The Baca / Douglas Genealogy and Family History Blog

28 November 2009

Signor (Sydnor) Hanks family in the 1850 US Census

Below is the 1850 Census record for my wife's 2nd great grandparents Sydnor and Elizabeth Hanks (Family # 183.) This enumeration shows the following family members:

Signor Hanks, 38 years old, male, farmer ("), $1,500 in real property, born in Kentucky
Elizabeth (Hanks), 29 years old, female, born in Kentucky, person over 20 years old who cannot read or write.
Elijah (Hanks), 13 years old, male, born in Kentucky
Susan J. (Hanks), 11 years old, female, born in Indiana
Sarah F. (Hanks), 9 years old, female, born in Indiana
Matilda (Hanks), 7 or 8 (?) years old, female, born in Indiana

From this record, it appears that the family moved from Kentucky to Indiana between 1837 and 1839, which would be the birth years of Elijah (born in Kentucky) and Susan F. (born in Indiana.)

My wife's great-grandfather John William Hanks would not be born until 1856, which is the reason that he was not listed in this census.

I was researching this information because my sister-in-law had questions about Susan J. Hanks.

See also The Sydnor Hanks Family - 1860 Census and the 1870 Census.

Signor Hanks family, 1850 U. S. census, enumeration schedule, state of Indiana, Hamblin township, Brown County, dwelling # 183, family # 186, retrieved 28 November 2009; digital image, Records Search, pilot site, Family Search website (

01 November 2009

John William Hanks Family, 1900 U.S. Census

I found my wife's great-grandparents in the 1900 United States Census of Sergeant Township, Douglas County, Illinois. John William Hanks and Amanda Ann Craven were her paternal grandmother's parents. They are listed here in dwelling # 209, household # 209, as John and Mandy A. Hanks. Their daughter Ethel M., who is listed on the record as being 3 years old, was my wife's grandmother.

Click on the image below to get a better view of this record:

I retrieved this page today from the Family Search, Records Search website. Click on this link to go to that site.

A couple more deceased uncles, and an aunt....

Yesterday, I mentioned that I found a death record for my father's stillborn brother Robert Lewis Baca. As I mentioned, Robert Lewis was born before my father - hence, the same first name as my dad. However, my family also mentioned that there were two other children of my paternal grandparents who were also stillborn.

I didn't know if they were born before of after my father's birth. However, I found a couple of death record abstracts on the Family Search, Record Search page that confirmed that they were born after my father:

Lily Florence Baca died on 30 August 1933, while Raymond Eugine (sic) Baca died on 15 November 1934. My father, Robert Carlos Baca, was born on 6 April 1932. My aunt Teresa once showed me where my father's two brothers and sister were buried - there is no gravestones, just a few stones mark the spot in the San Miguel Cemetery.
I also searched for a record for another uncle, this time a son of my maternal grandparents Santiago Baca and Pablita Zimmerly (remember, my mother's maiden name is also Baca.) Estevan Baca, who was named after my great grandfather Estevan Zimmerly, died a little over a month after he was born. The family story was that the doctor did not know how to use forceps and crushed my uncle's spine. My uncle Estevan, or Steven as the gravestone has his name, is buried in my family's plot at the San Miguel Cemetery in Socorro, New Mexico.
Below is the abstract that shows that he died on 5 May 1938 in Socorro, Socorro County, New Mexico. I didn't know until I found this record yesterday that his middle name was Carlos.

Coincidentally, today is El Dia de los Muertos - the Day of the Dead.

31 October 2009

Creepy Halloween Find

I found a creepy death record today; one perfect for Halloween. On the Rootsweb Socorro County discussion list, someone posted the Family Search, Records Search page. He said it was a good place to search for New Mexico death records. I put in my father's name, Robert Baca. The search brought up a number of men by that name who died in New Mexico, but none after the mid 1940s. My dad died in 1999. However, one of the abstracts caught my eye:

I recognized the names of the parents of the deceased as my grandparents, Robert Baca and Terecita (Teresa) Torres, and that the death place was Socorro, New Mexico. A Robert Lewis Baca, the son of my grandparents, died on 6 May 1931. He was 0 years old.

I knew that although my father was the oldest child of his parents, he certainly was not the first one born. He was also not the first one with the name Robert Baca. According to my father, my grandparents had a child who was either stillborn or died soon after birth by the name of Robert Luis Baca. This abstract confirms that I had an uncle who died as a baby.

Happy Halloween!

24 October 2009

Too early for Christmas shopping?

Nah, it's never too early to shop for Christmas, especially in these unsure economic times. I know plenty of people who begin shopping in October. Heck, a certain retail store - that will remain nameless here - is already advertising for layaway.

Are you one of those people who shop early. Are you thinking about shopping at Well, if you are, consider shopping through the New Mexico Genealogical Society's link for . (The Albuquerque Genealogical Society also sponsors this link.) If you shop through us, a percentage of the proceeds will go towards our fund. That fund is only used to buy books for the Albuquerque Special Collections Library.

To buy books from our link, you can either:

* Go to the NMGS website and click on the link under the "Bookstore" heading; or,

* Go to the side margin of this blog and click on the link; or,

* Simply click on this link.

By the way, the books from the NMGS Bookstore also make great gifts for your favorite genealogist, even your favorite genealogist is yourself. Click on this link to purchase our books.

20 October 2009

November 2009 NMGS Program

Saturday, November 21, 2009, 10:30 AM
Albuquerque Special Collections Library
423 Central NE, Albuquerque NM
(NW Corner of Edith and Central)

The New Mexico Genealogical Society presents
Angel R. Cervantes

Who will discuss the

New Mexico DNA Project:
The Vandals’ Connection to New Mexican Families

In Part III of an ongoing series, Mr. Cervantes will explore the connection between certain New Mexican families and the Vandals, a Germanic tribe that occupied Spain. Cervantes will show a short film that will trace the history of these people. He will discuss which families show the markers that are most identified with this tribe.

Angel Cervantes is the New Mexico Genealogical Society’s DNA Project Advisor. For more information about the New Mexico DNA Project, visit their website online at:

NMGS will also be having its annual officer elections at this meeting.

This program is free and open to the public.

For more information about our programs, please visit the New Mexico Genealogical Society website at

15 October 2009

San Marcial Flood

I found an article about the 1929 San Marcial flood, New Mexico on the Valencia County News Bulletin website. Below is an excerpt from the piece:

San Marcial had been a thriving railroad town since the 1880s when the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad designated it as a major division point on the Santa Fe's north-south train route through New Mexico.

By the 1920s, San Marcial boasted a bank, a mercantile store, a drug store, an opera house, several churches, public schools and even a Harvey House. Only Socorro surpassed San Marcial in population and prosperity in Socorro County. San Marcial's 1,500 men, women and children were justifiably proud of their close-knit community there work was plentiful and nearly everyone got along.

But the bright skies over San Marcial suddenly darkened in August 1929. Unusually heavy rain caused the Rio Grande to rise so high and so quickly that the reservoir at Elephant Butte (built in 1916) could not handle the overflow. Despite heroic efforts, San Marcial's dike broke on Aug. 13.

Click on this link to read more.

11 October 2009

Socorro County Genealogy Links

I've finally posted Socorro County Genealogy Links on the New Mexico Genealogical Society Blog. I had to wait until the county fell into the queue alphabetically.

