Jose Antonio Esquibel's Blog

October 28, 2014

The seventeenth-century extended family surname of Romero de Pedraza in New Mexico originated with the union of Matías Romero (son of Bartolomé Romero and doña Lucía Robledo) and doña Isabel de Pedraza. They were the progenitors of as many as forty-eight descendants born before the end of the seventeenth century.

Although the Pueblo Indian uprising of August 1680 claimed the lives of approximately nine to eleven members of this particular branch of the Romero family, archival records confirm that the greater majority of individuals with the surname of Romero returning to New Mexico in December 1693 were grandchildren of Matías Romero and doña Isabel de Pedraza. In contrast, there is no documentation to confirm that any male descendants of the brothers of Matías Romero —Bartolomé Romero and Agustín Romero— returned to New Mexico in 1693 or soon after.

The names of twelve grandchildren of Matías Romero and doña Isabel de Pedraza are still unknown. As such, it is very probable that several of the Romero individuals accounted for in the records of late seventeenth-century New Mexico were members of the Romero de Pedraza branch of the Romero family. The exceptions are the few Romero people returning to New Mexico who were members of the family of Alonso Romero, a mestizo who lived and worked in the household family of Felipe Romero (son of Matías Romero).

Matías Romero and his wife, doña Isabel de Pedraza, were the parents of four sons and two daughters, as identified by Diego Pérez Romero in his statement about his family background in 1663. Pérez Romero named his cousins in the following order: Pedro Romero, Francisco Romero, Bartolomé Romero, Felipe Romero, Luisa Romero and Catalina López Robledo (AGN, Inquisición, t. 372, f. 71v; and José Antonio Esquibel, “The Romero Family of Seventeenth Century New Mexico,” Part 1, Herencia, Vol. 1, Issue 1, January 2003, 8-9, and 10).

In March 1631, Fray Esteban de Perea, Comisario del Santo Oficio de la Inquisición, sought testimony from Matías Romero in a case against his brother-in-law, Gaspar Pérez, but Romero only stated he knew nothing about the matter in question (AGN, Inquisición, t. 372, exp. 16, f. 4, March 26, 1631, Santa Fe). He gave his age as twenty-seven, indicating he was born circa 1604, and declared he was a vecino of Santa Fe. It is apparent he was literate since he was able to sign his name. By 1631 Romero already held prominent military and social positions, serving as alguacil mayor (chief constable or high sheriff) of Santa Fe and alférez real, royal standard bearer (AGN, Inquisición, t. 372, exp. 16, ff. 4-4v).

In the same case, Fray Esteban interviewed doña Isabel de Pedraza in Santa Fe on June 22, 1631. She was identified as being age twenty-five (born circa 1606) and the wife of Alférez Matías Romero. The remarks of doña Isabel came from the gossip she heard about Juana de la Cruz, who was accused of killing two men with potions and witchcraft and investigated by the Inquisition around this same time period.

From the testimony of doña Isabel de Pedraza, it is learned she was born circa 1606 and that she was a first cousin of doña María de Archuleta (born circa 1611), the wife of Juan Márquez and a daughter of Asencio de Archuleta and Ana Pérez de Bustillos (AGN, Inquisición, t. 372, exp. 16, ff. 11r and 18v, Testimony of doña María de Archuleta, March 25, 1631). In all likelihood, Pedraza and Archuleta were related through their mothers, who were apparently two of the seven daughters of Alférez Juan Pérez de Bustillos (native of Mexico City, 1557) and María de la Cruz.

The Pérez de Bustillo family settled New Mexico in 1598 (Chávez, ONMF, 87). Since the names of only four of the seven Pérez de Bustillo daughters are known from historical records, it is likely that one of the unknown daughters was married with a Pedraza man, presumably Juan de Pedraza who came as a soldier to New Mexico in the army of don Juan de Oñate in 1598 (Chávez, ONMF, 89). Curiously, Juan de Pedraza, born circa 1568, was listed immediately before Bartlomé Romero in the January 1598 muster roll of soldiers of Oñate’s expedition recorded at Todos Santos (George P. Hammond, ed., and Agapito Rey, trans., Don Juan de Oñate and the Founding of New Mexico 1595-1628, University of Press, Albuquerque, 1953, 293). The other possibility, which is less likely, is that a Pedraza man was married with a sister of Asencio de Archuleta, a native of Eibar, Spain (Chávez, ONMF, 6).

As a member of the Santa Fe cabildo (town council) in 1639, Matías Romero and his compadre don Diego de Guadalajara, also a member of the cablido, took exception to fray Juan de Góngora’s declaration that he held “absolute power to introduce the Santa Cruzada without being presented to the cabildo or being received or accepted by it” (Adolph F.A. Bandelier and Fanny R. Bandelier, Historical Documents Relating to New Mexico, Nueva Vizcaya, and Approaches Thereto, to 1773, edited by Charles Wilson Hackett, Carnegie Institute of Washington, Washington, D.C., 1923, Vol. 3, 50-51). The cabildo contended they held authority to accept or reject the bulls of the Santa Cruzada, from which the alms of penitent individuals were used in defense of the New Mexico against hostile Indians (Bandelier and Bandelier, Historical Documents, Vol. 3, 57).

