Posts tagged ‘Martínez de Vergara’

History of Martínez de Vergara line from Spain to Chile to me

As mentioned in an earlier post, the founder of my maternal line in Chile was a D. Juan Martínez de Vergara, born to Juan Martínez de Vergara and Isabel Alonso Márquez in Gibraleón, Huelva some time in the late 16th century. His father was a hidalgo, originally from Guipúzcoa that had moved to the south of the peninsula for some reason. The lists of children mentioned below are not listed in the order in which they were born. When the genealogy part of this site goes up, the data will be in the proper order. In general, my maternal line is from first born son to first born son, except for the case of Mateo de Vergara Silva, who was the second born son.

The younger Martínez de Vergara left for Chile approximately in 1612 to join the Arauco War against the Mapuche indians. He never returned to Spain and established himself in Colchagua, reaching the rank of Maestre de Campo or Field Marshal.

In 1634, he marries Magdalena de Leiva Sepúlveda, heiress to an old and noble family from the Basque country. Together, they have four children, three girls and one boy, who would continue the family name: Juan Martínez de Vergara Leiva Sepúlveda.

The founder of the Vergara clan, dies in Colchagua in 1672 after a long and successful life.

Juan Martínez de Vergara Leiva Sepúlveda was born in Chillan and reached the rank of Maestre de Campo, like his father. He was married twice. His first wife was Josefa Varas Covarrubias and mother of his only son José de Vergara Varas. After the death of his first wife, he remarries on October 22 1670, this time to Ana Gómez Ceballos. He finally passes in 1723 and is buried on January 18, 1723 in San Agustin de Talca.

José de Vergara Varas was born in Santiago and like his father and grandfather, reached the rank of Maestre de Campo. In the National Archives in Santiago is stored the favorable judgement from the Real Audiencia on the nobility of his lineage, dated from 1796. José married Maria Carbonell on February 29, 1716 in Santiago and in 1718, their only child Miguel de Vergara Carbonell was born.

Miguel de Vergara Carbonell also continues in the footsteps of his forebears and becomes a Maestre de Campo. Born in 1718 he marries Antonia de Silva Gaete on April 5 1746. They have 11 children: Mercedes de Vergara Silva, Antonio de Vergara Silva, Ignacio de Vergara Silva, Maria Jesús de Vergara Silva, Manuela de Vergara Silva, Manuel de Vergara Silva, Casimiro de Vergara Silva, Miguel de Vergara Silva, Roque de Vergara Silva, Pedro de Vergara Silva and José de Vergara Silva. Miguel dies on January 11, 1771 and is posthoumusly recognized as a noble in 1788.

Continuing on the line that reaches me, we learn about Mateo de Vergara Silva.

Mateo de Vergara Silva was born and baptized in 1752 in Talca. He marries Lucía de Sepúlveda Toledo on August 1, 1775 and go on to have six children: José Rafael de Vergara Sepúlveda, Dolores de Vergara Sepúlveda, Tomás de Vergara Sepúlveda, Juan Luis de Vergara Sepúlveda, Agustín de Vergara Sepúlveda and Francisco de Vergara Sepúlveda. He became a Maestre de Campo in 1785 and was ennobled in 1788. He was very much involved in the Independence of Chile and was a member of the Junta Superior in 1811. He died in Talca in 1818.

Francisco de Vergara Sepúlveda was born in Talca in 1776 and was a politician in his lifetime. He was admitted into the Convictorio de Nobles de Santiago in 1802 and after Chile’s independence was a member of first National Congress, like his father. He also had a military career where he reached the grade of Colonel. With his wife Rosario Rencoret Cienfuegos, he had 11 children: José Domingo Vergara Rencoret, José Ignacio Vergara Rencoret, Manuel Vergara Rencoret, Rosario Vergara Rencoret, Javier Vergara Rencoret, Nicolás Vergara Rencoret, Ruperto Vergara Rencoret, Carlota Vergara Rencoret, Fermín Vergara Rencoret, Salustio Vergara Rencoret and Francisco Vergara Rencoret.
Carlota Vergara Rencoret married José Nicolás Tocornal Velasco and are the great-grandparents of Luis Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, canonized as a Saint of the Catholic Church on October 23, 2005.