A few of the links that you will find on the post:

* Locating Catholic Church Records in New Mexico - Socorro County

* Socorro Public and New Mexico Tech Libraries

* Socorro County Genealogy and Historical Societies

* Socorro County Genealogy Message Boards

* Obituaries from the El Defensor Chieftain newspaper and New Mexico Tech website

* Histories of various towns and villages in Socorro County

* El Camino Real International Heritage Center, Ft. Craig National Historical Site, and Bosque del Apache

* Personal websites, biographies and surnames

* and much, much more.

Click here to see these links.

05 October 2009

1880 Socorro County, ED 45 (Complete) Census Online

The following links were posted on the "Socorro - Family History and Genealogy Message Board"

* 1880 Socorro County Census ED 44 - Partial
- abstracted by Virginia Grace, second transcriber Kathy Whitney

* 1880 Socorro County Census ED 45
- abstracted by Virginia Grace, second transcriber Kathy Whitney

For more information on Socorro County, please visit the NMGenWeb page at

Click to read the message post.

04 October 2009

The Miera family and their connection to my family

I would like to say that I am descended from Bernardo Miera y Pacheco, but, alas, I am not. According to Fray Angelico Chavez, Miera:

· was a captain of the Calvary of Cantabria, and a native of Valle de Carriedo of the Mountains of Burgos in Spain;

· was the son of Don Luis de Miera who served under the Conde de Auilar in the Army of Philip V. His mother Isabel Ana Pacheco was the daughter of Don Antonio Pacheco, who was the Governor of Navarra and Colonel of the “Terzio” of Lombardy. Don Pacheco died in the battle of Mantua;

· arrived in New Mexico in the mid 1700s, and was the Alcalde Mayor (mayor) of Galisteo and Pecos in 1756;

· tried to recast, and failed, to recast old ordnance pieces in Santa Fe;

· carved the wooden statue of St. Philip the Apostle on the high altar of San Felipe Pueblo; and,

· accompanied Fathers Dominguez and Veléz Escalante as guard commander and explorer on their tour of exploration, from which he created a detail map of New Mexico in 1779. This is probably his most important and lasting accomplishment.[i]

Yvonne T. is a descendant of Bernardo Miera y Pacheco. She sent me an email recently detailing her family tree. Although I don’t want to show detailed information about her family due to privacy concerns, I will say that her 2nd great-grandparents are Mauricio Miera and Placida Montoya. Bernardo was Mauricio’s 2nd great grandfather. Coincidentally, Maurcio and Placida Miera are also the ancestors of some of my cousins.

As readers of my blog know, Samuel Zimmerly, a Civil War soldier, was my second great grandfather. He and his wife Maria Paubla Torres had six children. (Click on this link.)One of their children was Estevan Zimmerly, my great grandfather. Another child was Teresa Zimmerly, who married Estanislado Miera, a son of Mauricio Miera. Estanislado Miera and Teresa Zimmerly had at least four children, who had a number of descendants themselves which are my distant cousins.

Yvonne T. is descended from another child of Maurcio and Placida Miera: Guadalupe Miera, who married Salomon Chavez. Yvonne has provided me with further information about her family.
I’ve created an ahnentafel table for Estanislado Miera showing nine generations of this family. Click on this link to see it.

[i] Fray Angélico Chavez, Origins of New Mexico Families: A Genealogy of the Spanish Colonial Period, Revised Edition (Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico, 1992), 299-230.

01 October 2009

Socorro Spanish Methodist Church

I received a couple of emails from John E. Chavez of Santa Fe, New Mexico. People interested in Socorro, New Mexico history, specifically about the Spanish Methodist church in the area, should read on. Here are his words:

I am descended from the Socorro County Chavez (San Antonio, San Marcial) and Baca families (Socorro, Lemitar, Escondida) families - my grandfather Juan C. Chavez was the pastor at the "Spanish" Methodist Church in Socorro and my dad went to school in Socorro; another close relative, Samuel Santiago Van Wagner (his father lived in Valverde NM after mustering out from Ft. Craig; his mother was Barela) was a Presbyterian pastor in Socorro and Albuq.

There are many old families, Hispanic and Anglo, in the Socorro area that have difficulty tracing their ancestors during the NM territorial period (1849-1912) since those that were or converted to Protestant could no longer find records in the Catholic archives and most were not registered with civil govt. either. Also, many, if not most, Hispanic families automatically assume all their ancestors - and this is often not completely true, as many, many in the Socorro area had converted from Catholicism to Protestant.

The Socorro Public Library has a copy of Carlos Lopopolo's extraction and compilation of early Socorro Spanish Methodist Church records. This is by far the best single source of genealogical records for Hispanic (and Anglo) Methodist families in the Socorro area (and beyond) of the territorial era in NM. (I am related to most of those Hispanic families and family memberswere pastors or church leaders in many areas of NM).

It is in the reference section of the Socorro Library (cannot be checked out) and it is chock full of entries for baptisms, marriages and deaths Socorro has a great genealogical resource that may ONLY exist at the Socorro Public Library ths among the Socorro Methodists (and many Baptists and Presbyterians also). However, it is not found elsewhere - I've looked all over NM and the nation; I've also talked with Lopopolo who indicated that the copy in the Socorro Library may be one of the only ones left in existence.

Some of the Baca, Chavez, Torres, Pino, Gutierrez, Barela, Eaton, Stapleton, Sullivan, and many other Socorro area families are in the Lopopolo compilation. (Socorro was also home to the early Protestant churches of Rev. J.M. Shaw, Baptist and Rev. S.J. Fulton, Presbyterian and Rev. Matthieson, Presbyerian).

I would hope that someone would do a backup copy of Lopopolo's book as Lopopolo said that copy in the Socorro Library may be one of the few, or only, ones left; or perhaps the Socorro Library could put the book behind lock and key for
Library use only (I have seen similar records in the UNM Zimmerman Library that
had pages cut out with razor blades).

I would be glad to help any families who may have ties to those early Hispanic Protestant families. We have a lot of rare data and a website.

John E. Chavez, Santa Fe, NM
Click here for his email.

p.s. Accounts of the infamous murder of a Methodist church leader, Conklin, on the porch of the church on Xmas Eve 1880 by two young Baca brothers do not mention that those Baca brothers (Onofre and ??) were members of the Methodist Church - they show up in the above mentioned Lopopolo book.

The Baca cousins (not brothers) that John writes about are Antonio, Onofre and Abram Baca. I wrote about the murder on my blog, at this link. The article that I wrote itself caused a little bit of controversy because I used a source that some felt was biased and unreliable. However, it was not the only source I used, and I understood its bias and questionable validity when I wrote the article. Because of this, I believe that I used it, with other sources, to create a fair and balanced article.

John sent me another email that talks about what he calls "the NM Protestant Gap"

The info I sent you is particularly relevant in Socorro, as Socorro was one of the earliest and strongest footholds the very early Protestant churches established in NM. Many Socorro families doing their genealogy may be affected by this - and without even being aware that some of their antecedents were Protestant - regardless of if their family is or was Catholic (my mother is Catholic).

Another source is the El Buen Samaritano Spanish Methodist Church in Albuq. near 6th and Granite (by the old Harwood Girl's School). They have a history room, and some of the families in that congregation have ties back to the Socorro area.

My fellow researcher, Crystal Baca Slater, and I have done a LOT of records searches for what we term "The NM Protestant Gap" (a gap in the Catholic and civil records during the NM territorial period).

