Antonio de Molina Delgado (d. 1766) and
Antonio de Molina Delgado and Juana Xaviera de Chavarria Butrón of Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico were the parents of Manuel Francisco Delgado, the founder of the Delgado family of New Mexico.
Edith Boorstein Couturier's book The Silver King, The Remarkable Life of the Count of Regla in Colonial Mexico (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003) describes Pachuca: "One of the earliest mining centers in New Spain was Pachuca and its satellite Real del Monte, 84 kilometers (60 miles) northeast of Mexico City; located in the presnet-day state of Hidalgo.... The road to Pachuca ran through a region filled with maguey plants and bounded on both sides by distant mountains.... Pachuca derives its name from a Nahuatl word that indicates one of the town's principal geographic features, a narrow openingor pass in the mountains.... A seventeenth century traveler described Real del Monte as 'a city of mud houses covered with wood... (where) twelve thousand people seek their bread in an abyss. In the space of six leagues there are around a thousand mines.'" In 1762, Pachuca was described as "nothing more than a small, somewhat decaying village, while in Real del Monte 12,000 people resided and more than 900 people were employed in mining" (pp. 45-46).
Antonio and Juana were married on August 31, 1722 and veiled on September 1, 1722. The record is on LDS no. 266579. It reads (I couldn't read a couple of the words):
A Juana Xaviera de Chavarria Butrón was baptized on June 28, 1701 in the Church of the Asuncion in Mineral del Monte, Hidalgo, Mexico, very near to Pachuca. I have examined LDS microfilm 0266690 where the record of her baptism is found. This microfilm contains several different baptismal books for the years from 1684-1707. There are at least two books for the Spanish, one for Indians, one for mestizos, and another for "mestizos, chinos, negros i mulatos" from the "primero de Henero de 1696". Now the interesting thing is that Juana's baptism is recorded in this last book, though squeezed in between Juana and Jabiera is the word "española". That would have had to have been written in afterward, but looks as if it was written by the same hand. The handwriting has a different apparence from others in the book. It is very clearly written and spaced. It looks like the writing of Don Zapatta who signed the other entries in the book, as well as their marriage records in other books. The entry reads:
Now guess what? LDS tape 0266905, Bautismos de españoles 1703-1740 gives a Juana Xaviera, legitimate daughter of Pedro de Chavarria and Maria de Ureña baptized at the Church of the Assumption of Real de Minas del Monte on July 1, 1705. This makes me think that this is the future wife of Antonio Delgado and that the first Juana Xaviera died. I have never found any other siblings for Juana Xaviera.
Antonio and Juana Xaviera baptized:
Maria Xaviera on August 14, 1723;
Juana Josepha on March 6, 1725;
Manuel Antonio on January 22, 1727;
Luysa Gonsaga on June 23, 1729;
Francisco Lorenso on August 14, 1732;
Maria Ysabel on July 18, 1733;
Antonia Eustaquía on February 25, 1736;
They baptized Manuel Francisco on December 30, 1738. Domingo de Lamas a merchant was his godfather.
All these baptisms took place in the Parish of the Asuncion in Pachuca, Hidalgo (this information is from LDS 0266509 microfilm reel where the Registros Parroquiales of Pachuca and Mineral del Monte are recorded. This reel has the baptisms of Spaniards of the parish church of Our Lady of the Assumption of Real y Minas de Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico 1712-1820. The priest who kept the books signed the records was Don Manuel Butron y Muxica. It is worth noting that the Butron y Muxicas were Basque dukes at the time.
I examined the years from 1712-1750. The books are very clear and easy to read. The entries all follow precisely the same form. The only additional information contained is the names of godparents, usually just one, a godfather and occasionally his profession. Juana's father, Pedro de Chavarria Butrón was a resident of Pachuca during those years. He is listed as such one time when he was a godfather and one time a baby was born in his house.
This appears to be the only Delgado family in Pachuca at the time. In Juana's name, Chavarria is often written : echabbaria.
