Mestizaje: Indian Roots In 17th-Century New Mexico Family Genealogy

A recent post on the Facebook page of the New Mexico Genealogical Society mentioned that the results from the New Mexico DNA Project shows that of 710 maternal DNA samples of men with roots in New Mexico (mainly Hispanic men) 77.89% (546 individuals) have Native American DNA.

The genealogical research of the past sixty years has uncovered the diverse geographic and ethnic origins of Nuevomejicano families of the Spanish government era (1598-1821). The increased interest of people in researching their own family lineages has served to document a rich tapestry of geographic, ethnic, and cultural origins.

Often overlooked is the fact that many of the early families of New Mexico were part Indian and these Indian roots were diverse. Families such as the Montoya, Griego, and Anaya Almazán had roots among the Aztecs of the Valley of Mexico. The Luján, López de Gracia, Márquez, Martín Serrano, and Naranjo families were uniquely Nuevomejicano in their blending of Spanish and Pueblo Indian households and extended families.

The progenitors of the Montoya family of New Mexico offer one of the earliest examples with specific details about the particular origin of their Indian roots. Bartolomé de Montoya (born 1572) emigrated from Spain, being a native of Cantillana in the province of Andalucía. His wife, María de Zamora, was a Mexican Indian native of the Barrio de San Sebastián in Mexico City, located near the acequia of the city. The Barrio de San Sebastián was one of four indigenous barrios of Mexico City in the sixteenth century, being formed from the older Aztec barrio of Atzacualco (Tzaqualco) of Tenochtitlán.

María de Zamora moved with her parents to Oaxaca when she was seven years of age and then her family relocated to the Pueblo of Tezcuco, an indigenous community that quickly developed into a multi-ethnic community, where she married Montoya. This couple resided in the Barrio de San Lorenzo in the Pueblo de Tezcuco before coming to New Mexico as settlers in 1600.

In all likelihood, each of the Montoya-Zamora children was born in the Pueblo de Tezcuco. Their daughter, Petronila de Zamora, married Pedro Lucero de Godoy, a man of Spanish background and an encomendero in New Mexico. Diego de Montoya, the son of Bartolomé de Montoya and María de Zamora, attained the privilege of encomendero of the Pueblo of San Pedro in New Mexico. Encomenderos received tribute from the Pueblo Indians in return for armed military protection. Today, most of the people carrying the Montoya and Lucero surnames are descended of Diego and his sister Petronila, respectively.

Another family of blended Spanish and Mexican Indian ancestry is the Griego. Juan Griego traveled from Greece to New Spain where he most likely married Pascuala Bernal. This couple came to New Mexico in 1598 where their children, identified as mestizos, were born. As an adult, their son Juan Griego spoke the Náhuatl language of the Aztec Indians from the Valley of Mexico. He served as an interpreter of the Tewa language and attained the privilege of being an encomendero in New Mexico. His wife, Juana de la Cruz, also mestiza, was a daughter of the Spaniard Juan de la Cruz and his Mexican Indian wife, Beatriz de los Ángeles.

The Griego family, like the Montoya family, attained the highest social and political positions within New Mexico’s seventeenth century society. This was also the case with the Anaya Almazán family. Francisco de Anaya Almazán, a native of Mexico City born to Spanish parents, settled in New Mexico where he married the daughter of early settlers of New Mexico, Francisco López and María de Villafuerte.

María de Villafuerte, born in the latter half of the 1500s, was a highly acculturated Mexican Indian woman from the Pueblo de Cuatitlán, then located just north of Mexico City. Cuatitlán, also spelled Cuautitlán, is popularly known as the birthplace of San Juan Diego, the humble Mexican Indian man to whom the Santísima Virgen de Guadalupe appeared in 1531. It is not surprising to learn that her grandson, Cristóbal de Anaya Almazán owned a painting of Virgen de Guadalupe, indicating a personal devotion to La Guadalupana on his part. Cristóbal was also an encomendero in New Mexico.

