By John P. Schmal

The Surname “Bobadilla”

The surname Bobadilla is a surname that has been prominent in the Mexican state of Jalisco since the capital city of Guadalajara was first established in 1542. According to Richard D. Woods and Grace Alvarez-Altman, “Spanish Surnames in the Southwestern United States: A Dictionary,” the double suffix added to “boba” means a small but at the same time great foolishness, or suggests an individual who is large physicially but has few brains.


It has been suggested that this could be the name given for a misunderstanding between two families that was caused by an annoyance but had lasting consequences. The Spanish-English dictionary defines “bobada” as a silly thing or stupid talk, and the adverb “bobamente” means stupidly or naively.


Origins in La Rioja

Although Bobadilla became a fairly common surname in España over time, its origin appears to be in Rioja. In fact, there is a small municipio called Bobadilla that is presently located by the River Tovia in the western part of the present province of La Rioja. Rioja is a very small autonomous community and a province of northern Spain. Its capital is Logroño and the small province is nestled between five other provinces, including Burgos (to the west), Navarra (to the east) and Zaragoza (to the southeast). During the Middle Ages, Logroño (as La Rioja was known then) frequently found itself in the middle of disputes between the Kings of Navarra and Castilla.


The specific origin of the surname Bobadilla has been obscured by time, but it appears that that several individuals from the area of Bobadilla carried some form of the surname with them to other areas of the province or the country. One of the earliest families that is known to have come from this area is “Fernández de Bobadilla” family. The progenitor of this branch was Juan Fernández de Bobadilla, who was a native and resident of Bobadilla itself, hence the surname.


The Surname Spreads

Over time, the surname spread to Castila, Andalusia and the Canary Islands. Several Bobadilla’s were granted noble status. For example, on May 9, 1520, the King of Spain made Don Fernando de Cabrera y Bobadilla the Earl of Chinchón. The Diccionario heráldico y genealógico de apellidos españoles y Americanos actually dedicates 103 pages to Bobadilla’s many Spanish branches, which are too numerous to discuss in this work.  However, interested persons can access this information at the following website, which has reproduced the information from the Diccionario:


Bobadillas Arrive in the Americas

With the migration of Spaniards to the Americas in the Sixteenth Century, several Bobadillas are known to have embarked to the New World. In April 1535, Francisco de Bobadilla, a resident of Ubeda (a city in Jaén in Spain's south) left for the Americas.  In February 1538, Alonso de Bobadilla left the Villa of Bobadilla for a life in the New World.


The Bobadillas of Jalisco

The first known Bobadilla to arrive in Jalisco was Pedro Bobadilla, from Extremadura, an autonomous community of western Spain. Pedro Bobadilla has been described as the “conquistador de Jamaica” who came to Nueva España and Nueva Galicia. He was married to Maria and was one of the first 63 founders of Guadalajara in 1542. Pedro was also the first to die in the newly-established parish. Pedro’s son, Francisco Bobadilla is also listed as an early resident of Guadalajara.


Since the 1540’s, the surname Bobadilla has spread from Guadalajara to many parts of the State of Jalisco, but is most prevalent in the following communities:


  • Etzatlan
  • Sayula
  • Tlajomulco de Zuniga
  • Zacoalco de Torres
  • Totatiche
  • Ahualulco de Mercado
  • Acatlan
  • Colotlán


Copyright © 2014 by John P. Schmal. All Rights Reserved.




Archivo General de Indias. Pasajeros a Indias : libros de asientos (Sevilla, 1978).


Casa Real e Imperial Rurikovich, “Linaje Bobadilla,” Online:


De Atienza, Julio. Nobiliario Español: Diccionario heraldico de Apellidos Españoles y de titulos nobiliarios (Madrid, 1959).


García y Carraffa, Alberto and Arturo. Diccionario heráldico y genealógico de apellidos españoles y Americanos (1920-1963), 86 volumes.


Martins Zúquete, Alfonso Eduardo. Armorial lusitano; genealogia e heráldica (Lisboa, Editorial Enciclopédia, 1961).


Muria, Jose Maria and Olveda, Jaime. Lecturas históricas de Guadalajara : generalidades históricas sobre la fundación y los primeros años de Guadalajara (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Guadalajara, 1991).


Origen del apellido Bobadilla. Online:


Woods, Richard D. and Alvarez-Altman, Grace. Spanish Surnames in the Southwestern United States: A Dictionary (G. K. Hall, Boston, 1978).








By John P. Schmal

The Surname Ledesma

When you search the online White Pages for the Los Angeles, California, area, you will find that there are 98 Ledesma’s living in the L.A. area. This surname – while not very common in the overall population – is prevalent in several parts of both Mexico and the United States (especially Texas and California). Members of my own family are descended from the Ledesma’s who lived in Guanajuato for more than three centuries.  But Ledesma’s have lived in other areas of Mexico too.  So, one is tempted to ask, where did this surname get its origins?


In the “Dictionary of Surnames,” Patrick Hanks and Flavia Hodges indicate that Ledesma is a habitation name from places so called in the provinces of Logroño, Salamanca and Soria. They explained that Ledesma is a place name that may have derived from a superlative form of a Celtic adjective meaning “Broad” or “wide.”


According to Richard D. Woods and Grace Alvarez-Altman, “Spanish Surnames in the Southwestern United States: A Dictionary,” the surname Ledezma was derived from Leda” in Castilian which comes from “lada – meaning everything related to a noble woman.  Woods and Alvarez-Altman also described Ledezma as a Castilian name from the villa of Ledesma in Salamanca. Ledesma also has variant forms, Ledezma and Ledesmo.


