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By Vicente M. Martinez ©

If the reader will recall, in a previous article my findings were inconclusive with regard to the parents of Santiago Valdez.  In my conclusion I stated:

1) The identity of Santiago’s mother remains in question.  The historical record indicated María Manuela was the only daughter of record of Vicente Márquez and María Guadalupe Trujillo and an extensive search of baptismal registries did not reveal any woman by the name of María Teodora Márquez. Could Padre Martínez have made an error in the entry of her name – inadvertently or, intentionally?  Was this a cover name for María Teodora Romero, his longtime housekeeper and companion?

2) There is no written record that shows how José Santiago Márquez (baptismal record) became Santiago de Jesús Valdez (marriage record).   Are they the same person? ; and finally,

3) The presumed paternity of Santiago Valdez, postulated by Fray Angelico Chávez, will always remain contentious because of the absence of the “secret tablet” from Santiago’s baptismal record and Diligencias Matrimoniales [Premarital Investigations] from his marriage to Agustina Valdez.

My recommendation was that in all of these cases, a more extensive search and study of the extant historical records would be required.  The results, as discussed below, have resolved the first two issues.  Perhaps someday more information will resolve once and for all the paternity of Santiago Valdez and the other progeny.

Reader Response to the Article.
         In response to this article I received a very interesting email correspondence from John Peña,  a former childhood neighbor of mine, now a resident of Albuquerque and currently a board member of the Hispanic Genealogical Research Center of New Mexico.  John wrote:
 “As for the maternity of Santiago, in the Baptism record of his first child,
María Agueda de Jesús Valdez 30 Sep 1850 in Taos the father is stated to be   Santiago de Jesús Melquisedes Valdez, the mother’s name is  María Agustina Valdez, the paternal grandfather Ygnacio Valdez, paternal grandmother Maria Estefana  Madrid, maternal grandfather Jose Ygnacio Valdez, and the maternal grandmother Maria Manuela Sanchez.

Then on the same referenced source, the baptism of: Santiago de Jesus Madrid, age  3 days, baptized 25 Jul 1830 San Fernando de Taos, is noted.  The father is listed as  “Unknown,” but the  mother was Maria Estefana Madrid!  The Padrinos were don Santiago Martinez and doña María de la Luz Lucero.

María Estefana Madrid, I believe is the mother of your Santiago Valdez.  I may
   be wrong but I have not found anything to contradict this.”

Fray Agelico Chávez Theory Revisited
         In order to place this new information in proper perspective it is absolutely necessary to go back and review the José Santiago (Márques) Valdez, son of María Teodora Márques theory in its entirety.  Fray Angelico Chávez, in his biography of Padre Martínez, But Time and Chance, theorizes with a strong degree of certainty that Santiago Valdez was baptized by Padre Martínez as José Santiago Valdez on February 10, 1830, as the illegitimate son of María Teodora Marques and the father’s name, which was apparently known, was kept on a secret tablet.  Chávez continues his theory by stating that the name was to be kept secret to avoid scandal because the child bore the same name as the padre’s own brother, José Santiago Martínez. 

         Chávez offers as further proof of this theory with the marriage record of Santiago and Agustina Valdez on October 29, 1849 whereby the names of parents of either party were not entered; “the bans had been dispensed with…for reasons contained in the Diligencias Matrimonales (which have not survived).” And finally, the baptismal record of Santiago and Agustina’s son, José David, on December 1, 1854,   “the padre did record the child’s paternal and maternal grandparents in a very significant way.  Santiago Valdez’ surname, he wrote was, transversal y pasasivo (the same as the wife’s but one which was not permanent), as the adopted son that he had been of José Ygnacio Valdez and the latter’s grandmother, María Estefana Madrid.”

Four Children of Santiago and Agustina Valdez
Continuing Chávez’ logic, I have been going through the microfilm library at the LDS Family History Center here in Taos and found, in addition to the baptismal record of María Agueda de Jesús Valdes mentioned above, those of:

José Daniel de la Luz Valdes baptized on Jan. 16, 1852,  Parents: Santiago Valdez and  María Agustina Valdez, PGP:  adoptive Ygncio Valdez and  María Estefana Madrid. MGP: José  Ignacio Valdez and María Manuela Sanches.  Sponsors: el bauptisante (the baptizer - Padre Martínez) and María Teodora Romero.  All of the plaza of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

José David Valdes (cited by Chávez p. 34) baptized on Dec. 1, 1853 (not 1854 as Chávez stated) Parents: Santiago de Jesús and María Agustina Valdez, neighbors of La Purísima Concepción; PGP: "el apellido traversal y pasasivo (of the same surname as his wife, but not of the same family) the adoptive (father) José Ignacio Valdez y abuela (grandmother) María Estefana Madrid." Chávez assumed that Maria Estefana was the grandmother of Jose Ignacio, but I interpret this record as her being the grandmother of the child being baptized.  This is revealed in the other baptismal records. Also, perhaps unbeknownst to Chávez, there were two gentlemen in Taos by the name of José Ignacio Valdez as will be explained below and they were both parties to these baptisms. MGP: José Ignacio Valdez and María Manuela Sánchez.  Sponsors: José Inocencio Martínez and María Eúlogia Quintana of Nuesta Señora de Guadalupe parish.

