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COLONIA Y ALCOCER

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By jrefugioghermosillo - Posted on 03 November 2019

Hola prim@s,

Here’s my work on another family who used the Alcocer surname, appearing in Mexico near the end of the 16th century.

Brothers Alonso de Alcocer Belfelt and Juan de Colonia Belfelt were from Sevilla, Spain; from them would descend families who used the surnames Alcocer and Colonia, who lived in Mexico City, Penjamo Gto and in Patzcuaro Mich.

Alonso de Alcocer and Juan de Colonia were sons of Conrado Belfelt de Colonia and Leonor de Alcocer, of Sevilla. Leonor de Alcocer was said to descend from the “illustrious and noble house of Alcocer of Spain”; she was daughter of Alonso Sanchez de Jerez and Beatriz de Toledo, merchants, who lived on Calle de Catalanes in Sevilla. I don’t know which of them descends from the Alcocer, since I’ve done no work on that line. Maybe one of you has a lead?

Conrado Belfelt de Colonia was born in Cologne, Germany, so “Colonia” is a toponym (during his lifetime, native sevillanos would call him “el Flamenco,” thinking he was from Flanders). He was said to descend from the illustrious and noble house of “Belfelt” (also spelled “Berfelt” in some documents). I consulted with a Spanish cousin of mine, who lives in Germany, and who translates and transcribes texts and books between German and Spanish, and we think that “Belfelt” is an hispanization of “Welser” (usually spelt and pronounced “Belzer” and “Belzar,” in old Castilian texts). The Welser were a powerful family of bankers and merchants from Germany, active in Spain and its territories during the Hapsburg era. This would make sense, as Conrado Belfelt was a merchant - he sold nails and mercantile in his shop, located on Calle de Carpinteria, parish of San Salvador, in Sevilla. He was highly regarded in his community, lived in a very prominent house (with several servants), and was apparently the head of a German merchants guild; members used to “take off their hats,” when in his presence, underlining his noble pedigree. He was murdered while returning from a farm that he owned, his body found by the city walls of Sevilla. He might have died intestate, since their two sons migrated to Mexico. They also had a daughter named Beatriz or Ynes, who remained in Sevilla and who was married to a “fulano” Martinez.

The earliest documentation I’ve found for this family is Juan de Colonia’s 1578 petition to travel to Mexico (PARES/AGIS). His brother Alonso was already living there. In his petition, Juan includes a letter that his brother had written him, dated 10 Dec 1577; Alonso describes his arrival, and contracting “a chapetonada, which kills 1/3 of all those who arrive here from Spain.” From the sound of it, Alonso likely arrived a couple of months before he wrote his brother. He encourages Juan to join him and to try his luck, since “you have no father nor mother, and they left us with no inheritance.” My favorite part, is where he quotes a popular refrain: “Quien adelante no mira, atrás se halla”: “he who does not look ahead, will be left behind.” That really captures the spirit of these brave men and women!

On a side note, I also noticed Juan de Colonia’s address on the letter, and on a whim, I checked it out, to see where he was living: “la calle del atocha, casa de los fucares en madrid.” I absolutely got goosebumps! The Fucares - or “Fuggar,” “Fúcar” in Spanish - were another powerful family of bankers & merchants from Germany, with strong ties to the Emperor Carlos V. Their palace in Madrid no longer stands, but it was located on the corner of Calle Atocha and Calle de Fúcar (named for them) - just 2 blocks away from my current home in Madrid!!! I got chills, thinking that a possible ancestor of mine lived so near to me, 4 centuries ago!!!

Alonso de Alcocer and Juan de Colonia managed to establish themselves in Mexico; they had connections with viceroys Luis de Velasco, Gaspar de Zuñiga, and Diego Fernandez de Cordoba, all who awarded them land grants, governmental posts, and other favors. Alonso also received letters of recommendation from the Marquesa de Guadalcazar (Mariana Riederer von Paar, wife of Viceroy Diego Fernandez de Cordoba), her sister, la Condesa de Barajas (Maria Sidonia Riederer von Paar, Lady in Waiting for Queen Margarita de Austria) and la Duquesa de Valhermosa (Maria Luisa de Aragon y Wernstein), revealing strong ties with the Royal Court in Madrid - “la Madrid de las Austrias.” Notable is the fact that all three women were of German nobility - like Alonso & Juan.