Origins in Salamanca

The “Diccionario Heráldico y Genealógico de Apellidos Españoles y Americanos” states that the surname Ledesma originated in the area of the Villa de Ledesma in the province of Salamanca. Habitation names like Ledesma were usually acquired by a person who lived by or close to a place of that name.  In this case, a person living near the village of Ledesma who moved to another area may have been referred to as “the man from Ledesma” – or simply known as Ledesma.  And hence a surname was born.


Even today, the small villa of Ledesma has less than 2,000 inhabitants. The province of Salamanca is located in western Spain and is part of Castile and León. The capital city of Salamanca is approximately 200 kilometers (120 miles) west of the Spanish capital, Madrid, and 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of the Spanish-Portuguese border. The Diccionario also states that the surname spread to many other areas of Spain, but was particularly prominent in Castilla la Vieja (Old Castile), which was located in the northern part of the former Kingdom of Castile.


One branch of the surname appears to have originated in the City of Zamora, a city in Castile and León not far from the border with Portugal. The progenitor of this branch was Pedro Gonzalo de Ledesma, a native of Zamora, who married María de Herrera. Their grandson, Gonzalo de Ledesma y Avila, also a native of Zamora, became a Knight of the Military Order of Santiago in 1528.


Another branch of the Ledesma surname originated in Alba de Tormes, another municipio of Salamanca. The progenitor of this branch was Francisco de Ledesma, a native of Alba de Tormes and the husband of Ana de Ortega, a native of Valladolid. They were the parents of Andres de Ledesma, also a native of Alba de Tormes, who was married to Juana de la Puerta y Robles, a native of Madrid. Their son, José de Ledesma y de la Puerta, a native of Madrid, also became a Knight of the Military Order of Santiago in 1674.


Still another branch of the surname came from Madrigal de las Altas Torres, a municipio in the province of Ávila, where the progenitor Rodrigo de Ledesma married Teresa Arias. Their grandson, Fernando de Ledesma was a resident of Cantalapiedra (in Salamanca) who was made a nobleman by the Royal Chancellery of Valladolid in 1489.


A separate branch of the Ledesma family appears to have lived in Madrid in the person of Pedro de Ledesma, a native of Madrid, who married Inés Sánchez de Vargas during the Sixteenth Century. They were the ancestors of a long line of Ledesma’s in Spain’s capital, including Francisco Isidro de Ledesma y Verdugo who became a Knight of the Order of Santiago in 1623.


The Ledesma’s Arrive in the Americas

With the migration of Spaniards to the Americas in the Sixteenth Century, several persons with the surname Ledesma are known to have embarked to Peru or Nueva España (Mexico), including the following persons who were cited in “Pasajeros a Indias:Libros de Asientos:”


  • Pedro de Ledesma, the son of Pedro de Ledesma and Isabel de Grado, residents of Zamora, left to Nueva España on June 26, 1535
  • Luis de Ledesma, the son of Pedro de Ledesma and Elvira Ximénez, residents of Madrid, left Spain for Peru on January 8, 1537
  • Pedro de Ledesma, the son of Diego de Ledesma and Isabel López, residents of Zalamea, embarked for Nueva España on May 12, 1537
  • Isabel de Ledesma, a native of Nueva España, daughter of Juan de Ledesma and an Indian woman, embarked with her daughters (María de la Hoz, Francisca Ruiz and Isabel de Ledesma) on July 23, 1569 for Nueva España
  • Bernardino de Ledesma, native of Vitigudino, a single man, son of Francisco de Ledesma and Ana Martínez, embarked to Yucatán as the servant of Capitán Hernando de Mena on June 19, 1599


Early Ledesma’s in Nueva España

According to Hugh Thomas’ “Who’s Who of the Conquistadors,” Pedro de Ledesma, a native of Salamanca, Spain was a “secretario y escribano de Audiencia” in Santo Domingo from 1511.  He took part in the Narváez Expedition (1527-28) and later appeared in the Yucatan.




The Ledesma’s of Puebla and Distrito Federal

In Nueva España, one Salvador de Ledesma Mercado was a resident of Puebla de los Angeles and married Rosa María de Ortega. Their descendants lived in the area of Puebla starting the Ledesma Mercado branch of the surname. Starting in the latter half of the 1500s and continuing through the generations, various members of this family were baptized in the Cathedral of Puebla de Zaragoza (in the present-day state of Puebla) and in some Mexico City churches.


On November 6, 1620, Juan Alonso de Ledesma a resident of Puebla de Zaragoza, was married in the Cathedral to Ana Franca. Seven years later, on May 25, 1627, Antonio de Ledesma (the son of Antonio Ledesma and Juana de Meneses – both deceased) was married to Mariana Enriquez, a widow. Seventeen years later, in the same Cathedral, Antonio de Ledesma Espinoza was married to Maria de Leon on July 24, 1637. This Antonio may have been the son of the earlier cited Alonso Ledesma and his first wife.


Many individuals surname Ledesma continued to be baptized or married in the Puebla and Mexico City churches in the course of the next two centuries. For example, on August 23, 1807, one Jose Rafael de Ledezma y Mercado – the son of Jose Ygnacio de Ledezma y Mercado and Gertrudis Grajales – was married to María Marciala Gomez Malpica y Arinez – the daughter of Facundo Gomez and Francisca Dominga De Arinez – in Asunción Parish in Mexico City (Distrito Federal) [Family History Film Number 35278].



One of the earliest inhabitants of the young settlement of Guadalajara (Jalisco) in the 1540s was Pedro Ledesma, who had accompanied Francisco Vásquez Coronado in his search for Cibola in 1540 and with Mendoza in the pacification of Jalisco. He came from Mexico City.


The Ledesma’s of Guanajuato

In 1603, the Villa de Salamanca was established in Guanajuato by Viceroy Gaspar Zúñiga y Acevedo, himself a native of Salamanca.  San Marcos Irapuato – located a short distance away – had already been established in 1589. A considerable number of early Spanish settlers in these towns were from Salamanca, including the Ledesma’s who settled in the area during the early 1600’s.


