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By jrefugioghermosillo - Posted on 12 January 2019

Several of us descend from Alonso de Estrada, royal treasurer and colonial governor of Nueva España, during the time of Cortés. Legend has him as the bastard son of Rey Fernando II el Catolico and a Luisa de Estrada, daughter of an ambassador. This is refuted by the 1585 limpieza de sangre of his great-grandson, Gobernador Jorge de Alvarado y Villafañe, which names Alonso de Estrada’s parents as Juan Fernandez Hidalgo, of Ciudad Real, and his first wife - whose name none of the witnesses could remember, only that his 2nd wife was surnamed Oliver. It did name his paternal grandparents as Diego Fernandez Hidalgo and Maria Gonzalez de Estrada. That document can be found at the PARES website, and it is digitized in its entirety, if you want to read it, though it is long and a hard read. It is the only historical document that I know of that names the father of Alonso de Estrada. Until now…and believe me, this one is a MUCH easier read!

I was grazing through the Mexican Inquisition archives, and I randomly came upon this. It’s the limpieza and proof of nobility of Licenciado Alvaro Gomez de Abaunza y Castro, oidor de la Audiencia de Guatemala, and later alcalde de crimen de la Audiencia de Mexico, and of his wife, Doña Isabel Costilla de Saavedra. It appears to be dated 11 Dec 1608. While glancing through their lines, I noticed that she was great-great granddaughter of Alonso de Estrada and Doña Marina Flores de la Caballeria, and to my amazement, it names their parents! I jumped out of my chair!

According to her prueba de nobleza, Alonso de Estrada’s father was Juan Fernandez de Estrada, corresponding with the 1585 Jorge Alvarado limpieza, but it names his mother as Luisa de Oliver. She might be the N. de Oliver mentioned in the 1585 limpieza, making her Fernandez’s second wife, and therefore step-mother of Alonso de Estrada - unless his father married sisters, which is totally possible.

Either way, while the identity of his mother might still be in doubt, we now have a second document confirming that Alonso de Estrada was son of Juan Fernandez de Estrada, aka Juan Fernandez Hidalgo, who, according to the entry for Marina de Estrada (img249L), was:

“hijo segundo de la Casa de Estrada que bino de asturias a ciudad real, donde fue casado con doña luisa de oliver vezina de la dicha ciudad y fundo el mayorazgo de la Villa de Picon y de otras haciendas suyas…”

“the second son of the House of Estrada, who came from Asturias to Ciudad Real, where he married doña Luisa de Oliver, native of said city, and who founded the mayorazgo of the Villa de Picon, and of other haciendas in his possession…”

So, it’s looking more and more like there was no royal bastard birth for our infamous ancestor, Alonso de Estrada, and that it was just a legend, that probably grew from a popular joke, regarding his rapid ascent to power. I loved the idea of descending from a bastard son of the Catholic King - I love the irony, and I was thrilled when I first read about it, but these pieces of the puzzle keep popping up and bursting that bubble!

All the same, Alonso de Estrada’s life story is just as compelling, and even more impressive, if he did it without being of royal blood. It shows how a man can go from being a low-head-on-the-totem-pole holder of a señorio in Ciudad Real, to being governor of and one of the most powerful figures in one of the Crown’s newest acquisitions.

This prueba also gives a genealogy of his wife, Doña Marina Flores de la Caballeria, naming her parents and paternal grandparents, though it mistakenly names her grandfather as Alonso Gutierrez de la Caballeria, when it was his brother, Comendador Gonzalo Gutierrez: her grandmother, Doña Catalina de Luna, married brothers, sons of Men Gutierrez de la Caballeria cc Catalina de la Cabra. It does mention that Doña Catalina de Luna was niece of Alvaro de Luna, Condestable de Castilla, which is super cool, and shows how connected these Sefardi families were to the centers of power. By the way, there is no mention of Doña Marina being descended from Conversos, which is discussed in depth in the 1585 limpieza. I guess too many generations had passed.