Manuel Francisco's military papers indicate that he was the sixth child of his parents. Since the baptismal records clearly indicate that he was the 8th child, and third son, if we're operating with a full deck now, it seems that two must have died at a young age. I do not presently know what became of any of Manuel Francisco's siblings. Manuel Francisco joined the military in 1761 and was eventually sent to the El Paso area where he married and was eventually sent to New Mexico.
Edith Boorstein Couturier's book The Silver King, The Remarkable Life of the Count of Regla in Colonial Mexico describes the realities of the life of merchants in the silver mining city of Pachuca in the 18th century. What she writes fits in well with what we presently know of Antonio's life. According to her book, children born in the Americas (creoles) "would not be permitted to inherit and manage the business.... The Spanish wholesale merchants formed a distinct group and did not welcome local-born participants, even if they were their own sons. As a result few members of the merchant guikd (consulado) were creole. Only through marriage of his daughter to a Spanish nephew could a wholesale merchant have his flesh and blood ontinue in his business. Since at least as early as the 1760s, commentators have observed this odd exclusion of creole sons from the businesses of wealthy immigrant merchants" (p. 33). the "castelike character of the Spanish international merchant elite relied on the willingness of young peninsular male relatives to brave the Atlantic crossing and live in almost monastic conditions. Their initiation to Mexican society was in stark contrast to the upbringing of creole sons who enjoyed an education as gentlemen, and generally proved to be less hard-working that the immigrants, in addition to monopoly privilege, for the vitality of the Spanish business class in the colonies. The interlocking dynamism of relatives and friends on both sides of the Atlantic resulted in a migratory stream from one shore to the other. The maintenance of family connections continued by sending gifts to the Spanish village or town and by economic support for poor relatives there." (p. 43)
Antonio's origins are beginning to be less obscure. His 20th century descendent Margaret Delgado de Ortiz always said that he came to Mexico from Almeria, Spain in 1714. I have never been able to find any other source for this information. However, it seems to be perfectly true. There is also a family tradition that the family was aristocratic and even from "the family of the kings".
Annual trips to Almeria starting in February 2002. Although the family has since died out in Almeria, there was an Delgado family in Almeria in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. They were noble and the members of the family had the same first names that Antonio and Juana Xaviera gave their children. There was a terrible earthquake in Almeria in the 1658 that left the town with a population of only about 400. That's not very many people and Delgados were among those left. Luis Delgado Mata, who it seems might have been Antonio's forefather, was Alcaide of the Castle of San Pedro Telmo. Furthermore, there was a de Molina family there at the same time and in the late 17th century, they married into the exact same families as the Delgados and had connections in Mexico.
The Delgados of Almeria seemed to have died out because the families were small, with a lot of girls and priests. Almost all of the Delgados of Almeria were priests, notaries, or soldiers, usually in the Compania del Regimento de la Caballeria de la Costa de Granada. In February 2002 I found the will of Antonio Delgado Mata (1650-1705) (I have found a lot of documents about the family and there are a whole lot more to be found in Almeria), son of Luis Delgado Mata (1625-) and Isabel de la Cruz Perez Baron (1618-), who married Ana de Herrera in 1684. His will lists the following children (compare the names with the children of Antonio and Javiera below): Escolastica, Isabel, Pedro, Antonio, Luis, Josef Francisco, Luisa. In 1714, Ana de Herrera gave the house that she inherited from her parents to her eldest son Pedro who became and soldier. Josef Francisco became a notary and there is quite a bit of information on him. I have only found one document about Antonio Delgado y Herrera, a document from the 1750s describing him as a patron of the church and vecino of Almeria. Now Antonio Delgado was certainly a patron of the church in Mexico and his descendents were patrons of the church in New Mexico. However, he was not supposed to have been a resident of Almeria at the time. What I suspect is that I am going to find a child of Luis Delgado Mata and Isabel Perez who married into the de Molina family.
