President-Elect Barack Obama's nominee for Interior Secretary claims a New Mexican genealogy going back to the late 16th Century. Colorado's United States Senator Ken Salazar announced during his presentation earlier this month, that his family has been in what is now the Western United States for more than four centuries. He claims that he can trace his lineage back to late 1500s Santa Fe. Of course, Santa Fe has only been around since the early 1600s, but we get the picture.
If he is claiming his lineage through his Salazar surname, his family may have not arrived in New Mexico until 1625 or later. In his book "Origins of New Mexico Families", Fray Angelico Chavez notes that a Francisco de Salazar appears in records as a soldier-escort at that time. Of course, Senator Salazar may have been refering to another line in his genealogy.
Another source, Congresspedia, claims that Salazar can trace his lineage back to 12th Century Spain.
Senator Ken Salazar has an older brother who is also in the United States Congress, Representative John T. Salazar. The elder Salazar brother had been vetted for Agricultural Secretary, but was not appointed to the post.
It would be interesting to find out more about Senator Salazar's family. Of course, until proof is offered, his claim is unverified. However, it is not unlikely that he does have New Mexico roots going back a number of centuries.
Click on this link to read the story about Senator Salazar's appointment.
Chavez's "Origin of New Mexico Families" and other books of New Mexico history and genealogy can be found on the New Mexico Genealogical Society link to Amazon.com. Using this link allows for a portion of your payment for books and other items to go to the New Mexico Genealogical Society, which we use to help out the Albuquerque Special Collections Library. Please use this link whenever your are on Amazon.com.
By the way, books published by the New Mexico Genealogical Society may be found on our website at this link.
This article was also posted on the New Mexico Genealogical Society blog.