HISTORIC ST. AUGUSTINE PRESERVATION BOARD
October 3, 1985
TO: Joan Scott, Daniel Hayes, Gayle Prevatt
FROM: Amy Bushnell Ab
SUBJECT: Terminology at the Gallegos House
For years we have referred to the interpreter stationed at the Gallegos
House as "Sef'ora Gallegos." Nothing would appear more natural than to give the
wife of Martin Gallegos his name, along with the title that throughout the
Spanish world now stands for "Mrs." However, in the mid-eighteenth century
not everyone was entitled to be called "Sefor" or "Se'ora," just as not every
Englishwoman was a lady or had the servants to call her "mistress," which is
the origin of "Mrs."
Martin Martinez Gallegos, the off-the-scenes husband, is an artilleryman,
one cut above a common soldier but nowhere near the social class of his officers.
He is not called "Sen'or Gallegos" or "don Martfn," just "Marftn el artillero."
Because he was born in Spain he is a peninsular (note that the word is not
"peninsulare"), whereas someone of Spanish blood born in the New World would be
a criollo. A creole from Florida was frequently called a floridano.
Martin's first wife was a criolla, or floridana, named Victoria Escalona.
His second wife, the one we usually represent at the Gallegos House, was Isabela
Serrano, a German girl whose family moved to Florida in 1756 from their earlier
home in the English colonies. They probably came to live among the Spanish in
order to be with other Roman Catholics. Isabela, in addition to her German and
Spanish, is probably fluent in English.
We cannot properly call Isabela "Senora Gallegos" because in her time
"mi senora" meant "my lady." Only the governor's wife, of all the women in St.
Augustine, might possibly have the noble blood to merit such a title. A woman
of the hidalgula, or Spanish gentry, known to be "of quality," would have donaa"
prefixed to her Christian name, but no wife of an artilleryman would be calling
herself "donYa Isabela."
Isabela Serrano, as was the custom, kept her own name after her marriage
to Martin. From that day on he called her his "mujer," just as a Frenchman
calls his wife "ma femme." Someone else needing to identify Isabela could call
her "Isabela Serrano, mujer de Martin Gallegos.l' If it was necessary to note
that the marriage was a legal one, as on the parish registry of baptisms, Isabela
would be called Martin's "mujer legitima," just as the newborn was recorded as
their "hijo legftimo."
The children of Martin and Isabela could call themselves either Serrano
or Gallegos or both. Martin himself apparently used both father's and mother's
names. If he followed the present practice of listing father's name first, when
we call him Gallegos we use the name of his mother.
GALLEGOS HOUSE GARDEN
Until there is a chance to do more thorough research, which is planned
for the month of May, we may put in a garden that includes examples of
flat leaf parsley
marjoram (already there)
sweet orange (already there)
The field crops, which would have been
planted outside the town, would have been
pumpkins or a