This is the welcome page. You will find historical information on Costilla, New Mexico in the way of photos and other media.
This photo depicts the Plaza de Abajo in Costilla, New Mexico ca. 1890's. In the center and towards the back is the Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Arellano family history suggests that Mariano Arellano and Faustin Medina began to settle Costilla in the late 1840's. These stories tell that these men and others from Arroyo Hondo sought pasture land for their livestock. They became familiar with the Costilla Valley area from their travels through the San Luis Valley and over the Sangre de Cristo Pass to Colorado's front range. Finding new pasture land in what is now the Amalia area, they brought their sheep and cattle from Arroyo Hondo to graze there. For shelter, these settlers dug holes in the hillside and lived in them through the summer and fall. As winter set in, they would move their livestock back to Arroyo Hondo. After a few years of this, they decided to settle along side the Costilla River near what is now Poleo.
The first houses constructed from adobes were built in a U shaped to form a rectangle, a defensible structure. These row houses were called "testeras" by the settlers which meant long buildings containing numerous private dewllings. In addition to this defensible structure, the settlers built a small church to be called San Miguel de la Costilla. They chose San Miguel (St. Michael, the defender) as their patron saint. Although the church was built sometime in the 1850's, they did not have a priest, they used it as a place to pray. Sometime in the early 1860's the people of Costilla finally got a priest. The earliest record of a recorded sacrament is a baptism of Ma. Lucia Librada Anaia, 2 July 1865, (San Miguel de la Costilla Baptisms 1865-1880, Martinez, Ma. Clara, self-published).
Another important event, the settlers dug the "acequia madre", mother ditch to irrigate their lands. To date, this ditch is still in use.
Francisco Sena was born to Felipe Sena and Trinidad Silva ca. 1837 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He married Rosarita Cena on December 27, 1866, at St. Francis Church/Cathedral in Santa Fe, New Mexico. During the Civil War, Francisco was a soldier in the New Mexico Volunteer/Militia. He entered service on July 12, 1861 in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the age of 24, he was a Corporal, B.A. 2nd New Mexico Infantry and had Detached Duty as a blacksmith. (Thompson, Jerry D., A Civil War History of the New Mexico Volunteers & Militia, University of New Mexico Press, 2015, p. 778.)
Francisco Sena died on 29 April 1909 in Costilla, New Mexico; interestingly his wife, Rosarita died a few days later, May 7, 1909.
The review of three different census finds that Francisco was living in Costilla, New Mexico. In the 1885 Special Agricultural Census, Francisco, his wife and four childern, (Jose Antonio, Maria Paula, Henriques and Enriqueta )were identified in Costilla, New Mexico. In the 1890 Census of New Mexico Volunteers and Militia, Francisco was enumerated in Costilla, New Mexico. In the 1900 US Census, New Mexico, Taos County, Costilla, Francisco and family were identified as living in Costilla.
Antonio P. Sena, son of Francisco and Rosarita, was born 1869 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In Costilla, he married Sofia Santistevan on June, 1904. They raised eight children, Ignacio, Rosario, Frances, Francisco, Margret, Fernando, Arturo and Maria. Don Antonio owned a dry goods store in the "Plaza de Abajo" until his death, June 1935.
Antonio and his wife, Sofia are enumerated for the first time as a family in the 1910 US Census, New Mexico, Taos County, Precint Costilla, in household # 132. Antonio was 42 years old and had been married for 5 years to Sofia, age 20. They had two children, Ignacio Onesimo age 2 and Rosarita age 4 months.
Antonio and his wife were listed in the 1920 US Census, New Mexico. In household #125. He was 51 years old, Sofia 30. Their children were Ignacio Onesimo, age 12, Rosarita age 9, Frances age 7 and Franicsco 1 month.
This family is enumerated in the 1930 US Census, in household 68. Antonio was 61 years old, he indicated that he was 31 years old when first married and his wife, Sofia was 17. In this Census, Sofia was 39, Francisco age 12, Margarita age 10, Fernando age 8, Arthur age 6, and Maria age 3.
Antonio P. Sena died 1 June 1935
Jose Ignacio Arellano was born on 9 Jan 1837 in Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico to Jose Mariano Arellano and Maria Isabel Ballejos; he was the oldest of 16 children. Jose Ignacio married Maria Clara Medina on 17 Feb 1857 in Arroyo Hondo.