I recommend reading this limpieza y prueba. The script is highly legible, and it’s laid out in columns, by relationships and by generations, with biographies of each ancestor. It’s like an encyclopedia: Alvaro Gomez de Abaunza and Isabel Costilla had some illustrious ancestors, back in Spain, and in Colonial Mexico and Guatemala - primeros conquistadores y pobladores, some really good stuff, and I’m sure some of you will make some connections.
Manny Diez Hermosillo

I had previously stated that I didn’t descend from Alonso Estrada and his wife. What I should have said was that I had not found him in my ancestral lines. Today I discovered that my wife and I both descend from Alonso Estrada and his wife Marina Gutierrez De la Cavalleria.

Rick A. Ricci


Just a follow-up on this thread...did Ana/Giest1 or anyone else ever find the Tomo with the phrase "the king´s little sin"?
I descend from Alonso de Estrada, world like to get his paternity straightened out, if possible.


Hi Denise,

I think Ana/Giest1 or whomever she was quoting confused the legends - that is how la Reina Isabel referred to the 3 bastard sons of her ally, Cardinal Pedro Gonzalez de Mendoza. She called them “los bellos pecados del cardenal.” Here's a reference:

As for the paternity of Alonso de Estrada, I did find a primary source that named him as Fernando’s son, which I’ll post, as soon as I’m near my home computer.

Manny Diez Hermosillo

Thanks Manny

, I’m looking forrward to reading about your primary source. Two great grandchildren of Alonso Estrada married, and I descend from their daughter, so I descend from Alonso Estrada twice.

It would have been impossible for Alonso Estrada to be anything other than the king of Spain to get away with the things that he did. Charles protected his uncle Alonso Estrada. During Alonso Estrada’s lifetime the only references to his father pointed to King Ferdinand II el Catolico

And the second dispensation record that you found Manny corroborates my research as to which brother was the father of Luisa Estrada.

Thanks again Manny,
Rick A. Ricci

Hi Rick and Manny

Thanks for your prompt responses! I agree with you Rick, that the way King Charles treated Alonso is a good clue, and then there is also Cortez´behavior toward Alonso as noted in a comment here by Giest1. So, Manny, I am really really looking forward to what you have to share :).

After focusing the past several years on my mother´s side, I am now reviewing the material I have on my paternal grandmother´s side. There is that small percent of DNA from the British Isles that has come down through her line....want to find out where it comes from.


Hi Denise,

That little percent of British comes from a few different sources. I willl name four. First, if you descend from Spanish royalty then you have a little British DNA.. Second, when the British sided with King Pedro cruel of Castilla they left British descendants in Castilla. Some even stayed on the Iberian peninsula. Third, I traced a line from a Viking that first left descendants in France, and then they branched out to England and Spain so this line left descendants with a trace of Norwegian/Swedish, in English, French, and Spanish branches. This line intermarried with English and French before going to Spain. Fourth, Sancho Martinez de Leyva married the Isabel Plantagenet (Suffolk) illegitimate daughter of the English King. Sancho and Isabella raised their family in Castilla and many of their descendants came to Mexico. These British ancestors would only account for a very small percentage of British DNA in single digits.

King Ferdinand II had a little English DNA and so did Luisa Estrada through her mother. Luisa Estrada descends from the Viking line that left descendants that married English and French before coming to Spain. The Villaseñor and Reynoso also descend from this line. The Reynoso also descend from Sancho Martinez de Leyva and Isabel Plantagenet Suffolk.
Rick A. Ricci

Hi Rick

Many thanks for your imput! I have thought something along the same lines, but with the observation that a sibling of my grandmother had 6% British Isle genes, and us grandchildren only 1-2%, I thought perhaps there was an English/Irish/Scottish ancestor within the past 6-7 generations. If so, I could perhaps put a name on that individual, like I did with the African genes (found the mulattos on my mom´s side) But it also occured to me that repeated instances of cousins marrying cousins in colonial mexico would have kept the genes in circulation in my grandmother´s lines, as they were Spanish (according to her, "puro espanol") and not inclined to marry non-Spanish, and sometimes cousins did marry cousins, or else the bride and groom had a common ancestor from Spain way back. But then my grandmother married a man who we now know had some Native-American genes (though you wouldn´t know if you saw him) and they had a son (my father) who married a woman (my mother) with a third Native-American genes. (My brother, sister, and I all have close to a third Native American DNA.). So those British Isle genes have gotten watered down over the last 2 generations. Anyway, I will keep pouring through the info I have on my grandmother´s tree, maybe something will turn up. I know John Hawkins the pirate/hero (depending on your perspective!) left some men behind in Mexico in the later half of the 1500´s, some of them may have left their genes in the gene pool of Mexico, and perhaps hispanicised surnames (Thomas Black became Tomas Blaque, for example). And then I also have to identify which of my gateway ancestors descend from the people in you comment above :)


