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MY ANCESTRAL FAMILY: The FLORES/CHAVES And The CORTEZ/GALLEGOS - Four of the First Families of New Mexico
  • Frank Cortez Flores

AN OPEN LETTER TO MY FAMILY, RELATIVES, FRIENDS and whoever is interested in Genealogy and my family story/tree. At one time in my past youthful life, I was able to be in 10 places at the same time doing 10 different things; today I’m lucky to be in one place at the same time and remembering why and what I’m there to do – as I write this open letter, in7 months I’ll be 86 years old. I’ve come a long way in life and have been blessed with family, friends and life’s experiences (see Frank’s bio from the CGU Alumni webpage) that could fill a book or two. Speaking of books, I’m in the process of doing the final edit of my family tree/genealogy and my life’s experiences books. I will upload and post both book on my website, SelectWorks. I occasionally go down to the beach house to get away and work on my two books. When I get there, I never leave the beach house. Somewhat of a reason for doing so and writing my books follows: Book #1 “MY ANCESTRAL FAMILY: The FLORES/CHAVES And The CORTEZ/GALLEGOS - Four of the First Families of New Mexico” I’m in the process of completing the final draft on my family book, “MY ANCESTRAL FAMILY: The FLORES/CHAVES And The CORTEZ/GALLEGOS - Four of the First Families of New Mexico” (660 pages) that will go out for further editing and for additional information and commentaries to be inserted. I’m still trying to organize an area in the book for additional documents/photos that I still have to scan and upload onto the hard drive/CD for the final print. This has been more of an effort, or so it seems, than researching and writing my PhD dissertation, or at least I’ve put in more time; I completed the research and writing/editing my dissertation (400+ pages) in little over a year. The family book has been on the front burner for almost 10 years (off & on – give or take a few years). I’m doing all this to leave a paper trail, backed up with the appropriate citations for my grandchildren, who will hopefully follow-up and continue our family story and learn from my life’s experiences. The story will never end, especially with the number of my descendants/grandchildren. So far I've traced my family back to the 1st century AD (and beyond) in Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and England. Also the Canary Islands in the 15th century AD and the Crusades in 1100 AD; a family member, a king, who died, in Italy on his way home, of leprosy contacted while fighting for the Crusades in Palestine. So far there are 82 generations of over 6,000 family members that have been listed; all this while making me the 13th generation in America. All this is documented, since most, if not all of my ancestors (28 generations and beyond) were of royal family lines. One more interesting find is that the conquistador Hernándo Cortés was my 10th great grandfather. Also, keep in mind that I am the last one of a special family line of Spanish ancestors. My parents, Francisco Chaves Flores and Maria Juana Gallegos Cortez were both from New Mexico as were their parents and their parent’s parents, etc on down the line to beginning of my ancestral family heritage in Europe. My father (his given name was Francisco - his family and friends would call him Kiko and/or Frank) was named after his father (my grandfather), Francisco Madrid Flores (grandpa Flores was my “Papa Kiko”); however, my given name, given to me by my mother, was Frank (as listed in my birth certificate); therefore, I am not named after my father or grandfather. One can say that I am; if one looks at the translation of the English, Frank, to Spanish, Francisco and they did append Junior (Jr.) to my name, Frank Flores, Jr. Having said all that and my research which based on and includes, in addition to hard copy research (written records) an extensive DNA research of my family line (both yDNA and mtDNA). Back to my family history; I've uncovered and documented some interesting stories about my recent family: My great grandfather Francisco Cortez was a Union solder during the Civil War (1862 Battle of Glorieta Pass, New Mexico); my grandfather Francisco Flores served in the U.S. Cavalry, 2nd Cavalry Battalion, 1st Regiment of New Mexico Volunteer Militia in 1883 along with his two of his brothers; my father served in the US Cavalry, his brother in the Navy and another uncle (infantry) who was wounded in France during the 1st World War. The family story is a marvelous story/history and in addition to extensive genealogical research ("paper trail"), I've also under gone extensive DNA testing. At my age (I'm still in the saddle but I’m almost at the end of the trail) and at