Monday, September 8, 2014

The Labadie Family

It's been over a month since I have written a blog post and my ancestry research has become sporadic. Mainly because I solved the mystery surrounding my paternal grandmother, Josefita Labadie Fajardo. I have traced all the other branches of my family tree as far back as the 1500's, some even further. The search for information about my paternal grandmother had become a personal challenge so when I found it, it was time for a break.

Josefita and Doroteo Fajardo

According to the Nuestra Senora del Refugio Church records in Puerto de Luna New Mexico, my grand parents, Doroteo Chavez Fajardo and Josefita Labadie Fajardo were married on May 12, 1915. My father, Felipe Montoya Fajardo was born two weeks later on May 26, 1915. Doroteo and Josefita had a daughter named Anita as well but I haven't found her birthdate or date of death. Felipe and Anita grew up without a mother because in the winter of 1918, when my father was only 3 years old his mother, Josefita died of the Spanish Influenza. The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than World War I. "The Spanish Flu" or "La Grippe" was a global disaster.

Read more about it here ----> Infuenza

While I searched for information about my grandmother and aunt, I found another Felipe M. Fajardo family. In the 1800's there seemed to be a lot of Fajardos around the Socorro area and this particular Felipe M. Fajardo family migrated to the Hatch, New Mexico area. He was my dad's 2nd cousin and he also had a son named Phillip and a daughter named Anita. When I discovered them on, I thought I had hit a jackpot but it ended up just being a cousin with many family names in common.

So back to my father's given name, Felipe Montoya Fajardo .... I was always told that Montoya was my grandmother's maiden name however, I was ecstatic when I finally found the census from Puerto de Luna, New Mexico from the year 1900 that showed Antonio Montoya as head of household, his wife as Dorotea Montoya. There were six children listed ... BUT ... the children were all listed as step-children to the head of the household, Antonio Montoya and the children's last names were Labadie. I looked down the list of children to the next to the last name and there it was! "Josefita Labadie," my grandmother! Mystery Solved At Last! My great-grandmother had been married to Juan Labadie y Sanchez, ( I haven't figured out the Y Sanchez part of his name) They had six children and then he died. Cause of death unknown for now. My mother had always told us that my father's mother was a Labadie but never explained the situation. Anyway, 2 years after Juan's death, when Dorotea was 47, she married Antonio Montoya. While searching for records of Juan Labadie's I discovered books of interesting history on the prominent Labadie family in New Mexico.

Throughout this journey of discovering my ancestry, coincidences have occurred all along the way, I sort of just expect the synchronistic discoveries to occur now. The week I discovered that my grandmother was actually a Labadie, not a Montoya, my friend Marcia Ball's mother passed away and Marcia posted her mother's obit on facebook. The obit mentioned that she was from Labadieville, LA. What are the chances that information would show up the same week that I discovered my Labadie connection?

So as the story goes, my 4th great-grandfather, Dr. Dominique Labadie was born in France in 1738. He first settled in  St Louis, MO and then in Santa Fe in 1765. As a young medical doctor, the 27 year old married Maria Micaela Padilla, daughter of one of the original founding families of Albuquerque. They married in Santa Fe on November 2, 1766. and had 15 children. Their son, Juan Pablo Labadie, born on May 24, 1784 in Santa Fe is my 3rd great-grandfather. Then Juan Pablo Labadie married Maria Rosa de Reyes Cisneros and they had a son, my 2nd great-grandfather, Juan Labadie, born in 1817.  He then had a son, my great-grandfather, Juan Labadie y Sanchez, born in 1834. He was my grandmother's father but he died when she was 7. She took her stepfather Antonio Montoya's name and later gave my dad the middle name, Montoya.

My great-great-grandfather, Juan Labadie y Sanchez had a younger brother, Lorenzo Labadie. Lorenzo's immediate family are some of the most colorful characters that I have read about in my research.  It has been written that Benjamin Baca was the founder of Santa Rosa, NM but a historian from Santa Rosa tells me that my Great-Great Uncle Lorenzo Labadie was the founder. Nonetheless, they have both been named as two of the first settlers.

Lorenzo Labadie was described as a handsome, honorable man who wore many hats. In 1851 he was the Sheriff in Valencia County where he served 3 terms. Like his friend Kit Carson, he was a sympathetic and a loyal friend to many of the Native Americans. In 1855 he was appointed as a U.S. Indian Agent for 15 years and gained respect and confidence seldom obtained by the Native Americans as an Agent. Under his watchful eye, the Native Americans worked side-by-side with soldiers, damming the Pecos River to irrigate crops, planting trees, and building a slaughter house. They had 94 gardens spread over a 100 acre area and grew melons, pumpkins, chile and green beans. He was removed as an agent because he protested against the Native Americans being furnished unwholesome food by the government.
Lorenzo married Rayitos Giddings, a beautiful blue-eyed 14-year-old called "one of the fairest daughters of the territory," on Feb. 16, 1852. Rayitos was just as colorful in her own right. She was raised and educated by her great aunt, Maria Gertrudis Barcelo, AKA Madame La Tules, an intriguing, free-spirited woman who dominated Society in Santa Fe. She was known as the best professional gamblers in New Mexico. Rayitos later became a well known doctor. On the day of their wedding, as a wedding gift, Lorenzo received a commission from Governor James S. Calhoun as colonel of the territorial commission.

Later in life, Lorenzo became a census taker for at least 10 years. In 1880 he sat with Billy the Kid in Ft. Sumner and Billy gave him the name William Bonney and said he worked in cattle. He was also the census taker in 1900 in Puerto de Luna when he recored Antonio Montoya as head of household with wife Dorotea. I wonder what kind of relationship Lorenzo had with Dorotea, his deceased older brother's widow and mother of his nieces and nephews listed as Montoya's stepchildren.

In 1893 Lorenzo was elected to the legislation assembly of New Mexico as representative for Guadalupe County, NM. Lorenzo died on his birthday, August 10, 1904, in Puerto De Luna, New Mexico. He was buried there in the El Calvario Cemetery.

Lorenzo Labadie's grave

I will continue with Lorenzo's daughter Beatriz Labadie and her husband Juan Patron at a later date. This is another interesting story.