Tradition has stated that the earliest known Ledesma to arrive in the nearby area of Valle de Santiago was Leandro Ledesma, who is believed to have arrived in the area during the first half of the Seventeenth Century. What has been proven so far is that one Melchor de Ledsma came to Guanajuato in the early 1630s and, with his wife had the following known children:


·       Melchor Ledesma Aguirre, baptized 26 April 1637, Santa Fe, Ciudad de Guanajuato

·       Margarita Ledesma Aguirre – baptized 2 August 1638, Santa Fe, Ciudad de Guanajuato

·       Melchora Ledesma Aguirre, baptized 28 January 1642, Santa Fe (in 1677, he was married in Marfil, Guanajuato)

Between 1634 and 1648, at least 16 servants of Melchor de Ledesma and Leonor de Aguirre baptized their children in the Irapuato Church. But on June 24, 1648, a son of Melchor and Leonor, Juan de Ledesma, married Maria Velasquez, the daughter of Agustin Marquez and Ysabel Velasquez - in Irapuato. Juan de Ledesma y Maria Velasquez had the following children:


·       Agustin Ledesma, Bapt. 3 March 1649, Irapuato

·       Melchior Ledesma, Bapt. 8 November 1650, Irapuato

·       Theresa Ledesma Velasques, Bapt. 17 May 1661, Nuestra Senora De Guanajuato

But it is also believed that they may have had a son, Domingo de Ledesma, who was later married to Micaela Espinosa, and had at least three children:


·       Antonio Ledesma, Bapt 16 March 1675, Salamanca

·       Gertrudis Ledesma, Bapt. 6 May 1676, Irapuato

·       Marcelino Ledesma, born in Salamanca (date unknown) and married on June 25, 1704 in Salamanca to Josefa Rodriguez

The Ledesma’s of San Jose Parangueo

Marcelino Ledesma and Josefa Rodriguez were the parents of several children, including Pablo Jose Ledesma, who was married on Feb. 28, 1729 to Gertrudis Garcia. Together Pablo and Gertrudis had several children, including:


  • Juan Francisco Ledesma, baptized in San Jose Parangueo on April 29, 1731
  • Nicolas Joseph Ledesma, baptized in San Jose Parangueo on December 11, 1733 and married to Maria Ygnacia Gonzalez in the same parish on September 12, 1756
  • Maria Ledesma, married to Jose Antonio Ramirez on January 21, 1761 in San Jose Parangueo
  • Jose Maximiliano Ledesma, baptized July 21, 1738 in San Jose Parangueo and married to Maria Guadalupe Garcia in the same parish on February 10, 1768.
  • Maria Gertrudis Garcia, married May 10, 1786 to Felipe Santiago de la Duena


Maximiliano Ledesma and his wife María Guadalupe Garcia, had among other children, Jose Ubaldo Baca, who would marry María Ygnacia Baca (the daughter of Manuel Baca and María Josefa Redondo) on October 18, 1809 in San Jose Parangueo, and together they would have the following known children:


  • Jose Antonio Rafael Ledesma Baca, baptized in San Jose Parangueo on Jan. 17, 1811
  • Santiago Ledesma, born around 1818
  • Maria Manuela Teodocia Ledesma, baptized in Santuario de Guadalupe, Valle de Santiago, on May 29, 1820


At around the same time, another Ubaldo Ledesma had at least four children with one Antonia Garcia. All four children were baptized in San Jose Parangueo:


  • Jose Andres De La Trinidad Ledesma Garcia, baptized Nov. 30, 1806
  • Jose Maria Silberio Ledesma Garcia, baptized on June 25, 1809
  • Jose Gerardo De Jesus Ledesma Garcia, baptized on Oct. 7, 1814
  • Jose Marcos De La Trinidad Ledesma Garcia, baptized on Oct. 19, 1815


It is assumed, although not proven, that the two Ubaldo Ledesma’s – living in the same parish at the same time – may have been cousins.


The Ledesma’s of Guarapo

Ubaldo Ledesma and Maria Ygnacia Baca’s younger son, Jose Santiago Ledesma, was married on April 2, 1838 in La Asuncion Parish in Guarapo, Guanajuato to María Gregoria Gutierres (the daughter of Leandro Gutierres and Maria Teresa Gonzales). Santiago and Maria Gregoria Gutierres had at least ten children, including:


  • Jose Ines Francisco Ledesma, baptized April 23, 1839 in Guarapo – he married Ramona Garcia on Nov. 1, 1865 in Guarapo
  • Jose Eraclio Bernave De Los Dolores Ledesma, baptized June 11, 1841 in Guarapo
  • Maria Pabla Ladislada Ledesma, baptized on June 27, 1843 in Guarapo
  • Jose Filogomio Visente Ledesma Gutieres, baptized Dec. 30, 1845 in Guarapo
  • Vicente Ledesma, born circa 1847, married on June 9, 1872 to Maria Razo in Guarapo
  • Jose Carmen Ledesma, born circa 1849, married on Aug. 4, 1882 in Guarapo to Maria Dolores Silva
  • Jose Maria Rafael De La Asumpcion Ledesma, baptized August 15, 1850, married in Guarapo on May 3, 1876 to Maria Trinidad Razo; with a second marriage on May 67, 1891 to Margarita Arredondo


The oldest born child of Santiago, Francisco Ledesma, was – as noted above – married to one Ramona Garcia and together they had the following children, all of whom were baptized in Guarapo (except the last child):


