Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo

A Guide to the Reynaldo J. Esparza Research Papers, 1802-1995

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Esparza, Reynaldo J. (Reynaldo José), 1923-
Title: Reynaldo J. Esparza Research Papers
Dates: 1802-1995
Creator Abstract: A native of San Antonio, Texas, Reynaldo J. Esparza (born 1923) is the great-great-grandson of Gregorio Esparza, who died in the Battle of the Alamo.
Content Abstract: Produced and gathered in the course of historical and genealogical research, the Reynaldo J. Esparza Research Papers consist of correspondence, source documents, published material, research papers, genealogical material, and photographs.
Identification: Col 8827
Extent: 3.92 linear feet (6 boxes, 3 oversize items)
Language: Most materials are in English; some are in Spanish.
Repository: Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

Biographical Note

Born in San Antonio in 1923, Reynaldo José Esparza graduated from Brackenridge High School and served in the U.S. Navy for the duration of World War II. Returning to San Antonio after the war, he worked for a wholesale grocery company and the U.S. Postal Service until his retirement in 1984.

Having learned as a child of his ancestry as a great-great-grandson of Gregorio Esparza, one of the native Texans who died in the Battle of the Alamo, Esparza developed an interest in history, particularly the part Mexican-Americans played in the Texas Revolution. Esparza conducted detailed historical and genealogical research on Gregorio Esparza and his family and became an active spokesman on the role of the native Texans during the independence struggle. He collaborated with numerous other researchers, exchanging information on the Esparzas and other early San Antonio families.

As an adult, Esparza also pursued formal studies, receiving an Associate in Arts degree from San Antonio College in 1970 and graduating from Southwest Texas State University in 1972 with a degree in history and political science. He is a member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas and numerous other organizations. Esparza married Nora Ruiz in 1945; they are the parents of six children.

Scope and Content Note

Produced and gathered in the course of historical and genealogical research, the Reynaldo J. Esparza Research Papers consist of correspondence, source documents, published material, research papers, genealogical material, and photographs.

The papers were placed by their creator into several subject files. Within these subjects, material has been subdivided by document type. Typically, these include documents copied from various sources, published source material, newspaper clippings, and family trees and other genealogical compilations. Unsorted material not associated with the other subject groupings has been placed in a General series.

A significant portion of the papers concerns the Esparza family in general and several individual family members, particularly Gregorio Esparza and his sons Enrique and Francisco. Other family members documented include a daughter of Enrique Esparza, Mother Maria Claude of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. Research material on the Coy family, the Lee family, and the Esparza connection to Canary Islander settlers in San Antonio also focuses on genealogy.

Material on the Battle of the Alamo centers on the participation of Gregorio Esparza and other native-born Texans. More general research covers the San Augustine church founded by the Esparza family in Atascosa County, Texas; the pioneer freighter and minister Policarpo Rodriguez; early San Antonio history; and the Spanish missions of San Antonio. The immediate family of Reynaldo Esparza is documented by printed items associated with special events, some family photographs, and a memoir of Esparza’s World War II experience. The remaining material consists of a scattering of items, primarily associated with Texas history.

A large portion of the papers are photocopies, obtained from a variety of sources, published and unpublished. Research papers and speeches written by Reynaldo J. Esparza on his family and their role in Texas history are found throughout, along with papers by other authors. Photographs include family portraits and snapshots of places and events. A number of negatives, probably of family members, and some photo prints are unidentified.


Access Restrictions

No restrictions. The collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Please be advised that the library does not hold the copyright to most of the material in its archival collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure those rights when needed. Permission to reproduce does not constitute permission to publish. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of copyright, literary property rights, and libel.

Index Terms

Personal Names
Esparza, Reynaldo J. (Reynaldo José), 1923-
Esparza, Enrique, 1828-1917.
Esparza, Francisco, ca. 1833-1887.
Esparza, Gregorio, 1808-1836.
Esparza, Maria Claude, 1852-1914.
Rodríguez, José Policarpio, 1829-1914.
Coy family.
Esparza family.
Lee family.
San Augustine Catholic Church (Atascosa County, Tex.)
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (San Antonio, Tex.)
Alamo defenders.
Canary Islanders--Texas--San Antonio--History.
Mexican Americans--Texas--San Antonio.
Missions--Texas--San Antonio.
San Antonio (Tex.)--History--Sources.
Alamo (San Antonio, Tex.)
San Augustine (Tex.)
Personal papers.
Research notes.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Reynaldo J. Esparza Research Papers, 1802-1995, Col 8827, Daughters of The Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Reynaldo J. Esparza, 1996 April.

Processing Information

Initial processing by Charles R. Gámez, who assisted Reynaldo Esparza with the arrangement of his papers prior to their donation to the DRT Library.