Hello Denise,

I have the same small percentage of DNA. I have traced my ancestry much further than seven generations so my small percentage has to come from the endogamy of people that carried that small percentage for centuries.

In the previous post I named four examples of how people may have British DNA. I left out two others by mistake. The fifth is a woman who was the daughter of a man I only know as an Englishman “albañil” and a Castilian Jewish woman. Through their daughter, this Englishman and his Jewish Wife are the ancestors to many, many lines of nobility in Spain. I am in the process of collecting information on her descendants. Alonso Estrada’s mother descends from the “albañil inglés” and Jewish woman. Through his mother he also descends from King Pedro el Cruel de Castilla.

The first five examples Of how I have a small percentage of British DNA.

The sixth possibility is not part of my ancestry. This possibility is that you descend from one of the six English pirates that are on record as being in Mexico. The inquisition in Mexico condemned one of the English pirates, but the other five were cleared and allowed to continue living in Mexico.

Rick A. Ricci

Sorry it took me so long to get back to everyone. I did not get an alert in my email.. I may have to change it to another one so I can see my mail unfettered.

Francisco Fernandez del Castillo states the reference is from the Inquisition (reference cited as Archivo de Inqisición, Tomo 365) it was common knowledge in Ciudad Real and Almagro that Alonso de Estrada was an illegitimate son of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Castile (Fernandez del Castillo 399). I sent the request for the citation to one of the Universities I have not heard back whether they can provide that via E-book. "Historical Archives of the Nation in Madrid , Testimony 1501, No. 17 referred to by Fernandez del Castillo, 398-399. Sources Francisco Fernndez del Castillo, "Alonso de Estrada: Su Familia," in Memorias de la Academia Mexicana de Historia1(1942)"

I will provide the reference to Alonso himself citing he was the King's son in a fury which I read as well in my next post.

From what I read so far from you Rick is astounding! YES can't wait for that book :D If Luisa had a marriage but her son's age predated that marriage this would fill in the missing pieces. This would make her hubby the step-father not the biological father to Alonso de Estrada.

I am still working on getting that citation in the archives bear with me guys. Perhaps you will be much quicker in getting the original TOMO Fernandez del Castillo was referring to.

I definitely have more time to commit now perhaps I can get the powers that be to send a photocopy of the reference so I can dig around in the archives to find the citation. It most definitely seems that there are/were pieces of the puzzle missing regarding Alonso de Estrada.

Until we are able to verify them, the dispute will continue to rage over his paternity. So far the inquisition is less than accurate the main witness repeatedly said she could not remember over and over as you read the actual documents and it seemed even the inquisition was getting fed up with her responses in the documents. In the end his purity of blood, test remained in limbo. As for the second it appear to be the wrong Alonso? :/

Great work Rick! Great job everyone, every path must be explored thoroughly even if it is not the path we thought it was. I feel this is the way we keep our ancestors alive oh the stories they will tell.

I just wanted to let you know the citation I was referring to was in the inquisition papers that were cited as being the source saying Alonso de Estrada was in fact the result of the union of Luisa and the King are below on my last comment.

I encourage everyone to dig through the archives. The reference to the citation is listed in book it indicates the TOMO. I believe the book is listed with many Universities. One of them should have a copy we can go through it meticulously. The more eyes the better. This will be important when going through the Spanish Ministry archive in which I believe it is located.

Their references should be in their bibliography or on the bottom of the page of the reference. You will need this code to look up the original document.

All the best

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