Sebastian Martin Land Grant, New Mexico

The Sebastian Martin land grant was originally made in 1711 by a Spanish governor to Captain Sebastian Martin, who was the most important man in the north of the Territory, after the conquest by de Vargas, and it embraced the Rio Grande valley on both sides of the river, from the boundary of the San Juan pueblo grant on the south to the end of La Joya on the north, and east as far as Las Trampas. Plaza del Alcalde, Los Luceras, La Villita and La Joya are all within the original grant, but the occupied land was not affected by the recent partition suit, which only had to do with the common lands that have never been reduced to actual possession.

The grant contains over forty thousand acres, of which, perhaps, ten thousand are occupied, leaving from 30,000 to 35,000 as the subject of litigation. The suit was begun by A. B. McMillen, of Albuquerque, representing a considerable number of the heirs, and many others are represented by ex-Governor L. B. Prince and other attorneys. As nearly two centuries have elapsed since the grant was originally made, the number of heirs is naturally very large, and those best informed believe that they really exceed a thousand in number; about 600 have been proved in the genealogy, and the remainder are so scattered from Colorado to California that they will probably never be heard from.

A curious feature of the case was the claim made by the Indians of the pueblo of San Juan, who proved by tradition that in consideration of the services of the Indians in the building of the first great acequia which runs down the east side of the river, Captain Sebastian Martin gave them a piece of land in the valley, which they have ever since possessed. They are represented by Judge A. J. Abbott. 

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Source: History of New Mexico, Its Resources and People, Volume I, Pacific States Publishing Co., 1907.

©New Mexico American History and Genealogy Project 2011 - 2017
Created 1996 by Charles Barnum & 2016 by Judy White