Genealogy, History

Daughters of the American Revolution Patriot Jose Viterbo de Ribera

I originally planned on applying for the Daughters of the American Revolution through my ancestor Baltasar Gonzales, but as I explained in the last post, he was not present at the presidio at the time that would have made him eligible as a patriot.

It turns out another of my ancestors, Jose Viterbo de Ribera was present at the time and is eligible as a DAR patriot so I applied through him.

He was baptized Joseph Viterbo de Ribera at St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe, New Mexico March 11, 1754, son of Antonio de Rivera (Rivera/Ribera alternates) and Maria Graciana Prudencia de Sena.

Jose Viterbo married Maria de la Luz Pacheco March 14, 1778 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They had at least three children: Juan Estevan de Ribera, Juan Manuel de Ribera, and my direct ancestor Jose Francisco Ribera who was baptized March 15, 1802 in Santa Fe. Jose Viterbo was about 48, his wife Maria de la Luz was around 40 years old.

Jose Francisco Ribera married Maria Marcelina de los Dolores Quintana (widowed of Antonio Jose Alarid) of Nambe (listed from Pojoaque at her first marriage) in Santa Fe on June 1, 1831. My ancestor Maria Leonor Ribera was baptized May 20, 1838.

Maria Leonor Ribera married Baltasar Albino Montoya in Santa Fe on December 11, 1850.  They had many children; my ancestor Salome Montoya was born around 1864. She can be seen on the 1870 census as a six year old with her parents and siblings.

Salome Montoya married Luciano Romero November 27, 1886. My great grandfather Manuel Romero was baptized February 28, 1892. He married my great grandmother Domitilia Gonzales in Santa Fe on June 9, 1924.

Domitilia Gonzales Manuel Romero Marriage 1924
Manuel Romero and Domitilia Gonzales marriage, Santa Fe, New Mexico June 9, 1924. Notice his parents are listed Luciano Romero and Salome Montoya.

My grandmother Dolores Romero was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico a few years after their marriage.

SocialMediaDSC04977
My certificate from Daughters of the American Revolution recognizing my patriot ancestor Jose Viterbo de Ribera. His state is listed as Spanish America, which I love. I can’t wait until my son is of the age to appreciate how our Mexican-American ancestors contributed to history.

 

Here are some links about the Hispanic/Latino contribution to the American Revolution:

Somos Primos: Spanish Patriots in the American Revolution

Presidial Soldiers Donation to the American Colonies

Spain in the American Revolution

Bernardo de Galvez (not New Mexico, but very important)

VIDEO: Spanish Participation in the American Revolution

BOOK: The Santa Fe Presidio Soldiers: Their Donation to the American Revolution

Advertisements
Genealogy

The House They Lived In

The person who currently owns the house that Dionicio Ortega and his wife Sarah Jane Taylor lived in recently contacted me in hopes of learning new things about the house.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any cool stories for them but was very happy they contacted me with new information.  They provided me with some of the paperwork that listed Sarah Jane Taylor and Dionicio Ortega as the deed owners of the house which I took as evidence their story was true.

They asked me not to share any of their identifying information which I agreed to withhold for their privacy (I am using the singular pronoun they/their to speak of this person).  This person was such a great storyteller that I’m going to share their words with you verbatim.

They started out with some interesting questions such as, “When I first moved here, an elderly man said that an Irish woman married a man from Tesuque Pueblo and moved into our house long ago. That sounds like it could have been Dionicio, and if so, he would have been Native American. Does any of that ring true? Do you have any idea what brought Sarah to the rough ’n tough New Mexico of the 19th century?”

I told them I didn’t know for sure, but on the 1860 census, she was five years old living with her father, her older full brother Isaiah, and her father’s second wife Geraldine Dennison in Missouri.  We know that Isaiah died in his childhood, up to that point they were the only living children from her father’s first marriage to Mary Ann Brummett, daughter of William Brummit and Sarah Evans.  On the 1870 census, she was about 15 years old living with her father and stepfamily in Cañon City, Colorado (as mentioned in the book History of Howard and Chariton Counties, Missouri).  Her stepmother Geraldine Denison died there in 1875.  My guess is she was coming of age in this radically different place and met Dionicio at some point as he was traveling.  Another cousin who rescues horses and mules has told me Dionicio was a muleteer on the Santa Fe Trail, but I haven’t verified it.  I do think they met in Colorado though.  On the 1880 census, she was living as Juana Ortega with Dionicio and their child Crisostimo in Cordoras, Taos, NM.  Almost all of the 1890 census was destroyed in a fire.  Sarah and Dionicio are in Santa Fe on the 1900 census.  Sarah Jane died in 1927, Dionicio died in 1936.  I think Sarah Jane Taylor learned early to roll with the punches and was rather adventurous.  It seemed she was a curious person and was eager to embrace new places and cultures; I like to think I inherited that from her.

The person who contacted me about the house was an out-of-towner who immediately liked it and was lucky to have noticed it during a price-drop.

“A little investigation and it turned out it was because this was a “haunted house”. Neighborhood children wouldn’t go near it, and throughout the 70’s and 80’s no one owned it for more than a year or two before selling, due to all the bizarre things happening there. It was common knowledge that these ghosts were mischievous and frisky.

That was a great stroke of luck for us because we didn’t believe in ghosts. We bought it and the neighbors would shake their heads and say “You won’t stay long – nobody does”.

So that was [many] years ago, and we never experienced anything the least bit unusual, nor have any of the many guests who have stayed here.

What is now the main living room area was the original one-room adobe house. We did an extensive renovation, and when the floorboards were pulled up temporarily to put a heating system under there, I did some digging. A couple of inches down I found a lime-coated floor, and that was probably what was there when Sarah Jane and Dionicio moved in. They may have later put in the wood planks that are still there because they are very old. Two inches beneath the lime floor was another floor made of animal blood mixed with dirt, which makes for a linoleum-like surface. Nobody knows how old this place really is.

Our guest room used to be a detached stable, and when it rained we could still smell the animals that your ancestors kept there. I carved a niche into one of the adobe walls and found a donkey’s jawbone embedded in it.

Although plumbing had been installed by the 1950’s, the original outhouse for the house was still standing in one corner of the property when we moved in. We had to remove it to build [further]. You can still see the remains of a well that was the main water source for the house all those years ago. But you would have to lift the brick pavers in our courtyard and dig down about a foot to find it.
I also found a horseshoe and some smaller animal bones in that wall. All of the old adobe walls are 2 feet thick, so who knows what else is in there?”

I forgot to mention that when I dug down and found those 2 layers of flooring, I kept digging. About 2 feet down I found pottery shards in typical black and white patterns for Native Americans in this area. So people have been living on this spot for a VERY long time.”

I asked about using their stories on this blog:

“Using this info on your blog is okay if there is some way to discourage people from googling around to find me and then show up at my door.” So I am not giving out the address or the name of the person who contacted me, just passing along the story.

I can’t express how grateful I am to have been able to receive these stories as it’s put a little more flesh on my ancestors’ bones.  I feel a little closer to knowing them and their personalities now.

Ortega House email