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records from Villa de San Fernando, Presidio de San Antonio de Vejar

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By Denise Fastrup - Posted on 20 March 2021

If you have ancestors in Texas, this may be of interest:

Skimming through these images to see if there are any from Fresnillo in the first half of the 1700s and got the the first image (was going backwards from the Fresnillo padrones for 1770's) - where I see written at the top: Villa de San Fernando, Presidio de San Antonio de Vejar - IS THIS REALLY A DOCUMENT FROM SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS??? (my hometown!)

HOPE someone will take a look and come with their 2 cents...

THere are a lot of first names on the first page followed by the name/term Apache - pops up other places too. Seen the name Comanche as well, in the first few pages. Very interesting!

Best REgards

Here is the link...(sorry forgot it in my original post)

I am no expert but it does appear to be a padrón for San Antonio, Texas. I searched PARES and the internet for Toribio de Urrutia, the first householder listed, and the results confirmed it for me.

One observation I have is that the year written in the top left margin is off by 100 years. My reading of the header of the padrón itself is that it states, mil ce-tecientos cecenta y tres (1763).

As Denise noted, Apache and Comanche appear on the padrón, along with the usual casta designations: mulato, mulato libre, esclavo, coyote, lobo, and mestizo. Furthermore, one can see that there are also a handful of individuals labeled frances and flamenco who are likely Catholics of French and Flemish origin respectively.

On image 09, I wonder about the meaning of the word opinado. Is that another casta? The word follows the entries for Pedro Treviño and Gregoria Pérez.

Fascinating find, I think, for anyone interested in the colonial history of the City of San Antonio and of the State of Texas.

Thank you Denise for sharing.

I often go through arhives to look at Texas. In the year 1722 a number of planos of presidios of Texas show up in the Pars website. It concides with a "Meritos" document of Colonel Don Fernando De La Campa y Cos, who was living in the Zacatecas area. In the last page of his meritos document, it states that he supported a 500 man expedition from Zacatecas to colonize Texas on February 3, 1720 with 94,388 pesos. He signs the meritos document dated July 17, 1722.

Reference: INDIFERENTE,141,N.43

Here are the presidios of Texas (1722):

San Antonio de Bejar:

At this time, The Real Audencia of Guadalajara, Jalisco (Nueva Galicia) had political authority over Texas and a number of other provinces. As well as the Bishop of the Archdioces of Guadalajara that had religious authority.

Texas had Comanches and Apaches in the area. As well as the French who were next door in Lousiana.

I am not sure what this is about in 1774:

And here it says something about English supplying arms to Indios in Texas in 1775:

I just looked at the padron and it has writing in numbers "1663." But in text it says mil ce-tecientos cecenta tres (1763).

I am bewildered to see in number writing (1663). Because I often search documents on Texas in the pars archives and I have never seen any documents about Texas older that 1692.

I know that when Texas first appears in the archives in 1692 it was originally named La Nueva Philipinas." The New Phillipines. I know that during the time of (Nueva Espana) days of Mexico. It was common for spanish ships to sail from the Pacific side of Nueva Espana to the Phillipines as there are a lot of documents about the philipines, maps, drawings of the natives of the Philipines. There were two Capitans with last name "Tagle" that were in Zacatecas, Nueva Espana (Mexico) that had traveled in "navios" to the philipines and they have a meritos document. I vaguely remember it was Capitan Francisco Tagle I believe.

I have also seen an early map of Texas and it was a smaller land mass as compared to the Texas you know of today.

Thanks for the imput mralvarez! Yes, I can see now there are two different years. 1763...that's about 30 years after the arrival of Canary Islanders, and since I am descended from one of those families, I suppose I have ancestors on that padron - must check!
Googled the name opinado, and it does seem to have something to do with the Phillipines, as noted in another post in this thread.
I gave the citation for this document to Dr. Walter L Buenger, chief historian of the Texas State Historical Association, and a professor in the history department at UT Austin. I thought he might know who would be especially interested in the information in it. It would a shame for it not to be used in historical research, assuming no one else has seen it/used it before. It gives a fascinating picture of the mix of classes, cultures and languages in the early days of San Antonio.

Best Regards

Hi Madera_32
What you wrote about the Phillipines makes perfect sense, taken together with the name "opinado" in the padron.
I don't think the correct date is 1663 because as you wrote, the earliest mention of the area is from the late 1600s. And the presidio was not founded til 1718. So I believe the correct year is 1763.
Best Regards,

Hi Madera
Thank you for all the good pares links! Looking forward to checking them out!
Best Regards

If your a descendant from one of the Canary Islanders? Your ancestors must had to register with the Real Audencia Government of Guadalara in regards to titles for land as well as "sellos" branding irons for livestock.

I have copies of land titles of my ancestor that he register with the Real Audencia of Guadalajara in 1692/1693 as well as the symbol for the branding iron he used for his livestock.

There were more than just people from the Canary Islands that populated what today is South Texas. Because there was a Colonel name Don Fernando De La Campa y Cos (1672 - 1742) who resided in his haciendas of Zacatecas.

Before there was colonization of South Texas he had gone on a military expedition with Juan Olivan Rebolledo to explore and map south Texas and the nearby areas.

Juan Olivan Rebolledo got married with Don Fernando Campa y Cos' youngest daughter in Ciudad Zacatecas in 1724.

Don Fernando Campa y Cos had given over 94,000 pesos for a 500 man expedition from Zacatecas to populate Texas on February 3, 1720.

From my understanding about Texas history. After Mexico became indepdendent from Spain in the early 1800's. Then the provinces that made up Nuevo Espana began to vote where or not to be included in the Republic of Mexico in 1824.

Texas had signed in August of 1824 to be included into the Republic of Mexico knowns as "Adhesion Al Federalismo. There weren't any americans living in Texas during the colonial days of Texas as you can see in the census. They didn't show up until after 1824.

My Great Great Great Great Grandfather, who was "indio" and a member of the council of our pueblo in Jalisco had signed to represent our pueblo to be included into the Republic of Mexico as my other Great Great Grandfather was a witness and all their names appear in the document in the archive.

I just found a 1730 map drawing of the Presidio San Antonio and what looks like the Villa San Fernando. You can see houses. Because in the "padron," you gave us they listed families under each household "casa de."

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