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Progeny of Padre Antonio José Martínez: Part III. Following the DNA Trail of Santiago de Jesús Valdez.


By Vicente M. Martínez © June 2012 ©

Hon. Santiago Valdez.

Hon. Santiago Valdez.

Photo: Santiago Valdez from Illustrated History of New Mexico, Benjamin Read, New Mexico Printing Company, Santa Fe, NM, 1912

In 2007 I published two articles in this Journal on the subject of the children of Padre Martínez, The Progeny of Padre Martínez of Taos in June 20071 and Postscript to the Progeny of Padre Martínez of Taos in December 2007.2 The objective of these articles, summarized below, was to investigate baptismal, marriage, and census records in order to establish the identity of the progeny and what, if any, direct or linear relationship each may have had to Padre Martínez. Of great concern to me was to also determine the paternity of my great grandfather, Santiago de Jesús Valdez. Included in the text below is subsequent research that I have undertaken since the articles were published, and a reexamination of assertions presented by Fray Angélico Chávez in his biography of Padre Martínez cited below.

In the first paper I transcribed and presented, in their entirety, the baptismal records pertinent to those commonly identified, or acknowledged, as the progeny -i.e. the children of the Padre’s housekeeper and companion, María Teodora Romero. In his comprehensive biography of Padre Martínez, But Time and Chance3, the late Fray Angélico Chávez provided evidence from baptismal records indicating that Padre Martínez was the father of at least the first three, if not ah, of the following children: George Antonio, María de la Luz I (died after birth), María de la Luz II, María Soledad, and Vicente Ferrer. Not named by Chávez was the last son, Julio de Jesús, who was also named in the will. These names were also confirmed as legitimate heirs in the 1888 Last Will and Testament of their mother, Teodora Romero.4 Also, as evidenced by the Last Will and Testament of Padre Martínez5,1 indicated that he recognized these Romero children through lifetime gifts and bequests made to each and to their mother, María Teodora Romero. The bequest of portions of his home and adjoining property seemed to acknowledge the degree of relationship and suggest that he treated them as his own children. Chávez erroneously stated that “the padre did not remember” the Romero children in his Last Will and testament6, because he had relied on an English translation of the will that appeared in a book published in 1936, Lamy of Santa Fe, by Santa Fe attorney, Louis F. Werner.7 It is not known why Wemer left out the Romero bequests, and it is clear that Chávez had not seen a copy of the Spanish document, Administracion del Presbitero Antonio José Martínez, El Testamento, cited above.

With regard to my great grandfather, Santiago Valdez, who the Padre had adopted according to the Will, my family and I had been following the assertion by Fray Angélico Chávez that he was the illegitimate son [hijo natural de] of María Teodora Márquez and baptized as José Santiago Márquez on 2 Feb 1830. What intrigued Chávez about this baptism was the notation that the identity of the natural father was contained “in a secret tablet on the matter [Chávez’ translation].” This, Chávez argues, would cause one to assume that “Padre Martínez was the father, but highly unlikely since he himself baptized the infant.”8 He later explains, with reference to the baptism of George Antonio Martínez (Romero), that pouring water on ones own child was “forbidden by Canon law and proscribed by ancient Church custom would forbid such a baptism even by ones own legitimate parents, but it had taken on an aura of superstition which was more compelling than church laws and dogmas.”9 Chávez further speculated that the mother of José Santiago confided to Padre Martínez that the father was one of the Padre’s own married brothers, José Santiago, who was married to María de la Luz Lucero and that it was common practice to name a child after the father.

