When I was young my mother would sometimes, in passing, mention her uncles and great uncles who were politicians in New Mexico. When she spoke the surnames of her family, she did so with such pride. Unfortunately, I didn't know enough about New Mexico history to show interest in the conversation or to ask important questions. I hadn't a clue that my family, on both sides were the founding families of New Mexico. Throughout the four centuries that my family had lived in New Mexico, each generation had experienced a very different New Mexico.
It wasn't until after my parents had passes away that I feverishly became interested in family history. In a very small way, I've seen a similar interest from my son and grandson for the events I experienced in the early 70's in Austin when Willie Nelson moved to Austin from Nashville and the hippies and the cowboys collectively created the cosmic cowboy scene at the Armadillo World Headquarters. Ecstatically, I offer up as much information as possible when they ask about a particular song or artist because I realize my missed opportunity of gathering information from my parents. I've had to rely on what has been written about my family in books, newspapers and on the internet.
I've mentioned in past blogs that I started doing ancestry research partially because I felt there was a lack of information about women in our history books. I wish to change that, at least for my family. I then started to realize that even though there's a lot of history written even documentaries filmed, the stories are told with a slant that I'm not in the least bit satisfied with. Therefore, I have made an effort to enlighten myself and those who care about the truth that isn't often mentioned in whitewashed history books.
Over the past 10 years of research, I have found the Padilla and the Labadie families to be the most interesting in my direct lineage. It's not surprising that both surnames are deeply embedded on both my mother and my father's side of the family which is a common phenomenon in the founding families of New Mexico. In my 10 plus years of research I always circle back around to the Padilla and the Labadie lineage.
This week it became a bit surreal as I was digging around into my family history. Unpleasant current day events mirrored events that I was reading about in my family's history. What were the chances that I would decide to reread the book "Juan Patron: A Fallen Star in the Days of Billy the Kid" just the day before the attempted coup at the United States Capitol by the white supremacists Trump supporters?
January 6, 2021 should have been a great day in American history. The Democrats in Georgia had won the runoff for the US Senate. Instead that day turned into one of the darkest days of the Unites States history. It marked the first time the US Capitol building had been breached since the early 1800's. It wasn't a demonstration, it was a desecration of our democracy incited by the president.
I watched in disbelief as our Capitol was being vandalized. I was shocked when I saw a photo of a man sitting at the desk of Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, taking selfies of himself with his feet on her desk. It was surreal that the night before I had been reading a parallel story about my cousin, Juan Patron. In April of 1884 Juan Parton was the Speaker of the House in New Mexico. He was assassinated in cold blood by white supremacists. Eleven years prior, Juan's father had been murdered at Juan's younger sister's wedding reception. Much like our present day Capitol being broken into, the white supremacists of the 1800's knew the Patron family would be gathered for a wedding in Lincoln and they broke in and started randomly shooting. Juan Patron's father was murdered because he looked much like his son in the dark. Patron had been targeted because he had been fighting for democracy against the Santa Fe Ring. If you are remotely familiar with New Mexico history, you know New Mexico held unadulterated opportunity. The land-grant legacy in New Mexico made the region attractive for the members of the Santa Fe Ring.They were politicians, lawyers, military officers, ranchers and retailers. They had power, money and few scruples. They were infamous for public corruption, with varied skills and their goal was to take land from the Hispanic land owners, illegally. Needless to say, Juan Patron was standing in their way.
It's no surprise that you won't find much about this horrific shadow government in history books any more than you will read about the shadow government of today. It infuriates me that justice was never served for the assassination of my cousin Juan Patron. Mike Maney went to trial yet he was acquitted because the prosecutor, Thomas B. Carton was one of the most active members of the Santa Fe Ring. He had stolen more land from the Hispanic population than anyone, acquiring title to more than 3 million acres, making him the largest landowner in New Mexico.
Juan Patron isn't just a New Mexico hero. He stood for everything I stand for. He was a blood relative. His mother was a Padilla and he was married to Beatriz Labadie, daughter of my Great Great Uncle Lieutenant Colonel Lorenzo Labadie. The Labadies and Padillas were well respected families who owned thousands of acres of land and cattle in New Mexico. Juan was born and raised in Santa Fe. He was in the first graduating class at St Michael's Catholic School in Santa Fe. He graduated with honors. He became a school teacher, he owned a store and he became a politician. Always working for the better of his community with his main goal was to tame a frontier plagued with greed and violence.
