The Baca / Douglas Genealogy and Family History Blog

13 October 2019

Collection of Socorro Family Obituaries

Click on this link: Collection of 419 Obituaries for a list of obituaries that I gathered on Evernote. Most of the obituaries for Socorro families. However, there are a few from my wife's family in the Midwest U.S.

If you wish me to email you a copy of any of these obituaries, please send me an email at and I'll email you a weblink to the particular obituary that you want. Please type "Evernote obituary request" in Subject line.

Collection of 419 Obituaries

01 January 2019

2019 New Year's Resolution

So my 2018 New Year's Resolution was to have 12,500 names in my database by the end of the year. Well, it didn't happen. Mostly because I stopped working on my genealogy in the Spring or Summer. I also was supposed to try to publish volume one of my Socorro Land Grant book. Well, that didn't happen either, for pretty much the same reason.

My 2019 New Year's Resolution is to get to 12,500 names and publish my book. Let's see if it happens this year.

31 December 2017

2018 New Year's Resolutions

For the past couple of years I have made a few genealogical resolutions. This year, I'm going to make only two. Last year I said - among other things - that I would have at least 10,000 names on my database. As you can see, I surpassed that goal:

I have 10,403 people on my database. My 2018 resolution is to have 12,500 names by the end of the year.

Last year, I said that I would publish the first volume of my Socorro Land Grant book. Well, I sort of did it. I published an "Advance Copy" of "The Socorro Land Grant, Part I" on Kindle. My 2018 resolution is to publish a print version of the book. I have to do a little more research on about four families, clean up some stuff, and write a narrative. I hope to publish the book by late Spring or early Summer. Meanwhile, enjoy the Kindle version of my (uncompleted) book.

See you next year!

31 December 2016

1897 Obituary: Manuel Gallegos y Baca (with genealogy reports)

I found an obituary for a certain Manuel Gallegos y Baca in the 12 March 1897 issue of "The Chieftain" newspaper (Socorro, NM.)

Manuel Gallegos y Baca, of this city, died at his home last Sunday morning, and the funeral ceremony and burial took place the following day. The deceased was born at Belen, January 1st 1819, and came to Socorro in the early thirties. He was married in 1840 to Maria Quitira Garcia, who died about two years ago. They had ten chidren of whom seven survive, viz: Manuel, Fernando, Florentino, Felicitas, Juanita, Martin and Emilia, who are all married.

Source:  Obituary: Manuel Gallegos y Baca, The Chieftain (Socorro, New Mexico), 12 March 1897; online archives ( : accessed 30 December 2015).

You can access the obituary here.

I did a little bit of research, and was able to find some information about his and his wife's ancestry.  Below I show that ancestry through their daughter Maria Dolores Gallegos. I have particular interest in this family because one of their descendants Eloisa Stackpole married my great granduncle Ricardo Zimmerly. Click on the links below to see descendant and ancestry charts of this family.

Descendants of Manuel Gallegos

Ancestors of Maria Dolores Gallegos

Correction: My distant cousin M.W.H. pointed out on Facebook that I forgot to mention that Manuel Gallegos' grandson Herminio Torres also married a Zimmerly, my great grandaunt Gertrudes Zimmerly. This is true. I actually have him listed in the "Descendants of Manuel Gallegos" report above, but I forgot to mention him specifically in this post. Sorry! - Robert J.C. Baca, 1 January 2017.

2017 Genealogy Resolutions

Well, it's that time again: 2016 is about to close. It is time to make genealogy resolutions.