In an investigation of the Márquez lineage, with help from Alberto Vidaurre, we were unable to find a baptismal record for María Teodora Márquez, daughter of Vicente Márquez and his wife María Guadalupe Trujillo. The search of the Márquez family revealed that they were from Santa Cruz, based on baptismal records for the curato of Santa Cruz de la Cañada. An amplified search by Nancy Anderson of the surrounding

parishes of San Juan, Abiquiú, Pojoaque, Nambé, Santa Clara, and Picurís produced no baptismal record for a María Teodora Márquez.10

Since then I have done a search of baptismal and census records from about 1840 to 1867 for both María Teodora Márquez and her son, José Santiago. Her name came up once, as a godparent for a baptism of a María Dolores Montoya on 15 June 1840.11 A search of baptismal records for José Santiago Márquez and José Santiago Valdez as a parent, grandparent, or godparent, produced no results. A search of Territorial and US Census records produced only one José Santiago Márquez, age 20, in the 1850 Territorial Census, as a son of Benito Márquez, age 40.12 While the age is correct there is no way to tie this José Santiago and Benito to María Teordora Márquez. A search of death records from 1850 to 189913 did not turn up the name of María Teodora Márquez or her son.

The first paper ended with more questions about the Márquez family than answers, and no concrete indication as to the paternity or identity of José Santiago other than the claim by Chávez that he may have been the son of Santiago Martínez and could therefore claim Martin Serrano ancestry, but not direct linage to Padre Martínez. Subsequent research produced no further proof and I concluded that more research would be required. One thing that concerned me about the Chávez assertion was that my great grandfather was never known as José Santiago, but always as Santiago de Jesús.

In the second paper I focused on the maternal line of Santiago Valdez based on infonnation given to me by Mr. John Peña in response to my first article. Mr. Peña, a childhood neighbor of mine in Taos and an active HGRC-NM board member informed me that Fray Angélico Chávez was incorrect, and that the true identity of my great grandfather was Santiago de Jesús Madril, baptized on 25 July 1830, three days after birth, the illegitimate son [hijo natural de] of María Estefana Madril.14 The baptismal record states that the Padre’s brother, Santiago, poured the baptismal waters on him -“out of necessity.” It should also be noted that the 25th of July is the feast day of the Apostle, Saint James the Greater, and it is also a Spanish tradition to name an infant after the saint of the corresponding feast day. More importantly, and following the Chávez logic, did Padre Martínez have his brother, Santiago, pour the waters of baptism to avoid violation of Canon law and to hide his identity as the father?

Mr. Peña had detennined the correct identity of my great grandfather based on the baptismal record of his first child, María Agueda de Jesús Valdez, baptized on 30 Sep 1850. The baptismal record listed her father as Santiago de Jesús Melquisedes Valdez, thus confirming his correct name, and the mother as María Agustina Valdez. The paternal grandparents were Ygnacio Valdes and María Estefana Madril, indicating the surrogate father and confinning the actual birth mother. The maternal grandparents were José Ygnacio Valdez and María Manuela Sanchez.15

According to Mr. Peña, Santiago de Jesús, after his birth was placed with the first Ygnacio Valdes and his wife, Dolores Duran. This placement would have most likely required the consent of all the parties. Ygnacio Valdes (his full name was José Ygnacio de Jesús) was Mr. Peña’s 2nd maternal grandfather who was a political ally of Padre Martínez and who had raised Santiago, thus, making him the surrogate adoptive father named in the baptismal record above. Marriage records indicate that Ygnacio Valdes was married twice, first to Dolores Duran in 1829 in Taos and then to Guadalupe Trujillo in 1853, also of Taos. Juan Pascual Martínez, brother to Padre Martínez, and his wife, María Teodora Gallegos, were his Padrinos both times that he married, indicating a close family bond.

Santiago de Jesús Valdez married María Agustina Valdez, daughter of José Ignacio Valdez and his wife María Manuela Sanchez from La Placita de los Dolores (now known as Placitas) on 29 October 1849. Additional proof that we had the correct Santiago was provided in the baptismal records for their next two children, José Daniel de la Luz (b. 1852), and José David (b. 1853)16 with Ygnacio Valdes and María Estefana Madril again listed as the paternal grandparents, clearly verifying Santiago’s matrilineal line. Chávez stated that María Estefana was the grandmother of Ygnacio Valdes17, but our interpretation of these baptismal records is that she was the paternal grandmother of the children being baptized. But Chávez did not pursue these baptismal records and he did not fully explain how he concluded that María Estefana Madrid, who was born in about 181018, was the grandmother of Ygnacio Valdes, born in 1808 at Cañon de Cochiti. Taos marriage and baptismal records show that María Estefana went on to marry in 1831 and had children through about 1844.

