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Friday, September 2, 2011

The Year 1890 in Socorro

Family researchers find a lot of information in censuses, which provide a list of households at a given time and all the family members living there, plus ages and other information. But one census – for the year 1890 – is not available to most researchers because almost all those records burned in a fire in Washington, D.C., in 1921.

So family researchers must turn to other records. And in the case of Socorro, we turn to church records for San Miguel parish.

IF there was a census record available, it might show: Crespin, 42, and Andrea, 35, had a household with Apolonio, 16; Ignacio, 14; José, 8; Dolores, 4; and Rogerio, 2. The Eleventh United States Census was taken in June, and none of these family members had yet celebrated their late-year birthdays.

The next child, Guadalupe, would not have appeared in the Territorial census that year because she wasn’t born until October.

The Catholic baptismal records DO show her birth, however. Guadalupe was born on the 4th of October and baptized on the 10th by Rev. Anthony Fourchégu. Her godparents were Estevan and Catalina Baca.

Fourchégu notes in the ledgers that 260 baptisms and 59 marriages were celebrated in Socorro in 1890. “I am informed that during the past two years, previous to August 1890, a number of marriages have been celebrated before Justices of Peace and before Protestant ministers,” he writes at year-end.

Rev. Francis Lestra had been the church pastor until July 1890.

Probably the biggest event took place during the month of November when more than 1,400 youngsters were confirmed by archbishop Jean-Baptiste Salpointe. The archbishop probably didn’t make a trip to the Socorro area very often.

The archbishop confirmed all of these children on what appears to be nine occasions from Nov. 16-30 in the communities of Socorro, Lemitar, San Antonio, San Pedro, Carthage, San Marcial, Valverde and Bosquecito. The names of the confirmed and their padrinos cover 42 pages of handwritten church records.

It appears that Crespin’s children Dolores, Rogerio and José were confirmed in Socorro on Nov. 16, although that might be considered too young by today’s standards. Since there are only names and no additional information, it’s hard to say for sure if the following are Crespin’s children:

Rogerio, who would have been almost age 3 at the time, was sponsored by David Montoya (who was the husband of his 19-year-old sister, Monica). And Jose’s padrino was Meliton Torres (his first cousin, a son of Canuto Torres). Dolores’ padrina was her sister, Monica.

Monica Torres was also the padrina for Marcelina Sanchez, 5, who was the daughter of Domitila Sanchez (the oldest sibling of the family – age 20). And Francisco Sanchez, a 2-year-old brother of Marcelina’s, was sponsored by Candelario Garcia.

NEXT: 1790: A Slice in Time

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