We also have/had a website: go to, but lately have difficulties accessing or instructing others to access it; it leads to "Early NM & CO Protestants" and has a LOT of early photos, files, a few trees, history, etc. (I'll try to get you username and password that work - remind me if I forget).

Another source is the NMGS "First 40 Years" CD which has searchable files including some court records and extractions of baptisms, births, marriages and deaths from Socorro and Valencia County (the early Chavez and Baca families mostly migrated to Socorro from Valencia County - Albuq. to a lesser extent).

It can be VERY difficult of these early Hispano Protestant families to track their Protestant ancestors; but Crystal and I are available to help.

John Chavez, Santa Fe NM

30 September 2009

Selected 1952 Socorro High School Yearbook Photos

Recently, I went to pick up some items from my sister Janis' house, (she was killed in a car accident last December) and I found two Socorro High School yearbooks. One yearbook was from 1925, and other from 1952.

The 1925 yearbook includes class photos of both of my grandfathers. The 1952 yearbook has a photo of my mother.

I scanned the page that included my mother's photo. Unfortunately, the photos on the bottom of the page came out a little warped. I didn't want to scan too much so that I would not damage the yearbook. I did not even try to scan the 1925 yearbook due to how delicate it is. I hope to get them scanned professionally soon.

My mother, Frances R. Baca. Junior year photo, 1952

1st page of Junior class photos, surnames Atencio through Gonzales
Students listed on the page: Sammy Atencio, Betty Baca, Frances Baca, Frank Baca, Mamie Baca, Fidelia Baldonado, Garnett Burks, Reyna Carillo, Cora Chavez, Jimmie Chavez, Richard Chavez, Betty Jane Clark, Netta Lou Clegg, Pauline Collins, Rosie Cordova, George Emilio, Jennie Gallegos, Jon Gilmore, Evelyn Gozales, and Josie Gonzales.

28 September 2009

Searching for Native American Roots

This past weekend, I was at the Albuquerque Special Collections Library when I was approached by two sisters who were trying to apply for a Certificate of Indian Blood for Taos Pueblo. Although I knew next to nothing about how to apply, I did try to my best to help them.

The ladies had compiled a number of documents such as baptismal, birth, marriage and census records. They mentioned that they were having a hard time getting the pueblo to accept their application. They weren't sure what they needed; however, after asking them a number of questions, it appeared that the pueblo was requesting official certified copies of certain documents. Therefore, they would have to request these from specific entities that held these documents.

Some of my suggestions that I gave them were:

1.) They need to contact the pueblo to find out exactly what was required and request required forms. Taos Pueblo has a website (click here) that, although it does not have specific information about how to apply for a certificate, does have contact information for the governor's office. Some very basic information about applying for tribal enrollment can also be found on the U.S. Department of Interior 's website (click here.)

2.) They need to prove an unbroken link between themselves and their ancestor who they believe to have full Taos Pueblo Indian blood (in this case, it was their grandfather.) They must also prove that their ancestor is the same person who is listed in a Indian census of the pueblo. In order to do this, they must follow the Genealogical Proof Standard, which can be found in a number of publications including Genealogical Resources of New Mexico, 3rd Edition and Native American Genealogical Resources of New Mexico, both written and compiled by Karen Stein Daniel, CGsm and for sale by the New Mexico Genealogical Society (click here.) The Genealogical Proof Standard can also be found on the NMGS website (click here.)

3.) They will also need to provide proper citations for their research. As such, I suggested that they purchase a copy of Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian by Elizabeth Shown Mills. This may be purchased on . If a copy is bought through the NMGS website, proceeds will go to the Albuquerque Special Collections Library to purchase new books.(click here.)

4.) If the pueblo indeed needs certified copies of these records, they would have to request these documents from the organizations that hold the originals. This could include county clerk offices; state records offices; church, diocese and/or archdiocese offices; and the National Archives and Records Administration (click here for the NARA website.) There will be a cost for certified copies. Certified copies are official documents. At no point should anyone send originals of any document to organizations requesting them, as those documents may be lost or become part of the permanent collection of that organization. Certified copies should be sent instead and are more than sufficient to fulfill any request.

5.) I sold them a copy of Native American Genealogical Resources of New Mexico (click here.) There is no other tome like this one. It is thoroughly researched and extensive in its scope. Items included in this volume are a list of archives, libraries and museums; church, mission and religious resources; Family History Library microfilm resources; federal government resources; Internet resources; resources categorized by tribe and pueblo; and much, much more. Anyone researching Native American ancestry in New Mexico (and many other places) will want to have this book in their collection (once again, you can order it by clicking on this link.)

There may be more to researching and applying for tribal enrollment. If anyone has further information, please contact me at and I may post your information on this blog.

Blog post revised 09/29/09.

27 September 2009

Several Graves Vandalized at San Miguel Cemetery

From the 12 September 2009 El Defensor Chieftain:

A family going to pay respects to one of their deceased relatives made a grim discovery - several gravesites at the San Miguel Church Cemetery had been vandalized.

The family members quickly reported news of the desecration to San Miguel's Father Andy Pavlak, who alerted city officials.

Among those first notified was Socorro City Councilor Peter Romero.

Romero, who serves on the city's Cemetery Committee, said a midweek tour of the damage revealed nearly a dozen broken or toppled tombstones and grave markers. In all, Romero said he counted 11 vandalized gravesites within the cemetery....

To read the entire article, click on this link.

20 September 2009

Using the RMOA to Find Archived Material

The other day, one of my readers asked me to help her find information about a specific land grant that her relatives had homesteaded. I directed her to the Rocky Mountain Online Archive , a database that has finding aids for primary sources that are archived in libraries throughout the region. Participating New Mexico institutions include the University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research, the Fray Angelico Chavez History Library and the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives. There are also finding aids for libraries and archives in Wyoming and Colorado, and a few digital archives that can be accessed directly from the Internet.

To access the RMOA, click on this link. You'll see a page like the one below. You'll want to search the online archive for a specific item. You can, for instance, search for a specific land grant - such as the Sevillita Land Grant. Or, you can search for a specific person. As example, I searched for my 2nd great grandfather, Epitacio Torres:

Click on the image to get a larger view.

The search will give you a list of finding aids that include all the words that you requested. This does not mean that the words will be in the same order as you requested; for instance, it could as easily bring up the names Epitacio Baca and Jose Torres in the document, but not the name Epitacio Torres. Since this search engine does not use soundex, check for all the alternative spellings of the name (Epistacio, Torrez, etc.)

If you get a hit, you'll get a listing of finding aids that have the words that you were searching. Sometimes you'll get four or five finding aids, sometimes, like the example below, you'll get only one listing. Click on each to find the information you are looking for:

Click on the image below to get a larger view.

When you click on the finding aid, you will see the collection's title, (in this case "Inventory of the Board of Trustees of the Sevilleta Grant Records, 1887-1939") the institution where it can be found ("The Center of Southwest Research") and usually contact information and a website link. There is also a collection summary and other details about the collection.

Click on the image to get a larger view.

Often, there is a large content list, as there are many files within the collection. I find that the easiest way to find a name on the list is search the finding aid itself. They way to do this, on Windows at least, is to press "Control" and "F" and the same time. This will bring up a search box. Type in the name that you are looking for. The name may be found a few times in the finding aid, so continue clicking "next" until you find the document you are looking for. In this case, I found one file that included Epitacio Torres' name. Take note of box and file numbers as you will need them when you request the file from the archive.

Click on the image below to get a larger view.

