Clues to Our Mixed Heritage

While conducting my family history research, I found that we have some very strong lines that date back to Spain and Mexico. This is something that I was already somewhat expecting.  

My Cousin James shared with me that somewhere in the lineage of my Great-Grandfather Alfredo's family, there was intermarriage with Jicarilla Apache - the Jicarilla Apache Reservation is in close proximity to the area his family lived in and apparently he grazed his sheep on that land. James also told me that my Great-Grandpa Alfredo had Jicarilla Apache workers on his farm and that he spoke to them in their native tongue.

About 6 years ago another cousin told me that she had a headdress of one of our Great-Grandmothers - who was a Native American Chieftess. I don't recall the tribe she said this ancestor was from but I suspect she was in the Ulibarri lineage. 

I remember when I was younger, hearing another older cousin and a aunt say that my Great-Grandfather was of Cherokee heritage. Although there are people in my family whose physical features can easily pass for Cherokee, this tribe is from an entirely different region and is not one that I've ever come across while conducting this research.

I've heard yet another story of my Great-Grandfather Alfredo having been adopted into our family. If I can recall correctly, it was said that he was in a wagon, traveling with his Native American family when they were attacked by another tribe. He was supposedly the only one left alive and was taken in and raised by either the tribe who conducted the attack or another (possibly Spanish) family. The people who supposedly witnessed this happen are the ones who passed down this story and they were from the area my Great-Grandparents grew up in. The only problem with this theory is that the churches usually made it a point to note when someone was adopted and although it was more common in earlier time periods, they usually noted if the person being baptized was Native American.   

Per Origins of New Mexico Families, by: Fray Angelico Chavez, it states that the Ulibarri name first appeared in New Mexico in the Eighteenth Century.  Juan de Ulibarri and Antonio (who is suspected to have been his brother or possibly even his son), were said to be from San Luis Potosi, Mexico.  Juan de Ulibarri was said to have "liberated the Picuris Indians from the Apaches in 1706-1707, and brought them back to El Cuartelejo to their Pueblo". So with this information, we can suspect that we are descended from one of these two people but I am still doing a great deal of research on these lines so that I can provide you with more accurate information. What I have seen in online family trees is highly inaccurate and skips generations. There are also many names that are quite similar that I believe were used in error on these family trees.

Court records show that the Jicarilla Apache made efforts to recover some of their land from Juan de Ulibarri. I will have to do more research to find out more about that story. (I have the records but have not had time to read them in their entirety). 

In the 1782 Baptism record of  Jose Alfredo Ulibarri's  3x great-aunt, it states that she is a "Coyota Vecina"= a mixed blood neighbor.  This would indicate that intermarriage with someone of Native American lineage took place prior to that year. (a "great aunt" would be the sister of one of his great-grandfathers).

In the 1776 Baptism record of Maria Rita Abeyta's Great-Grandmother, she is referred to as "de color quebrado"= of broken color. The problem is that the marriage record of her parents states that they are "espanol"= Spanish. Also, this ancestor (Maria de la Luz Martin) was born 6 months after her older brother. I don't know the survival rate of premature babies in that era but due to the high rate of infant deaths, I'd say that it's unlikely that this was their natural born daughter (although the baptism record doesn't state that she is illegitimate or adopted). I will be doing more research on her parents lines - neither of her two brothers has "de color quebrado" stated on their baptism records.

Also, I just found out that the father of Maria de la Luz Martin was a widower when he married her mother. So I need to go back to the records to see if the older brother was possibly from the first marriage. It was not uncommon for widowers with young children to immediately remarry - this also happened with another ancestor.

The evidence suggests that we have Native American Heritage in our lineages through both Jose Alfredo Ulibarri and Maria Rita Abeyta - and they may not be of the same tribes. 

The Haplogroup B2A2, for my own mtDNA test results through Family Tree, is said to be "a really nice Native American Haplogroup" according to the article: Finding Your American Indian Tribe Using DNA   (

So when you add in my mtDNA results, its possible that we have more Native American ancestry than what I've shared with you above and again, they may not be of the same tribes.

 © 2017 Harvesting Pinons, A.M. ~ All Rights Reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment