Herencia Publication

The below article was published in the "Herencia" – The Quarterly Journal of the Hispanic Genealogical Research Center of New Mexico; Volume 8, Issue 2, April 2000, pages 48-57.


During the Spring school break of 1997 my wife Kila and I went to the Special Collections Library at Edith and Central in Albuquerque, New Mexico to do some research on my maternal Gurule ancestry. At the time we only knew that ancestry back to my great-great-grandparents Gaspar Reyes Gurule and Maria Altagracia Trujillo. Some time before this we had found at the New Mexico Records Center and Archives in Santa Fe, in Fray Angelico Chavez's New Mexico Roots, Ltd., which is the translated from Spanish to English church marriage records from the late 1600's through 1869, the following record:

1843, Sept 2 (no 7) San Felipe. Gaspar Reyes Gurule, 34, farmer, north of Sandia parish living in Angostura, adopted son of Ramon Gurule and Maria Loreto Gutierrez, and Maria Altagracia Trujillo, 15, of Algodones, daughter of Juan Trujillo and Graciana Gurule, both deceased. Witnesses: Jose Antonio Gutierrez, 40, Pedro Padilla, 25, both farmers and married.

In 1995 I completed two family history books, The Sanchez/Padilla Family of Lincoln County New Mexico and The Gurule/Aragon Family of San Miguel County New Mexico that traced my ancestry back to about 1850. By then I was very confident that I would eventually find my Gurule maternal line to the Frenchman Jacques Grolet in Fray Angelico Chavez's Origins of New Mexico Families. Jacques Grolet as Santiago Gurule married Elena Gallegos at Bernalillo, New Mexico on December 10, 1699. But little did I expect that in just a few hours this afternoon my wife and I would accomplish this!

The first discovery was made by Kila in the Spanish and Mexican Census of New Mexico 1750-1830, compiled by Virginia Langham Olmsted, C.G. On page 146, frame 44 of the 1803-1807 Las Huertas census she found:

Toribio Gurule, 53, widower; children: Ramon, 18; Christiana, 16; Micaela, 15

So here I had two more Gurule ancestors, Ramon Gurule and his father Toribio Gurule, which clearly extended my Gurule maternal line into the early eighteenth century!

My big discovery came when I casually mentioned to a gentleman I met by the microfilm readers that my wife and I were researching my Gurule ancestors. He asked me if I knew that the Gurule story had been done by a Virginia Olmsted, which I did not, and that there was probably a copy of her work in this library. After he helped me find Grolet-Gurule: Los Frances of New Mexico by Virginia L. Olmsted, my wife and I completed my maternal line to the Frenchman Jacques Grolet in less than one hour.

I don't know who this helpful gentleman was but I thank him for saving me a considerable amount of work. Of course, I am especially grateful to Virginia Olmsted, she deserves most of the credit for the wonderful work she did on the Gurule family. Here is that maternal line:

Jacques (Santiago) Grolet (Gurule) and Elena Gallegos
Antonio Gurule and Antonia Quintana
Tomas Gurule and Maria Pasquala Griego
Toribio Gurule and Maria Gertrudis Olguin
Ramon Gurule and Maria Loreto Gutierrez
Gaspar Reyes Gurule and Maria Altagracia Trujillo
Juan Pablo Gurule and Paulita Trujillo
Juan Gurule and Luisa Aragon
Ramoncita Gurule and Abran Sanchez
George A. Sanchez y Gurule and Jessie (Kila) Evaro

Unfortunately this line is erroneous! It seems that Ms. Olmsted made a mistake when she gave the parents of Toribio Gurule. Toribio is in fact the son of Juan Antonio Gurule and Maria Petrona Montoya not Tomas Gurule and Maria Pasquala Griego. This was first pointed out to me by my primo Ernesto Jose Sanchez from Las Cruces, New Mexico. He descends from Toribio Gurule and his second wife Maria Rita Mirabal. Ernesto found Antonio Toribio Gurule's baptismal record, dated April 6, 1755 in the Santa Fe Baptisms. There Toribio is given as the son of Juan Antonio Gurule and Maria Petrona Montoya.

