I took some time off from researching my family history and writing for the blog while I wrapped up work for the campaign I was working on during much of the past year. I missed the research and the writing, but I’m hoping the break will prove to be helpful as I return to that research with fresh eyes and an open mind.
Despite my absence, that doesn’t mean genealogy has been far from my mind. In fact, I used my genealogy research skills more than once during the campaign to highlight the heritage of the congressional candidate I was working for – Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Michelle is related to former U.S. Rep. Manuel Lujan Jr., who held the same seat in Congress from 1969 through 1989, when he was nominated by President H.W. Bush to be U.S. Secretary of Interior.
Interestingly, Michelle and Manuel are more closely related through their Romero heritage, not the Lujans. Michelle’s great-grandmother, Agneda Romero, was the older sister of Lorenzita Romero, who married Manuel Lujan, Sr. The Romero sisters came from their own political family that included an uncle, Celso Lopez, who served as Sheriff and Mayor of Santa Fe from 1912-1914.
Agneda Romero was married to a fireman named Agustin Pino. Their daughter, Rita Pino, married Michelle’s grandfather Eugene David Lujan -- the first Hispanic since statehood to serve as a Justice on the New Mexico Supreme Court.
Agneda’s younger sister, Lorenzita Romero, married Manuel Lujan, Sr., who was Santa Fe County Assessor in 1930 and went on to serve as Mayor of Santa Fe from 1942-1948. Aside from their well-known son, Manuel Lujan Jr., Manuel and Lorenzita had another son, Edward Lujan, who served as Republican Party Chairman and helped found the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
During the campaign, we posted the Lujan-Romero genealogy on Facebook and got quite a response. Some national media wrote about it, although some reporters were just as interested in whether
Michelle is related to U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, the third-term congressman from New Mexico’s 3rd District. Apparently there is some connection between Michele and Rep. Lujan’s mother, Carmen Lujan. But I haven’t nailed it down, yet.
But it’s time to get back to my own genealogy. I have come across several interesting documents and stories that I will share, including a distant connection to the Lujan family.
I will keep digging into Michelle’s genealogy, especially since I have taken a job with her Congressional Office. I recently accepted the position of Deputy Director of her District Office, which allows me to stay in Albuquerque. And I’m just two blocks from the Albuquerque genealogy library.