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Presencia Judía en Los Altos De Jalisco

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By R.A.Ricci - Posted on 03 May 2019

I found an interesting article titled “Presencia Judía en Los Altos De Jalisco”. The article explains how many of the first Spanish settlers in Los Altos De Villanueva, Nueva Galicia had some Jewish ancestry. Although I agree with its take on the Jewish roots, it is off base when it explains that our French ancestry comes from French soldiers in the 1900’s. Most of my French ancestry comes from the original settlers who not only had some Jewish ancestry, but also carried with them some French ancestry. In fact as in the case of Toribio Hernández Arellano, the French and Jewish lines were one and the same. In the case of my Reynoso ancestry we find an ancestral line that links to the royal family of France. My father’s dna shows he is 30% French while my mothers dna shows 14% French.

The article also states that many of the first settlers came from Sevilla. There were many Italians in Sevilla in the 15th century which helps account for my mothers dna showing 18% Italian. My dad’s dna only shows 3% Italian. All four of my grandparents descend from the founding families of Los Altos De Jalisco.

Here is the link:

Rick A. Ricci

I meant to write French soldiers in the 1860’s, not the 1900’s. These French soldiers left only a small mark in Mexico. My parents’ French ancestry comes from Pre 1600’s


I have read this article before and it has great information but how would we ever know if our ancestors were Jewish since they hid and changed their ways so people would not know. My mother in-laws co-worker is from somewhere in Los Altos but lives here in Arizona now. Her entire family that is still lives there are Jewish and still practice the religion.


That is very interesting, what are her lastnames?

I just asked my mother in-law and she said the last name is Ramirez. I will try to find out both last names and what ranch or town they live in. I guess her father would tell her never tell anyone years ago that they were Jewish because they were scared.

Thankyou, it is amazing that they were able to keep their religious faith in secret for so many years!


My mother in-law got the name of the ranch or town where her coworker lived. I thought it was in Los Altos but it’s not but it is in Jalisco. The town is call San Martin de Bolaños and her fathers last name is Arellano and mother’s Ramirez.


Dear Esther,

It would be interesting to trace their ancestry. Could you get their contact information so that I may contact them and ask them questions about their ancestry? My Ramirez ancestry from Jalisco is the same Jewish conversó Ramirez family of sor Juana Ynes De la Cruz.

Rick A. Ricci

Hi Rick,

I will ask my mother in-law to ask her and she if she would be interested in researching her ancestry.

What town or city is your Ramirez ancestry from. My grandmothers last name was Ramirez and family came from El Capulin el Chaves.

I didn't know Juana Ines was Jewish. A year ago I watched her story on Netflix "Juana Ines" and loved the series.


Juana Ynes was not Jewish. She did descend from new Christians. Her ancestral Ramirez branch of the family were Jews that converted to Catholicism. Some of her family suffered much during the inquisition because of their Jewish roots She also had Italian ancestry.
Rick A. Ricci

Hola Rick,

In following up again on the notion of French ancestry in Los Altos (which my own family members have insisted on), I often wonder how far back in our lineages a French line exists. Could it be that the oral tradition of alteños having French blood lies in the middle ages in Spain, in the region near Salamanca?

Last summer I spent some time in Salamanca at the Universidad de Salamanca and visited the comarca of la Sierra de Francia. I wonder if any of our ancestors in Los Altos came from that area? The Sierra de Francia was repopulated by French settlers in the 12th and 13th centuries upon invitation from rey Alfonso IX. DNA, apparently, also indicates that the present-day inhabitants of the town of La Alberca in La Sierra de Francia have French ancestry, as well as some morisco, and Jewish.

An interesting article I came across states "la repoblación de la zona, desarrollada entre los siglos XII y XIII, contó con numerosos francos gracias al papel desempeñado por Raimundo de Borgoña, noble francés casado con la que terminaría siendo la reina Urraca I de León, la primogénita de Alfonso VI. La sangre local tiene también mucho de árabe y de morisco. No en vano el nombre de esta localidad parece proceder de ‘Al Bereka’, que significa estanque en el idioma de Averroes. Lo mismo cabe decir de la presencia hebrea. De hecho, dicen los estudiosos que la profusión de mensajes religiosos en los dinteles graníticos respondía a la voluntad de muchos judíos conversos de subrayar su fe cristiana en un tiempo en que lo menos grave que podía sucederle al falso converso era la expulsión." Fuente 7/2/19:

Another online article states " Alfonso IX de León organiza una nueva repoblación de la Sierra de Francia para afianzar la zona que en esos momentos era fronteriza con Castilla y línea de penetración de los musulmanes. La repoblación implicaba también la fortificación de la zona. Estas repoblaciones trascurrieron desde 1188 a 1230 Para realizar la repoblación llegaron franceses como atestigua la perduración de apellidos de este origen como Bernal o Gascón, pero también tuvieron que llegar pobladores llegados del norte de la península." Fuente 7/2/19:

If I am not mistaken, Mary Lou Montagna had information that Urraca was one of our direct ancestors. I am wondering if anyone has research as far back as the 12th century to indicate that ancestors of our alteños lines came from the present-day comarca of la Sierra de Francia, near Salamanca?

Best regards,

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