Maldonado traces the journey of his family from Scandinavia and the Holy Land to Spain and Portugal and finally to the Kingdom of New Mexico. Arriving in 1598 with the expedition of Juan de Oñate, his ancestors were some of the first settlers of New Mexico. Of the 144 original Spanish/Portuguese colonial families from the 16th and 17th centuries listed by historian and cousin Fray Angélico Chávez, in his pioneering book Origins of New Mexico Families/A Genealogy of the Spanish Colonial Period, 119 are on the Maldonado family tree. From the 18th century, 174 of the 277 colonial families identified by Chávez are also on the Maldonado family tree. Over 5,300 names comprise the Maldonado tree - many of them important figures in the annals of New Mexico history. Maldonado's family tree proves the old adage that everyone in New Mexico is a primo, cousin.
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