The Baca / Douglas Genealogy and Family History Blog

21 April 2008

Searching for the Family of Edward Torres

In Sunday's post to this blog, I discussed the family of Nepomuceno Torres and Francisca Torres. A Mr. J. Torres asked me if I knew the relation between this Torres family and my own family. I haven't found one yet.

However, J. Torres would now like to find the family of his late cousin Edward Torres, a former superintendent of Socorro Consolidated Schools. I remember Edward Torres - he and I were both members of the Knights of Columbus in Socorro. He also has a school named after him - Torres Elementary. I went to this school.

If you are related to Edward Torres, especially is you are a child or grandchild of this man, please send me an E-mail at I will forward your contact information to J. Torres. He wishes to talk to you about your family.

20 April 2008

Searching for Juan Jose Torres and Ascencion Armijo

I received a post from a J. Torres who wanted to know if we were related. He noted that he was the grandson of Nepomuceno and Francisca Torres of Socorro and Santa Fe and the great grandson of Juan Jose Torres and Ascension Armijo de Torres of the Socorro area. I did a little research.

I searched the book "Matrimonios de San Miguel..." and found the following marriage record:

16 Jul 1900. Nepomuceno TORRES, soltero, vecino de Socorro, hijo de Juan TORRES y CHAVEZ y de Acencion ARMIJO, los dos difunto, con Francisca TORRES, soltera, vecina de Socorro, hija de Jose TORRES y GARCIA y de Antonia LUCERO, difunta. Pads y Test: Meliton TORRES y Sofia TORRES. (Off: Philiberto Martin). (San Miguel del Socorro, AASF Film # 116-A). Page No. 269. (1.)
This record seems to indicate that Nepomuceno's father was the son of a Torres man and a Chavez women (hence, the surname "Torres y Chavez".) Likewise, Francisca's father was probably the son of a Torres man and a Garcia woman. I could not find a record of either Nepomuceno or Francisca's parents' marriages. However, I did not check microfilm for those records or any other record that would have given me their parents' names.

If anyone reading this blog knows any further information about these Torres families, please send me at e-mail at, or post a comment to this article. Thank you - Robert Baca.


1. Matrimonios San Miguel del Socorro, Our Lady of Sorrows de La Joya, San Marcial y San Ignacio y San Cristobal, (Hispanic Genealogical Research Center of New Mexico. Albuquerque, NM. 1999), p. 233.

18 April 2008

Elfego Baca Memorial Dedication May 24, 2008

I posted an article on the NMGS Blog about the dedication of the Elfego Baca Memorial in Reserve, New Mexico on May 24, 2008. For more information, check out this link.

Elfego Baca was a famous lawman from the Socorro, NM area. I am not closely related to him.

A little more about J. E. Miera

Jose E. Miera founded the famous Owl Bar and Cafe in San Antonio, New Mexico. His granddaughter, my mom's second cousin, is now the owner of the restaurant.

Jose witnessed an event of great historic importance: the first atomic bomb test. And, supposedly, he knew about it before it happened. According to a story told by his granddaughter, soldiers told him to watch for something spectacular to happen on the morning of July 16, 1945. That's when he saw a bright flash in the morning sky. For more about this story, check out this link.

For more information about San Antonio, NM and the Owl Bar, check out this link. In my opinion, the Owl Bar has the best green chili cheeseburgers on the planet.

16 April 2008

Jose Estanislas Miera - Husband of Teresa Zimmerly

Jose Estanislas Miera was my great, great uncle by marriage. He was married to Maria Teresa Zimmerly, the sister of my great grandfather Estevan Zimmerly.

On 12 September 1918, J.E. Miera filled out a World War I registration card. The card indicated that he was born on 8 August 1884. He was a clerk at the A.H. Hilton Mercantile Co. (A. H. Hilton was the father of hotel magnate Conrad Hilton.) He listed his nearest relative as his wife, Terezita Z. Miera. He was of medium height and build, and he had brown eyes and black hair. He was not obviously disqualified for military service due to physical disabilities.

I found this document on the website on 15 April 2008. Click on the picture above to get a better look at the registration card.

