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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My maternal Baca Family, part III

For the past few days, I've been researching my mother's Baca family. I've posted the first two parts of the series on The Baca / Douglas Genealogy and Family History Blog. Click on these links to read the articles: Part I and Part II.

Sometimes the best way to find cousins is to look in obituaries. After researching the 1930 United States census for my 2nd great-grandparents' children and grandchilden, I decided to search the online obituary section of the Albuquerque Journal. This is a fantastic resource for New Mexican researchers. It is an online database that contains full text obituaries published in the newspaper going back to the late 1990s. I've used it many times to fill in my family tree.

I searched by typing in names of people that I found in the census records. I came across four obituaries that contained information about distant cousins; specifically, the descendants of my 2nd great-aunt, Juliana Baca and her husband Jose Leon Benavidez.

The first three obituaries are for two children and one granddaughter of Hilario and Prescilla (Benavidez) Gonzales. Prescilla was the daughter of Juliana and Jose Leon Benavidez. I've created or found postings for these ladies on the Find a Grave website.

* Mrs. Tomasita Garcia was 86 when she died on 16 December 2002, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was born to Hilario and Prescilla (Benavidez) Gonzales on 29 March 1916 in Lemitar, New Mexico. Her husband Atanacio Gonzales passed away before her. She is buried at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Albuquerque. Her husband may be buried there also, as there is an Atanacio Gonzales listed on the Find a Grave website. I've set up a memorial for her on that website (click here.)

* Tomasita and Atanacio's daughter Mrs. Mary Elza Griego, was 52 years old when she died in Rio Rancho on 23 September 2007. She had been married for 31 years before she passed, and was survived by her husband and two children. She, too, is buried at the Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Albuquerque. Click on this link to read her memorial on Find a Grave.

* Tomasita's sister Julia G. Baca died on 14 August 2004, in Socorro, New Mexico, at the age of 82. Her son Donald Roy Baca passed away before her. She was survived by her husband and her other children. She was born on the 4th of July 1922 in Lemitar, New Mexico to Hilario and Priscilla (Benavidez) Gonzales. Julia was buried at the San Miguel Cemetery in Socorro, New Mexico. Her Find a Grave memorial can be found at this link.

The final obituary that is for a daughter of Veronica Benavidez and Felipe Padilla. Veronica was a daughter of Juliana Baca and Jose Leon Benavidez. Although the obituary does not directly state her relationships to my Baca family, if you read her obituary (click here), and compare it to the 1930's census record (read it in my second post), you will see that this appears to be the same family. Most importantly, her estimated year of birth and the fact that she was from Lemitar seems to indicate this is the same person as Marianita who was 8 years old in the 1930 census. One thing that I like about the obituary is that it mentions a couple of Marianita's siblings who are not mentioned in the census.

* Marianita Padilla Trujillo was 76 years old when she passed away on 1 July 1998 in Belen. Throughout her life, she had lived in Lemitar, Albuquerque and Belen. She was survived by her husband, three sisters and a brother, and two daughters and a son. She was buried in the Santa Fe National Cemetery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A memorial was posted by US Veteran Affairs on the Find a Grave website (click on this link.)

I am looking to contact members of these families. If you are from this family, or know anyone who is a member, please contact me at

I will post a fourth part of this series on The Baca/Douglas Genealogy and Family History Blog soon. In that post, I will discuss a fact that I found in the 1930 census: that my grandfather Santiago Baca and two of his cousins were all public school teachers in that year. All were in their early twenties, and all were living in Luis Lopez, New Mexico. I will also look at the 1924 -1925 Socorro County High School yearbook for clues about these cousins.

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