  • Tiburcio Juan Ledesma Garcia, baptized Aug. 11, 1866
  • Ma. Modesta Jesus Ledesma Garcia, baptized Feb. 24, 1868
  • Ma. Eulogia Rozario Ledezma Garcia, baptized March 11, 1870
  • Jose Trinidad Sabino Ledesma Garcia, baptized Aug. 30, 1871
  • Ma. Rita Eulogia Ledesma Garcia, baptized March 11, 1873
  • Maria Magdalena Ledesma Garcia, baptized July 22, 1874
  • Jose Luciano Francisco Ledesma Garcia, baptized Jan. 7, 1876
  • Maria Cayetana Magdalena Ledesma Garcia, baptized Aug. 7, 1877
  • Maria Eugenia Aurelia Ledesma Garcia, baptized Nov. 15, 1878
  • Maria Jesus Josefa Isabel Ledesma Garcia, baptized Nov. 5, 1880
  • Maria Eufrocina Virginia Ledesma Garcia, baptized Jan. 1, 1883
  • Maria Jesus Josefa Marta Ledesma Garcia, baptized July 29, 1884
  • Jose Anselmo Ledezma, baptized April 21, 1886 in Santuario de Guadalupe,​ Valle de Santiago,​ Guanajuato,​ Mexico


Today the surname Ledesma is very common in the region surrounding Salamanca, San Jose Parangueo, Guarapo and Valle de Santiago in Guanajuato. The offspring of Domingo Ledesma and Micaela Espinosa have had four centuries to multiply across the entire area, as indicated by the large families noted above. The Ledesma surname remains a prominent surname in some parts of the State of Guanajuato.



According to the Padron (church register) of Jalostotitlán (Jalisco) for 1650, three Ledesma’s were recorded as members of the Jalostotitlán Parish, all three living in separate households:


  • Clemente de Ledesma español
  • Felipa de Ledesma (10 years old)
  • Lucas de Ledesma (20 years old and single) español


Twenty years later, the Jalostotitlán church census of 1670 also recorded three Ledesma’s:


  • Diego de Ledesma (the spouse of Luisa de Orozco)
  • Nicolá de Ledesma (their child)
  • Doña Felipa de Ledesma (the spouse of Manuel de Escoto).


When the church records in Jalos (or Xalos) commence in the early 1700s, family history researchers find several Ledesma’s married and baptized in the church. On October 15, 1707, Antonio de Ledesma, a native and resident of Jalos, was married to Ysabel de Chavarria. In those years, still more Ledesma’s lived to the east in Santa María de los Lagos, now known as Lagos de Moreno, not far from Jalisco’s eastern border with the State of Guanajuato.


Ledesma’s in Paso del Norte

Some branches of the Ledesma family also made their way to the north. Researchers Aaron Magdaleno, John B. Colligan and Terry L. Corbett have organized and published some of the Paso del Norte (now Ciudad Juarez) records, providing researchers with some insight to the Ledesma family of El Paso del Norte.  On March 21, 1757, a mulato called Pedro Ledesma, the son of Joseph Ledesma and Maria Candelaria Gomez , was married to Barbara de la Peña, also a mulata (the daughter of Cristobal de la Peña and Maria Olguin), in Paso del Norte. A year later, on September 11, 1758, the widower Geronimo Ledesma was married to his second wife, Micaela Moreno. And three years later, on November 4, 1761, Ramon Ledesma married one Gertrudis Leyva.


Several years later on November 14, 1768, Juan Joseph Ledesma, classified as Español, the son of the earlier cited Geronimo Ledesma and his first wife, Barbara Micaela Moreno, was married to Manuela Torres (the daughter of Cristobal Torres and Francisca Sandoval). And on November 2, 1788, Jose Domingo Ledesma, the son of Jose Ledesma and Maria Manuela Torres, was married to María Andrea Balencia (the daughter of Juan Balencia and Petrona Paula Rivas.


Ledesma in the United States

The URL reports that 17,500 people in the U.S. have the surname Ledesma and that it is the 2211th most popular last name. While not all of these Ledesma’s are necessarily related, it is very likely that many of the Ledesma’s will find that their ultimate roots lie in the Spanish province of Salamanca.


Acknowledgements and thanks to: Aaron Magdaleno, John B. Colligan, Terry L. Corbett, Sergio Gutiérrez, and Maria Mercedes Tavera Sosa de Ledesma (married to a descendant of Domingo Ledesma and Micaela Espinoza).


Dedication: Max, Marissa, Jeremy and Andrew Warden (descendants of Domingo Ledesma and Micaela Espinoza) and Mary Schmal Warden (married to a descendent of Domingo Ledesma).


Copyright © 2014 by John P. Schmal. All Rights Reserved.




Archivo General de Indias. “Pasajeros a Indias : Libros de Asientos” (Sevilla, 1978).


Colligan, John B. and Corbett, Terry L. editors). “A Guide to the 1788 and 1790 Censuses of El Paso del Norte Arranged Alphabetically and Listed to Indicate Possible Family Groupings.”


García y Carraffa, Alberto and Arturo. “Diccionario Heráldico y Genealógico de Apellidos Españoles y Americanos” (1920-1963), 86 volumes.


Gutiérrez, Sergio. Padron y Memorias del Partido de Xalostotitlan, 1650.” (2011)


Gutiérrez, Sergio. Padron y Memorias del Partido de Xalostotitlan, 1670.” (2011)


Hanks, Patrick and Hodges, Flavia,” A Dictionary of Surnames.” (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988).


“How Many of Me,” Online:


Magdaleno, Aaron (editor). “El Paso Del Norte - Nuevo Mexico (Roots) Miscellaneous 1680-1727,” (California: 2009)


Muria, Jose Maria and Olveda, Jaime. “Lecturas Históricas de Guadalajara : Generalidades Históricas sobre la Fundación y los Primeros años de Guadalajara.” (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Guadalajara, 1991).


Woods, Richard D. and Alvarez-Altman, Grace. “Spanish Surnames in the Southwestern United States: A Dictionary.” (G. K. Hall, Boston, 1978).


