Monday, February 25, 2008


Click on the image to make it larger.

Cristobal Martin' Serrano (number 8 on this pedigree chart) was killed during a Comanche raid documented here on this web log.  His great grandson Jose Andres (Andele) Martin'(ez), (number 1 on this chart) would be taken captive by the Apaches  four (4) generations later, this is also documented here on this web log.
My information on the raid that Cristobal Martin' Serrano was killed comes from  pages 77 and 78 of the publication titled "New Mexico Burials, Santa Fe - St. Francis Parish and Military Chapel of our Lady of Light (La Castrense), 1726 - 1834". This publication is published by the New Mexico Genealogical Society.

The information on Jose Andres (Andele) Martin'(ez) comes from several sources, but the information on his capture and captivity comes from the book titled " Andele, The Mexican-Kiowa Captive, A Story of Real Life Among the Indians", written by J. J. Methvin and published by the University of New Mexico Press in Alburquerque, New Mexico.

I wonder if Jose Andres Martin'(ez) knew that his great grandfather was killed by the ancestors of the Comanche that he represented in talks with the United States Government in the late 1800's. I would imagine he did know. The family memories would not have dimmed that much.

Anyway, it was a very interesting period for my family. Bumping into this information was the highlight of our genealogical research in the last year.

There are many similar stories about my ancestors in New Mexico. And the historical record is there. Even for the non professional, such as myself.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Wrong History Does Much Harm

This is a picture of Susan Shelby Magoffin, who history told us was the first "white woman" to cross the plains from Missouri to New Mexico on the Santa Fe Trail. The first "white women" my ancestors saw? This false history is extremely damaging, especially to Hispanic New Mexicans who were here when these "white folks" first arrived. And they wrote back to the "states" what they saw and felt about this foreign land and it's people.

Susan Shelby Magoffin wrote, "I have entered the city in a year that will always be remembered by my countrymen; and under the 'Stars Spangled banner' too, the first American lady, who has come under such auspices, and some of our company seem disposed to make me the first under any circumstances that ever crossed the plains."

So she would have us believe! She wrote her journal knowing it was an historic moment and believing she was the first and wishing to secure a place in history. And historians bought it. They bought it until Marian Cooper discovered and wrote about Mary Donoho.

Josiah Gregg wrote of others that had crossed before Ms. Magoffin. They were six (6) Spanish women who had, along with their families, been exiled from Mexico and traveled with Gregg from Santa Fe to Missouri. Gregg also noted that "other females, however, have crossed the praires to Santa Fe at different times, among whom I have known two (2) French ladies, who now reside in Chihuahua."

Another woman who traveled back and forth across the trail was Santa Fean Carmel Benavidez. She went with Antoine Robidou and accompanied him many time on trips to Missouri.

Also three white women, captives of the Comanche, were rescued  in New Mexico and came to Santa Fe where they joined trains going back to the States from Santa Fe. They were Sarah Horn, a Mrs Harris and Rachael Plummer. 

So, before Susan Shelby Magoffin even contemplated crossing we had the six (6) Spanish female exiles, the two (2) French ladies, Carmel Benavidez, Mary Donoho and the former Comanche captives, Sarah Horn, Mrs Harris and Rachael Plummer. That is at least thirteen (13) women who accomplished the feat. So what is so great about Susan Shelby Magoffin's crossing? I will tell you what! She figured it was an historic occasion and she had been told she was the first and probably saw an opportunity to end up in the history books.

This false history, all good intentions aside, is extremly damaging to Hispanic New Mexicans. Especially when we consider that the first arrivals usually hated the Mexicans they encountered. They hated their government, they hated their religion and, for the most part,  they hated them.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Santa Fe Railroad Depot at Rowe, New Mexico

This is a picture of the Santa Fe Railroad Depot in Rowe, New Mexico. The Picture was probably taken in the 1930's, I do not really know for sure. But the depot was still there in the late 1950's and early 1960's. You are looking at the backside of the Depot.

The railroad was a big part of the town from 1800's when it arrived to the early 1960's when they did away with the section gangs. Working for the railroad was the job to have in Rowe. If you did not work there, you wished you did.

Back then there was the Depot, the Santa Fe Railroad representative's house, the section gang garages where they kept the speeder cars, the huge black water tank for the old steam engines and the embarcadero or stock pens which all belonged to the railroad.

The depot was staffed around the clock, so that took at least 4-5 people employed there. And there was the superindendant, and the section gang probably employed 10 to 15 people. No two ways about it, The AT&SF was the biggest employer in Rowe for the better part of 80 years. In fact, that is why the town came into being.

The town then, had three (3) stores, and a (motel?) the old Lucky Seven where you could rent a cabin. The old Rowe Elementry was just in front of the Catholic Church. It was first to the eighth grade. An all stone building that eventually burned down. There was also a sawmill in town. How things change.