The political battle that ensued included the use of interdicts and excommunications on the part of Góngora against civil officials. In response, the Santa Fe cabildo sent a representative directly to Mexico City to seek recourse in their favor. This emissary was Gaspar Pérez, Romero’s brother-in-law, who served as procurador general of the kingdom of New Mexico and was sent to Mexico City with the written complaints of the cabildo. In this case, Matías Romero and his fellow cabildo members gained a political victory by diminishing what they viewed as the excessive and overreaching ecclesiastical authority of Fray Juan de Góngora.

Matías Romero spent many hours and days in the Casas de Cabildo. Before his death in 1646 he served as a regidor (town councilman) and alcalde ordinaro of the Villa de Santa Fe (AGN, Inquisición, t. 372, f. 71v). The date of death of doña Isabel de Pedraza is not known. Together, Matías Romero and doña Isabel de Pedraza are among some of the most common ancestors of individuals with deep Hispano family roots in New Mexico.

Read more about the Romero family of seventeenth-century New Mexico in José Antonio Esquibel. “The Romero Family of Seventeenth-Century New Mexico,” Part 1 in Herencia, Vol. 11, Issue 1, January 2003 and Part 2, in Herencia, Vol. 11, Issue 3, July 2003.
1 like · Like  •  0 comments  •  flag
Published on October 28, 2014 21:09 • 186 views • Tags: isabel-de-pedrara, matias-romero, perez-de-bustillo, romero-family

July 4, 2014

Excerpt from my Introduction to the book ‘The Santa Fe Presidio Soldiers: Their Contribution to the American Revolution’ by Henrietta Martinez Christmas (2006)—

When Carlos III, King of Spain, issued his decree of June 21, 1779, he threw down the proverbial gauntlet. Openly declaring as his enemy the King of Great Britain and all British subjects, Carlos III ordered the withdrawal of his ambassadors from London and informed his subjects of his will to cease all commerce with England. He authorized all of his vassals “to seek amends by way of reprisals and to commence hostilities, on land and by sea, against the subjects, ships and estates of His British Majesty, treating them as my true enemies and as their own.”

This decisive declaration of war set the course for the eventual support of the rebellious English colonies in the Americas by Spain and its American realms, which would tip the scale in favor of the freedom fighters in gaining the hard fought independence of the United States. The support came in the form of money collected as a one time, voluntary “donativo—donation” made by Spanish citizens capable of giving two pesos and by Indian citizens of the Spanish realms in the Americas who gave one pesos.

During the course of the past two decades, various efforts were conducted by members of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) to formally document the names of individuals of the Spanish Americas who gave funds to support the war against Great Britain during the time that the patriots of the United States of America fought for their independence against the British crown. These efforts, supported by volunteer efforts of several people of Colorado and New Mexico, resulted in the official recognition of numerous citizens of the Spanish Americas as patriots of the revolution of the United States of America. The volunteer efforts of several people of Colorado and New Mexico helped to identify and verify the names those citizens of New Mexico who gave funds to the cause.

Individuals such as Donna Santistevan, Harriet McCallum, Dr. Granville Hough, N.C. Hough, and Charles Martínez y Vigil worked diligently to document the names of New Mexican soldiers and civil officials who contributed money for Spain’s war against Great Britain. Virginia Sanchez and Henrietta Martinez Christmas have also made valuable contributions to raising the awareness about the New Mexican Spanish patriots through their articles published in various genealogical journals and online. Henrietta’s genealogical compilations of the immediate descendants of the soldiers of the Santa Fe Presidio recognized by the DAR and SAR, and found in her book, ‘The Santa Fe Presidio Soldiers’ (New Mexico Genealogical Society, 2006), serves as an essential reference for any person interested in submitting an application for membership into the DAR or SAR.

One of the main challenges in identifying which citizens of New Mexico gave money or goods towards the donativo is the fact that the lists of names and amount they gave have yet to be located in any archives in New Mexico, Mexico, Cuba, or Spain. In March 1784, it was officially acknowledge that a total of 3,677 pesos were collected from the citizens of New Mexico, consisting of 3,533 pesos and 3 reales in cash and 133 pesos and 5 reales in the form of grain, including contributions by Pueblo Indians. Of this total, 247 pesos were collected from the soldiers of the Santa Fe Presidio.

In the 1990s I had the opportunity to correspond with Donna Santiestevan of Colorado. She served on the National DAR Spanish Task Force and her research, with the assistance of translator Michael David Gray, resulted in the acceptance by the DAR of the twelve “alcaldes mayors—chief magistrates” of New Mexico Subsequently, Donna submitted her documented lineage as a descendant of Alcalde Mayor Antonio José Ortiz and was inducted into the DAR as the first women descendant of the New Mexican patriot of the Revolution of the United States of America.

Harriet McCallum, the Stephen Watts Kearny Chapter Regent of the DAR, picked up the torch in researching New Mexican patriots. In 2001, she sifted through various archival records to uncover a series of documents related to the participation of Spanish soldiers in the donativo process. I volunteered my time in translating the extracted documents that helped to determine the soldiers who served at the Santa Fe Presidio during the period of April 3, 1782 and November 18, 1782, including several key muster rolls. Harriet’s findings, which were accepted by the DAR in 2001, are presented in her book, ‘New Mexico’s Contributions to the American Revolutionary Cause’(2005).

