The Baca / Douglas Genealogy and Family History Blog

01 January 2007

Wait a Second, Those Bacas Aren't My Bacas, Nor Are Those Torreses My Torreses.

No, I have not heard any stories of an ancestor who was born with a tail. However, that doesn't mean that my family's gene pool is not a bit shallow. There weren't many Spanish families who immigrated to New Mexico in its first two hundred years. Therefore, many surnames appear numerous times in my lineage. This has caused confusion when I've discussed my genealogy with others. Three surnames in particular show up more than once in the most recent generations of my family tree: Baca, Torres and Padilla.

Both of my parents were Bacas. My dad Robert C. Baca was the son of Robert B. Baca and Teresa Torres. My mom was the daughter of Santiago Baca and Paublita Zimmerly. I can trace my dad's family back to the orignal Baca family that arrived in New Mexico in 1600. My mother's family doesn't go back quite as far. I can only definatively prove her family lineage going back to my 3rd great grandfather Jose Rafael Baca. Beyond that is pure speculation. Regardless, it does not appear that my parents were closely related through the Baca lines.

I have three major Torres lines in the first five generations of my family tree. My paternal grandmother was Teresa Torres. My maternal grandmother's mother was Delfina Torres. Lastly, my maternal grandmothers paternal grandmother was Paubla Torres. The two lines in my maternal grandmother's ancestry were related. Her parents Estevan Zimmerly and Delfina Torres were 2nd cousins, once removed. However, my paternal Torres line does not appear to be closely related to my maternal Torres line.

The Padilla family only shows up in my maternal grandfather's line. Santiago Baca's parents Rafael Baca and Josefa Padilla were 1st cousins, once removed. In this case, that means that Rafael's maternal grandparents, Jose Miguel Padilla and Altagracia Silva, were also Josefa's great grandparents. It makes you wonder what the family thought when those two got married. Of course at that time (the turn of the 20st century) people didn't care much about family marrying family. There weren't that many choices in Socorro at that time; who would you marry during that period other than someone closely related to you.

The Baca, Torres and Padilla surnames show up more than once in the recent history of my family. This is something important to know if you are going to try to understand my ancestry. If one day you see a certain Torres family in my tree and realize that it does not relate to your family, you will still have two more chances to find a link. Thank goodness for the Bourguignon and Zimmerly families. Neither of those families show up more than once in my family tree.

So you think that it's unusual for cousins to marry cousins? Well, not really. Read this article about Marrying Cousins.

Post updated at 2:00 PM on 14 October 2007.