Both Alonso de Alcocer and Juan de Colonia appear in Actos de Cabildo del Ayuntamiento de la Ciudad de Mexico in the early 1600’s; they were involved in tribute collection - Juan de Colonia served as “arrendatario de la sisa del vino” - the wine tax. This fits in with him living with and likely working for the Fucares in Madrid. Alonso was said to own some mills around Mexico City, as well as cattle haciendas in the province of Michoacan (likely, Penjamo, where his descendants would live. The Colonia’s of Patzuaro owned a hacienda in Valle de Taramequaro, Mich).

Here’s what I have on thee two branches:

ALCOCER - Mexico City & Penjamo

Alonso de Alcocer married Maria de Herrera Contreras on 29 Jan 1582; she was from Zacatecas, Zac; daughter of Gaspar Rodriguez de Contreras (of Pedroche, Cordoba) and Isabel Mendez de Herrera (of Zamora, Castilla y Leon). They had two children that I know of:

1. Juan de Alcocer, b. 10 Jul 1586, Mexico City.
2. Beatriz de Alcocer, b. 28 May 1590, Mexico City.

GENERATION II

Their son, Juan de Alcocer, was contador del Santo Oficio and later, tesorero de la Real Caja y de la Santa Cruzada. He married Guimar Davalos y Bocanegra, daughter of Diego de Bocanegra Cervantes y Villaseñor cc Maria de Verdugo y Avalos.

From them would descend the Alcocer y Bocanegra’s who lived in Penjamo:

1. Pedro de Alcocer y Bocanegra, b. 16 Jul 1637, Asuncion Sagrario Metropolitano, Central, DF, Mexico
2. Juan de Alcocer y Bocanegra, b. 16 Jul 1637, Asuncion Sagrario Metropolitano, Central, DF, Mexico
3. Teresa de Alcocer y Bocanegra, b. 23 Oct 1638, Asuncion Sagrario Metropolitano, Central, DF, Mexico
4. Capitan Jose Tomas de Alcocer y Bocanegra, b. 12 Mar 1641, Asuncion Sagrario Metropolitano, Central, DF, Mexico; m1. Antonia Redondo Bracamonte y Sandoval, im. 16 Jul 1660, Puruandiro, Mich, Mexico; m2. Anna Zurita y Leiba, im. 12 Mar 1662, Penjamo, Gto, Mexico.
5. Alonso de Alcocer y Bocanegra, b. 21 May 1644, Asuncion Sagrario Metropolitano, Central, DF, Mexico; m. Juana de Espindola y Lopez de Baena, im. 14 May 1671, Valladolid, Mich, Mexico.

COLONIA Y ALCOCER - Mexico City

Juan de Colonia was married to Mariana Muñoz de Herrera. I don’t know if she’s related to Maria de Herrera Contreras. They had five children that I know of:

1. Maria de Colonia Munoz, b. 25 Aug 1597, Asuncion Sagrario Metropolitano, Central, DF, Mexico.
2. Beatriz de Colonia Herrera, b. 22 Sep 1604, Asuncion Sagrario Metropolitano, Central, DF, Mexico.
3. Juan de Colonia Herrera, b. 04 Jun 1609, Asuncion Sagrario Metropolitano, Central, DF, Mexico.
4. Licenciado Fray Tomas de Alcocer, b. 13 Jan 1611, Asuncion Sagrario Metropolitano, Central, DF, Mexico.
5. Leonor de Alcocer, m. Francisco de Rebolledo Alfaro, Feb 1632, Asuncion Sagrario Metropolitano, Central, DF, Mexico.

FRANCISCO DE COLONIA - Patzcuaro, Mich.

