September 12, 2018

Moctezuma's Children: Aztec Royalty under Spanish Rule 1520–1700
Last Names of Nuevo Leon

The book Moctezuma's Children: Aztec Royalty under Spanish Rule 1520–1700 is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to find out more about the descendants of Moctezuma.

Through, my research I have not come across any books that focus on the genealogy of Native Americans or Indigenous Natives of Mexico, this book being the exception. If you know of any please let me know so that I may share them. 

I was recently criticized by some of my readers stating that I don't care for my Native American ancestors since I only share Spanish ancestor resources. All I am going to say about this is that, I am proud of my Native American ancestry (the full 30% in my DNA) but I only share resources that I come across while following the paper trail.

Unfortunately, our Native American ancestors did not keep records. Yes some may argue that the Aztecs did keep records and that the Spaniards destroyed them but be realistic, I doubt that they kept birth, marriage, and death records. Also, those of us with deep roots in South Texas and Northeastern Mexico, our Native American ancestors were nomadic tribes not the Aztecs/Mexica. 

Anyways, I share what I come across while following the paper-trail and that paper trail lead me to some ancestors that went with Juan de Oñate into what is now New Mexico. Thus, after finding out that Juan de Oñate's grandfather is my 14th great grandfather I became more interested about reading on Juan de Oñate. I guess I am like most people, attracted to that famous relative, lol.

After some research I found out that Juan de Oñate married Isabel de Tolosa the daughter of Juan Tolosa and Leonor Cortez Moctezuma. Leonor (Isabel's grandmother) was the daughter of Isabel Moctezuma and her father was Hernan Cortez. Isabel (Isabel's great grandmother) was the daughter of Moctezuma.

Soon after I came across the book Moctezuma's Children: Aztec Royalty under Spanish Rule 1520–1700, I got a copy from Amazon. This book is an amazing wealth of information on the descendants of Moctezuma. It also provided some insight on some of my own ancestors the Saldivar.

The book is a great read and it will provide you with amazing genealogical information as well as a piece of history that fits in the greater historical picture of Spanish Colonial Mexico.

If you are a descendant of Moctezuma I would love to hear from you and also add you to my tree. Let me know with a message in the comments.

Cover of Book Moctezuma's Children: Aztec Royalty under Spanish Rule 1520–1700

Moctezuma's Children: Aztec Royalty under Spanish Rule 1520–1700

Table of Contents of Book Moctezuma's Children: Aztec Royalty under Spanish Rule 1520–1700

Acknowledgments Pg. ix
Introduction Pg. xiii

1. The Aztecs and Moctezuma II, to 1519 Pg. 1
2. The Survival and Accommodation of Isabel Moctezuma, 1519–1532 Pg. 27
3. Isabel Moctezuma 53
4. The Patrimony of Mariana and Pedro Moctezuma Pg. 75
5. Isabel Moctezuma’s Descendants and the Northern Frontier of New Spain Pg. 96
6. The Peerage and the Viceroyalty of New Spain Pg. 119

Conclusions Pg. 143
Notes Pg. 149
Glossary Pg. 173
Bibliography Pg. 177
Index Pg. 189

Description on Amazon About This book

Though the Aztec Empire fell to Spain in 1521, three principal heirs of the last emperor, Moctezuma II, survived the conquest and were later acknowledged by the Spanish victors as reyes naturales (natural kings or monarchs) who possessed certain inalienable rights as Indian royalty. For their part, the descendants of Moctezuma II used Spanish law and customs to maintain and enhance their status throughout the colonial period, achieving titles of knighthood and nobility in Mexico and Spain. So respected were they that a Moctezuma descendant by marriage became Viceroy of New Spain (colonial Mexico's highest governmental office) in 1696.

This authoritative history follows the fortunes of the principal heirs of Moctezuma II across nearly two centuries. Drawing on extensive research in both Mexican and Spanish archives, Donald E. Chipman shows how daughters Isabel and Mariana and son Pedro and their offspring used lawsuits, strategic marriages, and political maneuvers and alliances to gain pensions, rights of entailment, admission to military orders, and titles of nobility from the Spanish government. Chipman also discusses how the Moctezuma family history illuminates several larger issues in colonial Latin American history, including women's status and opportunities and trans-Atlantic relations between Spain and its New World colonies.

About the Author

DONALD E. CHIPMAN is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of North Texas in Denton. In 2003, King Juan Carlos I of Spain knighted him as a Caballero of the Royal Order of Isabella the Catholic, the highest honor that can be accorded to a non-Spaniard.

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About the author 

Moises Garza

I have doing my family genealogy since 1998. I am also the creator of this blog Mexican Genealogy, and my personal blog We Are Cousins. To always be up to date with both of these sites follow me on facebook. To contact me or book me for a presentation, buy my books, and or learn more about me visit my personal website at

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  1. I’m a novice at genealogy but have been do8ng some tree building in Family Search and have seen links to Ornate and Saldivar on my tree line, I have been trying to link my ancestry to Padro Longoria via my great grandmother Santos Arevalo.

