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Gaspar de Avalos, Alonso de Avalos, Gabriel de Avalos & Sebastian de Avalos

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By jrefugioghermosillo - Posted on 03 June 2016

Gaspar de Avalos cc Luisa de Quezada y Mendoza
Alonso de Avalos cc Catalina de Orosco
Gabriel de Avalos cc Maria Quezada
Sebastian de Avalos cc Mariana de Castro

Hola prim@s,

Do any of you have any of the above mentioned couples in your lines? I have it documented that Gaspar and Alonso were brothers, and also that Gabriel and Sebastian were brothers. I think it's likely that all four are brothers, and I'm trying to compile enough info on each, to establish this theory. I also think it's possible that another brother is Baltasar de Avalos cc Juana Ruiz de Aldana.

¿Tendra alguien los mencionados en sus líneas ? Lo tengo documentado que Gaspar y Alonso eran hermanos, y también que Gabriel y Sebastián eran hermanos. Creo que es probable que los cuatro son hermanos y busco mas información sobre cada uno para establecer esta teoría. También creo que es posible que otro hermano es Baltasar de Avalos cc Juana Ruiz de Aldana.

Does anybody know if Gabriel de Avalos, who married Maria Quezada, is the same who married Augustina de Velasco?

¿Alguien sabe si Gabriel de Avalos, que era casado con María Quezada, es el mismo que se casó con Agustina de Velasco?

Gracias y saludos,
Manny Diez Hermosillo

Hi Danny,

I don't know the source of the name. My ancestor, Ysabel Ruiz de Villasenor, adopted that name after her marriage. She was born Ysabel de Avalos, "Ruiz" is likely from her mother, and I assume "Villasenor" is connected to "Avalos," for teh reason I mentioned. I'm hoping someone here has more information.

Manny Diez Hermosillo


I saw this old post about a Gonzalo de Villasenor and Aldonsa de Avalos and thought maybe these people were the ancetors of the people that use Avalos and Villasenor

Danny C. Alonso

Hola prim@s,

The reason I started this thread, beside wanting to crack this riddle, is I recently stumbled upon some documents, that put this family in a whole new light, and which just might link these four men as brothers.

It all started with the entry for Gaspar de Avalos, in Rafael Morales Bocardo’s (RMB) “Diccionario biografico de antiguos pobladores de San Luis Potosi 1582-1666,” p 57:

“Vecino en la jurisdiccion del pueblo y ciudad de San Luis Potosi. El 24 feb 1657, se lo abrio proceso de oficio de la real justicia por la muerte del alferez real Gaspar de Amezquita. Fue sentenciado a la pena de muerte y ejecutado en la horca publica.”

”Resident of the town and city of San Luis Potosi. On 24 feb 1657, criminal proceedings began against him for the murder of alferez real Gaspar de Amezquita. He was sentenced to death and hung on the public gallows.”

Curious as to whether this was the same Gaspar de Avalos who was married to Luisa Quezada, I looked for his causa criminal in the SLP Misc records, at FamilySearch. I haven’t found it, but I did find that of his sons, Nicolas and Gaspar Garcia de Avalos, and of their cousins, Juan and Geronimo Aparisio de Avalos, sons of Alonso de Avalos and Catalina de Orosco. Dated 15 Feb 1657, they are accused of the same murder. Gaspar de Avalos is not listed amongst the codefendants, nor as present during any of the crimes.

The expediente is a long 201 images, in good condition and legible, with every-other page numbered. It is incomplete, as it appears to contain only the trials of Juan and Aparisio de Avalos.

I’d really like it, if one or more of you would read it, and add your take to this thread. It has an incredible amount of information, more than I can pick up - and I might have misinterpreted something.

I have to advise, this does not paint a very pretty picture of these two families, which really startled me, since I’ve been researching them for years, and especially since I think my ancestor, Sebastian de Avalos, is linked to them.

