The Baca / Douglas Genealogy and Family History Blog

23 September 2014

Dionosio Antonio Baca and his son-in-law Agustin Torres

Dionosio Antonio Baca was one of the founders of modern-day Socorro, New Mexico. Although Socorro was originally founded in 1598, it had been abandoned before the 1680 Pueblo Revolt and not re-settled until 1815 or 1816. We do not have a list of people who re-settled Socorro; however, we do have a list of people who contributed to a war campaign against the Navajos in 1818. This is the best information that we have regarding who was living there in the early years of its existence. Baptismal records from Belen and Socorro confirm the identities of many of the settlers as well as suggest a few more names.

Dionosio Antonio Baca and Ana Maria Sanchez had at least 10 children. Below is a list of those children:

Individual summary for Dionosio Antonio Baca

I'm going to focus on two of the children: Jose Rafael Baca (1808- 1838) and Maria Felipa Josefa Bonaficia Baca (1767-1838). In my article "A Baca Family in Socorro County, New Mexico 1808-Present" (New Mexico Genealogist 49, December 2010, pp. 196-204), I conjectured that Jose Rafael Baca, who married Maria de Lus Jesus Nepomuncena Baca, was the son of Dionosio Antonio Baca and Ana Maria Sanchez. The problem was that there were many Rafael Bacas in Belen and Socorro, and all I had to confirm Jose Rafael Baca's existence was his son Ramon's marriage record, Jose Rafael's burial record, and his widow's marriage record to her second husband in which she proclaimed that she was the widow of Jose Rafael Baca. By comparing all of the Rafael Bacas in the area, I came to the conclusion that Jose Rafael Baca was the son of Dionosio Antonio Baca. Let's say that this was just an educated guess and not a firm conclusion. There was only one young man named Jose Rafael Baca in the 1833 census of Socorro and the surrounding area. All others had slightly different names, (including his brother Jose Rafael Marcos Baca) and all records mentioned him by his full name rather than by a truncated name (such as Rafael Baca.)

Jose Rafael Baca was my mom's 2nd great-grandfather, through her paternal Baca line:

Relationship chart - Jose Rafael Baca to Frances R. Baca

Maria Felipa Josefa Bonifacia Baca (Felipa, for short) was another one of Dionosio and Ana Maria's children. She married Agustin Torres, the grandson of the founder of Belen, Diego Torres. Felipa and Agustin were among the earlier settlers of Socorro, but may have not been there when it was initially founded. They are not listed among the people who donated goods to the war campaign of 1818. The first record of one of their children being born in Socorro was in July 2, 1823, and that was their son Santiago Torres. It is possible that they moved to Socorro to follow Felipa's parents. It also might be that they were trying to escape the notoriety of her husband's affair with another woman - one of Felipa's cousins. An 1806 prenuptial investigation in Belen indicated that the knowledge of the affair was widespread throughout the community.

Felipa and Agustin had nine children, most of them born in Belen:

Individual Summary - Felipa Baca

Two of Felipa's children are important to my ancestry: Ricardo Torres and Simon Torres.

Ricardo was the grandfather of my great-grandfather Esteban Zimmerly. Simon was the great-grandfather of Esteban's wife, Delfina Torres. This relationship made my great-grandparents 2nd cousins, once removed:

Relationship chart between Esteban Zimmerly and Delfina Torres.

Esteban Zimmerly and Delfina Torres had a daughter by the name of Maria Paublita Zimmerly. Paublita is my grandmother. She married the aforementioned Santiago Baca, the descendant of Jose Rafael Baca. My grandparents were 3rd cousins, once removed:

Relationship chart between Santiago Baca and Maria Paublita Zimmerly

In all, I am descended from Dionosio Antonio Baca and Ana Maria Sanchez three times, all on my mother's side of the family.

Maria Paublita (Zimmerly) and Santiago Baca


Robert J. C. Baca, "A Baca Family in Socorro County, New Mexico 1808-Present", New Mexico Genealogist, 49 (December 2010), 196-204.

Robert J.C. Baca, "Early Settlers of the Socorro Land Grant: An 1818 List, Part III," New Mexico Genealogist, 51 (September 2012): p. 119. 

Robert J. C. Baca, "The Zimmerlys of Socorro: A Swiss Civil War Soldier and an Old New Mexican Family", New Mexico Genealogist, 50 (June 2011), 50-59.

