Progress is being made on extending the genealogy of various Hispano families of 17th and 18th-century New Mexico. This status report serves a guide for understanding that progress in regard to what was original published in the book Origins of New Mexico Families in the Spanish Colonial Period (1954) by Fray Angélico Chávez.
The Updated Martín Serrano Family Genealogy file is an expansion from a previous version that covered the first three generations. In early 2013, José Antonio Esquibel published information on the fourth and fifth generations of the descendents of Herán Martín Serrano(b.ca. 1556-1558, Zacatecas, Nueva Galicia) in a The New Mexico Genealogist (December 2012, and March 2013).
The research presented in the updated genealogy of the Martín Serrano famiily is the culmination of twenty-eight years of genealogy research by José Antonio Esquibel. Noted New Mexico Hispano genealogy researcher Henrietta Martínez Christmas worte the preface, which also appeared in the previous three-generation version (see the lnk below).
The genealogy of early generations of the Martin Serrano is one of the more complex due to the large size of the various branches of the family and the use of similar given names. The updated genealogy clarifies relationships and provide source citation for readers to consult and obtain copies of original records
You are encouraged to download the PDF file, copy and paste items into your genealoagy databases and share the PDF, all for non-commercial purposes.
For those who are interested, the PDF of the first three generations of the Martín Serrano family is still available for downloading:
Among the founding families of the Villa de Santa Fe in 1610 was that of the Martín Serrano. The descendants of Hernán II Martín Serrano (b.ca. 1556-1558), who settle New Mexico in 1598 represent one of the largest clans of New Mexico from the Spanish era.
Fray Angélico Chávez was the first to present a compilation of the genealogy of the first several generations of the Martín Serrano family in his masterful work, Origins of New Mexico Families in the Spanish Colonial Period (1954, 1975 and 1992). José Antonio Esquibel, building on the work of Fray Angélico, wrote a comprehensive historical and genealogical account of the Martín Serrano family of 17th and early 18th-century New Mexico that was published in three issues of El Farolito in 2008, which are available for purchase as back issues.
If you would like to learn more about the founding families of the Villa de Santa Fe, please read the following article.
The celebration of 400 years of history of the City of Santa Fe is a remarkable milestone and one which is deeply personal for those of us with ancestral roots in New Mexico . Many of our New Mexican ancestors lived in the Villa de Santa Fe at one time or another, some for many decades, and these individuals shaped its distinct and rich history. Unfortunately, much of that history no longer survives in the form of documents, and thus very little has come to light to help us understand what life was like for the early residents of the Villa de Santa Fe . Careful reading of archival documents is the primary means by which fragments of information are being pieced together to tell the story of early Santa Fe and its residents.
The founding date of Santa Fe remains a challenge to determine due to the fact that documents of that era are long lost. Even though there is a propensity to want to pinpoint a precise date of Santa Fe’s founding, evidence indicates that Santa Fe developed over time and was first established as a military post or as a site of a garrison during the tenure of don Juan de Oñate prior to 1608, and possibly as early as 1599, but at least as early as 1605. Like other settlements of New Spain ’s northern frontier, bold and adventurous soldiers, many with wives and children, first established military outposts that eventually received official designations as municipalities. Santa Fe was very likely no different.
This premise is supported by information contained in the certification of services of Captain Juan Martínez de Montoya (1608) as well as in a statement by fray Alonso de Benavides (1630-34), and by the statements of two men who indicated they were born in Santa Fe between 1604 and 1607. Juan Griego declared he was a native of Santa Fe born circa 1604-1605, Hernán Martín Serrano, the younger, indicated he was a native of Santa Fe born circa 1606-1607. The father’s of both of these men were soldiers apparently stationed at the military camp of Santa Fe when their son’s were born.
There is a single known document that lends support to Santa Fe having been the site of a garrison prior to 1610. The following statement appears in the account of the services of Martínez de Montoya, "el haber hecho Plasa en Santa Fe, y en el Real de San Buenaventura, Real de Minas, y sido en ayuda a descubrirlas, y he poblado en dicho Real”, "he was posted at Santa Fe and at the Real de San Buenaventura, royal mines, and he assisted in the discovery and settlement of the said real" ”(Fray Angélico Chávez Library, Juan Martinez de Montoya Collection, Box 1, f.18ff). This statement was been previously translated to mean that Martínez de Montoya founded the Villa de Santa Fe, however, the key phrase is not "Plasa de Santa Fe," rather it is "Plasa en Santa Fe", 'en' meaning 'in' or 'at', and 'plasa' referring to a military camp or to being posted or stationed at a camp or garrison. The Real de San Buenaventura is very likely a reference to the salt mines of San Buenaventura de la Jumanas to the east of the modern-day Manzano Mountains .
