The marriage of Atanacio Ortega & Maria Cecilia Velasquez in Belen, New Mexico 4 November 1862

Atanacio Ortega & Cecilia Velasquez were Adelina Ortega’s grandparents, making them my third great grandparents. Below is their original marriage record found in the marriage records from Nuestra Señora de Belen, Belen, New Mexico. This particular record is found on FHL film 16734, available to view on the Family Search website.

Atanasio Ortega & Ma Cecilia Belasques marriage Belen 4 Nov 1862


Atanasio con Maria Cecilia. Pueblitos. 

A los 4 de yo case a Atanasio, solt. hijo leg. de Ortega. dif. y de Juana Montaño con Maria Cecilia, solt. hija leg. de Toribio Belasquez y de Teodora Rivera. ambos de los Pueblitos. Padrs. Juan Simon Gurule, Maria Trujillo. E. Paulet


Atanasio with Maria Cecilia. Pueblitos. 

On the 4th of November I married Atanasio, single legitimate son of Francisco Ortega, deceased and of Juana Montaño with Maria Cecilia, single legitimate daughter of Toribio Belasquez and of Teodora Rivera both from Los Pueblitos. Godparents Juan Simon Gurule, Maria Trujillo. E. Paulet



Where did Maria Martina Ortega go?

After reviewing the 1870 Census for the Ortega family, I became curious as to what happened to Maria Martina, Jose Ortega’s older sister.

Maria Martina Ortega 1863 baptism Belen

Above is Maria Martina’s baptism from Nuestra Señora de Belen in 1863.


A los 11 de Oct. yo bautize a Ma Martina de 4 dias hija leg. de Atanasio Ortega, Cecilia Belasquez. Padr. Toribio Belasques, Teodora Rivera. E. Paulet (?)


On the 11th of Oct. I baptized Ma Martina at 4 days old, legitimate daughter of Atanasio Ortega, Cecilia Belasquez. Godparents Toribio Belasques, Teodora Rivera. E. Paulet (?)


I had saved a note with her marriage info but had forgotten about it. Her marriage record was in the Belen marriages FHL film 16734. Below is the record.

Martina Ortega & Juan Garcia marriage 10 Feb 1879 Belen


En Esta Iglesia de N. Sra. de Belen, a los diez de Febr. despues de publicadas los tres banas, yo E. Paulet. parr. case y vele a Juan, solt. hijo de Inacia Garcia de los Jarales__ con Martina, solt. hija leg. de Atanasio Ortega y de Cecilia Belasquez de los Pueblitos. Padrs. Manuel Sanchez, Tomasa Castillo. E. Paulet. 


In this church of Our Lady of Belen, on the 10th of February, after the three published banns, I, E. Paulet, married and veiled Juan, single, son of Inacia Garcia of los Jarales__ with Martina, single, legitimate daughter of Atanacio Ortega and Cecilia Belasquez of Los Pueblitos. Godparents Manuel Sanchez, Tomasa Castillo. E. Paulet. 

So, mystery solved, Martina did in fact marry at 15 years old, which explains why she does not appear in the 1880 census with her parents and siblings.



Atanacio Ortega & Cecilia Velasquez family in 1870 US Census Los Jarales, Valencia, New Mexico

1870 US Census Los Jarales Atanacio Ortega & Cecilia family

In 1870, Jose is a 2 month old baby, born in April according to the census. Atanacio is a 35 year old laborer, and Cecilia is 26, keeping house. The slash on the right is a mark representing that they do not read or write. There is a six year old Martina here who does not appear with the family in other census records. We can speculate that either she married young (15 wasn’t unusual at this time period), died young, or went to live with relatives.

Can we take a minute to appreciate the spelling  of New Mexico here, too? Mesico? Haha.

Atanacio Ortega & Cecilia Velasquez family in 1880 US Census Los Jarales, Valencia, New Mexico

1880 US Census Los Jarales Atanacio Ortega & Cecilia Velasquez family

In the 1880 census, the Ortega family is in Los Jarales. Atanacio is a sheep herder, and Cecilia is keeping house. They are living next to a Felipe Ortega and his family, who is likely a relative. Living with Atanacio and Cecilia are their children, as well as a Juan Jose Castillo who is described as a step brother, who is a sheep herder, who happened to have been shot in the knee cap of his left leg! Wow. I wonder what the story behind that is! I’m not sure who’s family he is a part of, whether it’s the Ortega family or the Velasquez family. I included the couple living next door to them here since they are also Castillo’s and could be possibly related as well.

Atanacio Ortega & Cecilia Velasquez family in 1885 New Mexico Territory Census, Jarales, Valencia, New Mexico

Atanacio Ortega & Cecilia Velasquez 1885 NM Terr Census Jarales

Adelina’s father Jose is found with his family of origin in the 1885 New Mexico Territory census. He is 15 years old and a laborer. His father Atanacio is a 45 year old farmer, and his mother Cecilia is 38 and a “housekeeper” which in this case means a homemaker, since most wives in this town are also listed as housekeepers.

Atanacio Ortega family 1885 Jarales NM Terr p2

We also see his siblings, Silvestra 13, Gregorio 11, Francisco 8, and Victorio 6 months.

The marriage of Jose de los Reyes Ortega & Juliana Molina, 19 January 1893 at Nuestra Señora de Belen, New Mexico

Jose de los Reyes Ortega & Juliana Molina marriage Belen 19 Jan 1893


En esta iglesia de Belen a las 19 dias de Enero despues de publicadas las banas yo Fco. Gatiynos par. case y vele a Jose de los Reyes Ortega solt. hij. leg. d. Atanacio Ortega y de Cecilia Velasquez con Juliana Molina solt. hij. leg. d. Geronimo Molina y Simona Montoya. Pad: Ambrosio Paras y Beatriz Gurule.

F. Gatiynos.


In this church of Belen on the 19th of January [1893] after the published banns, I Fco. Gatiynos married and veiled Jose de los Reyes Ortega, single, legitimate son of Atanacio Ortega and Cecilia Velasquez with Juliana Molina, single legitimate daughter of Geronima Molina, deceased, and Simona Montoya. Godparents: Ambrosio Paras and Beatriz Gurule.

F. Gatiynos.

Spanish abbreviations in this record:

solt.= soltero/a

hij.= hijo/a

leg.= legitimo/a

d.= de difunto

pad.= padrinos


Jose Ortega & Juliana Molina with baby Adelina in 1900 US Census Santa Rita, Socorro, NM

Jose Ortega & Juliana Molina & Adelina 1900 US Census Santa Rita Socorro NM

1900 is the first census my great grandmother Adelina Ortega appears in with her parents Jose Ortega & Juliana Molina. She is 1 year old! I wonder what kind of baby she was. Jose & Juliana have been married for 7 years, and Adelina is their first child. What was it like being a first time mother in 1900 Socorro? Looking at the entire page, I noticed that there are several Ortegas living near them. These were likely Jose’s family. Jose, 26, and Juliana, 25, are both listed as day laborers. Jose and Juliana were both born in New Mexico, as were their parents. At the end of the line, there is an H indicating they live in a house, and not on a farm.

Jose Ortega & Juliana Molina & Adelina 1900 birthplace & occupation detail

Santa Rita later became known as Riley, and is now a ghost town. This pdf brochure from the Socorro Chamber of Commerce tells a short history of the town.

Santa Rita history