Tuesday, April 22, 2014

History is history, no matter what happened or whose fault it was. It happened!

Some folks gloss over the reason recorded history is what it is. The belief that "victors write the story". While that is common, it is not always true, not by a long shot. What is true is that the literate person with the means wrote history. The literate person with the means writes history. Not the illiterate person with all of the paper and ink in the world. The literate person with the means wrote it, writes it! The non literate person/persons/peoples were, and are, left on the sidelines unable to read what others wrote. That is a fact today and that was a fact in the past.

New Mexico history is a perfect case in point. The "original" history was written by the Spanish, next by the Americans and lately by anyone with a computer and a weblog. It does not matter if they are  Hispanic, Native American or some other genre of folks. The only thing about this, the good thing, is that current "historians" cannot really lie successfully. The original history that is being written about is very well documented, in several languages, but well documented non the less. If someone takes liberty with the truth, they are soon called on it. There may be interpretations, but that is the extent of the differences allowed in today's world.

Illiterate peoples have never written history, they will never write history. Not then, not now and not in the future. That is a fact of life that everyone must live with. The degree of literacy determines the degree of the historical narrative that a person or group writes. History, like time, rolls on. Someone may document it if they can, but it rolls on non the less. We, in the current time, can yell and scream about the history that has been written, but the only thing we can do is to highlight the error and document the truth.

And, this is a big AND, we do have hindsight now. We can correct the narrative by documenting the truth of what was written about in the past. And/or we can write about the past in a new light as documents are discovered about events in the past which no one had written before.

The bottom line is that you have to be able to write about it to leave a trail. A trail that can be looks at as new information is gathered. "Oral history" is a joke, a big funny joke. If that is what you will hang your hat on, good luck.

One other thing, be careful that what you write you can verify. If not you will be called on it. The documents you use as source material can be contested, but they are there. No more cowboy history! Please.....

Monday, April 21, 2014

Que paso con Maria Viviana Martín? Preguntas y mas preguntas?

Maria Viviana Martín was born on December 1, 1827 in Potrero, New Mexico in what is now Rio Arriba County, the daughter of  Bernardo Martín and Maria Apolonia Gutierrez. Viviana died the 27th of October in 1897 in Mora County, New Mexico, most probably in the area of current day Watrous, New Mexico where she lived with her family. She is listed in the 1870 and 1880 U.S. Federal Census at La Cueva, Mora County, New Mexico. Over time she lived with 3 seperate "Americano" men and had at least 7 children with them.

We need to keep in mind that this was the period when there were no non Hispanic or non Native American women in New Mexico. There were no American or what we would call "Anglo" women in the area then. So, if an American man wanted a woman, his choices were limited to what was available.

The first man she lived with and had children with was James Bonney, an Englishman, whom she ended up with in 1845 when she was 18 years old. James Bonney died about 1846. The second man was Daniel Eberle from Switzerland whom she met and moved in with in about 1848, Daniel died about 1855. The 3rd man was Friedrich (Frank) Metzgar from Prussia, whom she had a relationship with which started in 1856, Metzgar died about about 1885. So Maria Viviana outlived all three of them.

It seems like Maria Viviana never actually went through the process of marrying any of the fathers of her 7 children, anyway no record of any marriage has been found. This is odd on several levels.
  1. In that time period 99.99% of New Mexican's were Catholic and usually ended up married by the church. Non of her relationships were relationships with benefit of marriage nor can any record be found of any baptisms of any of her children. Her parents were Catholic, she was baptized. Some of her decendants when they married, did so in the Catholic Church. So far as any of the records show.
  2.  She ended up having children with 3 "Americanos", non of whom were from the Unites States. All of the fathers of the 7 children were "Americanos", there is no record of her having children with a local Hispanic or Native American.
  3. She is always found in the U.S. Federal Census with her children but none of her "common law" husbands were ever enumerated with her and her family, their children. Did she actually live with them, or just fathered the children?
Living with men and having children with them, while not unheard of, was uncommon in those days in New Mexico. Add to that the fact that non Hispanic men were few in the province then and you have another riddle. Now if a person was looking for non Hispanic men, the area around La Junta (Watrous) was the place to be. This time period included the time just prior to the American occupation and was the height of use on the Santa Fe Trail. Commerce was hot and heavy then, especially at and near La Junta (Watrous).

The population of non New Mexicans was the highest in the area around La Junta de los Rios (Watrous). And her relationships started prior to Fort Union coming to the area. Loma Parda, if it was there, had not reached its heyday. That would happen after the military established Fort Union.

