Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lands Grants in the Hispanic Southwest - Syllabus

Presented by Henrietta M. Christmas

Land Grants – Why do they exist?

Land grants were handed out to individuals and communities during different parts of governmental control prior to lands becoming part of the United States.  This lecture will focus on records for the Southwest US and primarily New Mexico.

Getting Started:
  • Start with the original document and forget everything else you know.

  • When was the document written and remember in 1700 they didn't know about the Surveryor General and the Private Land Claims cases.

  • Make sure the translations are good.

  • Use the Spanish Archives of New Mexico calendar first.  Or specific indexes by state.

  • Use J. J. Bowden material, a 6 volume set.

  • Catron Collection at University of New Mexico will have a file.

  • Look at Indian Agent records.

  • Census.

  • Family Records.

  • Attorney Papers mostly at the State Archives, whom would have handled the cases.
  • District Court Cases. 
  •  Organizational Powers of how land grants were granted.
  • Find a good map that can show you where it was located.
  • Land grantee, their process for obtaining land.
  • Types:  Individual versus Community Land Grants.
  • Adjudication process post US takeover.
What you can find in a Land Grant?
  •  Maps.
  • Testimonies.
  • Timelines.
  • Neighbors.
  • Genealogies of families for several generations.
Web based searches, subject headings
Land Grants – New Mexico or (state)
Land Grants -  New Mexio – History
Land Tenure – (state)
Indians of North America – Land Tenure
Texas General Land Office: 
Center for Land Grant Studies:
Arizona State Finding Aids:

Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Calendar, Series I
            New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe, NM

Albert James Diaz. A Guide to the Microfilm of Papers Relating to New Mexico Land Grants, Alb. 1960, UNM Press.  Out of print.

Ralph Emerson Twitchell. Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Volume I.  Out of Print but reprinted         by Sunstone Press.  Similar to the Calendar, but has more explanations.

White, Kock, Kelley and McCarthy. Land Title Study, Attorneys at Law and The New Mexico            State Planning Office.  Out of Print, 1981. 

Jocylyn Jean Bowden. Private Land Claims of the Southwest, Master’s Thesis completed, 1969,   Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX. Film at            the NM State Archives and book form at        UNM Zimmerman Library.  Also at UTEP for records pertaining to El Paso.

Malcolm Ebright.  Land Grants and Lawsuits in Northern New Mexico.  Albuquerque, NM      University of New Mexico Press, 1994.


New Mexico Historical Review
Arizona Historical Review
Texas Historical Commission

State Archives

Colorado State Archives
New Mexico State Records Center and Archives
Texas General Land Office
Arizona State Library and Archives

 Collections to review
·       Vertical Files at libraries.
·     Some small articles and thesis have been published on land grants.   
        Ⓒ 2012 Henrietta M. Christmas

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pojoaque Marriages 1788

On May 12, 1788, married and veiled, Juan Domingo Cuele, single, orphan with Maria Ygnacia Añu, single orphan, both Indians of this Pueblo.  Witnesses:  Juan Antonio Ombu, Antonio Chaves and his wife, Rosa Silvestra.

 On May 20, 1788, married and veiled Miguel Tache, Indian, single, legitimate son of Ygnacio and Francisca, both deceased with Veronica Velarde, Indian, single, legitimate daughter of Antonio Velarde, deceased and Juana Trujillo.  Witnesses:  Governor, Antonio Chaves, Juan Yelmo Antonio Ombu and his wife, Getrudis, all from Pojoaque Pueblo.

On September 11, 1788, married and veiled, Antonio Segundo Gonzales, single, resident of La Cañada jurisdiction, legitimate son of Pablo Gonzales and Candida Cordova, with Juana Josefa Baldes (Valdez), española, single, resident of this jurisdiction, daughter of Domingo Gonzales and Gregoria Martin, his wife, residents of the same jurisdiction, La Cañada.

On October 22, 1788, married and veiled, Xptoval Duran, single, resident of this jurisdiction, legitimate son of Gregorio Duran and Concepcion Cisneros, both deceased, with Antonia Polonia Aragon, española, single of this jurisdiction, legitimate daughter of Antonio Aragon and Maria Barbara Sanchez.  Witnesses:  Diego Duran and Maria Thomasa, residents of the jurisdiction of Abiquiu.