long last, I'm beginning to know my family story to pass on to my grandchildren in a book and CD. An excerpt from the Preface: “There are certain things that are fundamental to human fulfillment. The essence of these needs is captured in the phrase “to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy” Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra who is best known for his novel, Don Quixote de la Mancha (I have this wonderful book, in Spanish, in my library) has stated: “There is a strange charm in the hope of a good legacy that wonderfully reduces the sorrow people otherwise may feel for the death of their relatives and friends.” The story that follows, The FLORES/CHAVES and CORTEZ/GALLEGOS Four of the First Families of New Mexico, is my legacy that I leave for my loving family and descendants: My Wonderful Children and My Adorable Grandchildren….” My grandfather Flores and father were my friends and what I remember and respected in my father’s manner was his common sense. Also, the home in which I was brought up, along with my two sisters, was imbued with the values of family loyalty, thrift and patriotism. As a result, my basic philosophy involved a belief that people should earn a living rather than be given one. This, I will say, is a legacy “from both my father and my grandfather — hard-working, typical New Mexican Spanish individuals who had themselves been brought up in families that had comparable philosophical views. It was that environment plus, I feel that my own instincts, which go back, I believe, to the fact that I always felt you had to work hard. I know I did. Regardless of where I worked: whether I worked in stores, factories, restaurants, slaughter houses, droved trucks/forklifts, unloaded boxcars, worked on a dude ranch (among other work areas) or spent time in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) or the United States Navy reserve (USNR) or whether I worked in colleges/universities, Dentistry/Surgery, Law/Real Estate-Insurance, International Public Health/Epidemiology, Education/Higher Education, teaching, research and writing, I was always very conscientious. Here’s an excerpt from the book detailing a concise FLORES and CORTEZ experiences: My FLORES family experience: My childhood experiences growing up with my Papa Kiko (Grandfather Francisco Flores) are too varied and involved to condense, suffice to say that our Lord has blessed me with a loving and caring grandfather, who was my friend. As I remember, he would gather his sons together to make wine as he enjoyed his wine with dinner and would serve it whenever family or friends would visit. Also, among his past life involvements, Francisco Flores served in the 2nd Cavalry Battalion, 1st Regiment of New Mexico Volunteer Militia. He was sworn into the service of the Territory of New Mexico in Mesilla, Dona Ana County on the 27 June 1883 along with his two of his brothers Melquiades and Epimenio Flores. My CORTEZ family experience: My childhood on my Grandfather Agapito Cortez’s cattle ranch: Grandpa Agapito ranch is located in what is now called “The Pecos Wilderness” a region that is found in the scenic Sangre de Cristo Mountains where picturesque mountain scenery of rivers, creeks, meadows, lakes, conifer forests, aspen groves and wildlife can be found. The headwater of the Pecos River runs through Grandpa’s ranch and interestingly, the Spaniards coined the word Pecos, from a Keresan word meaning "place where there is water.” The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are one of the longest mountain chains on Earth. They stretch from Poncha Pass, Colorado, in the north to Glorieta Pass (near Pecos/Santa Fe), New Mexico, in the south. This is the high country (there are ten peaks over 14,000' high) where I lived a great deal of my childhood on my Grandfather’s cattle ranch and attended Saint Anthony School in Pecos, San Miguel County, New Mexico.... However, through the remembrances of having lived a portion of my childhood on my grandpa Cortez’ cattle ranch in El Macho, New Mexico as well as attending school in Pecos, New Mexico my adult life has been influenced by those wonderful memories that have kept me in touch with my New Mexico Spanish heritage that I so hold dear. Writing my marvelous family story has evoked a number of those wonderful memories. I’ve said enough for now – thanks for “listening” (reading)…."If the good Lord's willin', and creeks don't rise, I'll see you all again before long…" Hank Williams, (1993) My Best Wishes – keep safe and healthy. Frank

Publication Date
March 13, 2013
Citation Information
Frank Cortez Flores. MY ANCESTRAL FAMILY: The FLORES/CHAVES And The CORTEZ/GALLEGOS - Four of the First Families of New Mexico. (2013)
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