Soon after the arrival of don Juan de Oñate and his group of colonists, there were several unions between his soldiers and the Pueblo Indians. Among the earliest was that of the Martín Serrano family. Hernán Martín Serrano, a Spaniard from Zacatecas, bore two sons. The mother of his son and namesakes, Hernán Martín Serrano, the younger, was a Tano Indian woman named doña Inés. She appears to have been the same Tano woman named Inés who was taken from New Mexico when the Castaño de Sosa expedition left New Mexico in 1591. She returned to New Mexico in the company of don Juan de Oñate with the expectation of serving in a role similar to that of the famous ‘la Malinche’ who accompanied Hernán Cortés.

In 1626 doña Ines was described as “an acculturated Tano Indian woman whom they treat as a Spanish woman." She resided in Santa Fe where her son, Hernán the younger, maintained his residence until the 1680 revolt of the Pueblo Indians. He attained military distinction in New Mexico and was also given the highest social privilege of being an encomendero. His brother, Luis Martín Serrano, was described as being a mestizo, but it is not certain if his mother was also doña Inés.

The records from the journals of don Diego de Vargas reveal the familial interrelationship between various groups of Pueblo Indians and Spanish settlers. There was a segment of New Mexico’s seventeenth-century society that crossed community boundaries. Tewa relatives of Juan Ruiz de Cáceres, an interpreter of Tano and Tewa languages, lived at San Juan Pueblo. In 1692 he took into his care two Pueblo Indian cousins, Tomé and Antonia, after almost thirteen years of being separated.

The soldier Miguel Luján, brother-in-law of Juan Ruiz de Cáceres, had comadres and relatives among the Tewa and Tano Indians who occupied Santa Fe after the revolt. One of Luján’s niece’s was the wife of the Pueblo leader don Luis Tupatú, known also as El Picurí in reference to his home community. Luján took into his care the sister of this niece.

In 1692, Francisco Márquez, a soldier, was reunited with his aunt, Lucía, who was part Tewa from Nambé Pueblo, and her grown daughter. Lucía’s husband, Pedro Márquez, settled in Casas Grandes after the Pueblo Indian revolt and never returned to New Mexico. Lucía assisted Governor Vargas during the period of restoration of New Mexico to the Spanish crown.

Underlying the restoration of New Mexico to the Spanish crown during the period of 1692-1696 was desire of family members to be reunited and to restore the broken bonds caused by the revolt of 1680. These bonds crossed cultural and linguistic borders and formed an important part of the unique heritage of Nuevomejicano society.
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Published on March 27, 2012 21:17 Tags: dna, genealogy, mestizaje, new-mexico
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message 1: by Mary (new)

Mary Sanchez Very informative! I've always wondered what type of Native American blood I have.

message 2: by Judy (last edited Aug 22, 2013 10:24AM) (new)

Judy This is a fascinating article. My father (Richard Montoya) always told us that his great grandfather immigrated from Barcelona, Spain. Now that I'm knee deep in the family history - I know this can't be true. They did come from Spain - probably 10 generations prior! I am at a brick wall with my gg-grandfather; however, based on the information I have, I do believe eventually we will trace back to Diego de Montoya. Thank you for all of this wonderful information.

message 3: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Fay Great New Mexico Pedigree Database, available on the internet, is highly recommended for anyone with roots in New Mexico. It has been of huge benefit to me in my genealogy research.

message 4: by Stanley (new)

Stanley Thank you very much for taking the time to research and publish this information.

message 5: by Dexter (new)

Dexter Kirkpatrick Nice to find this article and how can I get more information on the Griego's in New Mexico. The farthest I can go back is to Northern New Mexico and the Penasco area. I know many of the Griego's were very well known and my grandfather used to tell me stories of days gone by. I was told I had some indian in me however, I always kind of shrugged it off. This reading seems to verify that it could be true. thank you

message 6: by Ben (new)

