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Monday, March 26, 2018

Black Sheep Story: Antonio Duran y Chaves

I love to read the diligencias matrimoniales (prenuptial investigation) of my ancestors. These records, as transcribed by Fray Angelico Chavez in his series "New Mexico Roots, Ltd." are a treasure trove of information. Not only can a researcher get marriage information that can not be found anywhere else, but sometimes one can get an interesting story or two. Such is the case for the prenuptial investigation of Antonio Duran y Chaves and his intended Juana Baca, that was conducted on 7 March 1718 in Bernalillo, New Mexico.

The first piece of information that I found interesting is that Juana Baca is listed as being of "unknown parentage". Through other sources, I know the situation of her birth: she was the illegitimate daughter of another Juana Baca. Although the record states that her parentage is unknown, it also mentions that Juana Baca (the younger) and her fiancee Antonio Duran y Chaves were related in the 3rd degree of consanguinity. How would they have known the two were related if her parents were unknown?

The story gets more interesting, though. It seems that Antonio Duran y Chaves had a little fling with one of Juana's unnamed relatives. He was seeking dispensation so that he could get married to Juana because he was related to Juana's cousin by the second degree of affinity, and also his own 4th degree of consanguinity.* Other reasons for the request: Juana was poor and feared for her reputation if her relatives were to die. Antonio was also charitable in taking her in, and was very fond of her. How sweet!

The couple was given their dispensation and were allowed to be married. However, Antonio was to pay penance for his sin. The groom's punishment for was to do manual labor at the church once a week for 4 months, beg alms for poor souls, donate 1,000 adobes each for the Albuquerque church and the Bernalillo cemetery, and personally make 100 adobes each for the Albuquerque and Bernalillo churches while working one whole week at each church. This punishment was to be warning to others who might commit the same sins as he.

Antonio Duran y Chaves and Juana Baca were my 6th great grandparents on my mother's side.

* Affinity means that he is related by marriage, or in this case intended marriage. Consanguinity means that he was related by blood. 2nd degree usually means 1st cousin, 3rd degree is often second cousin, and 4th degree is usually 3rd cousin. However, other relationships such as 1st cousin once removed, and second cousin once removed can be the basis for the 3rd and 4th degrees, respectively.

Fray Angelico Chavez, New Mexico Roots, Ltd.: A Demographic Perspective from genealogical, historical and geographic data found in the Diligencias Matrimoniales or Pre-Nuptial Investigations (1678-1869) of the Archives of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. (Santa Fe, New Mexico: typescript, 1982), volume 2, p. 305.

Fray Angelico Chavez, Origins of New Mexico Families: A Genealogy of the Spanish Colonial Period: Revised Edition (Santa Fe: Museum of New Meixco Press, 1992), Kindle Edition. (Kindle Locations 6151-6156).

Monday, January 1, 2018

Microfilm only: Socorro County probate records

The last two sets of probate records can only be found on microfilm at the Family History Library (and *maybe* by ordering at Family History Centers?) are listed below. No images online, just a description and list of microfilm:

* Wills, testaments & inventories (Socorro County, New Mexico), 1870-1874

* Homestead records (Socorro County, New Mexico), 1882-1906

Probate packets, 1882-1941; indexes, 1882-1941 (Socorro County, New Mexico)

Another find on the FamilySearch website that is of interest to genealogists researching for Socorro County ancestors - "Probate packets, 1882-1941; indexes, 1882-1941 (Socorro County, New Mexico)" - digital images, no index. Search and enjoy!


Administrator and guardian records, 1874-1935 (Socorro County, New Mexico)

A new find for a New Year! I discovered this series of digital image databases: "Administrator and guardian records, 1874-1935 (Socorro County, New Mexico)" on the FamilySearch website! There is no index, and I haven't had a chance to look through them myself, but I offer this discovery to you so that you might search it for genealogical information! Enjoy!


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Kindle Book: Socorro Land Grant genealogies, Part I

After years of work, I have finally published my first book through my Desert Genes Books publishing company! It is a Kindle book titled "The Socorro Land Grant: A Genealogy of the Founding Families, Part I. E-Book Advance Copy".

It's available for purchase from for only $9.99! Click on the icon below to order the Kindle book.

Now, it's only on Kindle, so you will have to have a Kindle device or you can download a Kindle reader to your computer, tablet or phone. You will be able to download the reader onto your electronic device at the time your purchase the book. I plan to publish a revised paperback version of this book in 2018. For now, though, enjoy the E-book Advance Copy for only $9.99!

About the book:

In 1815, 70 families settled a Spanish land grant in Socorro, New Mexico. Until recently, no one knew exactly who those families were. By conducting research from a contemporary 19th Century census, genealogist Robert Baca has discovered these families. In his three-part series, Baca will explore the ancestors and descendants of these families. The Part I contains the genealogies of the  first 21 families. Come explore these names, and find your link to these Spanish New Mexican families. THIS EDITION IS AN E-BOOK ADVANCE COPY. It is not the finished product, but still will be useful to both the experienced and novice genealogist. Over 1,500 individuals are listed in genealogy. The author requests comments, corrections and questions from his readers in order to create a more complete genealogy of these families. A revised paperback version of this book, with photographs and an extended narrative, will be published in 2018.