14 April 2008

New Mexico Genealogical Society April 2008 Newsletter

April 2008 Newsletter

Table of Contents

1. President’s Message
2. Upcoming Programs
3. NMGS Launches Blog
4. Write an Article for the New Mexico Genealogist
5. Looking for County Records
6. NMGS Website
7. NMGS Press
8. Subscribe / Unsubscribe

1. President’s Message

Once again, we have a great program this month. Jan Bennett speaks about her book “The Making of a Family: The Pecos Years 1916-1940.” Please come join us on April 19th at the Special Collections Library to see this program.

Beginning this month, NMGS launches its blog! You may subscribe to the blog to get up to date information about NMGS and other organizations of interest.

For more information about these items and more, please read below.


Robert Baca, President NMGS

2. Upcoming Program

Saturday April 19, 2008, 10:30 AM, Special Collections Library, 423 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM (NW corner of Edith and Central)

Jan Bennett will give a presentation on her book The Making of a Family: The Pecos Years 1916-1940 (written in collaboration with her cousin Penny Storms.) Jan will talk about her family’s experiences in New Mexico. Her great-uncles, the Grant brothers, were railroad contractors who also owned many Albuquerque businesses such as the water works, the icehouse, the Grant Opera House and the Albuquerque Morning Journal. The city of Grants, NM is named after them. Their nephew, Jan’s grandfather, followed his uncles to New Mexico to help out with their businesses. This is also a story about his family.

Jan will read excerpts from her book, which includes personal reminisces, letters and diaries. Copies of her book will be available for purchase. Come join us on April 19th to listen to this dynamic speaker.

Saturday May 17, 2008, 10:30 AM, Special Collections Library, 423 Central Ave. NE, Albuquerque, NM (NW corner of Edith and Central.)
Workshop program: to be announced.

All programs are open and free to the public. For more information about these programs, please visit our website at

3. NMGS Launches Blog

The New Mexico Genealogical Society joins other genealogical organizations throughout the country by hosting its own blog. You may ask “what is a blog?” “Blog” is short for “web log”. It is a type of website that offers postings in chronological order: the most recent postings can be found on the top of the web page, while older posts are found below. Organizations use blogs to send out announcements to their membership, post links to helpful websites, and to show photographs of past events. NMGS will be using its blog in these ways.

The NMGS Blog will not replace our current website. Our website ( will not change. On our website, you will still find announcements, website and e-mail links, and articles that you will not find on the blog. Also on the conventional website, you will find forms, membership information, and listings of our books and journal issues.

Please visit our blog: it can be found at Notice on the top right hand corner of the page, you will find a box that allows you to subscribe it. If you subscribe, you can have blog postings sent directly to you via e-mail.

4. Write an Article for the New Mexico Genealogist

We all have an interest in genealogy. That is why we are members of a NMGS. We all want to tell stories about our ancestors. We want to make sure that our children and our grandchildren know where their families came from and who they were. Tell your story in our journal; write an article for the New Mexico Genealogist.

We are not necessarily looking for long articles; in fact, short articles are just fine.

Maybe you think that you can’t write your family history right now because you’re not finished. When are genealogists ever finished? There is always more to find out about our ancestors. Oftentimes we write articles just to ask questions: others who read our articles may have the answers that we seek. When we have the answers, then we can write another article describing our findings.

If you have never written an article for our journal, consider writing one now. If you have written many articles, we will happy to accept your next article.

You may submit an article to us by mailing it to:

New Mexico Genealogical Society
Attn: New Mexico Genealogist editor
PO Box 27599
Albuquerque, NM 87125-7559

Or, send an e-mail to our editor, Russ Shaw, at

5. Looking for County Records

Do you know where to find hidden records in your county’s archives? We are looking for articles about county records. Share your information with us: write an article and submit it to the New Mexico Genealogist at the mailing or e-mail addresses above.