Ben Montoya Dexter wrote: "Nice to find this article and how can I get more information on the Griego's in New Mexico. The farthest I can go back is to Northern New Mexico and the Penasco area. I know many of the Griego's we..."

message 7: by Ben (new)

Ben Montoya Hello Jose Antonio Esquibel,

I am fascinated with the info. on Maria de Zamora. Was this info gleaned from the citation of Angelico's NMF, p. 78, citation no 2, or from Don Diego de Varga's journals? In genealogical research it is important to quote a citation. Thank you. Benito Estevan Montoya

message 8: by Jose (new)

Jose Esquibel Bentio Estevan, the information about the origins of Maria de Zamora comes from several sources that I've cited in published articles. The main source is Archivo General de la Nciaón, México, Inquissición, tomo 467, folios 343-353. This record is dated December 1606 and is a denunciation to the Inquisition against María de Zamora accused of being a "hechiciera y bruja", "bewitcher and witch," for making and sharing potions. Also, there are records that describe two of her grandchildren as being "castizo", meaning one parent was regarded as "Español/a" and another was "Meztizo/a". These grandchildren were Catalina de Zamora and her brother Juan Luero de Godoy. We know from various records that the father of these sibligs was Pedro Lucero de Godoy, known to be "Español." This means that their mother, Petrona de Zamora was a mestiza. We know that Petrona's father, Bartolome de Montoya was a native of Castilla (Spain), and thus Petrona's mother, María de Zamora, was an Indian women.

message 9: by Ben (new)

Ben Montoya Greetings Jose Antonio, Thank you for the Citation on Maria Zamora’s denunciation of the Inaqusition.
Does NMF, p.78, Citation No. 2, AGN, Mex., Inq., t. 462, f. 351 mention in what year Bartolome and Maria were married? If they were married in 1587, as suggested in Family Search, Bartolome would have been 15 years old. Also, Francisco, the first born was born in 1587. Ancestry File 326P-SQF.
Also, Family Search NMFC73, lists Bartolome as “Soldiers to go with Don Diego de Peralta” March 5, 1609. Any comments will be appreciated.

Thank you, Benito Estevan Montoya

message 10: by Jose (new)

Jose Esquibel Benito, unfortunately, the document does not indicate a date of marriage. The fact that Bartolome de Montoya and María de Zamora came to NM in 1598 with five children tells us that they were married at least by the early 1590s.

message 11: by Ben (new)

Ben Montoya Hello Jose Antonio, Thank you for responding to my inquiry. I just completed a search for Bartolome de Montoya in Catalogo de Pasajeros a Indias, v6, 1578-1586, and v7, 1586-1599, without any results. There is a Bartolome de Montoya, natural de Toledo, hijo de Bartolome de Montoya y de Dona Isabel de Maceda, al Peru, v7, p. 604, 1596. Do you have any idea on how we could track down this information?
Thank you very much, Benito Estevan Montoya

message 12: by Jose (last edited Nov 03, 2015 08:08PM) (new)

Jose Esquibel Although this is an intriguing entry, the Bartolome de Montoya who came to NM was a native of a town near Sevilla and was a son of Francisco de Montoya and who was already in the area of Mexico City by 1588; which you probably already know. Anyway, I'm familiar with a copy of the record for the Bartolome de Montoya that was from Toledo and sought license to go to Peru, which is available online. You can consult a digital image of 100+ pages of the record at Click on the tab that reads 'Búsqueda Sencilla'. In the search box, type the phrase: Bartolome de Montoya. Then, under 'Archivo General de Indias' click on 'Casa de la Contratación.' On the next page that come up, you should see the name of 'Bartolome de Montoya' for a record cited as Contratación, 5251B, N.1, R.47, and dated '1596-1-28'. Click on the icon of a camera to view the digital images of the record. The record consists of testimonies from various witnesses about the family and background of Bartolomé de Montoya, native of Toledo. Enjoy the search.

