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mt-DNA haplogroup U6a7a1b in Zacatecas and Jessica Alba

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By The Genealogist - Posted on 01 February 2021

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Season 2, Episode 10: Decoding Our Past Through DNA, featured actress Jessica Alba. The episode focused on her father Mark Abla’s ancestry. What was intriguing was that his matrilineage stemmed from Zacatecas. This got me thinking that many people with ancestry from Zacatecas, including many Nuestros Ranchos researchers, probably share a link with the Albas.

The episode traced Mark Alba’s matriline back to Josefa Laves (b.ca. 1837), daughter of Jose Maria Laves (b.ca. 1820) and Carmen Carrillo (b.ca. 1820). This is where the episode hits the brick wall, but it did add one extra piece of crucial information: Mark’s mt-DNA haplogroup was U6a7a1b, a marker commonly found among Sephardic Jews. This would mean that Carmen Carrillo also carried mt-DNA marker U6a7a1b, as would all of her matrilineal ancestors.

Armed with the information from the episode, I began to focus on how to break down the brick walls, while tracing up this matriline.

1st brick wall:
Initially, no information for Josefa Laves (b.ca. 1837) or her father Jose Maria Laves (b.ca. 1820) could be found. Careful observation revealed that the surname “Laves” was actually “Lares” – an understandable misreading, considering the style of penmanship in the original documents. Also, Josefa Lares was actually born closer to 1847 then 1837.

Jose Maria Lares and Carmen Carrillo were married in Jerez, Zacatecas the 28th of May, 1845, as seen here:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939J-DZ95-4L?i=84&wc=3PSJ-929%3A147336901%2C147336902%2C160195001&cc=1804458
This record reveals that Carmen Carrillo was the daughter of Isidro Carrillo and Nepomucena Fernandez (b.ca. 1790).

2nd brick wall:
No marriage record for Isidro Carrillo and Nepomucena Fernandez could be found. It was time to look closer at the baptism records of their children. (Note: Some of the solutions for this 2nd brick wall were scattered among research notes shared years ago by Erlinda Castanon-Long.)

Carmen Carrillo’s 1821 baptism revealed her paternal grandparents but not her maternal grandparents, as seen here:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939N-1Z32-H?i=122&wc=3PS8-6TL%3A147336901%2C147336902%2C148097803&cc=1804458

Luckily, the baptism record of Carmen’s brother Lucas Carrillo named their maternal grandparents, as seen here:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939N-1ZQ6-S?i=465&wc=3PS8-6TL%3A147336901%2C147336902%2C148097803&cc=1804458
That meant that Nepomucena Fernandez was the daughter of Victoriano Fernandez and Felipa Torres (b.ca. 1757).

(Nicolas) Victoriano Fernandez and Felipa (de Jesus) Torres were married the 12th of September, 1782, in Jerez, Zacatecas, as seen here:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939N-GHYP-D?i=301&wc=3P9C-PTL%3A147336901%2C147336902%2C160163401&cc=1804458
This record reveals that Felipa de Jesus Torres was the daughter of Alejo Balvino de Torres and Antonia Bernardina de Avila (b. ca. 1732). It also adds a note that Nicolas Victoriano Fernandez and Felipa de Jesus Torres were related in “tercero con quarto grado” or in “third and fourth degree” meaning that the groom was three generations away, and the bride was four generations away from a common ancestor. I was unable to locate a corresponding dispensa record for this marriage, but this tiny detail would prove instrumental later.

3rd brick wall:
Going back another generation, no marriage record could be found for Alejo Balvino de Torres and Antonia Bernardina de Avila. Looking through the baptism records of their children would not work this time because they did not list grandparents in this time period. It was time to find an ulterior route. (This would be a tricky one.)

If Mark Alba’s mt-DNA haplogroup was U6a7a1b, then so was Carmen Carrillo’s, and ultimately Antonia Bernardina de Avila’s. I thought to myself: Could there be another Zacatecas lineage carrying the U6a7a1b mt-DNA marker?