The Delgados of Almeria were to have originally come from the mountains of Santander and settled in the province of Palencia. It is thought that the Delgados of Almeria came from a branch of the family from Villajimena because they had the same coat of arms. They are said to have arrived in 1568 to populate Andalucia after the expulsion of the Moors. Archivists and historians in Almeria have told me that my grandmother was right. If so, there is quite a bit of interesting information on the family there.
In September 2002 I had the good fortune of being able to visit Mexico, after 30 years absence. I got to stay at the home of my friend Monica Delgado in Mexico City. I did my best to find any record I could about Antonio Delgado in the Archivo General de la Nacion --to no avail. I did find some references to a Rancho de Chavarria near Pachuca. It was sold to a religious congregation in 1760 and one of the persons who witnessed the sale in Mexico City was a certain Manuel Delgado, who was probably our man since he entered the Dragoons of Mexico and was stationed and the Royal Palace in Mexico City at about exactly that time.
I went to Pachuca and did my darndest to see the marriage information for Antonio at the Church of the Asuncion. I was absolutely assured by the secretary and the priest that that is exactly where they are and that I could not see them because those particular records are in such bad condition. I returned on many occasions and pleaded to no avail. I also spoke with an archivist at the Museum and Archives of Mines in Pachuca, but we did not find any reference there to Antonio Delgado. I have found no records for the Delgado family in Pachuca after 1738, when Manuel Francisco was born. In Antonio Delgado's papers in the NM State Archives, there is a paper dated 1740 describing him as a merchant and resident of San Miguel, where he died in 1766.
The New Mexico State Archives has a number of papers from Antonio's estate. These papers indicate that at the time of his death in around March 1766, he was a resident and merchant in Real San Miguel, presumably San Miguel Regla. It appears that he was a mine owner (Pachuca was an important mining center at the time). Letters written to Juana Xaviera show that Antonio preceded her in death. The marriage Diligencia for Manuel Francisco indicates that both of his parents were dead by 1778.
These papers establish Antonio's profession, date and place of death and corroborate his marriage to Juana Xaviera. They do not, however, say anything at all about his origins or his children. For instance there is no will there. He is always named as Antonio Delgado, not de Molina Delgado, as appears on one of his children's baptismal records. He uses no aristocratic title, and there is mention of his being an aristocrat. Several of Manuel Francisco's military papers in the New Mexico State Archives, however, indicate that he was of noble birth.
Pachuca and Mineral del Monte had a most extraordinary priest during the time that the family lived there. His story has been told by Doris Ladd in The making of a Strike, Mexican Silver Worker's Struggles in Real del Monte, 1766-1775, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1988, chapter 8 of which is devoted to him. It is based on documents in the Mexican National Archives. There seems to be quite a bit of information on Pachuca in the 1700s there.
This priest's name was Dr. Diaz. "The most extraordinary man in Real de Monte was the priest of La Asuncion, Dr. José Rodriguez Diaz", she writes in this book about the workers uprising that began a couple of months after Antonio Delgado's death and five years after Manuel Francisco joined the Dragoons. She calls his "a story of charity, dedicated service, small town scandal, malice, and in the end, bitter injustice". Fr Diaz came to serve at the parish church of Real del Monte in 1756. He was described as living "in his house with books in his hands". His congregation considered him an exemplary pastor. He spent his own money to beautify the church.
However, Ladd explains, "Dr. Diaz was not just the respectable businessman's priest. In his fourteen years as minister, he had built up the congregation to include mine workers, smelters, craftsmen, merchants, doctors, foremen, manual laborers --most of the people who lived in that town." He was said to be especially good with youth and children (Manuel Francisco?) and generous to the poor. He paid the way of the poor children to attend his catechism classes in the cemetery. "When the price of corn went up to four pesos, he bought out the supply of a storekeeper and sold corn to the people at three pesos". He visited prisoners and assisted their families. He was said to have become "the father of all".
However, some considered that he had undue interest over the workers. One who says that the priest publicly made fun of him when workers stoned his house and he called the dragoon complained that Dr Diaz permitted "his flock to live without reins". The priest was identified as "agent" and cause for the worker's uprising. His influence over the workers was call collusion, conspiracy, and guilt by association. It was concluded that the leaders of the incidents were "inspired by the parish priest, who, making them reflect on the scriptures, came to the conclusion that while their just desires were not attended to, they did not have the obligation to obey the foremen or even the owner of the mines."
The Archbishop said that he had only heard good things about Dr. Diaz, but the Viceroy insisted upon his departure. The townspeople did not understand. "He pacified a crowd that had tasted blood and calmed them more than once. He... kept angry miners on the side of the law by counseling them to present a petition of grievances to the royal officials in Pachuca. And on the day after the riot, when no one would work and people roamed the mountainsides, he persuaded drainage workers and manual laborers to repair ropes and whims to prevent the drifts from filling with water, and he had paid their wages himself. He was, many said, a peacemaker, and they respected him for it."
His main enemy was Pedro Romero de Terreros, Conde de Regla, a wealthy mine owner who had acquired aristocratic titles for his family. During the riots, he repaired to the safety of San Miguel de Regla, a nearby town with mines and most likely the same place where Antonio Delgado died. Dr. Diaz had saved his life as he fled the riots. Apparently Diaz and Romero de Torres had quarreled over parish funds for the slaves of La Palma. In August 1766, he had accused the priest of inciting the riot. It was then concluded, however, that the "priest, although he did counsel the workers to seek justice by complaining with grievances, cannot be called the inciter of the riots or the cause of the homicides. He is a cultured and cautious subject; he calmed the workers... and contributed a great deal to the pacification...."
In any case, the royal officials of Pachuca found that: "informants have no doubt that the increase of insolence among the workers is the work of Dr. Diaz and that it was the cause, at least indirectly, of the eruption, for he approved of their grievances, judged them as very justified, influenced those who led them, and helped them with money and efforts. All of this gave pride to the boldness of these ignorant commoners and the casualties followed."
Twelve merchants, nine independent smelters, seven clergymen, two mine owners, a silver merchant, two surgeons, a druggist, a pulque guard, and an ex-deputy district magistrate and came to his defense. Except for a mulatto tailor, all were Mexican Creoles, except for ten merchants born in Spain. (any Delgados?)
Ladd writes: "In the eighteenth century an educated man who respected workers, appreciated them, and when their troubles ignited, tried to guide them away from violence without asking them to compomise thier concerns, was most rare. Predictably the authorities wanted him out.... Authorities clinched their argument by saying that Dr. Diaz was too friendly with miners. He shared their company too eagerly." The royal officials wrote that "He dealt with them in a familiar manner, with visits, at fandangos and public diversions, and it made him so liked by those people that even today he is so much in command of the goodwill of Real del Monte that anything that is stirred up against the priest is to them most hateful."
Apparently, Dr. Diaz loved cockfights. He made trips to cheer in the cockpits and the streets and nurtured his own fighting chickens at home. He also loved to play cards with workers and others day and night.
He was said to tolerate concubinage. He was said to have had a relationship with a 14 mulatto girl, whom he courted publicly. However, her parents testified in the priest's favor. Ladd says that there is no reason to suspect that he ever broke his vows of celibacy after he became a priest, but he did share his house with a number of young women. He lived with two daughters, assumed to be nieces, that he fathered before he was a priest, something that the hierarchy was aware of. There was also an orphan, who was a ward of the priest. He also sheltered runaway wives.
One man said that from summer to fall 1770 he was persecuted by "secret agents of Dr. Diaz", who disguised with hats pulled over their eyes and bandannas, or perhaps sheets, threw stones at his house and his person and yelled obscenities at him. He was said to have given "forbidden plays" in the cemetery and to provide benches from the church for the people to sit one. It was wrong to play at chickens and at cards, scandalously at all hours.
Dr. Diaz was finally condemned to spend the rest of his life in exile. In January 1771, he resigned. In February 1771 the viceroy allow him free travel in New Spain as long as he did not return to Real del Monte.