THE CONQUISTADORES AND CRYPTO-JEWS OF MONTERREY
Monterrey, among the cities of Mexico, has a mystique all its own, marked by an enduring and controversial “Jewish question” regarding its founding in 1596. Vito Alessio Robles, the eminent Saltillo scholar early on stated that “all the citizens of Monterrey descend from Jews.” After a public outcry Alessio Robles had to retract his statement. This book reviews the claim that many of the first settlers of Monterrey were indeed of Jewish descent. The author focuses primarily on the Garza family and establishes beyond a doubt that they were conversos, New Christians from original Jewish families, sometimes labeled Crypto-Jews if they lapsed back to practicing their Jewish faith in secret, the persons pursued by the Inquisition.
He claims through new archival research that ancestors of the Garza’s were burned at the stake in the 1526 Auto de fé held in the Canary Islands. In this work, the saga of the principal figures in the Monterrey region during the formative era-Luis de Carvajal, Alberto del Canto, Gaspar Castaño de Sosa, Diego de Montemayor, Francisco Báez de Benavides and Captain Joseph Martínez family of Marin-are presented against the backdrop of the ongoing settlement efforts and battles with the Indians.
Published by Valley Village, CA, 2001, 1st Ed., 296 Pgs., HB $40.00. Can be ordered from http://www.borderlandsbooks.com/new.html
Michael Salinas writes: It is not only impressive work, it validates the work that has already been done by groups such as Los Bexarenos, and Spanish American Genealogy Associates in Texas. I was surprised to see the most famous names of the founders of Monterrey, all of who are my ancestors, in addition to those above, Marcos Alonso Garza, Juan Navarro, Baltazar Castano de Sosa, Blas de la Garza and Juan Bautista Chapa. These are also the progenitors of 80% of the families in Texas and the Southwestern states. It was another affirmation of my lineage. .
Related books on the topic: Crypto-Jews of New Mexico, Silent Heritage, Jose Esquibels
Sephardim and the Colonization of the Spanish North American frontier 1492- 1600, Richard G.Santos
Judios Conversos en Mexico http://www.mesianicos.net/judios_en_mexico.htm This Spanish language web site includes well know colonial Sephardics, but also links and other fascinating information. Recommended also by Sephardic House. http://www.sephardichouse.org
Source: David T. Raphael