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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 It is the only historical document that I know of that names the father of Alonso de Estrada.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

Dear Manny,

I owe you big time for the many times that you have helped me with my research. And this is another great find by you. However, I disagree that Juan Fernandez De Estrada is his father.

The genealogy that he was the son of The king seemed like a legend to me also. I even bought an original copy of the book that refutes that he was son of the king. Over the years I repeatedly stated that Juan Fernandez De Estrada was his father based on the argument put forward by this book. The problem is that when I researched the issue I discovered that it has some false information. This second genealogy that you found is based on the “ made up family tree “ that tried to hide that his mother was a mistress of the king. Her having an illegitimate child was an embarrassment to her family. Later on the family tried to hide its Jewish origins.

If juan Fernandez De Estrada is proven to be his father then this very old “book” that I have is worth some money. It is an original book and is in great shape even though it is not a hard cover book. So if Juan Fernandez De Estrada is his father I stand to make some money. There are only few copies of this book. Not only is it one of a few, I most likely have the one that is in the best condition since it does not have any folds or damage. The paper and ink used is proof of it being an original. It is in pristine condition.

Financially it would be great for me that Juan Fernandez De Estrada is his father, because then I would not feel guilty selling this book.

The Estrada family came from family with mixed old Christian and conversó ancestry. They were associated with the king. Alonso Estrada’s maternal grandfather was close to the king and a favorite of his. A member of the family married a distant cousin (not to distant as she descended from a brother of king Enrique Ii). The family was well paid. But the Kings favorite of the family was his illegitimate son, Alonso Estrada, that he had with the daughter of his friend. As the son of the king, Alonso was provided with a large annual salary, almost double the salary that was given to Hernan Cortez. This salary was large because he was the kings illegitimate son, and not because he was a treasurer. The other treasurers of the king did not receive anything near his salary.

Rick A. Ricci

Is there a primary source document containing the "mythical" genealogy? Where did it come from?

This limpieza and proof of nobility that appears to be dated 11 Dec 1608 is for a great-great granddaughter of Alonso de Estrada and Doña Marina Flores de la Caballeria. Much time has passed and information has been forgotten or intentionally changed. It is not uncommon for a great great grandchild to make an error when naming their great great grandparents. Juan Fernandez Estrada was her great great great grandfather and Luisa Estrada was her great great grandmother.

Juan Fernandez Estrada was an Hidalgo. The Hidalgo was not part of his surname. The Fernandez surname was because his father’s name was Fernando. He and his brother were close confidants of the King of Aragon, and served as ambassadors of Aragon to France and England. Juan’s mother came from the powerful Alvarez De Asturias family that also has royalty in their ancestry a couple of centuries back. Juan is married twice. His first wife is a cousin to the king as she descends from a brother of King Enrique II. Luisa Estrada is a daughter of Juan and his first wife. King Ferdinand and his distant cousin Luisa Estada are the parents of Alonso Estrada. He is given an immense salary, not for his service to the king, but because he is the king’s illegitimate son. Alonso is raised in the court of the king. His maternal cousins and nephews, descendants of Juan Fernandez Estrada’s brother, stay in Spain and provide a long history of service to the kings of Spain without the enormous salary that was given to Alonso.

The mythical family tree is the one in the limpieza. Diego Fernandez Hidalgo and Maria Gonzalez de Estrada are not the parents of Juan Fernandez Estrada. Part of the limpieza is correct. Juan Fernandez Estrada is ““the second son of the House of Estrada, who came from Asturias to Ciudad Real”. But neither of his two wives is named Luisa, Luisa is his daughter. Another mistake in the limpieza is the surname of Juan’s second wife. Her surname is not Oliver, it is Ulloa. Manny already pointed out another mistake in the purported family tree on the Gutierrez Cavalleria side of the family.

For those that don’t believe me, but insist that the limpiezas provide the correct genealogy, I have a book for sale that is an “antique” in pristine condition that purports to provide evidence of his ancestry due to the limpiezas. It would be a great addition to any library of someone that believes in the limpieza.

