I also ask that Geronimo Ortega, exhibit the testament of Sebastian Gonzales, my grand-father, because it will evidence the same, that my mother was the heiress and owner of the lands that we now claim. Juana Ortega.
Sent for proceedings, September 20, 1741 at Santa Fe.
In the villa of Santa Fe, on October 1, 1744, I the Captain Antonio de Ulibarri, Alcalde Mayor of the villa, in conforming with the decree to notify Geronimo Ortega that within two days he will have to present the testament that the party requests, you will warn him that failing to do so, he shall be arrested and confined in the prison until he complies with the order given according to law. That in obedience he would show the testament as requested, with the permission of Luisa Ortiz, widow of Sebastian Gonzales and that he is ready to deliver to the said heirs, the share that each is entitled to. Signed Juan Antonio de Ulibarri.
At Santa Fe, being within the walls and up the river on January 13, 1745, at the dwelling house of Geronimo Ortega; and Bernardo de Sena, the executor of Sebastian Gonzales, deceased, and also Juana de Ortega, Getrudes, Antonio and Luisa, the four being the heirs already married, jointly and severally agreed and were in agreement with their father, the said Geronimo Ortega, and considered that the house was in such a worthless condition and that only two rooms were livable, although they were also old; and there was some small and large plum trees which could not be divided, as they are so bunched together, the heirs could not divide them. It is proposed to them that there is a piece of farm land somewhat distant from the said house, situated up the river, that would be given to them, so that it could be divided among the four oldest, leaving the land adjacent to the house to the minors, who are in the custody of their father. If in agreement it shall be signed, Bernardo de Sena concurred. The lands were measured and being aware that all were heirs in equal parts as children of Sebastiana Gonzales, they asked said land to be pro-rated. The Alcalde took Geronimo Ortega by the hand, and the following children: Francisco, Tomas, Juan Francisco, Antonio Jose, Felipa, Sebastian and Victoria. I walked him around the fourteen cords of said lands belonging to the said parties, he pulled weeds, threw stones and performed other acts of true possession, by which he took quiet and peaceful possession. The lands were measured from west to east, from the corner of the fence of Jose Antonio Lucero, on the west land of Lucia Ortiz, wife of Antonio Giron; on the north by the river of the villa and on the south, the camino real leading to the river and inside of said boundaries the said land remained in the care of Geronimo Ortega. Signed Antonio de Ulibarri
Possession for the elder children:
I the Alcalde Mayor along with the following children delivered to each of the married ones his share:
- Antonio Ortega, was given 55 varas of land and five more because the land was narrow.
- Juana Maria Ortega, 55 varas.
- Getrudes Ortega, 55 varas of land, from east to west are bounded by the lands of Luisa Ortega and to this one - was given 50 varas of land with the same boundaries, and bounded with Francisco Ortega, a brother of the aforesaid one of the minors who is married. They all took possession peacefully, one after the other. Antonio de Ulibarri.
April 15, 1750, the Alcalde being at the house and residence formerly belonging to Geronimo de Ortega, now deceased, with my witnesses and there was present, Rosa Archibeque, widow of said Ortega and Antonio de Ortega, the oldest children of the said deceased. A piece of agricultural land had been donated to Rosa Archibeque, so that her and her children would enjoy it. The boundaries were 160 varas east to west and north to south 40 varas. The widow said that she did not want anything and only wanted to know if her deceased husband had left her anything; and that she was very poor and she kept repeating that. Although the other parties tried to convince her to take what was given to her, given to her because they knew she was extremely poor, she did not calm down and affirmed her assertion and the house. Jose de Bustamante.
I ordered the proceedings to be stopped as it was sunset, being at the house of the deceased Geronimo Ortega and present were, Antonio, Juana Maria, the said Antonio was attorney, his sister, wife of Antonio Urbano Montaño, Francisco, Juana, Getrudes, Tomas, Juan Francisco, Lucia and the other Antonio Jose, Felipa, Sebastian, Victoria de Ortega – all legitimate children.
References: Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Series I, Twitchell 336.
©Henrietta M. Christmas