15 Feb 1657
Proceso de oficio de la Real Justicia desta Ciudad de San Luis Potosi
Nicolas Garcia Davalos su hermano Gonzalo Garcia Davalos
Juan y Aparisio Geronimo Davalos hermanos
y los demas culpados en las muertes de Gaspar Amesquita y dos muchachos sus criados
SLP Misc.; Protocolos notariales 1657, vol 1 exp 8-9 img50

SUMMARY (or, my interpretation, based on my notes from my first read. Please excuse any errors, which I’m sure exist)

Along with accomplice, Juan Rodriguez, Mulato Libre, the 4 cousins are accused of 4 counts of murder, and 3 counts of attempted murder, plus robbery and other crimes.

Background: around 1651, the family of Alonso de Avalos and Catalina de Orosco move to a rancho in SLP called El Ojo de Bague (located in Laguna de Santo Domingo, between Armadillo and Rio Verde, on the camino de La Guasteca). Gaspar de Avalos would move into the area, probably around the same time. His rancho was called “El Ojo de Muerte.” Both families ranched, some cattle.

These 2 families, “Los Avalos,” soon developed a very bad reputation. Witnesses said that they had been terrorizing the territory since their arrival, some 6 years previous. Words used to describe them: “delincuentes, personas de mal vivir, salteadores, ladrones y matadores.”

I was floored. They were an outlaw gang, highwaymen, “Los Avalos.”

And more: Gaspar de Avalos was said to have left Sierra de Pinos, fleeing justice, for crimes he had committed in that jurisdiction. It can be assumed that Alonso de Avalos left Lagos for the same reason, since the judge received word during the trial, that they were wanted for crimes in that jurisdiction.

The murders:

Dec 1656, Alferez Gaspar Amesquita was hauling a load of merchandise (dos mulas cargadas de butacas, ropas y otras cosas), accompanied by 2 muchachos (un Indiozuelo y un Mulatillo llamado Jusepe). Being in the area, he was also collecting debts. The Avalos owed him some 30-40 pesos, and he was going to make a stop. He was last seen heading toward their rancho.

Days passed, and neither he nor his criados had been seen, so authorities were alerted. The Avalos were instantly suspected. A posse was formed, and they were rounded up: brothers, Joseph, Alonso, Juan and Aparisio de Avalos-Orosco, were arrested. Also arrested was Catalina del Castillo (38y), who was sister of Ysabel del Castillo, wife of Nicolas Garcia de Avalos. She was with there for the baptism of their son, Nicolas, on 16 Feb, and for whom she was madrina, along with Juan de Avalos. When authorities searched the house, she was found hiding in a “boltorio” (I suppose a “trunk”), with some of the victim’s belongings. In the wrong place at the wrong time? Was told to grab the stolen items and hide by both Aparisio and Catarina de Orosco.

From what I can tell, from the various and varying testimonies, the Avalos intercepted Amesquita and his party on the road to their ranch. It was Nicolas Garcia de Avalos, the apparent ringleader, who shot Amesquita, and his cousin, Juan de Avalos, shot one of the criados; Juan Rodriguez knocked the other off his mule and killed him with a spear, which he then used to give the coup de grace to the other two victims. Aparisio was told to gather and secure the mules of the victims, which were laden with merchandise. Nicolas and Juan Rodriguez disposed of the bodies, then hid the mules in a nearby canyon. I don’t know what Gaspar Garcia’s role was, though he was involved in other crimes.

Nicolas Garcia de Avalos was also accused of shooting and killing Matias de Vargas, Mulato Libre, and of shooting his brother, Hernando de Vargas, wounding him in the right leg. Juan de Avalos took their weapons, and they took Matias’ yegua. This apparently happened sometime before 22 Jun 1656, on the camino near the rancho of Gaspar de Avalos. In another incident, Nicolas Garcia is accused of shooting and injuring Joseph de los Reyes, Mulato Libre, and leaving him to die. And in yet another incident, he was accused of taking a shot at Lorenzo de Cordoba, though missing.

