A Young Bride Among the Roustabouts of Santa Fe

My Great-Great Grandmother Missed the Gentle, Green Valleys of Germany, But Our Jewish Family Needed a New Start

Staab House on Palace Ave. SF

When my great-great-grandmother set out for New Mexico territory in 1866, she spoke no English. Nor did she speak any Spanish.

German was her native language; Yiddish as well. Julia Staab was a German Jew from a small village in Prussia. I don’t know how her marriage to my great-great-grandfather Abraham Staab came about—if it was arranged beforehand, or if they chose each other. But I do know that they were in a hurry to begin their married life in Santa Fe—to inhabit their American Dream.

Abraham was, anyway. He …

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