Welcome to the Maestas Family Website


Here it is January, 2011, already, which means that the next reunion will be upon us almost before we know it! If you haven't already done so, make sure you get your vacation request in ASAP and start making plans for joining the rest of the family for 4 WONDERFUL days (IF the weather holds...) in New Mexico. The dates for the reunion are July 7 to 10, 2011, the second weekend in July. See the April, 2010 Newsletter for current plans for the reunion.

We really do want to see everybody there, but if you can't come, we'll understand. You'll probably hear a ringing sound in your ears during the reunion, though——that will be your warning that we're talking about YOU!

Now you can back-talk the Webmaster!

I've been looking for a way to make this site more interactive, so that family members can take a larger part in determining the content of this site. I tried to implement a bulletin board function last year but ran into some problems and I haven't yet worked them out. In lieu of that bulletin board function, I decided to use a blog to start some 2-way conversation. You can read my posts, and respond to them, at http://mikes-blog.maestas-family.info/. I will be waiting to read your feedback on the ideas I've already written about and to start new topics.

You can comment on a particular post from me by scrolling to the end of that post where there is a line like

posted by Mike | 5:55 PM | ## Comments

Mouse over the "Comments" and it will be underlined as a link; clicking on it will open the way for you to put in your three cents worth (inflation).

Appologies for the lateness of the newsletter that was supposed to be out months ago. It's mostly written, but there were a couple of items which we wanted to have in there but the requests for information have not been fulfilled yet so the newsletter is not complete. I think we will have to give up and just go without that missing information.

The 2009 Reunion

So the 2009 reunion is now over and done with, except for the reporting on it. The report on the reunion has not been produced yet.

Daryl Brillhart sent me a pile of pictures he took during the reunion and I have uploaded them for your enjoyment. Click here to go to the picture gallery. ALL of Daryl's pictures are there—all 356 of them. They show on the page as thumbnails but if you click on any picture, it will open full-size in another window. The new window has a close button and contains the caption, if there is one. If there isn't a caption, feel free to send yours to me and I'll get it onto the page.

If you would like to share your pictures with the rest of the family, send them to me. I will get them uploaded if there is space available on the web site. To improve your chances of getting your pictures displayed, click on the link on the Picture Gallery page to learn what you can do to prepare your pictures for loading to the web site.

A Letter from Jessie and Jack Humphrey

Shortly before the reunion, Adelita Craig received a letter from Jessie and Jack Humphrey. (Jessie's mother was Seraida (Maestas) Valdez; her siblings were Ben and Elias Valdez, and Adelina (Valdez) Foster.) Their letter is reproduced below:

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hello Maestas Family,

Today is our 62nd Wedding Anniversary. We were married in Barstow, California @ 2 PM in the Congregational Church. At that time there were only two churches in the city. Fidel, Rose, and Elia were present. Was Connie there?

Jack is now 86 and I am 83. It is difficult for us to travel, so we stay pretty close to home, other than to church, grocery store, and post office. We live right across the street from Bruce and Valerie. Tim, Julie, Elena, Juliana, and Isabel will tell us all about what went on @ the reunion.

We hope the $1000.00 we sent you is utilized for tents, tables, chairs, to be used annually, or to help repair the storage cabin (???). This is in loving memory of Benjamin Celestino Valdez & Nora, Elias & Estela Valdez, and Adelina (Dela) Valdez Foster.

We love you,

/s/ Jack & Jessie Humphrey

Click here to see the letter.

Enclosed with the letter was a check for $1000.00, for use by the family. A discussion board (bulletin board, forum, whatever you want to call it) is nearly ready to be opened on this website, where we can carry on a discussion concerning what to do with the money from the Humphrey's (and anything else we would like to discuss). Until that board is ready (I've been working on this discussion board and had it almost ready to open up when I ran into problems that I have not been able to resolve yet. I'm still working on it——Webmaster.), if you have suggestions for using the money, please send a note (email or snail-mail) to Adelita Craig, Fabiola Esposito, or one of the committee members:

  • Paul Maestas
  • Barbara Rose
  • Larry Maestas
  • Steven Jaramillo
  • Dan Craig
  • Daryl Brillhart
  • Rhonda Valdez

  • Found at the Reunion

    Several items turned up after the reunion was over that were not claimed by anyone:

    • A baseball glove
    • 1 pair prescription glasses
    • 1 pair sunglasses
    • A single gray plate

    Click on any of these items to see a picture. These items are currently at Addie Maestas' house. Let Adelita or Fabiola know if any of them belong to you. We still have several items left over from 2 and 4 years ago, also.


