By Pat Sanchez Rau and Miguel A. Tórrez


When the YDNA studies began in New Mexico, there were a few families such as the Martín Serrano’s that immediately had proven ancestry to the progenitor – Hernan Martín Serrrano. Others have not been as clear and have necessitated the study of people who have tested and comparing their genealogy and paper trails to try to identify the progenitor.


Recently some Y DNA tests were completed on a member of the Martín(ez) family and the results did not match the Martín Serrano family. After tracing their genealogy, it appeared that the family was from the Chimayó area. Among the family surnames from that area was the surname Martín Sangil. I contacted a fellow researcher Patricia Sanchez Rau and asked her if she could look into the Martín Sangil surname.


The first source for any New Mexico genealogy is ‘Origins of New Mexico Families’ by Fray Angelico Chavez. All searching was for name San Gil or Sangil with Martín as an appellation.


The only mention of the Sangil name is under the name Marcial Maese.


“Marcial Maese, also called Marcial Sangil, was married to Rosalia Abeytia. They had at least two sons: Antonio, born April 5, 1734, and Bartolomé, December 17, 1735” (ONMF p.217).

In searching for this particular family who supposedly used the Sangil surname, and found instances where people were listed as Martín Sangil or just Sangil. I then located the Marcial Maese (Rosalia Abeyta) listed by Fray Angelico as having used the Sangil surname. I completed the genealogy on the whole family tracing them from San Juan de los Caballeros where Marcial Martín married Rosalia Abeyta. Then I found them in Albuquerque in 1733, then they moved back to Santa Clara and finally then went on to Cochiti. I completed the genealogy for three generations and found only a single instance where Marcial Martín used the Sangil name. This was in the baptism record of Antonio Sangil in Albuquerque. They never used this name again. As I could not confirm parents or other family ties, I went on to locate other people who used the Sangil name. It is unknown as to why this family baptized the child using the Sangil surname.           

After checking various sources, I found a Marcial Martín from the Chimayó area who also used the name Martín Sangil. This Marcial Martín married a Gertrudis Bernal on March 4, 1730, Santa Cruz, New Mexico; however, no parents were named. Unfortunately, the search wasn’t as easy as I first thought, because I also found two other men with the name Marcial Martín so before I could make any assumptions, I felt that I had to identify all these individuals and prove or disprove that they also might have used the Sangil surname.


  1. Marcial Martín (Lugarda Medina). Eliminated this Marcial Martín as a possible Sangil. He lived in the San Juan de los Caballeros area; he was mentioned in his father’s will (Sebastian Martín Serrano) and never left the San Juan area. In no instance did he or his children ever use the Sangil surname.
  2. Marcial Martín (Gabriela Atencio). This Marcial Martín was also from Chimayó. He was mentioned in a law suit for breach of promise by Ines Griego as a single man in 1736 (NM Roots Ltd. p. 1106-1107). As the one Marcial Martín (Gertrudis Bernal was already married, This man then, was the second Marcial Martín. Witnesses were listed as Juan Tomas Martín, first cousin from Santa Cruz, Nicolas Martín and Juan Martín listed as brothers. With this information, I was able to locate the will of his mother Juana de los Reyes Garcia (Francisco Martín) where he, Nicolas and Juan are all mentioned as heirs.   I then found his marriage record in San Juan in 1737 when he married Gabriela Atencio. His parents are listed as Francisco Martín and Maria Juana de los Reyes. The marriage record of his parents and shows he was from the Martín Serrano family.
  3. Marcial Martín Sangil – The last Marcial Martín married Gertrudis Bernal on March 4, 1730, no parents named. In searching the records, I found they had baptized two children with the Sangil name; Gregoria Martín Sangil baptized in 1745 and Cristobal Sangil Martín baptized in Nambe in 1758. This then, was one of the families that used the Sangil name. A search of the records found several children of this couple also used the Sangil name.

Then I began searching for any other documents might mention the Sangil surname.


(Because of the similarity of all the Martín names in this archive, I am adding the wife’s name to each entry to differentiate between all the individuals – these were not present in the archives).


