Maria Anastacia Virginia Chavez de Bean

The daughter of a pioneer Tejano family, Maria Anastacia Virginia Chavez was born May 2, 1848 in San Antonio, Texas and baptized in San Fernando Church in San Antonio on July 2, 1848. Her paternal grandfather was Francisco Xavier Chavez, who in 1785 was an Indian Scout/Interpreter assigned to the Presidio de Bejar in the Villa de San Fernando (San Antonio). In June of 1785, Chavez and a Pedro Vial successfully went into the dangerous Indian territory and met with various Comanche leaders and convinced them to come to the Presidio de Bejar to meet with Governor Cabello where negotiations began on a peace treaty between the Spanish and the hostile Comanche Nation (1). Francisco X. Chavez's wife, Juana Francisca Padron was a granddaughter of Joseph Padron, patriarch of one of the 16 original families to come to the Villa de Bejar from the Canary Islands in 1731. Maria Anastacia Virginia's father was Leandro Chavez, was an active participant in the Texas Revolution in the "Battle of Mission Concepcion" and the "Storming of Bejar" both of which took place in October and December of 1835; and her mother was Josefa Caravajal.

Reared in San Antonio, Virginia married a 42-year-old Kentuckian by the name of Roy Bean on October 27, 1866. Father Sarry, priest of San Fernando Church, married them in a church ceremony in which J.P. Freeman and Cecilia Bean were the witnesses. Born from this wedlock were six surviving children Roy, Santiago, Sam, Adelaida, Zulema, and most recently discovered, Soledad. A devout Catholic, Virginia Chavez had a hard and trying marriage to the unpredictable Roy Bean, who later in his life, became known as "Judge Roy Bean". She suffered as long as she could in this marriage and finally separated from Roy Bean in 1881. In 1882, she married Manuel Charles, a Mexican immigrant from San Buenaventura, Coahuila. He had immigrated to Texas via Piedras Negras-Eagle Pass and was issued his United States naturalization papers in 1871. From this second marriage, she had Manuel, Federico, and a daughter Virginia.

In 1910, the daughter Virginia married a young stonemason from the vicinity of Mission Concepcion named Mariano Casanova. His parents were Felix Casanova (descendant of original Canary Islander Jose Antonio Peres) and Leonides Trebino (Trevino). This young couple had 9 children, all reared at 907 S. Trinity in San Antonio. During the depression years of the 1930s' and the war years of the 1940s', the children attended Lanier Jr. & Sr. High School in San Antonio's immediate west side.

Maria Anastacia Virginia Chavez de Bean was an active parishioner of San Fernando Cathedral until she died in San Antonio on November 26, 1922. She is buried at the San Fernando Cemetery #1 in San Antonio. Families by the names of Casanova, Hernandez, Zertuche, De Jesus, Garcia, Pena, Olaque, De la Puente, Alarcon, and Soudah are all descendants of this proud San Antonio pioneer woman.

Contributed by Robert Garcia