On October 22, 1788, married and veiled, Juan Domingo, Indian, single, orphan with Andrea, single, Indian, both from Nambe Pueblo, legitimate daughter of Juan Domingo and Micaela, both deceased.  Witnesses:  Eusebio Tafoya and Juana Ponche and Maria Gertrudis, his wife of the same Pueblo. (21)

References: FHL #16040

Ⓒ 2012 Henrietta M. Christmas

Friday, April 20, 2012

Valencia County

I've been trying to put together some kind of plan for researching in Valencia County and thought a timeline was the best way to do this.  I'm thinking this might help with some research puzzles I am trying to solve.

16th Century:  Coronado passes through and his troops stay for about two years.
1598:  we start recording history, otherwise it is oral.

17th Century:  mission churches were established at Acoma, Laguna, Isleta.

18th Century:  One of the first private land grants was given to and called San Clemente in Los Lentes.
1739:  Town of Tome is settled, grants given to Juan Varela, Nicolas Duran y Chaves are two.
1740:  Town of Belen granted to the Torres's and 32 other families.  It is said that these families came from Albuquerque, but I need to check on this as the Torres family was also up north near San Juan.

19th Century:  The Casa Colorada Grant was given to Jose Maria Perea and some others about 1823.
1852:  the County of Valencia was established.

And now I need to fill in the blanks.  There are maybe too many small villages in between these places on the camino real where people lived along the river.  Then I hope to establish some kind of time line for records as I go along.  With help of course.

© 2012 Henrietta M. Christmas

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Syllabus for my Civil War Lecture

 Civil War Pension Records in New Mexico

Henrietta M. Christmas

New Mexico had over 3,500 men that fought in the Civil War.  The records pertaining to the Civil War are enormous and are a valuable genealogical resource.  New Mexico, in particular, had men that served in the regular army, volunteers and as militia men. 

Background Work
  •   Look at the age of the men you are looking for.  Possibly 18-45 years old
       in the 1860 census.
  •   Check the census.
  •   Look at family records.
  •   Do you have a Civil War Headstone?
  •  Look in the 1890 Veterans schedule.
  •  The 1910 Census, column 30, if that is checked, Survivor of Union or Confederate. 
 Look at other resources
  1. Regular army.
  2. Militia.
  3. Volunteer.
  4. Muster cards or compiled service records.
 Online Resources
1    1.
3. Soldiers and sailors at:
4. – National Archives
6. Google, roster and battles

Pension Records

1. Look for your soldier in the pension files, I use Ancestry. If you find one, order it.

Regimental Histories

1. State Archives

2. State Libraries

3. Online histories


Wagner, Margaret E., Gary W. Gallagher and Paul Finkelman, editors.  Civil War Desk Reference.  New York.  Simon and Schuster, 2002.

Schweitzer, George K.  Civil War Genealogy.  Knoxville, TN. 2003. 

© 2012 Henrietta M. Christmas

Monday, April 16, 2012

Expo - Final Thoughts

Well the main reason I go to conferences is to learn something. I probably can say that this was a winner. I spent some time brainstorming with a co-Albuquerque genealogist on some new ways to present our information. Her wheels were turning and I could think of many ways to incorporate this new info into journal articles.

I also went to an online class for genealogy. It peaked my interest in that we should all make a list of really good sites and really bad ones. What about putting a +++next to the good ones and a --- next to the bad ones. I can say that some might be a mixture of both, depending on what you are looking at.

Bottom line is use primary documents, cite your sources and be thrilled to share your information. Now we can work on some projects.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Albuquerque Family Expo - Pretty Good So Far

Well Day 1 ended with about 250 attendees. Bennett Greenspan was the Keynote and gave a very inspiring intro into documents, DNA and quotes which he's picked up over the years. Bottom line is that in order to do great genealogy, you must work hard.

Dr. Arlene Eakles, WOW! As usual she gives hints, presses you for looking at primary documents and also circles of how to use names in documents to find your ancestors. I also love the way she told us about implied marriages.

Civil War was a hit and well attended. I think because the records are at NARA people don't look at them that closely, but the interest is there. So everyone should keep on looking.

I love conferences for the primary reason of learning something. I took lots of notes and maybe I can get those out this next week. More later today, from Day 2.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Civil War Terminology

I've been getting ready for my Civil War Pension lecture this weekend and decided to go over some of the terminology. I think I'm close, but somebody usually has some other ideas. So if you do, please let me know.

