Taos Valley Settlers
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Following is a list of settlers of the Place El Rio De Don Fernando (Taos); as found in the Spanish Archives of New Mexico. (note 1 below)

Please note that these are not the first settlers; Taos (San Geronimo De Taos) Pueblo residents having predated them and others; Sargento Mayor Don Fernando DURAN Y CHAVES and his family resided in the Taos Valley prior to and during the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. It is said that Don Fernando De Taos may have been named for him. Others who had land granted in the area included Soldier Cristobal Dela SERNA who acquired his lands South of the (Taos) Pueblo on April 8, 1710, when it was granted to him by Governor Jose CHACON VILLASENOR. Governor Juan Ignacio FLORES MOGOLLON revalidated the grant to Cristobal Dela SERNA June 15, 1715 for the soldier SERNA had been unable to take formal possession and reside on the land as required because of Military Service. August 5, 1724 Juan and Sebastian Dela SERNA, sons of Cristobal Dela SERNA sold the land to Diego ROMERO. Acting Governor Juan PAEZ HURTADO revalidated the grant to Diego ROMERO, November 24, 1724. Diego ROMERO had resided in the area for sometime prior. In August 20, 1714 Diego ROMERO had registered a Livestock brand, while a resident of San Geronimo de Taos. He described himself as "A Coyote." (2) Noted New Mexico Historian Myra Ellen JENKINS say that when Fray Miguel De MENCHERO made his report of his 1744 Visitation of Missions. He spoke of only (4) four ranches in the Taos Valley, with ten (10) Spanish Families, most of whom were obviously The ROMEROS. Other than the San Geronimo De Taos Pueblo, the only inhabited site in the valley appears to have been the settlements of the Diego ROMERO'S Clan on the Rio Dela Trampas (Rio Chiquito).

On the first of May of this year (1796) of one thousand seven hundred and ninety-six, I, Alcalde Mayor and War Captain of the Pueblo of Taos and its Districts, Don Antonio Joseph ORTIZ, in compliance with what has been ordered by the Honorable Lieutenant Colonel, Don Fernando CHACON, Knight of the Order of Saint James, and Political and Military Governor of this Kingdom, before I, the said Alcalde Mayor, went to the place of El Rio De Don Fernando, accompanied by 2 witnesses, who were Don Antonio Joseph LOVATO and Don Lorenzo LOVATO, the 63 families being present. I made known to them and made them understand the petition which they they were making and told them that for the purpose of said possession they will have to respect and comply, in all due form of law, with the following stipulations: That said place shall be common, not only for them, but also for all the neighbors who might join in the future. That on account of the perils of the place, they shall remain supplied with firearms or with arrows, which will be inspected at the time of their entry as well as at any time which may be convenient to the Alcalde commanding them, It is understood that after two years from the time of the possession, all the arms which they may have shall be firearms, under the penalty that those who do not comply shall be removed from said settlement; that the town which they build shall be under the terms which they state in their petition.
And All and each one for himself having taken the responsibility of the matters above referred to, and in compliance therewith, they unanimously answered that they understood and have full knowledge of what they have been advised. Whereupon, I took them by the hand and said in a loud clear intelligible voice, That in the name of his Majesty (Whom God Preserve) and without detriment to his Royal Possessions nor to any third party, I was walking with them over said lands. They pulled weeds, cast stones, and in a loud voice exclaimed "Long Live The King. " They took quiet and peaceable possession of said lands without any contradiction whatever. I assigned their boundaries to them, which are :On the West, with the lower lands on the level plain and above the middle road of Don Antonio Josef Lobato; On the East, the Canon of El Rio De Don Fernando; On the South, by the ridge which is on the other side of the river; And on the North, by the boundary of the Indians of Taos; Warning them that the pastures and watering places are common, And that it may appear, I signed the same, acting as a Delegate Judge in the absence of any Notary, there being none, (3) with the witnesses of my assistance with whom I act. To which I Certify.
 
Antonio Joseph ORTIZ (Rubric) (4)

At the Villa of Santa Fee, of New Mexico, on the ninth day of the month of August; (1796) One thousand seven hundred and ninety six, I, Don Fernando CHACON, Political and Military Governor of the Province, agreed to the possession of the land which, in the name of his Majesty, was given to the settlers of the place of Don Fernando, for themselves, their children and their successors; and they shall never alienate nor sell the same, permitting that, because they are poor, the individual possession of each colonist may be included on two sheets of sealed paper. I signed it with my Secretary in the absence of a royal or public notary, there being none in this kingdom.

Fernando Chacon (Rubric)

Joseph Pasqual Garcia (Rubric)

List of the settlers of El Rio De Don Fernando, in which are included the names and the number of varas each one has, to wit: (Note, I did not include the varas of land granted).