Based on the acceptance by the DAR of Harriet’s findings, Eva Torres Aschenbrener stepped forward as a descendant of Santa Fe Presidio soldier Juan Luis de Herrera with the intent of proving her lineage for acceptance into the DAR. It was my privilege to compile many of the documents that confirmed Eva’s lineage. With the guidance of Harriet, Eva’s application was accepted and she was inducted into the DAR in March 2002 as the first female descendant of a New Mexico patriot soldier of the Santa Fe Presidio. Others have since followed.

Dr. Granville W. Hough, a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, took an interest in documenting the names of Spanish soldiers that served during the period of 1779 through 1783. Compiling lists of soldiers from archival documents and well-documented published sources, Dr. Hough and his daughter, N.C. Hough, produced names of soldiers from the various presidios of the northern frontier of the Spanish Americas. In addition, they produced the rationale for the SAR’s acceptance of Spanish soldiers who served in the Spanish army from 1779 through 1783. This rationale resulted in the acceptance of two descendants of California soldiers into the SAR in 1998.

The Hough’s then moved on to compile list of Spanish soldiers from Arizona and Northern Sonora, and then New Mexico, which included New Mexico’s two presidios, one in Santa Fe and one in El Paso. Dr. Hough enlisted the assistance of Charles Martínez y Vigil of New Mexico in documenting and compiling and the names of soldiers of the Santa Fe Presidio serving in the years 1779 through 1783, which also included information about the enlistment of these soldiers, a summary of their services record, as well as names of their wives and children if married. On September 25, 1999, I attended Charles’s induction ceremony held on the grounds of the Palace of the Governor’s, the site of the former Presidio de Santa Fe. Charles became the first male descendant of a New Mexican soldier to become a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Today, The DAR recognizes 136 soldiers of the Santa Fe Presidio ( and the SAR recognizes 173 soldiers of the Santa Fe Presidio and one Franciscan priest as patriots of the U.S. war of independence ( The DAR and the SAR are actively encouraging application of membership by descendant of the recognized New Mexico Patriots.

Virginia Sanchez and Henrietta Martinez Christmas have enthusiastically promoted the awareness of the New Mexico Patriots of the Revolution of the United States. Both have written articles and conducted presentations on the subject, and have made valuable contributions to this field of study.

Henrietta’s compilation of the immediate descendants of the New Mexican Patriot soldiers of the Santa Fe Presidio in her book, ‘The Santa Fe Presidio Soldiers,’ is a valuable resource for those who are descended of any one of the New Mexico Patriot soldiers. The well-researched genealogies of her book serve as an indispensable guide for any person interested in locating and collecting copies of original records necessary for completing an application for membership in the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution or the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.

The book, ‘The Santa Fe Presidio Soldiers: Their Contribution o the American Revolution’ by Henrietta Martinez Christmas can be ordered through the New Mexico Genealogical Society,
Like  •  0 comments  •  flag
Published on July 04, 2014 05:17 • 620 views • Tags: new-mexico-patriots, santa-fe-presidio

May 3, 2014

I'll be presenting at the upcoming conference of the Genealogical Society of Hispanic America that will be held in Westminster, CO (Denver area) on June 6-8. My presentation is currently scheduled for Sunday, June 8th, 1:30-3:30, and my topic is "The Formative Era of Nuevomejicano Culture, 1693-1700." Learn more about the conference at

Here is the description the presentation:

There is a persistent and common misconception that the Hispano cultural traditions of New Mexico originated with the founding of New Mexico as a Spanish realm in 1598. The common perception is that these traditions, transplanted directly from Spain, were adapted and maintained by descendants of the original Spanish colonists over the next four hundred years.

Hand in hand with this misconception is the misinformed conclusion that New Mexico’s Hispano culture, once established, continued to exist and develop in isolation to the rest of the Spanish realms. But culture does not exist without people. If we are to gain an understanding of the formation and evolution of New Mexican cultural traditions, we must study patterns of migration into the region.

The most active period of migration of Spanish citizens to New Mexico occurred between 1693 and 1695, during a time of great effort to achieve reconciliation between Spanish citizens and Pueblo Indians. Consequently, the formative era of New Mexico's imperial-era society really took place after the restoration of the region to the Spanish crown and during the period of December 1693 through 1720.

This presentation will touch on numerous families that settled New Mexico and established the foundation of Nuevomejicano culture and traditions.
1 like · Like  •  1 comment  •  flag
Published on May 03, 2014 05:52 • 141 views • Tags: genealogy-conference, new-mexico-culture

April 23, 2014

In 1998 I started the “Beyond Origins of New Mexico Families” Web site as a way to add to, expand on, and make corrections where needed to the genealogical information that was compiled by Fray Angélico Chávez in his book, “Origins of New Mexico Families” (1954). The BONMF site was discontinued in January 2007, but the pages of the site are still available online:

The idea for the BONMF Web site was generated from conversations between me and John B. “Jack” Colligan. In the early 1990s, we were aware that with the growing interest in Hispanic genealogy of New Mexico people were often covering the same ground of common family lines and there was little coordination and no venue to regularly inform people about new genealogical findings other than the quarterly Hispanic genealogy journals.

