Pronounced [san-di-ye’-go], the family was named after Saint James — most likely, Saint James the Greater (not St. James the Evangelist), who brought Christianity to Spain and is the nation’s patron saint. The spelling variations of this surname include Santiago, de Santiago, Santyago, de Santyago, Sandiego, San Jaime, Yago, Yagüe, Yague, Yagües, Yagues, Yáguez, among others. This name was first found in Galicia, an important Christian kingdom of medieval Spain.
The San Diego’s name predates the Claveria Decree of 1849, as we have found documentation on the lineage up to the early 19th century. The San Diego’s ancestral home is Obando, Bulacan, Philippines; where the earliest known patriarch, Roque de San Diego was born in the late 17oo’s.
In the 1880s, Mariano Avendaño San Diego migrated to Parian, Cebu and settled there. The home that Mariano and his wife, Maria Yap, still stands today and is reputed to be the oldest residential structure in Cebu. His descendants took the conjugated version of the family name, Sandiego.
Our branch of the massive San Diego clan moved to Manila City before World War II, but a significant majority still remain in Bulacan.
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Family History Research Notes
1. Defining the link between the Sandiego’s of Cebu and the San Diego’s of Obando was made possible by the efforts of Valentin Mancao Sandiego and Peary Aleonar Jr reaching out to the creator of this site. Thanks, Val and Vip!
2. Another batch of warm thanks to Peary Aleonar Jr (again) who is responsible for providing considerable genealogical data on the Sandiego’s of Cebu.
3. The San Diego Family Forest can be found on Geni.com.