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Lujan-Gomez del Castillo: Foundations of a Family
This research examines Juana Lujan Gomez del Castillo and asks whether there are two Juana Lujans or one? The founder of the Gomez family in New Mexico could be one woman, but both stories are compelling and stand the test of time.
del CASTILLO —Promising Lead
Juana Luján (ONMF: 187) has been identified as the progenitor of the Gómez family of eighteenth century New Mexico. She is known to have had three children: Francisco Gómez del Castillo, Juan Gómez del Castillo and Luisa Gómez de Castillo. To date, there has not been any clear evidence presented to tell us how her children came by the surname of Gómez del Castillo. Fray Angélico Chávez suggests that Juana Luján had three children at Guadalupe del Paso by a Gómez Robledo man. Evidence from two important census records of 1693 and 1697 shows that Juana Luján came to northern New Mexico with her parents before any of her children were born. Additional evidence confirms that she was a long-time resident of the Pojoaque area from as early as 1703. In addition, there is information on a young woman named Juana Luján, a resident of Santa Fe around 1701-02 who had an illegitimate son born circa 1702. This Juana Luján was identified as a daughter of Matías Luján and Francisca Salazar, who left Santa Fe to settle in the Santa Cruz area. Could this be the same Juana Luján who was the mother of the three Gómez del Castillo children? A comparison of the available information on these women offers some intriguing insights into this possibility.
Juana Luján #1:
Juana Luján, daughter of Matías Luján (native of La Cañada) and Francisca Romero, was enumerated in her parents’ household in the 1693 census of residents of El Paso willing to return to Santa Fe with Governor Vargas. In this census, Juana's age was given as age eight, indicating she was born circa 1684-85 (RCR: 60). Her parents were residents of Santa Fe in 1694 and 1696 (NMR: 1924, DM 1694, January 26, no 17, Santa Fe; NMR: 1580, DM 1696, Feb. 8, no. 4, Santa Fe). Her mother, Francisca Romero, was listed as a resident of Santa Cruz in the 1706 census of that jurisdiction.
Juana Luján #2:
Juana Luján, daughter of Matías Luján and Francisca de Salazar (natives of New Mexico), filed suit against Buenaventura de Esquibel when he sought to marry another woman. Esquibel had impregnated Juana and she had given birth to a son who was born circa 1701 in Santa Fe (NMR: 488f: DM 1702, April 15, no. 5, Santa Fe). He had promised to marry her and then was forced to do otherwise through the intervention of his brother, Antonio de Esquibel, and Governor don Pedro Rodríguez Cubero. In the diligencia matrimonial for this case, Juana Luján gave her age as sixteen in 1702, indicating she was born circa 1685-86. Juana was awarded 200 pesos (the equivalent of approximately $6,000).
Juana Luján #1:
Matías Luján and Francisca Romero, parents of Juana Luján #1, were in the area of San Ildefonso by 1701 when they were padrinos for an Indian child baptized at San Ildefonso on 18 December 1701, and for another Indian child baptized 2 February 1704 at San Ildefonso. In addition, Francisca Romero was also a madrina for another Indian child baptized at San Ildefonso on 10 January 1703, and for an orphan girl baptized 25 March 1703, San Ildefonso. Juana Luján was in the San Ildefonso area as early as 6 October 1703 when she was a madrina with Baltazar de Matha [Mata] for an Indian girl. She was also a madrina for two other Indian children baptized at San Ildefonso on 5 December 1703 and 11 May 1704. Among the marriage records of San Ildefonso Mission are the following records: Juana Luján and Gabriel Cabrera were padrinos for Bartolomé Lobato and Juana Carrillo who were married at San Ildefonso on 21 August 1714; she and José Trujillo, el mozo, were padrinos for Gerónimo de Ortega and Sebastiana de Jesús who were married at San Ildefonso on 9 July 1715. This Juana Luján is known to have purchased land near San Ildefonso Pueblo in 1714, and was later married with Francisco Martín (ONMF: 187).
Juana Luján #2
Juana Luján, daughter of Matías Luján and Francisca de Salazar, worked as a cook at the Santa Fe Presidio. In 1702, she declared that her parents were residents of Santa Cruz. She was a first cousin of Salvador Olguín, Felipa Manzanares, and Simón Martín (NMR: 488f, DM 1702, April 15, no. 5, Santa Fe).
By all appearances, Salvador Olguín was the same person of this name who was a son of Juan López Olguín and Ana María Luján (ONMF: 244-45). Juan López Olguín and Ana María Luján were married in El Paso del Norte on 30 May 1682 (NMR: 1379, DM 1682, May 30, no. 8). Juan López Olguín was a son of Capitán Salvador Olguín and Magdalena Fresqui. Ana María Luján was a daughter of Juan Luis Luján and Isabel López del Castillo. This information indicates that Juana Luján's father, Matías Luján was also a son of Juan Luis Luján and Isabel del Castillo.
Felipa Manzanares was very likely the person identified as Felipa Sandoval who was a daughter of Antonia de Sandoval y Manzanares (RCR: 60). Antonia Sandoval, mestiza, age fifty (born circa 1652) and single, testified in the case of Juana Luján against Buenaventura de Esquibel. Antonia declared she was related to Juana Luján, but did not know how they were related.
At this time, the parents of Simón Martín have not been positively identified.
Also, testifying on the behalf of Juana Luján was Ana Luján, mestiza, age forty-five (born circa 1657) and a widow, who declared she was a first cousin of Juana Luján. By all appearances, this Ana Luján is the same person of this name who was listed as the widow with her son Luis Durán in the 1697 cattle distribution census (BB: Book 2, 1143).
Were both Juana Luján's contemporaries, or were they one and the same individual? Could the wife of Matías Luján have had a Romero father and a Salazar mother, or vice versa? If so, this could account for the use of two different surnames: Francisca Romero and Francisca de Salazar. To complicate matters, Chávez indicates there was another man named Matías Luján who was also a resident of the Santa Cruz area in the early 1700s and was married with Catalina Varela (ONMF: 213). However, this couple does not appear in the 1706 census of Santa Cruz.
If these two Juana Luján's were one and the same, could she have used the money from her suit against Buenaventura de Esquibel to establish herself in the San Ildefonso area? If they were the same women, we would have an explanation for the 'del Castillo' part of the Gómez surname coming from the paternal grandmother, Isabel López del Castillo, but still no clear explanation has be uncovered for the 'Gómez' part of the name.
Researcher: José Antonio Esquibel
Sources: AASF Roll 28, San Ildefonso Church, Baptismal Records (1703-1728) and Marriage Records (1700-1726); Fray Angélico Chávez, "New Mexico Roots, Ltd." (NMR): 488-90 (DM 1702, April 15, no.5, Santa Fe); NMR: 1379, DM 1682, May 30, no. 8; NMR: 1924, DM 1694, January 26, no 17, Santa Fe; NMR: 1580, DM 1696, Feb. 8, no. 4, Santa Fe; John L. Kessell, Rick Hendricks, Meredith D. Dodge, eds., To the Royal Crown Restored, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1995: 60; John L. Kessell, Rick Hendricks, Meredith D. Dodge, eds., Blood on the Boulders, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1998: Book 2, 1143; Donald S. Dreesen, transcriber, "Parish Census of Santa Cruz de los Españoles," New Mexico Genealogist, Vol. 28, No. 1, March 1989: 22.
Information courtesy of José Antonio Esquibel, from the website, Beyond Origins of New Mexico Families.