Know all who see this testament that I, Maria Luisa Rivera, finding myself sick in bed, but in sound mind and judgment, order this will made in the following form:
I declare that I have been married to the retired soldier, Juan Garcia, we lived together for 28 years; in which time we had raised eight children, five of those having died; and they were Jose Santiago, Jose Antonio; Jose Luis and Juan Jose, who are children; Maria de Loreto, married, living; Maria Josefa, Maria del Carmen and Juana Maria. I confess they are my legitimate children and heirs.
I declare the house where we reside as my property and it is composed of five rooms and a porch; and a piece of land measuring 300 yards, leaving my bedroom to pay for twelve masses for the repose of my soul. A schedule is in my husband’s possession.
I declare as my property 30 yards of land situated near the house of my deceased mother; and 90 in the Cañada of this city and one yoke of oxen, one female burro, three goats.
I declare as my chattels the household furniture, seven holy pictures, two boxes, one kettle, one iron griddle, one axe, two mattresses, one blanket, one bedspread, one brass jar, one chocolate pot, one rug and two pillows.
I declare I owe don Domingo Fernandes three pairs of stockings; and the gunsmith, Manuel Sena, three yards of sackcloth; I order them paid.
I declare having paid Señor Pablo Garcia 14 pesos, products of the land, for the care of one cow about to have a calf; and now it appears it is lost; I order it collected.
I declare that Juan Antonio Gonzales, resident of Abiquiu, owes me one fanega of beans; and Señora Rosa Archuleta owes me one peso in cash; I order them collected.
It is my will, if God deigns to take me in this illness, that my funeral be paid; and what remains of my small holdings be divided, after the death of my husband, among my children in equal parts in order that they may enjoy them with God’s blessing and mine.
I declare that I have made another testament, which I annul; and this is to be the only valid one.
I name as my administrators, in the first place, Miguel Rivera, my brother; and in the second place, Juan Diego Sena, whom I commission, for the love of God, to comply with and execute this last will and testament.
Two witnesses who were present signed with me in this city of Santa Fe, on the 18th of September 1823.
Manuel Baca, (rubric); Witness: Jose Larrañaga, (rubric) and Juan Benabides, (rubric).
References: Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Series I, Twitchell 803, Reel4, Frame 1296-1298.
©Henrietta M. Christmas