In my research, I have often concentrated on my 2nd great-grandparents. Probably because these ancestors are distant enough for me to consider them to be pioneering folk, yet close enough that I can have a definite connection with their descendants, my cousins. All of my 2nd great grandparents were born in the 19th century and experienced rapid change. Within their lifetimes, New Mexico became a territory of the United States; the United States experienced a Civil War and trains began transversing the territory; some of them experienced the turn of the century, the advent of the automobile, and statehood; and a few of them lived during World War I and the beginning of the Great Depression.
Ramon Baca and his wife Maria Anastasia Padilla lived at least into the early 20th century. They show up with their nine surviving children in the 1900 United States Census record of Luis Lopez, New Mexico (click to see transcription of the record.) Although Anastasia Padilla's genealogy is interesting, I would like to focus on Ramon's family history here.
Ramon is the son of Jose Rafael Baca and Maria de la luz Jesus Chaves. We know who his parents are because they are named on Ramon and Anastasia's marriage record. Ramon married Anastasia on 10 April 1861 at the San Miguel Parish in Socorro, New Mexico. We also know of Ramon's approximate birth date because it was listed in the 1900 Census: he was born circa August 1837. I have yet to find a baptismal record for Ramon.
Ramon's father is a real mystery. I cannot find a marriage record for Jose Rafael Baca and Maria de la luz Jesus Chaves. He is mentioned directly in only two other places: in his burial record for 24 January 1838, where his wife is also mentioned; and in his wife's subsequent marriage to Jose Francisco Saavedra on 16 March 1842 in Socorro, New Mexico, where she is noted as the widow of Jose Rafael Baca.
I figure that Jose Rafael Baca and Maria Chaves were probably married between 1833, when a Socorro area census showed a 12 year old Maria de Jesus in her father's household *, and 1837, the year that their son Ramon was born. As far as I can determine, Ramon was the only child from their marriage.
Since many of the Baca families who came to the Socorro area were originally from Belen, New Mexico, I searched for Jose Rafael Baca in the baptismal, marriage and burial records of Tome, Belen and Socorro. I found many Jose Rafaels, and Rafaels in the records. None seemed definitely to be the Jose Rafael Baca for whom I was searching.
I went back to the 1833 census records of the Socorro area, and found a 20 year old Jose Rafael Baca in the household of 70 year old Dionisio Baca (page 5, New Mexico Census of 1833 and 1845 Socorro and Surrounding Communities of the Rio Abajo. See citation below.) I matched this with a baptismal record for Jose Rafael Baca, born to Dionisio Antonio Baca and Ana Maria Sanchez, on 25 October 1808, in Tome, New Mexico. Although I am not completely satisfied with this match, I have put this relationship in my database, as well as Jose Rafael's birth date.
As mentioned before, Jose Rafael Baca's son Ramon had nine living children in the 1900 Census. In my next article, which will be posted on Sunday in this blog, I will discuss four of his children: Juliana, Serito, Maximo and my mom's paternal grandfather Rafael Baca.
* 1833 Census of Sabino, New Mexico:
Luis CHAVES .... 60
Juan .... 20
Ma(ria) Antonia ... 15
Ma(ria) de Jesus ... 12
Feliz ... 8
Source: Teresa Ramirez Alief, et. al., New Mexico Census of 1833 and 1845 Socorro and Surrounding Communities of the Rio Abajo (Albuquerque, New Mexico: New Mexico Genealogical Society, 1994)
The second part of this series can be found here.