    The volunteer committee has already been hard at work, getting prepared for this reunion, learning the ropes, so to speak. Several people got together in Mora at the time of Joaquin and Lorinda Maestas-Manuel's wedding. The members of the committee, Daryl Brillhart, Paul Maestas, Larry Maestas, and Barbara Rose, met in New Mexico last August to start the process of taking over running of the reunion. (Rhonda Valdez wasn't present but is also a member of the committee.) The same people (I don't have to tell you who they are!) have been responsibly running the reunions for many years, some of them since the first reunion in 1975, and the younger generation decided it was time for them to start taking over the responsibility. If you are interested in having an active role in planning, organizing, setting up, etc., let any of the committee members know. If you don't know how to contact any of them, send an e-mail to the .

    One of the committee's concerns has been one of the bridges on the road in to the campsite. There are actually 2 bridges that directly concern the family. The first is the Forest Service bridge out near the turn-off from the highway, NM 518. The second bridge is the one that is important to the family, and it's of great concern this year, since it no longer exists! It showed signs of age and bug infestation which probably weakened it and now it's gone.

    Larry Maestas' maternal cousins (the Olivas family) have been involved in looking at the bridge. Larry says the Olivas's have a 5-foot culvert ready to put in place and the heavy equipment needed to do the job and Larry thinks we will never have to worry about the bridge again. The Olivas's are planning to install the culvert in the next few weekends and have everything ready to get the job done. They have an interest in the bridge—they have a family July 4th picnic every year on the property just beyond the bridge. Larry has asked them to use the heavy equipment they have to work on the road beyond the first gate past the bridge. Paul Maestas has gotten his nephew Joaquin to take over as liason with the Olivas family.

    Getting to the Reunion

    For the last reunion there were some people who needed directions to get to the campsite for the reunion and we didn't have anything ready, so we sent out written directions that could have been more helpful. Now we have aerial images of the roads from Holman to Tres Ritos, all the way in to the campsite. Click on this link to get to the page with the images.

    Returning to the Flock

    We had a message from Demetria Mendivil-Haberman, the daughter of Sarah (Espinar) Mendivil. She wanted to pass on several pieces of information that might be of interest to everyone in the extended family and, in her words, she "would like to be a part of the Maestas world".

    We had received information that Sarah had died from complications of diabetes and reported her death that way. Demetria reports that Sarah actually died of Multiple Myeloma. Demetria said "It's a pretty elusive blood cancer which was not actually diagnosed until the day before she died," and she felt that this knowledge of family medical history was significant and should be known to all who might be affected.

    Demetria says she remarried, about 5 years ago, to David Haberman Sr. and has 2 stepsons, David Jr. and Daniel Haberman, living with her, as well as her daughter Sarah. Her new address is 50 Medina St., Livermore, CA.

    Demetria's father Trini continues to do well and is active in volunteering, and her brother Russell's daughters Megan and Kaitlyn Mendivil have in the last couple of months both become engaged.

    From the Webmaster:

    I have to apologize, I've been remiss in keeping this page up-to-date for the last several months. I got a new computer that has kept me busy. The new computer came with Microsoft's newest operating system, Vista, pre-installed on it. Now, I'm not a dummy when it comes to computers, I can usually pick up a new system very easily. It's just something that comes naturally to me. ....But Vista--that's an entirely different story! If you have followed the train of operating systems coming from Microsoft, you remember Windows 98. When it was first released, it had so many bugs in it that Microsoft had to produce a "Second Edition". Most of the grossly apparent problems were fixed in Windows 98 SE. Microsoft seems to be following the same path with Vista--they just haven't come up with "Vista SE"--AND THEY VERY MUCH NEED TO. The "Home" edition, at least has so much security built-in, apparently to keep the user from ever making a change to the operating system, that it is hard to do anything. Without getting too technical, the user (the owner of the data) is locked out from making changes to that data, in some situations. My advice, if you are looking at getting a new computer, try to specify the operating system as XP Home or XP Pro (the previous versions of Windows). Or, you could just go with the flow and get a computer with Vista on it, then wipe the drive (format it) and put a version of LINUX on it. I'm not going to try to recommend which version of LINUX--there are more than a dozen different "flavors" of LINUX available--but you would be amazed at the amount of FREE software there is available for Linux, and much of it is built to look almost exactly like its Windows counterpart, so the learning curve is not very steep for many of these programs. I'll be honest and say that the learning curve on Linux itself is not really easy--there ARE differences and you will have to unlearn some habits learned from Windows. But the cost is much nicer (FREE!) and you can get used to Linux if you have any determination to. E-mail me with questions if you'd like--I may not be able to answer them right away but we can learn something new together.

