Dr Machado, not Dr Carrillo

This is a good opportunity to explain to English speaking people that names in Spanish are constructed differently than in English, and as such you can keep track of who is son of who: Christian name (Antonio) + Father`s family name  (Machado) + Mother´s family name (Carrillo) = Antonio Machado Carrillo.

In Portuguese, the order of family names is reversed: My name would be Antonio Carrillo Machado.



The Machado family began in the XII Century after the Conquest of the castle at Torrenova by  King Juan I of Portugal. A warrior by name of Martín (illegitimate son of the King, in some writings) smashed the door of the castle with a ‘machado’ (= axe in Portuguese) and he was  knighted and received lands in Guimarâes, becoming the ancestral home of the new family. The assault happened during the night which is why a moon and a knight with a key and a machado in the hands is on the coat of arms.

In the XV Century, Lope Machado from Guimarâes, head of the House of Machado, and his sons Pedro and Sebastian (a warrior) participated in the Conquest of Tenerife. In 1497, they received lands from the Adelantado Alonso Fernández de Lugo. Sebastián -our ancestor- founded the village of  Tacoronte. As with any old Canarian family, the Machado family has mixed with other lineages settling in the Islands; Spínola y Lugo from Portugal, Comingues from France, Vernetta from Italy, etc. We are a pure mixed blood.

I represent the 23rd generation since the first Machado, and the 16th of the Canarian branch. Perhaps I am the first scientist in the family. Cool, isn’t it?

The Carrillo family started in times of the Count of Castilla Fernán González (X Century). It is said that two brother knights arrived from Germany and were so attached to each other, that they were called “the Carrillos” (carrillo = cheeks).

The Carrillo family split in several main branches and apparently more than one arrived to the Canaries during or shortly after the Conquest, settling in La Gomera, Tenerife and La Palma.

The line of my family came via Madeira and established in Los Sauces, in the NE of the Island of La Palma, about 1650. There, it mixed with various other lineages like the Flemish Wangüemert, Massieu from France, Cavanagh (today Kábana) from Ireland, Vargas or Valcárcel from mainland Spain, or Carballo from Cuba.

I represent the 13th generation since 1650.


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