Using the Internet seemed like a way to keep information available on a regular basis for people to consult and a place to post new findings. It also allowed for people to contribute their findings, if they were so inclined to share.

Although most of the entries on the BONMF Web site were based on fragments of new genealogical information I was uncovering, other people generously contributed items and the BONMF Web site grew into a large amount of new material that was accessible online.

Here is a list of many of family names found in the BONMF material: Abeyta, Afán de Rivera, Alderete, Anaya Almazán, Albizu, Ángel, Apodaca, Aragón, Arellano, Armijo, Baca, Benavides, Borrego, Brito, Bustamante, Bustos, Casados, Castellano, Chaves, Crespín, Delgado, Domínguez, Durán, Espinosa, Esquibel, Estrada, Fernández de la Pedrera, Fresqui, Gallegos, González, Guadalajara, Gurulé, Hernández, Hurtado, Jojola, Jorge de Vera, Leyva, López de Gracia, López Castillo, López Gallardo, López Holguín, Lucero de Godoy, Luera, Luján, Luna, Madrid, Manzanares, Márquez, Martín Serrano, Mestas, Miera, Mondragón, Montes Vigil, Montoya, Mora, Moraga, Moreno de Trujillo, Ortiz, Padilla, Paredes, Peña, Perea, Pérez Granillo, Pino, Rael, Ramírez, Robledo, Romero, Roybal, Ruiz, Sáenz de Garvizu, Sáez, Salas, Sánchez, Silva, Trebol Navarro, Tenorio de Alba, Torres, Trujillo, Valdes, Vallejos, Valverde, Varela, Vásquez Borrego, Vásquez de Lara, Velarde, and Vera.
1 like · Like  •  0 comments  •  flag
Published on April 23, 2014 15:02 • 108 views • Tags: beyond-origins, new-mexico-genealogy

February 9, 2014

This past December, I had the pleasure of reading and writing a review for an exciting new book by Andrés Armijo titled "Por Constancia/So that it may be Validated: Family History in the Río Abajo" (Los Ranchos: LPD Press, 2014, 190 pages and 153 photos;

For anyone interested in learning how to utilize various family records and media sources from the late 1800s and the 1900s for documenting family history, I highly recommend this book.

For anyone interested in better understanding the development and expression of Nuevomejicano culture in the century and a half following New Mexico’s inclusion as part of the United States (1846-2000), this book offers many insights through the various generations of the family of Andrés Armijo.

Read what others have to say about the book at

Book signings are scheduled for:

Saturday, May 10, 2014, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Salon Ortega, 2-4pm, 1701 4th St. SW, Albuquerque, NM

Saturday, June 7, 2014 Treasure House Books, 1-3pm, 2012 S Plaza, Albuquerque, NM

Here is my review that appears as the Introduction in the book—

Place is not only defined by geography and landscape. A sense of place emerges and is sustained from the experiences of people and their relationship with each another as family and community in contact with landscape.

The connection of landscape and family is particularly compelling and personal for Nuevomejicanos whose family roots reach back in time many centuries. This is evident in the narrative of Andrés Armijo’s "Por Constancia/So that it may be Validated: Family History in the Río Abajo" and in his motivation to research and write the book.

Armijo skillfully combines family history, sense of place, and cultural expressions with historical documents, personal stories, written words and audio recordings of relatives, photographs, and historical context to illustrate a vibrant pattern of cultural development and expression of the people of New Mexico’s Hispano Río Abajo.

Covering a period of time from the mid-1800s through the twentieth century, each chapter illustrates that people are vessels of culture, transmitting the expression of customs and traditions from one generation to the next. This period offers different forms of historical documentation that were not available prior to 1850, which Armijo highlights with sources from his own extended family.

"Por Constancia/So that it may be Validated: Family History in the Río Abajo" is an exceptional guide for those who want to better understand Nuevomejicano culture and how to document their own family history. Andrés Armijo offers valuable examples and instructions for documenting and recording family history, emphasizing the use of written, photographic, audio, and video sources from the late nineteenth century and the twentieth century.

Armijo provides insights into the value of these forms of documented family history, which contain any combination of expressions of language, religion, folklore, local history, and the threads of long-standing customs and traditions.

The noted humanist geographer, Yi-Fu Tuan, who once lived and taught in New Mexico, wrote that “A town or neighborhood comes alive through the artistry of a scholar who is able to combine detailed narrative with discerning vignettes of description, further enriched by old photographs and sketches” (Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience, 1977). In this regard, Andrés Armijo succeeds in the scholarly artistry of "Por Constancia/So that it may be Validated: Family History of the Río Abajo."
Like  •  0 comments  •  flag
Published on February 09, 2014 18:57 • 210 views • Tags: andres-armijo, por-constancia, rio-abajo

February 8, 2014

Robert D. Martínez and I teamed up for an exciting article on the genealogy of the Jirón de Tejeda-Leyva y Mendoza-Afán de Ribera families. Part 1 of this research appears in the Summer 2013 issue of “El Farolito” (Vol. 16, No 2), consisting of 27 pages of research with digital images of the original records, transcriptions and translations of key records, and genealogy charts.