The baptismal records for Santiago and Agustina’s children again show that the maternal grandparents were José Ygnacio Valdes and María Manuela Sanchez. This distinction between the two Ysidro’s, one as surrogate adoptive father, and the other as the father of Santiago’s wife was important in refuting a rather scandalous second assertion by Chávez, that Santiago was raised in the same family as his wife, Agustina, thus marrying his “blood unrelated foster-sister.”19 The marriage record clearly states that the “contracting party [groom] is from the Plaza of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, and the bride is from the Placita of Dolores [La Placita]20”. Chávez did not mention this important fact.

In the remainder of the paper I followed the Valdez family through U S Census records as they migrated to Ocaté in the 1860’s to their return to Taos by 1880 (See Santiago Valdez biography at the end of this article.) Of the twelve children that Santiago and Agustina had, seven survived and all were given the Martínez surname, per the Padre’s Will, and they retained it.21 Interestingly, during my search for baptismal records of those born after María Teodora in 1855, I was not able to locate any of these names in any of the Taos or Mora County baptismal records, and neither were the New Mexican genealogists with whom I consulted.22 Furthermore, their baptisms do not appear in the extant baptismal records that Padre Martínez kept after his suspension in 1856. It is my belief that Padre Martínez kept these records separately, and they were among those he gave to Santiago per his Will, except for those records pertaining to my biological grandfather, Demostenes23, born in 1874. The sacramental records and other property belonging to Padre Martínez were then passed on to my adoptive grandmother,

Mariquita, an older sister of Demostenes, and she kept them in a trunk. I recently found proof of this in an affidavit that the late, Rev. Thomas J. Steele, S.J. had given me. The document, dated May 27, 1921, was written on the official state letterhead of Isidoro Armijo of the New Mexico House of Representatives.24 In the letter, Mr. Armijo attested that he had stumbled upon several church articles (i.e. vestments and other church objects) and papers in the pump room of Mariquita Montaner Martínez and showed them to the Rev. Joséph Girard, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Rev. Girard added his name to the affidavit attesting that the “articles submitted to me for examination are genuine church articles and that in my opinion they are the property of Father Martínez and about 80 years old.” According to my mother, Teodora Martínez y Salazar, Mariquita burned all of the records held by Santiago Valdez so that no one would know her age, or because she was embarrassed and felt shame - vergüenza.

With this break in the paper trail I concluded that DNA testing would be the best way to establish Santiago’s family line and perhaps his filiation to Padre Martínez. To this end I asked four of his direct male descendants to take Y-DNA 37-marker tests25

administered by Family Tree DNA┬« (FTDNA) between June 2008 and October 2010. Upon registration, all participants were enrolled in the New Mexico DNA Project, a verifiable database specific to New Mexico Hispanic surnames, which allowed for comparison of individual tests. Two participants are descendants of Santiago Valdez’ third son, Malaquias, and two are descendents of his youngest son, Demostenes, who was married to María Ester Espinosa.26 Malaquias had two wives - María Juana Chávez of Taos, and Emily Blattman of Wagon Mound and we had one test from each union. Our first test in June 2008 of the Martínez-Blattman union resulted in 37 marker matches to the Montes Vigil lineage.27 In order to verify this result, a second test from a descendant of the oldest son of Demostenes was taken in January 2009 and that resulted in a 37-marker match to the Martin Serrano line.28

Two more 37-marker Y-DNA tests were administered in October 2010, one to a descendant of the Malaquias-Chávez union and the other to a descendant of the youngest son of Demostenes. Both resulted in matches to the Martin Serrano line. Angel R. Cervantes, Administrator of the New Mexico DNA Project confirmed these matches in 2010 thus verifying that three of the four tests provided sufficient proof that the patrilineal ancestry of Santiago Valdez was indeed Martin Serrano. More recently, Mr. Cervantes created some genetic models that measure family relationships from the three Martin Serrano DNA samples that prove a genetic lineage to Luis Martin Serrano I through his son, Domingo. According to Mr. Cervantes, “it is clear that Santiago Valdez comes from the Domingo Martin Serrano bloodline as per the genetic calculations. Padre Martínez descends from this same bloodline.”29