María Teodora Valdez baptized November 18, 1855.  She was 10 days old at baptism.  Parents: Santiago and Agustina Valdez - No paternal or maternal grandparents are listed, but the sponsors were Pedro Valdez & Maria Paula Leroux. (AASF Book 53, Taos, Frame 807)

The Real Santiago Valdez
            With regard to the maternity of Santiago de Jesús Valdez I completely agree with Peña and in doing so reject the José Santiago Valdez/María Teodora Marques theory proposed by Chávez.  My decision is based on the abovementioned baptismal records and the following entry in the July 22, 1830 Taos baptismal register:
On July 22, 1830, I, Don Antonio José Martínez, anointed a three day old creature of Don Fernando with Holy Oil [of Catechumens] and with Sacred Chrism.  Don Santiago Martínez had already baptized him because of emergency with water, saying in Spanish the proper words of the required [Trinitarian] formula.  He gave the name of this infant as Santiago de  Jesús,  illegitimate son of María Estefana Madril and father unknown.  Maternal Grandparents: Bernardo Madril and Maria Ysabel Lopes, both dead.  Sponsors, "el referido bautisante” (the referred baptizer - Don Santiago Martínez) and (his wife) María de la Luz Lucero, all neighbors from the barrio of Don Fernando.

            My great-grandfather was never known as José Santiago, he was always known as Santiago or Santiago de Jesús as stated on his marriage record. As Santiago Valdez on memorial card after he died on April 13, 1888 , which I have in my possession.  One inconsistency with this memorial card is that it lists the date of Santiago’s death as April 19, 1888 gives his age as 60, indicating that he may have been born in 1828.

Who was María Estefana Madril?
          María Estefana Madril who appears as the Paternal Grandmother on all of the baptismal records above may have been born ca. 1810 .  Her parents were Bernardo Madril and María Ysabel Lopes.  Apparently, after giving birth to Santiago de Jesús in July 1830, she married Rafael Vigil and had two children, José Miguel in September 1831 and María Catarina in November 1833.  The sponsors for José were Juan Pascual Martinez and María Teodora Gallegos and for María, Santiago Martínez and María de la Luz Lucero, both brothers an sisters-in-law to Padre Martínez.  In Nov 1833 she became a widow and had three more illegitimate children, Manuel Sabino in Dec 1841, María Filomina born April 1844, and María Ysabel born Nov 1846.   A very prolific lady with close ties to the Martinez family! 
Family Migrations and the Rest of the Children
         According to the Census records for 1860, 1870 and 1880 the Santiago Valdez family members were as follows: 


1860 &

1870 &

1880 &






Relation or


Taos Co.

Mora Co.

Taos Co.


Family Members








51 (61)*




























6 mos.


































Dolores Herrera





Leonor Herrera





Fernando Herrera





Tomas Valdez





Table 1: Santiago Valdez Family 1860-1880  NOTE: Census ages are incorrect due to census taker or transcription.

         Based on the census records above it is known that  the Santiago Valdez family moved to Ocaté in the newly incorporated Mora County sometime after 1860 and they were back in Taos by 1880.  We can also safely assume that María Agueda, Samuel, and Antonio died during their childhood. Interestingly, my search in the Taos and Mora County baptismal records for the remainder of the children of Santiago and Agustina Valdez: Samuel, Malaquias, Marina, Mariquita (my adoptive grandmother), and Demostenes (my biological grandfather) has turned up cold after María Teodora´s birth in 1855.  I suspect that their baptisms may be in the records kept by Padre Martínez after his suspension in 1856.  Also see Appendix A family nformation.

Two Gentlemen by the name of José Ygnacio Valdez
         In the same email message of July 16, 2007, Mr. Peña cites two reasons as to why he believes the Ygnacio Valdez men were different:
“First, my maternal grandfather, Ignacio Luján, always claimed that his
maternal grandfather, Ygnacio Valdés, had reared Santiago for Padre Martínez, who were political allies. This Ygnacio Valdes was married twice, first to Dolores
Duran in 1829 in Taos and then to Guadalupe Trujillo in 1853, also of Taos. Both times he  married, his Padrinos were Juan Pascual Martínez, brother to Padre
Martínez, and his wife (María Teodora Gallegos). Ygnacio Valdes owned the property across the street from the Kit Carson house in Taos.  This is not the José Ygnacio Valdez and María Manuela Sánchez that were the parents of María Agustina Valdez.  (Emphasis mine.) 