1-Tomas MONTOLLA, first settler; 2-Lieutenant Don Antonio Joseph ROMO; 3-Jose MIERA; 4-Pablo BACA; 5-Miguel BARELA; 6-Juan Bautista MARTIN; 7-Jose CORTES; 8-Juan Pedro PACHECO; 9-Paolin De ERERA; 10-Juan Christobal MONDRAGON; 11-Mariano MONDRAGON; 12-Domingo LOVATO; 13-Santiago SILVA; 14-Ignacio MEDINA; 15-Benacio ORTEGA , it is being understood that this land shall be divided between Tho. Benancio and his sister, Maria Tomasa ORTEGA, on account of the death of her Grandmother, Maria Getrudes De SILVA; 16-Franco BRITO; 17-Josef Juaquin BLEA and Pablo TRUJILLO; 18-Antonio BLEA; 19-Name not legible-; 20-Miguel COCA; 21-Josef Maria COCA; 22-Mateo COCA; 23-Manuel COCA; 24-Manuel TAFOLLA; 25-Lazaro ROMO; 26-Anastacio VIGIL; 27-Juan del Carmen MARTINEZ; 28-Jose Maria CHAVEZ; 29-Antonio Josef MARTINES; 30-Manuel ORTEGA-31-Jose MONTOLLA, 32-Pascual ARAGON; 33-Roque MARTINEZ; 34-Patricio ARAGON; 35-Pablo LUJAN; 36-Ignacio GONZALES; 37-Juan Jose De La CRUZ; 38-Jose Rafael MONTOLLA; 39-Juan Christobal MEDINA; 40 --; 41-Franco FRESQUIS; 42-Juan Angel PANDO; 43-Juan Antonio GONZALES; 44-Nicolas MONTANO; 45-Josef Juaquin DIEA; 46-Estaben BARGAS; 47-Salbador MARTINEZ; 48-Manuel Ramos MARTINEZ; 49-Isidro ARGUELLO; 50 -Cristobal CORTES; 51-Domingo MAESE; 52-Francisco LOBATO; 53-Cruz CORTES; 54-Polonio SISNEROS; 55-Jose Maria CORTEZ; 56-Jose Ramos SANDOVAL and Pablo SANDOVAL; 57-Nicolas BARELA; 58-Miguel SUASO; 59-Juan Angel GARCIA; 60-Esteban BACA De RANGEL; 61-Lugardo TORRES; 62-Manuel BACA; 63-Juan GONZALES; 64-Lazaro RAEL; 65-Juan Nicolas DURAN.

These papers are kept by the commissioned Lieutenant, Jose Juaquin BLEA, so that the same may be available whenever it becomes necessary to ask for them, taking care of them for the public good: And that it may appear, the same was issued in the year one thousand eight hundred and one (1801). I signed the same as Delegate judge, on said day, month and year.

Antonio Jose ROMERO (Rubric)

"Translation of the forgoing by I. L. Chaves."

POSSESSION:

On the twelfth day of the month of May of this year of one thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven (1797), I, Don Antonio Jose ORTIS, the Alcalde Mayor of the Pueblo of Taos and its Districts, in Compliance with what was ordered by the Senor Lieutenant Colonel, Don Fernando CHACON, Knight of the Order of Saint James, and Political and Military Governor of this Kingdom, Before I, said Alcalde Mayor, proceeded to the locality of the Rio de Don Fernando, accompanied by two witnesses, who were Don Antonio LOVATO and Don Lorenzo LOVATO; Don Antonio Jose ROMERO, Lieutenant Alcalde Mayor Jose MIERA, and Jose Thomas ROMERO being present in consequence of what was ordered, I took them by the hand and told them in clear and intelligible tones that, in the name of his Majesty (Whom God Guard), and without detriment to his Royal estate, not to that of third person, I was walking them around the sitio (tract) which he assigned to them, which was one thousand seven hundred and fifty varas in length, above and below, and ninety four in width below both sides of the aforesaid Rio de Don Fernando, and two hundred and fifty four varas in width above the Plaza. They pulled grass, threw stones and shouted "Long Live The King!", taking quiet and peaceful possession of said lands without contradiction whatever. I assigned to them the boundaries which were: To the upper part, on the North, the boundary of Juan Angel PANDO; on the South, where the gardens (Orchards), one hundred and fifty varas distant from the Plaza, reach; On the West, a small cedar tree which divides the land belonging to Manuel BACA; And on the East, the road which comes from the Plaza to the Pueblo. To the Lower Part (the boundaries are): On the East, Jose Pablo MARTIN; on the West, Tomas MONTOLLA; On the North, The edge of the Plaza; And on the South, The other edge, warning them that the pastures and watering places are common. In evidence thereof throughout all time; I signed it, acting as Receiver for want of a Notary, of which there is none, with the two assisting witnesses with whom I act; To which I Certify.
Antonio Jose ORTIZ (Rubric)

Assisting Witnesses: Antonio Jose LOVATO (Rubric); Lorenzo LOVATO (Rubric)

Footnotes:
1-Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Series I, Microfilm Reel # 5, Twitchell, Frame 883. Dated 1st day of May 1796.
2-New Mexico Historical Review XLT:2 1960, Pages 97, 98 and 99. By: Myra Ellen Jenkins.
3-The Embudo Grant, A Case Study Of Justice And The Court Of Private Land Claims. By: Malcolm Ebright; Page 77 "Since it was custom for Alcaldes to make certified copies, the practice was legal, . "From the Book Spanish And Mexican Land Grants In New Mexico and Colorado. By: John R. and Christine M. Van Ness, Editors. Isbn 0-89745-012-4.
4-Spanish Archives of New Mexico Series I, Microfilm Reel # 5, Twitchell Number Frame 883. Microfilm Reel # 3, Spanish Archives Of (SANM I) Translations, Archive 883, Translated By: Claribel Fischer Walker.
Submitted by Alberto Vidaurre 3/10/2002
2005