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Santiago de Cuba



Santiago de Cuba was founded on 28 June 1515 by Diego Velazquez, who was given the task of conquering and colonizing the island of Cuba by Diego Colon, son of Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus) who was named governor of La Espanola (today Haiti & Dominican Republic) after the death of his father.

According to Reference 1, Santiago was the last of the 7 villas founded by Velazquez, which were Baracoa, Bayamo, Trinidad, Sancti Spiritu, Puerto Principe, La Habana and Santiago de Cuba.

Initially, Santiago was founded on the western side of the bay, but in 1516 a plague of hormigas bravas (small fiercely biting ants) forced the residents to move to the eastern side of the bay, where it now stands.


dingFirst Settlers

Diego Velazquez disembarqued in Cuba with 300 men to conquer and colonize the island. He allowed each conqueror to select which town to colonize, but reserved approximately one third, or 100 men, to found the last town which whould be the principal city, in other words the capital of the new colony. The designation "vecinos" (permanent residents) did not include children, wives (almost all of them native indians), assigned indians or black slaves.There is no complete listing of the names of these initial residents. Reference 1 indicates a few of them as follows:

surname(s) name(s) remarks
Barba Juan  
Barba (de) Pedro  
Briceño Pedro  
Cortes Hernan first Mayor
Duero Andres first Regidor
Guzman (de) Gonzalo  
Najera Cristobal  
Nuñez de Guzman Pedro first treasurer
Parada (de) Alonso bachiller, advisor to Diego Velazquez
Paz (de) Pedro first accountant
Rodriguez Gallego Juan  
Rodrigues Bartolome  
Rojas (de) Manuel  
Ruis Pedro  
Tamayo Pedro  
Texin (de) (or Tesin) Juan first priest
Vallecillo (de) Juan  
Velazquez Antonio  
Velazquez Bernardino  
Velazquez Diego  
Xeres Pedro  

Reference 1 lists the names of residents appearing in a census (padron) made in 1604.


dingList of Marriages in the Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba
1670 a 1799

This listing is based on transcriptions done by the associates of Francisco Javier de Santa Cruz, but since the original listings have multiple errors, mistakes and omissions, due to the lack of experience of the same and also of the errors committed by the priests, I have corrrrected and completed each of the transcriptions, where I have found it feasible, although there will always be some omissions and errors, but the text, in general is now more acceptable and legible. The listing appears in chronological order of dates (month, day and year), indicating Surname/Family, Proper Name(s) of each person., text (T) indicating whether the person was "m"=one of the marrying individuals or "g"=a genealogical relation (parents of the couple, relatives and friends who acted as witnesses), and sex (S) of the individual. I believe that with all these modifications, the information that follows will be more useful and valuable.

San Salvador, September 2005
José Santa Cruz Pacheco y Rivery

PDF documentSantiago de Cuba Marriages 1670-1799

Note: The above document is in Adobe PDF format. If you need to, you can get the Adobe Reader free of charge by using the link on the left menu.


Search Form

The following link will take you to a search form where you can search for the name, surname or date of interest (you can then use the sequence number on the left column to find, in the preceding document, all the listed participants at the ceremony)

search form


Instructions for using the search form:

  1. Wait until names appear on the grid - this may take some time.

  2. The names will appear in alphabetical order of "Surnames".

  3. Use the scroll bar on the right to scroll through the list.

  4. Click the "Page Up" or "Page Down" buttons to see the previous or next page of the list.

  5. Click any of the blue buttons to sort the information by the contents of that column. Clicking again will reverse the order of the sort.

  6. To search for a particular surname:

    • Write the desired last name in the green box above the column titled "Surnames". Use lower case only. Be sure to enter all accents, and use the letter "ñ" if applicable. You can use the standard wildcards "?" (meaning any letter) and "*" (meaning any sequence of letters). You can also enter only the first few letters of the name to broaden the search.

    • Click on the green "Search" button. (the box immediately to the left of the green button will tell you the number of entries found by your search criteria)

    • You can also search for the contenta of any of the other columns such as "Names", and "Dates".

    • Click the "Clear All" button to clear the grid in preparation for a new search.

    • Click the "List All" button to see all the entries in the file.

  7. To see the entire marriage group:

    • After finding the name of the individual of interest, take note of the group number displayed on the first column.

    • Enter this number in the green box on top of the column labeled "Group #" (include any zeroes on the left).

    • Click the "Search" button.

    • The membes of the group are displayed in alphabetical order of surname. If you want the marriage couple to be displayed at the top of the list, just click twice on the "Role" button.



  1. Santiago de Cuba - Historia y Folklore (Santiago de Cuba, History and Folklore), Dr. Pedro de Moya, Editorial Arenas, 1993 [ISBN 1-56578-042-6] 424 pages


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Santiago de Cuba - Updated 20-Aug-2007

Copyright © 2007-2013 - Ed Elizondo
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