Spain and Portugal for Visitors, “The Moorish Conquest,” Online:


Thomas, Hugh. Who’s Who of the Conquistadors (London: Cassell & Co., 2000)


Tour Spain, Travel Guides, “History of Santander, Spain,” Online:







By John P. Schmal

The Surname Lozano

The surname Lozano has been prominent in several parts of Zacatecas, Aguascalientes and Jalisco since the arrival of the Spaniards in Nueva Galicia during the Sixteenth Century.  In the “Dictionary of Surnames,” Patrick Hanks and Flavia Hodges indicate that Lozano is a nickname for an elegant or haughty person – from the Old Spanish, Locano (splendid, later “good-looking”).


According to Richard D. Woods and Grace Alvarez-Altman, “Spanish Surnames in the Southwestern United States: A Dictionary,” the surname Lozano refers to an area of luxurious green. This source also indicates that Lozano was originally a Castilian name from the mountains of León. Some sources believe that the surname originated in ancient Segovia and is the equivalent of Lozaza from the Latin “lautianus” meaning luxurious and sprightly.


Origins in Salamanca

The “Diccionario heráldico y genealógico de apellidos españoles y Americanos” states that one of the first notable members of this surname was Hugo Lozano, a native of Segovia, who was the secretary of King Ferdinand III (the Saint) who ruled from 1217 to 1230. However, over the centuries, various houses of the surname Lozano have also arisen in Aragon, Navarra, Asturias, La Mancha, Extremadura and Andalusia. The Lozanos in Aragon took part in the conquest of the Region of Murcia (in southeastern Spain) and the settlement of the town of Jumilla within Murcia.


One Gil Lozano, the son of Miguel Lozano, lived in the Villa de Biel in the judicial district of Sos (Zaragoza) in the early Sixteenth Century.  He was the founder of one branch of Lozano’s living in Biel and later in the Villa de Luna in the judicial district of Egea de los Caballeros (Zaragoza).


Another branch of the Lozano’s started out in San Juan de Berrio in the judicial district of Infiesto (Asturias) in the person of Alvaro (or Alonso) Lozano, a native of that town, who married Gracia Rodríguez.  Some descendants of this family moved to and lived in Granada, Sevilla and Cadiz during the next three centuries. In Vizcaya, a branch of the Lozano family originated in the Villa de Bilbao.



During the Sixteenth Century, a significant number of Lozano’s left Spain for Nueva España (Mexico). Three of these immigrants – listed in Pasajeros a Indias -- were:


  • Antón Lozano and María de Aguilar, his wife, residents of Los Angeles in Nueva España embarked from Spain to Mexico in a return trip to their residence in 1557
  • Catalina Lozano, daughter of Juan Gilado and María Lozano, a resident and native of Sevilla, also embarked for Nueva España in 1557
  • Pedro Lozano, a native of Archilla in Spain, the son of Juan Lozano and Teresa Fernández, embarked for Nueva España as the servant of Luis Méndez de Sotomayor (cleric) on January 11, 1593


Mexico City: Asunción Parish

The surname Lozano made an early appearance in Asunción Cathedral in Mexico City during the Sixteenth Century. On June 19, 1582, a Francisco Losano was married to Ana Rodriguez in the Church. And, a year later, on Sept. 27, 1583, another Francisco Losano was married to one Francisca Osorio.


A few years later, on January 21, 1585, Alonso Losano, the son of Xpoval (Cristoval) Losano and Maria Perez, all residents of Mexico City, was married to Barbara de Quiros (Family History Library Film 35267). A copy of that record is shown below:



Although some of the Mexico City Lozano’s eventually moved on to other parts of the country, the surname is still fairly common in Mexico City and the Federal District today.


Lozanos in Aguascalientes

Although it has not been absolutely verified at this time, Juan Lozano, a native of Lobón, Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain, and Ines Martinez are believed to be the ancestors of the Lozano family that settled in Aguascalientes in the early years of the Seventeenth Century. The name of Cristobal Lozano appears in the earliest parish registers of that city. On November 29, 1609, two Indian laborers employed by Cristobal Lozano were married in the Church of Aguascalientes.  In 1614, he is first mentioned as a padrino at the wedding of a couple.


Then, on April 1, 1619, Juana Lozano, the daughter of Cristobal Lozano and María de Isla, was married to Hernando de Velasco, a resident of Zamora (the son of Diego Arias Puebla y Maria de Velasco, natives of Valladolid). At the same time, Juana’s parents were still in the process of building their own family in the Hacienda de Xiconaque. Several of Cristóval Lozano and María de Isla’s children were baptized in the early years of the Villa, including Leonor (May 22, 1617) and Magdalena (September 7, 1619).


Although Lozano has been a very common surname in parts of Aguascalientes, it was equally prevalent south of Aguascalientes in Nochistlán (Zacatecas) and Jalostotitlán (Jalisco).


Jalostotitlán (Jalisco) Lozanos

The Lozanos also made an early appearance in Jalostotitlán, which is about 49 miles (78 kilometers) almost directly south of Aguascalientes. Their first recorded marriage in that parish took place on October 17, 1707 when Benito Lozano, the son of Fulgencio Lozano and Juana Casillas, married Rosa Francesca (whose parents’ names were not given – “hija de padres no conocidos”).


At this early stage, many Lozanos lived in the town because more than half a dozen served as padrinos at the marriages of other people in the first few years. The second Lozano to get married in Jalos was Jacinto Lozano (a widower) who, on Oct. 24, 1712, was married to Lugarda Enriquez del Castillo.


The five or six Lozanos living in Jalos at this time were prolific families and, as a result, the surname flourished over the next few decades and today, anyone who has ancestors from Jalostotitlán more than likely has Lozano ancestors.


