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Sena, Raphael

About | Abstract


The consultant's family can be traced back to Bernardino de Sena y Valle in 1693. Mr. Sena grew up on the family dairy farm in the Albuquerque, N.M. area of Los Ranchos. He describes his childhood, education and work history, and shares the results of his many searches for information on his ancestors.

Interviewee Raphael Sena, male, born in 1951
Date Range 1951-2013
Date & Location August 28, 2013, NMF&RHM
Project Farm and Ranch Folks
Region Central New Mexico
Number of Tapes 3
Transcribed March 25, 2014
Download Abstract


Tape 1, Side A

Consultant discusses growing up on the family dairy farm in the Albuquerque, N.M. area. He worked during his later years of high school, then worked for Creamland Dairies for four years before joining the Air Force when he was 21 years old. The Sena Farm Dairy was started by his great-grandfather, Manuel Sena. Everyone in the family grew up and worked on the farm. They grew alfalfa and hay on land across the street from the dairy, and each family had their own vegetable garden. The consultant's parents grew chile, corn, melons, tomatoes, and other vegetables. The family raised cows, sheep, pigs, chickens and turkeys. He recalls the many Matanzas held between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, and the food that was made from the animals that were slaughtered. He describes his father, who worked long hours, and instilled in him a strong work ethic, and the dairy operations. He met his wife, Rebecca, who was also in the Air Force, when they were both stationed in England.

Tape 1, Side B

Discussion regarding Sena Farm Dairy continues. After he left the military he worked for the Larson Company making artificial environments out of fiberglass and resins. This company has made environments for SeaWorld, Macy's, and the Chicago Museum. He is especially proud of his work on the team that built the Tree of Life that is at Disney World. He briefly discusses his children. He recalls that when he was growing up no one locked their house doors, and states that no one ever stole anything because everyone knew how hard people worked for the things that they had. He does not believe that people today work as hard nor value the things that they have.
The consultant has been doing extensive research into his family history. He recently took a trip to the San Miguel Church where he learned that Bernardino de Sena had been buried under the floor of the San Miguel Chapel.

Tape 2, Side A

He discusses Bernardino in greater detail, his arrival in New Mexico, and settlement near Santa Fe. Bernardino was a member of the Third Order of San Francisco, which might explain why he was buried in a Franciscan monk's robe.

Tape 2, Side B

There is a long list of blacksmiths in the Sena family. When Bernardino died his son Tomás inherited his blacksmith shop that contained a forge, a large anvil, a vice, assorted hand tools, and a double bellows which the consultant has donated to a Santa Fe museum. Seven generations of Sena family descendants have been blacksmiths, armorers, gunsmiths, and more recently a silversmith. He briefly discusses the research he has done on the family brand, and resulting contact with the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum. Photographs of his dad and other family members are produced and individuals are identified.

Tape 3, Side A

More photographs are discussed and individuals identified. There is discussion of some of the items already discussed on other interview tapes.