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AGUASCALIENTES: Juan Garcia de Santa Ana, Juan Lopez de Lizaldi, Pedro Fernandez de Vaulus, Martin Navarro & others.

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By jrefugioghermosillo - Posted on 09 January 2019

Hola prim@s,

This is the denuncia contra Juan Garcia de Santa Ana, vecino de Aguascalientes, por sospechoso de Judio. It’s dated 15 Nov 1604. The official in charge was Simon de Vargas Machuca, Teniente de Alguacil Mayor de la Villa de Aguascalientes.

Juan Garcia de Santa Ana was born in Sevilla, son of Juan Garcia de la Oliba and Luisa de los Angeles, and married to Francisca de Castro, daughter of Pedro de Castro & Juana Jimenez. He had been living in Aguascalientes some 8 years (1596) and previously, 4 years in Teocaltiche (1592-1596), where he had been punished for blasphemy, by Padre Cristobal Macias. According to this denuncia, in addition to the accusations, which I won’t get into, Garcia was related to known “New Christians” (a merchant named “Baeza,” is mentioned), and his grandmother was burned at the stake.

This is just a denuncia, and doesn’t include the trial nor outcome, but in case you are curious, Juan Garcia de Santa Ana remitted his testamento on 11 Aug 1607, so he survived this ordeal. What’s notable in this denuncia, are the witnesses: statements are given by Juan Lopez de Lizaldi (img190) Juan Navarro (img191), Pero Fernandes de Valdus el Moso (img193) and Martin Navarro el Biejo (img196). Unfortunately, their ages nor signatures are given. Other witnesses present or mentioned were: Francisco Banegas, Geronimo Lopez, Gaspar de Vargas, Martin Navarro el Moso (grandson of el Viejo), Lope Ruis de Esparça, Pero Ruis de Esparça, Xpoval Loçano. Pedro Gonzalez y su muger Maria de Frias.

Wow. Right? Unfortunately, there is no other genealogical information about any of these people, other than that given, but at least we can place them in Aguascalientes by 1604, and some of them in Teocaltiche, previous to that. Here are some things that I did pick out:

Pedro Fernandez de Valdus (Vaulus) was married to Maria de Gabai, and had known Garcia for some 10 years, placing Fernandez in the Teocaltiche area since 1594. I have more on him, which I will post in another thread. What caught my attention, was that he is called “el Moso,” implying that there was a “Viejo,” who was still alive and also lived in the area, or else there would be no need to identify him as “the younger,” right? How much do you wanna bet that the Elder was the same Pedro Hernandez who arrived with Viceroy Gaston de Peralta in 1566, whose mother was Juana de Siordia? That would give us the source of the Siordia surname, used by Fernandez de Vaulus’ descendants in Los Altos, and the timeline would hold: el Moso would’ve been born in Mexico in the 1570s, which is why he never holds any public office, like alcalde ordinario, alguacil mayor or juez, which were all reserved for peninsulares during that era. I’ll write more about him in another thread.

Lope Ruiz de Esparza was his brother-in-law, married to Ana de Gabai; why can’t I help but think, that the witness called Martin Navarro el Biejo, is their suegro, and husband of Petronila de Moctezuma? He gives his testimony, “estante en la Estancia de Chapultepeque, jurisdiccion de Aguascalientes” - could this have been their estancia? Named for the bosque in DF???!! How cool would that be!!! If he is Martin de Gabai, then Martin Navarro el Moso, who is listed as his grandson, is probably son of Cristobal Navarro. I wonder if and how witness Juan Navarro is related to them? He had known Garcia for about 20 years, so he’s early Teocaltiche. Or am I completely off-track? Anybody?

I’ve been accumulating a lot of information on early settlers in Aguascalientes, Guadalajara, and in Villa de Lagos, which I’ll be posting here, as soon as I compile my notes. Happy 2019, primas y primos mios! And have a great year, connecting us to our ancestors, and learning and sharing their names and their stories!
Manny Diez Hermosillo

Hi Manny

Big, big congradulations on this find! This is really exciting and I look forward to further posts by you in this thread and the future ones you refer to above!