Lozanos of Zacatecas

Finding the Spanish origins of Mexican families can be difficult when you consider that the Atlantic journey for many families took place several centuries ago. A Zacatecas will dated September 9, 1674 described the testament of one Pedro Lozano. Among other things, the will said that Pedro Lozano was the son of Francisco Lozano and Teresa de Alcolea (both deceased) who were residents of “Lugar de Campisarcalos, jurisdiccion de la villa de Miedes, Obispado de Siguenza” (in Zaragoza). Pedro’s own wife was Antonia de Urquicu and his children were listed: Pedro, Francisco, Ignacia, Joseph (a priest) and Teresa. Their descendants appear to be inhabitants of Monterrey (Nuevo Leon).


José Luis Vasquez y Rodríguez de Frías, in masterpiece “Genealogía de Nochistlán Antiguo Reino de la Nueva Galicia en el Siglo XVII Según sus Archivos Parroquiales,” discusses several dozen of the earliest families in that area. Among the early lineages discussed by José were:


  • Juan Lozano y Josepha Vázquez de Sandobal
  • Capitán Juan Lozano y Inés Martínez


Lozanos of Monterrey

The Monterrey Cathedral marriage records start in 1667 and are available on Family History Library Film 605179. One of the earliest marriages in this book is the October 2, 1669 marriage of Pedro Lozano and Mariana de la Garza, which we have reproduced below:



Capitan Pedro Lozano and his wife had eight children between the years of 1670 and 1687 and many of these descendants continued to live in Nuevo Leon for many generations. Capitan Pedro Lozano died on April 20, 1708 and was buried on the same date in the chapel of San Francisco Javier in Monterrey. His wife died nine years later, also in Monterrey. Their descendants are shown at the following link:


According to Kimberly Powell, “Meanings of Hispanic Surnames,” Lozano is the 51st most common surname in Spain, with an estimated 39,000 people bearing the surname. The surname is also believed to be fairly prevalent in many regions of Mexico today.


Copyright © 2014 by John P. Schmal. All Rights Reserved.




Archivo General de Indias. “Pasajeros a Indias: Libros de Asientos” (Sevilla, 1978).


De Atienza, Julio. “Nobiliario Español: Diccionario Heraldico de Apellidos Españoles y de Titulos Nobiliarios” (Madrid, 1959).


García y Carraffa, Alberto and Arturo. “Diccionario Heráldico y Genealógico de Apellidos Españoles y Americanos” (1920-1963), 86 volumes.


Hanks, Patrick and Hodges, Flavia, “A Dictionary of Surnames” (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988).


Iglesia Catolica, Catedral (Monterrey, Nuevo Leon). “Registro Parroquiales, 1667-1968.” FHL Microfilm #605179.


Inclan, John D. “The Descendents of Captain Pedro Lozano Rodriguez  And Dona Marianna de la Garza y Rocha” Online: <>.


Méndez de Torres y Camino, Daniel Alejandro. “Archivos Parroquiales de Aguascalientes: Siglo XVII” (San Jose, California: 2011).


 “Notarias of Felipe de Espinoza, Caja 02, Experiente de 1674.” From: “Gonzalez Direct Lines - Person Sheet.” Available at: <>.


Powell, Kimberly. “Spanish Surnames & Origins: Meanings of Common Hispanic Last Names.” Online: <>.


Vasquez y Rodríguez de Frías, José Luis, Genealogía de Nochistlán Antiguo Reino de la Nueva Galicia en el Siglo XVII Según sus Archivos Parroquiales” (2001).


Woods, Richard D. and Alvarez-Altman, Grace. “Spanish Surnames in the Southwestern United States: A Dictionary” (G. K. Hall, Boston, 1978).








By John P. Schmal

The Surname “Orozco”

The surname Orozco (or Orosco) is a surname that has been prominent throughout both Spain and Mexico over the last few centuries.  According to Richard D. Woods and Grace Alvarez-Altman, “Spanish Surnames in the Southwestern United States: A Dictionary,” two elements form this surname: “oros” which means holly tree and the suffix “-ko” which suggests place. Orozco therefore means place of the holly trees.  Orozco is also believed to have been derived from the Latin word “orosius” – the son of bringer of wisdom.


However, Orozco is also widely accepted as a Basque surname that indicates that one is a descendant of the ancient Señores de Vizcaya. In the Dictionary of Surnames, Patrick Hanks and Flavia Hodges offered an alternative explanation for the surname Orozco, indicating that it was Basque and that the first element of the name may have derived from the Basque oru (plot of land).


Spanish Origins

It seems likely that the surnames Orozco (or Orosco) – in all their forms (i.e. single surnames or double surnames) – may have evolved from several points of origin in different parts of Spain. According to García y Carraffa’s Diccionario heráldico y genealógico de apellidos españoles y Americanos , one form of the surname, Orozco de Vizcaya, originated among ancient horsemen whose descendants moved to the city of Trujillo in the present-day province of Cáceres in the Extremadura region of western Spain.


Another family of this surname seems to have originated in the villa de Villademiro in the partido de Castorgeriz in the Province of Burgos. And still another Orozco surname developed in the villa of Portillo in the judicial jurisdiction of Olmedo. Today Portillo is a municipio within the Province of Valladolid in the north of Spain.


García y Carraffa also noted that another branch of Orozco lived in the small village of Candeleda of the judicial district Arenda de San Pedro in the Province of Avila (Central Spain).  The progenitor of this family was Diego de Orozco, a native of Candeleda and Alcaide (Warden) of the village castle and the husband of Doña Isabel Monte, who was a native of Turégano in the province of Segovia. Their son was Diego de Orozco Monte, also a native of Candeleda, followed in the footsteps of his father as the Warden of the village castle. Diego married Doña María de Olmedo, a native of Arenas de San Pedro (which is just east of Candeleda).  This branch of the surname continued to occupy Candeleda for several generations.


