MARTIN MARTINEZ GALLEGOS
Martin Martinez Gallegos was in St. Augustine by July 29, 1743, when
he married Victoria Escalona, an 181 year old widow; Gallegos was 28
years old at the time. There is no information on his occupation at
this time; however on February II, 1748, he joined the military as an
artilleryman. There were three known children resulting from his
marriage to Victoria: a son, Joaquin, born March 20, 1748, and two
daughters, Rosalia and Francisca. Their birth dates are presently un-
At the time of the Spanish withdrawal in 1763, Gallegos was at least
part-owner of a tabby house located on the southeast corner of St. George
Street and Fort Alley. The question of ownership and/or identity arises
from the entry on the 1764 Puente map for this property: "#75 Casa de
ripio de Juan Garcia Martinez Gallegos 14x71".
It should be noted that all documentary references to Gallegos refer to
him as either Martinez Gallegos or Martin Martinez Gallegos, with the
exception of the Puente entry.
Gallegos and his family left St. Augustine at the end of the first Spanish
Period and moved to Cuba. He and his wife evidently died there some
time before 1784, as two of his children are heirs to the St. George Street
property by April 24, 1784.
Gallegos' wife, Victoria, had a sister, Lucia Escatona. Lucia, a widow,
returned to St. Augustine in 1784 armed with a power of attorney from the
heirs. Using this, she claimed the lot, evicted a Minorcan, Juan Frias,
who had planted the lot to fruit trees, and built a wooden house. There
is no evidence that she ever compensated the heirs for the tot.
The documentation leaves no doubt that Martin Martinez Gallegos did in
fact own the tabby house known as Puente #75. The unknown quality is
the two name prefix, Juan Garcia, which appears on the Puente key. The
only presently viable explanation for this is that the property was actually
in dual ownership at the time Puente made his map and that Juan Garcia
and Martinez Gallegos held the property jointly.
A search of some of the existing rosters shows that a Juan Garcia was a
soldier in the Second Infantry Company; that he was a native of San Martin
de Havana and that he had been in the army since June 26, 1702. A roster
of 1745 informs us that Garcia was a soldier in Captain Don Sebastian
Sanchez's company, that he was 62 years bid, and gotoso (gouty). Since
there are no other Juan Garcia's listed for this period, we must assume
that this is the man whose name appears on the Puente map.
A possible reconstruction of events that would have made this possible
is as follows:
Gallegos' father was one of a number of reinforcements and replacements
that arrived in St. Augustine around 1740. Gallegos came as a member
of the family. In 1743 he decided to marry Victoria Escalona but did not
have a house. Juan Garcia was a widower with a house and being gouty,
needed someone to look after him. He and Gallegos strike a bargain
whereby Gallegos gets the house when Garcia dies, in exchange for
caring for him. In the meantime, Gallegos is carried as part-owner to
protect his investment.
In 1750 the household would have had the following composition:
I. Martin Martinez Gallegos age 35, artilleryman
2. Victoria Escalona, his wife, age 26
3. Joaquin Martinez, his son, age 2
4. Possibly 2 daughters, ages unknown but less than 8
5. Juan Garcia, age 66, infantryman, an invalid
R. H. Steinbach
15 January 1974
1. St. Augustine Parish Records Baptisms photostatt #95)
17 Nov. 1724 baptised and gave holy chrism to Victoria, born 9th of
current month, legitimate daughter of Alonso and Sebastiana de Vargas.
Godparent Pable Perdomo. Priest Pedro Lorenzo de Azevedo.
Note: Photostat does not show the name Escalona as the edge is torn.
Statistic card SAHS shows first marriage of Victoria to Manuel
Ronquillo on Nov. 17, 1739 photostatt No. 167). Second marriage in
July 29, 1743, to Martin M. Gallegos. (no. 190) Priest Arturo
2. St. Augustine Parish Records Baptisms photostatt #139)
On Sept. 11, 1726 baptised and gave holy chrism to Lucia, who was born
on fifth of current month, legitimate daughter of Alonso de Escalona and
Sebastiana de Varga, Godparent Pablo Perdoro. Priest Pedro
Lorenzo de Azevedo,
3. St. Augustine Parish Records Marraiges
Monday, 29 July 1743. Martin Martinez Gallegos, native of AV4ia of
Totana, diocese of Murcia, legitimate son of Alorso Gallegos and of
Juana de Crea married Victoria Escalona, native of this city, legitimate
daughter of Alonso Escalona and Sebastiana de Vargas and widow of
Manuel Ronquillo. Witnesses, Pedro Gomez and Sebastian Herra.
Sponsors Don Christobal de la Torre and Doia Francisca Azevedo.
Priest Francisco Xavier Arturo.
4. AGI 87-3-12/70 Stetson (Jan. 21, 1745)
Company of the Captain Don Sebastian Sanchez Juan Garcia, 62 years
5. AGI 87-3-12/76 Stetson (Jan. 15, 1746)
Second Company of Infantry Soldiers
Juan Garcia (gotoso)
6. AGI 87-3-12/76 Stetson (Jan. 12, 1746)
Juan Garcia, 63 years old, gotoso
7. St. Augustine Parish Records Baptisms photostatt 269)
Tues., 26 March 1748 baptised and gave holy chrism to a child born on
the 20th of current month, son of Martin Martinez Gallegos, native of
7. the vfa& of Totana of the diocese of Murcia and of Victoria Escalona,
native of this presidio, was given the name Joaquin. Godmother -
Maria de Behelem (?) Valderram. Priest Francisco Xavier Arturo.
