A Family Tradition

With Lisa Bonney and Ernie Pacheco on July 31st.

This past weekend I attended a 75th birthday party for my cousin Ernie Pacheco. The celebration was a throwback to the old parties of Santa Fe. There were mariachis performing as family members reunited. Most of the attendees were from my Pacheco family. That’s the thing about Santa Fe, it’s still a small town. If you ask someone with the surname Pacheco if their family comes from Pacheco street and they say yes, then you know that you’re related. Pacheco street is named for my great-grandfather, José de la Cruz Pacheco. His three sons all had large families, so any of us with a connection to that street are related.


José de la Cruz Pacheco and his three sons, Andrés, Martín and Hijenio made their living as carniceros (butchers). In the 1920s they operated a slaughter house where Penn Road is located today. It was there that they killed and processed cows, sheep, goats, and the occasional buffalo. Through the 1970s just about every grocery store in town had a Pacheco working in their meat market.


After the restoration of New Mexico to the Spanish crown in 1692, members of the Pacheco family settled in the area of Cruz de la Cañada. The area is about 20 miles north of Santa Fe and now a part of the city of Española. The progenitor of this family, Ignacio Pacheco married María Margarita Martín in 1739 at the church in Santa Cruz. The couple had six children and they made their living as farmers. They lived in the community of La Cuchilla, close to Chimayó. One of their sons, Antonio Alejandro Pacheco, married María Serafina Quintana, the couple’s son José de la Cruz was born in 1842.

Pacheco Street History

In 1867 José de la Cruz and his brother, José María Esquípula married two sisters of the Rodríguez family. With their new wives, María Agapita and María Casimira, they moved to Santa Fe. The two couples settled on land that is now part of Pacheco Street. King Philip V had awarded the Rodríguez family a Spanish land grant in 1740. Today, some of the Pacheco family still lives on the street named for José de la Cruz Pacheco.

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