During the period of Oñate’s tenure (1598-1608), New Mexico did not have a Spanish settlement with the confirmed status of villa. Writing in April 1609, fray Francisco de Velasco recommended to the crown that the official status of “villa” be conferred upon the Villa de San Gabriel, indicating that this settlement did not have the status of a formal municipality as recognized by Spanish law (George P. Hammond and Agapito Rey, Don Juan de Oñate, Colonizer of New Mexico, p. 1096, citing AGI, México, 128, Memorial of Fray Francisco de Velasco, April 9, 1609). This is further supported by the orders given to newly appointed Governor don Pedro de Peralta y Aloque by Viceroy don Luis de Velasco in March 1609 in which the new governor was instructed to establish a formal villa in New Mexico to put in place a structure of civil law and order (Archivo General de las Indias, México, N.63, exp. 4, f.2r).
Of the fifty soldiers accounted for as vecinos (tax-paying citizens) of New Mexico in 1608, an unknown, but probably small number of these soldier-settlers, some with families, lived at Santa Fe prior to the arrival of Peralta y Aloque in late 1609 or early 1610. The new governor was apparently convinced to bestow the official legal status of “villa” on the military camp of Santa Fe soon after his arrival. To date, thirteen individuals representing eight households are known to be founders of the Villa de Santa Fe as confirmed by primary documentation, in addition to Governor don Pedro de Peralta y Aloque.
Although records are scant, it appears that Santa Fe was indeed established as a military outpost during the Oñate period (1598-1608), developed into a garrison with soldiers (some with families), and with the arrival of Governor Pedro de Peralta y Aloque the outpost received the formal designation of 'villa', thus giving it legal status as a municipality in 1610. As such, Santa Fe developed as a settlement over the period of several years, much like other settlements of the Spanish northern frontier.
Although many New Mexican families resided in the Villa de Santa Fe from the early 1600s to the era of U.S. Statehood in the early 1900s, a special tribute is due to those who can be identified as founding families. Unfortunately, there is no list of such families. However, archival research has uncovered the names of about a dozen individuals who were among the founders of the Villa de Santa Fe . The following list is based on research of primary documents and consists of the names of known founders compiled as of April 2008. Additional research may yet confirm the identity of other founders.
Known Founders of the Villa de Santa Fe (click on names with links to PDF versions of articles published in La Herencia: The Heritage and History That Is New Mexico)
1. Maese de Campo de la Provincia (Field Commander of the Province) Pedro Durán de Chávez, age 60 in 1626, “primero fundador” of the Villa de Santa Fe, with his wife, doña Isabel de Bohórquez, age 40 in 1626 (Archivo General de la Nacion, Inquisición., t. 356, f. 268r).
2. Sargento Mayor Francisco Gómez, age 40 in 1626, “primero fundador” and vecino of the Villa de Santa Fe , with his wife was doña Ana Robledo (AGN, Inq., t. 356, f. 269v).
3. Juan Griego, the elder, and his wife Pascuala Bernal, the parents of Santa Fe native Juan Griego, b.ca. 1604-1605 (AGN, Inq., t. 586, f. 49, and AGN, Inq. t. 583, exp. 3, f. 297).
4. Juan López Holguin, age 64 in 1626, vecino y primero fundador, and his wife doña Catalina de Villanueva, close to age 50 in 1626, “besinos fundadores” of the Villa de Santa Fe (AGN, Inq., t. 356, f. 270r; AGN, Inq., t. 356, f. 303r).
5. Capitán Francisco Madrid, age 32 [sic] in 1626, “vecino antiguo” of the Villa de Santa Fe . His first wife was a daughter of Alonso Martín Barba and they were married by February 1615 (AGN, Inq., t. 316, f. 172v). His second wife was María de la Vega Márquez, age 35 in 1631 (AGN, Inq., t. 356, f. 268). It is unclear if Francisco and his first wife were married by the time Santa Fe was founded.
6. Capitán Hernán Martín Serrano, the elder, over age 70 in 1626, “antiguo poblador y veso” of Santa Fe (AGN, Inq., t. 356, f. 267). The mother of his son and namesake was doña Inés, a Tano Indian woman who was acculturated into Spanish society and was a long-time resident of Santa Fe (AGN, Inq., t. 356, f. 311).
