Written by Esther DeAguero Welp. One in a collection by Allen Bachoroski, Local Historical Writer and author of “Tales Along the Highway of Legends”
To my deep regret, I did not grow up speaking Spanish. My father wanted us to excel in school and not go through what he went through as a young orphaned boy in Colorado. As a small child my memory drifts back to family gatherings at my grandmother Ester Long Kimball’s home, and visits to my aunt Bernice Long Simpson in Sopris, Colorado and in Pilar in Northern New Mexico. In the warmth of aunt Marina Romero’s colonial kitchen, by flickering kerosene lanterns, there were soft murmurs of Spanish being spoken and laughter over wonderful stories being told. I was on the fringe of my own culture and did not realize the rich wonderful heritage I was losing.
In 1977, prior to a move to Darmstadt, Germany, my husband and I took our children to the Trinidad Museum. For the very first time, I saw photographs of my great-great grandparents, George Horace Long and Juana Maria deHerrera. I also purchased three books, “Trinidad, Colorado Territory”, by Morris Taylor, “Bent’s Fort”, by David Lavender and “Out of the Depths”, by Barron Beshoar, and my long journey into my family history began. While at the museum, I found the following excerpt from the George Long File:[Jacob] “Beard was certain that George Long knew more about this section of the country than any other man. I have often asked questions with a view to puzzling Mr. Long’s memory but never succeeded in doing so. When did I come here, when did others come, how we come; he answered every question of any series correctly and gave correct dates. If you had desired full history of this country during Long’s lifetime he could have given it all.”
According to “Origins of Colonial Families of New Mexico”, by Fra. Anjelico Chavez; the following paragraph appears on page 424:
“George Lony (Long), a stranger, married Juana Maria Herrera, March 9, 1840, M-40, Taos). He had been previously baptized on Jan.1, as “Jorge, formerly Oracio” (Horace) 34 years old and a native of the “City of Kintoque,” the son of Benjamin Lony (Long) and Sara Evern.”
Additional research revealed a previous marriage of Juana Maria de Herrera to Jose Maria Valdez at the church in Taos on 18 June 1836. They had: Juan Anacleto Herrera (b. 1 May 1789 in Santa Fe, d. unk.), Encarnation Cordoba (b. 26 March 1798, Santa Cruz, d. unk.) and a son named Jose Gabriel Valdez, (b. 1837, d. unk.. Taos)
Juana Maria then married George Horace Long and their story follows under his name. One of the eleven children of Juana Maria and George was Jose Emanuel de la Luz Long. He was born near the Taos Pueblo of the Territory of New Mexico, but was buried in Long’s Canyon. He chose Crescencia Martinez to be his wife and one of their daughters was Ester who was my Grandmother. Ester was born in Long’s Canyon on May 5, 1890 and married Porfedio Montoya first and then Juan Bautista Kimball.
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