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Possible Family of Benito de Isla and Petronila de Moctezuma

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By The Genealogist - Posted on 26 May 2015


I have recently discovered that I descend from a Benito de Isla whose many descendants spread throughout Nochistlan. I hit the brick wall there, and I do not know who Benito’s wife was. Normally I would assume that the traceable ancestry ends there. However, I have spotted miscellaneously placed postings that allude to a specific ancestry for Benito de Isla and his unnamed wife when they are all placed together. Unfortunately I have been unable to pinpoint the sources for most of these postings – this is where I need help.

But to start with:

PART 1: What is Provable:

From the primary sources that I have been able to access and see with my own eyes, I have mapped out the following:

Benito de Isla was the father of Magdalena de Lavezaris (wife of Francisco Gonzalez) and Maria de Isla y Moctezuma (wife of Capitan Andres Martinez de Sotomayor). This same Benito de Isla also had a natural mestiza daughter named Maria de Isla.

There is another Maria de Isla who was married to Christobal Martinez Lozano and had a family in Aguascalientes. This Maria de Isla (wife of Christobal Martinez Lozano) had a sister named Petronila de Isla.

PART 2: What I suspect (Part A): The Maria de Isla’s:

I think that the Maria de Isla (the mestiza) is possibly one and the same with the Maria de Isla who was married to Christobal Martinez Lozano. However, I have not seen this Maria de Isla (wife of Christobal Martinez Lozano) ever mentioned as anything but “espanol;” the same goes for her children. Then again I have seen many examples within these Mexican colonial records were people who are more accurately and originally described as mixed race, appear later in life described as “espanol”. If these two Maria de Isla’s are the same person then Benito de Isla is also the father of Petronila de Isla.

I do not think the Maria de Isla (wife of Chritobal Martinez Lozano) is the same person as Maria de Isla y Moctezuma (wife of Capitan Andres Martinez de Sotomayor). There seem to be too many children born to both of these women to be same one.

Does anyone have any opinions on this?

PART 2: What I suspect (Part B): The Lavezaris Connection:

Since Benito de Isla had a daughter who used the name Magdalena de Lavezaris. That name must have come from somewhere further back. I think that Benito de Isla is the son of a Bernardino de Isla and another Magdalena de Lavezaris who was the sister of Guido de Lavezaris, Governor-General of the Philippines.

Does anyone have any opinions on this?

PART 2: What I suspect (Part C): The Moctezuma Connection:

Since Benito de Isla had a daughter who used the name Maria de Isla y Moctezuma. That name must have come from somewhere further back. I suspect the connection was matrilineal but have never seen a wife listed for Benito de Isla from my own research. (Benito de Isla possibly being the father of Petronila de Isla also comes into play here.)

I have spotted a few interesting postings that allude to Benito de Isla’s wife. However, they are un-sourced postings, I have been unable to make contact with the people who posted them, and have not been able to pinpoint any primary sources for the following:

From other’s Postings:

1. I have seen a forum (here at Nuestros Ranchos) where a Petronila de Isla is described as being the daughter of a Benito de Isla and a Juana Navarro. I have been unable to contact the person who posted this. Does anyone know where this information comes from?

2. I have seen a tree on where Benito de Isla is married to a Juana Navarro. Here Juana Navarro dies 28 Dec 1651 in Teocaltiche. The death records in Teocaltiche do not go back that far. Does anyone know where this information comes from?

3. In another tree on, Benito de Isla is married to a Juana “Navarro y Moctezuma.” Wonderful, if her name actually appears this way, but does anyone know where this information comes from?

4. I have seen forums of the couple Martin de Gabay Navarro and Petronila de Moctezuma as having 4 children: Ana-Francisca, Maria, Christobal, and JUANA. Ana-Francisca, Maria, and Christobal are provable children via various dispensas. But where does the information of this couple also having a daughter named Juana come from? Does anyone know?

PART 3 Conclusions?:

All of this starts to lean in a certain direction. Let us assume that, outside of what is provable, what I suspect is true and what others have posted is also true; that all that is needed is to pinpoint a few more sources. Then the following is a possible reconstruction of the whole picture:

Benito de Isla (son of Bernardino de Isla and Magdalena de Lavezaris) married a Juana Navarro (daughter of Martin de Gabay Navarro and Petronila de Moctezuma) and had as daughters Magdalena de Lavezaris (named after her paternal grandmother), Maria de Isla y Moctezuma (partially named after her maternal grandmother), Petronila de Isla (also partially named after her maternal grandmother), with the additional Maria de Isla (the Mestiza daughter born from another woman).

