by Moises Garza

February 20, 2024

The Conquistadores and the Crypto-Jews of Monterrey
Last Names of Nuevo Leon

While conducting Genealogy Research I came across “The Conquistadores and the Crypto-Jews of Monterrey” by David T. Raphael. It turned out to be an excellent book. It is full of great genealogical information, many of my ancestors are mentioned within its pages and I am sure yours will be too.

There is even a whole chapter dedicated to my 11th great-grandfather Diego de Montemayor. Another whole chapter is dedicated to my de la Garza ancestors.

What I loved about this book was Gaspar de Castano’s entry into New Mexico and his brush with the Pueblo Indians. It is, in my opinion, an amazing chapter that shows clearly a first-hand account of how the Spaniards with way fewer numbers than the local population would overpower them.

After reading this book it is now one of my favorites. It not only provides great information but also contains transcriptions of original documents. You may also want to pay attention to the citations since that will lead you to more clues.

Book Cover of The Conquistadores and the Crypto-Jews of Monterrey

This book seems to be out of print but you can get the Kindle version for $25.00

Buy on Amazon

Book description from the distributor:

Among the cities in Mexico, Monterrey has a mystique all its own marked by the enduring “Jewish question” regarding its founding in 1596. The historian, Vito Alessio Robles, made the statement that “all the citizens of Monterrey are descended from Jews.” Includes chapters on early prominent founders and families, Alberto del Canto, Luis de Carvajal, Gaspar Castaño de Sosa, Diego de Montemayor, Founder of Monterrey, The Garzas of Lepe and Monterrey, Francisco Báez de Benavides and the Martínez of Marin. This book reviews the evidence.

If you have read this book or once you read it please let me know your opinions about it in the comments section. I know that it will help you out in your Genealogy Research.

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Note: This post was originally posted on January 18, 2014, and last updated on February 20, 2024.

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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 We Are Cousins, and the Mexican Genealogy blog. 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. Los dominaron porque traían los de ultramar, arcabuces con pólvora y caballos. No sin antes, quemarles 2 veces sus asentamientos, que fueron lis 2 intentos de fundación del nuevo reino de León. Normalmente ayudados por los tlaxcaltecas.

  2. It is certainly an incredible book!!!
    The best book on the history of the creation and players of the Nuevo Reino de León that I have seen.
    Do you know if there is way to contact the author?
    There are a few discrepancies from what he reported compared with my records.
    For example, where he mentioned Pedro de la Garza the Elder (my 9G GrandUncle) wife Inés Rodriguez (my 9G GrandAunt) he states that she is "the daughter of Chief Justice Diego Rodríguez and Sebastiana de Treviño".
    My record have her as the daughter of Juan Francisco Martinez Guajardo and Maria Ines Ursula Nabarro Rodríguez.

  3. Hello Mr. Garza,

    First of all, I hope you see this message and respond. I have to be honest….. I have trouble believing the evidence in this book which supposedly proves the Jewish ancestry of the de la Garza family. Let me explain. First, the flimsy allegations made by their neighbors seems to be simply that. In today’s court of law, it all probably would have been thrown out of court. If someone merely disliked you, an allegation could have been made against this family and under torture most people will admit to anything I think. We have seen this before even in our own country with the Red Scare back in the 50s (I think). Secondly, the ydna evidence that Mr. Crispin Rendon gives for this family doesn’t really point to Jewish ancestry either. R1b is a very common Western European haplotype. I want to believe that the family was indeed Jewish, but I don’t see conclusive proof for it. Again, I would appreciate your opinion. Thank you!

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