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“Women Who Joined Don Juan de Onate’s New Mexican Settlement; The Gordejuela Inspection, 1600”

by Count of Monterrey

Women played a significant role in the Spanish colonization of Nuevo Mexico. After settling at San Gabriel, Don Juan de Oñate requested that New Spain send reinforcements for the new settlement. In 1600, Captain Juan de Gordejuela inspected the new colonists and supplies at Santa Barbara, a northern town in New Spain. Below are some of the women who traveled north.

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List of Married Women

After the aforesaid, in this valley of San Bartolomé, on August 30, the commissaries, accompanied by me, the notary, went to inspect the camp and examine the forces about to leave for New Mexico. They ordered Captain Bernabé de las Casas, the commander and chief of these reinforcements, to have all of the women, whether Spanish or Indian, married or single, free or slave, to appear before their graces in order that they might inspect and list them in this muster roll and carry out the instructions given them by his excellency, the Count of Monterrey, viceroy. The following persons were listed:

Juana Gutiérrez, wife of Gonzalo Hernández de Benhumea, native of Morón, daughter of Hernán Gutiérrez; Isabel Gutiérrez, daughter of the aforesaid, wife of Gerónimo de Rua; Isabel, a mulatto woman in the service of the aforesaid. It is clear by the affidavits attached to this muster that she is a free woman, single, and a native of Pachuca.

María de Zamora, legitimate wife of Bartolomé de Montoya, daughter of Pedro Zamora, native of Mexico. She brought five children, three boys and two girls, all under sixteen years of age, named Francisco, Diego, Joseph, Lucía, and Petronilla. She is taking in her service an Indian girl, Isabel, 10 years old, native of Tecama.

Doña Francisca Galindo, wife of the captain and sargento mayor, Antonio Conde de Herrera; Doña María Galindo, Doña Gerónima Galindo, Anna Galindo, sisters of the above Doña Francisca, unmarried; Doña Margarita and Domingo Castellanos, children of the said captain.

Doña Anna de Mendoza, daughter of Doña Luisa de Mendoza, native of Mexico, wife of Alférez Gregorio de Figueroa.

Francisca de Valles, native of Fuente del Encina, wife of Juan Ruiz Fernández.

Doña Anna Ortiz, daughter of Francisco Pacheco, wife of Cristóbal Vaca, native of Mexico. She brought three daughters and a son: Juana de Zamora, Isabel, María de Villarubia, and J the boy, Antonio. She is taking a woman servant named Anna Berdugo, native of Mexico, unmarried.

The commissaries took the oaths of the above, by God and the cross, in due form, and ordered the captain and commander, Bernabé de las Casas, under his oath, that if there were any others, in addition to the women listed above-who it seems .are going on the expedition with their husbands and relatives-to declare them. He affirmed under oath that he did not know of any other women in the army, except some Indians who are going with the expedition, and the commissaries signed their names. Juan De Sotelo Cisneros. Juan De Gordejuela Ybarguen. Before me, Hernán Sánchez, Notary.

List of The Indian Women

Forthwith, on the same day, month, and year, Captain Bernabé de las Casas, commander and chief of these forces, in compliance with the orders from the commissaries, brought the following Indian women before their graces:

Anna, Indian woman, native of Puebla de los Angeles, and Pablo Hernández, her husband, also of Puebla. They brought two children, María and Esteban, both servants of Juan Bautista, caudillo.

Juana Fernández, sister of the above woman, unmarried, also in the service of the said caudillo.

Beatriz de los Angeles, unmarried, native of Peaca, servant of Cristóbal de Brito. Juan, a Tarascan, native of Pátzcuaro, servant of the said Cristóbal de Brito.

Anna, native of Tepeaca, now married to an Indian named Francisco, a servant of Captain Casas.

Inés, a ten-year old girl, native of Toluca.

María, native of Tepeaca, daughter of Don Joseph, unmarried, servant of Juan López. She brought a young daughter named Mariana.

Catalina, sister of the above-mentioned woman, unmarried, who is in the service of the said Juan López and is taking along a girl named María. Agustina, sister of the above, married to Francisco, servant of the said Juan López.

An Indian named Francisco, servant of Captain Bernabé de las Casas.

Francisca, native of Tepeaca, unmarried, servant of Bartolomé Sánchez.

Francisca Jiménez, unmarried, servant of Juan Lujanes.

A girl named María, native of Tepeaca.

Madalena, unmarried, servant of Pedro Rodríguez.

Captain Bernabé de las Casas also ordered a mulatto, branded on the face, to appear before the commissaries. This mulatto said that he was in the service of Juan Bautista Ruano, his caudillo. The commissaries asked the latter to produce the documents entitling him to take this mulatto in his service, and Juan Bautista produced a document, which, it seems, had been given to him by Mateo de Montero, resident of the city of Los Angeles, before Baltasar de Montoya, notary public of that city, dated January 26, 1600. This document seems to permit the mulatto to serve his majesty in this expedition, as stated therein, a copy of which is attached to this muster roll. Captain Bernabé de las Casas swore in due form by God and the cross that there were no other servants in the army under his command than the ones named here, nor any other slaves, men or women.

In order to establish whether the above Indian women were: married or unmarried, and whether they were living in mortal sin, the commissaries authorized Father Fray Juan de Escalona, of the order of Saint Francis, commissary of the expedition, to look into this matter. They ordered all Indian men and women to be entered in this muster roll, and signed their names. Juan de Sotelo Cisneros. Juan de Gordejuela Ybarguen. Before me, Hernán Sánchez, notary.