Although the DNA tests confirm lineage, they are not specific as to the identity of the actual father of Santiago Valdez. However, the results do substantiate the claim by the descendants of Santiago to Martin Serrano ancestry and provide a concrete reason as to why the Padre conferred the Martínez surname on Santiago’s children. The DNA results, in conjunction with the correct baptismal record of Santiago, provide stronger support of a possible direct relationship to Padre Martínez. A direct male descendant of

the Romero family is currently being sought for Y-DNA testing that could confirm the linage to Padre Martínez for all.

Brief Biography of Santiago de Jesús Valdez

Santiago Valdez was educated in the co-educational school of Padre Martínez and went on to continue the Padre’s legacy as a successful attorney and politician. Based on U S Federal Census records for 1860 (Taos), 1870 (Ocaté), and 1880 (Taos) it is known that Santiago and his family moved to Ocaté in the newly incorporated Mora County sometime after 1860 but they were back in Taos by 1880. His political service included: Probate Clerk, Taos County; Probate Judge and school board member, Mora County; State Senator, Taos County (20 years); and a member of a commission that revised New Mexico State Law in 1884. During the U S Civil War30, Santiago was enrolled in Company H, 1st New Mexico Volunteers on July 31, 1861 with the rank of Captain, and was discharged on February 15, 1862 after tendering his resignation due to illness. In 1877 Santiago Valdez authored, in Spanish, the manuscript: Biografia del Presbitero Don Antonio Jose Martínez- Cura de Taos.31 In 1882 Santiago purchased the Padre Martínez residence from George and Julio Romero and operated his law practice out of the home. In 1887 he represented the claimants of the Arroyo Hondo Grant to petition the Surveyor General of the United States to confirm the grant but did not live to see the final decree in favor of the petitioners.32 He died on April 13, 1888 at the age of fifty-eight and had a Catholic burial officiated by Padre José Valezy at the parish cemetery of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Taos.

Special thanks to John Peña, Angel R. Cervantes, and Rev. Juan Romero for their commentary and assistance in preparing this article.

Note to Reader: This article was published in the New Mexico Genealogist The Journal of the New Mexico Genealogical Society, September 2012, Volume 51, No. 3


Vicente M. Martínez, “The Progeny of Padre Martínez of Taos,” New Mexico Genealogist, 46:55-65 (June 2007)


“Postscript to the Progeny of Padre Martínez,” New Mexico Genealogist, 46:4 pp. 181-188 (December 2007).


Fray Angélico Chávez, But Time and Chance: The Stoi-y of Padre Martínez of Taos, 1793-1867, The Sunstone Press, Santa Fe, NM, First Edition, 1981 (Hereafter, Chávez, But Time and Chance.)


Last Will and Testament of Teodora Romero, Filed

1 November 1889, Taos County, Recorded in Book B-7, pp. 56-59, “George Antonio Romero, María de la Luz Romero, María Soledad Romero, Vicente Ferrer Romero, and Julio Romero all of whom I recognize as legitimate heirs to my properties after my death.” p. 57.


Administracion del Presbitero Antonio José Martínez, El Testamento recorded in Book 4, Taos County,

N. M. Records, Wills and Testaments (16693), pp. 272-274 and 289-305. New Mexico Records Center and Archives (NMRCA), Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Ibid. Chávez, But Time and Chance, p. 40.


Louis H. Werner, Archbishop Lamy: An Epoch Maker, Santa Fe New Mexican Press, 1936, p. 86.


Chávez, But Time and Chance, p. 33.


Chávez, But Time and Chance, p. 38.


Nancy Anderson, Alberto Vidaurre, and Tomas D. Martínez of California provided information on Vicente Márquez and his family, indicating two, possibly three, sons: Miguel Antonio bap 16 Oct 1798, Remigio bap 6 Oct 1799. A forth baptism, Luis María - bap 25 Aug 1789 has not been verified because the mother’s name is listed as María Guadalupe Martin.


