The search for one's family history is a labor of love, thus my love of my ancestors, the de Riberas of New Mexico. The name Ribera is Spanish in Origin. It is first found in Castile, where it originally meant "riverbank". In time, it was used as a surname. In earlier times, it was often seen with the prefix "de", to indicate the place of origin of a family. Spelling variations of the name include Rivera, Ribera, Ribeira, Rivero, Ribero, Ribeiro, and others. Don Fernando Rivera of Santa Fe provided the Ribera Coat of Arms. It's depicted by a Green shield with two horizontal red stripes and can be found in the photograph section of this page.
Among the early explorers and first settlers of the New World with this name, or its variants were Hernando de Ribera, who voyaged to Brazil and Argentina with Sebastian Cabot in the 1520s. And Gabriel de Ribera, who accompanied López de Legazpi to the Philippines in the 1570s. My Progenitor was Salvador Matias de Ribera (born 1675 Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain) who attended a marriage in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1697. The record shows that he arrived from Spain on the ship, The Santo Tomas De Villa Nueva.
Mother's pride in her family and its history were always a topic of discussion at the evening dinner table. That pride and love of family never left me.
My search began with my maternal grandfather, Isidro Rivera y Quintana. He was born in Pecos, New Mexico in 1870. Soon, the search included my maternal grandmother, Maria Anna Amalia Ceballes. She was also born in Pecos, on August 5, 1878. And they were married in Pecos, on January 25, 1898.
A genealogical project involves a passion for research, data collection, analysis, and documentation. The aforementioned are necessary and, at times, difficult. The result of the research process is a mountain of documents and notes. These records necessitate a filing system. Accessing a poorly developed system can overwhelm the researcher. As a result, an easily retrievable electronic database is suggested. This should be supported by well thought out file folder system, or tabbed binders. The research process requires the development of a unique skills-set. These include the ability to review personal and legal documents with an eye toward linking them to one's family lines. It requires patience and sound judgement. Data collection is one of the building blocks of any research project. The documents often have misspelled and differently spelled names. The researcher will also find conflicting and incorrect dates for birthdays, deaths, marriages, etc. And all of these he/she must integrate into a family line.
Another very important skill is that of, "People Interfacing". Important leads are often found through others. In my case, it was the kindness of Michael Gallegos and Marcus Flores that often removed roadblocks and provided directions around the always present blind alley. An added bonus is that these two men are newly found, long lost family. These wonderful people saved me countless hours of needless research through their kindness and efforts.
Two years into the project, I have found a new group of friends, "The History hunters", my fellow researchers. Dedicated men and women with a love of family. This is a gift that I can never be too thankful for. They remind me of the tough minded, Spanish, New Mexico settlers that were my family line. They are like the Spanish men and women who came to the Southwest and built lives and fortunes in a very unforgiving environment.
I found in my line many Spanish, Jewish, Italian, and French surnames. The names began with Rivera, Ribera, later de Ribera, Agilar, Altamirano, Archibeque, Archuleta, Atencio, Barela / Varela, Ceballes, Crespin, Garcia, Gonzales, Gurule, Lopez, Lucero, Lujan, Martin, Otega, Ortiz, Otero, Peralta, Quintana