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MascareƱas-Acostas Family of New Mexico: Maternal Genealogy

By Robert D. Martínez

On 7 June 1693, José Bernardo Mascareñas married María de Acosta, daughter of Nicolas Acosta, in Mexico City.[1] From this record, the paternal line of the Mascareñas family was traced back to Lisbon, Portugal in the early 1600s.[2] However, up to this point the origins of the Acosta family have been unknown. While researching for Mascareñas maternal ancestors, the following document was located in the Mexico City church records[3]:

Maria   
En Primero de Febrero de mil seiscientos y setenta años con licencia del Cura Semenario Baptise a Maria, hija de Nicolas de Acosta y de Francisca del Castillo; fue su Madrina doña Luisa Camacho  
   
Juan de Quebedo [rubrica]  
Bachiller Antonio de Elorsa [rubrica]  
   
María  
On the first of February of 1670 with license from the weekly priest, I baptized María, daughter of Nicolas de Acosta and Francisca del Castillo; her godmother was doña Luisa Camacho  
   
Juan de Quebedo  
Antonio de Elorsa  
   

From this record we learn Maria was born in 1670 and therefore was twenty three years old when she married José Bernardo Mascareñas.

This record lead to a search for a marriage record for Nicolas de Acosta and Francisca del Castillo. With this information, the record was found[4]:

En 23 <de marzo 1664>  
Francisca del Castillo, mestiza, natural y vesina desta ciudad, hija de Juan de Cornexo y de Josepha del Castillo  
Con  
Nicolas de Acosta, natural y vesino desta ciudad, hijo de Baltasar de Acosta y de Luisa de la Vega  
   
On 23 <March 1664>  
Francisca del Castillo, mestiza, native and resident of this city, daughter of Juan de Cornejo and Josefa del Castillo  
With  
Nicolas de Acosta, native and resident of this city, son of Baltasar de Acosta and Luisa de la Vega  

This document reveals the grandparents of María de Acosta. Her paternal grandparents were Baltasar de Acosta and Luisa de la Vega; and her maternal grandparents were Juan de Cornejo and Josefa del Castillo. Also, Francisca del Castillo, María’s mother, was mestiza, or half Spanish and half Native American.

It was not uncommon in Spanish society for siblings from one family to marry siblings from another family. While marriage records for Juan de Cornejo and Josefa del Castillo, as well as Baltasar de Acosta and Luisa de Vega, have proven to be elusive, the practice of siblings marrying siblings as demonstrated in the following marriage record gives some clues as to the origins of the Acosta and Vega families of Mexico City[5]:

En 20 <de enero 1649>  
Joseph de Acosta, natural desta ciudad, hijo de Baltasar de Acosta y de Geronima Gutierres  
Con  
Teresa Ballesteros de la Vega, natural desta dicha ciudad, hija de Miguel Lopes de Villareal y de Mariana de la Vega  
   
José de Acosta, native of this city, son of Baltasar de Acosta and Gerónima Gutiérrez  
With  
Teresa Ballesteros de la Vega, native of this city, daughter of Miguel López de Villareal and Mariana de la Vega  

Given the name of José de Acosta’s father, Baltasar de Acosta, it is logical he would have a son named the same. Therefore, Baltasar de Acosta, father of Nicolas de Acosta, is certainly the son of Baltasar de Acosta and Geronima Gutierrez, and the brother of Joseph de Acosta.

Furthermore, the similar and not too common surname of Vega, Teresa Ballesteros de la Vega is likely the sister of Luisa de la Vega, wife of Baltasar de Acosta, and mother of Nicolas de Acosta. If so, Luisa’s parents are Miguel López de Villareal and Mariana de la Vega.