In order to access the actual file or document, you will need to go down to the institution itself, or request that they mail you a copy of the document. There are certain mailing and copying costs. Also, copies may not be ready for a few days, so you may have to pick them up later or have them mailed to you. Speak to a librarian or archivist from the institution for more information. Please remember to check the institution's operating times before visting so that you will not visit there when they are closed.

When you visit the institution, make sure to give them the collection title, collection number, box number, file number and any other pertinent information. This information can be found in the finding aid itself, as shown below. You may need to fill out a form to request the file, you may be required to leave your belongings in a locker, and may only be required to use a pencil only. You may also not be able to see the original itself, and instead may have to view the microfilm copy. The institution may impose certain copyright restrictions, and citation requirements.

Click on the image below to get a larger view.

I hope this guide has helped you understand how to use the RMOA website for research. More information can be found on the website itself.


19 September 2009

October 17, 2009 NMGS Program

Saturday, October 17, 2009, 10:30 AM
Albuquerque Special Collections Library
423 Central NE, Albuquerque NM
(NW Corner of Edith and Central)

The New Mexico Genealogical Society presents

John Taylor
Author of “Bloody Valverde”
and co-author, with Thomas S. Edrington, of “The Battle of Glorieta Pass”

will speak on

The Civil War in New Mexico

Famed historian John Taylor will discuss how New Mexico played a part in the Civil War. He will sign copies of his books at the presentation.

This program is free and open to the public.

For more information about our programs, please visit the New Mexico Genealogical Society website at

18 September 2009

Sandia Mountains Program - Tomorrow, Sept. 19th!

Saturday, September 19, 2009, 10:30 AM
Santo Niño Historic Church
At the intersection of State Highways 333 & 337
Tijeras, New Mexico

The New Mexico Genealogical Society
in conjunction with the East Mountain Historical Society

The Towns of the Sandia Mountains
Mike Smith, historian and author

The Sandia Mountains have been home to people for millennia. From Navajo, to Spanish, to American Civil War soldiers and beyond, many people have traveled through and lived in this area. Mike Smith collected photographs and stories about this place, and published it in his popular book “The Towns of the Sandia Mountains.” Now, The New Mexico Genealogical Society in cooperation with the East Mountain Historical Society presents this author and his stories.

Mike Smith will be selling and signing copies of his book at the program.

Revised Directions: The Santo Niño Historical Church in Tijeras, NM. From Albuquerque: take I-40 east to Exit 175. At the stop sign go right. You will be on 333 or old US66. Pass the Wells Fargo bank, the post office and the information center. Turn right. The church will be visable ahead.

This Program is Free and Open to the Public

For more information about the East Mountain Historical Society, visit their website at

For more information about the New Mexico Genealogical Society, visit our website at

17 September 2009

Vintage Postcards of New Mexico

My friend Nancy Lopez has a really good website that she calls Cybergata. It includes her genealogy, transcriptions of vital records and photos. It also has a page of vintage New Mexico postcards.

To view these postcards, click on the following link.

New Look

If you are viewing this post from the blog, you already know that I've changed the look of the blog. I wanted to put a photo that meant more to my personal genealogy than the Albuquerque skyline, so I picked my parent's wedding photo as the title image. I also picked a template that was easier to view and read.

If you are reading this post via email, check out the new looks by going to my blog at

I've also changed the look of the New Mexico Genealogical Society Blog. Check it out at

12 September 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Trading Cards - Collect them all!

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings and Sheri Fenley of The Educated Genealogist suggested this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Trading Cards. Mine is below:

Collect them all! My collection can be found on my Facebook page: click on this link!

11 September 2009

Volunteers Needed for New Mexico Death Certificate Project


How would you like to be a part of the New Mexico Death Certificate Project? The project is ready to go and volunteers are needed. You can work one day a week or more - whatever fits your schedule. Some of the work will be done at Special Collections Library and some will be able to be done at home. Hugh Bivens is the contact person for this project but is looking for another person to coordinate volunteer schedules, etc.

Hugh is at Special Collections Library every Tuesday and Thursday so you can contact him there to get more information.

The software has been developed and tested. Volunteers are now needed to move death certificate images from microfilm rolls to digital format. This involves operating a microfilm machine that you may already have used it in your personal research. Training will be provided to make you comfortable in the operation of the machine. Since having New Mexico Death Certificates available on our website is mainly going to help people searching for their New Mexico ancestors, it seems to make sense that NMGS take an active role in getting this done. Talk to Hugh Bivens or Gail Rassmussen regarding the project if you are interested in helping . The phone number at the Albuquerque Special Collections Library is (505) 848-1376.

The Albuquerque Special Collection Library website is

08 September 2009

Another Pair of Socorro Obituaries

Although they have the same last name as me, Juan Jose Baca, Jr., and his brothers and sisters are not directly related to me. Rather they are distant cousins of mine through my mother's family. Juan Jose was the grandson of my 4th great grandmother, Maria Guadalupe Torres. Guadalupe Torres married two men: Francisco Antonio Garcia, who was my 4th great grandfather, and Pedro Antonio Baca, who was Juan Jose, Jr.'s grandfather. Therefore, Juan Jose Baca, Jr., is my half 1st cousin, 3 times removed. He and my 2nd great grandmother Maria Guadalupe Padilla, (not to be confused with the previously mentioned Maria Guadalupe Torres, who was her grandmother) would have been half 1st cousins.

Confused? I know, it's hard for me to keep it all staight, too. If you want to read more about this family, check out my previous post "Some Notes on my March 21st NMGS Presentation", or read my article "Maria Guadalupe Torres: One Woman's Life in Nineteenth Century Socorro" in the June 2009 New Mexico Genealogist. If you wish to order a copy of that issue, click on this link.

I found two obituaries for Juan Jose Baca, Jr. in the Albuquerque Special Collection Library's computer databases. Both were published in the Albuquerque Journal.

The first obituary can be found on page 10 of the 17 June 1941 Albuquerque Journal. The obituary says that Juan Jose died on Sunday in El Paso, TX. I checked the date of the week calculator on Ancestry Search, (link) and found that June 17th fell on a Tuesday that year. Therefore, his death occured two days before, which would make his date of death as June 15th.

The obituary notes that he was survived by five brothers, but lists only three: Emilio M, Felipe N., J.N. Baca and Lucas Baca. This corresponds to the information I already have on the brothers: J.N. would be Juan Nepomuceno, while the fifth brother may be Solomon.

The record also shows that Juan Jose was survived by three sisters: Mrs. Antonio Otero, Mrs. Jim Romero, and Mrs. A. A. Romero. None of their first names are noted. From other sources, I have the names of five of his sisters: Guadalupe, Dominica, Maria Isabela, Angelina, and Pabla. I know that Guadalupe married Edward Fortune in 1887, so she appears not to be one of the living sisters listed. I don't know who the other sisters married, so at this time I can't match them to the names listed in the obituary.

Neither this obituary, nor the next, mention that Juan Jose had a wife or children.

According to his obituaries, Juan Jose was a World War I veteran, and a member of the Benavides Grande Post No. 82, a chapter of the American Legion.

On the same page as this obituary are two other obituaries: one for Francis Willis Marks, and the other for Dionocio Aguilar Martinez.

Click on the image below to get a larger picture:

The second obituary, published on page 3 of the 18 June 1941 edition of the Albuquerque Journal, does not mention Juan Jose Baca, Jr.'s family. It does, however, mention a few Socorro residents, some of who I recognize.

