Rare genetic mutation, genealogy subject of Baca Historical Project


Curious about tracing your Hispanic family tree in New Mexico? Learn more how to trace your genealogy at the Baca Family Historical Project, which is hosting a regional conference on Saturday, Aug. 25. The conference will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Río Grande Northern New Mexico National Heritage Area Center, 848 State Road 68 in Alcalde. It will focus on the history of the area, the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro and the Common Hispanic Mutation.

Common Hispanic Mutation is a rare genetic illness affecting Northern New Mexico Hispanics. It is linked to Cerebral Cavernous Malformations (CCM), a rare disease that can cause seizure, stroke and death.

The free conference is limited to 150 participants, so sign up soon. Get more information at bacafamily.org.

Among the speakers are Dr. Rick Hendricks, New Mexico's State Historian on the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, which was the trail used by Cristobal Baca in the 1600s as he and his descendants settled New Mexico. A former editor of the Vargas Project at University of New Mexico, he also worked at New Mexico State University. He researches and writes on the history of the American Southwest and Mexico.

Another speaker is Thomas Romero, director of the Northern Río Grande National Heritage Area. A video presentation by Dr. Connie Lee, executive director of Angioma Alliance, will be followed by free DNA testing for participants who are direct descendants of Cristobal Baca II and Ana Moreno Lara.

Families can search their family trees and share their history and photos with other families from Northern New Mexico. Genealogist Joyce Gonzales will be on hand to help you start your genealogy research.