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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 It is the only historical document that I know of that names the father of Alonso de Estrada.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've always believed that Alonso de Estrada was the son of the king. I've seen too many documents in Mexico where they try multiple times to cover up who the real parents are to avoid scandal. I think the most obvious indicator that he was the son of the king is the fact that he claimed to be the son of the king. I don't think he would be able to go around saying he was the son of the king and not get in trouble for it. And not only did he not get in trouble, he was made viceroy. It seems to me pretty obvious that he was the son of the King.

I contacted the publisher I got the entire catalog of writing I am just now going over it. It names Alonso de Estrada's great-grandson as his main source in his own words!! It was in that record. I am scrambling trying to get the citation at least by next week so I can read the actual document. Evidently there are many, many golden nuggets in there. Francisco says most of his work came from that declaration by Estradas great-grandson. So it seems you were right on track the genealogists were confusing people. Estrada's family is exactly who we thought and who was named in the inquisition declaration transcribed by Don Francisco Fernadez de Castillo in his writing. The reference he used was not the legend Manny was referring to but actually the transcription he uses is: "Picadillo Amaroso Del Rey don Fernando el Catolico y cierta dama de la familia de los Estradas, una de mas ilustres del reino". Francisco then gives the citation. That is what I am working on right now the actual citation location. I doubt Francisco was lying or not citing his work correctly considering it was being checked by the historical society/ archive. So that possibility is not even a consideration. The final pieces you have regarding the brothers will I believe silence the nay sayers forever.

Put a fork in it this is DONE. :D I can't wait for your book!

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