The Summer 2013 issue of “El Farolito” was just published at the end of January 2014 and can be ordered along with the other three issues of 2013 by downloading a subscription form at:

In addition to records related to Tomás Jirón de Tejeda (b. 1663, Mexico City) and doña Josefa González de Aragón Coronel y Salinas (native of Querétaro) and to Tomas’ brother, Diego Jirón de Tejeda (1666, Mexico City), based on research I conducted in the late 1990s, Robert D. Martínez uncovered records that extend the genealogy of María de Leyva y Mendoza, the mother of the Jirón del Castillo sisters by Mexico City native Francisco Afán de Ribera.

Take a look at your genealogy charts and database. If you are descended of the following couples, you will be interested in the genealogy of María de Leyva y Mendoza, which Robert extended back to the early 1600s in Mexico City:

• Maria Jirón del Castillo, also known as María Ribera, who married April 5, 1728, Sam Ildefonso, NM, Felipe Nero Sisneros.

• Antonia Jirón also known as Antonia Ribera, who married Francisco II Montes Vigil.

• Josefa del Castillo,who married José Manuel Apodaca.

• Nicolasa del Castillo, who married Antonio Romero (the parents María Romero, among others, who married and Juan Antonio Baca; and the grandparents of Luis Cabeza de Baca, progenitor of the C’de Baca family of New Mexico)

Robert located records on the parents and grandparents on both sides of the family of María de Leyva y Mendoza, who was also known as María de Piña Díaz de Brito.

Part 2 of this research will appear in the Winter 2013 issue of “El Farolito,” slated for publication in April 2014 and will feature historical and genealogical information regarding Francisco Afán de Ribera.
Like  •  0 comments  •  flag
Published on February 08, 2014 17:37 • 103 views • Tags: afan-de-ribera, jiron-de-tejeda, leyva-y-mendoza

December 15, 2013

The research for Part 3 of The Genealogy of Luis Gallegos de Terrazas and Pascuala de Rueda” took a considerable amount of time and effort to research and write. Marietta Vigil Gonzales and Albert J. Gallegos travelled long distances and made contact with various people to acquire documentation and source citations. They shared their research findings with me, as well as research findings of Mary D. Taylor, who was hired by Gerald J. Mandell to conduct research at the Durango Archives. Mandell managed to acquire copies of some very important documents regarding land acquisition and land disputes that occurred in the late 1500s in the Valle de La Poana.

I spent a year organizing the material, following up on leads, and conducting additional research into primary and secondary sources regarding the Burruel de Luna and Quiroga families. In the process I read several books related to the early history of Zacatecas, the Villa de Nombre de Dios, and Durango to gain a firm understanding of the history of the region and the people who explored and settled the various mining towns of the northern frontier, which includes ancestors of the Gallegos family of New Mexico.

Part 3 features the history and genealogy of the family of Pascuala de Rueda in the region of Zacatecas, Las Minas de San Martín and the jurisdiction of Nombre de Dios from around 1550 into the early 1600s. The members of her family were among the earliest Spanish settlers of Spain most northern frontier in the Americas. Their tenacity and perseverance in the face of hostile bands of Chichimec Indians made a valuable contribution to the expansion of the frontier that resulted in the exploration and formation of the region that became known as Nueva Vizcaya.

Go to to join the organization in order to receive the upcoming issue of Herencia that will feature Part 3 of the Gallegos family history and genealogy and to order back issues from 2012 (Part 1) and 2013 (Part 2).

Here is an excerpt from Part 3 of “The Genealogy of Luis Gallegos de Terrazas and Pascuala de Rueda,” by José Antonio Esquibel, Marietta V. Gonzales and Albert J. Gallegos, which is forthcoming in “Herencia,” Vol. 22, Issue 1, January 2014—

"Although there is yet no documentation to confirm the names of the parents of Pascuala de Rueda, there is sufficient evidence to link her to the Borruel de Luna family of the Valle de la Poana in the jurisdiction of Nombre de Dios, Nueva Vizcaya. The evidence uncovered to date is stronger for making a link to Juan Borruel de Luna and his wife, doña Ana de Gamarda, as the parents of Pascuala de Rueda.

Juan Borruel de Luna was already residing in the Valle de la Poana, Nueva Vizcaya, by August 15, 1572, when he received a grant of two caballerías of land, and another two caballerías were granted to him on August 25, 1572.124 Presumably, he and doña Ana de Gamarda were already married by that time. Her father, the blacksmith, miner, and cattle ranching frontiersman Pedro de Quiroga, received a grant of a very large tract of land on which he established one of the most remote haciendas of Spain’s northern frontier in the 1550s in the Valle de la Poana. In fact, Juan Borruel de Luna probably received land in that valley as part of doña Ana’s dowry and upon her father’s death she inherited his large estate.

The origins of Pedro de Quiroga are seemingly lost to the passing of time and memory. Despite an exhaustive search of both published and archival sources, there is no hint of his place of birth or any indication of when he arrived in the Americas. The earliest account of Quiroga is from April 1550 when he was already a vecino of the silver mining frontier boomtown of Zacatecas in Nueva Galicia.

Almost immediately following the great silver strike at Zacatecas men explored the region in search of additional deposits of silver ore. Exciting new discoveries led to the establishment of additional mining communities. Silver was first discovered around 1555-1556 at the site of San Martín, located northwest of Zacatecas. These mines were christened San Martín because several of the men who made the discovery were named Martín, including Martín Pérez de Uranzu, Martín de Rentería, Martín de Urrutia, Martín de Oñes, and Martín de Zárraga.

