Turning Interest Into Action

It all started when a group of friends doing genealogical research at the Family History Center, discussed the belief that if they dug enough, they would find that most Hispanics in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas were related. From having that discussion, the idea of forming a genealogical group to help each other with information grew. Three people were selected to approach the local genealogical society to ask them if they would support a group of people specializing in Hispanic genealogy, with a separate meeting date and time. Upon agreeing, the Hispanic Genealogy Group was born in January of 2008. After two and a half years as the Hispanic Genealogy Group of the Tip O’Texas Genealogical Society, members decided to form their own society. The Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Genealogical Society was incorporated in July of 2010.

Family Photo Album

Meet The Team

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Mary Torres

is a charter member of the organization and has served as President since 2014. She was honored to have served on the committee for the 33rd Annual Texas State Hispanic and Genealogical Conference held October 11-14, 2012 in South Padre Island,TX. Mary retired from the State of Texas as Chief Financial Officer for the Laredo State Center for MHMR. She is a native of Harlingen, actively involved with several community organizations, and serves as District S Representative for the Texas State Genealogical Society. Mary started genealogical research after retirement and has traced part of her family back to Revilla in the 1750s. She is also a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists.


Ruben Jaime Caballero

is the Vice President of the Society and was the senior class president of his 1965 class at Mercedes High School. He graduated from Pan American University and is an MBA graduate of the University of Connecticut. He is a retired USAF navigator after serving in the military for 27 years. He was also a grant writer at UTRGV for 20 years. Him and Bertie Lucio have been married for 53

years with three grown children: Claudia, Ruben, Jr., and Dr. Jason Ryan. Jason is married to Kelly Abraham, and they have two sons, Soren Ryan,

and Arthur Jax. Ruben is a native of Mercedes, Texas, and now lives with his wife Bertie in Rancho Viejo, Texas.

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Mary Esther Guillen

is currently Secretary of the Society and is the Editor of the Society’s quarterly e-newsletter. She enthusiastically researches her family names of Garza, Cortes, Perez, Olivarez, Martinez, Esquivel, Garibay, Carrizo, Barro, Sanchez, Rodriguez, and Munio. A native of Harlingen, Maria Esther is a retired educator who enjoys attending the annual Texas Hispanic Genealogical and Historical conferences and collecting genealogy related books and other publications. In their spare time, Maria Esther and her husband are writing their story for their three children and five grandchildren.


Bertie Lucio Caballero

is a Brownsville native and the daughter of Eddie Lucio, Sr. (1916-2006) and Josefa Liendo Lucio (1925-2016)-one of ten exceptional siblings including Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. She is a retired English teacher after having taught in middle schools in Texas, California, New York, and Connecticut for 47 years. She holds a Masters Degree in English and Multiple Alternatives Programs from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut. She has been honored as Region One Teacher of the Year, Gifted & Talented Teacher of the Year, BISD Teacher of the Year, and has received numerous other awards. She has served in the Brownsville Public Library Endowment Board, and Alpha Delta Kappa Board. She has researched and documented her family trees for over 40 years. Bertie is married to Ruben Caballero, a Retired Lt. Col.-USAF and is the mother of 3 beautiful children; Claudia Caballero, Ruben Caballero, Jr., and Dr. Jason Caballero. She and her husband reside in Rancho Viejo, Texas. Some of the surnames Bertie has researched are : Lucio, Allala, Lopez, Cuellar, Fleischman, Ruoho, Liendo, Caballero, Olivares, Ayoub, Garzoria, and Hinojosa.

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