Chronologically it fits, though a little tight on Petronila de Moctezuma’s side if we assume she was born about 1552, allegedly had the said Juana by 1572, Juana having Magdalena de Lavezaris and Maria de Isla y Moctezuma by the time she was age 15 c. 1587, and both Madalena and Maria also starting to have children by about age 15, since most of their traceable children have their earliest estimated birth years in the late 1600’s early 1610’s. Keep in mind that 15 is a typical age for young girls to marry in this time period.

I would appreciate any opinions, corrections, or primary sources on these matters which may prove or refute the possible reconstruction of this tree.



Unfortunately, the mention of the Royal Scribe Diego de Isla is was not from an original image but from Chipman’s book “Moctezumas Children”:

Hi Paige
Thanks for bringing this to my attention. The two Diegos are about eighty years apart, so the latter Diego could be a grandson of the former...only way to find out is to do sone digging Family Search! I am leaving soon on vacation to a place with no internet, so it will be a while before i can post anything on this, unless i find something tonight. Incidentally, a son (or was it grandson?)of Diego Arias sotelo and leonor valderrama moctezuma married a woman with the name Heredia. See more info on this in Moctezuma's Children.


Hi David

Thanks for providing the reference! I have the book...


Hello Manny,

You listed Eugenia de Perea as the wife of guide de Lavesaris, El Viejo. In the same time frame, there was a printer /editor by the name of Lorenzo Perea that may be her father. He is listed along with Eugenia's husband, Guido De Lavesares, as a "librero de Sevilla."

Rick A Ricci

Are there any primary source documents connecting Maria de Islas to Andres Martines de Sotomayor?

Hi Alex,

The defunción of Maria de Islas says:

En dieciocho de junio de mil seiscientos sesenta y siete enterré en la parroquial de esta villa [Aguascalientes] a doña María de Isla mujer que fue de Andrés Martin, vecinos de esta villa. Confeso y estando para llevar le el viático pidieron solo el santo óleo por haberle dado un parasismo con cual lo recibió y la absolví por la Bula y de allí a media hora murió. Y por que conste lo firmé.


Hi Chris,

What does absolve por la Bula mean? What's a Bula?


Hi Paige,

It should be "la absolví por la Bula [de la Santa Cruzada]. If you've searched records in Nueva Galicia you've probably come across it before. I've seen it on several of my ancestors. Here's a link:

It appears that it was a papal bull that originally offered privileges and graces and indulgences to Spaniards that participated or supported the church against Muslims and heretics and later for works of charity and such.



So how does one know this Maria de Isla is the sister of Magdalena de Lavezaris, wife of Francisco Gonzalez?

I'm just curious what evidence there is as to who her husband was. The only primary source I have confirming this Maria as the sister of Magdalena Lavezaris is the Joseph Diaz de Leon and Maria Catalina de Islas dispensa:

This dispensa shows she had a daughter named Jacinta Martinez but does not name a husband. This of course provides some evidence of her marrying a Martin or Martinez.

Hi Alex,

That relevant part of the dispensa that establishes a María de Isla as sibling to Magdalena de Labesares says: doña María de Islas tuvo por hija a Jacinta Martínez y Jacinta Martínez tuvo por hijo a Jacinto Díaz y Jacinto Díaz tuvo por hijo a José Díaz de León, pretenso.

Jacinta Martinez who actually went by the name Jacinta de Sotomayor is the known daughter of Andres Martin de Sotomayor and María de Isla. The above dispensa is proven correct where her marriage to Juan Diaz de Leon states:

Juan Díaz de León vecino de esta minas de sierra de Pinos hijo legítimo de Juan Díaz de León y de Francisca de Ortega, vecinos de esta Real digo que quiero contraer matrimonio segun orden de la santa madre iglesia de Roma con Jacinta de Sotomayor, hija legítima de Andrés Martín y de María de Islas...

Jacinto Díaz was the known son of Jacinta de Sotomayor and Juan Díaz de León and married Sebastiana Gil and they were the known parents of Jose Díaz de León based on his marriage that states:

José Díaz de León, español y vecino de la feligresía de Sierra de Pinos, hijo legítimo de Jacinto Díaz, difunto, y de Sebastiana Gil

Based on the evidence and proven descendancy of María de Isla that was married to
capitán Andrés Martin de Sotomayor, the above dispensa is proven correct, which in turn, would prove that Maria de Isla, wife of capitán Andrés Martín de Sotomayor, is the sister of Magdalena de Labesares.


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