Jose Ignacio died on 13 May 1899 and Maria Clara Medina died in 1904 both in Costilla, New Mexico.
In the 1860 US Census, New Mexico, Taos County, Precinct Costilla, Jose Ignacio and his new wife are enumerated for the first time. In household #1295, Jose Ignacio was 25 and Clara Medina was 15. Jose Ignacio self-reported that the value of his real estate was $30 and the value of his personal property was $70.
In the 1870 US Census, New Mexico, Taos County, Precinct Costilla, Jose Ignacio and family are enumerated in household #53. Jose Ignacio was 33, Maria Clara age 28, Gertrudis age 11, daughter, Tomas age 7, son, Faustin age 3, son, Juan N. age 1, son. Jose Ignacio self-reported that his real estate was valued at $300 and his personal property at $150.
In the 1880 US Census, New Mexico, Taos County, Precinct Costilla, household #1 is listed the family of Jose Ignacio Arellano and Manuelita Mondragon. Jose Ignacio was 44, Maria Clara age 32, Maria Juana Nepomucena age 11, Tomas age 18, Faustin age 13, Leandro age 7, Luciano age 6 and Maria Sofia age 4 months.
Luciano Arellano the eighth child of Jose Ignacio Arellano and Maria Clara Medina was born 12 Dec 1872. On 20 Aug 1894, Luciano and Manuelita Mondragon (born 12 May 1876, Arroyo Hondo) were married in Costilla, New Mexico.
In the 1900 US Census, New Mexico, Taos County, Precinct Costilla, Luciano Arellano and Manuelita Mondragon are enumerated for the first time as a family. In household #197, Luciano is 27, Manuelita, spouse is 21, Amadita is 6, Ramoncita is 3 and Jose Ignacio is 9 months. A note, Beatriz, the second oldest child does not appear on the Costilla Precinct because she was being raised in Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico by her maternal grandparents, Francisco Nicanor Mondragon and Maria Juana B. Sanchez.
In the 1910 US Census, New Mexico, Taos County, Precinct Costilla, Luciano Arellano and Manuelita Mondragon are enumerated. Luciano, age 40, sheep herder, Manuelita age 35, spouse, Amadita age 16, daughter, Beatriz age 14, daughter, Ramoncita age 12, daughter, Jose Ignacio age 11, son, Clarita age 6, daughter and Eloisa age 2, daughter.
In the 1920 US Census, New Mexico, Taos County, Precinct Costilla. Listed in household # 142 Luciano is 46, sheep herder, Manuelita age 41, Ramoncita age 22. Jose Ignacio age 21, Clara age 15, Eloisa age 11, Emilio age 2 &9 months, grandson.
In the 1930 US Census, New Mexico, Taos County, Precinct Costilla, in household # 87, Luciano age 56, sheep herder, Manuelita age 51, spouse, Jose Ignacio age 30, son, Eloisa age 21 daughter, Bernarda age 2 & 6 months, granddaughter. This is the last census in which Luciano is listed for he died on 27 August 1937.
This photo shows the adult children of Luciano Arellano and Manuelita Mondragon. The photo was taken in the house that Luciano built sometime in early summer of 1961 in Costilla, New Mexico. The house still standing and livable is located about 50 yards north of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The current owner of this house is Bernie Arellano, grand-daughter of Luciano and Manuelita.
The siblings from left to right are Ramoncita Arellano Quintana, Eloisa Arellano Martinez, Jose Ignacio Arellano, Amadita Arellano Santistevan, Ma. Clarita Arellano DeHerrera, Beatriz Arellano Valdez.
In order of birth, Amadita born Dec 16, 1893 married Jo. Almindro Santistevan in 20 Oct 1914 in Taos, NM. Beatriz was born 6 Mar 1896 married Jose Ignacio Valdez 6 Nov 1914 in Taos. Ramoncita was born 2 Sep 1897, married Jo. Fausto Quintana 11 Jan 1923 in Costilla, NM. Jose Ignacio was born 6 Jun 1899 married Tonita Sanchez 8 Feb 1932. Ma. Clarita was born 12 Dec 1904 married Ramon DeHerrera 3 Aug 1922 and Eloisa was born 26 Nov 1908 married Felipe Martinez