The following record was also located in the baptismal record book for Spaniards in Mexico City. It is the baptism of Luisa de la Vega, wife of Baltasar de Acosta[6]:

13 Abril 1608  
Luisa  Y en treze de abril de <1>608 a<ño>s baptise a Luisa, hija de Miguel López y de Mariana de Vallesteros, su mujer fueron sus pad<ri>nos J<ua>n de Valencia y Helena de los Reyes  
El D<oct>or Lucas Lóp<e>z de Villanea [rubrica]  
Luisa  
Luisa, daughter of Miguel López and Mariana de Ballesteros, his wife  
Godparents: Juan de Valencia and Elena de los Reyes  
Doctor Lucas López de Villanea [rubric]  

This record shows María de la Vega using the Ballesteros surname, connecting her to Teresa Ballesteros de la Vega.

While a marriage record for Miguel López de Villareal and María Ballesteros de la Vega has yet to be located, below is the marriage record for Baltasar de Acosta and Gerónima Gutiérrez, the likely parents of Baltasar de Acosta, father of Nicolas de Acosta[7]:

Baltasar  
En diez y ocho de marzo de mille qui<nient>os y noventa yo el bachiller Luis Lopez cura de Acosta y beneficiado de <e>sta parroquia despose por palabras de presente a Baltasar de Acosta  
Y a  
Geronima Gutierrez siendo testigos el do<c>t<o>r Diego de Villalobos y Juan  
Dominguez y Felipe de Sobranes y G<on>zalo Hernandez  
El beneficiado  
Luis Lopez [rubrica]  
   
Baltasar  
On the eighteenth of March of 1590, I Bach. Luis Lopez, priest and  
Beneficiary of this parish deposed with words of the present Baltasar  
de Acosta and Gerónima Gutiérrez, the witnesses were doctor Diego de  
Villalobos, Juan Domínguez, Felipe de Sobranes and Gonzalo Hernández  
The Beneficiary  
Luís López [rubrica]  

Further research must be conducted to confirm and clarify relational lines between these families and generations. This promising lead shows María de Acosta, wife of José Bernardo Mascareñas, was the daughter of Nicolas de Acosta and Francisca del Castillo. Francisca del Castillo was a mestiza and the daughter of Juan de Cornejo and Josefa del Castillo. Nicolas de Acosta was the son of Baltasar de Acosta and Luisa de la Vega. Baltasar de Acosta is likely the son of Baltasar de Acosta and Gerónima Gutiérrez, and Luisa de la Vega was the daughter of Miguel López de Villareal and Mariana de la Vega Vallesteros.

Notes:


[1]. José Antonio Esquibel and John B. Colligan, The Spanish Recolonization of New Mexico: An Account of the Families Recruited at Mexico City in 1693 (Albuquerque, NM: Hispanic Research Center of New Mexico, 1999), pg. 259.

[2]. Esquibel and Colligan, pp. 257-260.

[3]. Baptismal record for María, daughter of Nicolas de Acosta and Francisca del Castillo, 1 February 1670, Mexico City, Asuncion Sagrario Metropolitano, Bautismos de Españoles 1663 – 1674, LDS #0035173, Image 624.

[4]. Marriage record for Francisca del Castillo and Nicolas de Acosta, 23 March 1664, Mexico City, Asuncion Sagrario Metropolitano, Informacion Matrimonial 1653 – 1693, LDS #0035255, Image 216.

[5]. Marriage record for José de Acosta and Teresa Ballesteros de la Vega, 20 January 1649, Mexico City, Asuncion Sagrario Metropolitano, Informacion Matrimonial 1624 – 1652, LDS #0035254, Image 675.

[6]. Baptismal record for Luisa, daughter of Miguel López and Mariana de Ballesteros, 13 April 1608, Mexico City, Asuncion Sagrario Metropolitano, Bautismos de Españoles, 1590 – 1611, LDS #0035168, Image 547.

[7]. Marriage record for Baltasar de Acosta and Gerónima Gutiérrez, 18 March 1590, Santa Catarina Virgen y Martir, Matrimonios 1589-1639, 1664-1671, LDS #0036027,  Image 16.

Robert D. Martínez