Rick A. Riccii
Source: book Mygenes2000

Dear Manny,

Sorry to burst the bubble on the:

“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.”

It would have been a great “rags to riches” story, but Alonso Estrada was an illegitimate son of a king and the kings not-to-distant cousin so he had a major advantage from birth. He actually descended from royalty numerous times.

Rick A. Ricci
Source Mygenes2000

A very important piece used to unraveling the mystery is the part where Juan Fernandez Estrada is identified as ““hijo segundo de la Casa de Estrada que bino de asturias a ciudad real”. This statement is the one that brings all the other puzzle pieces that I have collected together and positively identifies who it is that we are talking about.

Rick A. Ricci

Hi Rick

You provide a lot of information, and in your posts in this thread, cite the pruebas and Mygenes2000. The story is very interesting indeed!

Could you kindly provide a link for Mygenes2000 - or else a list of the sources in that book on which your posts are based, here in this thread?


Mygenes2000 is what I name my yet unpublished book that shows how many of the founding families were related to each other before they crossed the Atlantic Ocean.

In my book I have much more information on Alonso Fernandez Estrada’s ancestors and show how they are closely related to my Villaseñor and Reynoso ancestors that come to Nueva Galicia. The book is a huge undertaking as I connect many of the families before their crossing.

R.A. Ricci

Dear Manny,

There are portions of this family tree that are different than the other record. I believe that your finding of this record confirms my research on this family even though it clearly has some mistakes. This record correctly identifies that Alonso descends from the Juan Fernandez Estrada that was the second son the Estrada family that came over. The information that I have on on his parents and wives is concrete. The facts lead to Ambassador Juan Fernandez Estrada being Alonso Estrada’s maternal grandfather!and not his father. King Ferdinand is Alonso Estrada’s father.

King Ferdinand as an ancestor was not something many of his descendants were proud of because many of them were Jews. King Ferdinand’s expulsion of the Jews from Spain devastated many families.

Thanks again,
Rick A Ricci

Hi Rick

Thank you for your prompt response. I appreciate your dedication to your research and I do look forward to reading your book, Mygenes 2000. I also appreciate that you try to put the information in the documents into an historical context. I attempt to do the same with the documents I come across which relate to my family.

In your post of Sun, 2019-01-13 20:34 - ALONSO ESTRADA, you kindly provide 12 pieces of information. Since your book is not yet published, I must ask you for a few specifics on the bits I feel can be relatively easily handled (if you use footnotes or other standard citation system in your book) - sources for the following:

1. that Juan Fernandez de Estrada's first wife, "is a cousin to the king as she descends from a brother of King Enrique II.”
2. Luisa Estrada as a daughter of Juan and his first wife.
3. that neither of Juan’s two wives is named Luisa - so, what are their names?
4. The surname of Juan’s second wife. You state, “Her surname is not Oliver, it is Ulloa.” I looked at the 1608 document and I concur with Manny that the name there is Oliver. You must have seen Ulloa somewhere else?

One one of my family lines, I descend from Alonso de Estrada, so naturally I am interested in who his parents are. And as a researcher, I would of course like to see the sources you have used.


Genealogist Manny Diez Hermosillo contributed greatly to my Villaseñor research in Nueva Galicia. His contributions led to many threads that helped further along my research in Spain. Many other genealogists have also contributed to this research.

I complied much information on the Villaseñor ancestor families in Spain. How ironic that Mannys contribution to my families Villaseñor ancestral lines contributed to me finding Manny’s Estrada ancestral lines in Spain. Luisa’s mom is a daughter of one of these families. Juan Fernandez Estrada’s wife’s family is well documented by me. There is no question about Juan Fernandez’s first wife or her ancestry. Luisa’s mom’s family was not Jewish. It was the Estrada y Gutierrez deCavalleria descendants of Catalina and Alonso that tried to hide their Jewish faith. Luisas siblings, nephews and cousins were catholic with at least one of them appointed an official of the inquisition, and another becoming a priest.

I hope to have a book out in the near future so please be patient.

Thank you,
Rick A. Ricci

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