Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Genetic Testing For Native American Roots

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I have always questioned the validity of the DNA genetic testing. There are many unanswered questions related to DNA testing and determining a persona ancestry.

Nanibaa' Garrison is a bioethicist and assistant professor of pediatrics at Seattle Children's Hospital. A Native American, she earned a PhD in the Department of Genetics at Stanford, with a dissertation focused on ancestry.

Here  (in bold print) is what Ms. Nanibaa' Garrison has to say about DNA testing for "native American" ancestry:

"It's really difficult to say that a DNA test would be able to identify how much Native American ancestry a person has," Garrison said."
"That's because determinations of ancestry are based on "ancestry-informative markers" -- genetic flags that offer probabilities of the likelihood of certain ancestries. Most of those markers, AIMs, are "based on global populations that are outside of the U.S.," she said, "primarily people of European descent, people of Asian descent and people of African descent."
"Those three populations are not enough to determine how much Native American ancestry a person has." There are some companies that are obtaining DNA from Native Americans to fill that gap -- but that's almost certainly not enough information to make that identification."
Remember how genetics works. You are a mix of your mother's genes and your father's -- some from each. They are themselves a mix of their parents, who are a mix of their parents. That 1/32nd takes us back five generations -- to, literally, one person's genes in a potential pool of 32 pairs. Even a test that was fine-tuned to pick out Native American identity might not find any, because the requisite markers simply may not have made the cut over multiple generations.

Monday, June 20, 2016

New Mexicans Are All Connected

Like a huge ball of string that has been added to over the generations, we, New Mexican Hisapnos are all connected. Unravel the string ball and we would all be surprised at how and how many times we are connected.

When in my very early teens I was spending a summer in Denver and at a shoe shop/shoe shine stand across from and a few blocks east of the State Capitol building/grounds on East Colfax Avenue between the Pink Elephant Bar and the Cathedral. There was a huge ball of string on display. The guy who owned the establishment had a huge ball of shoelaces on display in the window facing East Colfax. I used to see/admire the ball every time I walked past. One day as I was walking past he was standing in the doorway and I asked him what would happen if you cut the ball in half. He replied that there would be a million pieces of shoestrings but that some would still be attached to others. He said you could not undo what it had taken him a lifetime to accomplish.

That ball of shoestrings is very much like our New Mexican family. It serves us well to remember that we are one huge family stretching back 400 years in New Mexico.

As newcomers came into the area, they too were incorporated into this huge family. Frenchmen, American fur trappers and merchants all got entwined in this huge family. The remnants of this is everywhere in evidence.

It has only been in the last few years, maybe 1900 or 1910, that others came in in sufficient numbers to avoid getting assimilated into the society that came in 1598 and still exists today. And even then, a lot did get assimilated. Just look around us today.

Reminds me of the Stark Trek Borg cube ship.... Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated...

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Comanche Raid on La Cienega, New Mexico, Thursday June 20, 1776, An Update.

NOTE - This post has been updated as questions have been asked about one or more of the individuals. There has been some interest in the post by someone who left a couple of comments. So I went back and added information I could gather.

Less than a month before the United States of America came into being, my 5th Great Grandfather, Cristoval Martin' Serrano, was killed in a Comanche raid just outside of La Cienega by Santa Fe. He, along with at least eight (8) others were killed there on that Thursday, June 20, 1776.

Before I go any further, I need to post here a truly astonishing fact that we just discovered. Cristoval Martin' Serrano's  Great Grandson Jose Andres Martin'  (Andele) would be abducted by the Apaches on or about the 2oth of October 1866,  90 years and 4 months to the day later, and actually become an advocate for the Kiowa and Comanche Nations in dealings with the United States in the late 1800's. But that is another story, see my earlier post here on this web log from March 27th, 2007 .

The people that we have found out were killed were;

1) Cristobal Martin' Serrano, identified as the widower of Josefa Tenorio, from this parish, Espanol from this Villa (Santa Fe) and La Cienega where he died at the hands of the enemy Indian Comanches on Thursday 20th of June without receiving the sacraments. He left eight (8) children, six (6) men and two (2) women. He is buried near the altar of Holy Ground to the side of the Epistle. One of his sons gave five pesos "de la tierra" for the burial. Note; a peso de la tierra was payment in goods.

2) Julian Valenzuela, identified as single, Espanol and the son of Juan Francisco Valenzuela and Felipa Ortega, legitimately married, from Santa Fe died at the hands of the Comanches also without receiving the sacraments. He was buried two Varas in front of the alter of the puesto de la Yglesia. His father gave five pesos de la tierra for his burial.

3) Santiago Mascarenas, identified as single and an Espanol from Las Golondrinas. He is identified as the son of Christoval Mascarenas and Luisa Fajardo both alredy deceased. He is buried near the altar as Antonio Sandoval paid five pesos de la Tierra for the burial.

4) Jose Francisco Escudero, identified as the son of Antonio Escudero, a native of Mexico who is deceased and Gertrudis Paez, his widow, of this villa and both Espanoles. The said mother, Gertrudis Paea who went with her son, Jose Francisco Escudero, to la Cieneguilla where he died at the hands of the Enemy Comanche. His Mother did not pay the required fee because of poverty.

5) Domingo Romero, a single Espanol the son of Domingo Romero and Lugarda Montoya. He did not recieve the sacraments. He is buried near the altar at san Antonio de Pauda, His father gave 17 pesos de la tierra.

