Don Ygnacio “Nińo Ladron de Guevara”                 


By Rich Eastwood based in part on the work of Charles Hayes a Guevara family researcher.


Ygnacio was born March 23, 1803 in Nazas, Durango, Mexico. When he was born, Nazas was know as Villa de los Cinco Seńores, the village of the Five Gentelmen. It is located in central Mexico near the road from Mexico City to Nuevo Mexico.

His parents were upper class and had the titles of Don and Dońa which was passed on to Don Ygnacio, the equivalent in English would be Sir and Lady. The “Nińo Ladron de Guevara” is a heraldic title from the Spanish Royal Court. One further note; ‘b’ and ‘v’ are pronounced about the same in Spanish, depending on who wrote the name down, Guevara and Guebara are interchangeable. Further information on Ygnacio’s pedigree can be found in the edited version of Pat & Buddy Guevara’s family tree file.

Here is a version of the “Nińo Ladron de Guevara” Title as told by the Ortiz Family web site. The web site is interesting-

“Here is the story of the Ladron de Guevara name as recounted in the Diccionaria Heraldico y Genealogico de Apellidos Espańoles y Americanos, by Alberto and Arturo Garcia Carraffa, Salamanca, 1931. It seems that the founder of the family in Spain was Sir Sancho Guillermo, Duke of Britanny of the royal house of France. He went to Navarre in 716 to fight the Moors. In 885, a descendent of his by the name of Sancho de Guevara was again fighting the Moors who had just killed King Garcia Ińiguez and his wife Dońa Urraca in the battle of Aibar or Baldillon. Sancho went to find the bodies of the king and queen. The queen had been cut up and, being pregnant, the arm of a little boy was sticking out of her body. Sancho saved the little boy and took him and raised him secretly in the mountains until he was either 7 or 17. Then Sancho took him and had him named King of Navarre. Because Sancho had saved the boy’s life, Sancho was given the name Nińo Ladron de Guevara, the first part meaning little boy thief. Proofs of nobility for the Ladron de Guevara family exist and there is even a late 16th century one for a Ladron de Guevara Ortiz.”


Ygnacio next appeared in the area of what is now New Mexico. In December 1833. Ygnacio, almost 31 years of age, and perhaps considered a pioneer for that time period, along with two partners, Dolores Jalomo and Marcelino Abreu, registered a mine. The mine, named Santo Nińo, located on Sierra de Oro (Gold Mountain) in the Ortiz Mountains, which lie midway between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, “was to be worked in the name of the Mexican nation for silver, gold, copper, or whatever God may have been pleased to give them, and in due time they may have been given the customary possession.” The mine was sold the following February for 300 silver pesos. Ygnacio may have arrived in the general area a few years earlier. The person that stood as witness at his marriage to Anamaria said he had known them both 12 years.

In 1844 he married Anamaria Torres in San Felipe, NM. She was his second wife; he had a child by his first wife, Dolores Cayales, Placido (born abt. 1836). Anamaria had a son by her first marriage, Nasario (born 1826). San Felipe is on the old Spanish Trail between Santa Fe and Albuquerque about due west from Ortiz Mt.

             In the 1850 U.S. Census for New Mexico, Ygnacio and Ana Maria were living in Santa Fe County. Also In the household were Nasario, age 20; Placido, age 15; Juana Padilla, age 30; and Estanislada, age 4. Ygnacio gave his age as 50, said that he could read and write, he was a farmer, placed his value at $150, and that he was born in the Republic of Mexico. All other family members were born in New Mexico. Nasario was the son of Ana Maria, and Nazario, as his name was spelled on his baptism, was handicapped. The 1850 census didn’t declare relationships in the households, but Placido was Ygnacio’s son, as latter evidence supported, and he worked as a laborer. Juana was probably, Julianita, Estanislada’s mother and she and Ana Maria were related. Ana Maria was the daughter of Jose Torres and Lorenza Salas. Juliana’s husband and father of Estanislada, Jose Padilla, was the son of Manuel Padilla and Lorenza Salas. In the 1860 Census, Valencia County, el Manzano, the new home of the Guevaras; living adjacent to the Guevaras was the Carrillo family and living with them was Lorenza Salas, age 70; Ana Maria’s mother and Estanislada’s grandmother. The lady of the house, Nicanora Marquez, was Lorenza’s granddaughter; through Lorenza’s third marriage to Juan Gonzales.


