Taos Co. Historical Society

Taos Valley Settlers

Following is a list of settlers of the Place El Rio De Don Fernando (Taos); as found in the Spanish Archives of New Mexico.

Please note that these are not the first settlers; Taos (San Geronimo De Taos) Pueblo residents having predated them and others; Sargento Mayor Don Fernando DURAN Y CHAVES and his family resided in the Taos Valley prior to and during the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. It is said that Don Fernando De Taos may have been named for him. Others who had land granted in the area included Soldier Cristobal Dela SERNA who acquired his lands South of the (Taos) Pueblo on April 8, 1710, when it was granted to him by Governor Jose CHACON VILLASENOR. Governor Juan Ignacio FLORES MOGOLLON revalidated the grant to Cristobal Dela SERNA June 15, 1715 for the soldier SERNA had been unable to take formal possession and reside on the land as required because of Military Service. August 5, 1724 Juan and Sebastian Dela SERNA, sons of Cristobal Dela SERNA sold the land to Diego ROMERO. Acting Governor Juan PAEZ HURTADO revalidated the grant to Diego ROMERO, November 24, 1724. Diego ROMERO had resided in the area for sometime prior. In August 20, 1714 Diego ROMERO had registered a Livestock brand, while a resident of San Geronimo de Taos. He described himself as "A Coyote." (2) Noted New Mexico Historian Myra Ellen JENKINS say that when Fray Miguel De MENCHERO made his report of his 1744 Visitation of Missions. He spoke of only (4) four ranches in the Taos Valley, with ten (10) Spanish Families, most of whom were obviously The ROMEROS. Other than the San Geronimo De Taos Pueblo, the only inhabited site in the valley appears to have been the settlements of the Diego ROMERO'S Clan on the Rio Dela Trampas (Rio Chiquito).

On the first of May of this year (1796) of one thousand seven hundred and ninety-six, I, Alcalde Mayor and War Captain of the Pueblo of Taos and its Districts, Don Antonio Joseph ORTIZ, in compliance with what has been ordered by the Honorable Lieutenant Colonel, Don Fernando CHACON, Knight of the Order of Saint James, and Political and Military Governor of this Kingdom, before I, the said Alcalde Mayor, went to the place of El Rio De Don Fernando, accompanied by 2 witnesses, who were Don Antonio Joseph LOVATO and Don Lorenzo LOVATO, the 63 families being present. I made known to them and made them understand the petition which they they were making and told them that for the purpose of said possession they will have to respect and comply, in all due form of law, with the following stipulations: That said place shall be common, not only for them, but also for all the neighbors who might join in the future. That on account of the perils of the place, they shall remain supplied with firearms or with arrows, which will be inspected at the time of their entry as well as at any time which may be convenient to the Alcalde commanding them, It is understood that after two years from the time of the possession, all the arms which they may have shall be firearms, under the penalty that those who do not comply shall be removed from said settlement; that the town which they build shall be under the terms which they state in their petition.

And All and each one for himself having taken the responsibility of the matters above referred to, and in compliance therewith, they unanimously answered that they understood and have full knowledge of what they have been advised. Whereupon, I took them by the hand and said in a loud clear intelligible voice, That in the name of his Majesty (Whom God Preserve) and without detriment to his Royal Possessions nor to any third party, I was walking with them over said lands. They pulled weeds, cast stones, and in a loud voice exclaimed "Long Live The King. " They took quiet and peaceable possession of said lands without any contradiction whatever. I assigned their boundaries to them, which are :On the West, with the lower lands on the level plain and above the middle road of Don Antonio Josef Lobato; On the East, the Canon of El Rio De Don Fernando; On the South, by the ridge which is on the other side of the river; And on the North, by the boundary of the Indians of Taos; Warning them that the pastures and watering places are common, And that it may appear, I signed the same, acting as a Delegate Judge in the absence of any Notary, there being none, (3) with the witnesses of my assistance with whom I act. To which I Certify.

by Robert J. Torrez, Retired State Historian
New Mexico State Records Center and Archives
From the New Mexico Genealogist, December, 1997, p. 143.
Thanks to Taos Resident, George Chacon  for providing this information


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