Did Maria Viviana move to the area with her parents, Bernardo Martín and his wife and her mother, Maria Apolonia Gutierrez? Or did she somehow make the move by herself? She probably moved with her parents as they both died in the area, Bernardo in 1869 and Apolonia in 1870. My guess is that she moved with her parents in their quest for work and or land in the pre American period, but when the Santa Fe trail was going full blast.

Anyway, she ended up living the rest of her life in the area adjacent to current day Watrous. And the questions remain, even current  family members have questions. No matter how you look at it, Maria Viviana Martín was a very unusual woman for her time, very unusual.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

From Martin to Martinez and from Santa Fe to Raton. Hilario Martin(ez)

Hilario Martinez was born on the 14 of January in 1871 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, his parents were Jose Santiago Martín and Maria Ynes de Escuipula Rodriguez. His  baptismal padrinos were Ginovevo Sandoval and Rosalia Martinez. Hilario probably used his mother's maiden name as his middle initial, hence the Hilario R. Martinez in later documents. The shift from using the last name of Martín to Martinez happened a lot in New Mexico in that period of time. Probably 95% of Martinez used to be Martín before the American occupation of New Mexico in 1846. My father was one of the few who stuck with the name and spelled it Martín. Even then, my brother and I were born Martín and my older sister was born Martinez, all to the same parents.

Hilario Martinez 1st married Teresa Sacoman in Las Vegas on June 15, 1902 and was enumerated in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census at Las Vegas Ward 3, San Miguel, New Mexico; Roll: T624_917; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0197; FHL microfilm: 1374930. Living with his wife and inlaws. Hilario R. Martinez and his wifeTeresa had been married 8 years and there were no children listed for the couple. It appears that Teresa passed away as she does not show up in any of the later census.

Hilario's age is consistent as we have followed him via the documents we have identified. It varies a few years on the census records but we are still very comfortable we are talking about the very same man. Census records are not very accurate when documenting age. Hilario had a younger brother by the name of Juan who is listed as living with him in 1920 in Raton. His brother was born in Santa Fe on the 5th of May in 1875, so he was a few years younger than Hilario.

Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Raton Ward 4, Colfax, New Mexico; Roll: T625_1075; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 38; Image: 193. Hilario is living with his brother Juan, and others, one named Martha, another name Zella Barnum and Zellas brother Albert Barnum. Living on Lopez Street in Raton, New Mexico. Lopez Street in Raton is 1 block east of Martinez Street.

Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Raton, Colfax, New Mexico; Roll: 1393; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0011; Image: 740.0; FHL microfilm: 2341128. Living on Martinez Street in Raton, New Mexico. Hilario (Dario) Martinez is living with his family consisting of his wife, now identified as Felicitas Martinez, and sons Santiago, Adolfo, Luis and a daughter Rosarita. He was employed as a deliveryman working for a "mine".

Hilario's 2nd wife Felicitas was born Felicitad Gonzales on February 21, 1893 in La Tablason, San Miguel County, New Mexico to Nicolas Gonzales and Victoriana Aragon. Her baptismal padrinos were Leandro Aragon y Chavez and Gregoria Cordova.

When Hilario R. Martinez and Felicitas Gonzales Martinez died has not been determined to date.

NOTE: Source material can be elaborated on if someone needs to know.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Snake oil salesmen and folks who need snake oil and how they relate to our Genealogy

Snake oil salesmen and folks who use their product(s) are made for each other. Snake oil salesmen used to be on every corner and now they are all over television and on the internet. And like religion, it seems that if snake oil salesmen are not selling something somewhere we go looking for them.

Genealogy is no different. Folks are looking for heroes and heroines, or some attachment to the king or queen or some illustrious person(s). And there are some of these in our trees, but for the most part not so much or in the distant dim past.

Or trying to erase folks who we prefer to not have as relatives or anywhere close to us in our "tree". It seems like rogues are ok 6-7 generations back, especially if they are famous rogues. Not so famous rogues are not so welcome. Trying to whitewash what these rogue relatives did is another example of dealing with them in our trees, maybe letting them be there, just not mentioning that they are there. There are some relatives who do not want to see who their relatives are rather than have someone there who is unsavory.

There is additional information in an older post, read about it further here. Or click on the page at the link below:


Anyway, snake oil salesmen have a keen understanding of human nature and figure out how to get us to buy their products. With genealogy, they do not have to hunt us down, we go looking for the products our selves, always searching for the connection to the hero and always trying to avoid the rogues.

Like I used to hear a long time ago "you soy quien soy, y no me paresco an nadie". I am who I am, and I do not look like anyone. In reality we are who we are, a conglomerate of all of our ancestors, the good, the bad and the ugly.