Genealogy, History

Baltasar Gonzales and the King’s Deer

My ancestor Baltasar Gonzales, who was married to Maria de la Cruz Lopez (sometimes she appears as Ana Maria Lopez), was mentioned in the book The Santa Fe Presidio Soldiers: Their Donation to the American Revolution by Henrietta Martinez Christmas (HMS for short).  The soldiers in the book are recognized by Sons of the American Revolution or Daughters of the American Revolution, so naturally, my curiosity was piqued.

As it turns out, King Charles III of Spain asked his colonists to donate money to the American cause; the “donativo” qualifies some soldiers for DAR.  That’s the short version of it, there’s also the huge assist by Bernardo de Galvez of Spain.  I think I didn’t learn about this in school, did you?

HMS on Youtube!

Anyway, I was set to apply to DAR as a descendent of Baltasar Gonzales but he is one of the few soldiers of the Presidio who are not considered patriots because they were elsewhere during the donation collection.

So where was he?  Long story short again, he was selected to take five fancy New Mexico mule deer back to King Charles III of Spain as a gift.  Captain don Francisco Trebol Navarro selected Manuel Saenz Garvisu, Bartolome Gonzales, Joaquin Trujillo, Julian Ortiz, and Rafael Baca for the long journey, expected to be about three years time.

New Mexico mule deer. Outdoor Life Magazine.

They arrived in Mexico City from Santa Fe, when Rafael Baca went back home.  The others arrived at the Port of Veracruz by May 1781.  They set sail on the battleship Arrogante and arrived at the Port of Cadiz October 1781.  Author Jose Antonio Esquibel wrote an article about this event for the Hispanic Genealogical Research Center of New Mexico’s journal Herencia entitled “Deer for the King and a Journey to Spain: The Commission of don Francisco Trebol Navarro, 1779-1785” that appeared in one of the 1993 issues.

Deer for the King Esquibel Herencia 1993
Jose Antonio Esquibel’s article “Deer for the King” Herencia Journal 1993

What a surprising and interesting turn of events that allowed my ancestor to travel on a battleship to Spain.

Genealogy, Uncategorized

Ortega House Santa Fe NM Trip 2018

A while back I was contacted by the current owners of Dionicio Ortega and Sarah Jane Taylor’s adobe Pueblo house.  We had a Santa Fe trip planned months ago, so I asked them if we could stop by while we where visiting the city and they accepted.

The current owners have done extensive research on their property which revealed that the Ortegas owned much of the surrounding property and that it was later divided among Dionicio and Sarah Jane’s children.

Dionicio Ortega and Sarah Jane Taylor House, original (or near-original) floors and ceilings. Mr. Current Owner told me he did a little digging when they were fixing the place up and 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.” (see linked post, “The House They Lived In”) Little Guy is clearly jazzed to stand on the floors where his ancestors once stood.
Mr. C.O. described how this, the original house consisting of a small living/dining area, had only one window. They hired people familiar with the old Pueblo homes to cut (saw, that’s the motion he’s making) new windows out of the thick adobe walls.
This room with the tiny door (they were all tiny doors!) was originally the stable. As we know, Dionicio was a muleteer and kept a few mules here. When the owners were doing renovations, they discovered a donkey jaw bone and various other small bones in the walls. The stepping stone outside the door (which was then an exterior door) was actually the overturned headstone of New Mexico’s first attorney general, Hugh N. Smith. Apparently when the old cemetery was demolished people salvaged the stones for use in their homes.  My husband and Mr. C.O. pictured here.
Said headstone of New Mexico’s first attorney general Hugh N. Smith. At first I was embarrassed, but then again, the Ortegas wasted nothing. The C.O.s decided to keep it and turn it the correct side up. This wing of the house is a new addition by the C.O.s It is lovely.
My family and I in front of the original house. Dionicio and Sarah Jane’s children added on later, as did the current owners. The surrounding properties once belonged to this Ortega family but are now owned by other people. It was a large tract of land!
The current owners. They are very nice and have taken wonderful care of the house. I am so grateful they gave me the opportunity to show the house to my Little Guy!  Thank you so much C.O.s!

We like to visit Rosario Cemetery when we go.

Visiting Sarah Jane Taylor, my 3rd great grandmother, Little Guy’s 4th great grandmother. We confirmed with the office staff that Dionicio is buried in the same cemetery but even they don’t know where he is buried further than the “old cemetery”.
Little Guy found Beatrice Ortega Taylor’s grave 1896-1922. She married Alejandro Shoemaker, son of Sheriff Shoemaker, who was excited about a new gun he’d received and went home to show his young wife. According to the article in the local paper, the gun went off and hit her; she died a couple of days later. She was 26 years old.

