The Baca / Douglas Genealogy and Family History Blog

12 November 2012

Alcalde Miguel Aragon of Socorro and Valencia

I have the day off from work on this day after Veterans Day. Often, when I have the day off and my wife doesn't, I'll do a whole bunch of genealogy research. Today, I decided to add some information into my database about the 64 Socorro residents listed in an 1818 contribution list. This is the earliest list of Socorro residents that I know of, and is a good indicator as to who were the original founders of the Socorro Land Grant.

There were a few people who I could not information about. This included the first person on the list: "El Alcalde Don Miguel Aragon." Who was Miguel Aragon, the supposed alcalde of Socorro. I entered his name in google, and found this information written down by Antoinette Duran Silva:

"While at the visitor center, I, of course, related my interest in genealogy and in the town of La Joya. I was directed to a book titled Rio Abajo Prehistory and History of a Rio Grande Province by Michael P. Marshall and Henry J. Walt, published by the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division, Santa Fe, 1984. Among the information was a statement regarding the La Joya de Sevilleta Land Grant, "In 1818 Don Miguel Aragón, alcalde mayor of Valencia, stated, "before me José Antonio Quintana and Carlos Gavaldón have requisite presentation for themselves, the first resident of the community of Sevilleta and the second of the ranchitos of the same community..." The document in question involved the transfer of land "on both sides of the river" from Sr. Quintana to Sr. Gavaldón for the sum of "one team of oxen and two cows with calves". The following year, Carlos Gavaldón requested grant title for the 68 residents of "Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Sevilleta," and in June 1819 the grant was confirmed" (page 274)."

Of course! This made sense! The reason why I couldn't find him in Socorro is because he was actually a resident of Valencia, some 50 miles north. He was probably appointed as the alcalde (mayor) of Socorro since this little community had just been founded 2 or 3 years prior. He may have visited Socorro, and may have been there to supervise the contributions to the military campaign against the Navajos.

I have a copy of the book that Antoinette references. I now have one more fact that I can add to my research.

Source: Antoinette Duran Silva, "Reflections on My First Year of Genealogical Study" from Antoinette Duran Silva's Genealogy Homepage, copyright (c) 1994, accessed 12 November 2012.

See also my article Robert J. C. Baca, "Early Settlers of the Socorro Land Grant: An 1818 List Part I", New Mexico Genealogist, Vol. 50 (September 2011), p 117.

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