The Baca / Douglas Genealogy and Family History Blog

23 October 2012

November 2012 NMGS Program

Botts Hall
Albuquerque Special Collection Library
423 Central NE
Albuquerque, NM
(On the corner of Central and Edith)

Saturday, November 17, 2012
10:30 AM – Noon

The Albuquerque Special Collections Library
The New Mexico Genealogical Society

Richard Melzer

Delay after Delay and Finally,
Statehood at Last!

New Mexico's statehood was delayed for many reasons in the territorial period, 1850-1912 and this presentation will focus on five of the main reasons for the frustrating delay. Political cartoons from the last decade of the struggle will help illustrate New Mexico's troubles in Washington and in the court of public opinion. The presentation will end with a discussion of how these five main obstacles were overcome by 1910, thus allowing New Mexico to finally achieve statehood in 1912.
Richard Melzer is a professor at the University of New Mexico Valencia campus and is the author or editor of numerous books and literally hundreds of articles on New Mexico history.  His most recent works are:  New Mexico – Celebrating the Land of Enchantment, History of New Mexico Since Statehood, and Sunshine and Shadows in New Mexico’s Past.  We are grateful to Richard for agreeing to wrap up this series of programs celebrating the Centennial.

For more information about our programs, check out the New Mexico Genealogical Society’s website at

This program is free and open to the public.

07 October 2012

Jose Leon Benavidez

Sometimes I get comments about my blog posts within a day or two of posting them. That's the case of my article "Descendants of Ramon Baca".
Ramon Baca was my 2nd great grandfather on my mother's side (my mom being a Baca, too.) I recently discovered an 1885 census record of Ramon's family, and I posted that on my blog. (Click here to read.)
I decided to revise the information that I had on Ramon's family, and I linked a descendant chart to my "Descendants of Ramon Baca" post.
One of the people that was mentioned in the chart was Jose Leon Benavidez. Jose Leon Benavidez was the father in-law of one of Ramon Baca's grandsons, Hilario Gonzales, Jr.
Larry , a distant cousin of mine, responded to my post:
“Jose Leon Benavidez is my dad's maternal grandfather. I used to visit him in Lemitar, NM. I remember going over to see him and he had a wagon in the back that I used to play on. He only spoke Spanish so I never spoke to him since I don't speak Spanish. He would just rock on his rocking chair on the porch while my dad would visit with him. He was very old as I remember.

“He had a daughter named Prescilla Benavidez who married Hilario Gonzales who I am named after ... Hilario Gonzales died when my dad was only 1 1/2 years old. My grandmother Prescilla never remarried. Jose Leon Benavidez told his sons that whoever took in Prescilla and took care of her would get his property. My great-uncle Julian Benavidez had just lost his wife so he took in Prescilla and her children. So my dad was raised by his Uncle Julian....

“However, Benavidez is not the family name. I believe Gomocindo Benavidez who is Jose Leon Benavidez's father was taken in by the Benavidez family because they were abandoned by their father whose last name was Rael. I don't know his first name.... So if you try to look up the Benavidez family tree you will have to look for a Rael also.”
Based on this information, Larry is my 3rd cousin. BUT WAIT, let me go back to an article I posted on 15 March 2010: "My Maternal Baca Family: Part II".  In that article, I wrote this:
"Coincidentally, the younger Hilario Gonzales was my paternal grandfather's 1st cousin through their mutual grandparents Philip Bourguignon and Tomasa Gonzales. That would make Hilario and Prescila's grandchildren my double third cousins."  
Therefore, Larry is my DOUBLE 3rd cousin.
BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! In an email giving me permission to post his comments on this blog, Larry reminded me that he had a photo of my great-grandparents Estevan Zimmerly and Delfina Torres' wedding. He is also descended from Delfina's parents, Jose Epitacio Torres and Maria Guadalupe Padilla! So he's a fairly close cousin to me three times - once on my paternal grandfather's side (Philip Bourguignon), once on my matenal grandfather's side (Ramon Baca), and once on my maternal grandmother's side (Jose Epitacio Torres!) I'm not sure if he is a triple 3rd cousin, or a double 3rd cousin and also a 2nd cousin or 3rd cousin, once removed, but it's an interesting coincidence that he is related to me so many times within five generations of my family.
When I finally meet Larry, I wonder if we'll look a lot alike.

