by Danny Villarreal WEBJEFE
!!!!!!Discover the world of our past!!!!!!
This page is for all who share this surname and our proud heritage. If your not a Villarreal check it out anyway you might learn something.
The Villarreal surname is a Noble and very old surname its lineage is very well extended throughout the entire Iberian Peninsula. There are several different casas solares in Aragon, Castilla, Pais Vasco y La Rioja. There were only a handful of Villarreal families that entered the New World during and after the conquest. There is also a large concentration of this surname in Argentina. This web page is an attempt to document all of these men and women so that all with this surname can have a starting or ending point for your ancestral search. Y-DNA testing has helped us determine which family group we belong to. The most dominat family group is the Northern Mexico and Southwestern USA family. This area has the largest surname population even larger than Spain. This groups common ancestor is Diego de Villarreal. This family may be related to the Villarreal family from Mexico City, Guadalajara, Zacatecas, Saltilo, Durango and Monterrey, Mexico. Only DNA testing of people from Mexico will verify this.
Villarreal family Coat of Arms
There were many Casas de Villarreal, all over Spain. The oldest known is Joan de Arieiseta from Regil Guipuzcoa, Spain Villarreal who left Regil, Guipuzcoa, after his marriage in 1438 and established a home in Villarreal de Alava . It was after this towns name that his desendants took the surname Villarreal de Areiceta. Some members family settled in the Zacatecas, Guadalajara and Mexico City. We do not know if the Northern Mexico Family from Saltillo , Monterrey and Durango are from this family.
Genealogy of the Family / Genologia de la familia Villarreal
CLICK ON TREE NEXT TO THE NAME TO GO TO INDIVIDUAL WEB FAMILY CARDS
Our Journey to the New World
Click below to Navigate through Links:
After you have been to an area click arrows to return back to these tables.
Don Diego de Villarreal (Most of our roots start here)
Cristobal & Francisco Villarreal (Diego's Sons)
Villarreal Ranches in relation to my own family Hidalgo County Tx.(Photos)
My Longoria Genealogy Tree Page (My Longoria Roots)
Ciudad Real Spain (Home of many New World Villarreal families 400 Years ago)
Mi famiila !!! Meet my family
|Nuevo Santander colonists||List of Passengers to the Americas|
Hispanic Family Genealogy Sites
Borderlands History (Good Information)
Pedro T. Rodriguez's genealogy page (Camargo Roots)
Tejasjj's Universe great page
|Descendents of Don Juan Perez de Onate||Descendents of Captain Francisco Baez de Benavides|
|Garza Genealogy||Cisneros Genealogy|
Genealogy friends and Villarreal Links
Harlingen Texas (My hometown)
SOME FAMILY MEMBERS ARE LONGHORNS
Jewish Origins ?
Oral History tells stories of Jewish Origins for some Villarreal families in Spain but for our Mexico family there is no actual proof. DNA testing of Villarreal family members show East African roots. Most recent indications are that genetically we may be from the Berber people or North Africa. Many people have different stories. What have you heard does your oral history reflect Jewish roots. Lets find out, if you know Id like to include it in this web page.
THE ARRIVAL OF THE VILLARREALES
TO THE NEW WORLD
THEIR CHARACTER AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Meeting of Cortez and Moctezuma
THEY CAME AS WARRIORS AND SETTLERS
During the period in which they arrived into the new World the Spanish had just finished the Crusades and the Moors had been driven out of Spain now it was the Jews whom were given the option of converting or leaving. Spain had just been united by the marriage of Isabel of Castille and Ferdinand of Aragon. Spain was not at war within its boundaries and the time for exploration was ripe. A class of people emerged that for hundreds of years had earned its respect from the crown by proving themselves in many battles and now that the wars were over the Crown sought out new lands for these loyal subjects to be rewarded with. They had earned the title Hijosdalgo, and along with that they were given all the opportunities that came with that title. They were the Nobelmen of the New World. Because they were the first Conquistadores and Pobladores of the new world their ancestors would share in the rewards of Land Grants and many other opportunities awarded to these select few. These people set out to the New World to seek their fortunes and because of their dedication and strong will, they succeeded.
this is a list of a few of the Villarreal Conquistadores for more information click here
Villarreal arrived with Cortez was given the duty of being the tutor to Cortez's son
Villarreal family member Anton Villarreal came from Spain in 1521 he served in the Military under Pedro de Alvarado and Guzman, he took part in the conquest of Mexico until 1529 and was part of the pacification of Nueva Galacia (Coahulia), he settled in Saltillo.