  2. Hi Moises,
    I notice you send this the first time almost a year ago. There must have been hundreds of tribes in So. Texas and No. Mexico and not much is known about them, unless the Spaniards documented it. I am 16 % native thru DNA and I have not been able to find which tribe my last ancestor was from. I am from San Antonio. Since you are one of my cousins, I may have some connection to Moctezuma. I noticed on your comment section you have Eddie Gonzalez who commented that Santos Arevalo is his 2nd great Grandmother. Santos was my grandfather’s sister. Now that I have retired, I will dedicate more time to this. I want to thank you for your emails and all the information you provide. I do appreciate all your work and effort.

  3. I would just like to offer an observation about the use of Native American genealogy in the establishment of modern tribal enrollment rights, and perhaps offer some thoughts on our role as researchers and genealogists of Mexican descent. As sovereign nations recognized by the U.S. government, existing Native American tribes have the right and authority to set their own standards for tribal enrollment, sometimes based upon “blood quantum” or the applicants demonstrated genealogical connection to an ancestor who was a member of that tribe at the time a treaty was signed with the United States. Written records, as Moises points out, exist almost exclusively in the form of federal Indian census records which generally go back only to the late 1880s, when Indians were being forceably removed from their sovereign lands and relocated to government controlled reservations. South American and Mexican tribes had no such opportunity given to them. Few, if any, surviving tribes south of our border were given the option of a treaty or granted any kind of rights, including the right of continued existence — the right to life itself.

    As genealogists, we are trained to hunt for written records like they are hidden treasures and our only reward comes through finding them. But as individuals of Mexican, Latino or Hispanic descent, we need to remain cognizant of the fact that we are a mixture of indigenous and European ancestors (among others) and it is not exclusively our Spanish ancestory that gives us value or makes us who we are. Nor is it exclusively the written records of the Catholic church that inform our understanding of the lives and experiences of our ancestors. The complex codices of the Mayans, for example, absolutely contained written genealogical records, and the written languages of other indigenous peoples included equally complex systems of encoded information in the form of wampum belts and khipu where intricate beadwork patterns convey complex narrations of historical events and function as memory cues for the disemination of oral histories. Modern scholars believe the intricate knot patterns of the khipu may actually contain binary coding as a method of preserving tribal histories — in much the same manner that modern computer language utilizes zeros and ones. (See Harvard’s Khipu Database Project,

    The purposeful destruction of native indigenous language, culture, religion, oral histories, and written histories on the North and South American continents is a fact of historical significance and genealogical loss. As descendants of these people, our right and ability to “know who we are” through our exploration and understanding of these cultures has been denied to us. As genealogists, let us not add to the notion that our indigenous ancestors have little to offer us due to a lack of written records, but instead let us take every opportunity to encourage each other toward continued research and study into the rich histories of our Mesoamerican and Native American ancestors.

  4. I have another of Chipman’s books that I am currently reading. Looking forward to getting this one to add to my library! I could go broke buying books!

      1. Hi Moises,

        I have just discovered I am a direct descendant of Moctezuma through my mom, Santaella del Valle Leon.

        Do you know of any groups that are descendants?

        Thank you!


      1. Hi Moises , Doña Isabel (Tecuichpoch Ixcaxochitzin) Moctezuma and Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro Altamirano are my 14th Great Grandparents.

  5. Moises – I am related to the Saldivars through my my maternal grandfather who was the illegitimate som of Nasario Saldivar, b. 27 July, 1840, in San Fernando and whose family was descended from the Siete Señores. Family lore told us that he was descended from a prominent family but we had no proof. Some of us chalked it up to the “hijo de algo” syndrome until a cousin of mine went down and found the registro civil and copied the information. It was a while back so I don’t know if it was a photocopy or handwritten. I find genealogy so fascinating and something that can bring us all down to earth as well as make us proud of our ancestry. If I am not mistaken, I believe somewhere in the Saldivar line we are also related to the first recorded bigamist in the Nuevo Reino and it was a woman.
    Keep up the good work.

  6. Yo también soy descendiente por línea de mis 5os. Abuelos: Francisco Leal de León García 1724–Fallecido
    Matrimonio: 17 de Febrero de 1744, Cadereyta Jiménez, Nuevo León, Mexico
    María Manuela de la Garza Ávila 1721–Fallecida

    Y de mis 14os. Abuelos por la misma línea:
    Lorenzo Pérez de Oñate y Tolosa 1580–1630
    No hay acontecimientos de matrimonio
    Adriana De León 1577–1650
    Hijos de mis 15os. Abuelos:

    Juan de Oñate 1550–1626
    Matrimonio: Circa de 1569, Pánuco, Zacatecas, Mexico
    Isabel de Tolosa Cortez Moctezuma 1550–1620


  7. Hey, I enjoyed your website! I am an absolute novice but I’ve been doing some digging in my families research into our family tree. Additionally, Ancestry has been helpful if not potentially inaccurate. I followed my matriarchal line to Isabela de Telosa de Montezuma who would be my 12th great grandmother. My situation was similar to yours with my tree stating that I was related to the Onates. Please free to reach out to me!

