Oral histories passed down from generation to generation can bring a family’s story to life and can be an effective way of capturing information that is difficult to obtain by any other means. They are often entertaining and, while the stories are mostly unsubstantiated, they capture memories and can provide tantalizing clues to help focus our research.
We don't know for sure how long the Reyes family stayed in Arizona, but we do know that their son Vicente was born there on 4 May, 1890, and that they had arrived in Dona Ana, New Mexico, by the time of the 1900 census, which was enumerated on June 1, 1900.
According to family tradition, Senon and his family arrived in Dona Ana with all their possessions stacked in a horse-drawn wagon. Tied to the back of the wagon was Senon's riding horse. As the family was passing through Dona Ana, they were approached by a farmer, who admired Senon's riding horse and asked what he wanted for it. Senon asked the farmer what he would offer, to which the farmer allegedly pointed to his parcel of land and replied: "you can have that piece of land, from there, to there, to there, to there." And thus, the horse was traded and the Reyes family homestead - about one and a half acres - was born!
The Reyes family quickly assimilated with the community. They became neighbors with families such as the Escalante's, Giron's and Lopez's. And they married into two relatively long-established Dona Ana families: the Cuaron's and the Miranda's.