This suit was brought against Pedro Gallegos, the father, of Tomas Antonio Gallegos for his maternal inheritance from Margarita Garcia.
I, Tomas Antonio Gallego, a native of Bernalillo and resident of the city, have crippled legs and appear before you. I state that more or less than 40 years have passed since my mother, Margarita Garcia died. She was married first to Pedro Antonio Gallegos, both residents of Bernalillo. She left me at the age of seven with livestock, such as cattle; sheep; horses and a house and some lands. This property was acquired during the time of the marriage and because I was a minor, my father, Pedro Antonio Gallegos took charge of the maternal part of the property until I should marry or arrive at the legal age and receive and or manage it myself. My father re-married with my mother-in-law, Maria de la Luz Balencia, a resident of the same place. Without making an estimate of what belonged to me as maternal inheritance.
For about five years now, my mother-in-law, has urged my father to come to the city where her family lives; the result was that in going and coming so many times he abandoned the house and lands and the same deteriorated somewhat. But my father, knowing about the damage that would follow, decided to trade the cows and sheep, having at this time bought the lands of the ranch called Las Cieneguitas and the ranch called Pueblo Quemado, with their houses, both pertaining the said jurisdiction of the city. We moved all the property to said rand at Pueblo Quemado where we lived for about 15 years. The said property is in the same condition and in existence, although when I was 25, I got married and did so with the knowledge of my father who gave me a place in the ranch of Las Cieneguitas so that I might build and plant and reside there.
My father decided at the time to sell the house and lands which we had in Bernalillo in order to give to the children possession of the ranch where we lived, having built our house at our expense, the result being at present that he wants to take away from me the right which has been conferred upon me, disinheriting me from the house and lands, leaving me abandoned in everything, by virtue of which I consider myself a poor and crippled man with a wife and five kids. I feel it is necessary to claim my rights of which belonged to my deceased mother. I do not petition for myself but for my children… Therefore, I pray that in your kindness and just procedure you will please order my father to means of suggestion and not through severity for the law to allow me to live in the house and lands of my habitation which he voluntarily gave me, and in default to make a settlement according to his conscience and to turn over to me the property due me as inheritance from my now deceased mother. In Santa Fe, June 23, 1822, signed Tomas Antonio Gallego.
Response from his father: In complying with the decree, I state that even though the petitioner has lost the answer which I made to his previous petition, it is not logical that the same should escape his memory so soon. What I stated regarding what be solicits a second time is that the property which was left my his deceased mother, did not amount to more than what I mentioned, because neither she nor I brought to our marriage any goods from which there might have resulted as much property as stated by him and there was only what I earned by my work, which consisted of 100 ewes, the small ranch and house at Bernalillo, one mare and one bull. Because I acquired the same during my first marriage, it is proper that only the children that I had by her shall enjoy the same.
In this petition he asks only that the little ranch on which he lives should be left to him. “Get out of here!” I told him, although I said it inspired by the insults and annoyance which he offered me with his ill-found claims. He did not go, nor had I any honest intention of taking it from him because, as I have already stated, I never cease to be a father and it he were a good son, he would enjoy my protection with greater measure, as his brothers have; and if at any time I fail him in this, it is in order to punish his conduct and to see that in this manner he form, and when I die and my property is divided he will be entitled to something because he built his house there and he may enjoy it with my blessing. Thus what I demand of him is the obedience, honor and reverence which he owes me. Signed at Santa Fe, June 28, 1822, Pedro Gallego (mark)
Before me, there appeared in person don Tomas Gayego, resident of the villa of Santa Fe, and don Jose Mariano Gayego, resident of Bernalillo, whom I know.
Don Jose Mariano Gayego declares that it is true that he bought from don Pedro Gayego, at this place, 250 varas of cultivable land as shown in the deed which he has in his possession and that this is true, and he also sold to him in part payment for the land and one adobe house which consists of four rooms and doors and windows and that he gives his judicial declaration for the purpose which may be expedient, dated at Bernalillo, July 12, 1822.
Before me, at San Carlos of Alameda, personally appeared Tomas Gallegos, resident of Santa Fe, and don Mariano Perea, resident of Bernalillo, whom I know. Tomas Gallego said that he asked in justice that the said Perea give him an affidavit of what he knew concerning the property, house and lands that his father, don Pedro Gallego had in the year the mother of the said Tomas, former wife of Pedro Gallegos, died. The death occurred in the year 80 of the past century.
Perea stated that he declared it to be true that he resided in the same town with his uncle Pedro, and that he cannot say anything else but what was frequently sold; that he knew had land, a small flock of sheep, some oxen and horses and that he also had an adobe house, all located in Bernalillo, that he cannot state the number of articles that he knew he had; At Bernalillo, July 12, 1822. Signed, Baltasar Perea and Jose Maria Gutierres, Secretary.
To be continued.
References: Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Series I, Twitchell 386.
©Henrietta M. Christmas