Juan Jose's pall bearers were members of the Home Guard: Juan Castillo, John Matthews, Tom Olguin, Julius Frassinet, Paul A. Padilla, and Paul Burt. His escort were Capt. W.E. West, Lieut. Rafael Lopez, Y.G. Phillip, B. Baca, John Montoya, Hugh Fraser, George Downs, and Henry Del Curto. The mass was celebrated by Rev. R. M. Libertini.

On the same page as this obituary, you will find the obituaries for Dionicio Aguilar Martinez, Anglie GAllegos Mora, Mr. Kee Silson, and Mrs. Eunice L. Zehr.

Click on the image below to get a larger picture:

I've created a family group sheet for Juan Jose Justo Mariano Baca and Maria Francisca Miera, the parents of Juan Jose Baca, Jr. This chart includes J.J. Baca's siblings and himself. Click on this link to view it (you will need a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.)

07 September 2009

September 19, 2009 NMGS Program

Saturday, September 19, 2009, 10:30 AM
Santo Niño Historic Church
At the intersection of State Highways 333 & 337
Tijeras, New Mexico

The New Mexico Genealogical Society
in conjunction with the East Mountain Historical Society

The Towns of the Sandia Mountains
Mike Smith, historian and author

The Sandia Mountains have been home to people for millennia. From Navajo, to Spanish, to American Civil War soldiers and beyond, many people have traveled through and lived in this area. Mike Smith collected photographs and stories about this place, and published it in his popular book “The Towns of the Sandia Mountains.” Now, The New Mexico Genealogical Society in cooperation with the East Mountain Historical Society presents this author and his stories.

Mike Smith will be selling and signing copies of his book at the program.

Directions: The Santo Niño Historical Church is located at the intersection of State Highways 333 and 337 in Tijeras, New Mexico. From I-40, take the Tijeras exit. At the stoplight, turn right, and travel West, past the library. The church should be easy to spot from there.

This Program is Free and Open to the Public

For more information about the East Mountain Historical Society, visit their website at

For more information about the New Mexico Genealogical Society, visit our website at

06 September 2009

Desolate Outpost: Fort Craig, New Mexico

Seaching for information about Fort Craig, I found this link from 30 August 1998 Albuquerque Journal article titled "Desolate Outpost".

Fort Craig was a military fort 35 south of Socorro, New Mexico. Not much remains of the post, just a few crumbling adobe buildings. However, the history of the fort is fascinating. Please read the article.

I've also found these two links that are interesting:

* Images of Old Fort Craig and Valverde, New Mexico

* Fort Craig, New Mexico

* Fort Craig National Historic Site

* Graverobbers desecrate and loot Ft. Craig, N.M., cemetery

* Government Secretly Exhumes Bodies at Historic Cemetery After Grave Looting Tip

* Old West Mystery, Solved in D.C.

Two Obituaries from Socorro, New Mexico

Below are two obituaries that I found on the Albuquerque Special Collection Library's genealogy computer databases. Although they are both from Socorro, they were actually listed in the Albuquerque Journal newspapers.

The first obituary is for my great-grandmother Adelfina (Torres) Zimmerly. She was born on 30 October 1887 and died on 7 May 1978 at 85 years old. This obituary was printed in the Death and Funerals section of the Albuquerque Journal, 9 May 1978. Click on the image below to view it full sized:

Adelfina, or Delfina as she was often known, was my maternal grandmother Maria Pablita (Zimmerly) Baca's mother. Ben F. Zimmerly, who died a year and half later on 6 December 1979, was my grandmother Pablita's cousin. Another source shows that his full name was Benjamin Franklin Zimmerly. This obituary was published on 7 December 1979 in the Albuquerque Journal "Death and Funerals" section. Click on the image below to view it full sized.

If you are ever in Albuquerque, I suggest that you visit the Special Collections Library at 423 Central Ave NE, on the corner of Central and Edith Blvd. They have a computer database that contains not only obituaries, but also other documents, indexes, journals and complete books. However, it can only be accessed from the library itself, and is not online.
For more about my great-granmother Adelfina (Torres) Zimmerly, visit these links:

30 August 2009

Joseph Dunn Obituary

My wife's uncle, Joseph Leon "Joe" Dunn died on Friday, August 21, 2009 in Peoria, Illinois. Please click on this link to read his obituary.

13 August 2009

Door Prizes at August 15th NMGS Meeting

We will be giving away door prizes at the August 15, 2009 New Mexico Genealogical Society meeting. Once again, donated two books:

* "The Official Guide to" by Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG, and Tana Pedersen Lord; and,

* "Finding Answers in U.S. Census Records" by Loretto Dennis Szucs & Matthew Wright.

Come try to win the door prizes, and then enjoy the two speakers we have scheduled that day: Dr. William Litchman and Dr. Wesley Sutton. As always, the program - and the door prizes - are free and open to the public.

The program begins on Saturday, August 15, 2009, 10:30 AM


Botts Hall, Albuquerque Special Collections Library
423 Central NE, Albuquerque, NM
(NW corner of Edith and Central)

09 August 2009

Additional Presentation at August 15th NMGS Program

Saturday, August 15, 2009, 10:30 AM
Botts Hall, Albuquerque Special Collections Library
423 Central NE, Albuquerque, NM
(NW corner of Edith and Central)

The New Mexico Genealogical Society

Special Announcement

After our regular program on August 15, 2009, (“Researching the Courthouse III: Vitals” by Dr. William Litchman, certified genealogist) the New Mexico Genealogical Society will present Dr. Wesley Sutton. He will speak for approximately 15 minutes on “Heritage Genetics of Spanish Americans in the American Southwest”.

Dr. Sutton collected DNA samples from New Mexicans in 2003 as part of his research for his Ph.D. dissertation. He will discuss his findings in a short presentation, and will answer questions from the audience.

Men and women of Spanish ancestry are encouraged to contribute DNA to Dr. Sutton’s ongoing study. This will be done through a simple check scrape using a cotton swab. Persons taking part in the study are requested, but not required, to bring a pedigree chart or other documentation showing your ancestry.

This is a group study. Individual results will not be discussed.

The August 15th program will begin with Dr. William Litchman’s presentation at 10:30 AM. Dr. Sutton will speak afterwards at approximately 12 noon that day. Please join us for both presentations.

03 August 2009

August 15, 2009 NMGS Program

Saturday, August 15, 2009, 10:30 AM
Botts Hall, Albuquerque Special Collections Library
423 Central NE, Albuquerque, NM
(NW corner of Edith and Central)

The New Mexico Genealogical Society presents

William Litchman, Ph.D.
Offering the Third part of his workshop

Researching at the Courthouse III:
Vital Records

Dr. Litchman presents the third part of a workshop that he began in 2007. This will be an in-depth exploration of vital records that are essential to genealogical research. He is a thorough researcher and an entertaining speaker. We are happy to welcome him back.

This program is free and open to the public.

For more information about our programs, please visit our website at

02 August 2009

August 1, 2009 - my mom's 75th birthday

Clockwise from top left: Robert C. Baca, Frances R. Baca, Janis Baca, and Cynthia Baca. The day of Janis' first holy communion.

My mom would have been 75 years old yesterday. Here are a few facts about her:

* Born Frances Rosaline Baca on 1 August 1934 in Socorro, New Mexico

* Married Robert C. Baca on 27 October 1954 at the San Miguel Parish, Socorro, New Mexico

* Had three children:

1.) Janis Marie Baca, born 23 March 1956, married Donn Schwartzenberg, had two children, one grandchild. Was killed in a car accident 9 December 2008 in the Alamo Reservation, New Mexico.