The Oroscos Arrive in the Americas

With the migration of Spaniards to the Americas in the Sixteenth Century, several Orosco’s are known to have embarked to Nueva España (Mexico), including:


  • May 20, 1511 – Jerónimo de Orozco, son of Rodrigo de Orozco and of María Alonso, residents of Quesada in the Obispado (Bishopric) of Jaén (now a province of southeastern Spain), left for the New World.
  • May 4, 1535 – Alonso de Orozco, son of Pedro de Orosco and of María del Vado, residents of Fuentealvilla, in the Marquesado of Villena, embarked for Nueva España. Today the small village is known as Fuentealbilla and is located in the province of Albacete, Castile-La Mancha in east central Spain.
  • July 6, 1535 – Diego de Orosco, son of Francisco de Orosco, Governor of the Inquisition of Toledo, and of Leonor Cornejo, resident s of Toledo, embarked for Nueva España
  • April 26, 1536 – Juan de Orozco, son of Juan de Orozco de Andón and of Beatriz Martín, a native of Sevilla, embarked for Nueva España.
  • May 9, 1566 – Juan de Orozco, a native of Sevilla, the son of Jerónimo de Orozco and of Inés de Lerna, embarked for Nueva España


Francisco de Orozco

Persons with the surname Orozco are known to have played significant roles in the early history of both Nueva España and Nueva Galicia (which was the first Spanish name given for the areas now known as Aguascalientes, Jalisco and Zacatecas).  One of Hernán Cortés’ chief lieutenants in his conquest of Tenochtitlán (the Aztec name for the present day Mexico City) was Francisco de Orozco, who was believed to have come from Ubeda or Sanlúcar el Mayor. It was Orozco who first made his way to Oaxaca, claiming the region for Cortés and subduing the Mixtec inhabitants. He died in 1524 in Oaxaca.


Orosco in Guadalajara

Diego de Orosco from Toledo – mentioned above as a pasajero to Nueva España in 1535 and the son of Francisco Orozco –became one of the first 63 founders of Guadalajara in 1542.  According to Steven F. Hernandez and Tony Campos, other Orosco’s soon came to prominence in Guadalajara and surrounding areas of present-day Jalisco. Juan Bautista de Orozco, who immigrated to Nueva España in 1566 (as noted above), was appointed an oídor of the Real Audiencia de Guadalajara in the same year and served in that position until 1571.


One of the best sources of information relating to the Jalisco Orosco’s can be found in the 94-page Steven Hernandez and Tony Campos article, “Basic Foundations of Significant Families of Mexico: Tello de Orozco,” in the SHHAR Genealogical Journal, Volume 5 (2003), which is available through SHHAR. This masterpiece discusses Orozco and Tello de Orozco, as well as many other affiliated surnames, including Velasco, Liébana, Lomos and Bañuelos. On of the many documents referenced in this work is the May 2, 1714 marriage of Joseph Tello de Orosco and Lucía de Zamora in Ocotlán, which we have reproduced below:



Dr. Gerónimo Orozco and the Founding of Aguascalientes

Juan Bautista de Orozco’s brother, Gerónimo de Orozco y Lerma, was believed to have been born in Sevilla sometime between 1518 and 1522, as speculated by Hernandez and Campos. Sometime after arriving in Nueva España, Gerónimo became a licenciado (lawyer or attorney) with a degree from the University of Salamanca. Then in 1559, he obtained a doctorate in law from the University of Mexico. For fifteen years up to 1572, Doctor Orozco served as an oídor in the Real Audiencia.


On December 15, 1574, Dr. Geronimo de Orozco y Lerma took office as the Governor-President of the Royal Audiencia of New Galicia. From his headquarters in Guadalajara he played an important role in organizing the settlement of the Villa de la Asunción de las Aguas Calientes (Villa de Aguascalientes). On October 22, 1575 Orozco signed the certificate of foundation for the new villa, which today is a major urban center of Mexico.


Gerónimo de Orozco established Aguascalientes during the long Chichimeca War, in which the native peoples of the area attempted to stop the Spanish advance and waged a very effective guerilla warfare against the Spaniards and their indigenous allies from the south (i.e., Christianized Indians).  The intensity of the Chichimeca War led to numerous engagements.


Some researchers have stated that Geronimo Orozco was killed during a skirmish between Chichimecas and Spanish troops either in December 1580 or in April 1581. However, Hernandez and Campos have stated that Gerónimo continued to serve as the Governor until his death in 1592. Dr. Gerónimo de Orozco married Beatriz Tello de Sandoval around 1554 or 1555 and, together, they had ten children, including the following:


  • Francisco Tello de Orozco, born about 1556 in Mexico City, and married to Ana de Carbajal y Figueroa by 1602.
  • Beatriz de Orozco, born about 1558 in Mexico City, and married to Diego de los Ríos
  • Gerónimo Miguel de Orozco, baptized on October 24, 1562 in Mexico City, and later married to Isabel del Castillo


The descendants of Gerónimo and Beatriz and their many children are discussed in great detail in Steven Hernandez and Tony Campos’ article cited above and in the sources at the end of this story. Anyone who has Orozco ancestors should consult this work to see if they have any connections to this lineage, which is extensive throughout several parts of Mexico and discusses seven generations of Orozco’s.


Aguascalientes Grows

By 1582, the threat to the small villa of Aguascalientes became so serious that the population had dwindled to one military commander, 16 soldiers and two citizen residents. In effect, the small settlement – located in the middle of the war zone – was under siege. But in the late 1580s, the threat of Indian attack diminished steadily, as the Spanish authorities attempted to negotiate a peace with the Indians of the region. The last Indian attack took place in 1593, after which the threat of hostile attack disappeared entirely and the region experienced a new peace.


