Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Manifest Destiny and New Mexicans In The Period 1598 To 1846

New Mexicans contributed to the success of "Manifest Destiny", every bit as much as any American, maybe more, maybe much more. New Mexicans living in those days may not have heard of Manifest Destiny, but they contributed to it.

By keeping the majority of the population ignorant and uneducated the government contributed to it. The Spanish government contributed to it between 1598 when don Juan de Onate led the colony north from Mexico. When the Spanish were ousted during the liberation movement of the early 1800's the Mexican government took over the contributions. During this whole time New Mexicans contributed to it by allowing themselves to be led through this uneducated ignorance.

The first Americans who came to New Mexico, themselves an uneducated and mostly ignorant lot, made note of the widespread illiteracy and ignorance on the part of the average New Mexican. This knowledge was transferred back to "the states" and confirmed by future travelers to New Mexico. Soon the United States government knew this too. They also knew that New Mexico was, for all intents and purposes, unarmed and unable to defend itself. Especially against persons, such as Americans, with modern weapons.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Quin Sabe Como se Llamava

What is the spelling of your Spanish name? The spelling of your ancestor's name? Is it the traditional spelling or somewhat different? Ever wonder why it is spelled the way it is?

Cipriano or Sipriano? Versabe? Bersabe? Bersabel? Versabel? Puede que Butierrez or Gutierrez or maybe Gutierres? Was it Villas or maybe Bias? Who really knows? The spelling of names was in the hands of the priest who spelled it the way he heard it pronounced and the only names that were not misspelled when documented were Jose, Juan, Maria, Guadalupe and Jesus. And that is if the priest did not have a Spanish lisp or was a French priest like the ones Archbishop Lamy brought to New Mexico after the American occupation.

Most New Mexicans of the period were illerate so there is nothing they could do about it. They were oblivious to what was happening in the written realm. Not that they minded or cared. There was not much interest nor use for reading and writing in New Mexico at that time. The priests were the only ones who cared or had use of the written word.

When looking at old Spanish documents in New Mexico it is understandable why we have folks names Baldez in some places and Valdez in others. Why we have Gutierrez with a z and Gutierres with an s or Barela and Varela, Roybal and Roibal.

In the old days they used to say V (vay) de Vaca and B (bay) de Burro to illustrate the difference between the v's and the b's.

 There are enough problems with the language, any language, before you add folks who can't spell into this mix.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

What Became of Jose Gutierrez, a Navajo Indian Baptized 20 March 1864 at San Miguel del Bado, New Mexico?

Into The Fog Of History
He was baptized on the 20th of March of 1864 by Juan de Jesus Medina and Refugio Benavidez. He was "bought" by J. Ignacio Gutierrez of El Pueblo, San Miguel County, New Mexico. His baptismal record states "Baptized 20 March 1864. 12 years old male Navajo Indian bought by J. Ignacio Gutierrez." The priest doing the baptizing was J. Guerin.

He shows up in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census at El Pueblo, San Miguel County, New Mexico in the household of Ignacio Gutierrez and his wife Guadalupe (Ribera) Gutierrez and their children Juana, Josefa, Monico and Pablo. The couple who were his padrinos, Juan de Jesus Medina and his wife Refugio (Benavidez) Medina and their children live next door. The census was taken on 29 July, 1870 and he was listed as a 17 years old and an Indian. He could neither read nor write and is listed as a servant in the household.

Maria Benita del Refugio Benavidez (la Madrina) is my 3rd cousin 2 times removed.  Our common ancestors are Juan Domingo Benavidez and Francisca Lujan.

Anyway, Jose Gutierrez seems to have disappeared after the 1870 Federal Census. The name Jose was too common to be of any value when looking for him, as was the last name Gutierrez. Finding him independent of Ignacio Gutierrez is all but impossible. He seems to have been lost into the Hispanic world of the time. Probably married and his descendants are amongst us as friends and relatives.

A story that starts when Jose Gutierrez was baptized on March the 20th of 1864 and ends on the 29th of July of 1870 when the census was taken, barely 6 years and 4 months.

Did he live a long life? Did he marry? Did he have a family? Maybe we will never know. This is a unique New Mexican story and there are probably many like it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Six Degrees Of Seperation"? Or Less?

Six degrees of separation is the idea that everyone is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of "a friend of a friend" statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps. It was originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy.

In researching New Mexican (Hispanos) genealogy we have found that, generationally speaking, there is less than 6 degrees of separation before you can tie New Mexicans together in one big tree. The records are there to determine this. Birth, baptismal, marriage investigations, marriage and death records kept by the Catholic Church during the Spanish, Mexican and into the American period facilitate this.

Numbers of individuals, usually men, coming into New Mexico were never high and some periods they were non existent or very low. They were soon assimilated into the group that was here. This was true during the Spanish colonizing and colonial period, it remained true during and just prior to the Mexican period when French and Americans started making appearances in New Mexico. Records show that these folks had to integrate themselves with the natives in order to survive.

The French found it easy as a result of France being a Catholic nation at the time. The names, regardless of their current spelling, remain as proof of this assimilation, Alarid, L'Eperance, Archiveque, Gurule, Charette are some of the more prominent.

Early on, the Americans had more difficulty and some did so just to be able to remain here and work here. Kit Carson is a prime example. There were many others like him. Kit never really considered himself a Mexican, he never considered himself a New Mexican, he never considered himself a Catholic. But he swore on the Holy Bible that he was all three. As soon as the Americans marched into Santa Fe, Kit and others like him wrapped themselves in the American flag.

But they married New Mexican women and in reality their descendants were an odd mixture of American and New Mexican cultures.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Long, Long Ago in a Land Not Far Away

Feeling nostalgic this afternoon. Click on the link below:

Nice tune 

Check it out.

Our history encompases long, long ago but the land is not far away. It is New Mexico

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tome, New Mexico Area Map

The image comes from the publication Herencia, The Quarterly Journal of the Hispanic Genealogical Research Center of New Mexico.