The Dead of Paso Del Norte

During the Spanish colonial period, El Paso was in the jurisdiction of the province of New Mexico.  The small town was referred to as the “Pueblo Santa Maria Guadalupe, Paso del Rio Del Norte, Provincia de Nueva Mexico” or just “Paso del Norte.”  After the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, numerous families from northern New Mexico re-settled to the south at Paso del Norte at various encampments.  Some of these settlers, many of whom were indigenous, founded adjacent pueblos within the larger Paso del Norte community.  These pueblos were Senecú del Sur (for the Piros and Tompiros), Socorro (for Piros, Tanos and Jemez), and Ysleta (for the Tigua).  Spanish missionaries continued their efforts to integrate local indigenous bands (such as the Mansos, Suma and Jumanos) into the Paso del Norte community.  People from other areas of Nueva España also moved to Paso Del Norte.

For generations, the Paso del Norte community as a whole was principally indigenous and mestizo. Many indigenous people, including Apaches, were captured and forced to work at Paso del Norte.  Such persons were often times referred to as “sirviente” (servant), “criado” or “criada.  In the mid-1800s, many of the descendants of these people would settle new villages in what is now known as Doña Ana County, New Mexico.

Above is a video (use expand button) of various parts of a book from the 1700s used by priests to record the deaths of residents served by the Yglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe (Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe) in Paso del Norte.  The church is now in Juarez.

From a page in 1734 of the book, we can see the names of:

Francisco, the “suma,”

Maria Candelaria, a “tigua,”

Cristinia of the “nacion apache,”

Rosa the “apache soltera” [single apache];

Miguel, the “suma,” along with

Juan de Abalos.

1734.Deaths Paso Del Norte

From a page in 1736:

Ysabel, the “criada” of Don Pedro Beannes, and

Maria Antonia, the “apacha” and “criada” of Diego Trujillo.

1736.Apache criada Paso Del Norte

From a page in 1736:

Juan Cristobal, from the “nacion apache”

who was a “sirviente” of Don Juan Antonio Velarde, and

Juan Antonio of the “nacion apache,” a “criado” of Don Juan Antonio Velarde, and

Doña Cathalina, the “española” and widow of Francisco Lusero.

1736.Apache criado Paso Del Norte

From a page in 1739:

Maria, the “india apache,”

Domingo, the “apache” child,

Juan Antonio de la Cruz, the “indio”

who was the child of Juan and Bernarda,

Theresa, an “india,” and

Juana, the woman of Lorenzo of the Pueblo of Senecú.

1739.Dead Paso

From a page in 1739 and 1740:

Juana of the “nacion barbara” (barbaric nation)

who was the widow of Joseph and the “criada” of Don Joseph de Sierra,

Angela de Tapia,

Juana Xaviera Brito — the woman of Juan Joseph Baptista Martinez,

Rosa, a “mansos” india who was unmarried,

Augustina de la Cruz, the widow of Antonio Herrera, and

Juan Antonio, a married “Juman” [Jumano indian]

who was the “criado” of Don Joseph de Sierra.

1739.1740.Paso deaths

To ‘visit’ the microfilm of this book, click HERE.

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