6. NMGS Website

Here are a few things that you can find on the NMGS website:

Locating Catholic Church Records in New Mexico,

Valencia County, NM Census Records 1870, 1880, 1885, by David C. Gonzales:

3 Tools for Documenting Your New Mexico Roots (Starter Forms):

Check out these online articles and more at the NMGS website:

7. NMGS Press

Did you know that we have many New Mexican census record books? Here is a listing of just a few:

1850 Territorial Censuses – four volumes $16.00 to 18.00 each, or all four for $60.00.
NM Spanish and Mexican Colonial Censuses, 1790, 1823, 1845 - $24.00.
Spanish and Mexican Censuses of NM, 1750-1830 - $24.00
1890 New Mexico Tax Assessments: A Territorial Census Substitute - $25.00.

You can order these books and many, many more on the NMGS Press webpage at

8. Subscribe

If you are not subscribed to this newsletter and you wish to have it e-mailed to you every month, send us an e-mail to Type in the subject line “Subscribe: NMGS Newsletter”.

11 April 2008

Bodies Exhumed from Ft. Craig Burial Site

An article published by the Associated Press may be interesting to anyone who has ancestors who served at Ft. Craig. This was an important frontier fort near Socorro, New Mexico during the middle and late 19th Century. A Civil War battle, the Battle of Velverde, was fought near Ft. Craig by soldiers from the fort.

Sixty-seven bodies were exhumed from a secluded cemetery. It appears that grave robbers stole dozens of bodies before archaeologists were able to remove the remaining bodies.

Personally, neither of my ancestors who served at the fort were buried there as they are buried elsewhere.

Follow this link to learn more about this excavation.

05 April 2008

Some More Socorro, NM Blogs

There are some great Socorro, New Mexico blogs out there. Many of them have photos and articles about historical people and places of the area.

My Thought, exactly is the blog name of a certain individual who now has over 20 blog sites, many concerned with Socorro. I have posted links on this blog before to some of those sites. Here are a few more:

* Homes of Note for Everyone has photos of historic Socorro homes.

* Visit "Our" Socorro" also has photos of historic buildings.

* Southwest Americana has a great photo of a Socorro grand jury from the 1880s, among many other photos from Socorro and elsewhere.

03 April 2008

Genealogy for Kids

Are the kids bored at the family reunion? Do they have a family tree project to do for school? Or are you a teacher or parent who is looking for a genealogy project for you kids to do? Well, you may want to check out this site: Family Tree Kids!

The site has games, forms, website links and suggestions for teachers and parents. I think I'm going to use this site the next time I set up a family reunion.


01 April 2008

Medieval New Mexico Program at UNM

This notice was sent to me by Nancy Brown Martinez from the Center of Southwest Research, University of New Mexico Library.

UNM'S INSTITUTE for Medieval Studies hosts its 23rd Spring Lecture Series, "Medieval New Mexico: A Celebration of Tradition and Cultural Interaction in the Land of Enchantment," Monday, March 31-Thursday, April 3. The series includes six lectures and a concert. All sessions will take place in Woodward Hall room 101 on the main UNM campus. The event, supported by a grant from the New Mexico Humanities Council, is free and open to the public.

For more information, follow this link.

"New" Gurule Website

I just received an e-mail informing me that there is a new Gurule Family Website. Apparently, this one replaces the old Gurule website. I thought I would share it with you.

From the website:

Jacques Grolet, born about 1663, was the son of Yvon Grolet and Marie Odon. He was baptized at the Church of St. Jean in La Rochelle, France. He and two friends, Jean L’Archeveque and Pierre Meusnier, had been members of the ill-fated La Salle Expedition of 1685-1687. Grolet and L’Archeveque spent several years in the Indian nations of Texas, and five years later surrendered to the Spaniards who found them there. Later reunited with Meusnier, the three men spent two years imprisoned in Cadiz, Spain, until their release in 1692. The conditions of their release required they become Spanish citizens and return to New Spain. As was custom in those days with non-Spaniards, his name was changed to Santiago GurulĂ©. On 10 December 1699, he married Elena Gallegos in Bernalillo, New Mexico.

This website includes a lot of interesting information about the Gurule family, including DNA results of family members. Click on this link to find out more.

Thanks to Angela Lewis for notifying me about this website.

P.S.: I personally am not descended from Santiago Gurule.