My great-great-grandmother’s name was Ramoncita Ortega. An older cousin once mentioned her name was Ramoncita, but I thought maybe it was a diminutive her family used and her proper name was Ramona. I’ve just requested my great-grandmother’s birth certificate from Santa Fe but it will take 4-6 weeks for processing so I won’t really know how she spelled her name on official paperwork for a while. After all, it was my grandmother’s birth certificate that made me realize I was spelling names incorrectly which hampered my search more than I would have imagined it could.
By the time the 1910 census arrived she was married to Francisco Gonzales Armijo. The census reveals that she spoke Spanish and could not read or write but that her husband did both and spoke English. At the time she had 3 of her 6 children, including my great grandmother Domitila. Interestingly, her mother is reported to have been born in New Mexico. This contradicts family stories but that isn’t surprising. I wonder if she reported for herself or if her husband reported for her?
By the 1930 census, Domitila got married, had a few children including my grandmother, and moved in right next door to her mother, Ramoncita. Ramoncita was divorced by this time and taking care of her last 3 children. Somewhere along the way she learned English as well as how to read and write. She reports that her mother was born in New Mexico, so it must have been true or it must have been what she thought was true. I can’t imagine why she would report something she knew to be false, but my grandmother has very clear memories of Ramoncita’s mother speaking a language that wasn’t English or Spanish. I am still not able to attach Ramoncita to another Ortega in New Mexico so I hope Domitila’s birth certificate will at least give me enough information to find Ramoncita’s birth certificate (assuming one exists). It would be a starting point to look for Ramoncita’s mother, my great-great-great grandmother.