More to Explore

Gallegos Family Genealogy

While researching records related to the city of San José del Parral, Nueva Vizcaya (now Hidalgo de Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico), Gerald J. Mandell extracted historical and genealogical information about the Gallegos family (ONMF: 31). He shared some of his research with the editors of the Vargas Project (University of New Mexico) who included the material in the footnotes of By Force of Arms: The Journals of don Diego de Vargas, New Mexico, 1691-93, John L. Kessell and Rick Hendricks, editors.

Mandell's research extends the known lineage of the Gallegos family by two generations as follows:

Luis Gallegos de Terrazas, identified as a freighter, was married with Pascuala de Rueda. This couple had three sons: Alférez Diego Gallegos (born circa 1600), Antonio Gallegos and Juan Burruel de Luna. All three brothers were involved in silver mining at the mines of Parral.

Alférez Diego Gallegos, a rancher and miner, was married with Catalina de Rivera. They were the parents of José Gallegos (probably the son of this name baptized on 22 March 1657, Parral), and Antonio Gallegos, the progenitors of the Gallegos family of New Mexico.

Researcher: Gerald J. Mandell

Source: By Force of Arms: The Journals of don Diego de Vargas, New Mexico, 1691-93, John L. Kessell and Rick Hendricks, eds. Gerald J. Mandell, Research Consultant, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1992: 438 n. 45.


In 1656, at San José del Parral, Nueva Vizcaya, Capitán Alonso Morales García brought a suit to collect 333 pesos against Alférez Diego Gallegos, father of New Mexico settlers José and Antonio Gallegos (ONMF: 31; BFA: 483 n45). The document mentions "cathalina de Ribera mujer legitima del alferes diego gallegos vezo de este Rl…" ("Catalina de Ribera legitimate wife of Alférez Diego Gallegos, resident of this Real…"). As part of the investigation into this suit, the "bienes" (possessions/goods) of Gallegos were inventoried. Most of these goods were placed in the custody of Nicolás de Rivera, most likely a close relative of Catalina's. In his response to the suit, Gallegos wrote the following information which identified his wife's parents:

…como yo El alferez Diego Gallegos vessino del Rl y minas de San Joseph del parral de la jurisdicion de la nueva viscaya digo que por cuanto al tiempo ysason que se trato y conserto cassamiento entre mi y Cathalina de Rivera mi legitima mujer hija legitima de Franco miguel difunto y de maria de ortega…

(…that I, Alférez Diego Gallegos, resident of the Real and Mines of San José del Parral of the jurisdiction of Nueva Vizcaya, state that during the time that I contracted and joined in marriage between myself and Catalina de Rivera, my legitimate wife, legitimate daughter of Francisco Miguel, deceased, and María de Ortega…)

Researcher: José Antonio Esquibel

Source: El Archivo de Hidalgo del Parral, 1656B, frames 1034-1043 (El Capitán Alonso Morales García contra el Alférez Diego Gallegos, vecino deste Real) microfilm copy from the collection of the New Mexico State University Library, Las Cruces, NM.


Diego Gallegos, the father of José Gallegos (ONMF: 31), made his will at San José del Parral on 27 June 1657. In this will he declared he was a native of La Ciudad de Guadiana (Durango), the legitimate son of Luis Gallegos and Pasquala de Ruada (instead of Rueda, as previously documented), both deceased and who were residents of Guadiana. He further stated, “I declare that I am married and veiled according to the order of Our Holy Mother Church with Catalina de Rivera, my legitimate wife, and during our marriage we have had and procreated four legitimate children named Ygnacio, Diego, Joseph, and María, our legitimate children who are alive.”

 This information confirms the names of the siblings of José Gallegos, one of the progenitors of the Gallegos family of New Mexico. Curiously, Antonio Gallegos (ONMF: 31), identified as a brother of José by Chávez, is not named as a child of Diego Gallegos and Catalina de Rivera. It could be that he was not yet born and that Catalina was pregnant at the time her husband made his will. Another possibility is that Antonio was a natural son of Diego Gallegos. Chávez’ original source that identified José and Antonio as brothers is deserving of another close look. Chávez cited B.N.M., leg. 2, pt. 3, ff. 356.