Francisco de Colonia married Floriana de Velasco on 13 Jan 1624 in Patzcuaro, Mich. His parents aren’t named on the partida, but hers were Francisco de Ayala and Leonor Carvajal de Velasco; I’m brick-walled on Francisco de Ayala, but Leonor Carvajal de Velasco was daughter of Hernando Alexandre and Leonor Carvajal; Hernando Alexandre was son of Pedro Alexandre cc Ana Perez Navarro (early settlers in Michoacan), and Leonor Carvajal was daughter of Hernan Sanchez cc Maria Diaz. Like the Colonia Alcocer’s, the Alexandre were from the parish of San Salvador in Sevilla, Spain.

I still haven’t figured out whether Francisco de Colonia was son of Alonso de Alcocer or Juan de Colonia, but I’m confident that he is the son of one or the other. Juan de Colonia had a son named Licenciado Fray Tomas de Alcocer, who was racionero de la Catedral de Michoacan, and then vicar of Patzcuaro, where he died. A grandson of Francisco de Colonia, Bachiller Gaspar Rangel Peguero (son of Gaspar Peguero cc Josepha de Colonia), lived in the home of Fray Tomas, who he said was the uncle of his mother. On this basis, Ber Gaspar Rangel became capellan proprietario of the capellania founded by Fray Tomas. In another document, Leonor de Colonia, another daughter of Francisco de Colonia, identified Fray Tomas as her uncle. Both of these documents would imply that Francisco de Colonia was the brother of Fray Tomas de Alcocer, and therefore, a son of Juan de Colonia cc Mariana de Herrera, but the terms “uncle” & “nephew/niece” were used loosely during that era, and could also mean “offspring of a 1st-cousin,” so Francisco de Colonia could be a son of Alonso de Alcocer. I’m left with that quandary!

Francisco de Colonia and Floriana de Velasco had six children - one son, and five daughters. For the most part, their daughters used the maternal surname, Velasco. Their son, Juan de Colonia, had only one child - a daughter - so the Colonia surname became extinct in Michoacan. Floriana de Velasco died a widow and was buried 21 May 1674, in Patzcuaro.

The children of Francisco de Colonia and Floriana de Velasco are:

a) Beatríz de Velasco, m. Juan de Valladares. No known issue.
b) Nicolasa de Velasco. Doncella (Spinster). No known issue.
c) Josefa de Colonia y Velasco, d. 10 Sep 1682, Pátzcuaro, Mich; m. Gaspar Rangel Peguero y Perez de Gardea (of Aguascalientes), im. 04 Feb 1651, Pátzcuaro, Mich.
d) Juan de Colonia, m. Luisa Quintanilla de Velasco aka Luisa de Rangel, 16 Oct 1665, Chilchota, Mich. She was hija de la yglesia.
e) Leonor de Velasco, m. Capitán Antonio Romero Pisa y Pareja, 11 Mar 1669, Pátzcuaro, Mich.
f) María de Velasco y Colonia, m. Juan de Aguilera, 30 Sep 1681, Pátzcuaro, Mich.

I descend from the one daughter of Juan de Colonia cc Luisa Quintanilla: Ana de Colonia, who married Juan de Machuca Villareal (of San Felipe Gto), 26 Apr 1688, in Patzcuaro. They would migrate to Villa de Lagos, then to Ocotlan, and finally to Tala, Jalisco, where they probably died. They left offspring throughout Los Altos.

I hope some of you found this helpful!
Manny Díez Hermosillo

Hi Manny.

I have done much research on the Alcocer family in Sevilla Spain. One branch of the Alcocer family did move to Toledo where they married distant cousins from the Cota, San Pedro, and Herrera families. When I get home I’ll look up what I have on this branch and see if there is a connection.

Thanks,
Rick A Ricci

Two branches of the Alcocer family made it from Alcala de Henares to Toledo. The heads of both branches were tax farmers. I have not yet been able to come up with the descendants of Hernan Diaz de Alcocer of Toledo. Alvaro de Alcocer was the head of the other branch and he stated in court that he descendsed from the prestigious Alcocer family that originated in Alcala de Henares through his paternal lineage. This Alvaro de Alcocer was the father of Juan de Alcocer, Antonio ALVAREZ de Alcocer, and Mencia de Alcocer. Mencia de Alcocer was married to Juan Núñez de Toledo (Jurado, tax farmer).

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