King Charles III of Spain requested that the chain of fifteen missions in Baja California be reorganized and Franciscan Father
Junipero Serra was directed to take charge. But shortly afterwards he was given a larger assignment: "Occupy and fortify San
Diego and Monterey for God and the King of Spain." Russian influence was reaching the area of northern California and Spain
was very concerned.
Also in 1768 a subject of the king, Ygnacio’s father, Joseph Maria Atanasio, was born in Pinos, Zacatecas, New Spain. He was
the sixth(1) child of Ylario Nino Ladron Guevara and Gertrudis de Leos and baptized by Father Antonio Maria Sanchez Navarro,
a priest at San Mathias de Piños Church. The church records began in 1640.
1---This isn’t for certain. There are baptisms for 4 of his siblings and marriage information for 3 other siblings and possibly another sibling could have
been born. This will be discussed more in detail in the story about his parents.
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José Maria’s father died when he was 5 years old. His mother re-married a little less than seven years later when Jose Maria was a
little less than twelve years old. The marriage was at Real de Catorce in the neighboring state of San Luis Potosi. The marriage
document stated that Gertrudis had been a resident of Catorce for five months before she married. The distance to Catorce from
Piños is about 200 miles, a fair amount of traveling for a mother and small children in the 1700s.
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The American Revolutionary War was raging to the north. A dispatch was sent to the Commandant General of the Internal
Provinces of New Spain asking all subjects to donate money to help the American cause against the British. Millions of pesos were
given. To the south, a rebellion began in Peru led by the great-great grandson of Túpac Amaru I, the last Incan leader. A provincial
Indian nobleman, José Gabriel Condorcanqui Noguera, alias Túpac Amaru II (1742–81) led the most significant Indian rebellion
that took place in the Americas between the Spanish conquest and independence. King Charles III of the House of Bourbon was
still king of Spain.
Also in 1780, a subject of the king was born in San Pedro del Gallo, Durango. Her name was Maria Eusebia Guadalupe de los
Dolores. She was baptized by Don Manuel Gutierres de San Juan.
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José Maria appeared as a resident of Nazas, Durango for two years before he became a bridegroom at age 31. On
Saturday, Feb. 22, 1800, in San Pedro Apostol Church, San Pedro del Gallo, Durango. Don José Maria Niño Ladrón de
Guevara married Doña Eusebia Guadalupe de los Dolores de la Riva. He was the legitimate child of Don Ylario Niño Ladron
de Guevara and Doña Josepha Gertrudis de Leos y Esparza. His wife was the legitimate child of Don Manuel Venancio de la
Riva and Doña Maria de la Conception Rubio de Junta. Father Don José Ygnacio Lobo y Valenzuela performed the
The newlyweds ventured 30 miles to Nazas sometime before February 1802 to welcome the birth of José Maria and thirteen
months later, the cornerstone of the Guevara story, Ygnacio, was born
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The Villa de los Cinco Señores, or the Five Lords, initially founded in 1598 with following depopulations and re-settlements,
becoming permanent in 1725, was shortened to Nazas in 1867. The word nazas comes from the Spanish name of a basket that the
indigenous natives used in a clever way to capture fish on the river and was observed by the early explorers.
Nazas’ location is near the old trade route established by the natives before the arrival of the Spaniards, and the continued use
eventually linked the central power of New Spain to its possessions to the north ending at Santa Fe, New Mexico. The 2000-mile
route, El Camino Real, was not only the artery for trade, but a migration route for settling the lands to the north.
Nazas lies near the Nazas River at an elevation of 4100 feet. The silt deposited over the millenniums during the yearly floods makes
the area rich for farming and the conditions to grow abundant crops has no doubt been a source of a rich food supply for nearby
and outlying areas for centuries. Cotton was a viable crop, and during the struggle for Mexico’s independence from Spain tax
revenue from cotton helped with eventual victory. There are some mineral deposits in nearby mountains.
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Thanks are to be given to Francisco Garcia Arratia for his fine blog about Nazas, and we appreciate his permission to
use some of his material. If you want to find out more about Nazas---http://ciudadnazasdurango.blogspot.com/
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Sometime before August 1807 the Jose Maria-Guadalupe family traveled back to San Pedro del Gallo and with the help of a LDS
staff member, as mentioned in the Ygnacio story, the following new arrivals were located: Mercedes Elena, born Aug. 1807;
Francisco Calistro, born March 1810; Antonio Cesario, born Aug. 1811; Jesus Maria, baptized Sept. 1813; Teofila Dolores,
born Dec.1816; and Francisco Refugio, born Sept.1818.