The reason I find my grandfathers' assertions as credible is because after
1860 Ygnacio Valdes (and his second wife Guadalupe Trujillo) sold his property in Taos and moved to Ocaté, as did Santiago Valdez and his family, where some of his children were born.

Second, as a child I spent evenings with Doña Manuela (Mela) Martinez wife
of Daniel Martinez, son of Santiago and I also knew Don Malaquias and your
Grandmother Mariquita.”

         José Ygnacio Valdéz, the father of María Agustina Valdéz was born on February 1, 1788 in La Joya (Velarde), Rio Arriba, New Mexico.  He married María Manuela Sánchez (b. 1801) of the Plaza de San Antonio, Rio Arriba, New Mexico around 1825 as their first child, Simona, was born in 1826.  The parents were both baptized at San Juan de los Caballeros.  María Agustina, the third of nine children, was born on August 27, 1832.  The remainder of the children were: María Sebastiana, José Nestor, María Eulogia, María Santos, José Guadalupe, and José Manuel.   María Agustina married Santiago de Jesús Valdez on October 29, 1849 in Taos, New Mexico Military District.  See Appendix B for family information.

         In 1850 the Valdez household consisted of José Ygnacio Valdez, age 53, his wife María Manuela Sanches, age 40, and the following four children: Sebastian (María Sebastiana?), age 20; María Eulogia, age 13; (María) Santos, age 10; (José) Nestor, age 9; José Guadalupe, age 6; and María Rosalia, age 3. By 1860 María Manuela is widowed, living with her son Nestor and daughter Guadalupe, in La Placita district of Taos.

         (José) Ygnacio de Jesús Valdés, the alleged adoptive father of Santiago Valdez was born on July 21, 1808 in Cañon de Cochití, Reyno de Nuevo México. The date of his arrival in Taos is not known but he married María Dolores Duran of Taos on December 12, 1829.  Santiago de Jesús Madril would have been placed in their household after his birth in July 1830.  This, and I would agree with Chávez, would have been done by a mutual understanding between Padre Martínez, María Estefana Madril, and Valdez. The other children were: María Teodora, José Geronimo, Pascual Diomarosoto, and Tiburcio de la Cruz.   See Appendix C for family information.
         In 1850 Ygnacio Valdez, age 45, iss married to María Dolores Duran, age 42 with a 5 year old household member by the name of María D. Santistevan. By the 1860 US Census for Taos, Ygnacio Valdez, age 49 has married María Guadalupe Trujillo , age 26, and they have three daughters: Paula, age 4; Isabel, age 2; and Emilia, age 5 mos.   They also have the following peones:  Jesús Cordova, age 37; Julio Cordova, age 13; Manuel Fernandez, age 16; Gabriel Cordova, age 14; and a 30 year old servant by the name of Soledad Valdez. The 1870 US Census for Mora County does list both Santiago Valdez, dwelling 174, and José Ignacio Valdez, dwelling 324, living near each other in Ocaté.  Thus, the census records validate Mr. Peña´s story about the existence of two gentlemen by the name of José Ygnacio Valdez in Taos and the move by Ygnacio and Santiago to Ocaté.

         Given the abovementioned information, Chávez’ assertion that Santiago “had married his blood-unrelated foster-sister,” is not true.

Direct Descendants of Padre Martínez?
            In an apparent effort to advise the descendants of Santiago Valdez that they were not direct descendants of Padre Martínez, Chávez states: “he could not baptize his own son,(i.e. José Santiago [Márques] Valdez) not only was this forbidden by canon law and proscribed by much more ancient Church custom, even in the case of legitimate parents, but it had taken on an aura of superstition which was more compelling than any Church laws or dogmas.  Hence, he got his brother Santiago to pour baptismal waters on George Antonio (Romero) beforehand.”   (Emphasis mine)  Chávez uses this argument to theorize that his brother, Santiago Martínez, was the real father of José Santiago (Márques) Valdez and therefore there is no chance for Santiago Valdez´ children to claim to be direct descendants of Padre Martínez.  However, using the same logic in the case of Santiago de Jesús (Madril) Valdez, the direct line becomes more of a possibility.

