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Countdown to GSHA Conference

See the full schedule below

All Conference Events based on Mountain Daylight Time

Registered Attendees wil get links to the Speaker Sessions on Zoom

All speakers will be recorded for viewing later except Angel Cervantes and John Schmal.

Only paid attendees will have access to the recordings.


Day 1, Aug 13, 2021 - Morning


  • 9:30 am - Opening Virtual Zoom Conference

  • 9:45 am - 10:05 am - Entertainment, Shayne Sotelo & the Mariachi Alegre Group

  • 10:10 am - 10:45 am - Bob Craig, President Welcome, Chapter Presidents, present awards


Speakers - Morning

  • 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

    • Lee Martinez - "Big Y-DNA"

    • Jose Antonio Esquibel - "Mestisaje: Seventeenth-century New Mexicans with Spanish and Indian Ancestry"

    • For individuals with deep family roots in New Mexico, before tracing one or more family lineages to Spain, they will very likely encounter ancestors identified as mestizo or castizo, indicating a combination of European and Indian ancestry, or as mulato, indicating a combination of Indian and African ancestry. In some cases, there are ancestors identified specifically as Indians of the Valley of Mexico, Pueblo Indians (Tewa, Tiwa, Towa, Tano, Keres, Piro, Tompiro), or Genízaros, or perhaps as Apache, Navajo, Comanche, Kiowa, or Hopi.


  • 11:00 am - 12:00 noon

    • Joy Oria - "Researching Mexican Ancestry" Discover the rich records of Mexican genealogy! Get started in researching Mexican ancestors and examine records commonly found in Mexican genealogical research. Learn research strategies and translation tips, as well as how to identify a town of origin and navigate online databases.

    • Rob Martinez - "Casta/Caste and Racial Mixing and Identity in Colonial New Mexico"


  • 11:00 am to 3:15 pm

    • Main Room open for networking & chatting


Lunch Break: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Speakers - Afternoon

  • 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

    • Debbie Gurtler - "Migration Patterns in New Spain" Many Hispanic ancestors began their adventure in New Spain at the port of Veracruz, but where did they go from there and why. This presentation will look at some of the major migration trails north into present-day United States and some factors that might have encouraged their movement.

    • Allen Steele, - "The Inn at the End of the Trail" While many people think of the Santa Fe Trail as a grand road nurtured by the American and Mexican merchants who traveled its miles in both directions, it was the Inn at the end of the trail that nurtured the merchants when they arrived, tired and dirty, at Santa Fe.  Allen Steele shares his research about the old inn on the corner of San Francisco Street and the Santa Fe Trail that stood as the sole retreat in the ancient city for the thousands of sojourners who found rest and comfort under its roof during the time of the Trail.  Its story is full of tragedy, pathos, revelry and true grit.  After all, these were the wild west days!

    • Henrietta Martinez Christmas, - "La Familia Martinez" The earliest family of Hernan Martin Serrano and Juana Rodriguez who came with Don Juan de Oñate in 1598 remain elusive to many of us.  Traveling from Zacatecas from 1596-1598 was no easy feat as those families had to bring entire households, animals and military materials with them.  The thousand-mile journey which encompassed crossing rivers, skirting mountains and deserts with little or no water would have been difficult even for those without children.  After the resettlement of 1692, the Martin Serrano family became large landowners.  These lands were used to maintain their families, used as dowries and accumulate wealth. The family settled is what we know as the Rio Arriba area of New Mexico, the Martin(ez)s would settle in almost all parts of New Mexico, Colorado and west to California.



  • 1:30 pm - 3:00

    • Cheri Mello - "Overcoming Brickwalls with DNA" Attendees will learn from four case studies how DNA was used to overcome a brick wall that stood since the 1950s using Y-DNA, solved the mystery of the parent of two sisters using mtDNA, another that revealed a step-grandpa was really dad using autosomal DNA, and a case of an unknown father using X-match. Also included will be an overview of the four types of DNA used in genealogy: Y-DNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), autosomal DNA (Family Finder) and X Match; and how to decode the confusing terms of DNA.


Day 2, Aug 14, 2021- Morning


  • 10:00 am - 11:00 am

    • Rachel Rodriguez - "FamilySearch Tips" Rachel Rodriguez has some tricks up her sleeve for finding your ancestors online. Today, with, it can feel like all we have to do is pull out our screens, type a few names into a search engine and our pedigree charts will fall into place. Yet for most of us, and most ancestral branches, a more targeted approach is required. So, get ready to fine-tune your searches and watch the fruits of your labors grow on your family tree.

