The Baca / Douglas Genealogy and Family History Blog

29 June 2008

June / July 2008 NMGS eNewsletter

Table of Contents

1. President’s Message
2. Upcoming Programs
3. NMGS Blog
4. NMGS Website
5. Albuquerque Special Collections Library
6. NMGS Press

1. President’s Message


Because of my busy schedule, I was unable to send a NMGS eNewsletter at the beginning of June. Therefore, this issue is for two months: June and July.

We had to make a change to the July 2008 program. The program next month will be the “Swiss Family Zimmerly: A Socorro, New Mexico Story”. Yours truly will be the speaker. I hope to see you on July 19th at the Albuquerque Special Collections Library.


Robert Baca, President NMGS

2. Upcoming Programs

* Saturday July 19, 2008, 10:30 AM, Special Collections Library, 423 Central Ave. NE, Albuquerque, NM (NW corner of Edith and Central.)

“Swiss Family Zimmerly: A Socorro, New Mexico Story” – speaker: Robert J. C. Baca. It is the story of the merging of two cultures. He was a foreign-born American Civil War soldier; she was a daughter of a family as old as New Mexico itself. Together they created a unique Swiss/Hispano family. Their story begins in the early frontier days of Socorro, goes through the advent of statehood, and continues on to the present day. The presenter will include a discussion of the research methods that he used to create this story.

* Saturday August 16, 2008, 10:30 AM, Special Collections Library, 423 Central Ave. NE, Albuquerque, NM (NW corner of Edith and Central.)

Workshop: “Researching at the Courthouse: Deeds, Wills, Titles and Other Records – Part II” – Presenter: William Litchman. Mr. Litchman presents the second part of his workshop that he began in September 2007. It will be an in-depth exploration of legal records that are essential to genealogical research.

* Coming in September: A traveling program to Las Vegas, New Mexico. Find out more about this program next month!

All programs are open and free to the public. For more information about these programs, please visit our website at

3. NMGS Blog

* Are the kids driving you crazy this summer? Why not get them involved in fun genealogical activities? The post “Summertime Blues: Genealogy Activities for Kids” has a listing of some great sites for kids. Check out the link at

* In June, NMGS went on a field trip to Bernalillo, NM. Find out how it went by visiting the post “Field Trip to the Sandoval County Historical Society” at

Get up to date information about programs and events, genealogical news, and links to interesting websites by subscribing to the New Mexico Genealogical Society Blog at

4. NMGS Website

Did you know that you can help out Albuquerque Special Collections Library by ordering books on Go to the front page of the NMGS website at and click on “” link on the left hand side of the page. Order books, electronics and other items from this link and a portion of your purchases will go to NMGS to support the Albuquerque Special Collections Library.

5. Albuquerque Special Collections Library

This is an exhibit you don't want to miss -- A treat for everyone living in or near Albuquerque, or planning a trip here!

Three Hundred Years of Albuquerque History

On exhibit through Sept. 6, 2008

at Special Collections Library.

This special exhibit includes all of the books about Albuquerque published during the Tricentennial, featuring the newly-published genealogy of Alburquerque's founding families, "Aqui Se Comienza" by the New Mexico Genealogical Society. Also on display are documents and illustrations about early Albuquerque, loaned to Special Collections library by the Center for Southwest Research of the University of New Mexico. This is a large compilation of images and documents about life in Albuquerque from its founding in 1706 up to modern times."

For more information, check out the library’s website at

6. NMGS Press

Below are some books that relate to Socorro, New Mexico that are sold by NMGS Press:

* San Miguel del Socorro Church (Baptisms), 1821 – 1853. 500 pages, 1998. Book A-9. $50.00.

* Censuses of 1833 and 1845 - Socorro & Surrounding Communities of the Rio Abajo. 172 pages, 1994. Book B-6. $24.00.

You can order these books and many, many more on the NMGS Press webpage at

A Teenager Who Loves to Do Genealogy?

Yes, you read right. Genealogy is not just for the ... uh hem ... more mature members of the family. I found a vblog - or video blog - created by a teenager who loves genealogy. In fifteen videos, she explains the ins and outs of genealogy. You can find out more by going to the AnceStories article "Meet Elyse".

These kids today, with their fancy computer contraptions, may find these vblogs interesting. Okay, I'm only 40 years old, why am I begining to sound like Grandpa Joe? I think it's because technology is changing so fast that I can't keep up. I was talking to some friends today, and we noting that kids today don't use e-mail - they text! Ha! I said I was so old fashioned, and then I realized that I've only been e-mailing for the past ten years...

... isn't rambling on pointlessly the first sign of old age...?

Anyhow, if you want to do some fun activties with your kids or grandkids this summer, check out my post on the New Mexico Genealogical Society Blog "Summertime Blues: Genealogy Activities for Kids".

Socorro Stuff I Found on the Web

I wanted to see what else was out there about Socorro from the "Socorro Bullion", so I did a Google search on the newspaper. Here are a few pages that I found:

* Francis Marion Hill and Sarah Rebecca Wilson - This couple lived in Socorro in the late 19th century and the early 20th century.Francis may have died in Socorro. Some of their descendants may still be living in the area.

* "The Glory Years" by Dr. Spencer Wilson. This article is about the Garcia Opera House.

* An Ancient New-Mexican City - an 1887 New York Times article about ancient artifcats found in Socorro. Once you are on the page, click on the PDF file to read the article.