message 13: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Sandoval I am a descendant for Martin Serano /Dona Inez as well as Juan Greigo / La India .
I suspect that Martin Serano wasn't a Spaniard as mentioned in this article but rather a mestizo as it appears that there is no information as of yet on his mother . Am I correct to suspect this .
If this is correct their children would have been labeled coyote I the caste system .

message 14: by Jose (new)

Jose Esquibel Jaime,
Indications from the surviving records are that Hernan Martin Serrano, who came to NM in 1596, was an español, meaning that both of his parents were of European stock. However, once we find additional documentation, it may provide us with data that clarifies his origins. Given that his son, Hernan Martin Serrano, by Inez, a Tano Indian women, was consistently identified as "mestizo" (meaning one Spanish parent and one Indian parent) is another indication that Hernan Martin Serrano had two parents of European extraction.

message 15: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Sandoval I understand that but how can we be sure if he was Spanish if we don't have info on his mother ? Like I said I "suspect "that his mother may not have been Spanish . Until we have solid information on his mother that indeed she was from Spain or a Spanish criollo we can't say for sure he was "Spanish "

message 16: by Karen (new)

Karen Dz. Hello. My Mom is a Lucero, we are related to Zamora's of Santa Fe and my Lucero Grandpa was (and his 4 brothers) raised by Montoya's and his Mom was a Griego. I've had my DNA tested and my maternal side has Mayan DNA markers), as well as some type of middle-eastern DNA. I am trying to verify if this is Sephardic or Moor. We are not sure. My Grandma was an Archuleta from Guadalupita, NM and on that side the DNA may be Basque? They were a land grant family but it seems that some of our Romero relatives gained the land by both positive & negative is all now part of the National Forest near Angel Fire. Several of my Lucero-side cousins also do research. I liked your entry & info very much,

message 17: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Sandoval Hello Karen I think we share several ancestors , my family has many of the mames u mentioned , Romero , Archuleta , Griego and I think Lucero . Is Guadalupita the same as Guadalupe by Cabazon ?? My grandfather was born in Guadalupe

message 18: by Karen (new)

Karen Dz. Hi Jamie. Well, here's the little village my maternal side are from in Mora County.
From what I've heard, Guadalupe usually refers to the county area west of that the location you mean? I'll ask my Mom, she knows all the names. Have you gotten your DNA tested? I found out through DNA that I'm even distant cousins to 'Father Bill' the priest that has been in the paper the past few years. And that he's a distant cousin of some sort to my hubby's side too. I guess we really are all related in NM! :)

message 19: by Cora (new)

Cora Lopez I've have researched off and on..for about a year..and am intrigued by the many stories that I've read..and by many others that have ancestors in common with me..i have not taken blood tests ..yet..or had the names on the tree..verified...I had an would be great..if a collage of the decendantss of bloodlines can be see if there are any resemblance ..I hope to meet distant relatives and share stories.God bless.

message 20: by Diana Erwin (new)

Diana Erwin Good article. I am a Griego by birth. My father was born in Mora, NM and his family was there for generations. His paternal grandmother was Navajo according to his baptismal record.

message 21: by Dennis (last edited Jul 11, 2018 08:40AM) (new)

Dennis W. Thank you for this excellent article! Bartolome' de Montoya and Maria de Zamora were my 9th Great Grandparents. My DNA tests at 20% Native American.

message 22: by R (new)

R Lucero Great article!

I’m both Montoya and Lucero, but haven’t yet been able to document beyond the late 1700s and early 1800s. From that period forward, they resided in doña ana co., nm. Any helpful information will certainly be appreciated. I’d love to be able to get further.

message 23: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Zaragoza thank you I am also a member of the lucero family he was my 13 great grandfather and I have 33% Native American blood was wondering who was the aunt of miguel lujan lucia what was her full name and does that mean I have Tewa ancesters????

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