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

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

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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13 thoughts on “Moctezuma’s Children: Aztec Royalty under Spanish Rule 1520–1700

  1. Eddie Gonzalez

    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. Mary Helen Gauna Geiger

    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. Lauryn Gonzales

    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, https://khipukamayuq.fas.harvard.edu/)

    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. Betty Castro

    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!

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