Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Desideria Otero - Final Will, 1870 Santa Fe

On December 22, 1870, Desideria Otero, orders her last will and testament. She states she is dying from an illness that God has bestowed on her, and she's a resident of Santa Fe. She declares, she was married to Pablo Quintana for 30 years and they had three children, who she leaves as her heirs. She has a burro, mattress, two blankets, a large rug, a sarape, some saints, 11 mirrors, seven pillows, and additional house and kitchen furnishings. Her most interesting item is a salt shaker made of crystal "un salero de cristal." She names her executors as Ygnacio Ribera, Jose Antonio Brito and the document does not appear to be signed by her, but another witness Juan de Jesus Ribera does sign.

Since she doesn't name her children formally, we can assume some of the items for the kitchen were given to Lupita Quintana, a likely daughter. The other two, we will need to use additional resources to figure out who they are.

Wills are a useful took for genealogists. We can not only learn how our ancestors lived, but their families names, friends, debts and so on. Check your county clerks office to see if your family members left a will. You might find some new information to add to your family group sheets.

Reference: Santa Fe County Will and Probate Book "D", pgs. 30-31

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