    From Barbara Rose:

    "If you have not heard yet, please know that aunt Mabel (Ferminís wife) has been ill with cancer for quite some time. She was recently told by her doctor that there is nothing more they can do and have released her to Hospice. She is in good, positive spirits but is slowing down. She is walking and talking and still joking around. What an amazing women she is. Uncle Fermin is an amazing husband and is always by her side. They just celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary on February 15th.

    If you want to drop them a card, their address is 1505 Paloma, Barstow, CA 92311."

    Now that the reunion is over and done with (go here for more on the reunion), it's time to move on to other aspects of the extended Maestas/Zamora family. Pam Hill is working on a research paper on Spanish settlements in the New World, specifically in N.M. She was looking for information on the family and asked for sources. We sent her to the archived copy of the Christmas 1998 newsletter, which had several sources for genealogical research. When that newsletter was written, the Internet was still relatively small and was only beginning the explosive expansion of sites for every purpose you can think of (and some you probably wouldn't think of in a lifetime). We didn't even have a web site at the time, so there really weren't any links possible from the newsletter to the listed resources. So that must mean it's time to update all of those resources and give them a permanent place within this site. Click here to go to the updated list of genealogy resources.

    More on our shared heredity: Did you know that many Spanish (former) Jews fled Spain during the Inquisition (1478 - 1834) and came to the New World? Even though they had converted to Christianity, they were still viewed with suspicion in Spain. To escape that suspicion, and danger, they settled in the New World, where their Jewish heritage could (might) remain in the background. However, many of these families clung to their former (peculiarly Jewish) family traditions and continued to practice them, even to the present day.

    Recent evidence, in the form of genetics, indicates that a relatively large percentage of New Mexicans (especially in the north) carry genetic markers common in Jewish ancestry. To find out more on this topic, go to the Wikipedia Crypto-Judaism article.

    Genetics could also get to us from another direction. Descendants of Juan de Oñate and his party could be subject to "cavernous angioma", also called C.C.M., for "cerebral cavernous malformation". On the other hand, if you are descended from certain French mountain men or other French-Canadian trappers, you could be looking at "oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy", OPMD for short. The first one, CCM, is caused by abnormal blood vessels that form raspberrylike clusters in the brain and spinal cord. These clusters can produce seizures, neurological deficits, hemorrhages and headaches. The second disease, OPMD, can cause sagging eyelids, trouble in swallowing and muscle weakness, and the largest group of Americans affected are Hispanics living in northern New Mexico. An article about both these conditions was published in the New York Times on Sept. 4, 2007, the (Lakeland, Fla.) Ledger (Sept. 10, 2007) and other newspapers, as well as several blogs and other places. (If both newspapers run out of space and take the page down, you can still access all pertinant information here.) You may want to contact the OPMD or cavernous malformation clinics at UNM School of Medicine if anyone in your family has symptoms similar to these.
    This article was brought to my attention by Elizabeth Valdez.

    Now, who says genealogy is useless?

    We have new members in the family!

    Already announced in the newsletter, Peyton Nicole Maestas was born August 9, 2007 to David & Allison Maestas. The proud grandparents are Andy & Marilyn Maestas.
    No Picture Available Making the proud grandpanents even more proud, Andy & Marilyn's daughter RaeAnn and Roy had a baby girl, Jennika Lucille, 7lbs. 5oz. and 19 1/2 in., August 17, 2007. Jennika's father wasn't able to be there because he enlisted in the US Marine Corps in June (right out of High School) and is stationed in North Carolina.
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