8. Santo Domingo 2604 (1752) 2nd Infantry Company Soldiers
(#156) Juan Garcia, son of Rosindo, native of San Martin de Havana,
68 years of age, served since the 26 of June of 1702. Invalido
9. Santo Domingo 2604 (1752) Company of Artillery Artilleryman
(#63) Martinez Gallego, son of Alonso, of the villa de la Totana, 37
years old, served since the t1 of February 1748. Present (Birthdate
10. 1764 Puente Map
#75 Casa de ripto de Juan Garcia Martinez Gallegos 14 x 71.
11. Santo Domingo 2595 (1770) Soldiers
(p. 15) Juan Jph. Garcia
12. Santo Domingo 2595 (1770) Artilleros
(p. 18) Martin Martines Gallegos
13. Puente map and key 1763
#75 Juan Garcia Martinez Gallegos, tabby house
14. Bundle 320, Document 79 Tallahassee
Joaquin and Rosalia Martinez give power to their Aunt Lucia Escalona
in order to claim the lot they own in St. Augustine (Havana, March 10,
15. Bundle 320, Document 79 Tallahassee
Joaquin Martinez, Rosalia Martinez and Lucia Escalona ask for a
certification that they did not sell their house and lot in St. Augustine
(Havana, April 24, 1784).
16. Bundle 320, Document 79 Tallahassee
Juan Frias, native of Menorca and resident of St. Augustine, had re-
ceived a lot from a partition they said belonged to don Luciano de Herrera
16. estate, and that Lucia Escalona says now it is her property. He is
ready to give it back to her if she can prove what she says and allow
him to collect the fruits he had planted (St. Augustine, September 1,
17. Bundle 320, Document 79 Tallahassee
Lucia Escalona presents writing as being in power of attorney of
Joaquin Martinez and Jose Jimenez, husband of Rosalia Martinez,
giving proof of their ownership and offering as witness three old resi-
dents of St. Augustine (St. Augustine, September 4, 1784).
18. Escrituas, 16 March 1787, 6 December 1790
P. 70 Will, Sept. 24 Lucia Escalona, mentions house she owns (but
not the lot, except small part) situated on St. George Street near land
gate which bounds it W; lane to Castle square on N: Antonia Perdomo
S; Castle Square #. The lot belongs to Joaquin and Rosalia Martinez,
her nephew and niece. (Block 7, Rocque 14)
19. 1790 Quesada List
#41 Wooden house built by Lucia Escalona on King's lot, bounded: E,
W, and N by Royal Streets, S by lots of the King and Antonia Perdomo.
16 1/2 (N-S) x 77 1/2 varas at (?) xx sq. v...639 3/4
(On margin: By Act of this day on petition of Lucia Escalona, this lot
was declarca in her favor, St. Augustine, 5/6/1800. Signed: Zubizarreta)
20. Escrituras, 12 January 1791, 20 December 1792
P. 513 Will, Aug. 3. Lucia Escalona (widow o! John Darby (this is the
name as amended in margin in the MS. It looks more like Hardy) She
owns house on King's lot and claims to have documentary proof "but
obscured when it was transferred to the English", etc. Block 7, Rocque
21. Escrituras, 12 January 1791, 20 December '?92
P. 594 v. Mortgage, Nov. 7. Lucia Eacalona mortgages as security
for her annual payments house on King's lot #41, Block 7, measuring
NS 16 1/2 yards, E.W 77 1/2. Lot is bounded E-W and N by Royal roads,
S by King's lot and Antonia Perdomo. (Block 7, Assessor's Inventory 41)
22. 1793 Census #134
Dona Lucia Escalona, daughter of Alonso and of Sebastiana Bargas,
Widow of 65 years.
22. Maria del Rosario, slave
Francinca daughter of the said slave
23. 1800 List of Appraisals
#41 Wooden house built by Lucia Escalona on the King's lot, bounded
E-W by the Calle Real, S. by King's lot and of Dona Antonia Perdomo:
its measurement in front N-S sixteen and a half yards and depth EW
twenty-seven (?) yards and a half, which amounts to ............ 279.
Note: By title of May (?) 1800 in proceedings (instituted ?) by Dona
Lucia _this lot was (adjudged) in her favor and that of
her principals. St. Augustine
24. Bundle 320, Document 79 Tallahassee
St. Augustine On April 28, 1800, the Order is issued to give back the
lot to Lucia Escalona.
Monday 29 July 1743. Martin Martinez Gallegos, native of Villa
of Totana, diocese of Murcia, legitiate son of Alonso Gallegos
and of Juana de Crea married Victoria Escalona, native of this
city, legitimate daughter of Alonso Escalona and Sebastiana de
Vargas and widow of Manuel Ronquillo. Witnesses, Pedro Gomez
and Sebastian Herra. Sponsors Don Christobal de la Torre and
Dona Faancisca Azevedo.
Francisco Xavier Arturo (priest)