The Placido Chaves mystery

The puzzle I’m currently trying to solve is who exactly were Placido’s parents, and why he was not living with them as a child.

In my previous post, I wrote that Placido’s parents were Antonio Jose Mexicano (aka Chaves) and Maria Jaramillo. On census records, however, Antonio and Maria, Placido’s parents appear as Chaves, and Maria is listed as Trinidad rather than just Maria or Maria Trinidad.

In the 1860 US Census, Placido’s parents, Antonio Chavez and (Maria) Trinidad are living in Sevoyeta (Cebolleta), Valencia, New Mexico. They are both 26. There are 5 children living with them: Serafina (10?), Juana (7), Felix (6), Cruz (4), Filemon (2). Placido was baptized in 1857, so was about 3 years old. Where was he?1860-sevoyeta-nm-terr-antonio-chavez

Well, he’s living with another Chaves couple in Cubero, Valencia, Juan Jose & Maria. 1860-cubero-nm-terr-juan-jose-chavez

In 1870 there is an Antonio Jose Chaves in Cubero living with a Manuela and a young male Trinidad. There is no Antonio Jose Chaves in Sevoyeta. Though there is no Maria here I’m tempted to think this is the right Antonio, Placido’s father. But again, where is Placido?1870-nm-terr-cubero-antonio-jose-chaves

Placido again is found in the household of Juan Jose and Maria Chaves. So it seems to me that in 1860 he didn’t happen just to be staying or visiting with them. Juan Jose is 30 and Maria is 34. Placido is 15. Because Juan Jose is so young, I feel that this rules out the idea some people suggested to me that perhaps Juan Jose was also known as Antonio. I’m still learning a lot about New Mexico cultural history but it seems that while the women frequently married very young in their teens, most men married in their 20’s and 30’s. It seems unlikely to me that Juan Jose could have been Juan Jose Antonio or some iteration of that. He’s too young to be Placido’s father. 1870-nm-terr-cubero-juan-jose-chaves

There must be an explanation as to why Placido is shown living in the household of Juan Jose Chaves and a Maria (who is also named Maria Jaramillo according to church records for their other children). On Ancestry, most trees show Juan Jose as being Placido’s father. But this clearly does not match with his baptism record. Pauline Chavez Bent’s family however thought Juan Jose was his stepfather. So my question is then, why is Placido living with Juan Jose and Maria when his parents are clearly still living? Both men are Chaves, and both women are Jaramillo. Are the Chaves men brothers or otherwise related? Are the Jaramillo women sisters or otherwise related? Or perhaps the Maria who Placido is living with is his mother, but then why is his father Antonio with another Jaramillo? Did they divorce? I thought the Catholic church did not allow divorce. So many questions!


2 thoughts on “The Placido Chaves mystery

  1. I’m totally confused now! Juan Jose Chavez, born in Cubero N.M. In 1839 and Maria Trinidad Jaramillo born Laguna N.M. in 1829 according to my cousin Pauline Chavez Bent were (our) my greatgrand father. The children were
    Placido Chavez, born 1856 in Cubero N.M.
    Jose Abran 1864
    Faustina 1865
    Nicolas. 1869 in Cubero N.M. ( my grandfather)
    Anastasia. 1870
    Timoteo. 1882 born in El Tule Az. (St.Johns Az.) area.
    My original search was for the father of Juan Jose Chavez, my cousin Pauline had as unknown. Pauline did have the mother’s name as Maria Petra Chavez. The name Jose Antonio Chavez came up and a date of August 4, 1817, not sure who’s birthday it was, Antonio’s or Maria Petra’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Efren, it is confusing! Haha. So Juan Jose is definitely your grandfather Nicolas’ father, according to his marriage record. The problem with Placido is that his baptism record does not say his father is Juan Jose. Other researchers assume he was because he appears on the census with him multiple times. But it had been bugging me for awhile that Placido’s marriage info did not say Juan Jose, and then his baptism entry did not say Juan Jose either. Antonio Jose was his name. Jonathan Ortega from the NMGS group had sent me that family group sheet that Pauline’s mother helped her to fill out way back when she was first starting working on her Chaves line. Jonathon had saved that sheet for many years, and it says on the sheet that it was thought that Juan Jose was my Placido’s stepfather. I didn’t know that you had a lead on who Juan Jose’s parents might have been though. Very interesting! Because Antonio Jose’s father was a Jose Antonio Chaves. The plot thickens! My next step to figure this out I think will be to look up the marriage and baptism info for the other children listed Antonio & Trinidad on the census. I wish we could find the marriage of Juan Jose & Maria. That would be really helpful. I’m determined to sort this out!


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