    • Ed Munoz - "How to Conduct Oral History Interviews" In this presentation, Ed will focus on the basics of oral history interviewing which are applicable to family history interviewing in a general sense. The presentation will also highlight the work Ed is developing in collaboration with GSHA for the creation of an oral history archive featuring Inter-Mountain West Latinx Oral Histories.

  • 10:00 11:30 am

    • Gary DeLeon - "The Oñate Expedition and the Expedition Members" Many people have ancestors who were part of the 1598 Oñate expedition and want to know more about how the expedition came about, what struggles their ancestors went through on the expedition and some interesting facts about our ancestors. This presentation will address these questions. We will look at historical background of factors that went into creating the expedition, the history of the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. Then we will look at the background to the expedition—why the Spanish wanted to come to New Mexico, the delays in Zacatecas and Santa Barbara. We will go through a brief description of the expedition trip. The expedition members were a diverse group and we will explore their background. Finally, we will focus on several different expedition members and their families.

    • Virginia Sanchez - "The Impending Insurrection in Conejos, Colorado Territory, 1862" Colorado Territory had only been a territory for one year and yet its Anglo population in Conejos and Costilla counties feared an insurrection like that of the 1847 Taos Massacre. This presentation explains the bias and conflict surrounding the important yet unknown events that took place during Colorado’s early territorial period. These events include the Conejos Land Grant, Hispano petitions to return to New Mexico Territory, taxation and legislation, and the impact of the Civil War & Indian Wars.



·       10:00 am  Main Room open for networking and chatting.


Lunch Break: 12:00 Noon - 1:00 pm


Business Meeting & Speakers - Afternoon


·       1:15 pm - 2:15 pm

GSHA - Annual Business Meeting


  • 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

    • Angel Cervantes - "Anthropological Genetic History: The Hisatsinom (Anasazi) Connection to New Mexican Families (Mt-DNA Haplogroup B)" Ancient Pueblo peoples (Hisatsinom) were an ancient Native American culture centered on the present-day Four Corners area of the United States, comprising southern Utah, northeastern Arizona, northern New Mexico, and southwestern Colorado. They lived in a range of structures, including pit houses, pueblos, and cliff dwellings designed so that they could lift entry ladders during enemy attacks, which provided security.  The connection between certain New Mexican families and the Hisatsinom will be explored. A short film that will trace the history of these people will be shown. We will also discuss which families show the markers that are most identified with this ancient civilization.

    • John Schmal - "Indigenous Nueva Galicia: The Native Peoples of Jalisco and Zacatecas" The tribal groups inhabiting this colonial region had very disparate responses to the Spanish conquest and settlement. This presentation will discuss the original native groups, the colonial settlement, the silver industry, the Chichimeca War (1550-1590) and the process of mestizaje and assimilation that followed.

  • 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

    • Cindy Medina - "Abraham Lincoln and Mexico" Ms. Medina will be discussing the book by noted Ph.D. historian and professor Dr. Michael Hogan. It is one of the best books available about relations between the U.S. and Mexico before, during, and after that war. It helps us better understand our history on both sides of the border.

    • It shines new light on reasons for the 1846 U.S. invasion, opposition by Abraham Lincoln and other politicians to the unjustified and unconstitutional decision by President Polk to unilaterally initiate the war, the importance of the ensuing war against Mexico, the resulting territorial seizures by the United States, the impact both nationally and internationally to both countries, the troubling legacy even today, and the result of silences that have been pervasive over the years regarding this conflict. It examines all aspects of this history based on actual documents in government, university, and private institutions in both the U.S. and Mexico, including citations to these documents and the complete text for many of them in the Appendix. Decisions made then continue to permeate the daily lives of citizens and residents of both countries today.

    • Understanding this part of history helps in our genealogy research today.  We can see migration patterns, why people lost their Spanish language, why people are still fighting today their rights to Spanish Land Grants.


  • 2:30 pm  - 4:00 pm

    • Main Room open for networking and chatting.


  • 4:15 pm - 4:45 pm

    • Closing Ceremony: Rob Martinez - Entertainment & History of Music

    • Bob Craig - GSHA Recognitions, Announcement of 2022 Conf, etc.


NOTE: 15 minutes for Questions and Answers after each session

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