Ygnacio was born in the Village of the Five Gentlemen, his father was a gentleman, makes you wonder was the village founded in part by his family? Another thought, if it was in the mountains was mining part of the scene?

Spain was a first rate imperial power in 1803 but wasn’t keeping up with modern government of the day, in 1821 Mexico joined other revolutions of the era and became independent. At any rate Ygnacio followed the path of many young gentlemen of his time, adventure. Traveling hundreds of miles north of his home town, mining in an area of limited population and subject to marauding Indians. At thirty years old, this smacks of adventure. Which brings up another thought; mining on Ortiz Mt. on the Ortiz website it ties the Ortiz family with the Nińo Ladron de Guevara family. Were they all related…. humm?

Anamaria had relatives from the Manzano area, on the Turquoise Trail to Santa Fe by way of Ortiz Mt. (as shown on the Auto Club Map). If this trail gets its name from the Spanish times and looking at the topography it would seem to be a natural corridor separated from the main Spanish Trail by a range of mountains. Manzano and Ortiz Mountain are some 80 to 100 miles apart, no small distance in that hostile world. But Ygnacio didn’t seem to be bothered by distance.

By 1860 the family had settled down back in Manzano but a lot had happened since he married Anamaria. In 1846 New Mexico had become part of the United States which would mean quite bit; the social structure would change and property ownership would be altered. But the most dramatic change would come from being a loosely governed, remote part of Mexico to becoming a part of a dynamic ever expanding frontier of the United States in its quest to become a transcontinental, coast to coast nation. Of course this didn’t happen overnight; in sleepy Manzano they hardly noticed. The biggest near term event would be the U.S. Army trying to reign in the depredations of the Indians. Somehow during the 1846 – 1850 period Ygnacio had picked up a new member of his household, ‘Lada (Estanislada) and, it seems, her possibly sick mother. As 1860 rolled up it looks like it was time to settle down, he was 57, had a 14yr old girl to raise, he was, no doubt a member of the community in good standing and his son, Placido, was married and ready to go on his own.

But, not so. In the mid 1860s a group of families from Manzano decided to move to a far away corner of New Mexico, to a little settlement they established on the Rio Hondo just up stream from the Pecos River, on the road from Ft. Sumner to Ft. Stanton, in the southeast part of New Mexico. San Jose, Plaza de Missouri was most likely settled during the years 1866 and 1867. Ygnacio was no doubt a part of this settlement. I base this theory on my family traditions that say that Tioflio Lalonde (LaLone)  and ‘Lada were married 1867 near Roswell. Roswell didn’t exist then, the only place that fits is Missouri Plaza and Lily Klausner in her book “My Girlhood Among the Outlaws” as a child passing through in 1868, mentions a Frenchman named LaLone married to a Spanish woman. Missouri Plaza, so the story goes, was named by freighters from Manzano who had hauled freight to Missouri on the Santa Fe Trail.  There is also a mention of gold in the Rio Hondo… curious, huh.

The next fifteen years, or so, were tumultuous; Indian attacks, cowboys shooting each other and Hispanic people as well, the Lincoln County War and, gradually, bit by bit, law and order. Ygnacio served on the Grand Jury in Lincoln at one time, I’m sure he was a respected citizen here as well. They lived next to the Lalondes in the 1870 Census (at first read it doesn’t seem that way but a little critical thinking clears that up) in Missouri Plaza and with Tioflio on his ranch on Magado Creek (in the Salado area) in 1880. Anamaria died about 1880 and in 1885, according to the New Mexico Territorial Census, Ygnacio was living with Tioflio and ‘Lada on their ranch on the Bonito. He died shortly thereafter having lived a rich and adventure filled life.