It was not until 1558 that the mining community of San Martín became a formal settlement with thirty vecinos and one friar established under the leadership of Francisco de Ibarra. Pedro de Quiroga was remembered as a first settler and miner of the Minas de San Martín, arriving in 1556.

From the Reales y Minas de San Martín, Pedro Quiroga ventured in 1556 with a small company of men into the river valley located to the west of San Martín that came to be known as the Valle de la Poana. Despite the constant threat of Indian attacks, Quiroga sought to settle the valley. He managed to acquire a grant of land in this valley where he established a hacienda and began raising livestock and farming.

Francisco de Ibarra, the future governor of the realm of Nueva Vizcaya, received permission to explore the region north of Nueva Galicia and locate suitable sites for future settlements. The impetus for this exploration was the desire of fray Gerónimo de Mendoza to convert the Chichimec tribes, in particular those who were more peaceful.

In 1561, Ibarra recruited men from various mining towns of the region of Zacatecas, one of whom was thirty-five year old Miguel Gallegos who was then living in Las Minas de Chalchihuites. Gallegos recounted the following in 1570 —

‘It was nine years ago, more or less, that this witness was residing at Las Minas de Chalchuihuites that he joined the said Francisco de Ybarra along with other soldiers at the Minas de San Martín from where they left for the estancia of Pedro de Quiroga because fray Gerónimo de Mendoza of the Order of San Francisco, desired to enter the interior land to see the land and with the intention to convert the natives. This witness and others went to the estancia of the said Pedro de Quiroga, where the said friar was [staying], and from there the said Francisco de Ybarra and the other soldiers entered the interior land and went to the present site where the Villa del Nombre de Dios was founded and settled.’

Pedro de Quiroga was one of the people responsible for the establishment of the Villa del Nombre de Dios, and his favorable support of this endeavor is apparent in that he gave land from his holdings to found the villa. This was a strategic move to create a buffer between his land in the Valle de la Poana and the hostile bands of Chichimec Indians by pushing the frontier border further north.

Land and cattle barons like Pedro de Quiroga and Juan Borruel de Luna transformed the wilderness of the northern frontier into a cattle ranching frontier while still maintaining an interest in mining. They, like other large-scale ranchers, received grants of extensive tracts of land for grazing cattle, sheep and goats. The names of the owners of livestock operations often found their way into the geography of the region, such as ‘el potrero de Juan Borruel y otras que van hacia el Paso de Quiroga,’ ‘the pasture grounds of Juan Borruel and others that go up to Quiroga Pass.’”
1 like · Like  •  0 comments  •  flag
Published on December 15, 2013 21:31 • 409 views • Tags: ana-de-gamarda, juan-burruel-de-luna, luis-gallegos-de-terrazas, pascuala-de-rueda, pedro-de-quiroga

December 7, 2013

Some of you may be familiar with the wonderful quarterly magazine La Herencia del Norte that was published by Ana Pacheco between 1994 and 2009. It was a publication of articles dedicated to preserving Nuevomejicano culture and tradition with contributions by anyone willing to write a brief article and share stories from their own experience, stories from the lives of their family members and relatives, or from archival sources.

Ana Pacheco has just launched a new Web site building on the excellent tradition of La Herencia del Norte as a forum for “Celebrating New Mexico’s History, Culture and Heritage:”

Join me in spreading the word about Ana’s new digital format. In addition to obtaining digital copies of any of the previously published magazine issue, you can watch this site expand with new articles. Click on the link for Family Histories and read the first two inaugural digital articles, one by Henrietta Martinez Christmas titled “The Highly Regarded Blacksmith” and the other written by me titled “Origins of New Mexico Families: An Indispensible Source for Nuevomejicano Genealogy Research.”

You can also be a contributor. Consider writing a short article about the people in your family pictures and submitting it to Ana Pacheco for publication online. See the submission guidelines on the Family Histories page.

Bookmark her page and tell family and friends about it. Visit the page every so often to read new postings and learn about books regarding Nuevomexicano history, culture and traditions. Browse through the tables of contents of the digital copies of the previously published issues of La Herencia del Norte and even download the comprehensive index of all issues.
2 likes · Like  •  0 comments  •  flag
Published on December 07, 2013 08:53 • 380 views • Tags: ana-pacheco, new-mexico, nuevomejicano

September 3, 2013

A review of "Juan Dominguez de Mendoza: Soldier and Frontiersman of the Spanish Southwest, 1627-1693" (UNM Press, 2012) appeared in the April 2013 issue of Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Volume 116, Number 4, pp. 412-413. Read the review at:

Also, if you don't have the book in hard copy or as an e-book, you can read a sample with a good portion of the Introduction and several documents in translation at:
1 like · Like  •  0 comments  •  flag
Published on September 03, 2013 20:34 • 208 views • Tags: eleanor-b-adams, france-v-scholes, jose-antonio-esquibel, juan-dominguez-de-mendoza, marc-simmons, new-mexico

August 20, 2013

I am very pleased to make available to the current New Mexico genealogy audience the important study of my friend and colleague, the late John B. ‘Jack’ Colligan. This study, titled “Vargas’ 1693 Recruits for the Resettlement of New Mexico,” appears in four issues of “El Farolito,” the journal of the Olibama López Tushar Hispanic Legacy Research Center (, Summer 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2012, and Spring 2013. This work was originally published in the “Genealogical Journal: Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research,” Vol. II, 1995, pages 169-215.

