April 4, 2018

The Manuscripts of Luis de Carvajal
Last Names of Nuevo Leon

About a year ago there was an announcement of an amazing discovery, it was the discovery of The Manuscripts of Luis de Carvajal . You may be thinking that it is not a big deal but it is.

This small booklet is the oldest known Jewish document in Mexico. It is also by the nephew of one of the first persons, Luis de Carvajal y de la Cueva, to attempt to colonize what is now Nuevo Leon.

Here is a description of the manuscripts.

Description of The Manuscripts of Luis de Carvajal

“Luis de Carvajal the Younger (ca. 1567-1596), was the nephew of Luis de Carvajal y de Ia Cueva, the governor of Leon, Mexico. The Carvajals are the best-known conversos (“New Christians”) in colonial Mexico, largely owing to Luis the Younger’s testimony at his trial before the Inquisition in 1595. He denounced more than 120 individuals as crypto-Jews–people who secretly practiced their old faith while publicly purporting to follow another faith–including members of his own family. He and many of his family were burned at the stake in 1596. These three bound documents recently recovered after going missing from the National Archive of Mexico more than seventy-five years ago, are believed to be the only extant writings by a Jew in Mexico during the Spanish colonial period. They include Carvajal’s autobiography (written under the pseudonym Joseph Lumbroso), the principles of the faith, the Ten Commandments, and a prayer manual drawn from the Old Testament.” — brochure published for the exhibition “The First Jewish Americans” at the New-York Historical Society (October 2016-March 2017).

I also thought it would be nice to provide some genealogical information about the family of Luis de Carvajal.

The family of Luis de Carvajal

Luis de Carvajal was the son of Francisca Nunez de Carvajal and Francisco Rodriguez de Matos. Francisca being the sister of Luis de Carvajal y de la Cueva.

His brothers and sisters were:

  1. Isabel widow of Gabriel de Herrera
  2. Catalina married Antonio Diaz de Caceres – Read More About Their Descendants
  3. Mariana
  4. Leonor married Jorge de Almeida
  5. Baltasar
  6. Miguel
  7. Anica
  8. Caspar Monk in the convent of Santo Domingo Mexico.

Now for the reason that you are here reading this post.

The Manuscripts of Luis de Carvajal

Here you will find the various manuscripts that are contained within the book itself. Below you will find the link so that you can see and read from the images made from the original manuscripts.


  1. Memorias – Pg. 5
  2. Trece Principios Fundamentales de Mainonides – Pg. 75
  3. Decalogue – Pg. 76
  4. Psalter – Pg. 87
  5. Psalms 17. A Psalm of David – Pg. 130
  6. Baruch 1 – Pg. 151
  7. Translation of the Hebrew calendar into Spanish – Pg. 169
  8. Psalm 90, 92, 135 in Latin – pg. 171
  9. Principios de Los m. [ ]ros de la ley Pg. 173

Read The Manuscripts of Luis de Carvajal

The Manuscripts of Luis de Carvajal

Read or View Manuscripts

Jewish Inquisition Records for Mexico

If you are interested in reading more about Jewish Records for Mexico make sure to check out my previous blog post “Jewish Inquisition Records for Mexico“.

Let me know in the comments section of what you think about these manuscripts and or if you are a descendant of one of the sisters of Luis de Carvajal or of His Uncle of the same name.


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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 www.moisesgarza.com.

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  1. So sad is the event that took place on that day to our ancestors!

    Moises, according to my tree: I am a descendant of:
    BIRTH 1538 • Balderas, Spain
    DEATH 8 DEC 1584 • Ciudad de, Mexico, (Nuevo Leon Province) Mexico City, Mexico
    He is my 12th great-uncle. He passed before this event….

    BIRTH 1540 • Carbajales de Alba, Reino de León, España
    DEATH 8 DEC 1596 • Ciudad de México, Reino de México, Virreinato de Nueva España
    wife of 12th great-uncle. One of them that suffered on that day.

  2. I am 1 per cent Jewish according to 23 and me! I believe starting from the beginning as God was and is!! Thanks for all your info and help! Especially your interest and intellect!! I am waiting for a Granddaughter to do myGed Match!

  3. Moises, now here is the reference to the mexican inquisition and yes many people were burned at the stake. this is especialy sensitive to me because of my jewish blood.many people deny this and pretend that nothing ever happened. all of this under the inquisition and it all started in europe especially spain and they had to flee
    to nueva espana. according to Josie mccarthy there was a jewish bakery in canelas durango, however I do not know the dates I have asked Josie about the dates but so far she has not replied.my guess maybe one hundred years ago. thank you for going the extra mile for me and did more research

    1. I am not denying it happened, I have 5 percent Jewish but I am not going crazy over it like many people do. Why don’t they go crazy with their 3 or even 10 percent African ancestry? This is just an opinion.

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