For 2016, I said that I was going to do three things:
1. I was going to enter enough names in my genealogy database to have 10,000 names. Well, this is what actually happened:

As you can see, as of a few minutes ago, I have only 8,613 names in my database. I'm 1,400 short. I chalk this up to making sure my database included quality research, rather than quantity. Right.
2. I said that I would publish a book on the Socorro Land Grant families. Well, I'm still working on it. I've registered a book publishing company with the state and city, but I'm probably 2 or 3 months away from finishing this project.
3. I said that I would publish articles in a number of publications this year. I didn't publish one *darn* article in ANY journal this year. Oops.
So, what are my resolutions for this year:
1. Get to the 10,000 mark on my database. That's doable. I added nearly 2,000 names this year.
2. Publish part I of my Socorro Land Grant book. Yes! I can do this.
3. Maybe publish an article or two in a journal or newspaper I haven't published in before. I can do this.
4. Complete my indexing of Socorro death certificates found on I indexed quite a lot this year already. I think I can finish. See my other blog, The Socorro Land Grant Research Project, for the death certificates I've already indexed.
That's it! Four resolutions this year, instead of three. I guess I never learn.
Happy New Year!

24 November 2016

Obituaries for two Bourguignon siblings

Felipe Bourguignon and Carolina (Bourguignon) Baca were children of Civil War Union Army Sergeant Philip Bourguignon, and his wife Maria Tomasa Gonzales. Felipe, one of the elder Bourguignon children, was born circa August 1861. Carolina, one of the youngest children, was born on 3 July 1882 in Lemitar, New Mexico.

According to his obituary, Felipe died in hospital in Albuquerque on 5 February 1954. He was 92 years old. Carolina's Bourguignon's obituary stated that she was 80 years old when she died on 17 May 1963. Both obituaries were published in the Albuquerque Journal.

Below are my transcriptions of the obituaries:

Socorro Resident 92; Dies Here
Felipe Bourguignon, 92, of Socorro, died Friday in an Albuquerque hospital.
He is survived by four daughters, Mrs. Andres Romero and Mrs. J.O. Gallegos, both of Albuquerque, Mrs. Mary Bourguignon of Socorro, and Mrs. Estanislado Armijo of Bayard; one sister Mrs. Juan Baca of Socorro; 14 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are pending with Garcia Mortuary.
Source: Death notice: Felipe Bourguignon, Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 6 February 1954, p. 10. Microfilm.

BACA - Carolina B. Baca, 80, died in Socorro Friday. She is survived by four sons, Lorenzo B. Baca, Robert B. Baca, Phillip B. Baca, and Martin B. Baca; and one daughter, Prescilla B. Baca, all of Socorro, and eight grandchildren. Recitation of the rosary will be at 7:30 this evening at Steadman Memorial Chapel in Socorro. Requieum mass will be said at 9 a.m. Tuesday in San Miguel Church in Socorro. Interment will be in San Miguel cemetery. Steadman Funeral Home is in charge.

Source: Obituary: Carolina Baca, Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 20 May 1963, Albuquerque Genealogy LAN.

 Carolina's son Robert B. Baca was my grandfather.

Additional Sources: 
1900 U.S. Census, Socorro County, Territory of New Mexico, population schedule, Precinct No. 1, Socorro City, enumeration district (ED) 135, p. 4B, dwelling # 109, family # 109, Felipe Bourgingon (sic); digital images, Ancestry, Library Edition ( : accessed 14 February 2016).

Personal tombstone research. Carolina B. Baca tombstone, San Miguel Cemetery, Socorro, New Mexico.

29 March 2016

Death by "summer complaint" - Lilly Florence Baca, 1933

My paternal grandparents lost three of their children. One child was Lilly Florence Baca, who was born on April 30, 1933 and died four months and one day later on August 30, 1933.

Her death certificate indicates that she died of bronchial pneumonia, brought on by "Summer complaint" and infectious diarrhea. I had not heard of "Summer complaint", so I decided to look it up.

According to, "Summer complaint" is

1. an acute condition of diarrhea, occurring during the hot summer months chiefly in infants and children, caused by bacterial contamination of food and associated with poor hygiene.
It looks like she died of food poisoning. She was the daughter of Robert Bourguignon Baca and Maria Teresa Torres.
"Socorro County Death Certificates, 1932 - 1935," database, Family Search ( accessed 29 March 2016), death certificate: Lilly Florence Baca, DOD August 30, 1930.
Definition: summer complaint,, , accessed 29 March 2016. 

05 February 2016

Lieut. Edward Zimmerly mentioned in AP article, January 1944.