 Researcher: Robert Martínez. Narrative Summary: José Antonio Esquibel

 Source: Archivo Histórico del Parral, Reel 1656B, Frame 642


 Diego Gallegos and Josefa Gutiérrez (ONMF: 179) had these other children not mentioned in Origins of New Mexico Families: María Bárbara Gallegos, española, baptized. 31 December 1744, San Buenaventura de Cochiti, with Cayetano Lucero and María Salas as padrinos; and Diego Gallegos, a soldier in Santa Fe, a farmer by occupation, 5'4" tall, age forty-three when he enlisted on 5 December 1759 in place of Francisco Ortega. The younger Diego Gallegos was described as having black hair and eyebrows, a round face, swarthy skin, a sharp nose, and a heavy beard. He signed by mark. He served as a soldier for twenty-six years and died at the Presidio de Carrizal on 18 December 1785.

Agustín Gallegos and María Montaño, not treated in Origins of New Mexico Families, were married 15 June 1735, San Felipe de Neri Church in Albuquerque. The witnesses for this union were Capitán José Gonzales and Francisca García. Agustín and María, appear in the 1750 Albuquerque Census as: “Gallegos, Agustin, Spanish, soldier, age 31; wife María Montaño, Spanish, age 31; three children: Bárbara, 14; Thomas, 11; Martin, 9; Barthola, Indian servant, 16” (Olmsted, Spanish and Mexican Censuses of New Mexico, 1750-1830, p. 75, entry number 32).

The following information is known about the children of Agustín Gallegos and María Montaño. Bárbara Febronia  Gallegos Montaño was baptized 31 March 1736, Albuquerque, and her padrinos were José Montaño and María Cuellar, who were very likely related to María Montaño, possibly even her parents. Martín Gallegos Montaño, age twenty-nine in 1761, married Leonor Gonzales Bas, age fifteen, the daughter of Antonio Gonzales Bas and Josefa Varela (AASF, DM 7 May 1761, no. 10).  Antonio González Bas and Josefa Varela are treated in Origins of New Mexico Families (page 190), but there is no mention of their children. Leonor González Bas is an addition to Origins of New Mexico Families. 

 Researcher: Yolanda Romero Chávez

 Sources: AASF, Roll 4, Cochiti, Baptisms, 1736-1775.; AASF, Roll 1, Albuquerque, Baptisms, 1706-1736; Virginia L. Olmsted, “Spanish Enlistment Papers of New Mexico 1732-1820,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 67, Number 4, Dec.1979 by Virginia Olmsted, CG.; Virginia L. Olmsted, G.R.S., Translator and Compiler, Spanish and Mexican Censuses of New Mexico, 1750-1830, Albuquerque: New Mexico Genealogical Society, 1981, p. 75.


Last will and testament of Elena Gallegos, 1 May 1730

The name of Elena Gallegos is still known to many people today in New Mexico. The large tract of land that she acquired by sale in 1716 became known as the Elena Gallegos Land Grant during the mid-late 1800s. Today, most of her land, which stretched from the banks of the Rio Grande near the village of Alameda to the Sandia Mountains, is part of the City of Albuquerque. A parcel of land at the foothills of the Sandia Mountains is now Elena Gallegos Park.

No approximate year of birth has been ascertained for Elena Gallegos. Most likely she was born just prior to or soon after the Pueblo Indian revolt of 10 August 1680. She was a native of Bernalillo and her parents were named as Antonio Gallegos and doña Catalina Baca in her prenuptial investigation record dated 1699, Bernalillo. Curiously, Antonio Gallegos and doña Catalina Baca were not accounted for in the census made in early 1693 of the exiled New Mexico families intending to return with Governor Vargas. The household of Antonio's brother, José Gallegos, was enumerated in this census and only lists his wife, Catalina Hurtado, and their five sons. In addition, there is no listing of any Gallegos household in the cattle distribution census made by Governor Vargas in May 1697. In short, it is still not known how and when Elena Gallegos and her brother Felipe Gallegos came to reside in the Bernalillo area.