6) Domingo Ortega, the husband of Maria Loreto Armijo living at the Baca Ranch. He left three (3) young children. He did not receive the sacraments. He was buried near the pulpit. Nine pesos de la tierra were given for the burial and vigil, his wife also gave an escopeta. An escopeta was a fire arm of the time.

7) Jose Vicente Ortis, identified as Coyote and single and the servant of Don Jose Antonio Ortis and the son of a Christian Comanche Indian woman by the name of Ysabel who was the "criada" of Don Jose Antonio Ortis. He died while watching lleguas (mares) y bacas of his patron Jose Antonio Ortis. Five pesos de la tierra were given for his burial.

8) Manuel Coca, also identified as a Coyote and married to a Coyota Olaya Segura. She was pregnant. Her two (2) children were carried away by the Comanches. So Manuel lost his life and two children. he was buried near the puesto de Bautifezio. No monies were given for burial by anyone.

9) Jose Antonio Sandoval, identified as the son of Antonio Sandoval and Josefa Chavez. It states that "he was taken by the Indians, but because he resisted they killed him". He was 19 years old when thy killed him, why they tried to "take him" will remain a mystery, but at 19 years old he was too old to easily assimilate into the Comanche tribe. He is buried at the church of N.P.S. Domingo de los Queres.

Note: On Jose Antonio Sandoval - He was born Joseph Antonio Sandoval, baptized on Christmas Day (25 December 1757) by don Phelip Tafoya and dona Theresa Fernandez de la Pedrera. His parents are listed on his baptismal record as don Antonio Sandoval and Josefa Chavez.  

It is my guess that none were able to "receive the sacraments". Anyway raids by the "Indios Barbaros" were common. In all fairness, one must also indicate that raids on the Indians by New Mexican's were just as common. Reference the fact that Ysabel, the Christian Comanche Indian was probably a captive Comanche.

Information on these deaths and the fact that they were caused by a Comanche raid comes from the publication "New Mexico Burials, Santa Fe - St. Francis Parish and the Military Chapel of Our Lady of Light (La Castrense) 1726 - 1834", published by the New Mexico Genealogical Society.

Monday, June 6, 2016

A 2009 Trip To Las Ruedas, New Mexico (A Ghost Town)

Joe Encinas and Victor Ortiz Jr. worked with Gilbert Ortiz to make this visit possible. The old Las Ruedas town site on the Pecos River about a mile from Rowe. Ms. Jane Fonda was the owner of the Los Trigos Ranch at the time (2009) when the visit occurred. There is not much left and the town site is private land, it used to be part of the old Los Trigos Land Grant.

Donna and I found out about the planning for the visit and asked if we could come along. An interesting occurrence was that everyone who ended up there, with the exception of Donna, were related through the Archuletas.

My maternal great grandmother Mariana Duran Archuleta was the last person buried there sometime in the 1920's. Her body was brought to Las Ruedas from Rowe for burial.

Click on the images to make them larger.
Joe Encinas on the left and his dad Ruben Encinas on the right. Joe took this picture as well as the ones that follow. Ruben came up from Southern New Mexico. Joe was working on the Gila National Forest at the time, he is now in the Washington Office of the U.S. Forest Service..
On the left Victor Ortiz Jr., the late Gilbert Ortiz in the middle and Victor Ortiz Sr, on the right. Gilbert was the foreman of the Los Trigos Ranch owned by Jane Fonda where the old town site and church/cemetery ruins is located. It was good to see all of the Ortiz folks.
A corner of the old rock fence for the church and graveyard. It is crumbling and if it had not in the hands of Jane Fonda it would probably all be gone. I hope somehow it could be preserved, but I doubt it.
Another view of the rock wall around the old church site and cemetery.
Pot shards, more than likely of Indian manufacture as the New Mexicans did not do much, is any, of this.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Leading Facts Of New Mexico History, Volumes 1 And 2

Ralph Emerson Twitchell

Just bought Volume I and Volume II of the book "Leading Facts of New Mexico History" written by Ralph Emerson Twitchell. Read all about him at the website below;

Ole Ralphie was quite the character, he would upset the "Hispano" New Mexicans and the Pueblo Indians to no end. It is good to keep that in mind when reading his "Leading Facts of New Mexico History". These eminent historians had a way of putting their point, or slanted view, of history up front in their writings. Twitchell was no different.

Anyway, I had read the books from the library, but they were too expensive for me to buy. The other day I was on Amazon and looked up Ralph E. Twitchell and saw Volumes I and II for about $25.00 plus shipping. That my friends is a real bargain, especially hardcover, cloth bound in very good condition.

There are three other volumes which were written several years after volumes I and II. They contain additional material but these two are the real gems. I was super glad to find them at the price I did.

Anyway, I will dive into both volumes and hope to finish them by about Thanksgiving. Volume I is 506 pages and Volume II is 631 pages. My retention of material is average at best, so reading them a second time is well worth my time.

A closing quote from Twitchell:

"The writer of history, in his presentation of events occurring during a given period, may be compared to the lawyer in the preparation and presentation of a case...So the historical writer should not be merely a narrator, chronicler. He should not be the witness giving testimony. He should be the lawyer, the advocate, the painter, the artist evolving an historical picture for the mind and creating impressions which result in conclusions."

In other words convince the reader that your version of the "facts" are the true facts. Not sure this is the way to do history.