Friday, November 25, 2011

Straight to Heaven

A few months ago, I took a quick afternoon trip from Santa Fe to Las Vegas, where I got a quick bite to eat at Charlie’s Spic and Span, before heading up into the mountains to beautiful village of Las Gallinas. I made the drive to get a peek at the villages, including El Porvenir, where my great-grandparents were raised.

I mentioned before that my great-grandfather Antonio DeTevis was born in Las Gallinas. His parents, Cayetano DeTevis and Virginia LeDoux migrated there from Taos in the 1880s. My Great-Grandmother Emilia Alires was also born in Las Gallinas.

I remember her as Grandma Emily, a sort of petite but tough woman who directed traffic in her kitchen as relatives wandered in and out. I was a child, and along with my younger brother and cousins, we were warned to stay away from the wood stove and big pots of beans and chile.

My Grandma Rise is one of nine children born to Antonio and Emilia. Grandma Rise is now living at a Rehab Center in Albuquerque close to my home, and I’ve been able to ask her questions every once in a while about her childhood. She recently reminded me that in addition to her eight siblings, her mother, Grandma Emily, also raised five foster children. She said her mother did it out of the goodness of her heart, and for that, “she went straight to heaven.” While her father was away working for the railroad, my Grandma said her mother did all of the cooking for the large family. She remembers her father always bringing home cases of food on payday. And since there were so many children, they were able to help their mother with the chores. My Grandma said she would usually wash the first load of clothes in the morning and her older sister, Lena, would wash the second load. They hung the clothes on the clothes line and went to school each day.

I have always been fascinated with the heritage of my Great-Grandfather, Antonio DeTevis, whose grandfather was born in the Azore Islands. He spoke Portuguese, which is probably why I was interested. But I never knew much about Great-Grandma Emily’s heritage. After a lot of digging and some head-scratching, I’m pretty confident that I’ve connected the dots, although I need to confirm some research I’ve come across.

Emilia Alires was born April 15, 1898 in Las Gallinas to Domingo Alires and Gregoria Carrillo. She was one of seven children (Hilario, Clotilde, Luz, Salomon, Emilia, Rosita and Rosarita). Emilia married Antonio on Dec. 21, 1914 at Our Lady of Sorrows in Las Vegas. They were married for 64 years when Emilia died in Las Vegas in 1978.

Emilia’s father, Domingo Alires, was born in 1868. He was one of two sons (Julian was the other) born to Francisco Alires and Juana Maria Gallegos. The Alires family (the name was alternatively spelled Alire and Alyre) lived in Las Gallinas. Emilia’s mother, Gregoria Carrillo, was the daughter of Juan Carrillo and Maria de la Luz Mondragon, also living in Las Gallinas. Domingo and Gregoria were married Oct. 12, 1884 at Our Lady of Sorrows in Las Vegas.

Domingo’s father, Francisco, remarried in 1888 (presumably he was widowed by that time) to Antonia Lucero. The marriage record shows that Francisco was the son of the deceased Juan Antonio Alyre and Maria Manuela Valdez. Francisco outlived his second wife and was living with his son, Domingo, and his family by the time of the 1910 Census. He was about 65 at the time.

This is where I need to do more checking, but Francisco’s father, Juan Antonio Alire, was apparently born in 1799 in San Juan de los Cabelleros, New Mexico. Juan Antonio was the son of Tomas Antonio Alire and Maria Francisca Rodriguez. Juan Antonio’s wife, Maria Manuela Valdez, was the daughter of Juan Nicolas Valdez and Maria Ysabel Martin.

Juan Antonio Alire’s father, Tomas Antonio Alire, was born about 1760 in New Mexico and was the son of Jose Antonio Alire (1729-1813), who was married to Maria Ana Margarita Lobato. This couple was first noted as living in Santa Fe in the middle of the 18th Century. Apparently, that is where this line of the Alire family started in New Mexico.

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