Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Confraternity Records in Garganta la Olla

In the year 1654, Rafael Martin, my ninth great-grandfather and his cousins Ana Gomez and David Martin filed a petition of appeal with the Royal Chancery Court in Valladolid, Spain.  As citizens of the village Garganta la Olla they had sought to gain membership in the religious cofradia of Saint Anne. In order to be allowed to join, the applicant had to prove a pure Christian bloodline. The Martins and Gomez were denied entrance to the cofradia and were appealing this decision to force the officers of the cofradia to allow them entrance. Rafael’s father was a “familiar” or prestigious officer of the inquisition court, but even this prestige did not guarantee the status of his son with the cofradia. The judge ruled in favor of the previous decision denying Rafael Martin, David Martin and Ana Gomez the coveted membership.
By searching in the Garganta la Olla parish archive record, it was determined that nine different cofradias existed in this small, rural town, with the first being organized in 1527.  They are as follows: Cofradia of Saint Mark, Cofradia of Martyred Saints, Cofradia of Saint Anne, Cofradia of the Lady of the Assumption, Cofradia of Saint Blaise, Cofradia of Our Lady of the Rosary, and Cofradia of the Blessed Sacrament, Brotherhood of Shrovetide and the Cofradia of the Minervas.[1]  Each of these cofradias had a religious purpose which reiterated the fact that religion was a significant part of every-day life in Garganta la Olla. The main cofradias of the town were those of Our Lady of the Rosary, The Blessed Sacrament and Saint Anne.

The records we used for this reconstruction project were the membership lists generated by the confraternity  of Our Lady of the Rosary. These records were ideal, because they listed entire households and included almost all households in the town.  

   **Remember that Cofradia is the spanish word for Confraternity.**

[1] The names of the cofradias in Garganta la olla came from the inventory of books in the Parish Archive, made by BYU students in May 2009.