The Patron family had moved from Santa Fe to Lincoln and opened a store, built a school and a church. In 1978, when his father was killed in Lincoln, the president called the one mile main street in Lincoln was "the deadliest street in America." Juan decided to moved his family to his wife, Beatriz's home town of Puerto de Luna. Upon their arrival, Juan raised money have the church in Puerto de Luna built. I've mentioned a million times in past blogs how important that church is to me. My parents were baptized and married there. It breaks my heart that the first church service there was Juan Patron's funeral service. He is buried under the nave of the church. He could have very well become the governor of New Mexico but instead he was needlessly assassinated before the age of 30.
|Beatriz Labadie Patron|
and her husband Juan Patron
This week, feeling the ongoing grief of the year long, worldwide pandemic and the events at our Capitol, I was reading Juan's story from a different perspective. I wondered what happened to Juan's widow, Beatriz after her husband was assassinated in cold blood in Puerto de Luna. He had merely gone to Moore's Saloon for a single beer to never return home. I discovered that Beatriz married again and then after her second husband died she owned a house in Santa Rosa and lived with her younger siblings Roman, Lorenzo Jr. and Josefita. One thought lead to another and I started thinking about some of the women in the Labadie family that had never been written about. Just as the male names repeat in families, generation after generation, so do the female names. My sister is going to hate this part of my blog but I think it is kind of special so I am just going with it. My sister, Nita's given name at birth was Josie Ann. She was named after our grandmother Josefita Labadie. We never met our paternal grandmother because she died during the last pandemic at the age of 24. Our dad was only 3 and and had a younger sister Anita. For whatever reason, in the second grade, my sister started going by the name Nita. Here's the cool part. Josefita is an old family name and I never put it all together because again men are named "Senior" and "Junior" or I, II, III and so on. Women are not and the lineage gets lost in the shuffle because they also have to change their last name when they get married. So below is the the lineage of the Josefita Labadies in our family.
Our 4th Great-Grandparents Dr Dominique Labadie and Maria Micaela Padilla had a daughter named:
Josefa Labadie Born 1783 Died 1810
She is our 3rd Great-Grand Aunt (Great-Great-Great-Aunt)
Our Great-Great Uncle Lieutenant Colonel Lorenzo Labadie and his wife Maria Rayitos Giddings Gutierrez Labadie
had a daughter named:
Josefita Labadie Born 1864 Died 1941
She is our 1st Cousin 3x removed
(This simply means 1st cousin 3 generations ago)
Our Great-Grandparents Captain Juan Labadie y Sanchez and Dorotea Maria Chavez had a daughter named:
Josefita Labadie Born 1894 Died 1918
She is our Paternal Grandmother
My sister: Josie Ann Fajardo AKA Nita Fajardo Born 1951
Recap: Dr Dominique Labadie born in 1738 Gascony, France first settled in St Louis, MO and the arrived in New Mexico in 1775, He married Maria Micaela Padilla, the daughter of one of the founding families of Albuquerque. They had 15 children, among them was a daughter named Josefa, One of their grandsons was Lieutenant Colonel Lorenzo Labadie. Not only was Lorenzo a Lieutenant Colonel, he was a sheriff in 3 New Mexico counties, he served as an Indian Agent for 8 years and then in his old age, he became a census taker. When I first started doing ancestry research, most of my important information came from the census he recorded in Puerto de Luna and surrounding areas in the late 1800’s and in 1900. He too had a daughter named Josefa Labadie born in 1864. She was the sister-in-law of Juan Patron who was the first speaker of the house in New Mexico. Then there was our grandmother Josefita Labadie. This is the sad part of the story. She died at the age of 24 during the last pandemic of 1918. My dad was only 3 years old and he had a younger sister. My heart has always ached for my dad because it was so obvious that he missed having his mother. I have an adorable portrait of my him when he was a baby and I am sure there would have been many more photos and stories about his life had his mother not died at such a young age. The current pandemic has made that pain much more real to me.
|My grandmother Josefita Labadie Fajardo|
To my sister Josie Ann, AKA Nita, I hope you know deep in your heart that you come from a very long line of beautiful souls who walk with you daily and give you strength.
Thank you Kimberly Harris, who now owns the Juan and Beatriz Labadie Patron's ranch for sharing with me stories and photos. I will forever send you, your horses and rescued animals love and light.