The re-publication of Jack’s work would not be possible without the permission granted by board members of the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research (SHHAR) to republish Jack’s work. Learn more about SHHAR at and view their regular e-newsletter, Somos Primos, at To receive a free subscription to Somos Primos with no membership required, send an e-mail request to Mimi Lozano at

Jack was an Armijo through the side of his mother’s family and traced his Hispano genealogy to many of New Mexico’s common ancestors. Jack not only had a passion for researching New Mexico history and family genealogies, he believed in making the research available to other people.

Jack came up with an idea to publish a companion volume to Fray Angélico Chávez’s Origins of New Mexico Families with new genealogical information on New Mexico families of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in order to not only share new information but to also prevent duplication of research efforts and to build off new research findings to continue to advance the documented lineages and history of New Mexico families. Instead of a book, the Internet was utilized with the establishment of the “Beyond Origins of New Mexico Families” Web site in May 1998.

Of particular interest to Jack was the identification of people who came to New Mexico as settlers between 1693 and 1695. He was one of the few people who owned a hard copy set of the eleven volumes of “New Mexico Roots, Ltd.: A Demographic Perspective from Genealogical, Historical and Geographic Data Found in the Diligencias Matrimoniales or Pre-Nuptial Investigations (1678-1869) of the Archives of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe,” (unpublished, 1982), consisting of a summary prenuptial investigation documents for numerous New Mexico couples seeking license to marry in the Catholic Church. Having immediate access to this source was extremely important in Jack’s research in the 1990s. Jack’s ability to read Spanish and the old Spanish script served as a valuable skill for digging into microfilm copies of records of the Spanish Archives of New Mexico and other archival sources.

Jack’s study of the families and individuals recruited by don Diego de Vargas, Governor of New Mexico, in 1693 is actually part of trilogy that complements two other published studies, The Spanish Recolonization of New Mexico: An Account of the Families Recruited at Mexico City in 1693 (Albuquerque: Hispanic Genealogical Research Center of New Mexico, 1999) by José Antonio Esquibel and John B. Colligan and The Juan Páez Hurtado Expedition of 1695: Fraud in Recruiting Colonists for New Mexico (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press) by John B. Colligan, concerning the families recruited in the jurisdiction of Zacatecas in early 1695.

Jack and I originally intended to publish a comprehensive study of the 1694 and 1695 settlers under the title of “The Spanish Resettlement of New Mexico, 1694 and 1695: An Account of Families that came from Nueva España, Nueva Galicia and Nueva Vizcaya.” If this work had progressed as a whole, it would have also included the study of the 1693 Vargas recruits. As it turned out, the material was published separately.

In addition to the use of the prenuptial investigation summaries compiled in “New Mexico Roots, Ltd.,” Jack acquired copies of the two versions of the list of settlers that he referred to as the “1697 cattle distribution census” and shared photocopies with me. This list served as a critical source in our combined research efforts to identify the settlers recruited from the various regions south of New Mexico. Jack and I studied this list carefully, reviewing it multiple times, making an analysis of the census, comparing the names in the census to those in Origins of New Mexico Families and to the names found in the surviving lists of groups of settlers recruited between 1693 and 1695 and names from the Spanish Archives of New Mexico. This valuable census list was eventually published in Volume IV of the Vargas Project, John L. Kessell, Rick Hendricks, and Meredith Dodge, eds., Blood on the Boulder’s Blood on the Boulders: The Journals of Don Diego de Vargas, New Mexico,1694-97,” Book 2 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998), 1138-1158.

Jack was the first person I know about to make use of the dossier of documents pertaining to the investigation into misconduct by Governor don Diego de Vargas in 1698 to begin sorting out the identity of the new settlers and to determine when they arrived in New Mexico.

The largest group was comprised of families with roots in New Mexico prior to August 1680, such as the Anaya Almazán, Apodaca, Archultea, Baca, Candelaria, Durán y Chaves, Fresquez, Gallegos, González, Griego, Herrera, Holguín, Hurtado, Leyba, Lucero de Godoy, López, López del Castillo, Luján, Luna, Madrid, Maese, Manzanares, Márquez, Martín Serrano, Mestas, Mondragón, Montaño, Montoya, Nieto, Pacheco, Perea, Romero, Sánchez, Sedillo, Serna, Sisneros, Tapia, Torres, Trujillo, Valencia, Varela Jaramillo, Varela de Losada.

Among this group were some soldiers that married into the New Mexico families during the years of exile in the jurisdiction of El Paso del Río del Norte, such as Antonio Córdova, Alonso Rael de Aguilar, Juan Páez Hurtado, and Ignacio de Roybal y Torrado, as well as the African military drummer, Sebastián Rodríguez.