A search of New Mexico records revealed a law suit in 1744, (SANM II, Twitchell 451), filed by Nicolas Martín from Chimayó when he was stabbed four times by Marcial Martín alias Marcial Sangil (Gertrudis Bernal). One of the witnesses was the brother of Nicolas Martín, identified as Marcial Martín (Gabriela Atencio) who appeared as a witness for his brother against Marcial Martín Sangil. Marcial Martín alias Sangil was fined 30 pesos for the legal costs as was Nicolas Martín so whatever the provocation was, no one was found guilty and no cause was given.


The next mention of the Sangil name was a land document found in the Spanish Archives of New Mexico – SANM 1- Twitchell 520.


In July, 1771, Marcial Martín Sangil (Gertrudis Bernal), resident of Cundiyo, filed a petition requesting that land which had been sold to his father Francisco Martín by Felix Moraga, now be given to him and his brothers. He indicated that the papers pertaining to the land had been taken by General Valverde and as such, they didn’t have them in their possession. However, Lt. Juan José Sandoval had been present and was witness to said grant. He requested that Salvador de Espinosa be called as a witness, as he had lived in the house of Marcial Sangil Martín for three years, and lived with Cristobal Martín (Antonia Moraga) another neighbor, was well aware of the grant, and where the boundaries of the Cristobal Martín land were located. Marcial Martín (Gabriela Atencio) son of Francisco Martín (Juana de los Reyes) protested the claim stating that Marcial Martín Sangil was a usurper of the lands, and they did not belong to them, and that they had no papers to prove ownership.


Witness Juan José Sandoval, under oath, states that it was not during the Valverde term, but under Governor Domingo Bustamante that he read the land grant request by Francisco Martín (Marcial Sangil’s father) regarding a piece of land that had been given by Felipe Moraga that was not included in the grant. However, later on he abandoned the claim to the land. The archive is very brief and does not give much detail. The next witness was Salvador de Espinosa, age 70, who had lived in the area and had lived both with the Sangil family as well as having lived three years with the family of the Francisco Martín/Juana de los Reyes (parents of the Marcial Martín – the opponent). Espinosa stated that the sons of Marcial Sangil Martín had removed the wooden crosses which marked the boundaries of the land that were placed there by Ygnacio de Roybal.


The person most vocal about not granting any land to Marcial Sangil Martín (Gertrudis Bernal) was Marcial Martín (Gabriela Atencio) the brother of the man stabbed in 1744. Apparently there was no love lost between these two individuals, probably going back to the knife attack of Marcial Sangil against Nicolas Martín, his brother.


Marcial Martín Sangil’s (Gertrudis Bernal) father listed as being Francisco Martín. Marcial is seeking one fanega of planting land on behalf of himself and his brothers (not named). A re-measurement of the land was ordered, and the Alcalde Cristobal Montes Vigil, along with four witnesses so all interested parties would be satisfied that the entire proceeding was not biased.


The final appeal by Marcial Martín Sangil was written in his own hand and signed again appealing for one fanega of planting land for himself and his brothers was dated Oct 20, 1772.

Having found the name of Marcial Martín Sangil’s father, Francisco – a check of Santa Cruz Marriages, and Santa Cruz Baptisms found one entry where a Francisco de San Gil was acting as a marriage witness for Joséph Martín and Catalina Salazar on December 23, 1733. This would indicate a very close relationship for Francisco de San Gil and Joséph Martín, probably a son. Francisco de San Gil’s wife’s name was not determined. None of the other early records showed Francisco San Gil or Francisco Martín with enough information to confirm his identity.


As Marcial Martín (Gertrudis Bernal) mentioned that he was seeking land for himself and his brothers (plural) we know that there may have been others who left descendants besides Joséph and Marcial. As a part of this study we began searching for people using the Sangil name throughout New Mexico.


Census Records:

The 1790 census shows the San Gil surname in Santa Fe only where one individual was listed, Nicolas Sangil Martín/Maria de la Luz Maese – his second wife. Children of this family moved to Santa Cruz area indicating that they had ties with the Martín Sangil family from Chimayó.