Juan de Villarreal came from Abenojar, Ciduad Real, to Mexico about 1533 bringing his wife and children. He was living in Pueblo in 1547. They were the sons of Rodrigo Villarreal and Beatriz Alvarez or Alonzo.
Lope de Villarreal , from Almodovar del Campo, Cidudad Real, came to Mexico in 1534. He was the son of Juan Villarreal and Mariana Gonzalez.
Diego de Villarreal from Cidudad Real, arrived in the New World in 1538 and joined up with Pedro de Alvardo in Guatemala. He was the son of Pedro Villarreal and Juana Diaz. Many of Alvarados men ended up in Nueva Galacia (Coahulia ). His brother Francisco de Villarreal came over at the same time. They probably operated together in those early years. (He Settled In Saltillo)
Diego de Villarreal served with the conquistador Francisco de Montejo. He participated in the conquest of the Yucatan which officially lasted from 1526 to 1546. The Conquistadors met bitter resistance from the Maya. (It is not known if it is the same Diego as above although Pedro de Alvarado did meet up with Montejo)
Many of the soldiers who accompanied Guzman later were the colonizers of the Province's of Coahulia, and Nuevo Leon and their descendants became the Colonizers of Nuevo Santander, later known as South Texas and Tamaulipas (North Eastern Mexico).
Juan de Villarreal from: Agudo, served with the Captain Francisco Vazquez de Coronado. The expedition set out for New Mexico and Arizona but made it as far north as Kansas from 1540 to 1542. He was Alcalde of Guadalajara in 1544 where he settled with his wife. Member of the order of Calatrava.
Don Diego de Villa Real
Captain Diego de Villarreal was born in 1601, in San Miguel el Grande (de Allende), Guanajuato, It is believed that he was the son of Francisco Villarreal, who was a resident of the town of Saltillo. According to a book Silent Heritage by Richard Santos, the parish priest of Saltillo once complained to the inquisition about Don Diego whom he described as riding a horse, wearing silk clothing and jewelry even though those privileges were denied by law to a descendant of parents who had been converted from Judiasm to catholicism as adults. My research has not uncovered this document. Only a document from a descendant of a political enemy of the Villarreal family, but this involved accusations about a Villarreal clergyman.
Diego was recorded as a witness in Nuevo Leon in 1613. In 1625 he was a Lieutenant in charge of troops and dedicated himself to mining. In a later declaration he stated that he took the job of Lieutenant when Governor Zavala took over in 1626. Diego patrolled the frontier out of Monterrey and Cerralvo. He was later named Captain. He founded the Hacienda de Minas de la Magdalena en el Real de las Salinas, in 1627, whereby giving birth to the actual Villa de Abasolo, Nuevo Leon.
He was head of the first town council of Cerralvo in 1638. He was elected Mayor of Cerralvo in 1644. In 1645 he was also named Chief Justice "del nuevo descubrimiento del Real de Limpia Concepcion y minas de la Caldera". In 1647 he was accused by Francisco Baez Benavides of (Entropecer las Labores Mineras) and of mistreating the Indians. He participated in the war against the Orames (Indians ) which invaded Coahuila.
Such important positions would indicate that he was already a man of standing when Zavala arrived. He became one of the most affluent and powerful men of the Realm of Nuevo Leon, Just a step below Bernabe de Las Casas (His Father in Law) and Blas de la Garza. However he was younger than Don Bernabe and had no large financial backing when he came in, so he came to bloom a little later than they did. Diego Married Beatriz de Las Casas Navarro, daughter of Don Bernabe, by these means and coupled with his own considerable ability he got his backing in 1654. For many years he had holdings in the Valley of the Salinas, Diego operated a silver mine "for the benefit of the King and himself." In May of 1654 he made a request for a grant. The holdings he had previously could have been from the estate of Don Bernabe, but he must have had some capital of his own when he came into Nuevo Leon.