You suggest that there must have been a Pedro Fernandez de Vaulus el Viejo, since a "Mozo" is named in the document, and that el Viejo could be identical with Pedro Hernandez who came to Mexico with Gaston de Peralta who was sent to straighten out the mess created by the conspiracy case of 1566 involving two of Cortes' sons, among a number of other Spaniards. See the pages in this book by Hugh Thomas (World Without End, in google books) for more information on it:

Diego Arias de Sotelo was also implicated in the conspiracy and sent into exile. (His brother Balthazar was executed.) If what you suggest is true, that makes Gaston de Peralta an early link between Fernandez de Vaulus family and the Arias de Sotelo family - perhaps the link that led to the union of their families - El Mozo's son married Diego de Sotelos granddaughter. It would be a link that pre-dates Petronila and Martin Gabai. To my knowledge (someone correct me if I am wrong) there is still no primary source that Petronila is the daughter of Leonor de Valderrama (granddaughter of Emperor Moctezuma) and Diego Arias de Sotelo. Your information may ultimately give some new, concrete leads on this.

In addition, your discovery is a solid contribution to the pool of sources on the persecution of the new Christians in Mexico. Well done!


Hi Manny,

I’m very excited by this find of yours. I am related to many of the people that you name. I descend from the Lopez De Elizalde, Ruiz De Esparza, Navarro and others. Though I don’t descend from Gaston Peralta, I do descend from Gaston Peralta’s half sister Ana.

The Ruiz De Esparza were themselves a conversó family, but they had converted in the 1200’s so they weren’t recent conversos. Because their family had been Catholic for over two centuries, they were considered Cristiano Viejo by the time of this document. The Navarro's also had a Jewish past as Petronila Sotelo Moctezuma also had conversos lines that sufferered through the inquisition. Her conversó family suffered through the inquisition for both suspicion of continuing to practice Judaism, and for Lutheranism as they accused many of her family members of taking Christianity too far for forming scripture study and prayer groups.

Thank you for sharing your findings,

Rick A. Ricci

Hola prim@s,

Revisiting the witness named Martin Navarro el Biejo, “estante en la estancia de Chapultepeque, jurisdision de Aguascalientes”:

In Aguascalientes, on 14 May 1618, baptized was Catalina, hija de Francisca Maria y de Francisco, naturales de Teocaltiche, criados de Maria Gabadi (sp) en Chapultepeque (her daughter Maria de Siordia was madrina); on 27 Aug 1618, baptized was Magdalena, whose padrinos were Maria y Hernando, naturales de Teocaltiche, criados de Maria Gabadi en Chapultepeque.

Maria Gabadi aka Maria Gabay was daughter of Martin Gabay cc Petronila de Moctezuma, and was wife of Pedro Fernandez de Vaulus; placing her on Chapultepeque supports the possibility that Martin Navarro “el Biejo” and Martin Gabay are one and the same. His grandson, Martin Navarro “el Moso” could be Martin Fernandez de Vaulus - son of Pedro Fernandez cc Maria Gabai, who was obviously named for his grandfather, and who married Ysabel de Velasco y Grijalva on 27 Nov 1615.

Manny Díez Hermosillo


I never saw this before. This is amazing. did you ever find out what happened? also it says he was accused of blasphemy, but at the top it says sospechoso de judio. are these two different things or are they saying being jewish was the same as blasphemy. And are they saying the merchant baeza is also jewish? i'm guessing this baeza is probably related to the conquistador Juan lopez de baeza. i'd love to know what other information came from this.


Hola, donde se puede consultar el testamento de Juan Garcia de Santana? De antemano gracias

Hola Julio,

Aqui el testamento de Juan Garcia de Santa Ana, otorgado el 11 ago 1607:

Aqui un titulo de merced de tierras dado el 30 ago 1590:

Manny Díez Hermosillo

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