Angela Lewis, the co-author of this article who is rapidly becoming a Gurule family expert, also found the following record on page 295 of Albuquerque Baptisms:

Gurule, Juan Bautista - Baptized February 1, 1824 at the age of 2 days; son of Toribio Gurule and Rita Mirabal; paternal grandparents are Juan Antonio Gurule and Maria Montoya; maternal grandparents are not given; godparents are Juan and Rosa Montoya

I first met Angela Lewis this summer on the General Forum of the Family Tree Maker's (FTM) web site which features questions and answers about New Mexico ancestors. On it she offers to do ancestor lookups, especially for those whose ancestors are Gurules. I sent her an e-mail message, not so much to get some information from her, but to let her know that my ancestry was all New Mexican, that both my Sanchez paternal line and my Gurule maternal line had been published in the July 1997 issue of Herencia, the quarterly journal of the Hispanic Genealogical Research Center of New Mexico (HGRC), and to ask her if she was aware of the mistake that Virginia Olmsted had made with regards to Toribio Gurule's parents. She responded quickly to my e-mail message. She was aware of the Olmsted mistake and had also verified it with Ernie Jaskolski, a staff member of The New Mexico Genealogical Society (NMGS). Angela also is a member of both HGRC and NMGS.

Here is Angela Lewis's Gurule line:

Jacques (Santiago) Grolet (Gurule) and Elena Gallegos
Antonio Gurule and Antonia Quintana
Juan Antonio Gurule and Maria Antonia Montoya
Vicente Gurule and Maria Antonia Garcia
Juan Antonio Gurule and Maria Guadalupe Padilla
Damascio Gurule and Rafaela Gallegos (1st wife)
Felipe de Jesus Gurule and Simona Sanchez (3rd wife)
Telesfor Chavez and Rafaela Gurule
Wade Lewis and Isabel Chavez
Angela Lewis

Angela has helped many Internet contacts with their New Mexican genealogy and is currently helping over 40 people trace their Gurule ancestors. She has helped 11 of these trace their lineage to Jacques (Santiago) Grolet (Gurule) and Elena Gallegos.

There has been a lot of information transmitted over the net among our group. Let me just mention two. The first is one that I made but later found out that he had also been one of Angela's contacts. The second contact is the more important one since it was the one from which we discovered that our Gurule information just did not match.

On the FTM web site one day I found a question that had been posted by a gentleman from the Los Angeles, California area by the name of Cipriano Castellano. He wanted to know if anyone had any information on his great-great-grandmother Maria Francesca Gurule, daughter of Gaspar Gurule and Maria Trujillo. Of course, I answered that Francesca was a sister of my great-grandfather Juan Pablo Gurule and both of them were some of the children of my great-great-grandparents Gaspar Reyes Gurule and Maria Altagracia Trujillo. I also attached my published Gurule maternal ancestry file to that e-mail message.

Another time I received a message from a woman I met on-line who whose great-great-grandmother was a Carmen Trujillo, sister of Maria Altagracia Trujillo. She had read about my ancestry in the New Mexico Genealogist, the NMGS quarterly journal, and wanted to know if I had done any research on the parents of these two sisters, Juan Trujillo and Graciana Gurule. She told me that Graciana Gurule's father was Salvador Gurule and her mother was Gertrudis Montano. She had found the following record in Olmsted's Spanish and Mexican Census for New Mexico 1750-1830, for Las Huertas and Bernalillo:

Salvador Gurule, 30; wife, Gertrudis, 22; children, Maria Graciana, 4; Salvador Manuel, 2

She wanted to know if I knew who the parents of Salvador Gurule were. I did not, but all this new information was very interesting to me because from the Deligencia Matrimoniales (DM) of my great-great-grandparents Gaspar Reyes Gurule and Maria Altagracia Trujillo of 1843 I knew that there had to be another Gurule line to the Frenchman Jacques (Santiago) Grolet (Gurule) for me because Altagracia's mother was Graciana Gurule. I decided to spend some time on this new quest because there were so many other primos on the net interested in the Gurules of New Mexico.

At first I spent several days looking for Salvador Gurule's parents in my source books at home but had no luck. By chance I went to one of the LDS Family History Centers in El Paso, Texas and in an Ancestral File submitted by a John Griffin I found the following:

Antonio Gurule, born about 1755; wife, Maria Dionisia Lucero, born about 1757; children, Maria Buenaventura, born about 1775; Salvador Manuel de la Cruz, born about 1777; Maria Pasquala, born about 1779; Marcelino, born about 1781; and Maria Jacoba Andrea, born about 1782.

