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A tale of three Cristobals

by Joyce Gonzales

 

Cristobal I: Progenitor of Baca Family

Cristobal Baca (1567- 1613) was the Progenitor of the Baca Family in New Mexico and the South West. Cristobal was a Captain born in Mexico City, New Spain. He and his wife Ana Ortiz (1563-1620) and their children came to New Mexico in 1600 with other reinforcement soldiers. These soldiers were sent to help protect the newly established Spanish Colony set up by Juan de Onate in 1598 at Ohkay Owingeh (Formerly San Juan Pueblo).

Henrietta Martinez Christmas has estimated that there have been about five million descendants from Cristobal Baca and Ana Ortiz. Almost any person who has seven or more generations in New Mexico will descend from one of the many Baca lines if not several times.

Cristobal II: Possible Founding grandparent of CCM1

Cristobal Baca II (1625-1697) was the grandson of Cristobal I. Research has identified that probably either Cristobal II or his wife Ana Moreno Lara (Trujillo) (1634-1692) was the *Founding Grandparent of the Common Hispanic Mutation (CHM) of the CCM1 gene. Cristobal II and Ana Moreno’s descendants that were affected by a mutation of ***CCM1 live in New Mexico, the Southwest, the US, and in some cases all over the world. Cristobal II and Ana Moreno were both born in NM. This couple had eight known children. Those of us today that have the Common Hispanic Mutation are all direct descendants of Cristobal II and Ana Moreno. Research to date has identified at least two of their children that probably had the CCM1 mutation. These children were:

• Juana “la Vieja” Baca (1674- )
• Manuel Baca (1649-1727).

Two of their other children, Francisco and Pedro, may have died young as we have no information on them. Francisca, Luisa, and Catalina Baca had known children; to date, no one from their lines has tested positive.

Juana “la Vieja” did not marry, but she had five known children. Research to date indicates that most, if not all of Juana “la Vieja” children probably carried the CCM1 genetic mutation. These children were:

• Miguel San Juan Luna (1693-)
• Bernabe Baca (1696-1762)
• Juana “la moza” Baca (1699-)
• Antonia Baca (1703-1770)
• Ygnacio Baca (1715-)


Manuel Baca was married to Maria de Salazar Hurtado (1656-1730) and they had nine known children. Research to date has identified at least four of these children that probably had the CCM1 mutation. These children were:

• Maria Josefa Baca (1685-1746)
• Diego Manuel Baca (1694-1727)
• Juan Antonio Baca (1696-1727)
• Cristobal Baca III (1698-1739)

Cristobal III: Possibly had the highest number of descendants with CCM1

Cristobal Baca III was the grandson of Cristobal the II, and research indicates that he had CCM1. He was married to Apolonia de la Vega y Coca (1701-1734) and Maria Manuela Marquez. This Cristobal probably had the biggest impact on families affected with CCM1 because of the sheer number of children that were born into his family. Cristobal III had fifteen known children with his two wives, and his grandson Luis Maria Cabeza de Baca had twenty-three known children with 3 wives.

Research to date has identified at least two children of Cristobal III that probably carried the CCM1 mutation. These children were:

• Maria Agustina Baca (Antonio Armenta)
• Juan Antonio Baca (Maria Romero)

Juan Antonio Baca married Maria Romero and they had ten known children. Research to date indicates that at least five of their sons probably had CCM1. They were:

• Juan Maria Baca (1761-)
• Juan Miguel Baca (1765-)
• Jose Manuel Baca (1767-1813)
• Juan Esteban Baca (1768-)
• Luis Maria Cabeza de Baca (1754-1827)

Luis Maria Cabeza de Baca was the grandson of Cristobal Baca III, and research indicates that Luis probably had CCM1. Luis acquired several land grants, one of which was in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Some believe that he and his family were descendants of the Spanish explorer Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca. Although in time this theory was proved incorrect, Luis Maria changed his and his children’s surnames to Cabeza de Baca. Luis had approximately 23 known children with three wives. He was killed in 1827 when he was harboring a fur trapper. Most of the children of Luis Maria went on to have their own large families that stayed in the Peña Blanca, La Cienega, or the Las Vegas, New Mexico areas. We know that CCM1 does not skip generations and that each of Luis Maria 23 children had a 50% chance of inheriting it. If approximately half of Luis Maria’s children inherited this illness, then the impact this family had on the CCM1 gene mutation would have been huge. The grandchildren of Luis Maria and their descendants abbreviated their surname from Cabeza de Baca to C’de Baca. Therefore, we know that C’de Bacas today in the southwest descend from Luis Maria Cabeza de Baca. Much more research will need to be done on this specific family line to identify more of Luis Maria’s affected children. Research to date has identified at least two of Luis Maria children that probably had CCM1. They were:

• Juan Antonio Cabeza de Baca (1783-1835)
• Prudencio Cabeza de Baca (1800- )

In the case of Prudencio Cabeza de Baca, he either married twice or there are two men with the same name; this is not uncommon in this family, Luis Maria named several of his children Antonio after his father. There are eight known children of Prudencio. Research to date has identified at least one of his children that probably had CCM1. This child was: Valentine C’de Baca (1861-1911) who married Elvira Gallegos (1859-1938) and lived in Peña Blanca, NM.

Valentine C’de and Elvira had fifteen known children. Research to date has identified at least four of these children that probably had CCM1.

I have only followed one of the lines which included the three Cristobal Bacas. However, we know that there are many other lines descending from Cristobal Baca II and Ana Moreno Lara (Trujillo) that have been affected by CCM1. As research continues, the validation team will continue to add more identified lineages.

Some surnames today that research has identified as possible CCM1 carriers; genealogies going back to Cristobal II have been validated.

Apodaca Contreras Martin/Martinez
Aguirre Espinosa/Espinoza Mora
Aragon Garcia Ortiz
Armijo Gonzales Padilla
Baca/C’de Baca Lopez Rivera
Campos Lucero Sais/Saiz
Casaus/Casados Luna Silva
Chavez Mares/Marez Vigil

*Founding Grandparent (Founder Effect): Everyone today with CCM1 has the identical genetic mutation
indicating that all of us with this illness descend from the same grandparent.

** Cerebral Cavernous Malformations: A raspberry shaped abnormal blood vessel in the brain and/or
the spinal cord that could hemorrhage.

***CCM1: One of three possible genes that, when mutated, can cause the development of cavernous angiomas. A mutation of the CCM1 gene is hereditary, usually causes multiple lesions, and does not skip generations. Each child of an affected parent has a 50% chance of inheriting the mutation.