I am wondering what tribe an ancestor is from

Dear Auntie, I saw on a Spanish baptism record that an ancestor was from a gentile native tribe in New Mexico. I found out gentile means non-Christian. I was wondering what tribe could she be from? She was baptized at Taos pueblo I think at 1820. Where there any tribes close to there that where close to the Spanish? Thank you for any info.

Well, all but one tribe in New Mexico are located in the North. The Spanish were all over New Mexico too, so unfortunately that doesn’t really help us to narrow things down.

Have you checked with the Taos Pueblo? I’m not sure if you were in contact with them, as you said you have a baptism record for your ancestor from there. If you haven’t contacted them, I think this would be the most solid place for you to start.

You can contact Taos Pueblo via their tribal website, or call them at 1-575-758-1028. Give them the details you have from your ancestor’s records and let them know you are trying to find out more information. You can ask if they have a records or enrollment department that can help you out.

If you need to continue your search, there are 23 tribes found in New Mexico. You can click on a map here. Through the process of elimination, start marking off the tribes that don’t fit with the information you have. For example, if you know your ancestor is from the North, cross of Mescalero, as they are in the South. Continue with this process until you’ve narrowed down this list. You can print out this list and look up their phone numbers online.

  • Jicarilla Apache Nation
  • Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Reservation
  • Navajo Nation (Arizona, New Mexico and Utah)
  • Ohkay Owingeh (formerly the Pueblo of San Juan)
  • Pueblo of Acoma
  • Pueblo of Cochiti
  • Pueblo of Jemez
  • Pueblo of Isleta
  • Pueblo of Laguna
  • Pueblo of Nambe
  • Pueblo of Picuris
  • Pueblo of Pojoaque
  • Pueblo of San Felipe
  • Pueblo of San Ildefonso
  • Pueblo of Sandia
  • Pueblo of Santa Ana
  • Pueblo of Santa Clara
  • Kewa Pueblo
  • Pueblo of Taos
  • Pueblo of Tesuque
  • Pueblo of Zia
  • Ute Mountain Tribe of the Ute Mountain Reservation (Colorado, New Mexico and Utah)
  • Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation

Aside from the 23 tribes in NM, the White Mountain Apache in AZ, and Fort Sill Apache in OK were both were active in NM back in the day, so you can check that out too.

You’ve got quite the treasure hunt ahead of you…hopefully you’re just a few phone calls away to finding out more about your families history!

What a fun adventure, as I’m sure you’ll learn more about the tribes in the Southwest and with luck more about the tribe you share history with.

Pray for guidance, help, and a strong heart.

Best of luck!

Auntie Manda

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