Along with their accomplice, the 4 cousins were tried and sentenced to death. On 28 March 1657, Juan and Aparisio de Avalos were paraded through the streets of San Luis Potosi, then taken to the public gallows, where they were hung until dead. Their co-defendants were likely executed the same day. The Cofradia de la Vera Cruz requested permission to claim their bodies, and give them Christian burials, as Semana Santa was nearing (likely a request of the family). They were denied. As decreed in their sentences, the cadavers were decapitated, and their heads placed on poles on the 4 roads leaving San Luis Potosi, as examples to other would-be highwaymen. Their bodies were also quartered and hung at the place where they killed Amesquita and the boys, and their belongings and properties were put up for public auction.

Days later, authorities were alerted that the heads of Juan and Aparisio de Avalos had been removed. Family members were instantly suspected. Alonso de Avalos, brother of Juan and Aparisio, and a younger unknown relative, had been seen in the area, on horseback and armed. Searches were conducted for the 2 heads, at a nearby Indian village, but they were not found. A search at the rancho of Gaspar de Avalos found only his wife and daughters, Gaspar and his other sons, being gone. End of Roll

And if that doesn’t sound like the storyline of the next Robert Rodriguez movie, I don’t know what does!

Additional notes:

- Officiating judge was Capitan Don Matias de Alegria Justicia Mayor, and Bartolome Diaz de la Banda was appointed curador (public defender?) for Juan and Aparisio de Avalos, who were minors. Witnesses include, amongst others: Francisco Barbosa, Antonio de Sosa, Francisco de Alcorta, Lorenzo de Cordoba, mercaderes; Pedro de Herrera Escudero, maeste sastre, and Pedro Alonso de los Ynojos, Esp age 40 (todos vecinos desta jurisdiccion de San Luis Potosi).

- Catalina de Orosco, wife of Alonso de Avalos (who was already deceased), was injured during the gun fight that broke out during the arrest her sons. Her son, Alonso, fired the first shot with his “arca buz,” defiantly yelling, “I’ll be dead before I go to jail!”

So, we have Gaspar and Alonso de Avalos as brothers, and part of a crime family (which I’ve dubbed “El Ojo de Muerte Gang,” or, OMG, after Gaspar’s rancho), which lost 5 of its members in one hanging. The next question is, if Gabriel and Sebastian de Avalos are their brothers, are they part of OMG? If Gabriel de Avalos did marry Augustina de Vargas en segundos, then I’d say that there’s a likelihood that he is, since his movements mirrored Gaspar’s. Sebastian de Avalos and his wife remained static, living and dying in Pozos, SLP, suggesting that they weren’t involved. But that’s left to be seen.

Genealogy is not boring.

Manny Diez Hermosillo

You certainly spun a great tale of the past. I am throwing out my John LeCarre books out!
As always, thank you for sharing your hard work and presenting it they way you do.

WOW! Manny, this is crazy! I wish I was able to read it. I would read all 200 pages. earlier in the thread you said the partida said for Gabriel de Avalos and Augustina de Velasco that the parents were españoles del carcel. Did that mean his parents or hers or both? And, since I don't know who his parents are, do you think it's for the same crimes? And, is Gabriel de Avalos and Maria Quesada part of these crimes.

Danny C. Alonso

Hola prim@s,

My connection to the Avalos is through my g6, Ysabel Ruiz de Villaseñor, who married first to Matias Gomez de Sotomayor, and secondly to Francisco Sanchez de la Mejorada. She was daughter of Augustin de Avalos and Magdalena Ruiz, and granddaughter of Sebastian de Avalos and Mariana de Castro. When she married Matias Gomez in Panuco in 1683, she was “Ysabel de Avalos,” and by the time they first appear in Sierra de Pinos, in Nov 1689, she’s going by “Ysabel Ruiz.” Knowing how some women adopted their mother’s surnames after marriage, I never questioned this. She later added “de Villaseñor,” I assumed as a nod to her paternal, “Avalos Villaseñor.”

Overwhelmed with the Avalos OMG, I decided to take a break and research another line. While pulling a burial record from the Sagrario SLP archives, on the same page, I noticed the 1 Nov 1681 burial record for a Juan de Avalos. Really? I tried to ignore him, but decided to log him, for later research. And then I noticed the word “Justicia,” and had to read it: Juan de Avalos, Español, had been executed the previous September, and his body quartered. Of course he was. Apparently, the OMG were not finished with me. So, I took the bait, and I chased that bunny right down that hole. I knew I couldn’t sleep, until I found out who this Juan de Avalos was, and whether he was linked to the OMG.