New Mexico Baptisms, Catholic Parish and Mission in Taos, Volume III, 10 November 1837 - 8 September 1844, New Mexico Genealogical Society, p. 85.


New Mexico 1850 Territorial Census, Volume 3, Taos and San Miguel, New Mexico Genealogical Society, p. 107. U S Census Records were searched on Ancestry.com.




Email correspondence from John Peña, July 16, 2007. Copy in author’s files.


Mr. Peña’s source was Thomas D. Martínez, Taos Baptisms 1701-1852 Baptism Database Manuscript of Archives held by the Archdiocese and the State Archives of New Mexico (San José; Author, 2000); page 664.


The first-born was María Agueda de Jesús in 1850 and who died in 1855. The baptismal record of José David was the only one examined by Chávez. Two sons who did not survive were Samuel (1858-1862) and Antonio (b. abt 1868).


Chávez, But Time and Chance, p. 34.


Database of the Hispanic Genealogical Research Center of New Mexico.


Chávez, But Time and Chance, p.34.


AASF B-47, Book of Marriages, Taos. The Marriage between Santiago Valdez and María Agustina Valdez.


Sacramental records are extant for only the first four children listed. Of the first four baptisms reviewed, the children were baptized with the surname Valdez. The surname Martínez was most likely conferred after the Padre’s death.


Over the time it took to develop this series of articles I called upon the assistance of Henrietta M. Christmas, Pat Sanchez Rau, Nancy Anderson, Alberto Vidaurre, Miguel Torrez, John Peña, Lorraine Aguilar, and Louanna Gortarez.


Demostenes would have been born in Ocaté but a search of the baptismal records for Mora, Taos, and

Las Vegas (San Miguel County) indicate that the record is not extant.


Representative Isidoro Armijo of Las Cruces, NM was a publisher and a newspaper colleague of Mariquita’s husband, José Montaner. In 1898 Mr. Armijo established two newspapers, El Progress in Trinidad, Colorado and La Flor del Valle in Las Cruces. Montaner published La Revista de Taos and The Taos Review.


at 12,25, 37,67, and 111 markers. The genetic distance probability increases as one tests with a higher number of markers.


The first two sons, Daniel and José David had no male descendants.


At the time, our preliminary thought was that the father of Santiago Valdez was possibly one Rafael Vigil who married Santiago’s mother, María Estefana Madril, in 1831. We also contacted the Vigil’s listed by FTDNA as exact 37 marker matches and Mr. Miguel Torrez, a genealogist familiar with the Montes Vigil family line, but we have been unable to determine the exact Vigil genetic linage of this DNA test subject.


The Martin Serrano’s were among the earliest settlers of New Mexico dating to the late 1500s. The Haplogroup (i.e. genetic code) of the Martin-Serrano line is Rlbl and who are of Western European origin. Basque and Celtic people belong to this Haplogroup and they were among the earliest settlers of Spain.

68% of modern days Spaniards share this origin. Source: http://www.familytreedna.com/public/NewMexicoDNA


The phone conversations and analysis took place on the evenings of April 3,4, and 5, 2012. Mr. Cervantes recommended that an upgrade to a 67 marker DNA test would be necessary in order to identify a closer ancestor between Santiago Valdez and Domingo. He also suggested that a Y-DNA test from a direct male descendant of George Antonio Romero could confirm the linage to Padre Martínez.


Pension claim by Agustin Valdez, U S Department of Interior, Bureau of Pensions, Washington, D.C., June 20 1894, per statement by the Commissioner of Pensions, T. C. Anisworth, Col., U S Army.


Benjamin Read translated a portion of the manuscript and his son, Larkin, who was married to Santiago’s daughter, María Teodora, copied the manuscript in both original Spanish and nineteenth-century English. The documents are archived at the Huntington Library, Huntington Beach, CA.


Santiago’s grandfather, Don Severino Martínez was one of the original grantees and litigation seeking approval of the grant was filed with the Surveyor General as early as 1861. The Court of Private Land Claims validated the grant on December 17, 1892.

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