Enumerated in the 1790 Santa Fe census, page 72, household 451; Nicolas Sangil Martín 57, day laborer, Maria de la Luz Maese S 43, 2 sons 23 and 11.


The 1822 census showed no one with the San Gil surname.


The 1823 census at Santa Cruz showed Joséfa Sangil, living next door to her parents Cristobal Martín/Ygnacia Gonzales. Two other Sangil people were counted in Santa Fe, a Juan Sangil age 12, listed as a farmer living alone and Santiago Sangil (Rita Mares) age 36, farmer with two children. Santiago Sangil is the son of Francisco Martín (Geronima Martín) and the grandson of Marcial Martín Sangil (Gertrudis Bernal).


By 1850, there are only two families using the Sangil surname – a José Ramon Sangil, grandson of Marcial Sangil Martín and a Maria Paula Sangil, both in Taos.


In 1860 only one man – an Andres Sangil living with two sisters Trinidad and Regina in La Cienega, outside of Santa Fe (unable to identify him). This probably means that any other descendants have reverted to the Martín or Martínez surname.


The 1880 census of Cordovas, Taos shows that José Leonides, son of José Ramon Sangil (Maria Luz Cortes) now using the surname Martínez with several children, Pedro, Francisco, Irinea and Virginia. José Leonides and his son Pedro are still alive in the 1910 census of Cordovas, Taos and using the surname Martínez.


Marriage Records and Marriage Investigations

Santa Cruz Marriages revealed a marriage record in 1733 where a Francisco de Sangil was a witness for José Martín and Catalina Salazar. This indicates a very close relationship, i.e. son.   This man Francisco de Sangil is more than likely the progenitor of this Sangil name in New Mexico. I was unable to develop the name of his wife; however, the use of the Martín Sangil name could indicate that it may have been the wife who carried the San Gil name.


One of the problems with trying to put some of these people into family units is the lack of marriage records. Was it the fact that the priest had never heard the surname and they were listed as “no surname”? Or did they use some other surname at the time of the marriages? A search of the marriage books does not yield any clues.


Other Records

  1. They were not soldiers.
  2. The land grant records do show Marcial Martín (Sangil) as a grantee, so more study is being done on the land grants to see if further identification can be found. If something concrete is found, it will be published in a future article.


Families who used the Sangil or Martín Sangil Name (male descendants only)


  1. Francisco de San Gil – married unknown – in Chimayó as early as 1714 – had several sons as indicated in the land document where Marcial Sangil Martín identifies Francisco as his father.
    1. Marcial Sangil Martín – married Gertrudis Bernal in 1730, Santa Cruz, son of Francisco de San Gil listed above (report follows).
    2. José Martín Catalina Salazar in 1733, son of Francisco de San Gil – one son Tomas Martín – no other information found.

People who use Martín San Gil Name but not put into family groups:


  1. Miguel de San Juan Martín born about 1746, married Maria Felipa Archuleta in January 1777 – four of his children baptized or used San Gil name. No clues as to his parents in the baptisms of the children.       Supposedly his DNA checks out to be Martín Serrano – if so, why use the Martín Sangil name? Need more descendants to check YDNA.
  2. Nicolas Martín Sangil m. Antonia Gertrudis Roybal and 2) Maria de la Luz Maese. Enumerated in the 1790 census in Santa Fe with his second wife Maria de la Luz Maese and two sons – one 23 and one 11. He has family ties to San Ildefonso, Pojoaque and Nambe, probably indicating origins from that area.


The oldest son, José Antonio Santiago Martín (Maria Joséfa Tafoya) has one son but unable to determine his name, he died in 1786 and wife remarried a Ledesma individual.


The son Antonio Gaspar (Maria Francisca Atencio) lived in San Ildefonso area. Unable to confirm any descendants.


Another son, Juan Domingo Martín Sangil married Juana Gertrudis Velasquez in Santa Cruz in 1790. They lived in San Ildefonso and then moved Jemes, NM. Unknown as to what happened to the descendants of this particular man. This family used both the Martín and San Gil names. We need people who are from this Nicolas Martín family to test for YDNA.