We again didn’t make it to Santa Fe’s National Cemetery adjacent to Rosario Cemetery which is a shame, especially considering today is Memorial Day.

Next time we will visit my 4th great grandfather there, Ruperto Armijo, who was part of the 2nd New Mexico Regiment Infantry during the Civil War.

We also visited St. Francis of Assisi, Cross of the Martyrs, Fort Marcy Park, the public library, the Palace of the Governors Museum Shop to buy books, and Meow Wolf while we were there this time. I highly recommend Meow Wolf.

Musical Mammoth at Meow Wolf
Little Guy and I at St. Francis Cathedral. Off the top of my head my second great grandparents Luciano Romero and Salomé Montoya were married there 27 Nov 1886, and the ill-fated Beatrice Ortega Taylor de Shoemaker on April 28, 1916.
Reading Room at the Santa Fe Public Library near Governors’ Plaza.

Looking forward to our next visit!

Ancient DNA, Genealogy, Uncategorized

mtDNA V7 in Dr. Knipper’s “Female Exogamy and Gene Pool Diversification”

The full title of the article is Female exogamy and gene pool diversification at the transition from the Final Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age in central Europe published 19 September 2017.

One day I was looking at my grandmother’s submission to mitochondrial haplogroup V7 on and noticed three “Germany-ancient” samples credited to Dr. Knipper; that’s how I found her article.

Dolores Romero mtdna phylotree
Maternal grandmother Dolores Romero’s mitochondrial DNA sample highlighted in orange.

It is interesting because she and her research team extracted isotope ratio data to determine whether the individuals were local or non-local to the site, in addition to genomic data from the samples found.

The three V7 individuals are from the Königsbrunn, Obere Kreuzstraße (OBKR) site.

From Knipper et. al 2017 “Female Exogamy and Gene Pool Diversification”. the three V7 individuals were found at the Konigsbrunn-OBKR site in Bavaria, Germany.

I’m not exactly sure of the ages of the samples, but they were labeled Early Bronze Age by the research group.  I wondered if Dr. Knipper and her group considered the V7 samples local or not, so I emailed her to ask.  She is really nice and helpful by the way!  I was nervous because I’m not very familiar with anthropological terminology and was concerned about asking something that might be very obviously stated in the article for those who are familiar with the terminology.

We exchanged a few emails and she gave me permission to paraphrase her answer:

Based on strontium and oxygen isotope ratios found in their teeth, the V7 individuals are considered local by the research group, and were found in the Lech River Valley, Bavaria, Germany. Dr. Knipper did, however, say we can’t be 100% sure they are local because there is a possibility the isotope ratios happen to appear local by chance since the ratio is not exclusive to this area.

Additional note: There was an older paper with a different V7 individual found related to the Novosvobodnaya Culture.  I remember the big splash that paper made when it was published.  Professionals, please weigh-in on the two findings and their implications on the geographical origin of haplogroup V7, please!


Chariton County Missouri May 5, 1862

Tip o’ the hat to Laura P.N. who left a comment on a previous post which reminded me I didn’t share this finding.  I don’t know how they fit into the whole scheme of things, but it is a mysterious day in history.

I found two entries for Brummetts in Chariton County Wills and Administrations, 1861-1875 by Elizabeth Prather Ellsberry; one for James Brummett and one for Thomas Brummet.  Both died on May 5, 1862.  Looking at the page, there are other deaths on May 5, 1862.

Chariton County Wills and Admins 1861-1875 Elizabeth Prather Ellsberry
James Brummett, Thomas Brummett, Alexander W. Seward, Hugh H. Bond, Amos Bond, Mary White, and John Lehman all deceased May 5, 1862 Chariton County, Missouri


A quick Google search reveals the Battle of Yellow Creek occurred in Chariton County, but that was on August 13, 1862.

William Brummit did have sons James and Thomas; but Thomas Benton Brummit/Brummet died 1933.  So, I don’t know if these two gentlemen in Prather Ellsberry’s book are related.  Furthermore, I sent a message to the Chariton County Historical Society but they said they  “do not have a James Brummett. We do have James S Brummell and James S Brummall. (2 different records).”  I didn’t request the records.

But I am curious, what happened in Chariton County, Missouri to cause so many deaths on May 5, 1862?


Jose Froilan de la Garza Valdes of Santiago, Nuevo León, Mexico b. 1803

Since I haven’t been able to make any breakthroughs researching Froilan/Froylan de la Garza (father of Candelario de la Garza) directly, I went back to look at his first child, Jose Ysidro Garza Martinez’s baptism record.