Battalion - Two or more companies, several companies of soldiers.
Company - A unit of 100-200 soldiers, most companies are formed into 3-4 platoons. Usually at least two companies commanded by a Colonel.
Brevet - Someone who hold a higher rank temporarily.
Picket - a detachment of one or more troops.
Calvary Company - aka troops.

Colonel - Brigade = 2,000 - 5,000 soldiers
Colonel - regiment = 3 - 4 battalions
Lt. Colonel - battalion = 2 -6 companies
Capt/Major - Company = 100 - 300 soldiers
1st or 2nd Lt. = Troop = 30 = 40 soldiers.

100 men = 2 platoons = 4 sections = 8 squads

1st Regiment = 10 companies (July/August 1861), commander Kit Carson - mustered at Ft. Union.

2nd. Regiment = 10 companies (July/August 1861), commander Col. Miguel Pino and Lt. Col. Manuel Chaves, mustered at Albuquerque.

3rd Regiment = 14 mounted companies (Sept/Oct 1861), mustered at Albuquerque and Ft. Union.

4th Regiment = few companies (Fall 1861).

5th Regiment = few companies (Fall 1861).

Within all of these are sub-companies of troops. Check your Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers. has many of the pension index cards which you need to order your soldier's file.

© 2012 Henrietta M. Christmas

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Family History Expo - Albuquerque - I'm speaking

A genealogical and historical researcher for 30+ years, descends from eleven soldiers that came with Oñate in 1598. A writer and speaker, she has written several genealogical and historical books, relating to New Mexico's towns and their people and more than 100 journal articles relating to genealogy and history.

Friday, April 13, 2012
7:50 pm: Civil War Pension Records in New Mexico: My Commander was Killed by the Billy the Kid Gang
(Experienced) New Mexico had over 4,000 men that fought in the Civil War. The records pertaining to the Civil War are enormous and are a valuable genealogical resource. New Mexico, in particular, had men that served in the regular army, volunteers and as militia men.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
11:20 am: Land Grants in the Hispanic Southwest
(Experienced) Land grants were handed out to individuals and communities during different parts of governmental control prior to lands becoming part of the United States. This lecture will focus on records for the Southwest US and primarily New Mexico.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Hispanic Buffalo Hunters - History Museum of New Mexico

This morning I spent quite a while doing a presentation on Ciboleros (Buffalo Hunters). Here's a piece of what I wrote for a chapter in Sunshine and Shadows In New Mexico's Past, but follows the presentation I did for the docents. The Historical Society of New Mexico, is publishing a three part series of books that follow each century.

Hides were considered to be valuable commodities as early New Mexico wills denote them as part of the hijuelas (inventories). Salvador Montoya in 1727, noted 55 tanned buckskins, four white buffalo skins and three buffalo skins, all included in his estate.[i] Alonzo Rael de Aguilar in 1745 had as property, 40 buffalo hides, including tanned ones.[ii] Diego Manuel Baca, in 1727, declared that Antonio Montoya owed him two hides with seven bands in a girdle; along with seven other buckskins[iii]. Bartola Hurtado upon her deathbed, noted five hides, and six old ones, valued at $24, skin paintings at $2 and numerous other household items[iv]. The 1780 estate of don Manuel Vigil from Taos shows an inventory of 242 skins of different sizes, 11 which were buffalo hides, 7 white, and 12 thick. The white skins were valued at 12 pesos, 2 reales, 11 hides at 38 pesos, 4 reales and thick hides at 14 pesos, 2 reales. These men and their families likely hunted buffalo in the early 18th century, acquiring them as part of their household inventories. Much of the buffalo were used for home use. The additional hides were sold or traded up and down the Camino Real.

[i] Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Twitchell # 512. [Montoya will and testament. Salvador wed Maria Manuela Garcia de la Riva April 25, 1800, Bernalillo]

[ii] Spanish Archives of New Mexico SANM, (New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe, NM) Twitchell # 31. [Aguilar will and testament. Aguilar had two wives and 10 known children]

[iii] SANM, Twitchell #83. [Baca will and testament. The amount totaling $114. Baca married Maria de la Vega y Coca on August 14, 1719 at Bernalillo]

[iv] SANM, Twitchell # 409. [Hurtado will and testament. She married Bernardo Bustamante and they lived in Santa Fe until her death]

© 2012 Henrietta M. Christmas

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Albuquerque Expo - Tanner on Retouching Photos, Facial Recoginition and Living People

Tom Underhill

Publisher, senior designer and author of nine books at Creative Continuum, a book design and publishing company specializing in high-quality, short-run books, Tom and his company have recently produced more than 400 family history heirloom books, printed more than 10.5 million pages and scanned more than 13,000 photographs.