I looked for his causa criminal in the SLP Protocolos. I didn’t find it, but I did find two other cases, related to his:

Juan de la Rosa, Antonio Morales, 21 Jun 1681
Protocolos notariales 1681, vol 2 exp 1-17 img292

Juan de la Rosa (b 1655) was married to Maria de Redondo, and was son of Pedro de Avalos; I don’t know who this Pedro de Avalos was, nor who he was married to (likely a “Rosa”), but he had a sister named Maria de Mendoza, leading me to think he’s a son of either Gaspar or Gabriel de Avalos (anybody?).

Diego de Santiago,23 Jun 1681
Protocolos notariales 1681, vol 3 exp 1-14 img004

Diego de Santiago was married to Josepha de los Reyes. He was from Sierra de Pinos; it doesn’t say so, but I know he is the son of Juan de Santiago and Maria de los Nieves, of Pinos.

According to these causas, Juan de Avalos was a salteador de caminos (highwayman), who ran in the company of a Mulato Libre named Manuel de la Cruz, and two of his nephews: brothers Sebastian de Avalos (17) and Joseph Ruiz (16). He and his gang were on trial at the time, and Juan de la Rosa and Diego de Santiago were accused of being part of it, from what I can tell (these 2 causas are very difficult to read).

The names of his nephews caught my eye, “Sebastian” and “Ruiz,” since these names are related to my branch of the Avalos. Joseph Ruiz appears as a testigo in both causas. He was in jail at the time, and names his parents as Augustin de Avalos, preso en la carcel publica, and Magdalena Ruiz, deceased. He had been living previously in Zacatecas, working in la mina de San Bartolome de Chichinque.

Of course, my heart sunk, seeing my g7 Augustin de Avalos in jail. But it does place him in Zacatecas previous to 1681, and it does explain why he and Magdalena Ruiz appear to drop off the map. I still haven’t located his causa, so I don’t know what he did, nor *gulp* what happened to him. Apparently, Juan de Avalos was his brother, and another son of Sebastian de Avalos and Mariana de Castro. So, this branch of the Avalos were also criminals, though I don’t know if Sebastian de Avalos is implicated.

During the opening of his testimony, Joseph Ruiz drops a bomb: he doesn’t use “Avalos,” “por ser el apellido [Avalos] desgraciado”: he doesn’t use the Avalos surname, because it’s been disgraced (!!!!!!). Again, I was floored. This tells us how notorious this family/gang was. It also explains why Juan de la Rosa didn’t use “Avalos,” and also why my g6, changed her name from “Ysabel de Avalos,” to “Ysabel Ruiz de Villaseñor,” before moving to Sierra de Pinos: “Avalos” was already known and distrusted in Pinos, and la abuela Ysabel didn’t want to be associated with it! She didn’t like the name.

That’s all I have on Los Avalos and the OMG, for now. Though some of it is conjecture, you read it, and you decide, and please share. To me, it’s looking more and more like Gaspar, Alonso, Gabriel and Sebastian de Avalos were brothers, part of the same family of criminals and murderers, who terrorized Los Altos, Sierra de Pinos, Armadillo, and likely Irapuato. Note: I still haven’t linked Gabriel de Avalos nor any of his descendants to any crimes; I still don’t know if that one I found in jail in 1643 is related to this family.

Wow. Not a pretty legacy, and to the point, that their descendants changed their surnames, and erased “Los Avalos” from public memory. Eran de muy mala uva, nuestros antepasados Los Avalos!

Manny Diez Hermosillo

PS to Simona: Thank you, and you’re welcome. I try to make it more interesting, to express the excitement and awe we all experience, when we make new discoveries - especially one as big as this one. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, regarding our Augustin de Avalos. We still don’t know what happened to him, but at least we now know why our abuela, Ysabel Ruiz de Villaseñor, changed her name. We do have skeletons dancing in our closet - dia de los muertos bandido skeletons!