In 1699, Elena Gallegos sought to marry Santiago Grolé (also known as Jacques Grolet), a native of La Rochelle, France, who was born about 1663 (Chávez, "NMR," 87-88, DM 1697, no. 12, Santa Fe; and Chávez, ONMF, 193). A careful review of a copy of the original prenuptial investigation record clearly shows that Santiago Grolé named his parents as "Ybon Groleé" and "Marie Odoin" (DM 1699, no. 8, Bernalillo, San Felipe). It has been previously cited that the surname of Santiago's mother was "Odom" (Chávez, ONMF, 193). In her last will and testament, Elena Gallegos declared she had been married with Santiago Gurulé for twelve years, indicating that Santiago died around 1712. According to her last will and testament, Elena Gallegos directed that she be buried by the font of Holy Water in the church of San Felipe de Neri in Albuquerque.

In 1716, Elena Gallegos purchased a large tract of land from Diego de Montoya, which he had received from the crown in 1694. This particular tract of land has become known as the Elena Gallegos Land Grant. Records concerning this land grant and many others have been preserved among the collection of land grant records that are part of the Spanish Archives of New Mexico. These records are part of the Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Series I (SANM I) and can be accessed on microfilm. A copy of the last will and testament was one of the important documents collected in regard to the Elena Gallegos land grant. Researchers will often find this and other land and personal family papers in the land grant records. In addition, many of the original Spanish documents are transcribed and also translated into English.

The last will and testament of Elena Gallegos is dated 1 May 1730. The revised English translation presented here is based on a copy of the original Spanish version and the first English translation. A copy of the original Spanish version is found in SANM I, Roll 38, fr. 764-66, and the first English translation is found on frames 823-24 of the same roll.

Transcription of the Testamento de Elena Gallegos:

Primera [first page]

En nombre de Dios todopoderoso y de la Reina/ bonturada siempre Virgen Maria y el Glorioso San/ Joseph su purrissimo esposo y  del Sto. Angel de mi guda. / y santa de mi nombre y los Santos Apostoles San/ Pedro y San Pablo y de mis santos i santas de    la/corte del cielo

Yo elena gallegos digo que creo/ leal y berdaderamente en el misterio de la santa/ Trinidad, Padre yjo i espiritu santo tress personas/ distintas y un solo Dios berdadero y asi mismo pro/testo que quiero bibir i morir confesando esta verda/ y todos los Articulos de la fee, y todo a quiso que/ cree I confiesa nuestra Sta. Me. Yglesia, y creo que/ jesu cxpto nuestro señor es autor de los sacramentos/ y quiero estar i estoi mui conforme con su volunta/ santissima=

Primeramente digo que si Dios Ntro./ Señor fuere servido de llebarme desta enfermeda/ para descargo de mi consiensia y salvar mi alma/ ago esta memoria testamento que es en la forma/ siguiente= Primera ………….[illegible due to a fold and ink blot in the document] mi alma/ a Dios que lo crio i redimio con su presiosa sangre/ y el cuerpo a la tierra de que fui formado=/

yten mando que si Dios ma llebare que mi cuerpo/ sean cortose [?] con el habito de mi Padre San franssco./

yten que---- [?] enterrado en la yglesia de mi paroquia/ desta Villa de Alburquerque junto a la pileta del agua/ sandita y pido se cumpla asi por amor de Dios=

yten/ que sea mi entiero con misa de cuerpo presente y bi/guitia y los de mas se fragios que dan  al Alb-trio [?] de/ mi Albasea=

Yten pido que mi entiero y funera/les sea con la mayor humilidad que yengo pedido/ por ser una pobre viuda+ Primeramente declaro/ que fui casada y velada con Santiago Gurule el/ tiempo de dose años en quello tiempo ubimos i pro/queamos un yjo el que se llama Antto. de Gurule/ al qual declaro por mi lexitimo heredero=

Yten/ declaro que cuando me case no tenia nada=/ Primeramente mando que se de a las mandos/ forsados seis pesos a las tres mandos I lo aparto/ de mis vienes+ Yten declaro por mi vienes/

Segunda [second page]

los cuales ube despues de casada entre yo i mi esposo/ que son los siguientes=

Primeramente este sitio/ y casa de mi morada con su asequia y labor/ segregando en el un pesado de tiera que di a/mi hero. Phlipe gallegos lo cual tiene lla-e/ñalado [one letter not decipherable] segun sus linderos como contara pr/ la donasion y esto asido compleno consentimi/ento de mi yjo=