19 September 2014

Free Internet Genealogy Workshop

Workshop: Free Internet Genealogy 
by Robert J.C. Baca, New Mexico Genealogical Society President
Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 6 – 7 pm. 

St. John's Methodist Church
2626 Arizona St. NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Room 149/151 

New Mexico Genealogical Society President - and St. John’s member - Robert Baca presents a workshop on Free Internet Genealogy. Find out how to use free resources on the web such as, USGenWeb, and the Albuquerque Public Library website to delve into your family history. This workshop will be hands-on, so please bring to the program a laptop computer or other device that is WiFi compatible. 

The workshop is free and open to the public.

Come to the church early - starting at 5 p.m. - and you can get dinner prepared by Chef Tim for only $10! September 24th's menu is Teriyaki Pork Chops. The children's menu is chicken tenders. Dinner includes dessert and a drink. The meal is $10 for adults (18 and older), $5 for children 12 to 17;  $2 for children 6 to 11; and children under 6 eat for free!

For more information, please visit the St. John's Methodist Church website at this link.

18 September 2014

Bacas, Garcia Jurados and a few Torreses and Montoyas for good measure

I've  become a fan of genetic genealogy. I don't believe it can replace conventional genealogy, but it sure can help clarify questions and find distant relatives.

Regarding the latter - I bought the Family Finder test last year, and I've found a few hundred relatives. A few of these relatives have posted their genealogies on the FamilyTreeDNA website. I've noticed a few trends in their genealogies.

First, I have a number of relatives who are related to me through my 4th great-grandparents Dionosio Antonio Baca and Ana Maria Sanchez. My closest relative on the site is Mr. F.M. who shares my 2nd great-grandparents Ramon Baca and Anastasia Padilla (making us 3rd cousins.) Ramon Baca is the the grandson of the aforementioned Dionosio Antonio and Ana Maria. Mr. R.M. is the fourth great-grandson of Dionosio Antonio and Ana Maria - making him my 5th cousin. Mrs. L.V.J.E. and Mrs. D.W are also my 5th cousins through this relationship. Mrs. L.T.A. has them as her 3rd great-grandparents, which makes her my mother's 4th cousin and my 4th cousin, once removed.

Dionosio Antonio Baca is the great-grandson of Ramon Garcia Jurado and his first wife Juana Antonia de Espindola y de las Heras. A number of my relatives are descendants of Ramon Garcia Jurado and his second wife Bernadino Hurtado. This latter couple are my 7th great-grandparents. Mr. F.T., Jr.; Mr. L.C.; Mr. G.G.R.; Mr. N.C.G.; Mr. B.M.; Mr. K.G.S and Mrs. N.C.P. are all descendants of this couple.

Other relatives are related to me through Diego de Torres, one of the founders of Belen, and various Montoya families. Two of my relatives, Mrs. H.M.C. and Mr. M.M., are descendants of Luis Maria Cabeza de Baca, my 4th great-grandfather. H.M.C. is descended from Luis Maria's first wife; both M.M. and I are descended from Luis Maria's 2nd wife.

I have personally contacted only a few of these people. A few of them are friends and genealogical colleagues of mine. One, who is a 5th cousin of mine, is the president of one of the leading genealogy societies in town. Many have roots either in Socorro, Belen or Pena Blanca.

I am still waiting to find a Zimmerly or Bourguignon family member to take a Family Finder test. I would also like to find a closer Torres family (one from Socorro, rather than Belen) on the site.

16 September 2014

Descendants of Toribio Garcia Jurado

Andres Armijo, the author of "Por Constancia /So that it may be validated: Family History in the Rio Abajo", informed me recently that he is related to me. I already knew that we were related by marriage - his great uncle married my great aunt, and therefore we have mutual cousins. I also figured that we were related to each other in other ways. After all, we are both of New Mexico stock and we both come from the Rio Abajo. But even though I read his book, I didn't realize that he had information that showed that we are 7th cousins.

In his book, Andres indicated that he is the descended of Joseph Enrique Chaves, a soldier from Belen who enlisted in Isleta Pueblo in 1808. Joseph Enrique Chaves was the son of Santiago Chaves and Maria de la luz Garcia. Maria de la luz Garcia was the daughter of Toribio Garcia Jurado and Antonia Teresa Gutierrez. Based on my extrapolation of the information that he presented, Andres is the 6th great-grandson of Toribio and Antonia (see pages 102-104 of his book.) I, too, am the 6th great-grandson of Toribio and Antonia - three times - and their 7th great-grandson once.  That makes Andres and me 7th cousins and 7th cousins, once removed.