All of this appeared correct so I happily e-mailed all of my Gurule primos that I had found the parents of Salvador Gurule! That they were Antonio Gurule and Maria Dionisia Lucero. But what Antonio Gurule is this? For this we needed someone with a lot more Gurule information and resources, my co-author and prima, Angela Lewis.

What all of us discovered in the next few weeks is that our information on Antonio Gurule, the son of the Frenchman Jacques (Santiago) Grolet (Gurule) and Elena Gallegos, was not in agreement. Those of us, Angela and I, who took our information from the writings of Virginia L. Olmsted and, with the correction noted earlier on the parentage of Toribio Gurule, were in agreement and correct. So we will try to explain in the remainder of this article where we think the others are mistaken. But we want to leave open the possibility that they can support their position and prove that their information is correct because what both of us, Angela and I, care most about is that the Gurule information be correct.

Some of our e-mail contacts and others obtained their information on their own, from the HGRC database, and/or from the Gurule writings of Fray Angelico Chavez's in Origins of New Mexico Families. Fray Angelico Chavez's inconclusive and confusing ideas can be found on page 193 in the Gurule part of Origins. Unfortunately, two exceptional genealogists/historians whom we both respect and admire, Jose Esquibel and John Colligan, in their new book, The Spanish Recolonization of New Mexico, also used this published information which we think is incorrect or at least misleading. (By the way, I personally think, and my co-author agrees, that this book will be as invaluable to the New Mexican genealogists as their previous works has always been. For those interested in a more complete history of the La Salle expedition than is given by Olmsted or Chavez this is the book to get. It even has more detail than William C. Foster's The La Salle Expedition to Texas: The Journal of Henri Joutel, 1684-1687.)

Most, if not all of us, agree that there was a Frenchman by the name of Jacques Grolet, who came to New Mexico with the Velasco/Farfan colonists in 1693. That later, as Santiago Gurule, he married Elena Gallegos at Bernalillo on December 10, 1699, and that they had only one son Antonio Gurule who was born shortly before his baptism on April 2, 1703.

But Angela and I believe that this son Antonio Gurule married for the first time at the age of 18 to Antonia Quintana about 1721 and was married to her for 40 years as he declares in his will of April 18, 1761. In his will Antonio also declares that he and Antonia Quintana were the parents of nine children:

Manuela, born 1722; Tomas, born 1725; Luisa de Jesus, baptized June 27, 1731; Juan Antonio, baptized June 3, 1733; Fabiana, baptized January 22, 1736; Serafin, born 1739; Elena, born 1741; Francisca, baptized October 9, 1743; and Manuelita, born 1746.

The other researchers mentioned earlier believe or were led to think that Antonio Gurule was first married to a Theresa Gallegos and with her had several children, some of whom he supposedly took with him into his marriage with Antonia Quintana. They give a Manuela Baca (Gurule) as the first born of Antonio and Theresa, but who was raised by Elena's second husband Capitan Antonio Baca. (Antonio Gurule, having been born about 1703 and married in 1721, would have to be about 15 years old at this time since he and Theresa will still have a few more children.) Then Antonio and Theresa supposedly have Salvador, born about 1727, and Antonio, born about 1730. (Remember, in his will Antonio said he was married to Antonia for 40 years or since 1721!) Now back to my (George A. Sanchez's) second Gurule maternal line. This last Antonio, son of Antonio Gurule and Theresa Gallegos, some Gurule researchers say, is the husband of Maria Dionisia Lucero, parents of Salvador Gurule, who is the father of my great-great-great-grandmother Graciana Gurule who married Juan Trujillo.

Angela and I don't agree that the Antonio who married Theresa Gallegos is Antonio Gurule son of the Frenchman Jacques (Santiago) Grolet (Gurule) and Elena Gallegos. In the Dreesen microfiche for Pioneers of Albuquerque Angela found an entry for an Antonio Grole married to Teresa Gallegos with a son Antonio born July 9, 1730 at the Isleta reservation which continued:

...Genizaro, with wife Theresa, Rio Abajo, asked to resettle at Sandia.

This cannot possibly be the same Antonio Gurule who was married to Antonia Quintana. This is an Indian who has taken the original surname Grolet instead of the surname Gurule that was already being used by the early 1700's and is still in use to this day. We have two different Antonio’s here and someone has done some creative genealogy linking that others have not bothered to check.

Let us look at the 1750 Census for New Mexico, Villa de Albuquerque, page 75:

Antonio Gurule, Spanish, 45; wife, Antonia Quintana, Spanish, 45; 6 children: Juan Antonio, 17; Fabiana, 16; Seraphina, 11; Elena, 9; Francisca, 7; Manuela, 4

Rosa, India, servant, 40; with 5 sons: Juan, 18; Juan, 12; Antonio, 8; Matias, 6; Tomas, 4

Bernardina, India, servant, 30; with 5 children: Maria, Antonia, 16; Ygnacio, 11; Joseph, 9; Josefa, 6; Maria, 3

See that third son of the Indian servant Rosa? That Antonio "Gurule" is the person who Angela and I think is the husband of Maria Dionisia Lucero and they are the parents of Salvador "Gurule" who married Gertrudis Montano, who are the parents of Graciana "Gurule" who married Juan Trujillo, who were the parent of my great-great-grandmother Maria Altagracia "Gurule" who married my great-great-grandfather Gaspar Reyes Gurule. If this is true, then this gives me my second "Gurule" line to the Frenchman Jacques Grolet. Well, so much for my pure French and Spanish blood!

It is probable, of course, that the Antonio Gurule who is married to Antonia Quintana was the father of some or all of these children of their Indian servants, after all they were very well taken care of in his will of 1761 where he left them houses and land ready for cultivation.

When one reads the Gurule writings of Fray Angelico Chavez in Origins, page 193, one is left with a possible source for all the confusion that has been mentioned in this article. He later placed the following entry in New Mexico Roots, Ltd. page 781:

1771, August 30 (no. 20). Permission to marry. Antonio Gurule of San Jose de las Huertas, no parents given, and Leonisia Gertrudis Lucero of La Canada de Cochiti, daughter of Sebastian Lucero and Maria Archuleta.

Angela and I think this record refers to Antonio "Gurule" the son of the Indian servant Rosa. Antonio, Rosa's son, was born about 1742 according to the 1750 Census for New Mexico, Villa de Albuquerque, so he was about 29 years old in 1771. The Ancestral File that I found at the LDS Family Library in El Paso gave a birth date of 1755; this would make Antonio 15 years old in 1771. So the birth date of 1755 seems improbable. The Dreesen microfiche mentioned earlier has an Antonio Gurule (which one?) born between 1736 and 1740. We don't know which one, if any, of these is correct, but Rosa's son Antonio seems to be the best fit for the Antonio Gurule in this record.

A case could be made that the Antonio referred to in the record above is the son, who was born about 1730, of Antonio Grole and Theresa Gallegos, where Antonio Grole is that genizaro mentioned earlier. That Antonio would be about 41 years old in 1771. But even if this is true this still does not make Antonio Grole and Antonio Gurule, son of the Frenchman, the same person.

The respected genealogist Virginia L. Olmsted made the following comment while contemplating the parents of a Maria de la Luz Gurule:

"Two other facts are important to consider in contemplating the parentage of this Maria de la Luz Gurule. First, Antonio Gurule's will did not include a daughter by this name. Second, there were a number of Indian and mestizo families of this period using the Gurule surname, many of them having been attached either to the household of Santiago Gurule, or to that of Antonio Gurule and his wife Antonia. The premarital investigation, in short, is the only mention of Maria de la Luz Gurule in any church or civil document."

Another problem with the HGRC database records is Elena Gallegos having a second husband. This must be some other Elena because the widow of (The Frenchman) Santiago Gurule did not remarry after Santiago died. To establish that this is more erroneous information that has been accumulated about our Gurule ancestry we again quote from an article by Virginia L. Olmsted:

"Although centuries of Spanish law discouraged female participation in business activities, Elena was typical of the Colonial widows who chose not to remarry and, as a sole feme, conducted her own business affairs."

In conclusion, Angela and I would like you to know that we do not consider ourselves beginning genealogists but we are far from being as knowledgeable as some of you reading this article. But, unless evidence to the contrary is discovered, our findings should be used to begin writing the correct history of our Gurule ancestors.

We welcome your constructive comments.

George Sanchez
Angela Lewis
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