Once the information about the children’s birth dates was obtained on the IGI, it was easy enough to find them on the microfilm
and make copies of their baptisms. All of that swell information was for the taking. It wasn’t necessary to read microfilm for hours
and hours. Thank you again Ruth. Of the known eight children, it isn’t likely that all survived to adulthood. Besides Ygnacio, the
only information, so far, is that Dolores Niño Ladrón de Guevara married Pablo Garcia in November 1836, at San Pedro del
Gallo. A witness at the marriage was José Maria Guevara. Was it Dolores’ father, or her older brother? Marriage information
would have said if the parents were deceased, and Dolores’ marriage information didn’t indicate that.
Apostol Church records don’t indicate more children for José Maria and Guadalupe, but there may possibly have been more.
Guadalupe was thirty-eight years old, and it is very likely that a couple of children were born between the birth of Ygnacio in
1803 and Mercedes, 1807. Church records in nearby settlements may yield that information.
Guadalupe had a brother born in 1777, three years earlier than she, and he was in the Apostol Church baptism records,
which began in 1760. San Pedro del Gallo was de la Riva country and there’s more information on Guadalupe’s side of the
family in the area to be extracted.
San Pedro del Gallo
San Pedro del Gallo, or El Gallo, as it is also referred to sometimes on old maps and in books, is about 30 miles north of Nazas
and the trip increases from 4100 feet to 5400 feet in elevation. The town, as viewed on the Internet and Google Earth, shows a
small town located on the off-beaten path (electricity wasn’t installed until 1972) located in country that looks to be fairly level with
some hills and mountainous a distance away. Greenery seems abundant. It's probably a pretty area. A 2005 census quotes 402
dwellings with 1,486 inhabitants.
In the late 1600s a presidio was established in the area to help combat the problem with the Indian tribes that rose up against
Spanish occupation. The uprising began with the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 in the New Mexico area and progressed southward. The
presidios, with the normal compliment of 50 soldiers, was for the protection of missions, pueblos, ranches, peaceful Indians, travel
routes and mining interests, the latter of which was important for Spain’s income in the New World. Some presidios were built in
productive mining areas, a concern probably more slanted towards monetary gain than perhaps with the safety of more inhabitants,
which a garrison could provide.
Although the Pueblo Revolt was squashed by 1693 north of the Rio Grande the turmoil continued for many years in New Spain
with the Apaches being heavily involved. The presidio at El Gallo was deemed not essential in 1751 and along with other nearby
presidios a roving garrison was established. Until the 1770s civilians gravitated to areas protected by presidios and former
presidios were also areas where birth of pueblos would begin to become sizeable towns. So that is probably the means by which
San Pedro del Gallo became a viable town.
The construction of the Temple of St. Peter the Apostle began in 1745. The first census in 1787, not too long before the
Jose Maria-Guadalupe Guevara family took up residence, quotes 407 inhabitants, mostly Spaniards. The attraction for
income at the inception of the town was mining, as it is today, with copper, gold, lead and chiefly silver, to be mined. So, for
250 years or so, San Pedro del Gallo has remained as San Pedro del Gallo.
José Maria traveled a good distance from Catorce to San Pedro del Gallo—approximately 450 miles---to unite him with
Guadalupe. But the journey lasted perhaps a dozen years. It would be nice to have some information on that time period for him,
and some information may surface. He was a bachelor when he married Guadalupe and hadn’t been married at age 31. The
marriage document would have stated if he was a widower. San Pedro del Gallo is situated northerly of Catorce and perhaps José
Maria was on his way to the Rio Grande and the new land, but interrupted by a marriage and family, so his son Ygnacio continued
What was the attraction or magnet that caused the family to remain in the small town for many years? It appears that the Jose Maria-
Guadalupe family resided in San Pedro del Gallo for quite a few years, most likely from 1807 to 1818 when the last child may have been
born. And probably the family remained there until the marriage of daughter, Dolores, at age 20, in 1836. The Apostol Church death
records were searched and neither Jose Maria nor Guadalupe appeared, indicating that they did leave the area at one time.
Jose Maria may have worked in the mines to support his family, or perhaps he did some farming. Guadalupe’s family, the de la Rivas, was
well represented in the church records, and as Dons and Donas, it appears that the family had some influence. Perhaps Jose Maria married
into a family well established. If so, good for him, making it easier to provide for, and educate his children. It appears that son, Ygnacio,
had some education when he traveled to New Mexico.
So far there is only information about two of the eight children, Ygnacio and Dolores. And it’s sad to believe that they are the only
two to survive. But the search goes on and as more church extractions become available, and more searching continues it’s very
likely that more children will appear.
|A painting or sketch of how Mission San Diego de Alcalá appeared in
early times. It was founded with the guidance of Father Junipero Serra
when he raised the cross in July 1769 to initiate the first of 21 missions
in California. The arrangement of the five bells gives the mission a
distinct appearance from the other missions.