don Antonio María Palacios and Doña Nabora Palacios.  Initially, I was puzzled by a 3:30 in the morning wedding.  Images of a couple stealing away came to my mind, but were dispelled as I learned more.  On page 370, Book C, Nueces County Marriage Licenses (1866-1872), the license was issued May 2, 1868 and returned for filing on June 17.   Evidently the wedding didn't take place until the priest arrived--though I'll bet the party started much earlier!

I received this picture of the del Barrios via e-mail from Mr. José Guerra, Jr. (who received the photo from Mr. Henry Campbell, husband of a descendant of the del Barrios).  It looks as though the Bromowicz individual portraits were probably taken the same day as this portrait of the couple (same clothing, let alone the hair and basic physical appearance).  My personal guess is that it was taken in 1888, for the couple's twentieth wedding anniversary.

Felix B. and Pilarita had seven children . . .
Adelaida, born 1 December 1869
Alfredo, born 15 December 1870
Dolores, born 28 November 1871
Felix, born 26 June 1874 -- I think this Dolores and Felix died as infants or toddlers
Dolores "Lola"
Only the births of the first four children are recorded by Felix B. del Barrio in the rose-colored moire silk-covered notebook.

The photos of Adelaida, Dolores, and Felix were taken at the studio of  Louis de Planque, Corpus Christi, Texas, and are dated June 6, 1884.  On the back of the photo of Lola, Felix B. del Barrio wrote:  "recibe el presente de tu Hermana Lola. F B del Barrio" [receive this present of your sister, Lola]. The other dedication reads, "Le haga el presente a mi querida hija Adelaida de un recuerdo de su Hermano Felix Barrio"  [make a present to my dear daughter Adelaida of a reminder of her brother Felix Barrio].  The photo of Alfredo was taken in Rolla, MO (photographer's studio information on back), probably in 1883 or 1884.  Although the photo is unidentified, Alfredo was one of approximately 14 young people from San Diego who were sent to the School of Mines in Rolla, MO from around 1882 to 1884.  This is another story in itself--more information is forthcoming.  I suspect I have a photo or 2 of Carmen, which will be added in the near future.  Sadly, both Lola and Carmen die in Laredo as young women--from tuberculosis.

An unidentified photo of Felix B. del Barrio was taken at the same studio the 17th of June, 1884. Although easier to detect on the original, perhaps you can note the similarity between  the figure in the brooch worn by Pilarita in the Bromowicz photo above and the portrait of Felix B. (right)

The 1870 census lists Felix, Pilar, and an infant daughter ("Arbiaga" [sic]) living in Concepción (page no. 113/5 of the 1870 census--dwelling no. 35; family no. 38).  The next family listed is that of Pilarita's parents (Don Inocente Perez and Doña Francisca Saens de Perez).
The county is noted as "Duval," though the post office is "Corpus Christi."  The daughter is listed as aged "4/12" and having been born in January (on the headstone of Adelaida's grave, her birthday is 1 December).  Felix was born in Spain, and listed his occupation as "Ret[ail] Merch[an]t."  He valued his personal estate at 800 [dollars].  The del Barrio family lived next door to Pilarita's family:  Ynocencio [sic] and Francisca Perez, and their children, Juana (14), Guillermo (13), Roberto[Maximo?] (12), Ysabel (11), Alejos (9), and Teodoro (7).  Don Ynocencio's real estate was valued at 80 [dollars]; his personal estate at 360 [dollars].

I stumbled across information indicating that at one point in the 1870s, Felix B. was contracted to operate the grist and saw mills in San Diego.  By 1884 Felix B. has his Casa de Felix B. del Barrio, a tienda de abarrotes [general store] as is indicated by a newspaper advertisement [citation fothcoming].

Additional photos of the family--
Pilarita, in a dashing velvet dress.  Photo taken by Louis de Planque, Corpus Christi, Texas [neg. 8211, n.d.].

The initial photo of Adelaida (right)  is not dated, though she appears to be about 11 or 12 years old.  Adelaida did, however, have a photo taken the same day as her siblings in 1884 (age14 years, 8 months), which she dedicated to Librado Peña . "Un recuerdo en prueba de amistada a mi apreciable amigo Librado Peña en prueba de cariño de su serbidora Adelaida del Barrio" [A remembrance in proof of friendship to my worthy friend Librado Peña in proof of the caring of your servant  Adelaida del Barrio].  This photo is the one above adjacent to her siblings.

Librado Peña of Benavides and San Diego, Duval County, Texas . . .

Librado Peña in 1884 (January 9)  Two years later, Librado gives the photo on the right  to Adelaida (no photographer cited):  "Un recuerdo de amistad á mi apreciable amiga Adelaida del Barrio en prueva de cariño.  San Diego [TX] Nov. 20 de 1886  Librado Peña" [A remberance of friendship to my worthy friend Adelaida de Barrio in proof of caring].

Eventually, Librado and Adelaida married (I'm still working on this information!).  There are 3 photos of them as a couple.  None are dated, and the 2 where they were probably taken the same day (same backdrop and clothing) were taken at the F. Bromowicz Art Studio in Laredo. The photo where Adelaida is wearing a dark dress and hat, and looking rather like the cat who ate the canary, was perhaps taken to mark the couple's compromiso (engagement).

Adelaida and Librado had a son, Librado Peña del Barrio.  Something happens to Librado (Adelaida's spouse) prior to the early part of 1895--I suspect he died.  Why do I suspect this?  In November 1895, Adelaida gives a photo of herself (taken in San Antonio) to Tomás Medina, inscribed with the following dedication: "una prueba mas de mi cariño de ti."  They marry in 1896, and their son, Felix Fausto Medina del Barrio, is born 13 October 1897. Adelaida and Tomás had a brick house built (c. 1937) in the Azteca neighborhood (Barrio Azteca) in Laredo, on the lot just south of the property Pilarita owned since 1889.  They were only able to enjoy it a very few years--Tomás died in 1942; Adelaida died at the end of March 1944.  Felix F. Medina del Barrio married Alicia Magdalena Gutiérrez (b. in Guerrero, Tamaulipas) in June 1944.  The Medina family continued living in the brick house until their respective deaths in1980 and 1995.

Last update:  15 May 2003.

Apologies for my poor spanish (transcriptions from the photos are literal, thus spellings differ from current practice) and . . .
a BIG THANKS to Del Barrio family relatives (Alfonso--who actually remembers his Tia Adelaida!--his brother, Manuel, Mr. Henry Cambell, Jr., and the many additional relatives who've sent me e-mail), Mr. Anastacio Garza, Mr. Homero Vera, Mr. José O. Guerra, Jr. (and  the Hispanic Genealogical Society of Houston, TX).  A special thanks to Dr. Sarah Massey, Insitute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio, for giving me the point of departure on the students from San Diego sent to study at Rolla, MO.

All rights reserved R. LaPerrière de Gutiérrez  (e-mail: