Ana Robledo, whose full name was Ana Gomez Robledo, was born in San Gabriel in 1604 to Bartolomé Romero and Louisa Robledo. Her mother was the daughter of Pedro Robledo. He was the oldest Oñate colonist to leave descendents in New Mexico but was the first of that colony to die. He was around sixty years old when he died, as the colony moved north out of El Paso. He was buried on Corpus Cristi Day, May 21, 1598, on the Camino Real, east of the Rio del Norte (Rio Grande) and a large bluff called “Robledo” in his memory.
Ana married Francisco Gomez who held every office of importance in New Mexico during his lifetime. She bore him seven children, one of whom was the only officer to be killed defending Santa Fe during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. She was a spirited woman who backed her husband even in opposition of governors. She was the keeper of La Conquistadora’s—a venerated statue of the Virgin Mary—precious dresses.
At the time of the Pueblo Revolt, Ana was seventy-six years old. She was always referred to as Doña Ana for her age, stately manner, and knowledge. She survived the siege of Santa Fe and traveled with the people as they fled northern New Mexico to the south. Unfortunately, the riggers of the trip, and perhaps the loss of one of her sons who died at thirty-seven years old, proved to be too much for the venerated lady. She died after crossing the infamous Jornada del Muerto at a place remarkably close to where her grandfather Pedro was buried. Today, her memeory is carried on in the county name of Doña Ana.
As an aside, another version for the name of Doña Ana County gives credit for a woman reputed to have lived in the area in the early 1600s whose name was Ana Córdoba. This woman ran a large ranch and she was known for her charitable nature and agricultural achievements. Like her life, many legends surround her story and documentation is very scarce.
Origins of New Mexico Families. Fray Angelico Chavez Library
My Penitente Land. Fray Angelico Chavez Library