Yes. There was one connected to Katy Brecht in a roundabout way:
Katy Brecht’s maternal grandfather had an autosomal match to another anonymous person. That other anonymous person had the mt-DNA marker U6a7a1b, and a matrilineage that passed through Zacatecas. Brecht shared that the other anonymous person was the matrilineal great-grandchild of:
Librada Arellano (b.ca. 1872), daughter of:
Refugio del Real (b.ca. 1850), daughter of:
Eduviges Quiros (b.ca. 1812), daughter of:
Josefa Sanchez (b.ca. 1785), daughter of:
Andrea Escobedo (b.ca. 1760), daughter of:
Ygnacia Ulloa (b.ca. 1730), daughter of:
Juana Acevedo (b.ca. 1710), daughter of:
Ursula de la Torre (b.ca. 1680), daughter of:
Josefa Gonzalez de Aro (b.ca. 1650), daughter of:
Mariana de Quero (b.ca.1630), presumably the earliest traceable carrier of the U6a7a1b haplogroup for Zacatecas.

How would Antonia Bernardina de Avila (b. ca. 1732) connect to this line? I could not trace backwards through her, but perhaps tracing forward from Mariana de Quero would reveal some possibilities. The task was to keep an eye out for matrilineal descendants of Mariana de Quero who married a de Avila/Davila within a time period appropriate to possibly being be the parents of Antonia Bernardina de Avila.

There turned out to be three possibilities:
1. Mariana de Quero’s matrilineal granddaughter Cecilia de Trejo had married Bernardo de Avila on the 15th of July, 1724, in Jerez, Zacatecas.

2. Mariana de Quero’s matrilineal great-granddaughter Efigenia Rosalia de Robles had married Eusebio de Avila about December of 1733, in Tlaltenango, Zacatecas.

3. Mariana de Quero’s matrilineal great-granddaughter Maria Gertrudis de la Torre had married Juan Simon de Avila the 23rd of November, 1729, in Jerez, Zacatecas. (Incidentally, Juan Simon de Avila was the son of the above mentioned Bernardo de Avila from his first marriage to Angela Fernandez – so Juan Simon de Avila had taken his stepmother’s niece [her sister’s daughter] as a wife.)

This third option seems the most probable because, when applied, it adds one crucial detail to the equation:
It creates the relation necessary for Antonia Bernardina de Avila’s daughter Felipa Torres to be related to Nicolas Victoriano Fernandez “in ‘tercero con quarto grado’ or in ‘third and fourth degree’ meaning that the groom was three generations away, and the bride was four generations away from a common ancestor” as stated in their 1782 marriage. The relationship would look like this:

Trunk…Sebastian Fernandez del Campo & Cesilda Lopez de Leon
………………….Alejandro Fernandez…1…Angela Fernandez
………………………..Juan Fernandez…2…Juan Simon de Avila
…………Nicolas Victoriano Fernandez…3…Antonia Bernardina de Avila
……………………………………………4…Felipa de Jesus Torres

Now anyone descended from Mariana de Quero can also claim a potential connection to Jessica Alba. The entire extended matriline of Mark Alba would look like this:

0. mt-DNA haplogroup U6a7a1b
1. Mariana de Quero (b.ca.1630) [Gabriel Gonzalez de Aro]. Parents of:
2. Maria de Rivera/Gonzalez de Aro (b.ca. 1660) [Marcos de Trejo]. Parents of:
3. Rafaela de Trejo (b.ca. 1688) [Diego de la Torre]. Parents of:
4. Maria Gertrudis de la Torre (b.ca. 1711) [Juan Simon de Avila]. Probably the Parents of:
5. Antonia Bernardina de Avila (b.ca. 1732) [Alejo Balvino de Torres]. Parents of:
6. Felipa de Jesus Torres (b.ca. 1757) [Nicolas Victoriano Fernandez]. Parents of:
7. Juana Nepomucena Fernandez (b.ca. 1790) [Isidro Carrillo]. Parents of:
8. Maria del Carmen Carrillo (b. 1821) [Jose Maria Lares]. Parents of:
9. Josefa Lares (b. 1847) [Juan Jose Silvestre Miramontes]. Parents of:
10. Silveria Miramontes (b. 1887) [Juan Miranda]. Parents of:
11. Guadalupe Miranda (b. 1910) [Daniel Martinez]. Parents of:
12. Isabel Martinez (b. 1932) [Jose Alba Sanchez]. Parents of:
13. Mark David Alba (b. 1960) [Catherine Louisa Jensen]. Parents of:
14. Jessica Alba “the actress” (b. 1981)

Excellent work David! Congratulations on your efforts being rewarded with these results.

Jessica Alba is a distant cousin of mine through our descent from Lope Ruiz De Esparza and Ana Francisca Gabai Navarro. This means that many nuestrosranchos members are related to her through “Ruiz De Esparza.”