What Can Be Found in Old Newspapers

While searching for an obituary of my 2nd great grandfather, I came upon two short articles that I wish to share with you. These were posted in the "Local News" section of 26 November 1887 "Socorro Bullion". One article is light fare, while the other tells of a tragedy that fell upon a group of little boys:

The dance given at the Garcia opera house Thanksgiving evening proved to be a very enjoyable affair. A large number were in attendance and everyone seemed happy. From seven until a little after nine o'clock, the floor was covered with skaters, and those who did not participate, amused themselves by admiring the peculiar grace of some of the skaters, and laughing at the ludricrous antics of the novices at the business. Dancing commenced about 9:30 p.m. and was kept up until after midnight.

A very sad accident occured in San Marcial Thursday afternoon about two o'clock. Three little boys named Willie Hammond, Bruce Cruickshanks and Willie Clifford obtained possession of a torpedo, such as are used by railroads for danger signals. After placing it upon a post, Willie Hammond struck it with a heavy hammer. The torpedo exploded and a piece of shell lodged in the little fellow's neck. At first he was not thought to be seriously injured, but after walking a few steps he fell over dead. The other two boys received slight injuries. Dr. Cruickshanks extracted the shell from the boy's neck and it was found that his windpipe had been severed.

"Local News", Socorro Bullion, Socorro, New Mexico, 26 November 1887, 3rd page, column 1. Microfilm, Socorro Bullion, April 1, 1883 - January 29, 1889.

It is interesting that the light hearted piece about skating would be placed between my ancestor's obituary and the tragic story. There is usually no rhyme or reason to the editing of these local newspapers.

I like to go through these newspapers to find little tidbits about my family. Sometimes I find an obituary; othertimes it's just a notice that "Mr. So-and-so arrived in town from Lemitar yesterday to do business here." Sometimes it even mentions what the business is, which gives one a good understanding of what his or her ancestor did for a living.

I'm currently working on an obituary I found on Pedro Antonio Baca in the 12 November 1887 edition of the "Socorro Bullion". Although Pedro Antonio was not an ancestor of mine, he does have a connection to one of my ancestors. I hope to soon have a short article written for the New Mexico Genealogist. Maybe I will have it in time for the next issue. I'll keep you posted.

28 June 2008

Obituary: Sam Zimmerly

I went to the Special Collections Library yesterday, and found a wealth of information. I will share some of it with you today.

For a couple of hours, I searched micorfilm on Socorro, NM newspapers. In the "Local News" porition of the November 26, 1887 edition of the "Socorro Bullion", I found this short obituary of my great-great grandfather Samuel Zimmerly:

Sam Zimmerly, one of the earliest settlers of Socorro county, died at his home last Saturday evening. Mr. Zimmerly has resided in this city for a number of years, and during that time he has been activively engaged in the milling business. for sometime the disease which finally caused his death, has rendered him as invalid, and at times a great sufferer. He leaves a wife and six children to mourn his death, while a host of friends sympathize with the bereaved family.

Sam Zimmerly obituary, Socorro Bullion, Socorro, New Mexico, 26 November 1887, 3rd page, column 1. Microfilm: Socorro Bullion April 1, 1883 - January 29, 1889.

Samuel Zimmerly died on 20 November 1887.

22 June 2008

Historical Photographs: WWII, Vietnam, Vietnam Memorial Wall

Footnote, a website that has a database of over 38,000,000 images from the National Archives and other sources, announced recently that it will permanently allow free access to its complete collection of photos from World War II and Vietnam. There are over 80,000 photos in this collection. Link.

The collection includes images from the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. These images are searchable by name, allowing for viewers to find individual soldiers' names on the wall.

Users of the site will be able to write captions and stories to accompany the photos, and may even upload additional pictures. This allows for people to create online memorials of loved ones who were killed during the conflict. In order to do this, you will have to sign up for membership to the site. Membership is free; however, free membership allows only limited access to the Footnote website. You will be encouraged to sign up for a paid membership to the site.

Meeting Another Zimmerly Cousin

At the New Mexico Genealogical Society meeting on June 21st, I met up with another one of my Zimmerly cousins. I was expecting to meet a few people who were distantly related to me through the Baca family, since the talk was about the "Baca Families of Pena Blanca." My C. de Baca family was originally from there, and indeed the family that the speaker talked about was descended from Luis Maria Cabeza de Baca. However, there are many descendants of that family, and our relation was very distant.

I was speaking to another woman by the name of Lucille who wanted to know how to go about researching her family. She said that her family was originally from southern New mexico, so I asked her to give me some information about her grandparents. She told me that her grandparents were J. E. Miera and Teresa Zimmerly! I told her, "nice to meet you, cousin!"

At the time, I told her that we were first cousins, once removed, but now that I think about it, I was wrong. Her grandmother Teresa Zimmerly and my great-grandfather Esteban Zimmerly were siblings. That means that her great grandparents and my great great grandparents were the same, which actually makes her my second cousin, once removed. She and my mother were second cousins.

Lucille said that she was born in Socorro, but lived there for only a few years before her parents moved. She may have known my grandmother Paublita Baca, but she wasn't entirely sure.

I wrote out some information about the Zimmerly family for her, and I told her that I would mail her some more information. I printed up some information from this blog, including the short article about Samuel Zimmerly and Maria Paubla Torres, and the post about Samuel Zimmerly Living in Visala, California in 1860. I printed up a copy of her grandfather Jose E. Miera's World War I registration card, and printed an article from the Defensor Chieftain about "The Civil War in New Mexico". From my genealogy database, I printed a Descendant Report on Samuel Zimmerly and an Ahnenfatel of his wife Maria Paubla Torres. I'll also be sending her copies of certain documents such as Samuel & Paubla (Torres) Zimmerly's marriage record, and portions of Samuel Zimmerly's military records.

It's always good to finding relatives. That's why it's always good to attend genealogical society meetings.