Diego purchased from his sister in law Juliana the mines el puesto de Chipinque he is known as having founded the town of El Carmen, Nuevo León. This was located in the Valle of Salinas.
He maintained, at his own expense, a force of men whose job it was to protect his holdings and those of his neighbors. The men were always ready, with horses saddled and their gear in place so they could respond quickly. He was always ready to help others as demonstrated by his support of Maria Cantu and her orphan children after she was driven out of the Rio Blanco country by the Indians at the death of her Husband Don Diego de Hinojosa.
There were other Villarreales in the New World, but the men mentioned above were probably his ancestors. It is anybody's guess which of the four it might have been. But these men were all stable, prosperous settlers, and brothers always had a better chance of survival and advancement than the lone individual.
So much for speculation. There is no mention of any other Villarreal in Nuevo Leon in that first half of the 1600's. As the family became so well represented in numbers in the region, it becomes interesting to see how that came about. It is my opinion that his father was Francisco de Villarreal. A list of the children of Don Diego and Dona Beatriz points the way.
In the Journals of Alonso de Leon the Leadership of Diego as a Loyal and trusted Subject of the crown , was many times mentioned. In 1638 Diego Villarreal is mentioned as the first Procurador General of the town of Cerralvo, in 1643 Governor Don Martin de Zavala of the province of Coahuila named Captain Diego de Villarreal Mayor and War Captain of a mining Outpost which was being threatened by a neighboring Governor of the province of Viscaya, The governor of Viscaya is described as the richest and greediest man in the world. The governor of Viscaya with the influence of the mayor of Saltillo had been moved by a rumor that in Coahuila the lost mines of Castano had been found. This quickly fueled the Governors ambition and love for riches and he immediately appointed Captain Mateo de Arredondo as Mayor and War Captain for this new outpost , this outpost was not even in the Jurisdiction of the governor of Viscaya , this was why Governor Zavala appointed Captain Villarreal to this position and gave him orders to arrest captain Arredondo and take over his position as Mayor and War Captain. Captain Villarreal carried out his orders and Governor Zavala sent for reinforcements to back up Villarreal the Governor of Viscaya did the same and in order to keep the peace he ordered Captain Arredondo released. Both governors sent their complaints to Mexico City and for four years not a single ounce of silver was mined from this desolate outpost. This outpost was the mines of Salinas where Diego settled with his family, Diego later mined the silver for the King and for himself, it was from here that the Villarreales would emerge as one of the most influential and respected families in the Northern frontiers of New Spain. Diego and his family settled in an area north of Monterrey now known as Salinas Victoria.
Diego's sons Captain Cristobal and brother Francisco De Villarreal had first seen the Rio Grande Valley when they accompanied Alonso De Leon on explorations of the Gulf Coast to the Nueces River in 1686 to 1690 in search of the settlement of Robert Cavelier Sieur De La Salle, a Frenchman who had established a settlement Fort St. Louis near Matagorda Bay in Texas.
THE JOURNEYS OF CRISTOBAL AND FRANCISCO VILLARREAL
WITH ALONSO DE LEON INTO TEXAS
IN SEARCH OF THE FRENCH SETTLEMENT FORT SAINT LOUIS
In the year 1689 the Indians of the north were raising havoc among the settlements of Coahulia and Nuevo Leon so both Governors mustered up their finest and most experienced soldiers in order to pacify the region. They made two expeditions against the enemy with much success. And going out on the third one to wind up the resistance that was offered them, they got word from the other side of the Rio Grande that at a distance of some one hundred and twenty miles there was a Frenchman in a large Indian camp and that the Indians thought very highly of him. With this notice a decision was made to go with only eighteen men. These men were picked to the satisfaction of the governor and after six days they reached the Indian camp that was seventy five miles beyond the Rio Grande . They held an offensive position and the Governor entered with a General Mendiondo and a priest Buenaventura Bonal. The rest of his men remained on horseback. They went into the habitation, notwithstanding that there were over six hundred Indians in the camp and forty two of them on guard with arms in their hands.