7. Capitán Juan Rodríguez Bellido, age 70 in 1626, “primero fundador,” and vecino of the Villa de Santa Fe , also referred to as one of the “antiguos pobladores” of the Villa de Santa Fe (AGN, Inq., t. 356, f. 268v). His wife may have been a woman named Isabel (no surname), who was very likely an acculturated Indian and referred to in 1607 as “ysavel muger de fulano rodrigues—Isabel, the wife of so-and-so Rodríguez” (AGI, Inq., t. 467, f. 350v).
8. Capitán Alonso Varela, age 60 in 1626, “primero fundador” of the Villa de Santa Fe and his wife was Catalina Pérez de Bustillo (AGN, Inq., t. 356, f. 269 and AGN, Inq. t. 372, exp. 16, f. 6).
9. Fray Cristóbal de Quirós, definidor (AGI, Patronato, 244, R.7, exp. 14, f. 14v).
10. Don Pedro de Peralta y Aloque, Governor of New Mexico. His extended surname is recorded in AGI, México, 27, N.63, exp. 4, f. 2r.
There is perhaps one probable founder, but documentary evidence is sparse:
11. Blas de Valencia. Francisco de Valencia, declared he was a native of the Villa de Santa Fe and gave his as 54 in 1661 and again as 54 in 1665, indicating he was born circa 1607-1611 (AGN, Tierras, t. 3268, pt. 1, leg. 2, no. 21, f. 331; AGN, Inq., t. 593, ff. 63, 80-82). In all likelihood, he was a son of Blas de Valencia, one of the soldiers who came to New Mexico with Oñate in 1598. Blas de Valencia was a resident of the Villa de San Gabriel in 1604 and as late as 1613 he formed part of the soldier-escort of Governor don Bernardino de Ceballos from Mexico City to the Villa de Santa Fe (AGN, Provincias Internas, Vol. 34:1, Diferentes autos de molestías hechas a los vecinos de la Nueva México por los religiosos; and Chávez, Origins of New Mexico Families, 109).
El Farolito Publication Dates
Spring issue June/July
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Voices from the Past
Illuminatuing articles about New Mexico history and traditions by Robert Torrez, former state historian of New Mexico, about various historical topics.
Vargas's 1693 Recruits for the Resettlement of New Mexico by John B. Colligan
The late John B. Colligan compiled historical and genealogical information about a little known and little studied group of settlers recurited by Governor Vargas in 1693 from the communities of Durango, Sombrerete, Zacatecas,C uencamé, and Parral. This includes the Abeyta, Benevides, Fernández, Rendón, Romero, Sáez, and Velásquez.
In addition to co-authoring The Spanish Recolonization of New Mexico: An Account of the Families Recruited at Mexico City in 1693 (HGRC, 1999), Colligan authored The Juan Páez Hurtado Expedition of 1695(UNM Press, 1995). His article on the little known group of settlers recruited by Governor Vargas in 1693 will be reprinted by permission of the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research.
New Mexico Wills and Settlements of Estates, 1704-1844
The surviving archival records of last will and testaments and settlemnst of estate remain an underutilized resource for New Mexico genealoical research. José Antonio Esquibel has compiled a list of wills that willbe featured in chronoloigal order and then in alphabetical order to assist people in in identfying ancestors who may have left a last will and/or whose estate was inventoried.
Early History of Ojo Caliente Settlers
Ojo Caliente, located along the western side of Black Mesa in Northern New Mexico, was a strategic but challenging location to settle. Several families undertook the risk and cost to settle land granted by the governor of New Mexico, but they found that the incessant Indian raids brought great risk to their lives and those of their families, and made it beryhard to farm and raise livestock. Who were these frontier families? Were any of them your anectors?
The Exile Years at El Paso del Río del Norte, 1680-1693
What was life like for those families that survived the devastating events ofthe Pueblo Indian uprising of august 1680? The period of time of exile between mid-1680 and the end of 1693 is the least studied and understood. Thoise families that remained in the jurisdicationof El Paso del Río del Norte were the core of settlers that returned to Northern New Mexico in December 1693. At El Paso they endured many difficulties and perservered.
Beyond Origins of New Mexico Families
Expect to see some new genealgocal information on New Mexico families of the 17th and 18th centuries that go beyond or corrects what was originally published in Origins of New Mexico Families by Fray Angélico Chávez
Members of OLTHLRC are always encouraged to submit articles of any length regarding their family genealogy. Consider submitting brief biographies and profiles on grandparents and great-grandparents, or more distant ancestors.
El Farolito Publication Dates
Spring issue June/July
Summer issue September/October
Fall issue December/January
Winter issue March/April