2.) Cynthia Baca, born 1958, married to Sam Gonzales, has three children, expecting two grandchildren in March 2010.

3.) Robert J. C. Baca, born 1968, married to Nancy Douglas. He has no children of his own. His wife has one child through a previous marriage.

There's much that I can say about mom, but let me try to say it in a few words.

Mom was a very loving and caring person. She was always taking care of her family. During the last years of my mom's life, my grandmother began showing signs of Alzheimers, my dad's health was getting worse (he died only a few months after my mother), and I was going through a divorce. She was there for us - and for many others. She always seemed to have unlimited energy.

My mom always said that she knew when something was wrong with one of her children. She said that if any of us were going through tough times, the backing of our photos on the wall would start falling out of the frame. Of course, I think her uncanny predictions had more to do with the fact that we were always having problems and the backings were continuously falling out.

I have a painting in my kitchen that reminds me of her. It shows a woman peeling a tortilla from a burner with her bare hand. I never understood how my mom could do the same thing without burning her hands.

Just now I thought I smelled her beans cooking on the stove. Man, I'm hungry.

Mom wasn't just a homemaker. She also worked at various businesses throughout her life. I remember her working at her mother's fabric store and my dad's accounting business. She taught Sunday school class for a short while (many of my classmates still remember her fondly.) She hated politics, but she was always helping out my father whenever he ran for any type office, whether it was Grand Knight at the local Knights of Columbus, or board member of the Socorro Electric Co-Op Board.

She tried to do her own business, too. She loved to do crafts, and so she tried to sell a few of them on the side. She never made much money, but I believe she had a lot of fun doing it.

Speaking of crafts, I remember every Christmas she was always making gifts. Whether it was crochet, pillows, or stuffed animals, she was spent all December making them. She would also bake cookies and cakes. Her favorite concoction was - excuse my Spanglish -"kake de jamon", which, although it roughly translates to "pig cake" or "ham cake", was really a chocolate bread made with lard. Okay, it wasn't very healthy, but, man, was it gooooooood!

So that was a brief description of my mom. I know it doesn't do her justice, but I wrote it quickly in order to get it out in this post. I love you mom and miss you.

28 July 2009

Albuquerque Public Library Computers to be down August 5th

Below is an e-mail that I received:

Please pardon us as we improve our computer systems.

On August 5, 2009 – Wednesday - all Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Libraries will have extremely limited electronic services.

What does this mean for you?
· No public internet computers
· No online catalog/databases
· No library cards can be issued
· No new holds (requests) can be placed

You WILL be able to:
· Use our free Wi-Fi
· Attend library programs
· Ask questions
· Borrow books, movies, and CDs with your library card
· Download digital books and movies

On Thursday, August 6, 2009 please call 311, your Local Library, or Library Customer Service at 768-5170 to confirm that all library services are available.
Or visit

Thank you,

Customer Service Office
Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library System
501 Copper Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102

The Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library System is a Division of the City of Albuquerque Cultural Services Department.

19 July 2009

NMGS 50th Anniversary Conference

Save the Date!

The New Mexico Genealogical Society's

50th Anniversary Conference

Next Year - October 14 - 16, 2010

at the National Hispanic Cultural Center
in Albuquerque, New Mexico

... more information to be posted later ....

11 July 2009

July 18, 2009 NMGS Program

Saturday, July 18, 2009, 10:30 AM
Albuquerque Special Collections Library
423 Central NE, Albuquerque NM
(NW Corner of Edith and Central)

The New Mexico Genealogical Society presents
Angel R. Cervantes

Who will discuss the

New Mexico DNA Project:
The Franks’ Connection to New Mexican Families

In Part II of an ongoing series, Mr. Cervantes will explore the connection between certain New Mexican families and the Franks of Western Europe. Cervantes will show a short film that will trace the history of the Franks, a Germanic people that conquered France in the 5th Century. He will then discuss which families show the markers that are most identified with this tribe.

The program will begin promptly at 10:30 AM, so please do not be late.

For more information about the New Mexico DNA Project, visit their website online at:

This program is free and open to the public.

For more information about our programs, please visit the New Mexico Genealogical Society website at

03 July 2009

A bunch of photos of my parent's wedding

My aunt Judy gave me a copy of my parent's wedding film on DVD. I decided to do some screen shots of the video and I post them on Facebook. Here is the link to those photos.

I decided to post the screen shots rather than the video itself because it allows for us to look at photos of individuals. I do not know who many of the people pictured in the photos are, or sometimes if I just made a guess. If you know who any of the individuals are, please send me an e-mail at describing the photo and explaining who they are.

I hope you enjoy these photos.


29 June 2009

Snapshot of Socorro: September and October 1883

I love looking at old newspapers. This link shows page 12 of the September 1883 and page 1 of the Bullion, a local newspaper.

Socorro had become a boom town during the 1880s. Prospectors were opening up new mines throughout the area.. Billings Smelter was built in Park City, at the base of Socorro Peak, or the "M" Mountain as we Socorrians call it. This lead to an influx of people from all over the country, as well as the world. However, before long many of the mines dried up and many of the prospectors left.

The Bullion was published to capitalize on this boom. It informed the populous about new mine prospects and the state of current mines. It also included local, state, national and world news.

The pages that are displayed on this link show advertisements of the local businesses. These include John Eastwood who dealt and manufactured jewelry; Juan Jose Baca who had dry goods, boots, shoes, notions, groceries and liquors; fancy groceries from F.P. Shaw on the Plaza; Asche and Hilton Boot and Shoe Store; and many others. There were attorneys in Socorro, too. These included W. E. Kelly, N. B. Cartmell, Albert Hagan, and many more.

There is an advertisement for the Convent of Mt. Carmel. Tuition and board was $20.00 a month, $200.00 a year. They offered a full academic curriculum, with "particular attention given to ... Painting, Drawing, Fancy Needle Work, Embroidery and ... Vocal and Instrumental Music."

If you needed to go somewhere, there was a posting of time tables for the A.T. and S.F. railroad lines. If you just arrived, there were accommodations at the Sturgis House on Fischer Street.

And let's not forget the mining industry. Some merchants advertised that they sold mining supplies including the Blanchard and Co. and the aforementioned F.P. Shaw. Andy Naw was "prepared to make and repair wagons and mining tools" and also did general blacksmithing. Assayer and metallurgist T. E. Simmons plied his trade. The Ozark & Socorro Mining Company advertized also advertised in the paper. And let's not forget the aforementioned Gustav Billing Smelting Works.

You will need Adobe Acrobat to read the link. If you don't have it, click on this link. I will post more pages in future articles.

21 June 2009

More on Miguel Vega y Coca

In a previous post, I noted that I am a descendant of Miguel Jose Laso Vega y Coca. Since that I posted that yesterday, I have received a few Emails requesting that I show how I am related to this founder of the Las Golondrinas Ranch.

* This link shows how I am descended from Miguel through my mother.

* This link shows how I am descended from Miguel through my father.

By the way, I'm descended from Miguel at least four times.

20 June 2009

It really was a family reunion!

Today I went to El Rancho de Las Golondrinas for a family reunion. I went there as a representative of the New Mexico Genealogical Society. It was not until I was there that I found out that it was truely a family reunion: I am the 7th great-grandson of Miguel Jose Laso Vega y Coca, the founder of the ranch!

