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Saturday, August 26, 2017

E. Montoya & Sons Make Claim Against U.S. Government - 1880

A letter from the Secretary of the Interior to the U.S. House of Representatives details a claim that Jose Estanislao Montoya made against the U.S. Government requesting reimbursement for stolen property.

According to Estanislao Montoya and his sons D. S. Montoya and Eutimio Montoya, on 23 May 1880, Mescalero Apaches from Victoria's band stole 8,000 sheep and 15 burros from their ranching company E. Montoya and Sons. The sheep were valued at $1 each, while the burros were valued at $20 each. They were requesting that the government reimburse them $8,300 for the stolen livestock.

Affidavits were taken from witnesses Ricardo Pino and Mauricio Miera. Although the fact was not mentioned in the documents, Pino and Miera were Estanisloa's son-in-laws.

S.A. Russell, the U.S. Indian agent for the Mescalero Agency, stated that he was stationed 130 to 140 miles away from where the incident occurred and therefore was not personally able to investigate the claim. He stated that the Indians on the reservation professed that they had no knowledge of the depredations.

It took nearly ten years for the claim to be processed. The information was finally submitted to the House of Representatives on 18 January 1890. The document does not indicate what decision was made on this claim.

Source: "Genealogy Bank," database, Genealogy Bank ( accessed 26 August 2017), E. Montoya & Sons. Letter from the Secretary of the Interior, transmitting papers in the Indian depredation claim of E. Montoya & Sons. January 18, 1890. -- Referred to the Committee on Indian Depredation Claims and ordered to be printed. Date: Saturday, January 18, 1890. Serial Set Vol. No. 2743. Report: H. Exec. Doc. 127.

Eutimio Montoya, Ricardo Pino & D. Apodaca testify on Socorro Grant

I found this little snippet in 23 August 1899 Santa Fe Daily New Mexican:


Source: "Santa Fe Daily New Mexican," database, Genealogy Bank ( accessed 26 August 2017), "Eutimio Montoya, Ricardo Pino and D. Apodaca came to the capital....", p. 4.

Ricardo Pino was Eutimio Montoya's brother-in-law, and D. Apodaca is probably Donaciano Apodaca who was married to Eutimio's first cousin.

18th Century Laguna Baptisms, Marriages & Burials online
Click on the photo above to visit the site
Today I was searching the website for a baptism for Jose Laguardo Padilla, the son of Juan Domingo Padilla and Juana Rita Baca. I found it listed in Microfilm # 16826. Since there is no direct link from this page to the actual image, I searched for the microfilm on the website and found this page:
Click on the photo above to visit the site

Notice the camera on the left hand corner. Click on that camera, and you will find microfilm # 16826 which includes images of baptisms, marriages and burials for Laguna, New Mexico - 1720s through 1776.

Since the index of this particular database is not yet tied to the images, I suggest browsing through the images until you find the correct image. I usually skip back and forth 10, 20, or 50 images until I get to the correct year, month and day. In order to make it a little bit easier, I've figured out the cut-off points for each type of record:

Baptisms begin on image #13 (1720 - 1776)
Marriages begin on image #103 (1720s - 1776)
Burials begin on image #154 (1727- 1776)

I hope this helps.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Original Nuestra Senora de Belen Church to be Excavated

Many of the original settlers of the Socorro Land Grant were baptized and married in the Nuestra Senora de Belen Church. Archaeologists will be excavating the location of the original Catholic Church. Read more about it and watch the video at this link.

Excavation planned to uncover Belen’s first Catholic church from 1700’s (KRQE)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Felipe Peralta y M(artinez) and Tomas Cordova in newspaper article about La Joya Grant

In an earlier post today, I transcribed an article about the Socorro Land Grant that mentioned that among the people refusing to be part of a Socorro Land Grant lawsuit were land owners Felipe Peralta and Tomas Cordova. I found another article from 1893 that mentioned that Peralta & Cordova were claimants of the La Joya Land Grant. It may be that the claims for the Socorro Grant were infringing on their own claims for the La Joya Grant.

Below is my transcription of an article in the 27 July 1893 issue of the Santa Fe Daily New Mexican:

Messrs. Felipe Peralta y M. and Tomas Cordova, of La Joya, in Socorro county, are in the city as a commission on behalf of the claimants of the La Joya grant, which will come up before the court of private land claims at this term. They have brought several witnesses, among them Nicolas Mascarenas and Juan Y Maldonado, who have lived on the grant for over seventy years. Hon. T.B. Catron is the attorney for the grant. Several flourishing towns are located thereon and some fine bottom land in the Rio Grande valley is contained within its limits.

