I, Rosa de Archibeque, said widow of Geronimo de Ortega, personally appeared and said that the land left by her deceased husband belong in part to her children and that the Alcalde should investigate. So they proceeded to do so.
To the Alcalde: I, Rosa de Archibeque, who was the widow of Geronimo de Ortega, now deceased and at the present time married to Juan Bautista Herrera; with his consent of my present husband appear for myself and in the name of my children who are, Geronima, Maria Antonia, Maria Guadalupe and Ana, she goes on to explain lands that were purchased, donated and otherwise inherited, plus some missing papers.
Antonio de Ortega, a soldier appeared before the Alcalde and questioned about such papers. He said that he had given them to the Governor at the time (now deceased) and he never received them back. Francisco Ortega, also a soldier (who received his father’s military equipment), was summoned and questioned. He told them he knew nothing about purchased lands or missing papers. He was 40 years old and did not sign. Tomas de Ortega, another brother, was questioned and he knew nothing.
They went back to Rosa Archibeque and asked her to present the witnesses so that determinations can be made. She brought forth Antonio de Ulibarri, who did recall a land purchase from Andres Trujillo, but he could not remember which wife was involved and or payments or size. Ulibarri did not know about funeral payment made by Ortega for Lucia Ortiz, but thought it was a he mule. He knew Ortega was a soldier, but not for what length of time nor how much money he made. He also did not know of any instrument that was made from Ortega to Archibeque giving her any lands.
A second witness, Sebastian Gonzales, brother to the first wife came forward. He knew of the lands which were purchased during the lifetime of the first wife and he had paid with one good black horse, one pair of coral bracelets, one reliquary; also half of the plum trees and one small house and lot with a piece of land. All this mentioned was left to the declarer by his parents, Sebastian Gonzales and Lucia Ortiz; and for all, the said Ortega had given him one horse and five pedigreed cows and that he did not receive anything. He knew of no paper executed in favor of Rosa de Archibeque. Asked what property Geronimo Ortega brought to the second marriage, he thought it was the house furnishings. He also knew that Ortega was a soldier when he married the second time, but only for one year, more or less. He declared he was 54 years old.
At Santa Fe on June 27, 1760, the Governor Francisco Antonio Marin del Valle, had looked into the proceedings, all the papers and determined that there was malice on both sides. He mentions that if these proceedings go on, they will cost more than what the land is worth.
Rosa Archibeque was not allocated any more land and could live upon what was left for her four daughters; lands with the grove of plum trees.
References: Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Series I, Twitchell 336.©Henrietta M. Christmas