The second largest group of settlers, almost all consisting of family groups and people designated as “españoles,” was recruited in Mexico City between March and September 1694. Of the 236 individuals that started out from Mexico City in mid-September 1693, 217 arrived at the Villa de Santa Fe in the early morning hours of June 23, 1694. Family names brought to New Mexico by this group included Ansures, Aragón, Atencio (Atienza), Bustos (Bustillos), Cárdenas, Casados, Castellanos, Cortés, García Jurado, Góngora, Jaramillo Negrete, Jirón de tejeda, Márquez de Ayala, Mascareñas, Molina, Moya, Ortiz, Quintana, Sandoval Martínez, Sena, Silva, Valdes, and Vega y Coca.

Captain Juan Páez Hurtado recruited the third largest group of settlers during the early months of 1695 in the jurisdiction of Zacatecas in Nueva Galicia. Identification of each of the people and families of this group proved challenging because of the fraud involved in their recruitment.

A detailed study of this group has accounted for approximately 150 individuals. There were twenty-five families with thirty-nine heads of households and ninety children. In addition, there were twenty-one single people, sixteen men and five women, ranging in age from sixteen to thirty-one. Twenty-two of the twenty-five households are listed in the 1697 census of pobladores as receiving livestock. This is based on Jack’s study published as The Juan Páez Hurtado Expedition of 1695: Fraud in Recruiting Colonists for New Mexico. Families featured among these settlers included the Arellano, Armijo, Lobato, Montes Vigil, Olivas, Ribera, Rodarte, and Tenorio de Alba.

The smaller group of settlers recruited by Vargas in 1693 is the least studied of the four main groups of people that resettled northern New Mexico in the 1690s. There is no known archival list of all of those recruited as part of this group. Jack was the first to produce an account of this little known group based on a considerable amount of investigation into primary sources. Unfortunately, his study, published in the 1995, remained obscure and inaccessible for many years. The re-publication in El Farolito of “Vargas’ 1693 Recruits for the Resettlement of New Mexico” allows for a few updates to Jack’s study and some additional historical information.

From March through June 1693, Governor don Diego de Vargas visited several towns in Nueva Galicia and Nueva Vizcaya in his attempt to collect the native New Mexico families that left the deplorable conditions of the jurisdiction of El Paso del Norte. He managed to entice only one former New Mexico family to return with him.

As Vargas travelled northward from Durango, he also solicited new volunteer settlers willing to go to New Mexico. Writing to the viceroy in June 1693, Vargas mentioned having recruited one hundred soldiers and fifty settlers, mainly from the towns of Zacatecas, Sombrerete and Durango (Kessell, Hendricks, and Dodge, eds., "To the Royal Crown Restored," 355). As he proceeded northward, he enlisted at least five more people, for a total of fifty-five new settlers by September 1693. Jack Colligan christened this least known group of settlers as the “Vargas’ Recruits.”

Arriving at El Paso del Río del Norte by mid-September, Vargas ordered the new settlers to continue northward under the command of Captain Roque de Madrid with instructions to establish new settlers with soldier escorts and several friars at the abandoned Pueblo of Socorro (Kessell, Hendricks, and Dodge, eds., "To the Royal Crown Restored," 373 and 381). There they would wait until Vargas and the old New Mexico families joined them. This small group of settlers re-blazed the tracks of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro and spent at least two months at the Pueblo of Socorro, Spain's most remote frontier territory outpost at that time in October 1693.

The settlers staying at Socorro consisted of at least fourteen families and eleven single people recruited by Vargas in addition to the friars and soldiers from El Paso del Río del Norte. Fifty-five people who were part of this group can be accounted for from various sources, and a total of forty-six of them were identified by caste status. There were nine adult españoles, six mulatos, four negros, four moriscos, two mestizos, two coyotes, and one Tarascan Indian. Of the children, sixteen were of mixed African ancestry, two of morisco background, and two Tarascan Indians.

Widowed women headed nine families with children, comprising probably thirty-two people, or fifty-nine percent of this group of settlers. There were only three married couples, two with children, totaling eight people. The rest of the expedition consisted of at least fourteen single men, most of who served as muleteers, and one single woman, a Tarascan Indian who served as a cook for the muleteers.

It was at the Paraje de Socorro that proceedings for the prenuptial investigation Xavier Romero and María de la Cruz were initiated on October 30, 1693, and the marriage took place on November 1st. Soon after, the older New Mexico families from El Paso del Río del Norte joined the new settlers at Socorro in the company of Governor Vargas. The entire group of men, women, children, soldiers, and Indian allies, proceeded northward with supply wagons and livestock to eventually arrive before the former Villa de Santa Fe in mid-December.

Although accorded the rights of pobladores, most of the individuals and families recruited by Governor Vargas in 1693 did not do as well socially in New Mexico as did the older New Mexico families and those recruited in Mexico City. Few attained important civil and military positions. Exceptional families of the Vargas recruits that achieved social prominence in New Mexico include the Abeyta, Benavides, Fernández Valerio, Ortega, Palomino Rendón, Romero, Sáez, Velásquez, and another Velasco/Velásquez family.

Read more about these families and others in the pages of "El Farolito," Summer 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2012, and Spring 2013.
2 likes · Like  •  6 comments  •  flag
Published on August 20, 2013 20:42 • 627 views • Tags: governor-vargas, john-b-colligan, new-mexico, settlers