About the author:
Robert J. C. Baca is a former president of the New Mexico Genealogical Society. He has been researching families from the Socorro area for two decades. He is a former resident of Socorro, and is descended from many of the founders of the Socorro Land Grant. He began the "Socorro Land Grant Research Project" in 2015. He teaches social studies to high-risk students. Baca, along his wife and multiple fur children (pets), live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Name Change: Jose Chaves to Jose Anastacio Chaves

Recently, I was searching for the ancestors of Anna Maria de Soledad Chaves, who, along with her husband, Jose (Lugardo) Padilla, appears to be one of the early settlers of the Socorro Land Grant. A Jose Padilla is listed in the 1818 Navajo military campaign donation list that I use as an early enumeration of Socorro. Jose Padilla is a common name, so it is difficult to figure out exactly who this person was. I chose an early settler, Jose Padilla who was married to Maria Soledad Chavez. This couple adopted a young Native American child or adult woman by the name of Maria Soledad Rosalia Padilla. Members of the Navajo tribe sold her to this couple, which means that she was basically their slave. We will never know whether she was treated as a member of their family, or just a servant. Stories differ as to how families treated their "adopted children". Once adopted and baptized in the Catholic Church, they were supposed to be raised as Christians. Of course, many families did the least they had to do to honor this pledge, while others felt it was their duty to treat adopted children as their own.

I could not find any other adopted or biological children for this couple.

I found a Tome marriage record for Jose Lugardo Padilla and Ana Maria de Soledad Chaves, on 3 June 1798. I believe this to be the same couple as Jose Padilla and Maria Soledad Chavez. He was the son of Juan Domingo Padilla and Juana Rita Baca; while she was the daughter of Jose Anastacio Chaves (deceased) and Juana Baca. All were from Belen. I found Jose Lugardo's parents' marriage record in Laguna, and was at least able to figure out the ancestry of his father, if not his mother. Ana Maria de Soledad's parents were a different story. Then I came across a record that I believe solved the mystery, and changed the name I had for one of my ancestors.

Since Chaves is the name found among the founders of Albuquerque, I decided to look at the index of the book "Aqui Se Comienza" - a book that I myself contributed two chapters to. The book outlines the descendants of 20+ families. The index showed that Jose Anastacio Chaves could be found on page 100 of the book. On that page, it indicated that Jose Anastacio Chavez and his mother Antonia Baca were godparents in the Isleta Church baptism of Tomas Gallegos. I checked the Isleta baptism and marriage book published by the New Mexico Genealogical Society and discovered this to be correct.

Jose Chaves, the son of Antonio Duran y Chaves and Antonia Baca, was married to Juana Maria Baca, the daughter of Diego Domingo Baca and Juana Duran y Chaves (yes, they were not-so-distant cousins.) Their marriage was in 1758. The baptismal record that showed godparents Jose Anastacio Chaves with his mother was in 1753. The fact that he was baptizing a child with his mother most likely indicates that he was at least an adolescent and probably unmarried. Therefore, I believe that Jose Chaves and Juana Maria Baca are the same couple as Jose Anastacio Chaves who was married to Juana Baca.

This means that their daughter, Anna Maria de Soledad Chaves, is the sister of Luis Maria Chaves, who was married to Maria Isabel Padilla. This couple is another of the families I've discerned to be founders of the Socorro Land Grant based on the 1818 enumeration. Luis Maria Chaves and Maria Isabel Padilla are my 4th great grandparents - ancestors of my maternal grandfather Santiago Baca. I now know my 4th great-grandfather by a different name.

Below is a chart that shows the relationship between Jose Anastacio Chaves and his 3rd great-grandson Santiago Baca.

Lila Armijo Pfeufer, Margaret Leonard Windham, and Evelyn Lujan Baca, New Mexico Baptisms San Miguel de Socorro Church: 1821-1853 (Albuquerque: New Mexico Genealogical Society, 1998), p. 18.

Raymond P. Salas extractor and Margaret Leonard Windham compiler, New Mexico Marriages Churces of Immaculate Conception of Tome and Our Lady of Belen (Albuquerque: New Mexico Genealogical Society, 1994), p. 18.

"Microfilm # 16826: Laguna Baptisms, Marriages and Burials," database, FamilySearch ( accessed 26 August 2017), Marriage Record: Juan Domingo Padilla and Juana Rita, 9 April 1771, image # 141.

Gloria M. Valencia et. al., editors, Aqui Se Comienza: A Genealogical History of the Founding Families of La Villa de San Felipe de Alburquerque (Albuquerque: New Mexico Genealogical Society, 2007), p. 100.

Lila Armijo Pfeufer, Margaret L. Buxton transcribers, Margaret Leonard Windham, and Evelyn Lujan Baca compilers, New Mexico Marriages and Baptisms San Agustin de la Isleta Church: Marriages 1726 to 1846, Baptisms 1730 to 1776, 1829 to 1842 (Albuquerque: New Mexico Genealogical Society, 1996), p. 133.
 In a baptismal record for Thomas Gallegos (baptized 17 January 1753), the godparents are listed as Joseph Anastacio Chabes and his mother Dona Antonia Baca.

Lila Armijo Pfeufer, Margaret L. Buxton transcribers, Margaret Leonard Windham, and Evelyn Lujan Baca compilers, New Mexico Marriages and Baptisms San Agustin de la Isleta Church: Marriages 1726 to 1846, Baptisms 1730 to 1776, 1829 to 1842 (Albuquerque: New Mexico Genealogical Society, 1996), p. 11.