I found a few very distant cousins out there, including one woman who turned up being my 6th cousins, twice removed. If I had known this ahead of time, I would have set up some charts showing my descendancy. The good thing is that they will probably have another reunion next year.

For more information about Miguel Vega y Coca, read the article from David Pikes' Roadside History of New Mexico.

02 June 2009

Nancy's Grandmother Viola Fern (Poole) Dunn

Below is a photo of my wife's maternal grandmother, Viola Fern (Poole) Dunn. She was born on 8 February 1909 in Redmon, Illinois, and died 10 October 1972 in Paris, Illinois. She appears to be in her twenties in this photo.

I can see a definate resemblence between Nancy and her grandmother.

Nancy's mother lent it to us to scan.

Viola Fern (Poole) Dunn

31 May 2009

Descendants of Callentano and Maria Ines (Candelaria) Abeyta

Callentano Abeyta and Maria Ines Candelaria are my 4th great-grandparents. Their son Jose Albino Abeyta, and his wife Maria Miguela Sanchez were the parents of Manuela Abeyta who married Jose Casmiro Montoya (see my previous post.)

Today I decided to try to find a few more descendants of Callentano and Ines (Candelaria) Abeyta. I was successful in finding one more generation through their daughter Maria Encarnacion Abeyta who married Jose Tomas Gallegos. You can find the PDF file showing a descendant register report at this link.

In addition to baptismal records, I also found two United States Census records that show Jose Tomas Gallego(s) and his family in Paraje de Fra Cristobal, a stop-over point (or more likely a village during that time) about 35 miles south of Socorro.

The 1860 Census is in two parts here and here; while the 1870 Census is here.


Tomas Gallego family, 1860 New Mexico Census, Socorro County, Post office: Fra Cristobal, pp. 44-45, dwelling # 445, family # 400, HeritageQuestonline, <>, accessed 31 May 2009.

Tomas Gallego family, 1870 U. S. census, population schedule schedule, Socorro, New Mexico, Post Office: Socorro, p. 5, dwelling # 45, family # 44, accessed 31 May 2009.; digital image, HeritageQuest (

Met another cousin - Montoya family

I was researching at the Albuquerque Special Collections Library yesterday, when I bumped into a distant cousin of mine who I had not met before. She happened to be talking about her uncle Casey Luna, the former New Mexico Lieutenant Governor and car dealership owner. I mentioned that I was related to him also, and in comparing our genealogies we discovered that we are long-lost 3rd cousins.

My third cousin and I are related to each other through our 2nd great-grandparents Jose Casmiro Montoya and Manuela Abeyta. Casmiro and Manuela were married on 8 January 1875 in the San Miguel Mission in Socorro, New Mexico. They had at least four children: Sofia, Amadeo, Jose Liberado and Andrea. My cousin is descended from Sofia Montoya who married Amadeo Luna. I am descended from Andrea Montoya who married Ignacio Torres.

I've sent my cousin an e-mail with certain genealogical charts, photos and other information. I'm hoping that she sends me information back since I know little about this family.

Genetic disease found in descendants of NM settlers

In the Albuquerque Journal today, there is an article titled "Genetic Curse: Deadly brain disease may be traced back to early N.M. settlers". It is estimated that 10,000 New Mexicans - who are descended from a certain old New Mexican family - carry the gene that causes cerebral cavenous malformation, or CCM. The disease can potentially cause brain damage in carriers. New Mexico has the largest concentration of cases in the world.

Certain carriers have researched their genealogy and have discovered common ancestors: Antonio Baca and Monica Duran y Chaves, who were married in Albuquerque in 1726. Personally, this couple are my 6th great-grandparents on my father's side.

To read more about this disease, click on this link. If you do not have a subscription to the Albuquerque Journal, click on "Trial Premium Pass". This will direct you to an advertisement that you will have to watch before you are able to access the article.

30 May 2009

More articles from the El Defensor Chieftain

Okay, it's early morning and I really don't feel like working on the yard yet. So, I've been searching the El Defensor Chieftain website once again. Here are a few more articles about Socorro:

* Welcome, everyone, to the free state of ... Socorro? by Valarie Kimble. In 1953, a few residents decided as a joke they would declare that Socorro was not actually part of the United States. Apparently, it was meant to protest the fact that Santa Fe was short-changing the county in that year's budget process. The El Defensor Cheiftain decided to continue along with the joke by celebrating the 50th anniversary of the "event". However, there were a number of people who were upset about the newspaper trying to commemorate the joke. If you search the newspaper's website, you'll find a number of irrate letters to the editor regarding the anniversay celebrations.

* Whats (sic) in a name? Part I and Part II by Paul Harden. Harden explores the relationship between the families mentioned in Fray Angelico Chavez's book "Origins of New Mexico Families" and the Socorro families. I am particularily interested in what he has to say about the Torres family. I noticed one mistake, though. The Jose Torres that he mentions as being the son of Agustin and Felipa (Baca) Torres is actually their grandson. He is the son of Agustin and Felipa's son Ricardo Torres. He's right, though, in saying that Jose Torres had property on Cuba Rd. I've found that Jose's sister Maria Paubla (Torres) Zimmerly had some property her brother's land. Maria Paubla is, of course, my 2nd great grandmother. The article also mentions another one of my ancestors, my 2nd great grandfather Jose E. Torres. (By the way, just to make things a little bit more confusing, Maria Paubla's son Esteban Zimmerly married Jose E. Torres' daughter Delfina. They were my great-grandparents.)

* Tech's creation focus of professor's study - discusses the founding of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

28 May 2009

Articles found in the El Defensor Chieftain

I was a little bored, so I decided to search through Socorro's local newspaper El Defensor Chieftain for articles relating to New mexico history and genealogy. This is what I found:

* "1940 Socorro - The Business District" by Paul Harden. The is a description of many of the businesses in the area. Howevever, I noticed at least one mistake. It mentions that the Baca Haberdashery was owned by Robert Baca, assumedly my paternal grandfather. Actually, the Haberdashery was owned by my maternal grandfather Santiago Baca.

* "Socorro goes to the movies" by Paul Harden. A history of the Socorro movie theaters.

* "San Antonio School celebrates 80 years:A look at Socorro County rural schools" by Paul Harden

* "Mission Churches" Part I and Part II by Paul Harden. A history of Socorro area churches.

* "The Biggest Killer in the Southwest: Smallpox" by Paul Harden.

* "Character (and characters) have been part of Socorro's mystery and charm" by Valarie Kimble

* "Poet chronicled state history" by Marc Simmons. An article about Captain Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá's epic poem.

* "New Mexico family name boasts a glorious history" by Marc Simmons.

* "History travels the El Camino Real" by Marc Simmons

* "Miera and Pacheco was indeed a versitile fellow" by Marc Simmons

* "Rebel artillery fought hard in New Mexico battle" by Marc Simmons

* "Horses for Spanish soldiers" by Marc Simmons

... and many more. Want to search for other articles? Go to the El Defensor Chieftain website.

26 May 2009

Hammel Museum - Socorro, New Mexico

I found this link to the Hammel Museum in Socorro, New Mexico. From the website:

The HAMMEL MUSEUM started as a beer garden and, in the intervening century, became successively a brewery, an ice plant, a soda bottling plant, and finally ended as an active industry still making ice.