Andres' ancestors probably stayed in Belen for a few generations at least. My ancestors were the original (re) settlers of Socorro in 1815.

In my two articles in the September 2011 and March 2012 New Mexico Genealogist - "The Early Settlers of the Socorro Land Grant: An 1818 List (Parts I and II)", I mention two specific ancestors of mine who are the children of Toribio Garcia Jurado and Antonia Teresa Gutierrez. Francisco Xavier Garcia Jurado, married three times, was one of the instrumental founders of Socorro. In 1817 and 1818, he petitioned the governor to get title of the Socorro Land Grant for the settlers. He was listed in an 1818 list of Socorro residents who contributed goods to a military campaign against the Navajos. (Part I - page 117.) I am descended from Francisco Xavier's second wife Maria Josefa Sanchez, who was dead by 1816.  (New Mexico Roots, Volume 4, page 616.)

Francisco Xavier's sister Maria Trinidad Garcia Jurado arrived Socorro by 1818 with her husband Feliciano Montoya. Feliciano Montoya was listed on the 1818 list, which confirms that he was living in Socorro at the time. (Part II - page 12.)

Descendants of Francisco Xavier Garcia Jurado include my second great-grandmother Maria Guadalupe Padilla, who married my 2nd great-grandfather Jose Epitacio Torres. They were the parents of Delfina Torres, who married Estevan Zimmerly - my great-grandparents - my maternal grandmother's parents. Another descendant is Jose Crespin Torres, my 2nd great grandfather on my father's side, who married Maria Andrea Trujillo.

Descendants of Maria Trinidad Garcia Jurado include Maria Pabla Torres who married Samuel Zimmerly, who were the parents of the aforementioned Estevan Zimmerly (which means that Maria Pabla Torres and Maria Guadalupe Padilla were 3rd cousins, and their children - the married couple Estevan and Delfina were fourth cousins.) Also, my 3rd great-grandfather, Jose Valentine Torres, the father of the aforementioned Jose Epitacio Torres, was a great-grandson of Maria Trinidad. This means that Jose Epitacio Torres and his wife were 2nd cousins, once removed. Also Josefa Abeyta, Jose Epitacio Torres' first wife, was also a great-granddaughter of Maria Trinidad Garcia Jurado, which made this couple also second cousins. Luckily, I'm not descended from her, too.

If you wish to get proof of these relationships, please contact me.

The Garcia Jurado family is one of my favorite families, partially because I'm descended from them many times and also because they are just interesting people. I mean, just look at Ramon Garcia Jurado (Toribio's famther), Ramon's daughter Petronila Garcia Jurado (not mentioned here, but I wrote about her in the June 2014 New Mexico Genealogist) and his grandson Francisco Xavier Garcia Jurado. All of these people had colorful lives. You can read about them in articles that I've written and through books such as Origins of New Mexico Families (by Fray Angelico Chavez), The Spanish Recolonization of New Mexico (Esquibel and Colligan), and "Spanish Colonial Lives" (Tigges and Salazar.)

04 September 2014

The Line of Santiago

As many of you know, my name is Robert James Baca. What you might not know is that my middle name comes from my mother's father Santiago Baca. Santiago literally means "St. James" in Spanish, but is often translated as "James."

When researching my family, I noticed a trend among my ancestors. I call it the line of Santiago.

My maternal grandfather Santiago Baca was born on December 24, 1907, and died on July 19, 1961. Santiago Baca married my grandmother Maria Pablita Zimmerly in 1932.

Santiago Baca's maternal grandfather was Santiago Padilla, who was probably born in the mid 1800s, and married my 2nd great grandmother Maria Albina Trujillo in 1878.

Santiago Padilla's 2nd great grandfather was Santiago Trujillo who was married to Victoria Chaves, probably in the 1760s. He was probably born in the 1730s or 1740s.

The leap from Santiago Padilla and Santiago Trujillo is a bit large (5 generations.) As such, it's unlikely that Santiago Padilla was named after his 2nd great grandfather. However, it does appear that my grandfather was named after his grandfather. You will see that in many Hispanic families, especially those from a hundred a years ago. New Mexicans generations ago were often named after one of their grandparents.

So my middle name seems to go at least as far back as the 1800s, and possibly the 1700s. This is a neat legacy to have.

My grandparents Santiago and Pablita (Zimmerly) Baca