Jose Ysidro Garza Martinez baptism FS
Jose Ysidro Garza Martinez baptism 18 May 1830, Santiago Apostol, Santiago, Nuevo Leon,Mexico. Son of Froylan Garza and Maria Rita Martinez. Godparents listed as Antonio Escamilla and Maria Josefa de la Garza.

It names Antonio Escamilla and Maria Josefa de la Garza as the padrinos (godparents), so I researched Maria Josefa.

Maria Josefa de la Garza and Jose Antonio Escamilla were married in Santiago Apostol, Santiago, Nuevo Leon, Mexico in April of 1826. The record says her parents were Anastacio de la Garza and Maria Ignacia Valdez. 

Maria Josefa de la Garza Antonio Escamilla marriage 1826
Maria Josefa de la Garza marriage to Jose Antonio Escamilla, 1826. Her parents were Anastacio de la Garza and Maria Ygnacia Valdes.

Looking at baptism records naming this couple as the parents, I found one for a Jose Froilan Garza Valdes in Santiago Apostol, Santiago, Nuevo Leon, Mexico on 10 October 1803. It says he was “Español”.

Jose Froylan Garza Valdes baptism 1803
Jose Froilan de la Garza Valdes baptism in 1803, same parents as Maria Josefa, Anastacio Garza and Maria Ygnacia Valdes. Padrinos Jose Cosme Valdes and Maria Manuela Garza.

Compared to Maria Josefa de la Garza’s baptism in 1810, Santiago Apostol, Santiago, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.  It is also noted on her baptism record that she was “Española”.

Maria Josefa de la Garza baptism img 1810
Maria Josefa de la Garza’s baptism in 1810. Parents Anastacio de la Garza and Maria Ygnacia Valdes. Padrinos Simon Villaton (?) and Manuela Gonzales

I think Maria Josefa de la Garza and Froilan de la Garza were siblings, and that their parents were Anastacio de la Garza and Maria Ignacia Valdez.

Full disclosure: A cousin has another suspected Froilan Garza ( attached to our Family Search Tree, but that Froilan’s wife is listed as Maria Antonia Salazar and he was from Vallecillo, Nuevo Leon instead of Santiago.  This all is important to note as we know our Candelario‘s mother was Maria Rita Martinez, not Maria Antonia Salazar, and that Candelario was born and baptized in Santiago as this family I’ve shared here.


Found! Children of William Hays and Catherine Lewis

As stated in previous posts, James Warr’s estate papers mention a Winifred Hays, orphaned daughter of William Hays, who we know to be the husband of Catherine Lewis. Through Catherine’s father Joshua Lewis’ estate papers, we also know that Catherine Lewis married William Hays and that both died and left behind many children.

James Warr Estate Petition by Willie and Winifred Hays
Winifred Hays, daughter of William Hays and Catherine Lewis mentioned in the estate of James Warr, husband of Millie Lewis, 1797, Northampton County, North Carolina. FamilySearch

Joshua Lewis Estate Records Catherine Lewis Hayes
Catherine Lewis’ father Joshua Lewis’ estate documents filed by Millie Lewis and her second husband James Warr in Northampton County, NC in 1788.  The document says that Catherine Lewis was married to William Hayes but that he had since passed and that the couple had five children. [FamilySearch]
Searching through the guardianship papers of Northampton County, North Carolina available on FamilySearch I have found documents granting guardianship of the following minor orphans to James Warr, second husband of Millie Mildred Lewis (after Daniel Drewry):

  • Fanny Hays
  • John Hays
  • Patty Hays
  • Samuel Hays
  • Sarah Hays (later married Henry Evans)
  • Winifred Hays
Fanny Hays Guardianship
Guardianship of Fanny Hays granted to James Warr, 2nd husband of Mildred “Millie” Lewis. FamilySearch
John Hays Guardianship
Guardianship of John Hays, son of William Hays and Catherine Lewis granted to James Warr, husband of Millie Lewis March 1789. FamilySearch
Patty Hays Guardianship
Guardianship of Patty Hays, daughter of William Hays and Catherine Lewis granted to James Warr, husband of Millie Lewis March 1789. FamilySearch
Samuel Hays Guardianship
Guardianship of Samuel Hays, son of William Hays and Catherine Lewis granted to James Warr, husband of Millie Lewis March 1789. FamilySearch

Sarah Hays Guardianship to James Warr
Guardianship of Sarah Hays, daughter of William Hays and Catherine Lewis granted to James Warr, husband of Millie Lewis March 1789. FamilySearch
Winifred Hays Guardianship
Guardianship of Winifred Hays, daughter of William Hays and Catherine Lewis granted to James Warr, husband of Millie Lewis March 1789. FamilySearch

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