The Baca / Douglas Genealogy and Family History Blog

13 August 2012

Canada Alamosa

As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently bought a copy of "Matrimonios San Miguel del Socorro ...." published by the Hispanic Genealogical Research Center. I woke up way too early today, and decided to look through the book and came across the marriage record of Miterio MONTOLLA and Maria de La Luz ALDAZ. This couple was married in the San Miguel Church in Socorro on 28 June 1865. Miterio was the single son of Anastasia VACA (no father mentioned) and Maria was the single daughter of Paulin (MONTOLLA) and Tomasa CERNA. The couple were both residents of Cañada Alamosa.
I had not heard of Cañada Alamosa before, so I decided to research about the community. According to Robert Julyan's "The Place Names of New Mexico", Cañada Alamosa is a settlement now known as Monticello, a community 21 miles Northwest of Truth or Consequences. This community is presently in Sierra County, the county itself was created in 1884.

Cañada Alamosa, which is near Alamosa Creek, was originally settled in 1856. "Cañada Alamosa" refers to a cottonwood lined canyon in the area.
Another family that lived in the area was the Bourguets. Two brothers from France, Alphonse and Aristide Bourguet, immigrated to the United States in 1874. The came to New Mexico to be near their aunt Sarah Bourguet who had been living in Socorro since 1850.
Alfonso Bourguet, the single son of Jaquez N. Bourguet and Adele Celestina Maurel, married Isabel Sanchez on 20 January 1886 either the San Ignacio or San Cristobal Parish. Isabel, who was also single, lived in Cañada (Alamosa), and was the daughter of Manuel Sanchez and Sabina Chavez.
Aristides Bourget, single, no parents given, married Dolores Hill on 1 February 1894 in either San Ignacio or San Cristobal Parish. Her parents were not listed.
If you have any more information about the families of Cañada Alamosa, please share it with me. You may either post a comment on this blog or send me an email at
- Robert J. C. Baca

Matrimonios: San Miguel del Socorro 1 January 1854 to 31 December 1900; San Ignacio y San Cristobal 1 March 1869 to 31 December 1900; San Marcial 26 March 1883 to 31 December 1902; Our Lady of Sorrows de La Jolla 1 January 1872 to 31 December 1900 (Albuquerque, New Mexico: Hispanic Genealogical Research Center, 1999), pp. 70, 280 and 289.

Julyan, Robert, The Place Names of New Mexico, Revised Edition (Albuquerque, New Mexico, University of New Mexico Press, 1998), pp. 58, 233 and 334.


Monty said...

Dear Robert,

Thanks so much for mentioning Canada Alamosa. This village of Monticello formerly Canada Alamosa is near and dear to my heart. My parents were born and raised there and I have fond memories of visiting my grandparents in Monticello when I was a child in the 1950’s. My great uncle, Merced Montoya (my father’s namesake) operated a general store there from the 1890’s until his death in 1922 (I still have the leather-bound ledger book from the store) and the family ran it until the 1940’s.

On the Monticello plaza, directly across the church, there is a large house facing the plaza with a large white porch, which was my uncle Merced’s house. It was used as the community meeting place and lodging for traders to Monticello as there was no hotel. My father inherited the house after WWII and subsequently sold it, and I later bought it into the family. I finally sold it as I live on the East Coast and it became a hassle to maintain and keep rented.
Monticello has a fascinating history.

The Ojo Caliente Apaches lived at the springs above Monticello and the Apache Chiefs Cochise and Victorio visited the canyon on several occasions. The village is prone to flooding and the big flood in 1907 swept away many people, devastated many homes in the canyon and the Albuquerque Journal even published an appeal to help its citizens.

My relatives from Monticello include the Montoyas (although there were many Montoya families not related to us), Chavez’s (my Mom’s family are descendants from Pedro Duran y Chavez), Sedillos and Tafoyas. John Sullivan, the soldier who later became postmaster and gave Monticello its name in 1881, married a Tafoya relative, Constancia Tafoya. Incidentally, although John Sullivan was born in Ireland and later joined the Army to fight Indians (he was at Ft. Craig), he was related to the Sullivans from Monticello, NY, the county seat for Sullivan county. The County was named for General John Sullivan, a general for George Washington. About 25 years ago they finally paved the road to Monticello and it lost a bit of its magic although I’m sure the residents appreciate it. Thanks for mentioning this not so well known village.

Lastly, thank you for all that you do to promote New Mexico history and genealogy and for setting up the NMGS fb page! I don’t care much for fb but I follow daily the NMGS/fb postings as it is a treasure trove of information about NM and genealogy.

All the best,
Your Primo
Carl Montoya
(gg grandson of Donaciano Montoya and Margarita Bourguignon)

Monty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Baca said...

Thanks, cousin. This post seemed to get a good response. In addition to your comments, I received two emails on the subject.

I appreciate your history of the place. It gives a little more depth to my story.

As you know, we are related through the Bourguignons. I figure that we are 3rd cousins, once removed. It's good to hear from you cousin.