  8. Hi Moises, Moctezuma II is my 17th great grandfather. I’m related through his son tlaltecatzin -> Mariana leonor-> leonor cortez

  9. Just found a connection to Moctezuma, he is my 14th great-grandfather. This connection is through my grandmother's paternal side. (Trevino) I've traced my ancestry from Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, South Texas, California, and Washington. My father was born in Seattle, WA, where my grandfather was stationed at the time. We are from Corpus Christi, TX.

  10. Hi Moises,

    I just found your website because I believe I am a descendent of Mariana Leonor de Moctezuma. Your research is fascinating!

  11. Hi Mr. Garza! Rebecca Torres here:) I recently learned that Moctezuma II is my 15th Great Grandfather. Through the Moctezuma-Barragon line. My second cousin, Beatriz Calles, hired a professional geneolist because she was pretty sure there was a direct relation as she had been told. So I now have the 15 page document to prove it! It even has pictures of some of my ancestors which is amazing! Thank you for the article.

  12. Hi Moises,

    I am trying to find information about my family tree. I seems I have a direct connection, but online archives say otherwise.
    For me, it says Juan de Onate and Isabel de Tolosa had a third child, Lorenzo Perez Onarte. I am descendant of Lorenzo, but archives say that Lorenzo is not a son on Juan.

    Any information on this?

    1. Hello Mauricio, If you are talking about Lorenzo Perez the father of ALonso de Leon then it is true, Lorenzo Perez is not their son. I have searched for a record and have never found one. Also, if you ask people that have it as such in their trees they will either not reply to you or simply tell you that thy just copied it off the internet.

      1. So we can said that there is not a fact to prove,that Lorenzo Perez The Father of Alonso Perez de Leon is a descendent of the Moctezumas lineage.

        1. Correct, with records we can only prove up to Lorenzo Perez. I think the problem is that the FamilySearch tree has it as so and people believe it is true. What many new people don’t know is that anyone can attach parents to anyone on that tree without any proof. The proper way to do research is to always find records to prove the family links.

          1. Your focus on records misses the history of the Sephardic Jews of Mexico. It was such a common practice not to record births that my own Jewish grandfather’s birth wasn’t recorded. His arranged marriage to my grandmother wasn’t recorded. They often even falsified birth records. I’ve worked with Israeli researcher schulamith ha levi who lived in Nuevo León to study the remaining crypto Jews for her dissertation who can shed light on some of these practices.

      2. This was a family of crypto Jews who often didn’t record all their children. Places where records are kept burn down, children are born in foreign countries or records are actually purged to conceal Jewish identity. My father was Jewish and this is the way his tree is listed. I cross referenced that on

    2. You’ll find this on, the site where Jewish people put the genealogies. My dad was Jewish and Lorenzo is listed as the son of Juan de Onate. Crypto Jews were good at covering their tracks even to the point of purging records of their ancestors. I believe this might have happened in this case as it’s only Jewish people that have this link between Lorenzo Perez and Juan Perez de Onate.

      1. Where is the proof, people are jsut makign assumptions. Even if in reality he is the son, where is the supporting evidence. Without evidence his father could be any male living in that time period.

  13. Hello. This is super interesting. Here is my family breakdown leading me to believe that I am a descendant of Moctezuma. Starting from my great grandfather.

    Jose Felipe Rodriguez Jacobo (my great grandfather)

    María Porfiria Jacobo Chavez

    Maria Tranquilina Chavez Alvarado

    Jose de Jesus Chávez

    María Josefa Ojeda Gaitan

    Maria Rosa Gaitan Delgado

    Maria Theresa Delgado

    Bartolomé Delgado Martín

    Capitán Francisco Delgado de Islas Martínez Lozano

    Isabel de Martinez Lozano y de Islas

    María Isla de Lavezaris Moctezuma

    Juana Navarro de Gabay Moctezuma

    Petronila de Moctezuma

    Leonor Valderrama Moctezuma

    Marina Leonor Acatlán Moctezuma Xochimatzin

    Huei Tlatoani Moctezuma II Xocoyotzin

  14. Hello. This is super interesting. Here is my family breakdown leading me to believe that I am a descendant of Moctezuma. Starting from my great grandfather. Jose Felipe Rodriguez Jacobo (my great grandfather) >María Porfiria Jacobo Chavez >Maria Tranquilina Chavez Alvarado> Jose de Jesus Chávez> María Josefa Ojeda Gaitan> Maria Rosa Delgado >Maria Theresa Delgado> Bartolomé Delgado Martín> Capitán Francisco Delgado de Islas Martínez Lozano> Isabel de Martinez Lozano y de Islas> María Isla de Lavezaris Moctezuma> Juana Navarro de Gabay Moctezuma> Petronila de Moctezuma> Leonor Valderrama Moctezuma> Marina Leonor Acatlán Moctezuma Xochimatzin> Huei Tlatoani Moctezuma II Xocoyotzin

  15. I am also a descendant of Motēuczōma. Through his daughter Mariana Leonor, her daughter Leonor, her daughter Petronila, her daughter Ana Francisca, her daughter Lorenza. Anyone else have that same lineage?

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