Taos County, New Mexico
El Rio De Don Fernando

Data contributed by Albert Vidaurre. This page contributed and copyrighted by Karen Mitchell.

Following is a copy of the possession order and list of settlers of The Place El Rio De Don Fernando (Taos); as found in the Microfilm Edition of the Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Series I, Microfilm Reel # 5, Twitchell Number Frame 883. Dated 1st Day of May 1796.

Please note that these are not the first settlers of the area. Sargento Mayor Don Fernando Duran y Chaves and his family had resided in the Taos Valley in 1680 at the time of the 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 aquired 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 on June 15, 1715 for the Soldier Serna had been unable to take possession 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. On August 20, 1714 Diego Romero had registered a livestock brand, while a resident of San Geronimo de Taos. He described himself as "A Coyote". From the "New Mexico Historical Review XLI:" 2 1960 ,Pages 97, 98 and 99. By Myra Ellen Jenkins says that when Fray Migual De Menchero made his report of his 1744 visitation of Missions. He spoke of only 4 ranches in the Taos Valley, with 10 Spanish Families,most of whom were obviously The Romeros. The only inhabited site in the valley appears to have been the settlements of the Diego Romero's clan on the Rio Delas Trampas (Rio Chiquito).

Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Series I, Microfilm Reel # 5, Twitchell Number Frame 883. On the first of May of this year 1796, I, the 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 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 the said place shall be common, not only for them, but also for all the neighbors who might join them 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 being 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 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 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 boundry 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, with the witnesses of my assistance with whom I act. To which I certify.Antonio Joseph Ortiz (Rubric)

List of the settlers of El Rio De Don Fernando, in which are included the names of the persons and the number of varas which each one has, to wit; [Notice I did not list the varas]

Tomas Montolla, Lieutenant Don Antonio Joseph Romo, His son Tomas Romo, Jose Miera, Pablo Baca, Miguel Barela, Juan Bautista Martin, Jose Cortes, Juan Pedro Pacheco, Paolin De Erera, Juan Cristobal Mondragon, Mariano Mondragon, Domingo Lovato, Santiago Silva, Ignacio Medina, Benacio Ortega, it is being under stood that this land shall be divided between Tho.Benancio, and his sister, Maria Tomasa Ortega, on account of the death of her Grandmother, Maria Gertrudes de Silva, Franco Brito, Josef Juaquin Blea and Pablo Trujillo, Antonio Blea, -Name not Legible-, Miguel Coca, Josef Maria Coca, Mateo Coca, Manuel Coca, Manuel Tafolla, Lazaro Romo, Anastacio Vigil, Juan Del Carmen Martinez, Jose Maria Chavez, Antonio Josef Martinez, Manuel Ortega, Jose Montolla, Pascual Aragon, Roque Martinez, Patricio Aragon, Pablo Lujan, Ignacio Gonzales, Juan Jose Dela Cruz, Jose Rafael Montolla, Juan Christobal Medina, The Settlers who received land above the Camino De El Medio to the Camino Rael: Franco Fresquis, Juan Angel Pando, Juan Antonio Gonzales, Nicolas Montano, Josef Juaquin Blea, Esteban Bargas, Salbador Martinez, Manuel Ramos Martinez, Isidro Arguello, Christobal Cortez, Domingo Maese, Francisco Lobato, Cruz Cortez, Polonio Sisneros, Jose Maria Cortez, Jose Ramos Sandoval and Pablo Sandoval, Nicolas Barela, Miguel Suaso, Juan Angel Garcia, Esteban Baca de Rangel, Lugardo Torres, Manuel Baca, Juan Gonzales, Lazaro Rael, Juan Nicolas Duran a donation from his father.

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 so appear, the same was issued in the year one thousand eight hundred and one. I signed the same as Delegate Judge, on said day, month and year. Antonio Jose Romero (Rubric). [Please note Dates]

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