  1. Antonio Martín Sangil (1) Maria Ramona Marquez 2) Maria Juana Mestas. Used the Sangil name in the baptism records of two children. Then used the name Antonio Sangil Martín name in the marriage investigation of his daughter in 1785.

NM Roots Ltd. Apr 10, 1785, (no. 39), Santa Cruz – Cristobal Varela (26), español, son of Francisco Varela, deceased, and Ana Maria Hurtado, and Juana Teresa Martín (15), española, daughter of Antonio Sangil Martín and Ramona Marquez, deceased, Witnesses: Juan José Mondragon (40), Miguel Madrid (35), Juan José Herrera (34), Antonio Ribera (45).

Enumerated in the 1790 census at Santa Cruz, page 88, household 123, Antonio Martín S 50, Farmer, m. Juana Mestas, S, 52, and two daughters 16 and 2

I believe this man could be the son of Marcial Martín and Gertrudis Bernal – they did use the Sangil name and the daughter of Antonio Martín named her son Marcial.

  1. Diego Antonio Martín (1) Maria Encarnacion Valerio) (2) Micaela Romero. Enumerated in the 1790 census living next door to Francisco Valerio and Rosalia Martín – Page 89 – with his second wife – Diego Martín S 40, day laborer, Micaela Romero S 38, 3 sons 16, 14, and 2 – two daughters 6 and 4. Does not use the Sangil name. Only listed here because of YDNA findings.

To date, YDNA findings indicate that descendants of this man do not match the Martín Serrano family. I believe he could be a nephew of Marcial Sangil Martín but have not been able to find confirmation of this fact. YDNA results for this lineage can be found in the “The Diego Debate”, an article published in the HGRC Journal Volume 22 Issue 2 April 2014. See tab MARTÍNEZ/VELASQUEZ on this site for a synopsis. As is it speculated that that Diego may be a Martín Sangil, we would conclude that his YDNA results give us the Martín Sangil results which are differing from the Martín Serrano Family. However, this line has some significant matches to a Velasquez branch. We are looking for male descendants who descend from anyone who has used the Sangil surname to YDNA test to gather more data to make a more detailed comparisons.

For a more detailed version of this article, see HGRC Journal (Herencia) Volume 23 Issue 1- January 2015





  1. Selina Espinoza

    FYI There’s a tree in ancestry of a person named Jose Antonio Martin Sangil from Santa Cruz. His father was Cristoval de la Cruz Martin Serrano. The tree name is under Nancyefay.

  2. John

    My mother in law is a Martinez and is from the Martin Sangil family line of Juan Domingo Martin Sangil family…he had a son ….Mathias Martin Sangil….they settled in the Cuba NM area…contact me if more info is needed.

    1. Sue Cox

      I am looking at Juan Domingo Martin Sangil too – assuming that Mathias was born in Jemez and his mother’s name was Gerturdis. My email is sueecox at

      1. Selina Espinoza

        Hi, we do have a Cristobal San Gil Martin Serrano in our tree as well as a couple of Martin Serranos. Let know If you need more information. Selina Espinoza

      2. sue

        Selina, I`d love to see what you have – and how these folks connect to the Martin Serranos. They are driving me crazy! And happy new year, too – happy ancestor hunting!

  3. Sue Cox

    In searching for the father of Jose Mariano Leocadio Martin, whose records consistently showed his father to be Jose Dolores Martin, I was surprised to turn up what looked like his baptismal record in Jemez in December 1814, father Josef Martin Vulgo Sangil. Being a bit slow off the mark, it took me a while to twig that Vulgo was not his name but the Latin for something like “commonly known as” or “alias”. It seems likely that he is related to Juan Domingo Martin Sangil. Other baptismal records for the family did not include the Sangil name. Jose/Josef’s wife was Nicolasa Salas. I have limited access to records here in Toronto, and the research I am doing is for my daughter-in-law Shawna Martinez. Unfortunately we know of no male in this line for YDNA testing, but would be happy for any insights or information others have stumbled upon (or painstakingly researched, of course).

  4. Taliah

    My husband is a Martinez decending from Jose Ramon martin sangil…we can’t find any info on his family. We did DNA testing but it wasn’t very helpful


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