There will be a lecture here at the El Rito Library on The El Rito Land Grant presented by Henrietta M. Christmas on April 24, 2010 at 4:00 to 5:30 pm.
The El Rito Land grant like many community land grants had boundaries that lie within a larger picture of land, property rights and individual claims. The lecture identifies the granting of the land, documents and the efforts of land owners to seek the rights and to protect their individual holdings but also to preserve the merced for the benefit of the community. The discussion will cover a time period from 1800-1900 and the results of the El Rito Land Grant. Anyone who lives in El Rito or can trace their ancestry to the early settlers will find this lecture invaluable as 76 petitioners made claim together as a community in August of 1883.
A genealogical and historical researcher for over 30 years, specializing in northern New Mexico, she has written several books which relate to New Mexico, like La Cienega, Pojoaque and Presidio Soldiers, she’s also written more than 100 articles for various journals relating to genealogy and history many for Herencia. In 2009, Henrietta completed “Chaperito, Land Grant, Parish & Ghost Town” an early history of eastern San Miguel County and contributed to the "1841 Census" both donated to HGRC. A long-time member of the Hispanic Genealogical Research Center and New Mexico Genealogy Societies she currently serves on the Board of the Historical Society of New Mexico. Henrietta’s interest in researching land grants is two-fold, identifying the persons involved and hearing the testimonies. These records provide an in depth knowledge of who, what and when things happened in regards to their specific land grants. Many of these papers are far superior in terms of the WPA interviews and represent New Mexico’s historical past. Two of her most recent projects include assisting with the Segesser Hide Paintings for the History Museum in Santa Fe and writing two chapters in the Anthology for the Historical Society of NM, titled “Sunshine and Shadows in New Mexico’s Past.” Henrietta resides in Corrales with her husband Walt.
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