Source: "Santa Fe Daily New Mexican," database, Genealogy Bank ( accessed 23 August 2017), "Messrs. Felipe Peralta M. & Tomas Cordova....", 27 July 1893, Volume 30, issue 135, p.1.

Eutimio Montoya Socorro Land Grant Case mentioned in newspaper

In 1899, The Albuquerque Citizen newspaper published the following article about Eutimio Montoya vs. the United States, one of three court cases that were presented over three decades to the Survey General and the Court of Private Land Claims, seeking confirmation of the Socorro Land Grant. This case made the largest claim, which was more than 800,000 acres. Ultimately, this case would be decided against the plaintiff Eutimio Montoya, and for the United States. In a separate case, Candelario Garcia claimed the standard Spanish four square leagues, centering on the San Miguel Church, and extending  a league in each cardinal direction. That claim were be approved and Candelario Garcia and City of Socorro would be administers of the grant.

Private Land Claims

The Socorro Case Will First be Taken up at this Term

The court of private land claims met Monday morning in the federal building at Santa Fe, but owing to the absence of the United States attorneys adjourned until to day (sic). The impression prevails that the court will be in session only a few days at Santa Fe, because the Tucson term gave the judges work for about two months, in writing opinions, they having rendered no decisions as yet in the San Rafael and other important land cases heard at Tucson.

The judges present are Chief Justice Joseph R. Reed, Judges Thomas C. Fuller, William W. Murray, Wilbur F. Stone. Judge Henry C. Sluss (?) will not attend the court. R. L. Hall, deputy United States marshal, James H. Reader, clerk, Ireneo L. Chaves, deputy clerk, and W.J. McPherson, stenographer of the court, were in attendance.

The first matter to be taken up by the court will be the Socorro town case, which is docketed as No. 127, Eutimio Montoya vs United States, filed February 27, 1893. The grant comprises 843,259.59 acres, although the plaintiffs claim considerable more.

In 1815 seventy families of Spanish subjects settled in what is now Socorro county, at the request and permission of the governor of the province of New Mexico. November 18, 1817, Xavier Garcia and Anselmo Tafoya, on behalf of themsleves and the seventy families, presented a petition to the governor and the captain general to make a grant of four square leagues of land on which the peititioner has settled. Such a grant was made and the alcalde of Belen commanded to make out the property certificate. This the alcalde negleted (sic) to do. The petitioners therefore on August 1, 1818, petitioned again and the proper documents were then made out, but afterwards lost or destroyed. December 2, 1845, Governor Manuel Armijo renewed the grant, and the papers drawn up at that time are in evidence in the case. The surveyor general of the territory in 1875 recommended that the grant be confirmed. The surveyor general in 1886 recommended that congress grant to original settlers and their descendants on the Socorro grant an equitable claim to the lands actually occupied and used for tillage and pastorage prior to February 2, 1848. Congress took no action on those recommendations. The survey in 1875 set the area of the grant at 841,259.50 acres but the plaintiff's claim that it should be greater. All claims and all owners to the land are such by permission and consent of the petitioners, excepting Wilson Waddingham, Martin B. Hayes, Felipe Peralta, and Tomas Cordoba who lay claim to certain portions of the grant. On the grant are situated the towns and settlements of San Antonio, Limitar (sic), San Lorenzo, Luis Lopez, Bosquesito and San Pedro. Judge Warren, C.B. Gildersleeve and George Hill Howard are the attorneys for the plaintiffs.

Source: "Albuquerque Citizen newspaper," database, Genealogy Bank ( accessed 23 August 2017), "Private Land Claims: The Socorro Case Will First be Taken up at This Term".

For more history on the land grant, read "The Socorro Grant" on the New Mexico Office of State Historian website:

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Burial Record for Paola Torres de Zimmerly

Today I discovered the burial record for my 2nd great-grandmother Maria Pabla Torres de Zimmerly. The sacramental record shows her name as Paola.

According to an article about the Zimmerly family, she died on 23 July 1917. The burial record I found confirms a death date around that time, as she was buried the next day.

I found the record on FamilySearch. Below is screen shot of the image.

Source: "Microfilm # 16997, Church Records 1821-1956, Catholic Church. San Miguel (Socorro, New Mexico)," Family Search, ( : accessed 19 August 2017), digital image, "burial record: Paola Torres de Zimmerly, 24 July 1917," image # 612.

Additional source: Author Anonymous, "Zimmerly Family in Socorro for 100 Years," El Defensor Chieftain (Socorro, New Mexico) (17 November 1966): page 1-E.

Burial Records for the San Miguel Church of Socorro, New Mexico, beginning in 1913, can be found starting on image #587. Below is a link to that first image of that burial book: