All of my life I considered our family to be very small; with not much hope of finding our roots very far back, as my mother, Fedelina Archuleta was orphaned at a very young age and up-rooted from her maternal family to her paternal grandmother. Although she remembered a lot, a great deal of information was still missing. When her older brother, Salustrano Archuleta was still living, it never occured to me to ask him, along with her, for whatever informataion he had. For one thing he lived in Utah and we didn't see or talk with him often. He and my mother kept in touch almost weekly by US mail, but apparently never discussed their family history. Another thing at the time, was me; young and not so interested in researching the family. I was resigned to believing that we knew all that we were ever going to know about the family, and wasn't interested enough dig for the info....or rather didn't know how to go about it , where to begin, who to ask......
I did know that my mother's, family was a large one, but that is in part because her father, Juan De Dios Archuleta remarried after her own mother, her Nanita Sarah (Chacon) Archuleta died.
I also knew that her maternal grandmother's name was Rita, a full-blooded Navajo, captured, as a young child, by a Spaniard during a raid of the Navajo Indian territory or camp. somewhere in Conejos Couty, Colorado; possibly Antonito/surrounding areas. Seemed like end-of-story because over the years Rita forgot about her family. She apparently remembered at some point, or thought, that she had some brothers, was not sure.
Rita grew up as a servant in her captor's household and later worked as a maid and nanny in other households. One of those households was that of Jose Prudencio Chacon and his wife Rosita and their young children, a son and a daughter. Rosita died and it seems that her children were still quite young. Jose Prudencio then proposed marriage to Rita telling her that the family was already used to her and her ways and that she was like a mother to the children. She accepted, they married and had six children of their own.
Many gaps have been filled in recent years; but there's still a ways to go. I will keep searching for this family as well as for her paternal family.
My mother told me about as much about her paternal family and I've been able to pick up a few bits of information from some of her first cousins, mostly.
Her paternal grandmother was Abelina Archuleta, daughter of Petrona (Gallegos) Archuleta and stepdaughter of Victoiano Archuleta. He came from Spain. Abelina stated that he and all her (half) brothers and (half) sisters were blond and blue-eyed. She was not. Victoriano was a trader and traveled by wagon train to California in the mid-late 1850s. He did not return for several years. At some point Petrona met and took up residence with a Ute Indian named Juan Alires because she considered her husband dead. Juan Alires was Abelina's biological father. One day Petrona's husband returned and they apparently worked things out, they reunited and she broke off the relationship with Juan Alires.
Victoriano raised Abelina as his own child. This family too were servants in different households. Some of them where Abelina worked were Martinez, Herrera, Vasquez and at least one other unknown. She had her children by the heads of those households. Juan De Dios Archuleta was Martinez; Silviano Archuleta was Herrera, Federico Archuleta was Vasques and a daughter Maria Del Refugio, father unknown.
My grandmother Sarah Chacon married my grandfather Juan De Dios Archuleta and her sister Socorro married his brother Silviano Archuleta (Herrera). They had two daughters; both died infants. Socorro apparently died several years later; I beleive after Fedelina had been taken to live with her father's family. My mother, Fedelina, always remembered her Tia Socorro fondly, and how she always took such good care of her; always dressing her in white dresses, combing and br