Monday, February 23, 2015

Want A Hobby? Keep Track Of Your Ancestors! The Door(s) To Family History.

Really, everyone ought to do this to some extent, But you have to be careful, it can be addicting. We started late and found it to be a very interesting and rewarding thing to do. You do not need to go into it and let it become a drag on your free time, but keep the bits and pieces your family tells you about your ancestors. You will never regret it.

There are many rewards as well as the fact that there will always be some surprises. People being people, it cannot be helped. But you will be forced to accept them if you want to continue your quest. Tracking your ancestors is a door to our family's history. The view through this door, while incomplete, if very revealing, and sometimes euphoric, sometimes disturbing. It all depends on what you find out and when you find out about it.

Some folks live in a fantasy world of their own making and want to have nothing to do with any information which will disturb that fantasy.  These fantasies may go off in different directions by different folks. Nothing can really be done about this and sometimes it is best to keep quiet and move on. One thing that really cannot be done is to "let sleeping dogs lay". Not if you want an accurate picture, but it might be best to keep somethings to yourself.
I have run into folks who ascribe to the view that you do not want "facts to get in the way of a good story". Others are not comfortable with the truth or want to have nothing to do with it. Either way, they are happy in their views and it is best to leave them in their happiness.

We have been at it for a while now, and we always make time to follow some line back as the opportunity presents itself. It is a lot easier for us as we both do it and we both do it at the same time. Some folks have to do it alone. We have purchased the birth, marriage and death records available to us so we do not need to go to any library, we can do the research from the comfort of out living room.

We enjoy sharing our findings with family members who are interested. No need to do the research twice. If you want the information just ask, most know my number or email, if not ask someone who has it or you can contact us here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

John (Juan) Scolly and Juana Lopes - What a way to end up in history.

Reference page 28 of the book titled "Refusing the Favor, The Spanish - Mexican Women of Santa Fe, 1820 - 1888" written by Deena J. Gonzalez and published by the Oxford University Press in 2001. Juan Scolly (Juan Escolle) a "Santa Fe Merchant" and later of the John Scolly Land Grant near Watrous, New Mexico went to court in the mid 1840's to complain about his wife's adulterous behavior, that he could no longer control her.

In the book referenced above it states that when his wife, Juana Lopes, stood before the judge, she neither admitted nor denied the charges, but she informed the judge, in Spanish, that "it was her ass, she controlled it, and would give it to whomever she wanted". The judge did not grant the divorce and Juana was admonished to mend her ways, go home and take care of her family. That family, I am sure, included her husband Juan Scolly.

There is some information on John Scolly at the URL's below, click to view:

I would not say that John Scolly was famous, but he was well known at that time in New Mexico. He was born in Ireland to Patrick Scolly and Eugenia Bradis. His New Mexican wife, Juana Lopes, was baptized in Santa Fe, New Mexico on 11 June 1826, the daughter of Jose Vicente Lopes and Eugenia Baca.

John Scolly and Juana Lopes were married on 30 March 1843 as noted on page 208 of the publication New Mexico Marriages Santa Fe - St. Francis Parish and Military Chapel of Our Lady of Light (La Castrense) 1728 - 1857 published by the New Mexico Genealogical Society. Witnesses were Antonio Valdez and Bicente Garcia.

My guess is that ole John did not know that not only had he married a woman with loose morals he also married a woman who could hold her own in the courts of the time and defend herself. The funny thing is that if you are John Scolly or Juana Lopes, this is one hell of a way to end up in the history books.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

History Before The Internet

The United States "Army of the West" at Las Vegas in August of 1846. Today it is called La Plaza Vieja.
Almost impossible not to get brainwashed by the "history" available to the masses before the internet age. The only history books available then were the ones being used as textbooks in school, the ones available at your local library or the ones you found in browsing around some book store in the big city.

The average person could only study what was easily available..... Not now, not in the internet age, not in the age of "Googleing", not in the age of Wikipedia, not in the age of Alibris or Amazon. It is a brand new day for the folks who like their history.

All of the old historians wrote as they saw fit, some paid attention to the truth but the majority was pure propaganda. Now the old historians have been exposed and many have been caught with outright lies. Plain and simple racism. Others wrote pure propaganda thinly disguised as "history". Now when trying to be kind to those "historians" some are kind by saying that they were the product of their times. That they were, putting it mildly, the times were racist, the times were times of propaganda for the ones who had the where with all to put it out there. The masses just absorbed it all.

There are still some good story tellers disguised as historians, but they risk exposure right away. The comment forms at Amazon, other book review places, Wikipedia itself. Easy, very easy to debunk fake historians.

The moral of the post is beware of fake history, if it is worth reading about it, it is worth paying a few dollars to get the story right. There are many places to get the books now, all from the comfort of our houses regardless of where we live.

I have an extensive collection of New Mexico History, the good, the bad and the down right ugly. Most of it bought since I retired and some books that I have had for a long long time.