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Old February 02, 2009, 09:49 AM
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The meaning of "san"

I'm new to the forum but I hope someone can help me. I'm researching the history of Chihuahua City and I'm puzzled by the reference to the city's namesake: "San" Francisco de Cuellar. I have been unable to find any reference to a "saint" Francisco de Cuellar. In fact, the only one by that name i can find was a heroic Spanish sea captain. is it possible that in the late 17th early 18th Centuries the adjective "san" was an honorfic rferring to a "hero" or "much adnired man" rather than just a saint? Many thanks.
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Old February 02, 2009, 11:55 AM
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No, San is a masculine saint always used in front to the saint's name. I did some research too and verified that Cuellar is a town in central Spain. There was once a huge chuch there named after San Francisco. It may be that the Europeans who settled San Francisco de Cuellar in the new world came from that region, and named their settlement after their church.
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Old February 02, 2009, 01:02 PM
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The meaning of 'san"

Poli

I suspect you are very close to the answer. The precise name given to the community was Real de Minas de San Francisco de Cuellar. It was bestowed by a man named Antonio de Deza y Ulloa, who at the time was the governor of the province of Nueva Vizcaya. i don't know where he was from. In any case, the name was changed nine years later to San Felipe el Real de Chihuahua, with "chihuahua" apparently taken from a native language term for a "dry and sandy place." Incidentialy, the magnificent cathedral there is named after San Francisco de Assisi. Too many saints for me, but I appreciate your insight.

Ken
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Old February 02, 2009, 03:39 PM
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As far as I know, "san" only refers to a saint.
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Old February 03, 2009, 06:03 AM
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It sounds like the city was founded in honour of Saint Francisco (San francisco de Asis).
In order to differenciate it from other places, comes after the "real" place name:
San Francisco de Cuellar. If you make the same in Texas, it would be San Francisco de Texas, where "de" means not the Saint's born place (Asis) but the location.
Saludos

PD: for example here you can see different Saints but the second name indicates a places and not the Saint's born place (San José del Parral,San Pablo de Balleza, Real de Santa Eulalia de Mérida de Chiguagua]

PD I found it in the same link
Quote:
El 12 de octubre de 1709, se expidió el decreto que autorizó la fundación del Real de San Francisco de Cuellar, actual ciudad de Chihuahua, en honor del Virrey de la Nueva España, Marqués de Cuellar y de la orden de San Francisco de Asís.
It's a double name, in honour of "San francisco" (for de order) + "de Cuellar" (for the vice-king at the time, Marquis of Cuellar")
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Last edited by sosia; February 03, 2009 at 06:15 AM.
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Old February 03, 2009, 02:36 PM
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The meaning of "san"

Great! That explains it all. Mil gracias.
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Old February 03, 2009, 08:56 PM
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Good research Sosia!
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Old February 04, 2009, 12:20 AM
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you're welcome
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