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Bringing back Juan de Moscoso y Sandoval

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By labananilla - Posted on 19 May 2020

Hello, everybody!

I am here to bring back the Juan de Moscoso y Sandoval mystery. I have been trying to gather as much information as possible, and nothing really fits just fine. I have read that the most accepted theory is perhaps that he is son of Lope de Moscoso Osorio and Leonor de Sandoval, but that doesn't quite fit.

I read in this same forum that this could be the case, since in Nobiliario genealógico de los reyes y títulos de España ( it is stated that they had 10 children, yet only some of them are mentioned. However, they actually are there (Gaspar, Baltasar, Melchor, Rodrigo, Antonio, Isabel, María, Catalina, Francisca and Ana), and I've come across many sources (such as that fully describe their lineage, without any Juan in it.

In the same document, however, we can see the house of "Vazquez de Moscoso". We must remember that, in another source that I found in this website (, there is a quick mention of Juan de Moscoso y Sandoval, son of Mateo Vasquez de Sandoval. Another user stated this makes sense, since the surname Vazquez can be found later in the tree. This is the only mention in which I've found Moscoso and Vazquez together; still, no trace of any Mateo was found.

However... yet another user posted a document ( where Francisco de Sandoval and Juan de Sandoval (brothers) ask to go from Alcabon to Mexico. Now, this document is really hard to read and I haven't been able to understand a lot of it, but it is from 1607 and it states that Juan is young at that point and they want to move since they have relatives who wanted them there because they are lonely. It would make sense to think of Juan de Moscoso y Sandoval at a young age at this point. This document says these guys are sons of Pedro de Sandoval and Catalina Martin.

Also, I'd like to take into account that surnames in this period are rather ambiguous and hard to trace. In my own tree I found Juan Manuel de Moscoso y Sandoval, then Moscoso disappeared for two generations (his father, Tomás, and his grandfather, Nicolás, appear everywhere I looked as just "Sandoval", and then Juan brings back "Moscoso". Furthermore, in the family of Lope and Leonor we can find a whole bunch of irregularities in last names.

My question would then be as follows: is it possible that our Juan de Moscoso y Sandoval is related to the spanish Moscoso y Sandoval family as a cousin? Perhaps some side of the Vasquez de Moscoso also got involved with the Sandoval family (again, it was not uncommon for last names to apper over and over in more than one side of families), thus birthing in some point Mateo Vazquez de Sandoval and eventually Juan?

Or, maybe Mateo Vazquez de Sandoval is the relative Francisco and Juan are coming with, thus the last names don't quite match?

There are so many dead ends and so much information that still cannot be verified with a document. However, I feel like we can get closer to solving this by making assumptions that can light up a path where we can search for further information. Also, I feel like the document of Francisco and Juan de Sandoval could be helpful if we could only understand the very cryptic handwritting.

Any help is very, very welcome. Has anyone found any helpful information?

You are stuck where I think we are all stuck. I think that dropbox link is mine. I don't think there actually is any primary source expressly stating that Mateo is the father of Juan Moscoso y Sandoval. The only primary source with Mateo's name can be found in this thread

Sorry, wish I had more for you! I did just take a quick look in Sayula and looks like there may be Vasquez de Sandoval there in mid 1650s

Thank you! Actually, it might be quite helpful. In this document both mentions of Mateo are answers to "question 25", implying that he abandoned his wife. The question is on page 85 of the same document, and it includes men that have abandoned their wives, that have them in Spain (which we know is not the case), that have no permission from the King to be in Mexico, that have died without a testament, or without any heir. There is no mention of a son, and I could think that the absence of a son could very well be a reason a man would abandon a wife.
Also, this document is from 1610, while the book that states he is the father of Juan de Moscoso y Sandoval says "it was told in 1608...".

Interesting, I wish that book had named its source! So if I understand right, you are thinking Mateo probably did not have a son?

I would think so... I mean, there is a side of the Moscoso family with Vazquez in it (starting with Suero Vázquez de Moscoso) which would give a hint and make it possible for Mateo to be his father, and Juan using Moscoso. But as far as I could get, this side of the family didn't mix with Sandoval, and there was no hint of any Mateo whatsoever...

I scanned the same document to find others who are accused in question 25, and they do mention when they have children. I don't know. Taking into account that back then women were pretty much meant to have kids, maybe if she couldn't have any that would've made him leave. Because there is also another question asking if they know someone who lives with a partner they're not married to, so if this guy had another woman, they probably woul've said so. It's just making assumptions, in the end... I'll keep looking at this record, though.

Also, I found this:
It's all about a "Juan de Sandoval" that I found in the book "pobladores de Nueva España" (

Now, they don't even mention where he's from, the last name Moscoso is nowhere to be found and the dates don't even match, so I'm not implying it might be him. There is however something that caught my attention. In more than one of these mentions they make a reference to his old age. We do know that our Juan was called "El viejo", the old man. Now, I'm still not saying that it could be him (that would mean he had children at 90 haha) but it seems like a funny coincidence. Maybe this is related in a way?

I'm just gathering all I can found to try to trace a line. I feel like the guy in the conspiracy theory meme.

**Edit: I just found this family tree (I haven't checked its facts though) but it shows the Vazquez de Moscoso family, and there are a coulple of Sandovals right there. Could be useful:

Hello Ana Torres
Sorry I did not write sooner, I got side tracked doing research for another Prima. You and I share Justiniano Moscoso y Sandoval and I come in thru his daughter Maria Manuela who married Jph Mariano Tello de Orosco on 15th May 1775 in Nochistlan F- 226727 image #473. here is he link


That's so nice! I descend from his son José Francisco, married to Juana de Aguirre. It's so cool that many of us are related to them. That brings my hopes up to solve this whole mystery.

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