Friday, April 13, 2012
3:30 pm: Making Facial Recognition Work for You
(Beginner-Experienced) We all have boxes of unlabeled photos filled with potential relatives and ancestors. Photo processing software like Picassa and iPhoto have become more useful as research tools. Discover the efficacy of using facial recognition as a real-world tool in bringing order to your photo library.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
11:20 am: Photo Retouching for Beginners
(Beginner) Digitizing your existing photos requires more than just clicking the scan button. This class teaches techniques to maximize scanning of historical photographs, focusing on tin-types and overly-silver originals, faded images, and red-shifted photos from the 1960s and '70s.
1:10 pm: Finding People Before They've Died
A living person is almost always the best source... but finding them can be tricky! Learn the techniques investigative reporters trust to find people while they’re still

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Albuquerque Expo - Anderson, New Mexico Research - A Fun Puzzle

Nancy Anderson

Past President of the New Mexico Genealogical Society, has been spent 34 years researching families from Texas to New England and her husband’s family in New Mexico. She answers queries for NM research and volunteers at the library assisting researchers. She has published two book and numerous articles.


Friday, April 13, 2012
6:30 pm: New Mexico Research ~ A Unique, Fun Puzzle
What Makes New Mexico Records Unique!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My Lujan Line

Juan Domingo Lujan Serrano with Maria Dolores Hurtado, español, he's from the villa de Santa Fe, son of Francisco Luxan Serrano and Juana Truxillo, deceased, she is española, from Cochiti, daughter of Felipe Santiago Hurtado and Lucia Martin, pad/ Isidro Montolla and and his wife. This record is dated August 18, 1777 at Cochiti.

I have Maria Dolores Hurtado coming out of Picuris and she was baptized on May 29, 1763. So she was 14 years old when she married. I have six known children for them.

This record goes back to Francisco Luxan and Juana Truxillo and that is where I dead end. I had someone tell me that he descends from Juan Jose Lujan and Maria Martin Serrano who were married in Santa Fe in 1698. But after studying this for quite a while, I gave up. I don't think I've looked at this in more than 10 years.

I like the idea of a cohesive Lujan genealogy. I'll see what else I can drum up.

References: Personal database.

© 2012 Henrietta M. Christmas

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Albuquerque Expo - Greenspan on New Avenues in Genetic Genealogy

Friday, April 13, 2012, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Albuquerque, Family History Expo.

6:30 pm:
New Avenues in Genetic Genealogy(Beginner-Experienced) Recent scientific breakthroughs in the field of genetic genealogy offer many new avenues for making genealogical discoveries, determining your ethnic makeup, and finding cousins. Family Tree DNA was among the first companies to offer this new technology and has been actively developing the tools to help you explore your DNA in a comprehensive way. This talk will review the practical applications of new autosomal chip-based testing for the genealogist, demonstrate how our interface is designed with genealogy in mind, and discuss how this technology is shaping the future of our field. We will cover topics useful for beginners and experienced individuals.

To see more on the conference and list of speakers, topics and handouts, go to:

Monday, April 2, 2012

Santa Cruz de la Cañada 1790 - A Few Burials

On January 2 1774, Miguel Cordoba with Juana Susana Martin, marry in Santa Cruz. By April 25, 1790, Miguel Cordova the deceased, married to Juana Susana Martin, is noted in the burial records. He received all the sacraments.

The next burial record is for Antonia, parvula, four years old, daughter of Jose Melchor Lopez and Maria Mondragon, residents of la Cañada, dated April 29, 1790. Melchor and Maria Graciana Mondragon married in Santa Cruz on November 10, 1784.

On April 20, 1790, Juan Cristoval, son of Juan Estevan Medina, and Victoria Quintana, from Cundillo (Cundiyo) is buried. I'm not sure when this couple married.

References: FHL #16973, Personal Database of Families.

© 2012 Henrietta M. Christmas