Yten tengo trienta y dos resos de g-/ero ariba=

 Yten mas dos llantos de buellos aporados=/

Yten mas dose lleguas con su buro oficial y dos po/tros de dos años el uno i el otro de año=

Yten mas/ dos mulas la una severa i la otra de dos riendas= y mas un macho de fabsa [?] rienda=

Yten dos polle/ras de seda, un manto, una mantellina de roso/ un paño de reboso de seda, un corte de naguas de sar/ga= un aspulsoro [?] de corales, un relicario con sorqu/-llo [?] de plata una caja de michoacan, todo lo min/sionado es mi Ultima Volunta dejar solo a/ mi nieta manuela=

Yten declaro que todos/ los demas doy -- qu-- de pa---------dentro [writing obscured by crease in the original document] son de/ mi yjo a quien se le dejo como me lexitimo eredero/

Yten mando que se le den a mi hermano Phelipe/ gallegos tress lleguas i una mula de año quebrados/ y lo aparto de mis Vienes,

Yten declaro que es mi/ Ultima Volunta dejar i dijo a mi yjo Antto/ Gurule por mi lexitimo eredero Albasea testor/ y tenedor de mis vienes, y el suso dich asepto, y se con/formo al cumplimiento de todo lo ariva man/do dado

Yten mando que esta mi Ultima Volunta/se guarde y cumpla

Yten declaro que otro testam/ento que tengo yo echo el que al autoriso el Capn. tibur/sio de ortega lo reboco I anulo= y solos coste a este/ presente, y abiendo  lla declarando todos mis bi/enes i dependencias le suplico al Sr. Alcalde/ Mayor desta jurisdision ante ponga su autorida/ para que este mi testamento tenga la fuersa i bigor/ que se require y es fecho en primero de mayo de/

Tercera [third page]

Mill seteptesientos i treinta i un años i no firmo/ por no saver firmo a su ruego su hero. Phelipe ga/llegos,= En primero de mayo de mill septesi/entos i treinta i un años Yo el Capn. Juan Gonsales Bas Al/calde mayor y Capn. Agura [sic a guerra] desta dha Vill de San Phelipe/ de Alburquerque doi fe de averse otorgado este testamto./ anti mi con Jues Receptor con dos testigos [torn]/ y dos ynstrumentales a falta de escribano publico ni real/ que no lo ai en este reyno en dho dia mes y año ut supra/ a ruego de elena Gallegos= Phelipe gallegos= ante mi co/mo Jues reseptor Juan Gonsales Bas= Testigo de Assa. Joseph/ de quintana= Testigo de Assa. Phelipe gallegos/ Joseph montaño= Juan Griego=

The Last Will and Testament of Elena Gallegos, May 1, 1731:

The original translation is from the Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Series I, Roll 38, fr. 764-66. Here it is revised by José Antonio Esquibel.

[First Page]

In the name of God Almighty and the Blessed Queen, the Ever Virgin Mary, and the Glorious Saint Joseph, her most pure spouse, and of my Holy Guardian Angel, and the Saint of my name, and of the Holy Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, and other Saints of the Court of Heaven. I, Elena Gallegos, say that I believe loyally and truly in the Mystery of the Holy Trinity, Father, son and Holy Spirit, three distinct persons and one True God, and likewise I profess that I wish to live and die confessing this truth and all the articles of faith and all that which our Holy Mother Church believe and confesses, and I believe that Jesus Christ, Our Lord, is author of the Sacraments, and I want to be and I am very compliant to His Most Holy Will.

First, I say that if God, Our Lord, should be so pleased to take me by this illness in order to unburden my conscience and to save my soul, I make this testament which is in the following form: first, [illegible, but most likely reads: "I command"] my soul to God who created it and redeemed it with His precious blood, and the body to the earth from which it was formed. Item: I order that if God should take me that my body shall be shrouded in the habit of my Father Saint Francis. Item: That it be buried in the church of my parish of this Villa de Albuquerque. Next to the font of Holy Water, and I ask that this be done for the love of God. Item: That my burial be with a Mass and vigil with my body present, and that the other ceremonies be at the discretion of my executor. Item; I ask that my burial and funeral be of the most humility; that I demand this because I am a poor widow.