In the most spacious of the tents, that were formed out of Buffalo hides, they found the Frenchman and two Indians were fanning him and others were cleaning his face. The Frenchman seeing the priest dropped to his knees and kissed the hem of the Priest's habit. He then made a courtly bow to the Governor and the General. The Spaniards brought out gifts of clothing knives and tobacco so that the Frenchman could distribute among the Indians, which he did. The governor told him to tell the Indians he was going with the Spaniards. He resisted at first and the Indians did likewise. Not withstanding, the pressure they got him on a horse, and hit the trail back to the force, accompanied by many Indians from the camp. The Indians were discontented about being taken away but in spite they reached the settlements in Coahuila. When they reached Coahulia with the prisoner, he was questioned, he stated that there was a french settlement in the bay of Espritu Santo he said that the settlement had been there for some fifteen years , that there was a castle on the far side of the river and a smaller one on this side. He claimed that the larger on had twenty pieces of artillery and that the smaller one was protected by muskets, which were of the Flemish type. He stated that the settlement had four streets and that there were six companies of soldiers that they had priests and that there were three vessels that traded between the post and France and that they had plantings of corn, tobacco, wheat as well as sugarcane and many cattle. He stated that he was sent to live among the Indians in order to win their alliance for France and that he was frequently visited by his comrades. He was questioned quite extensively in Monterrey and then handed over to the General Mendiondo and sent to Mexico city for further questioning.
The eighteen men who followed Governor de Leon across the Rio Grande to get the Frenchman deserve to be remembered: Besides Don Martin de Mendiondo there were seventeen more, some of the Nuevo Leon Company and some from the residents of Coahuila. They are as follows:
Nuevo Leon Company
Juan de la Garza
Lorenzo de la Garza
Tomas de la Garza
Alonso de Leon the third
Antonio Montes de Oca
AMONG THESE MEN MANY OF THEIR DESCENDANTS WOULD COLONIZE THE RIO GRANDE SETTLEMENTS IN TEXAS. THEY ALSO WERE AMONG THE FIRST EUROPEANS TO MAP AND DOCUMENT THE AREA BETWEEN THE RIO GRANDE AND THE NUECES RIVERS IN TEXAS AND BEYOND. THEY WERE ALSO RESPONSIBLE FOR NAMING THE TEXAS RIVERS AS WE KNOW THEM TODAY. ON DE LEONS 5TH EXPEDITION THEY DELIBERATELY LEFT HORSES AND CATTLE AT EVERY RIVER CROSSING , THUS STARTING THE HERDS OF WILD CATTLE IN TEXAS AND THE HERDS OF WILD MUSTANGS THAT WOULD BECOME A WESTERN LEGEND.
FRANCISCO AND CRISTOBAL VILLARREAL SONS OF DIEGO
Francisco and Cristobal had a very close relationship. They rode together into Texas with Alonso de Leon and were among his picked men. They also owned a large hacienda that they apparently held in partnership. It is told that the holdings, in Northwest Nuevo Leon or North east Coahuila, are still referred to or named The Ranch of Francisco and Cristobal. As Don Francisco married Ursula de Ysaguirre in 1673 at an early age for a Spanish male and died so young at thirty five and left a house of small children, it is likely that Don Cristobal took charge and reared the orphans and kept the holdings as a joint venture in memory of the brother to whom he was so close. Naturally his own children and the nephews would continue to perpetuate the feeling. Thus the lasting name of the Ranch Francisco and Cristobal, two hundred years afterwards. Note: the intermixing of the prominent families. Don Diego and Beatriz had either as in-laws of their children or grandchildren at least nineteen de la Garzas, ten Trevinos, and five Cantus. These same families make up the Nuevo Leon Company.