Francisco Vergara Rencoret was also a politician, representing Talca in the National Congress of Chile. He was also a very wealthy individual in whose name the street Vergara was named in the capital, Santiago. According to Mujica, his mansion was very large, having over seventy rooms and had a very pompous opening event where the President of the new republic, Anibal Pinto was invited. With his wife Albina Vergara Donoso, he had 17 children: Luisa Vergara Vergara, Carolina Vergara Vergara, Rebeca Vergara Vergara, Inés Vergara Vergara, Joaquín Vergara Vergara, Albina Vergara Vergara, Enrique Vergara Vergara, Ruperto Vergara Vergara, Luis Vergara Vergara, Elvira Vergara Vergara, Arturo Vergara Vergara, José Martín Vergara Vergara, Urbano Vergara Vergara, Francisco Antonio Vergara Vergara, Rosario Vergara Vergara, Alberto Vergara Vergara and Emilio Vergara Vergara.

Emilio Vergara Vergara was an attorney, receiving his title on April 28, 1877 in Santiago. He marries Gumercinda Antúnez Cruz and has 7 children: Ana Vergara Antúnez, Albina Vergara Antúnez, Maria Vergara Antúnez, Raúl Vergara Antúnez, Victor Vergara Antúnez, Manuel Vergara Antúnez and Emilio Vergara Antúnez.

Emilio Vergara Antúnez marries Valentina Ortúzar Fornés and have 4 children: Valentina Vergara Ortúzar, Maria Teresa Vergara Ortúzar, Adolfo Martin Vergara Ortúzar, Fernando Antonio Vergara Ortúzar, Enrique Vergara Ortúzar, and Emilio Vergara Ortúzar.

Fernando Antonio Vergara Ortúzar, my grandfather, was born on June 13, 1913 in Santiago. He was a medical doctor who had a very broad practice. Through his familial connections he was able to help the Minister of Health create the rural medical center program of the country. He was known throughout the region in which he lived as a very caring doctor who never refused his services to anyone and especially catered to those in need. On October 27, 1939 he marries Eliana Edwards Hurtado, heiress to another old and noble line, and have 13 children: Juan Emilio Vergara Edwards, Paz Carolina Vergara Edwards, Sebastian Vergara Edwards, Enrique Vergara Edwards, Felipe Vergara Edwards, Daniel Vergara Edwards, Mauricio Vergara Edwards, Patricia Antonia Vergara Edwards, Fernando Vergara Edwards, Francisco Vergara Edwards, Cecilia Vergara Edwards, Marcela Vergara Edwards and Maria Eliana Vergara Edwards.

Maria Eliana Vergara Edwards is my mother and she married Evangelos Andreou in 1975 in New York City.

Juan Martínez de Vergara

As a segue from the previous entry on my maternal arms of the Martínez de Vergara line and a departure from heraldry, I decided to spend some time discussing my genealogical research.

In the hispanic world, people are known by two surnames, that of the father and that of the mother. In the rest of the western world, only the father’s surname is used. Therefore, my surname would be “Andreou Vergara”.

Additionally, in the hispanic world, people are also known by their four surnames. The father’s surname, the mother’s, the paternal grandmother’s and the maternal grandmother’s. This is a boon to genealogists as they can get more information on a given individual and open up new avenues.

My four surnames are: Andreou, Vergara, Giakoumelos and Edwards.
My mother’s four surnames are: Vergara, Edwards, Ortúzar and Hurtado.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the same information, yet, for my father as the multiple surname custom is not part of Greek culture.
I’ll start with my mother’s side of the family. My mother’s surname is Vergara Edwards and follows the hispanic tradition of using the father’s paternal name and the mother’s paternal name. My maternal grandmother’s name was Edwards Hurtado and my maternal grandfather’s name was Vergara Ortúzar.

I’ll focus on the “Vergara” side. My mother’s paternal line is specifically, Martínez de Vergara” descending from the founder of the line in Chile named Juan Martínez de Vergara who travelled to Chile from Spain to participate in the Arauco War against the Mapuche indians.

He was born in Gibraleón, Huelva to Juan Martínez de Vergara and Isabel Alonso Márquez. The senior Juan Martínez de Vergara was a hidalgo originally from Guipúzcoa.

He married Magdalena de Leiva Sepúlveda in 1634 and had 4 children: Mariana Vergara Leiva Sepúlveda, Francisca Vergara Leiva Sepúlveda, Isabel Vergara Leiva Sepúlveda and Juan Martínez de Vergara Leiva Sepúlveda.