The new-found peace of the 1590s, according to the historian Peter Gerhard, “brought a tide of Spanish settlers beginning in the 1590s, mostly cattlemen and farmers, together with Indian and Negro retainers.”  By 1610, the small town of Aguascalientes had approximately 25 Spanish residents, about fifty families of mestizos, at least 100 mulatos, twenty Black slaves, and ten Indians.


By 1616, the Parish records at Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Aguascalientes mention La Estancia de Santiago as the property of one Jerónimo de Orozco and his wife, Doña Ángela Temiño de Velasco. Some researchers have stated that Jerónimo was a descendant of Alberto de Orosco, a first cousin of Geronimo de Orosco y Lerma, the founder of the city. Angela, for her part, was a great-granddaughter of Hernán Flores de la Torre, a conquistador of Nueva Galicia, and his wife Maria Alvarez de la Torre.


On September 24, 1618, Jerónimo and Angela had their son, Juan, baptized in the Parish Church. Another child, Maiana, was baptized on January 5, 1623. During the first few decades of the parish, Jerónimo, his wife and his children and grandchildren would serve as padrinos for many of the baptisms and marriages that took place in town.


The first known marriage of an Orosco in the Aguascalientes parish records was the marriage of one Diego de Orosco – another son of Jerónimo and Angela – who married Doña María Medel on April 14, 1637.


By the time of the 1648 Padron (church registry or census), Angela de Velasco – now the widow of Geronimo – was living with her family in “La cassa de Geronimo de Orosco” with her son Diego, her grandchildren and a large number of servants. By this time, Diego had lost his first wife, and had married a second wife, Maria de los Ynojos, and now had two children with her.


Living elsewhere in the City was Juan Marín de Penalosa who would later marry Francisca de Orosco y Santa Cruz, the daughter of Lucas Orosco y Santa Cruz of San Luis Potosi and Leonor Marin of Aguascalientes. 


The Orozco family continued to live and thrive in Aguascalientes for many generations. The detailed document below is the March 14, 1670 Aguascalientes marriage between one Frtancisco Murillo and Maria de Orosco, the daughter of Francisco de Orozco y Magdalena Gomez de Portugal, who were residents of Teocaltiche, almost 40 miles southwest of Aguascalientes.


Don Juan de Villaseñor Orozco

According to J. Ignacio Avila Garibi, Don Juan de Villaseñor Orozco was among the founders of Valladolid de Michoacán (later known as Morelia, the capital of the State) and the encomendero of Huango, Puruándiro and other cities. It is believed that he was born at Vélez de Castilla in Spain around 1500 and he died in 1566 at Tacámbaro, Michoacán.  He was married to Doña Catalina Cervantes de Lara (a native of Sevilla, Spain) and they are believed to be the ancestors of a long line of notable individuals in Mexican history.


Through their son, Federico de Villaseñor y Cervantes de Lara, Juan and Catalina were the great-great-great-great-great-grandparents of Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the priest from the city of Dolores in Guanajuato who led the first battles of the Mexican Revolution in 1810. Dolores would later be renamed Dolores Hidalgo in his honor and that is the name it carries today.


Through another son, Diego, Juan and Catalina were the great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents of Don Agustin de Iturbide, a native of Morelia (1783), who played a significant role in the last part of the Mexican Revolution, eventually becoming Emperor of Mexico and then losing his life in 1824.


Orozco in Mexico

Persons with the surname Orozco (or Orosco) have continued to play significant roles in Mexican political and cultural life. According to Wikipedia, José Clemente Orozco (November 23, 1883 – September 7, 1949) was a Mexican social realist painter who specialized in bold murals. Living around the same time, was Pascual Orozco Vazquez (28 January 1882 – 30 August 1915) who was a Mexican revolutionary leader. The surname in both forms continues to be fairly prevalent in some parts of Jalisco, Zacatecas and Aguascalientes, as well as other parts of the country.


Copyright © 2014 by John P. Schmal. All Rights Reserved.




Archivo General de Indias. Pasajeros a Indias: libros de asientos (Sevilla, 1978).


Campos, Tony and Hernandez, Steven F., “Basic Foundations of Significant Families of Mexico: Tello de Orozco,” in Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research (Steven F. Hernandez, editor), Genealogical Journal, Volume 5 (2003), pp. 167-238.


Davila, J Ignacio.  Los nietos de Don Juan (Mexico, D.F., 1949)


Davila, J Ignacio. Los nietos de Juan de Villasenor Orozco, fundador de Valladolid  (Michoacan, Mexico, 1948).


García y Carraffa, Alberto and Arturo. Diccionario heráldico y genealógico de apellidos españoles y Americanos (1920-1963), 86 volumes.


Gerhard, Peter. The north frontier of New Spain (Oklahoma: Univ of Oklahoma Press, 1993).


Hanks, Patrick and Hodges, Flavia, A dictionary of surnames (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988).


Hardy, Rose and Valdez, Dave. A genealogical look at the 1648 padron of Aguascalientes (2010).


Méndez de Torres y Camino , Daniel Alejandro. Archivos parroquiales de Aguascalientes: Siglo XVII (San Jose, California: 2011).


Muria, Jose Maria and Olveda, Jaime. Lecturas históricas de Guadalajara : generalidades históricas sobre la fundación y los primeros años de Guadalajara (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Guadalajara: 1991).


Rodríguez, Juan Manuel. “Gerónimo de OrozcoPor mercadointerno: El fundador de Aguascalientes y León, fue muerto por chichimecas” (October 22, 2011). Online:


Wikipedia, “Orozco,” Online:


Woods, Richard D. and Alvarez-Altman, Grace. Spanish Surnames in the Southwestern United States: A Dictionary (G. K. Hall, Boston, 1978).



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