THE 2ND JOURNEY OF CAPTAIN CRISTOBAL VILLARREAL IN 1689
WITH GOVERNOR DE LEON INTO TEXAS
TO FIND THE FRENCH SETTLEMENT
THEIR EXPLORATIONS OF THE BAY OF ESPRITU SANTO
"THE FIRST OF THE RACE" BY FREDRIC REMINGTON
This Journey was one of the most significant Journeys into Texas, it not only found the French settlement but it was on this expedition that most of the Eastern Texas Coastline was mapped, explored and the journey in which the Texas rivers were named. From the information received from the French prisoner and from eyewitness reports, the Spanish government resolved on another expedition. Alonso de Leon was chosen to head this expedition with 100 paid hand picked men. In the party were fifty soldiers of five presidios of New Vizcaya and the other fifty were from the New Realm of Leon. His excellency to pay for this expedition, issued eighty loads of flour, steers and other things from the Royal Storehouses. Along with these soldiers was the French prisoner, twelve herders, thirteen servants, seven hundred and twenty animals, horses, mules steers and three loads of clothes and other things to give the Indians. Nearly a month later the french settlement was reached it was found to be abandoned and the remains of Men women and children were found strewn about. The conclusion was that the settlement had been attacked by the very Indians whom they were friends with. The bones were gathered up and buried with a mass sung. The settlement consisted of a small fort made of lumber and six houses. They had been plundered of the furnishings and over two hundred books in the french language had been torn up. The Indians had not only destroyed the homes and furnishings but had destroyed all the arms found inside, including more than 200 stands of arcabuses. These had been broken from the barrel over artillery pieces. The settlement was in a location to defend against any kind of enemy. Close to the settlements there was a cultivated area where stalks of maize had been planted and were still standing. After two days at the settlement De Leon proceeded to explore the bay and the surrounding area. They explored some twenty four miles of coast line and found the remains of numerous shipwrecks as well as seeing a lost vessel in the bay whose hull was still visible from shore. They found canoes and also discovered the great River which they named the San Marcos. It was learned that four Frenchmen whom had been hunting while the attack took place had gone to live further north with the Tejas Indians, word was sent to them that the Spaniards were at the settlements and to come back with the Europeans, and they would be allowed to return safely. After many days wait the Frenchmen returned and joined the Spanish explorers on their return to civilization.
After months in the saddle, riding the half wild horses that made up the horse herds, and wearing coats of chain mail day after day, sleeping out without any kind of protection, eating the food of the camp, and facing strange tribes of Indians, stampede of horses, crossing large rivers, and putting up with the many discomforts of the camp, the Captain Cristobal returned to his ranch with many stories and adventures which you and I can only read about in the History books of Northern Mexico. Very little recognition of these men was ever given in Texas History books yet their spirit was what made Texas ready for later generations to continue future explorations.
THE TEXAS COLONIZATION PERIOD
ITS EARLY SETTLERS AND THEIR HISTORY
"NORTHERN MEXICO CATTLEMAN 1740" BY JOSE CISNEROS
The Villarreales were recruited by Spanish colonizer and Governor of the province of Nuevo Santander Jose De Escandon in 1745, to become first settlers of the new Colony, since they were already adjusted to the climate and knew the terrain of this region, having lived in the Monterrey, and Saltillo area some 100 years before.
The history of the colonization of South Texas and its original colonists is a story that is very different than that of the rest of the state since the area south of the Nueces River to the Rio Grande River was never a part of the Republic of Texas. This area was disputed territory between the Texas and Mexican government, and the local settlers were always loyal to Mexico.The history of this area began long before Mexico became Mexico. It was in 1747 to 1749 that colonization began. Our ancestors were part of what was the first great land rush that took place in the present day United States. For many years the Spaniards had claimed these vast expanses of cactus and mesquite thickets where many Indian tribes roamed as well as herds of cattle, horses and a very large population of wild animals.
Of the 23 settlements established by Governor Escandon, Reynosa was founded on March 14, 1745 with forty Spanish families from Cerralvo, Cadereyta, El Pilon, Sabinas Pesqueria Grande, and Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. The Villarreal families settled in both Camargo and Reynosa. This family was among the first to settle on the North Bank of the Rio Grande River along with the Garza, Coy, Solis, Falcon, Gonzalez, and Perez families, all of whom had been given permission many years before the establishment of ranches. Their improvements had been made with the understanding that when the time came for property division, their houses, pastures and fields would be deeded over to them.