The Mystery of Juana Ortega

Yesterday I went to the New Mexico Genealogical Society’s Facebook page to see if anyone would recognize Ramonsita Ortega or Francisco Gonzales.  A nice lady mentioned that she had some Gonzales family from the Agua Fria area of Santa Fe so she didn’t mind looking them up in her books.   She said:

This is from the new Marriage book I worked on from Santa Fe – pub. HGRC p. 77 May 27, 1901, Dispensed publishing two banns, I married Francisco Gonzales widowed of Antonia Alvarado, son of Juan Gonzales and Anastasia Armijo, both deceased from Santa Fe, with Ramoncita Ortega, single, daughter of Dionisio Ortega and Sara Tailor (sic) from Santa Fe.

I searched with this new information and this is what came up:

This is the 1900 census for Santa Fe, New Mexico. The fifth entry is Dionisio Ortega, head of household, with his wife Juana and their children including Ramona who was 12 and born in March.

Who is Juana?

The 1910 census. Dionisio Ortega is again listed with his wife Juana with their children. Note Celestino and Isabel are on this list.
The 1920 census. Dionisio Ortega’s wife is now listed as Sara Taylor and they are living with their last two children, Celestino and Isabelita. Sara also is reported to have come from Missouri.
This is a notice of Juana Ortega’s death from the Mormon website Family Search. It notes that she was married to Dionisio Ortega and that her father was James Taylor. Juana/Sara died on June 20, 1927.

Why did Sara go by Juana most of her adult life?  The story my family always told me was that we had an ancestor named Sarah Jane Taylor.  Did Jane turn into Juana?  Why does the census say she’s from Missouri?  That wouldn’t be correct according to family history.  Why is her mother unknown?  So far I haven’t been able to find Sara and James in New Mexico or Missouri but I haven’t been searching for long.  Dionisio and Juana/Sara are also found on the 1880 census but there isn’t census records of them together before that year.


5 thoughts on “The Mystery of Juana Ortega”

  1. Pingback: Tell the Journey
    1. Bennie Blea can you also please e-mail me? I tried your e-mail address above and got a fail to deliver message. You and the writer of this blog are talking about the same people i hit a dead end with 4 years ago, Sarah & Don are related to my mothers side. I would greatly like to talk to you both and find out all i can and exchange what info i have etc.
      Thank you for your time!

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