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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Camposanto Viejo in Lemitar, New Mexico

Phil Baca and Dan Bourguignon at the gravesite of their grandfather, Phillip Bourguignon

The Campostano Viejo, or "old cemetery", is an abandoned cemetery in Lemitar, New Mexico. According to the monograph "A Cultural Resource Investigation of Two Historic Sites in Lemitar, New Mexico" by Don Scurlock, the cemetery is located 300 meters southwest of the Sangrada Familia de Lemitar Church; 700 meters east of Interstate Highway 25.

The cemetery is in disuse, and I'm sure many people who live in Lemitar do not even know where it is. The last time I visited the site, it was covered with weeds and there were stray dogs running around nearby.

According to Scurlock's investigation, there are probably about 170 people buried in the cemetery. He lists a number of them who he believes are there. On the website Find a Grave, I have listed 25 people that the book describes as being buried there. He also lists another 40 people who may be buried there or at the Camposanto Iglesia - the church cemetery. Since he was not specific as to which cemetery they were buried, I did not include their names on the cemetery's Find a Grave page.

If you wish to read more about the cemetery, click on my summary and transcription of the book at the webpage "Other Lemitar, Socorro Co., NM Burial Sites" which is on the USGenWeb site.

Reference: "A Cultural Resource Investigation of Two Historic Sites in Lemitar, New Mexico" by Don Scurlock. Bureau of Land Management, Socorro, NM, 1982. Library of Congress Call # F 804 L46 S29 1982.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Memorial for Confederate Soldiers Who Died in Socorro

Capt. Willis L. Lang - Confederate soldier who died in Socorro, New Mexico
From the memorial on the Find a Grave website (click on this link to see his memorial.)

As you may know, two of my 2nd great-grandfathers were Civil War era Union soldiers (Zimmerly and Bourguignon.) Although historically I side with the Union, (I'm a damn Yankee, what can I say)I do believe in commemorating the lives of those who served on both sides of the war.

Find a Grave has a page dedicated to a possible Confederate Soldier burial site in Socorro, New Mexico. The page lists 32 men who died in Socorro after the Battle of Valverde in 1862.

Please note that the burial site is on personal property, and the owners do not want people to go on to their land. To read more about the controversy, read my blog post on the New Mexico Genealogical Society Blog: Confederate Soldier's (sic) Remains Found in Socorro?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ignacio and Andrellita M. Torres


This is my first foray into the Graveyard Rabbit blogosphere. I am a veteran genealogical blogger, and I figured that at some point I should create my own GR site. I've taken a number of photos of my ancestor's graves over the years, and I felt that I should dedicate a site to their memories a la tombstones.

A few of years ago, I took a number of photos at the San Miguel Catholic Cemetery in Socorro, New Mexico. These includes pictures of my great-grandparent's tombstones.

As with many men in my family, Ignacio Torres died many years before his widow Andrellita passed on. He died on 18 March 1950, while his wife died 24 years later on 9 July 1974.

Their tombstones are next to each other. The photo below shows Andrellita's stone near the center of the frame - it is the clear one with the carving of Jesus on it. Ignacio's is on the lower right hand corner of the photo. As you can see, the tombstone lies on top of a cement slab.

I didn't know where my great-grandparents were buried until a few years ago. I was walking away from my mother's family plot, when I looked down to discover that only a few yards away was the resting place of my father's maternal grandparents. Some of my dad's family did not even know they were buried there until I pointed it out to them.

Below is a close-up of my great-grandmother's tombstone. It has a carving of Jesus' Sacred Heart, and reads

"In Loving Memory Andrellita M. Torres Nov 30, 1883 - July 9, 1974".

I would have been nearly six years old when she died, although I do not remember her at all. My family says that she lived her last years in my grandparent's home, and was taken care of by her son-in-law, my grandfather Robert B. Baca until his death in November 1972. Her daughter was my grandmother Maria Teresa (Torres) Baca. Grandmother Teri lived until Feburary 1983.

Andrellita, or Andrea (Montoya) Torres, was the daughter of Jose Casmiro Montoya and Manuela Abeyta.

Below is Ignacio Torres' tombstone. It is hard to read due to many years of weathering.

I tried to clear up the picture by showing it as a negative. It is still almost impossible to read. What I believe it says is

"Ignacio Torres - Born October 25, 1875 - Died March 18, 1950".

I'll have to go back to look at the tombstone to be sure. Ignacio was the son of Crespin Torres and Maria Andrea Trujillo.