Processed by Warren Stricker, 1997 October.

Finding aid edited and encoded by Caitlin Donnelly, 2010 November.

Detailed Description of the Collection


Reynaldo J. Esparza Research Papers, 1802-1995

Box Folder
1 Alamo
1 Correspondence
2 Alamo defender lists
3 Published source material
Research papers
4 "An Answer to Colonel William Barret Travis," Reynaldo J. Esparza, 1968
5 “Hispanic Defenders of the Alamo,” Reynaldo J. Esparza
6 “Remembering the Alamo: A Bibliography of Tejano Accounts,” Tim Matovina
“The Alamo: A Sore Point?” Amy McCauley, 1990
7 “Brothers at Arms,” Richard D. Esparza
8 Speeches
9 Printed material
10-11 Clippings
12 Photographs
Canary Islanders
13 Source material
14 Published source material
15 Genealogical material
16 Speeches and research papers
17 Printed material
18 Clippings
19 Miscellaneous items
Coy family
20 Correspondence
21 Genealogical material
22 Photograph: Sofia Coy, 1915
Box Folder
2 Esparza genealogy
23 Correspondence
24 Deed: Enrique Esparza, et al to Manuel Esparza, Atascosa County, Texas, 1896 March 25
25-28 Source material
29 Manuscript: Memoir, Michael V. Peche
30 Published source material
31 Genealogical material
32 Notes
33-34 Clippings
35 Photographs
Enrique Esparza
36 Source material
37 Published source material
38 Biographical material
39 Clippings
40 Photographs
Box Folder
Oversize 1 Oversize photograph: Enrique Esparza
Collection Folder
Panoramic Photographs Separated photograph: U.S. Navy unit, group photograph, circa 1940-1949
Box Folder
3 Francisco Esparza
41 Correspondence
42 Source material
43 Genealogical material
44 Notes: Walt Laos
45 Clippings
46 Photographs
Gregorio Esparza
47 Source material
48 Published source material
49 Research papers
“Ones [sic] Man’s Fight for Freedom,” Marissa Esparza, Kelly Barsun, and Dawn Ayers
“Gregorio Esparza: A Profile in Heritage,” Rey J. Esparza, 1972
50 Printed material
51 Clippings
52 Maria Claude Esparza
Reynaldo J. Esparza family
53 Correspondence
54 Research papers and manuscripts
“To Laura and Michael,” Reynaldo J. Esparza
World War II memoir, Reynaldo J. Esparza
55 Speeches
56 Military records: David J. Esparza
57 Printed material
58 Certificates
Box Folder
Oversize 2 Oversize certificates: Texas Catholic Historical Society, Certificate of Merit to Reynaldo J. Esparza, 1984 March 2 and 1987 March 6
Box Folder
3 59 Miscellaneous family papers
60 Clippings
61 Photographs
62 Esparza School
Lee family
63-65 Source material
66 Genealogical material
67 Clippings
68 Photographs
Box Folder
6 Photographs
Box Folder
4 Policarpo Rodriguez
69 Published source material
70 Clippings
71 Photographs
San Antonio, Texas
72 Correspondence
73 Source material
74 Published source material
75 Typescript: Personal Memoirs of John N. Seguin
76 Maps
77 Research papers
“The Spanish Military Company of the 2nd Flying Company of San Carlos de Parras, Mexico,” John Ogden Leal
“Economic Integration of a Periphery: The Cattle Industry in 18th Century Texas,” Jesus F. de la Teja
78 Periodicals
79 General printed material
80 Clippings
81 Photographs
San Antonio Missions
82 Correspondence
83 Published source material
84 Maps and plats
85 San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
86 Printed material
87 Periodicals
88 Notes
89 Clippings
90 Photographs
Box Folder
5 San Augustine, Texas
91 Correspondence
92 Source material
93 Published source material
94 Speeches
95 Report: “A Historical Study and Archaeological Notes on the Esparza Site: the Esparza Farms, the San Augustine Mission Church and the San Augustine School, with Relevant Character Histories and Biographical Information,” Kay Thompson Hindes
96 Printed material
97 Notes and miscellaneous items
98 Clippings
99 Photographs
General material
100 Genealogical material
101 Research papers
“The Sephardic Colonization of the Spanish North American Frontier,” Richard G. Santos
“Los Guerreros—Two Spanish Colonial Towns,” 2 items
102 Published source material
103-104 Periodicals
105 Printed material
106 Columbus quincentennial
107 Clippings
Photographs and portraits
108 Antonita Martinez
109 Unidentified
Box Folder
6 Unidentified [negatives]
Box Folder
5 110 Photocopies
111 Miscellaneous material