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2010 marked our Golden Anniversary!

NMGS Logo 50th

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The New Mexico Genealogical Society, founded in 1960, is composed entirely of volunteers. 2010 was our 50th year of providing research materials and networking opportunities for family historians.


The New Mexico Genealogical Society

Towns and Settlements in the Gallup-Atarque Area

by Pauline Chavez Bent

From "Some Notes About the Gallup Records,"
the New Mexico Genealogist, December 2002, p. 176.

In January 2001, Francisco Sisneros published "A Guide to the Sacramental Records of the Diocese of Gallup (1777-1920)."[Footnote#1] See Gallup Guide. Some supplementary information to that article might be helpful to anyone searching in those areas of New Mexico. The following data includes approximate locations of areas mentioned in Mr. Sisneros' guide.


Atarque Garcia (Valencia County/now Cibola County) and vicinity includes:
     San Lorenzo, a settlement near present day Ramah.
     Las Salinas, west of Quemado in Catron County.
     Jaraloso, located southwest of Atarque, where the first settlers set up camp. For reasons              unknown, they later moved to the Atarque location.

Atarque (now in Cibola County). Only a few buildings remain of the former settlement.

El Rito, also known as El Rito Quemado, now Quemado (Catron County).

Venadito, located a few miles west of Atarque. Venadito was the location of a ranch owned by Jose Leon Garcia and Francisca (Kika) Chavez.

La Tinaja, a ranch near present day Ramah, at one time owned by don Leopoldo Mazon.

Santa Rita, a ranch south of the present day Fence Lake, at one time owned by Blas Chavez and Espiridiona (Preciliana) Saavedra.

Black Rock, known as Piedras Negras.

Bluewater, known as Agua Azul.

Saint John's (Apache County, Arizona), originally known as San Juan. When the Mormons entered the area, they changed the name, disregarding the "right of antiquity" claimed by the original settlers.[Footnote#2]

El Tule and Las Tusas, communities southeast of San Juan, now under the waters of Lyman Dam.

Manuelito (Apache County, Arizona), a few miles west of Gallup, New Mexico.

Concho (Apache County, Arizona), lies due west of Saint Johns. [Here, I may add that the RUIZ surname so prominent in Gallup originated in Portugal and came via San Francisco (California), San Juan/Concho (Arizona Territory), and finally, Gallup (New Mexico).]

Navajo (Apache County, Arizona), located on Interstate 40 about 50 miles west of Gallup, and should not be confused with Navajo in McKinley County, New Mexico, a mining community north of Gallup.

Ojo Bonito, located south of Zuni Pueblo.

During the early 1900s and into the 1920s, a steady stream of people from Mexico settled in the mining areas surrounding Gallup (McKinley County, New Mexico). To my knowledge, the communities of Gibson, Allison, Gamerco, Weaver, Mentmore, and Navajo, no longer exist.

About the author: Pauline Chavez Bent was born in Atarque, and is the author of Atarque: Now All is Silent, self-published in 1993. She is a member of the New Mexico Genealogical Society, living in Huntington Beach, California. She has been a frequent contributor to the New Mexico Genealogist.


[1]  Francisco Sisneros, "A Guide to the Sacramental Records of the Diocese of Gallup (1777-1920)," Herencia, January 2001: 2.
[2]   Stewart Udall, To the Inland Empire: Coronado and Our Spanish Legacy (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1987), 9.

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