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Apodaca, Martínez, Sánchez, Trujillo and Valdez are a few of the families now living in New Mexico who originally traveled the 1,700 miles along El Camino Real. From México City to Santa Fe, many journeyed in search of a new home. Juan de Oñate's first expedition in 1598 led the way for others including Juan Paez Hurtado's final wave of settlers in 1695.

Are these names familiar to you? Are any of these names your last name or the names of people in your community?

Imagine you are a student of genealogy. As a direct descendent of an early Spanish settler, you have decided to investigate the origins of your family’s name. It may be your family’s name or you may choose a name to research. You will also need to design a coat of arms/escudo de armas, a symbol of your family name.

A first resource is the list of people who traveled El Camino Real in 1598, 1600, 1693, 1694 and 1695. Relatives, friends and the Internet are also sources of information.

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