The museum is named in honor of the Hammel family, who came to Socorro in the early 1880's and built the brewery. Clarence Hammel was the last of the family to operate the business. He died in 1986. The structure was willed to the Socorro County Historical Society to become the Hammel Museum. The museum structure was built during the boom years in Socorro which began with the coming of the railroad in 1880 and ended with the closing of the mines by 1893. The museum chronicles the industrial and commercial history of those boom years.

Clarence's grandfather, Jacob Hammel emigrated to the United States from Munich, Bavaria in 1848. He was accompanied by his friend Eberhard Anheuser, who wanted Jacob to join him in building a brewery in St. Louis. Jacob, in his infinite wisdom, decided to start his own brewery across the Mississippi River in Lebanon, Illinois, close to East St. Louis. The plant across the rive in Missouri became, of course, the famous Anheuser-Busch company.

Nevertheless, Jacob did well with his brewery in Lebanon, calling it the Illinois Brewery. Relatives from Bavaria came over to work for the enterprising Jacob. Meanwhile, the company survived a spring flood even though survival required rebuilding the plant. In the early 1880's, Jacob's son, William G. Hammel was sent to New Mexico Territory for his health. He was diagnosed as having developed blood poisoning as a result of dental surgery. Living in New Mexico was supposed to prolong his life. It did! He was joined in Socorro by his brother Gustav....

To read more, click on this link.

19 May 2009

June 20, 2009 NMGS Field Trip

Saturday, June 20, 2009, 10:00 A.M.
El Rancho de Las Golondrinas
This living history museum is in Las Cienega, NM
15 miles south of Santa Fe and 45 miles north of Albuquerque.

The New Mexico Genealogical Society
invites you on a Field Trip to attend:

A Family Reunion,
Families of El Rancho de Las Golindrinas

This day-long event will be hosted by the El Rancho de Las Golindrinas Museum in La Cienega, NM. This museum depicts life of Spanish Colonial New Mexico.

Speakers include local archeologist Dedie Snow, genealogist Henrietta Christmas, and former state historian Robert Tórrez. Additionally, historic interpreter Manuel López will portray Hispanic mountain man “Marcelino Baca”, relating life and times of this 1800’s resident of Colorado and New Mexico.

Advanced registration is required: basic fees are $5.00 per person. Children under five are free. Make checks out to El Rancho de Las Golindrinas and mail to 334 Los Pinos Rd., Santa Fe, NM 87507. Please note “Reunion” on the outside of the envelope and include the names and number of family members who will be attending.

For more information, visit the museum website at You may find a registration form at

Directions: Las Golondrinas is 15 miles south of Santa Fe and 45 miles north of Albuquerque. Take Exit 276 and follow the brown "Las Golondrinas" signs. Please Note: due to RailRunner construction, Exit 276 may be closed approaching from Albuquerque. If so, From Albuquerque, you will need to take EXIT 271 and follow "Las Golondrinas" signs. Exit 276, from Santa Fe, will remain open.

The New Mexico Genealogical Society is not sponsoring of this event. We are merely offering information and inviting people to attend. For carpool information, please contact Robert Baca at (505) 299-7883. For a map to the site, visit our website at

10 May 2009


Frances Baca, born August 1, 1934, married Robert C. Baca on October 27, 1954, and died on February 19, 1999. She had three children: Janis, Cindy and Robert. She was my mom.

Many of the photos below I've posted before.

My uncle Jimmy and my mom, dressed up for a parade

My mom, on her graduation day in 1953

My mom, her parents, and siblings. From left to right: Aunt Josie, my mom,uncle Jimmy (kneeling), Aunt Judy (the baby),grandma Paublita, and grandpa Santiago.

Frances and Robert, and their wedding party, October 27, 1954.

Clock wise from top left: Frances, Bobby, Janis and Cindy

Frances Baca, being surprised at her baby shower, sometime in 1968. That's me in her tummy.

Four generations of moms, and one little boy.

From left to right, sitting on the couch, my grandmother Paublita (Zimmerly) Baca, my great-grandmother Delfina (Torres) Zimmerly, my mother Frances (Baca) Baca, on the floor, my sister Janis (Baca) Schwartenberg, and the baby is my nephew Shawn Schwartzenberg.

09 May 2009

Genealogy Trivia Challenge


Philip Bourguignon and Tomasa Gonzales are my 2nd great-grandparents on my father's side. Jose Epitacio Torres and Maria Guadalupe Padilla are my 2nd great-grandparents on my mother's side.

In his e-mail to me, Larry G. wrote that these two couples were also his 2nd great-grandparents; interestingly enough they on the same sides of his family as me.

How are Larry G. and I related?

I know the answer. I just want to see who can answer this question first.

05 May 2009

Photos of my father's Baca Family, 1950

Below is a photo sent to me by my cousin Ed Baca:

This is a picture of Juan and Carolina (Bourguignon)Baca with their children, at their 50th Anniversary, April 1950.

Kneeling L to R: Martin B. Baca, Philip B. Baca
Standing L to R: Robert B. Baca, Priscilla B. Baca, Lorenzo B. Baca, Juan Baca y Luna, Carolina Bourguignon Baca

Juan and Carolina Baca were my paternal grandfather's parents. Robert B. Baca was my grandfather.

I have a similiar photo that shows Juan and Carolina alone. This was given to me by my aunt Theresa.

Based on the clothing and the background, it seems to have been taken at the same time.

28 April 2009

May 16, 2009 NMGS Program

Saturday, May 16, 2009, 10:30 AM

Botts Hall, Albuquerque Special Collections Library

423 Central NE, Albuquerque NM

(NW Corner of Edith and Central)

New Mexico Genealogical Society


Internet Genealogy:

Using your computer to search, connect and publish – for free!

A workshop facilitated by Robert J.C. Baca,

President of the New Mexico Genealogical Society

One of the great things about the Internet is that there are a plethora of free sites that can be used for genealogy. Whether you are searching for lost ancestors, wishing to connect to family known and unknown, or wanting to publish family stories and genealogy, the Internet may be the place for you. Learn from a professed "Internet genealogy junky" who has "suffered" through countless hours of searching just so that he can tell you about all the best sites out there.

This program is free and open to the public.

For more information about our programs, please visit the New Mexico Genealogical Society website at

26 April 2009

CD: Santa Fe Deed Study

A New CD created by Tiggs Planning Consultants and published by the New Mexico Genealogical Society!


A CD of the Santa Fe Plaza Historic Deed Study is now available from the New Mexico Genealogical Society. The Deeds Study, completed in 1989 with funds from a New Mexico State Historic Preservation grant, was the result of an exhaustive search for deeds and related documents providing information on the Santa Fe Plaza area from Spanish occupation up to 1860.

The Deeds study is a unique report that provides information for historians, archaeologists, and historic preservationists. It is also of use to families doing research on family trees and property ownership.

The preparation of the CD was by Tigges Planning Consultants, Inc. and was funded by the City of Santa Fe. Note that the information may be retrieved either by using the indexes or by name or key word.

Sources searched for deeds and other documents include the NM Archives, Santa Fe Archdiocese; Santa Fe County, University of New Mexico Southwest Room Archives, and the Bancroft Library at the University of California. Other relevant documents were also included such as wills, inventories and government reports. Information on the CD includes the following:

A user’s guide;
A transcript of the written documents;
An English translation of Spanish documents;
Indexes for:
Names appearing in each document;
Key words, for example: Acequia Madre, camino, guerta;
Date of document;
Source of document; and
Buyers and sellers.

Copies of the CD are available for $20.00 ($10.00 for Libraries). Click here for order Form.