Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

This Father's Day I am honoring my father
by blogging about his given name.

 Felipe Montoya Fajardo

The Montoya surname is of Spanish origin.
Derived from the Spanish word "monte"
which translates to "hill."

Montoya families lived in the mountainous
Basque region in northern Spain

Montoya was my dad's mother's maiden name. Even though I knew and was close to many Montoya cousins growing up, my grandmother passed away when my dad was only 6 and his father remarried and had another family. From what I can gather, my dad was raised largely by aunts and uncles. Sadly, the keeper of ancestral knowledge and family history was missing on my dad's side of the family. All these decades later, I am uncovering layers of amazing history. This quest for family knowledge has turned me into an amateur historian even though my original goal has been to repair family DNA... but that is another blog. 

For months I have spent days combing through genealogy websites trying to connect the dots from one Montoya to another but sidetracked by so much other data, I just discovered a very important player in my family genealogy day before yesterday. 

Bartolomé de Montoya, a Spanish Conquistador arrived in New Mexico on December 24, 1600. From the family of Bartolomé de Montoya, the Montoya surname was firmly established in New Mexico and ALL Montoya families from New Mexico descend from him. I can't even tell you how excited I was to discover this information. I have friends and family who are chuckling at my enthusiasm but this portion of my ancestry research has been the bane of my existence. I have gone all the way back many, many generations on every other branch of my family tree, then occasionally I will go back to my my grandmother, Josefita Montoya and I find nothing. Now I at least have one man to trace her back to.

Bartolomé was born in born in Cantillana in the province of Andalucía, Spain in 1572. He was 28 years old when he arrived in New Mexico. He had first gone to Mexico and married Maria de Zamora, an Aztec Indian from Oaxaca, born in about 1575. They were married in in Tezcoco. When they arrived in New Mexico, they brought with them their 5 children, Francisco, Diego, Jose, Lucia and Petonia. The family came as part of the second Onate expedition, whose colony consisted of 65 settlers. The Montoya family brought with them 25 servants, cattle and equipment needed to begin a new life in New Mexico. 

Bartolomé was the son of Francisco de Montoya. His wife Maria de Zamora, was the daughter of Pedro de Zamora, the Mayor of Oaxaca.

So my ancestry journey continues from my home base in Kyle, Texas. Living here has been such a blessing because it is remote enough that it is sometimes like living anywhere but Texas. It's just the right amount of secluded and quiet. Alone time is peaceful. It’s not Texas in my little world … until I drive 20 miles north and then I am back in Austin. And that is a wonderful thing.

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