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Luciano Mestas - The Story and the High Probability

Gerry Benner
13007 Clayton Ct.
Thornton, CO 80241-2010

The Story

As you all may have heard or read, it is told that Juan N. Mestas's real father was killed by Native Americans while buffalo hunting with 5 others. Also that his mother married an elderly Mestas man, and later upon his death, married a Fresquez man. Juan is said to have carried the N. in his name to represent the surname of his real father.

From research we find lots of information that backs this story up; and this web page is dedicated to the possibility that Luciano may be the real father of Juan N. Mestas. Furthermore, we present some possibilities that may make the story true; or at least presents enough of the facts to enable you to make up your own mind as to what is true and what is false.

Luciano Mestas

According to the LDS 0016868 San Lorenzo de Picuris Baptisms 1750-1867; Compiled by Betty Pacheco; 718 Euclid; Pueblo, CO 81004; p. 413; we find a baptism we the following information. Earlier on page 313 we find: And even earlier on page 109, we find:

Conclusions and Theories

Okay, Luciano is not an elderly man, in fact he was a young man. He also is listed as deceased on the baptism record of his daughter Maria Teodora, which occurred on 12 Sep 1849 (see page 453). So, is Teodora a sister or a step-sister? Is the real father's name Nepomuceno; or is that a surname? Could the story be wrong? Was it Luciano that was killed by Indians?

We know that Juan was born on or near 20 Dec 1847, and if his real father died while buffalo hunting, it would have been in 1847. And if Luciano is his father, then he would have died while buffalo hunting in 1849 (the year he turned 21).

I tend to believe that Luciano Mestas is Juan's real father. He is listed in the baptism records as the father, and at the very least, he did the honorable thing and married Maria de la Luz Casias. He was 19 when Juan N. was born (definitely not elderly). He died in 1849, and in the 1850 census, Maria Casias is alone with the two children. I assume she could have then moved in with an elderly Mestas man (probably a relative of Luciano), who cared for her and her children until his death and her marriage to the Frequez man. However, the 1860 census indicates Juan Nepomusino Fresquis and Maria Luz Casillas with children: Juan 11, Teodora 9, and Jose de Gracia Fresquis age 8 (and other younger ones). Well if Jose is eight in 1860, then he was conceived in 1851, so events would have had to have moved fairly quickly.

Anyway, it sure would be nice to find someone's journal or governmental terriorial authority's record where they wrote about some men being killed by Indians in 1847 or 1849. This might help clear up this whole picture, and put our family history back in line. If so, we may be back to 26 Oct 1783, which lists Cristobal Clemente Mestas as marrying Maria Olalla Gonzales (both Spanish and single), with witnesses named as Vitor Archuleta and Juan Miguel Atensio.

I wish to thank Lorraine Aguilar for her tremenous help and extra effort to help with this research. She is very kind and very, very thoughtful when it comes to helping folks figure out their family history. Thank you very much Lorraine!!!!!

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