Monday, December 31, 2012

Before Mexico There Was New Mexico

Click on the image to make it larger.

The areas labeled "foreign areas" were in reality the Spanish provinces of California, New Mexico and Texas. You can see that a lot happened in our history between 1820 and and 1846 when the Americans annexed this area.

New Mexico was New Mexico before Mexico became Mexico. Does that make sense? Well it should because New Mexico was called New Mexico way before the country of Mexico came into being in the early 1800's. New Mexico was New Mexico by the middle to late 1500's and Antonio de Espejo was the man historical records indicate first used the name for land previously called La Tierra Nueva.

You see what is now the country of Mexico used to be several provinces in New Spain when ruled by the Spanish. It was not until after the war of independence with Spain that the country of Mexico came into being. At that time  the province of New Mexico in Spain became the department of New Mexico in the new Mexican Nation.

When the Americans took over the northern territory of Mexico (New Mexico), it was a lot larger and included all of today's state of Arizona as well as parts of Colorado, Utah and Nevada. New Mexico was partitioned and parts of it went into new American states. And what we have left is the Land of Enchantment we know today.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sentenciado A Hacer Adobes Or Sentenced To Make Adobes

Imagine being sentenced to "make adobes". That is exactly what happened to Antonio de Chavez a native of New Mexico and the widower of dona Maria Magdelena Montano in 1718.

The information cited in this post is gleaned from pages 305 and 306 of the document/publication "New Mexico Roots Ltd." written by Fray Anjelico Chavez.

Antonio was the son of Captian don Fernando Duran y Chavez and dona Lucia Hurtado. He was getting ready to marry dona Antonia Baca who was 15 years of age and from Bernalillo.

Antonio de Chavez requested a marriage dispensantion from the 3rd degree of consanguinity and the 2nd degree of affinity from illict coupla with the brides relative, later found to be related to him in the 4th degree. Reasons given for the dispensations were that the bride was very poor and in danger of losing her honor if her relatives died. The paudity of equal status in this "miserable kingdom" and the groom's own clarity for helping her besides his fondness.

The dispensation was granted with penalties, the groom had to labor manually one day a week for 4 months at the parish church and beg for alms for the poor souls. He had to donate 1,000 adobes for the Albuquerque church and the same for Bernalillo cemetary and he had to personally make 100 adobes for the Albuquerque Church and and 100 for the one in Bernalillo. He had to work personally for one whole week at each place so that others will be deterred from similar commissions.

The witnesses to this penality were the Albuquerque notary Juan de Dios Martin, Francisco Xavier Benavides , Sebastian Antonio Maldonado. Also withesses were the Bernalillo notary Jose de Quintana, Cristobal Arellano and Diego Montoya.

The pair were married on the 23rd of March of 1718 with the nuptial blessings being on April 24th of the same year.  The witnesses to the marriage and the nuptial blessings were don Miguel de San Juan, Isabel Montoya and Ignacio de Aragon.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Los Padrinos

My birth padrino and madrina were my mother's oldest brother Jose Benavidez and his wife Francisca Ortega. My first name at birth was my paternal grandfathers first name, Preciliano. That was it, no middle name. As it was told to me, at the baptismal the priest insisted I needed to have have a Christian name to go along with Preciliano, somehow the name Joseph came up. My padrino Jose probably did not mind and neither did my father as that was his fathers first name. So I ended up Preciliano Joseph instead of like my paternal grandfather, Jose Preciliano. Everyone must have been satisfied and that is what ended up on my baptismal certificate.

My padrino Jose was later to kill his ex wife Francisca in a domestic dispute gone bad. Francisca was a special friend of my mother's and she asked her nephew and their son, Damian, to be my conformation padrino. For some reason or other he ended up in the Navy and unable to be my sponsor at the confirmation ceromony. My mother then asked a distant relative who lived near by to be my padrino, he was Telesfor Archuleta.

My mother, Maria del Refugio Benavidez and Telesfor Archuleta were 1st cousins 3 times removed. Telesfor Archuleta and his wife Teresa Montoya lived across the railroad tracks from my grandparents. They had always been very close and I spent a lot of time at their house being spoiled by both of them. I used to end up at their house "con cara de hambre", as my mother used to say, and mention a particular food and it would appear at the following meal which I was expected to partake in. Cold water, tortillas, biscochitos, sopa and panocha were mine for the asking there. So when my mother suggested my "tio Telesfor" as my padrino for my conformation I jumped at the opportunity. And as such "tia Terisita" became my madrina. In reality, in my case, there was no madrina for the confirmation ritual, just a padrino.

By the time I got married, where there would normally be another set of padrinos, I had left the church and ended up with witnesses picked up at the presiding judge's office in Brighton, Colorado.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Long Day Trip over 5 Mountain Passes

Took a long day trip on the 4th. Went from Raton to Cimarron to Angel Fire to Taos to Tres Piedras to Tierra Amirilla to Cebolla to Canjilon to Chama to Antonito, CO to Alamosa, CO to Walsenburg and back to Raton. 421 miles total. Went to a funeral at Cebolla of a friend then back via Alamosa. We left at 6:00 AM, at the funeral 10:30 to 1:30 PM and then drove back and were home by 6:00 PM.

Dry, very dry everywhere.

Went over a total of 5 mountain passes in New Mexico and Colorado, Palo Flechado Pass, Brazos Pass, Cumbres Pass, La Veta Pass and Raton Pass all in one day on this trip.