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Fr Juan Jose de Castro
Birth: 1767
Galicia, Spain
Death: Nov., 1840
Rio Arriba County
New Mexico, USA

The Castro History from Historians*

Juan Jose Castro was born in 1767 in Galicia, Spain and immigrated to New Mexico in 1802. He was known as "Fray Juan Jose de Castro" and started working as a priest in 1795. There are records of his duties in the Archives of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico and his last duties were recorded on April 12, 1840.

He had a housekeeper name Maria Ignacia Rodriguez. They ended up having nine children. Perhaps he loved her, and since the Catholic Church traditions would not allow those performing religious duties to marry, public records do not show a marriage though he remained faithful to his family and parishioners. They may have secretly married and never told a soul.

The children from their union were baptized as Rodriguez. They were not aware of who their biological father was until after his death in 1840. Eventually they adopted their last name as Castro and baptized all of their children under the Castro name. *see note of family at end of bio.

*History books have recorded the Castro grandfather. Please read: Toward extinction 1794-1840 The Last Franciscans.

During the remainder of 1828, Fray Teodoro Alcina alternated at San Miguel with Fray José de Castro. They were both European Spaniards, but too old and too much needed in priest-poor New Mexico for expulsion. Alcina, from Palafox in Gerona, had spent thirty-five of his sixty-two years in New Mexico. Castro would bury him at Santa Cruz de la Cañada in 1834. Only a year younger, Castro himself, a native of San Salvador del Cristinado in Galicia, was dead by late 1840. [51]

The books of baptisms, marriages, and burials assigned to Mission Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Pecos, which, like its missionaries themselves, had spent most of the previous century at Santa Fe or El Vado, ended in 1829. On June 2, 1828, Father Castro had performed the last recorded baptism of an Indian by a Franciscan at Pecos, for eight-day-old José Manuel, son of Rafael and Paula Aguilar. The following November, the dutiful Father Alcina visited the mission and baptized the infant son of settlers from the Cañón de Pecos. His burial entry at San Miguel on December 3 was the last by a friar. On January 1, 1829, don Juan Felipe Ortiz, diocesan priest from Santa Fe, took over. After better than two centuries the Franciscan ministry on the Río Pecos had come to a close. [52]

* The Life and Times of Richard Castro by Richard Gould

* Castro family history by Karen Mitchell :

August 2013 History from a family member: I just wanted to add that my great grandmother was a Rodriguez of the Jose de Castro lineage and there are many Rodriguez families that are still carrying the Rodriguez surname and that the statement about the Rodriguez children using the Castro name after Castro died is not true. I believe there may have been a couple families to use Castro but the majority did not.

Miguél Tórrez 
Family links: 
  Maria Ignacia Rodriguez (1791 - ____)*
  Jose Ramon Rodriguez Castro (1815 - ____)*
  Jose Jesus Ma Rodriquez Castro (1817 - 1886)*
*Calculated relationship
Created by: Jolene Chapman
Record added: Feb 26, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 85789281
Fr Juan Jose de Castro
Added by: Jolene Chapman
Fr Juan Jose de Castro
Added by: Jolene Chapman
Fr Juan Jose de Castro
Added by: Jolene Chapman
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