One of my biggest frustrations since I started researching my family tree has been the confusion surrounding my paternal Gallegos line. In fact, at one point about a year ago, I was even having dreams about a certain Manuel Gallegos – my great-great grandfather. I couldn’t find him, even in my dreams.
But alas, I’m about 90 percent certain that I finally found him, and sorted out at least a portion of the Gallegos lineage. First, I’ll start from the beginning of my journey, for perspective.
I am Gilbert Gallegos, Jr., which obviously means my father is Gilbert, Sr. His father – my grandfather – was Carlos Gallegos, who died in his hometown of Las Vegas in 1980 when I was just 11 years old. I still remember getting the news while I was attending Taft Middle School in Albuquerque. For most of my life, that’s about all I knew, or remembered, about the Gallegos family tree.
As I started my research, my Dad told me that his grandfather was Luis Gallegos. I soon learned from Census records that Luis was the son of Manuel Gallegos…yes, that elusive Manuel of my dreams. But that appeared to be the end of my search, because I couldn’t find Manuel’s baptismal record, or any other record that showed where he came from. The 1900 Census showed him living with his wife of six years, Maria Francisca, their five children, including Luis, and a Cordova father and son, who appear to have been his father- and brother-in-law. It later occurred to me that because of Luis’ age, he probably wasn’t the son of Manuel and Francisca. Sure enough, after searching the baptismal records, I found a record for Luis Cordova, which matched the date of the man who was later raised as Luis Gallegos. I checked with my father and my grandmother, who confirmed that there were always rumors of a Cordova connection, but that Luis was raised as a Gallegos. And as far as my Grandma Rise, who married into the Gallegos family, we as a family have always been Gallegos. Period. No argument from me.
But that still raised many questions for my genealogy research. Manuel, regardless of whether he was the blood father of Luis, was a Gallegos, and I still hadn’t figured out his family tree. Until now. I knew from Manuel’s marriage record that he was the son of Gregorio Gallegos and Dolores Padia (or Padilla). According to church records, Gregorio was born in Santa Fe in 1832 and the 1841 Santa Fe Census shows him living with his family in the San Francisco barrio. He married Dolores Padilla in 1850. Manuel appears to have been born in Santa Fe, although I haven’t found his baptismal record. He lived in Santa Fe with his mother, Dolores, and grandmother, Guadalupe, according to the 1860 Census. However, there is no mention of Gregorio in that Census, which along with other records, makes me think he may have died at a relatively young age, prior to 1860.
Manuel is next mentioned, along with his mother, grandmother and others in the 1870 Census for Los Tecelotenos, also known as San Ignacio, a small mountain village north of Las Vegas. Also living with the Padilla/Gallegos family is John Kirschner, a 40-year-old farmer from Bavaria, who curiously, lived with the family 10 years earlier in Santa Fe and was identified as a musician. In 1871, Dolores and John Kirschner were married in the nearby village of Sapello. The marriage record says that Dolores was the widow of Gregorio Gallegos.
So, with that mystery of Manuel Gallegos seemingly resolved, I have also confirmed that his father, Jose Gregorio, was the son of Jose Antonio Gallegos, who married Maria Luiza Esquivel in Santa Fe in 1825 and was raised in the home of Manuel Gayego (or Gallego) and Maria de la Luz Ortiz. So, apparently Jose Antonio was not the son of Manuel Antonio Gallego, but mostly likely an Indian child, raised by the Gallego family. Interestingly, Jose Antonio was listed in the 1850 Census as a musician.
Manuel Antonio appears to have been the son of yet another Manuel Gallegos. But this Manuel should be easier to find. He was apparently the Alcalde Mayor of Santa Fe in 1778. I still have some research to do on all of these Gallegos family members – at least two of whom were Gallegos by name, but not by blood. But as my Grandma would say: They are still Gallegos.