06 October 2012

Comment and correction to Socorro Grant Article

Francisco Sisneros, a respected New Mexico genealogist and founder of the Hispanic Genealogical Research Center, sent me an email a few days ago regarding my article about the 1818 list of Socorro residents that I published in the September 2012 New Mexico Genealogist. Francisco knows a lot about the Rio Abajo, so I trust him when he says something about the area. He wrote:

"Robert, thanks for the latest Socorro article. I hope you compile all your Socorro material soon and have it published in book form. I have just two initial comments: on page 120 you surmise that "Melisiano" is a title and I agree. Probably, this is the scribe's rendering of the Spanish word "miliciano" which means "militia man." Also, on the same page, you say that Los Enlames is a plaza of Belen. Los Enlames is not a plaza of Belen and never was. Los Enlames, is located between Tome and Casa Colorada on the east side of the Rio Grande and was settled probably in the very late 1790s and today is known as Adelino. Hope all is well. Francisco"

The article in question is:

Robert J. C. Baca, "Early Settlers of the Socorro Land Grant: An 1818 List Part III", New Mexico Genealogist, 51 (September 2012), pp. 118-126.

Part I of the article was published in the September 2011 New Mexico Genealogist, and Part II was published in March 2012.

05 October 2012

Crespin Torres Family 1885 Census of Socorro, NM

Here is another transcription I did from the 1885 Census. This is of Jose Crespin Torres and his family. The record shows him simply as C. Torres, but I know that it is him based on the family information.


Source: 1885 U.S. Census, Socorrro County, Territory of New Mexico, population schedule, Precinct 1 and 24 City of Socorro, enumeration district (ED) 32, pp. 45-46, dwelling 540, C. Torres; digital images, Ancestry Library Edition ( : accessed 29 September 2012).

Below is a descendant chart that I did for Jose Crespin Torres. The sources are within the document.

Both documents are copyright (c) 2012 by Robert J. C. Baca. 

04 October 2012

Descendants of Ramon Baca

Below is a descendant chart for my 2nd great-grandfather Ramon Baca. If you have any other information to share, please contact me at

Copyright (c) 2012 by Robert J. C. Baca

Ramon Baca Family in the 1885 Luis Lopez, NM Census

Below is my transcription of my 2nd great grandparent's family in the 1885 Luis Lopez, New Mexico census. Ramon Baca was married to Anastasia (Padilla) Baca. The census shows that this couple had eight children. However, there are a few mistakes in the census record.

First, the record shows that Juliana is "male". Juliana Baca, the future wife of Jose Leon Benavidez, is most obviously female. Second, Gabriel, Serito, and Maximiano, although listed as male, are also listed as daughters of Ramon Baca. The last example, although not technically a mistake, is hard to read. Line # 10 on my transcription has what looks like Rouol, a duaghter who was what may be 3 years old in 1885. Is this actually Raquel? Later census records will show Raquel born in 1884. Maybe what looks like a 3 is not actually a 3, but another number. However, the enumerator did not write down the name clearly enough and there does not appear to be a "q" in the name.

The record shows that Ramon and his teenage sons Gabriel and Serito were farmers. This is not a surprise: I've found this information in many other documents. Gabriel and Serito probably worked on their father's farm.


1885 United States Census, Socorro County, (Territory of) New Mexico, population schedule, Precinct 21 Luis Lopez, enumeration district (ED) 32, p. 138, dwelling 28, families 29, Ramon Baca; digital image, Ancestry Library Edition ( : accessed 29 September 2012).