A spirited woman who backed her husband even in opposition to governors, she was 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. Doña Ana county is named in her honor.
Ana Gomez Robledo was born in San Gabriel in 1604 to Bartolomé Romero and Louisa Robledo. Her mother was the daughter of Pedro Robledo, the oldest Oñate colonist to leave descendents in New Mexico. Pedro Robledo died at 60, the first of the colony to die, as the colony moved north out of El Paso. He was buried 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 Robledo 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 killed defending Santa Fe during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. She was a spirited woman who backed her husband even in opposition to 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, she was seventy-six years old and 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 rigors of the trip, and perhaps the loss of one of her sons who died at 37, 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 memory is carried on in the county named Doña Ana in her honor.
Another version for the name of Doña Ana County gives credit to 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 was known for her charitable nature and agricultural achievements. Like her life, many legends surround her story and documentation is very scarce.
Chavez, Fray Angelico. Origins of New Mexico Families. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 1992.
Chavez, Fray Angelico. My Penitente Land: Reflections of Spanish New Mexico. Sunstone Press, 2012.