PS to Danny: the partida for the 28 Nov 1643 baptism of Andres de Avalos Orosco names his parents as “Gabriel de Abalos y de Ysabel de Orosco, espanoles del carcel” (lower right):

I don’t know why they were in jail. I assume it’s the same Gabriel de Avalos, because Gaspar was living in Irapuato at the same time; we know Gaspar was a criminal, so seeing this Gabriel in jail reveals a possible link. Seeing his wife named “Ysabel de Orosco,” makes me think of Catalina de Orosco, who we know was wife of Alonso de Avalos. Maybe this couple is Alonso de Avalos and Catalina de Orosco, using aliases? It’s all conjecture, at this point. We need to do more research, and see if Gabriel de Avalos and Ysabel de Orosco baptized any more children in Irapuato, or somewhere else; they might be unrelated.

Spanish is my second language, though both of my parents are Hispanic, we spoke only English in our house. When I graduated from high school, I was sent to Spain to learn Spanish, which I’ve mastered, since then (I speak with a lisp and pronounce my name DHEE-eth!). So, there’s still hope for you! Do a semester abroad, and stay away from other English speakers! md


im gonna start college next year. I already have a bunch of brochures and different programs that allow you to study Spanish in foreign countries but I don't think I can do it during my freshman year. but also my mom doesnt want me too because shes worried about terror and other stuff. but if im able to get into some of the schools I want to and am able to travel to study spanish I definitly will.

About the Avalos, now Im hoping that Gabriel de Avalos that's with MAria de Quesada is a different person than Gabriel de Avalos that's with Ysabel de Orosco. although it does make a good story

About Pedro de Avalos sister Maria, Gabriel de Avalos and MAria Quesada did have a dauther named Maria here is the baptism I got off of her Wikitree

i still wonder where the Villasenor comes from. it seemed like a lot of the Villasenors came from the Captain Juan de Villasenor hereñor_y_Orozco_Tovar-1

So since our people use Avalos and Villasenor i thought maybe these people Gonzalo de Villasenor and Aldonsa de Avalos that i saw on this Nuestros Ranchos thread were the ancestors of our people

But now this Avalos and Villasenors seem a bit high class to be connected to our gang of criminal Avalos.

Danny C. Alonso

Hola Manny te felicito por tu investigación! La he leído con mucho interés puesto que Gaspar de Ávalos y Luisa de Quesada y Mendoza son mis antepasados, por medio de su hija María de Quesada casada con Luis del Castillo y de León.

Quiero añadir que no sé de dónde obtuve el dato que establece la sepultura de Gaspar de Ávalos el 24 de Septiembre de 1654 en El Sagrario, SLP. Sin embargo busqué el acta y no encuentro alguna de defunción para esos años, tal vez tu puedas encontrarla y pasarme el link, porque solo veo disponibles en Familysearch las de bautismo para esos años.
No obstante puede que lo anterior sea erróneo, puesto que el 4 de octubre de 1654, Gaspar es padrino junto a su hija Andrea de Nicolás, hijo de Luis del Castillo y Ana de la Cruz.

También mencionar que las hijas de Gaspar y Luisa utilizaron con mayor frecuencia el apellido Quesada. Te paso así mismo el acta bautismal de su nieto Nicolás, hijo de María de Quesada y Luis del Castillo. Fueron padrinos Felipe? de Ávalos y Antonia Ruiz.

Familiar de Luisa de Quesada pudo ser Francisca de Quesada, casada con José Montoya, padres de María que casó con Nicolás del Castillo y González el 9 de Febrero de 1682 en Armadillo.

Espero te ayuden estos datos, te agradezco nos hagas saber a qué conclusiones vas llegando.
Enrique Agraz

This is absolutely fascinating Manny. I'm anxiously awaiting any new information about this family.


Dear Manny,

I agree, genealogy is not boring. I loved the story on the Avalos brothers. I have Ruiz and Velasco so now I wonder if some of their ancestors were Avalos.

Thanks for the stories,

Rick A. Ricci

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