As I've been doing research on B-17 bomber Navigator Lieut. Edward Zimmerly, my maternal grandmother's cousin, I have become more appreciative of what he and others of "the Greatest Generation" sacrificed for his country. Lieut. Zimmerly made the ultimate sacrifice. On April 11, 1944, he was killed on board the Flying Fortress nicknamed the "Chief Cooke and his Bottle Washers". However, before that fateful flight,  exactly three months earlier, Zimmerly survived a harrowing bombing mission over Germany, navigating a B-17 nicknamed "The Hit Parade".  According to an email I received, this plane was so damaged in the raid that Lieut. Zimmerly and his fellow crew members were reassigned to other bombers. It was his first mission with the "Chief Cooke..." in which he was killed by enemy fire. His body jettisoned by his crewmates before the bomber crashed and the crew were captured. His body was later recovered.

The January 11th mission's story is brilliantly told in an AP report published in the Milwaukee Journal. I have transcribed the article for easier reading. You can find the digital image of  the actual article at this link. Please note how Edward is described navigating his plane to safety.

Milwaukee Journal, January 14, 1944. Page 2.

Americans Went Through to Targets in Spite of Desperate Opposition

by Gladwin Hill

London, England - (AP) - It was a grim aerial game of musical chairs, with one bomber moving up, step by step, taking the place of others shot down.

It was a shell fragment slicing an astonished gunner's ammunition belt and a boy jabbing himself with a morphine needle to numb an aching shoulder.

It was the hell of a plane plunging wildly, with no certainty it was ever going to come out of it.

The whole story of one of the war's great battles in American air bombarment of a central Germany Tuesday probably never will be told because it is a thousand things to thousands of men.

More than 700 bombers spread over many miles of sky, and each one's experience was different. Some got through unscathed and their crews couldn't believe that 60 of their bombers went down. Other fliers were amazed that they ever got home.

Aiming Close to Berlin

It started like other missions. Turning out in the blackness of an early winter morning. The briefing room. Red lines on a map. Main objectives: Three of the Nazis' prime fighter plants - a major stroke in the campaign to knock out the German air force and clinch air supremacy for invasion - plants hardly a hundred miles from Berlin.

"I kind of expected all hell to break loose." said Forterss Pilot Bernard Davey of Atlanta, Ga. "As we headed into enemy territory I kept thinking of the crew. With a good crew you always have a better chance of coming back."

The American bombers flew over one large, dead, black city. There was little traffic on German highways, but lots of trains were chuffing along.

The Nazis quickly ascertained that raiders with a 500 plane fighter escort were coming either for the capital or those prize industrial targets hidden deep in Germany. The Germans threw up everything they had - an array of single engined and twin engined fighters and even the Stukas originally made to frighten Frenchmen into their trenches - not to do aerial battle. There was their desperate, eleventh hour gadgets - tow bombs, rocket planes.

Nazis Attack Over Holland

"The enemy fighters started their attack over Holland at the Zunider Zee - in spite of our escort they came at us in bunches," said Brig. Gen. Robert Travis of Savannah, Ga., leader of one formation.

"Our first attack was from four Focke Wulfs, the next from 30, then from 12. They they just kept on coming. They attacked straight through our formation and from all angles without even rolling over."

The attack gathered intensity as the bombers fanned out toward Brunswick, Halberstandt and Oschersleben. As the factories came into bombardier's sights, mechanisms clicked and with a clank in the bomb bays thousands of squat projectiles nosed down through five miles in thin air.

"It was a perfect day for bombing and we could see plenty of damage," said Lieut. John Raedeke of Waterville, Minn.

The German fighters hadn't saved their spawning places.

But to the rivet gun hammering of thousands of American machine guns the Nazi rocket planes welled around like football lines or a naval flotilla and let fly with broadsides. Swifter enemy fighters zoomed in to the follow up.

Planes Drop "Like Flies"

The sky was smudged thicker and thircker with black explosions. Jagged fragments of German steel zinged through layers of American duralumin, clanked against American armor plate - and slashed into American flesh.

"I saw our right wing man go down in the smoke," said Waist Gunner Sergt. Everett E. Hudson of West Point, Miss., "and when I looked out the other waist window our left wing man was gone, too. It seemed as if planes were dropping like flies - ours as well as theirs."

"We were at the back of the formation when we started," Raedeke said. "But every time a Fort would go down we would move up. By the time we got hit we were in the lead squadron."

"Those fighters were coming in frantically mad - and personally I was scared." Bombardier Lieut. Walter Gibson of Lyndon, Ill., confessed.

The ninth German nailed by Raedeke's "Hit Parade" crew plunged out of control and hit a near-by Fortress, which burst into flame and crashed down across Hit Parad's tail, shearing off most of the stabilizers.

Pulls Plane Out of Spin

"After a complete loop we went into a spin." Raedeke said. "I told the boys to bail out. Before they could, I got the plane out of the spin. Five fighters were on our tail, so I kept diving. Four of them dropped off and we went into a cloud. When we came out the other fighter was gone."

On a hundred other ships, shells were smashing interphone lines over which men were frantically signaling. Fragments were cutting oxygen lines, sending men groping for emergency bottles. Forty below zero gales froze gunners' faces and hands.

Bleeding men were lifted into the protection of radio rooms. Their uniforms were cut away and sulfanilamide poweder was poured into their wounds. Thick, muscular hands fumbled with tiny morphine needles.

The Germans kept after them most of the way back to the coast - two hours or more.

Dusk was gathering and the weather was thickening. In the nose of the Hit Parade, Navigator Lieut. Edward Zimmerly of Socorro, N.M., lay flat on his face, peering through the glass for his home field.

Many set down at the first base they saw to get as or aid the wounded. Lieut. Jack Watson of Indianapolis came back all by himself in a plane so battered and burning he had made the rest of the crew bail out as soon as they were over England.

Sixty of the bombers and five of fighters didn't come back - less than half the casualties claimed in the hysterical communique from Hitler's headquarters - and only a third of the German casualties were admitted in the communique.

Most of the American fliers came back - battered but undaunted - to find new replacement planes and crews waiting on the runways for the next time and to hear from the lips of high officials at home they'd done a worthwhile job.

The Germans had lost one of the war's big battles.

Ancestry of Lieut. Edward Zimmerly

24 January 2016

Socorro High School Class of 1931

My grandmother Pablita (or Pauline) Zimmerly was the class valedictorian of the Socorro High School (Socorro, New Mexico) graduating class of 1931.

Here is some information about that class:

Class Roll:
Max Baca
Salomon Chavez
Walter Herkenhoff
Cristobal Romero
Matias Torres
Flora Baca
Edna Miller
Tersilla Olguin
Josephine Sickles
Juanita Sisneros
Pauline Zimmerly
Walter Darr

Class Motto: "Dig"
Class Flower: Poppy
Class Colors: Blue and Gold

It would be interesting to find out who these students were. If my grandmother were alive today, she would be 106 years old (born 10 December 1909.)

Click here to see a copy of the graduation program posted on Evernote.

03 January 2016

New Years Resolution 2016

It's the New Year! I may be a couple of days late, but I've decided to make a few of resolutions.

1. Take a look at the image below. This is my current genealogy database properties. Notice that there are currently 6,437 people in my database. I wish to have 10,000 by the end of the year. That means that I need to add 3,563 names to my database. If I add at least 10 names per day from now until the end of the year, I can make that goal. You, gentle reader, can help me by sending me obituaries, family group sheets, hints, etc. for people related to Socorro, New Mexico and my family. I will also collect information for my wife's family. You can send me an email at info AT

My goal isn't to just fill up my database, but rather connect to as many relatives as possible. I will also share information as requested.

2. Publish a book on the Socorro Land Grant families. I've collected a lot of information, but there's a lot I need to "clean up" before publishing. Again, your help is appreciated.

3. Publish a few articles in certain journals/ magazines. I've yet to publish in HGRC's Herencia, the Historical Society of New Mexico's journal, and the El Defensor Chieftain. I hope this will be the year.

Do you have any genealogy resolutions? Post them here!

Have a Happy New Year!