Thomas N. Campbell

SINICU INDIANS. This name is known only from baptismal records at the San Antonio de Valero Mission of San Antonio. The published literature dealing with the Sinicu Indians is somewhat confusing. In one article (Sinicu) in the Handbook of American Indians, H. E. Bolton listed four names in the above-named baptismal records as synonyms of Sinicu, namely, Censoc, Censoo, Seniczo, and Senixzo; but in another article (San Antonio de Valero) Bolton listed both Sinicu and Siniczo, the latter being identified as a synonym for Cenizo or Seniso. Such facts as are now available suggest that all of these names are probably variants of Cenizo, the name of a well-known band of Coahuiltecan Indians who lived in northeastern Mexico during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Some Cenizo Indians entered the San Francisco Solano Mission near present Eagle Pass about 1700. In 1718, when this mission was moved to San Antonio and became known as San Antonio de Valero the Cenizo moved with it. Hence it seems reasonable to consider Bolton's Sinicu and his synonyms for Sinicu as probable variants of Cenizo. Further analysis of the primary documents is needed for solution of this problem. J. R. Swanton listed Cenizo and Sinicu as separate Coahuiltecan bands. There is no basis for equating the Sinicu with the Semoco (Secmoco), as some writers have suggested. It is possible but not probable that the Nigco Indians of San Antonio de Valero were Sinicus.

Joseph Antonio Fernández de Jáuregui Urrutia, Description of Nuevo León, Mexico (1735–1740), ed. Malcolm D. McLean and Eugenio del Hoyo (Monterrey: Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores, 1964). Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959). Esteban L. Portillo, Apuntes para la historia antigua de Coahuila y Texas (Saltillo: Tipografía "El Golfo de México" de Severo Fernández, 1886). J. R. Swanton, Linguistic Material from the Tribes of Southern Texas and Northeastern Mexico (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1940).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Thomas N. Campbell, "SINICU INDIANS," accessed August 21, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox