Last month I wrote about the Juan Jose Baca Store and House (click on this link.)The store served the people of Socorro, New Mexico around the turn of the 20th Century. The building is still a prominent fixture near the Socorro plaza. At the time, I didn't know exactly who Juan Jose Baca was. Now I think I know.
Juan Jose Baca was the son of Pedro Antonio Baca and Maria Guadalupe Torres. He was a prominent figure in Socorro during his life. Pedro Baca and Guadalupe Torres were both from families that migrated from Belen to Socorro when the city was resettled in 1815.
My dad's Baca family was from Pena Blanca, NM (and before that, were the original settlers of Las Vegas, NM.) His family came to Lemitar, 7 miles north of Socorro, sometime before 1850. They are not closely related to this Baca family.
Mom's Baca family is hard to figure out beyond Jose Rafael Baca, my 4th great-grandfather. He died in 1838, and was probably from one of the Baca families from the Belen area. Therefore, he may have been a closer, but still distant, cousin of Juan Jose Baca and Pedro Antonio Baca.
Therefore, I'm not closely related to Juan Jose Baca. However, there are a couple of connections between this Baca family and my family.
In 1850, my 3rd great grandparents, Jose Anastacio Torres and Maria Josefa Montoya, died, leaving my 2nd great grandfather Jose Crespin Torres and his siblings as orphans. Crespin was passed among family for a few years, until he was about 13 years old when he went to go live with his Uncle Pedro Antonio Baca and Aunt Maria Guadalupe Torres. Maria Guadalupe Torres was the sister of Anastacio Torres. Therefore, Crespin was raised with his cousin, Juan Jose Baca. Click on this link for more information.
The other connection is that Maria Guadalupe Torres is also my 4th great grandmother. Her first husband, Francisco Antonio Garcia, was my direct ancestor. In fact, prior to living with his aunt, Crespin lived with his cousin Candelario Garcia who was Francisco and Guadalupe's son.
Both Pedro Antonio Baca and Candelario Garcia were judges in Socorro, and Candelario was also the mayor of Socorro for a short time.
And that how I play the game "Six Degrees of Juan Jose Baca."