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Ancestor 15: Jose Juan Antonio Sabas Rios descended from Spanish Conquistadors

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This is the 15th article in the genealogy project “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.”

Jose Juan Antonio Sabas Rios is a paternal great-great grandfather. He was baptized at Inmaculada Concepcion Catholic Church in Mier, Tamaulipas, Mexico, Dec. 12, 1810. There is no published birth date.

Jose Juan was the son of Jose Tomas Rios and Maria Anastacia de la Garza. Jose Juan was their only child. He had a half-brother from his father’s first marriage to Maria Santos Ramos.

The baptism document states that the child’s city of birth was R. Borregas, Mexico. This most likely stands for Rancho Borregas. Borregas is the Spanish word for sheep. Many of the Mexicans who were descended from Spaniards were sheep farmers. It is likely that Mier was the closest town with a Catholic Church and the Rios family made the trip in December 1810 for the baptism.

Jose Juan does not turn up in any records until his marriage August 16, 1832 to Maria Cecilia Izaguirre. They were married at Inmaculada Concepcion church in Mier. He and Maria Cecilia had 13 children, all of whom were born in Mexico. The last child was born in 1853.

There are no Mexican records to provide information on Jose Juan’s occupation, but he probably raised livestock of some kind. This was a common occupation for those who lived in that part of Mexico.

While little is known about Jose Juan’s occupation or his life in Tamaulipas, he was descended from Spanish Conquistadors who settled in Nuevo Espana (Mexico) in the 16th century. One of his ancestors is Diego de Montemayor, the second governor of the state of Nuevo Leon, who is also the founder of the City of Monterrey, Mexico.

Another ancestor is Lope de Sosa, who was governor of the Canary Islands and Royal Governor of Castilla de Oro (renamed Panama) in 1520. He was appointed by King Charles I.

The last documentation for Jose Juan is associated with his children’s records. No one knows when he died or where. While Jose Juan may have come from a small family, he left many descendants as a result of his 13 children.

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