Long before the Spaniards arrived in New Mexico through the Camino Real, the Royal Road, this route was being used by Native Americans as a trade road for salt, hides, minerals, turquoise and pottery. The same route was used by Juan de Onate in 1598 for his expedition into our part of the southwestern desert and again by Diego de Vargas in 1692.
Step back in time and come with us to explore these regions and trail now known as the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, meaning the royal road of the interior. This trail became a 1500 mile route that extends to this day from Mexico City to Owingeh Pueblo, formerly known as San Juan Pueblo in New Mexico. It is one of the oldest trails in the United States. The Camino Real de Tierra Adentro became a national historic trail in 1993 and is one of New Mexico’s most important cultural treasures.
Imagine now, your family, your ancestors, leaving behind everything they knew about their homes in Spain or Mexico and joining one of the expeditions to this remote and isolated land. The founding families of New Mexico were many. One of which captures our personal family history and the history of this country before it became the United States.
This family is the Baca Family of New Mexico.
This family has a 450-year history and many New Mexico families today originate from the Baca Family. Some of these names include, but are not limited to: C’de Baca, Sais, Saiz, Espinoza, Campos, Silva, Lopez, Gonzales, Martinez, Pino, Garcia, Rivera, Ortiz, Sanchez, Quintana, Gallegos, Chavez, and Lucero.
Our goal through this website is to bring a connection to all the Baca Families living in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Texas. We will venture through a myriad of family trees and find one common connection — Cristóbal Baca, a military soldier of Mexico who took the dare to find a new home in a new land with his wife and children in tow in the 1600s.
Experience the journeys of many Baca family members through first-person stories, family photos, and the art and objects they brought with them or created here. They came to this land as Spaniards and Mexicans and continue to reside here as New Mexicans.
By joining the The Baca Family Historical Project you can discover your roots. Put on your boots and hats and travel the Camino Real trail with us.
Most of the information presented here will be submitted by you, a Baca family member. As a member of the Baca Family Historical Project your stories, photos, and family trees will be very helpful and become a part of the guided tour through our history.
Our family history has left this state a valuable heritage that comes from our language of Spanish, our art through religious works such as New Mexican retablos, mining, and farming and from everyday objects like my father’s sheep shearing scissors. Just picking them up to take the photo reminded me of his story of “the sheep shearing contest.”
And, how many of you can identify this part of the New Mexico land, and how it is used and by whom or what?
Our ancestors faced attacks by Comanches, Apaches, and Cherokees. Their homes, haciendas and ranches were subject to raids by Native Americans trying to recapture what was theirs, the land. It wasn’t until the mid 1800s that peace came to this land we now call home.
As we travel El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro we will make stops along the way to visit with the Baca Families as our ancestors did when they walked the 1500 mile trail northward.
Get your ticket for this trip by joining The Baca Family Historical Project. No Baca ancestry required but highly desired.
Our first outreach will be by participating at regional fairs throughout New Mexico. Our goal is to have an informational booth at the following county fairs:
- Santa Fe
- San Miguel/Mora
- Rio Arriba
- De Baca
- New Mexico State Fair in Albuquerque
Check our Events page where we will post more information as it becomes available. We will contact you via email (please contact us to get on our list). You can submit stories, photos, family trees through this site and or stop by the booth with copies to share!
The Baca Family Historical Project is an initiative of Angioma Alliance, a 501c3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. We are grateful for your support. Donations are accepted online or by mailing a check made out to “Angioma Alliance” to Angioma Alliance, 1000 Calle Dorthia, Santa Fe, NM 87506.
We look forward to hearing from you.