            The paternity of Santiago de Jesús Valdez still remains in question, but the likelihood that it was Padre Martínez, as contended in the Martínez family oral history, remains a strong possibility.  The correct identities of Santiago Valdez and his mother has been resolved, the latter was María Estefana Madril, and the former, her son, Santiago de Jesús (Melquisedes) born on July 25, 1830.  Finally it has been shown that there were two José Ygnacio Valdez(s) families and that it is most likely that María Agustina was raised with one, and Santiago de Jesús with the other, further based on Mr. Peña’s family history.   To see photos of the Santiago Valdez family go to: http://web.mac.com/vmmtz 

            I am indebted to Mr. John Peña for providing me with the correct information on Santiago Valdez.  I also want to thank New Mexico State Historian Estevan Rael-Gálvez, Santa Fe; Nita Murphy of the Southwest Research Center/NNM, Taos; and most especially, Antonette “Toni” Gonzales of the LDS Family History Center in Taos for their assistance in locating data for the research for this article.  Sincerest thanks to Russell Shaw, editor of the New Mexico Genealogist Journal for editing this article.


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

Thomas D. Martínez ,Taos Baptisms 1701-1852 Baptism Database Manuscript of Archives held by the Archdioceseand the State Archives of New Mexico (San Jose; Author, 2000);page 664.  [Hereinafter Martínez, Taos Baptisms]

Ibid., page 327.

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

1853 was the correct date, per the baptismal record.

Fray Angélico Chávez, But Time and Chance: The Story of Padre Martínez of Taos, 1793-1867, (Santa Fe ;The Sunstone Press, 1981); page 34. [Hereinafter Chávez, Time and Chance].

To get the baptismal dates registry references, I first consulted the data extracted by David Salazar in 1994 for the Genealogical Society of Hispanic America, Books 1-3 at the Southwest Research Center of Northern New Mexico, Taos, NM.

It appears that the family of Santiago Valdez has moved to his ranch of the Immaculate Conception (La Purísima) in Estiércoles.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (Taos) Baptisms 1850 – 1879, Archives, Archdiocese of Santa Fe [hereinafter AASF], Reel 56, frame 573.

Ibid., Reel 56, frame 807. The later two also served as padrinos for two daughters born to Ignacio Valdez and Maria Guadalupe Trujillo all of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe parish.  The daughters were Paula de la Encarnación baptized on 8 April 1856ñ and Isabel, baptized on 6 April 1858.

The surname, Madril, was changed to Madrid in the baptismal records of the Valdez children.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (Taos) Baptisms 1701-1737, AASF Reel 47, frame 897.

According to Our Lady of Guadalupe Death Registry:  “En este parroquia de Taos hoy día trece de Abril de mil ochocientos, ochenta y ocho, yo José Valez parraco dí sepultura al cadver de Santiago Valdez, esposo de Agustina Valdez, camposanto de la Parroquia. (firmado) José Valez.”

Someone used a pencil to cross out the age “60,” and wrote what appears to be a 6 and an 8.  The first penciled number is not completely legible, but the 8 is clear. See illustration at end of this article

Database of the Hispanic Genealogical Research Center of New Mexico.

John Peña (personal correspondence); B. Trujillo & D.H. Salazar, Index to Taos Baptisms, Books 1 and 3 from the Genealogical Society of Hispanic America (1994), Southwest Research Center NNM, Taos, NM

U.S. Census 1860, Taos, Taos County, NM; National Archives microfilm, Series M653, roll 715, page 300.

U.S. Census 1870, Ocate, Mora County, NM; National Archives microfilm, Series M593, roll 894, page 363.

U.S. Census 1880, Taos, Taos County, NM; National Archives microfilm, Series T9, roll 804, page 209.

B. Montoya & T.D. Martinez, San Juan de los Caballeros Baptisms, 1726-1870 (San Jose, s.n., 1994); accessed via the Great New Mexico Database of the HGRCNM.

Margaret Windham, ed. New Mexico 1850 Territorial Census (Albuquerque: NMGS, 1976) 3:176.

Maria Manuela household, 1860 U.S. Census, Taos, NM; National Archives microfilm, Series M653, roll 715, page 317.

Martinez, Taos Baptisms, and Buenaventura de Cochiti Baptisms 1805-1815, AASF.

Margaret Windham, ed. New Mexico 1850 Territorial Census (Albuquerque: NMGS, 1976) 3:157.

They were married on June 2, 1853 in Taos. Source: same as above.

Ygnacio Valdez household, 1860 U.S. Census, Taos, NM; National Archives microfilm, Series M653, roll 715, page 287.  The census also indicates that there were two more sons, Alberto and Samuel Valdes.

Ibid. , Chávez, But Time and Chance, p. 38.




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