Jessica Alba has at least three lines of descent from Lope Ruiz De Esparza and Ana Francisca Gabai Navarro.

I also share with Jessica ancestors Juan Diaz de Leon and Jacinta de Sotomayor. Jessica has many of the surnames in her ancestry that we are researching here in nuestrosranchos.

Thanks for sharing,
Rick A. Ricci

PS I have a lot to share with you on the ancestry of Sor Juan Ines de La Cruz, much more information than what you have seen in published books.

One of Jessica Alba’s great grandmothers, Francisca Sanchez, was born in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco. It is through this grandmother that many people from Los Altos de Jalisco are related to her.

From the Genoese Guido Lavezaris to Jessica Alba, 19 generations

1.) Guido Lavezaris (1450 - 1508) [Eugenia Perea]. Parents of:
2.) Sebastian Lavezaris (1485 - ?) [Catalina Chavez]. Parents of:
3.) Magdalena de Lavezaris (1517 - ?) [Bernardino de Isla]. Parents of:
4.) Benito de Isla (1540 - ?) [Juana Navarro]. Parent of:
5.) Maria de Islas (1597-1667) [Andres Martin de Sotomayor] Parents of
6.) Jacinta de Sotomayor (ca.1629 - ?) [Juan Diaz de Leon]. Parents of:
7.) Andres Diaz de Leon (1653 - ?) [Juana de Espitia] Parents of:
8.) Juan Diaz de Leon (ca.1680- ?) [Juana Petrona Muñoz]. Parents of:
9.) Benita Paulina Diaz de Leon (1711 - ?) [Toribio Gómez]. Parents of
10.) Maria Antonia Gómez (ca 1745- ?) [Jose Rangel]. Parents of:
11.) Jose Urbano Rangel (1773- ?) [Maria Nicasio Guardado]. Parents of:
12.) Maria de la Luz Rangel (1800- ?) [Jose Ruperto Rangel] Parents of:
13.) Urbano Rangel (1827-1887) [Genoveva Mosquera]. Parents of:
14.) Jose Ignacio Rangel (1875-1945) [Juana Cisneros]. Parents of:
15.) Maria Refugia Rangel (1892-1991) [José Sánchez]. Parents of:
16.) Francisca Sánchez (1957-1967) [Catalino Alba]. Parents of:
17.) Jose Alba Sanchez (1930-2010) [Isabel Martinez ] [ Parents of:
18.) Mark David Alba (b. 1960) [Catherine Louisa Jensen]. Parents of:
19.) Jessica Alba “the actress” (b. 1981) [Cash Warren]

From the Basque Lope Ruiz De Esparza and Ana Francisca Gabai Moctezuma to Jessica Alba

5.) Lope Ruiz De Esparza (el menor) (1569- 1651) [Ana Francisca Gabai Moctezuma]. Parent of:
6.) Salvador Ruiz De Esparza (1598-1680) [Maria Vielma] Parents of
7.) Andres Ruiz De Esparza (1620 - ?) [Catalina De la Fuente]. Parents of:
8.) Tomas Ruiz De Esparza (ca.1660 - ?) [Maria Montañés de Carillo] Parents of:
9.) Ignacio Ruiz de Esparza (ca.1681 -?) [Gertrudis Macias]. Parents of:
10.) Antonio Paulin Esparza (ca.1717 - ?) [Constanza Pedroza]. Parents of
11.) Pedro Segundo Esparza (1738 - ? ) [Maria Dolores Medina]. Parents of:
12.) Jose Francisco Esparza (1769 - ?) [Maria Eufrasia Pedroza]. Parents of:
13.) Ma. Josefa Gpe. Remigia de la Trinidad Pedroza (1792 - ) [José Ignacio Mosqueira] Parents of:
14.) Genoveva Mosquera (1834 -1917) [Urbano Rangel] Parents of:
15.) Jose Ignacio Rangel (1875-1945) [Juana Cisneros]. Parents of:
16.) Maria Refugia Rangel (1892-1991) [José Sánchez]. Parents of:
17.) Francisca Sánchez (1957-1967) [Catalino Alba]. Parents of:
18.) Jose Alba Sanchez (1930-2010) [Isabel Martinez ] [ Parents of:
19.) Mark David Alba (b. 1960) [Catherine Louisa Jensen]. Parents of:
20.) Jessica Alba “the actress” (b. 1981) [Cash Warren]

From both of these ancestries, Jessica Alba descends from Moctezuma II.

Rick A. Ricci
Book Mygenes2000

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