This is the quote from the book “Nobleza Colonial de Chile” by Juan Mujica, pages 444-445:

Partió a las Indias destinado a la guerra de Chile en los campos de Arauco en 1601. Vino enrolado en la tropa que acompaño al gobernador Alonso de Ribera, considerado el organizador del ejército reino de Chile. Formo en la compañía que mandaba el capitán Gines de Lillo y asistió con sus armas en los fuertes de Santa Fe y Talcahuano. En 1628 ya figuraba en grado de capitán.

Establecido en Chillan, donde fue maestre de campo y alcalde en 1640, fundo su hogar y perteneció a la cofradía de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios. Realizada la destrucción de esa urbe por los rebeldes araucanos, tuvo que abandonarla junto con su familia. Su esposa aporto al matrimonio una caudalosa dote con casa solar en la ciudad citada y una estancia de feraces tierras. Vergara con su mujer e hijos busco refugio en zona más segura y obtuvo rica merced de tierras en Colchagua. Se le cuenta entre los benefactores del convento que los mercedarios tenían en Chimbarongo. Consta que en 1658 realizo un viaje al Perú, otorgando antes su testamento en Valparaíso. Cuatro anos mas tarde volvió a disponer otro testamento en su estancia de Chimbarongo y fundo una capellania de misas. Por sus servicios militares obtuvo encomienda de indios en Colchagua y murió en 1672. El sabio Medina anota que la Real Audiencia le recomendó al rey como persona ilustre y benemérita en 1626.


He left for the Indies with a destination of the war in Chile on the fields of Arauco in 1601. He arrived enrolled in the troop that accomanied the governor Alonso de Ribera, considered the organizer of the royal army in Chile. He was part of the company under the leadership of Captain Gines de Lillo and assisted in the battles of Santa Fe and Tlcahuano. By 1628, he had already attained the rank of Captain.

Settling in Chillan, where he was Field Marshal and Mayor in 1640, he created his home and was part of the cofraternity of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios. He had to abandon the town with his family after its destruction of the town by the rebel Araucos. His wife contributed to the marriage with a significant dowry including an estate and land. Vergara, with his wife and children, sought refuge in a safer area and obtained a rich portion of land in Colchagua. He was one of the benefactors of the convent of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy in Chimbarongo. In 1658 he traveled to Peru after completing his will in Valparaiso. Four years later, he authored another will at his estate in Chimbarongo and founded a chapel there. For his military service he received an encomienda of indians in Colchagua and died in 1672. Media notes that the Real Audiencia recommended he be recognized by the king in 1626.

Source: from data entered by me

Source: from data entered by me

Vergara Coat of Arms

Since we started with heraldry, I figured we continued with it 🙂

In this entry, I’ll talk a little about my maternal arms, those of my Vergara line of Chile. The blazon is:

Or an oak tree Vert fructed Or a wolf passant chained to its bark Sable, a bordure Gules charged with eight saltorels Or

The information I have has come from my friend and learned herald Maj. José Juan Carrión Rangel when I reached out to him asking about my maternal arms.

Let’s start with the bordure. Unfortunately, the sources I’ve found give contradicting reasons as to why this additament was added to the arms. Many say that it was an additament added by those who participated in the battle of Navas de Tolosa in 1212. Others say that it was for another battle on November 30 (St. Andrew’s feast) in 1227 for the capture of the city of Baeza by troops under king Fernando III of Castille (more accurate).

Though I’m not sure of the exact reason the bordure was added, because of a battle or because someone added steel bars to strengthen his wooden shield, it is another piece of information that may eventually be ascertained through genealogical research.

On to the tree, specifally the *oak* tree. In the towns of the old Basque Country, the central plaza had an old oak tree in front of which the townsfolk would meet. This was a tradition that dates back to the pre-Christianization of the peninsula. The oak tree came to symbolize the town’s authority and the power wielded by the local leaders. This is the reason why oak trees feature so prominantly in the arms of Basque families.

Finally, we have the wolf chained. The wolf is one of the most common animals used as a charge in Spanish heraldry and especially in Basque heraldry. The symbolism of the chained wolf can be that the armiger in question had managed to subdue the main threat to the village. Wolves used to be a huge problem to the farmers and severely affected a town’s livelyhood. Another meaning to this symbolism can be a victory over the Roman Empire, the wolf or “lupus” representing Rome.

Below is a sampling of Basque arms using the same symbolism as those of my maternal arms.