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
.

I grew up believing that Montoya was my dad's mother's maiden name. It was not. My grandmother's name was Josefita Labadie. Her father, Captain Juan Labadie y Sanchez died when she was a child and her mother, Dorotea (Maria Dolores) Chavez remarried Antonio Montoya and he gave her children his surname. This was confusing because I knew and was close to many Montoya cousins growing up. But since my grandmother passed away when my dad was only 3, the keeper of the family heirlooms and records was gone. From what I can gather, my dad was raised largely by aunts and uncles, including those in the adopted Montoya family. 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. 

I've spent months combing through genealogy websites trying to connect the dots from one Montoya to another, meanwhile getting sidetracked by so much other data and coming to the realization that there are closer links to the Montoya surname on my mother's side of the family. I just discovered a very important player in of the Montoya surname.

Bartolomé de Montoya was a Spanish Conquistador who arrived in New Mexico on December 24, 1600. Being the progenitor of the Montoya surname, it was firmly established in New Mexico, meaning 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 have chuckled at my enthusiasm but this portion of my ancestry research was the bane of my existence for a while. 

Bartolomé de MontoyaBuried Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Bartolomé was born in born in Cantillana in the province of Andalucía, Spain in 1572,  the son of Francisco de Montoya. He went to Mexico and married Maria de Zamora, an Aztec Indian the daughter of Pedro de Zamora, the Mayor of Oaxaca. She was born in about 1575. They were married in in Tezcoco. He was 28 years old when he and his family 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 my 8th great grandfather on my maternal grandfather's lineage and just in the line down from him, you will find four notable progenitor's surnames. It really makes me proud to see that I have such an amazing family history.


On my father's side of the family, even though my paternal grandmother did not carry the Montoya surname, Bartolomé de Montoya was my 9th great-grandfather in that lineage and again, you will find four notable progenitor's surnames.


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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