First: I declare that I was married and veiled with Santiago de Gurulé for the period of twelve years in which time we had and procreated one son who is named Antonio de Gurulé whom I declare as my legitimate heir. Item: I declare that when I was married I had nothing.

First: I direct that to the forced bequests there be given six pesos to the three bequests and I separate this from my possessions. Item: I declare possessions

[Second page]

that which I acquired after marriage between myself and my husband which are as follows: first, this tract of land and my dwelling house with its acequia (irrigation ditch) and cultivated land, segregating from it a piece of land that I give to my brother, Felipe Gallegos, which he has had set off to him according to its boundaries as it appears by the instrument of donation, and this was done with the full consent of my son. Item: I have thirty-two head of branded cattle. Item: Two yoke of oxen with their yokes. Item: Twelve mares, and two colts, one two years old and the other one year old. Item: Two mules, one "severa" [?] and the other of two reins ["de dos riendas"] and a male mule "de fabsa rienda" [?]. Item: Two silk petticoats, one cloak, one rose color "mantellina," one silk shawl, one dress pattern, some coral bracelets, one reliquary with silver frame, and one Michoacán chest. All that which is mentioned, it is my will to leave to my granddaughter, Manuela [María Manuela Gurulé, married 20 March 1737, Albuquerque, with Capitán Baltazar Griego, son of Juan Griego and Juliana Sáiz].

Item: I declare that all [the next line is not legible because most of the words are missing] they are to be my son's to whom I leave them as my legitimate heir. Item: I order that there be given to my brother, Felipe Gallegos, three mares and one yearling mule breaking two [years?], and I separate it from my possessions. Item: I declare that it is my last will to leave, and I do leave to my son, Antonio Gurulé as my legitimate heir, guardian and custodian of [my] possessions, and he accepted and confirmed to carrying out all that is ordered above. Item: I direct that this my last will be observed and carried out.

Item: I declare that another will that had I had made and which was authorized by Capitán Tiburcio de Ortega I revoke and annul it; only this present one shall stand. And, having set forth all my possessions and debts, I entreat the Alcalde Mayor of this jurisdiction to interpose his authority in order that this, my will and testament, will have the force and vigor that is required, and it is made on the first of May of [third page begins here] one thousand seven hundred and thirty-one years, and she did not sign because she did not know how, and her brother, Felipe Gallegos, signed at her request. On the first day of May of the year one

[Third page]

thousand seven hundred and thirty-one, I, the Capitán Juan González Bas, Alcalde Mayor and War Capitán of the said Villa de San Felipe de Albuquerque give faith that this testament was executed before me as Juez Receptor with two assisting witnesses and two instrumental witnesses in the absence of a public or royal notary, there being none in this kingdom, and on the present paper because the stamped paper is not currently available in this kingdom, on the said day, month and year ut supra. At the request of Elena Gallegos, Phelipe Gallegos= before me as Juez Receptor, Juan Gonsales Bas= Assisting witness, Joseph de Quintana=Assisting witness, Phelipe Gallegos, [and] Joseph Montaño=Juan Griego=

This is in agreement with the original from which I, the Capitán Juan Gonsales Bas, Alcalde Mayor and War Capitán of this Villa de Albuquerque, had literally copied, and it is corrected, examined and compared with the original to which I refer, and José de Quintana and Pedro Lucero were present when it was made, and they signed it as witnesses on the sixth day of the month of February of the year one thousand seven hundred and thirty-two.

In testimony to the truth, I set my usual signature and rubric. Juan Gonsález Bas (rubric). Assisting witness, Joseph de Quintana [rubric]. Assisting witness, Josephe Montaño [rubric].

Researcher: José Antonio Esquibel

Sources: Fray Angélico Chávez, O.F.M. The Origins of New Mexico families in the Spanish Colonial Period in Two Parts (ONMF), 1954 [Reprint Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1996]; Fray Angélico Chávez, "New Mexico Roots, Ltd." (NMR). 11 vols. Santa Fe, unpublished, 1981; Archdiocese of the Archive of New Mexico, Diligencias Matrimoniales, DM 1699, no. 8, Bernalillo, San Felipe; Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Series I (SANM I), Roll 38, frs. 764-66, and 822-24.

Information courtesy of José Antonio Esquibel, from the website, Beyond Origins of New Mexico Families.