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Founding families



Founding Families

The following information was extracted from a transcription of the originals in the Libro Capitular of the first cabildos and elections for the government of the city of Matanzas. The original documents are in the archives of the historian of the city of Matanzas. These transcriptions were supplied by a relative of Nery Alfonso and are extracts which mention some of their common ancestors. We are very grateful to Nery for supplying a copy of these transcriptions and allowing us to publish them in CubaGenWeb. For those who would like to try their hand at desciphering the original transcriptions, here is a scan of the documents:

PDFTranscription of the Introduction and Folios 18, 19, 88 and 90

After pubication of the partial list, extracted from the above document, another CUBA-L reader, Aleida Santana, was kind enough to provide us with the remainder of the names which she was able to extract from the following references:

  1. Memorias de un Matancero, by Pedro Antonio Alfonso (Matanzas, 1854)
  2. Magazine "La Lucha" (Second Edition, 1931)

According to Aleida, the two books include a large number of lists of names, such as the governors, captains, mayors, etc. And "La Lucha" has, among other items, reports on shopkeepers and tradesmen of the main towns of the province in 1931.

Here are the most pertinent facts about the founding families extracted from the above sources:


The city of San Carlos y San Severino de Matanzas was founded by Royal Decree (Real Cedula) of 25 September 1690 which decreed that the Bay and Port of Matanzas be settled by 30 families which, by Royal Order, were sent from the Canary Islands.

Folio 18

In 30 October 1693, a drawing was held to distribute the 33 caballerias of land "in accordance with the applicable Law of the Indies", as attested by the public scrivener (clerk), alferez Juan de Uribe Ozeta, with the following results:

# description name
1 place of the sugar mill (?) (Ynxenio = ingenio?) Estevan De Torres
2   Juan Riveros
3   Salvador Perez
4   Angel Perez
5   sargento (sergeant) Simon Gonzalez
6 in front of the main waterfall of the river near the end of his jurisdiction Domingo Alfonso
7   Domingo Rodriguez
8   Sebastian Rodrigues - in the name of Francisco Rodriguez
9   Diego Garcia Oramas
10   alferez (ensign) Juan Gonzalez Vello
11   Diego Gonzalez Vello
12 from the band where the corral for small cattle is established and settled Mathias Laguna
13   Andres Barroso
14   Miguel Alfonso
15   Juan Dominguez
16   Melchor de Melo
17   Baltazar Gonzalez
18   capitan Diego Mendez - in the name of an absent family
19   Blasina de Goyas
20   Luis Perez
21 in front of the main waterfal capitan Diego Mendez
22   Jacinto Gonzalez
23   alferez Andres Diaz
24 bordering said river Pedro Fernandez Guerrero
25   Miguel Perez Mallea
26   Pedro Hernandez
27 bordering in part with said river Juan Gonzalez
28   Francisco Martin
29   Simon Diaz
30 swampy and intractable, "crabby" (cangrejera) -
31   Pedro Baez
32   Domingo Gonzalez
33   Gaspar de los Reyes
34   Salvador Alvarez

Note: The transcription of Folio 18 ends with #20. The remainder of the names have been provided by Aleida Santana, who extracted them from the book by Pedro Antonio Alfonso previously mentioned.



We suspect that this second list refers to the distribution of lots (solares) which followed the distribution of lands. Pedro Antonio Alfonso, in his book, relates that "These same settlers and others who did not take lands but only lots, named Julian Diaz Gonzalez, Pedro Perez, Urbano Perez y Diego Felipe de Bosa, took possessin of their respective (lots) on 22 of October, afixing same with the ceremony of promenading and performing other acts of posession quietly and peacefully, and since the same formalities with respect to the lands received by the settlers had been previously given up, the public scrivener (clerk), alferez Juan de Uribe Ozeta, was able to absent himself, returning to Habana on the 10th of November."

# description name
14 in continuation, with 30 varas of frontage, making corner with the street that crosses the back of said church Domingo Alonso Ruiz
15 at the other corner Domingo Rodriguez
16 in the block that fronts the river Matanzas and the place of said church, at the corner of the street that crosses North-South in back of said church and runs East-West at the Plaza Pedro Fernandez Guerrero
17 in continuation alferez (ensign) Andres Diaz Baltazar
18 next to the above (?) Simon Diaz
19 adjacent to the previous(?), making corner to said Church and the Plaza which is in front Miguel Alfonso De Armas
20 at the other corner of the river Matanzas Gaspar de los Reyes
21 in continuation Julian Diaz Gonzalez
22 next to the above (?), with 30 varas of frontage each and 40 at rear in the plot that he received by drawing Francisco Martin Ximenez
23 in the block that fronts the marsh (cienaga) where the river Yumuri discharges and said church the lot that makes corner with the street of said church sargento (sergeant) Simon Gonzalez
24 at the same in continuation Andres Hernandez-Barroso
25 next to the above (?) Pedro Hernandez
26 at the corner Baltazar Gonzalez
27 at the other corner of the side of the marsh (cienaga) Pedro Perez
28 in continuation Urbano Perez
29 next to the above (?) Salvador... (surname missing)


Please note - the terminology describing the lots is somewhat imprecise, we tried our best to translate the meaning. We marked with a "(?)" those places where our interpretation may be questionable - please let us know if you have a better interpretation. 1 vara (in modern day Cuba) = 32 inches (81 cm) - the Diccionario de la Lengua Española states a vara had different length in various Spanish regions and varied from 30 to 36 inches (76.8-91.2 cm). 1 caballeria (in Cuba) = 13.43 hectares.


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Matanzas - Updated 10-Jul-2007

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