Isabel de Tolosa Cortés de Moctezuma

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Isabel de Tolosa Cortés de Moctezuma

Birthdate:
Death: Died in Pánuco, Reino de Nueva Galicia, Reino de Nueva España
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Capitán Juan de Tolosa and Leonor Cortés de Moctezuma
Wife of Juan de Oñate Salazar
Mother of Cristóbal de Oñate Salazar and María de Oñate y Tolosa Cortés Moctezuma
Sister of Leonor de Tolosa Cortés de Moctezuma and Juan de Tolosa Cortés de Moctezuma, II

Managed by: Ric Dickinson
Last Updated:

About Isabel de Tolosa Cortés de Moctezuma

Dona Isabel de Tolosa Cortés de Moctezuma (1568- 1619/1620), was a wealthy Mexican heiress and the wife of conqueror and explorer Don Juan de Onate who led an expedition in 1598 and founded the first Spanish settlement in what is now the state of New Mexico. She was the grandaughter of Spanish explorer and conquistador Hernan Cortés, and the great-granddaughter of Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II.

Background and marriage

Dona Isabel was a castiza of mixed Basque, Spanish and Aztec Indian ancestry, born in Mexico City, New Spain in 1568, a daughter of Spanish-born Basque Juan de Tolosa and Leonor Moctezuma Cortés. Her mother was the illegitimate daughter of Spanish explorer and conqueror of Mexico, Hernan Cortés by his mistress Tecuichpotzin (baptised Isabel), the eldest daughter of Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II.

Isabel's father was a wealthy Basque mine owner who had discovered the silver mines at Zacatecas in 1546. She had a brother, Juan, and several sisters; one of whom was Leonor de Tolosa Cortés de Moctezuma who married Cristobal de Zaldivar, and others who were nuns in Seville, Spain.

In 1588 in Panuco, Zacatecas, Isabel married Don Juan de Oñate, a Mexican of Spanish Basque ancestry and a noted Indian fighter in New Spain. This marriage to the wealthy Isabel, gave him much prestige. Together they had a son and daughter:

Cristobal de Naharriondo Perez Oñate y Cortés Moctezuma (c.1589- 1610), married Maria Gutierrez del Castillo, by whom he had one son, Juan. From 1608 to 1610, he ruled as the first elected Governor in the New Spain province of Santa Fe de Nuevo México.

Maria de Oñate y Cortés Moctezuma (born 1590/1594), on 17 August 1616, married her cousin Sergeant Major Vicente de Zaldivar Oñate Mendoza, by whom she had issue.

In 1595, Isabel's husband was ordered by King Philip II of Spain to colonise the upper Rio Grande valley. Isabel remained behind in Zacatecas when her husband led the expedition in 1598 to what is now the state of New Mexico, and founded the first Spanish settlement in the region. Her son, Cristobal, aged about nine, accompanied his father. Her husband claimed all of New Mexico beyond the Rio Grande for Spain, and was the first colonial governor in the New Spain province of Santa Fe de Nuevo México; however, in 1608 their son Cristobal actually became the first elected governor.

Isabel died on an unknown date in about 1619 or 1620 at Panuco, Zacatecas. Her husband died in 1626 in Spain.

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Isabel de Tolosa Cortés de Moctezuma's Timeline

1568
1568
1588
1588
Age 20
Pánuco, Reino de Nueva Galicia, Reino de Nueva España
1589
1589
Age 21
Mexico City, Reino de México, Reino de Nueva España
1598
1598
Age 30
Pánuco, Reino de Nueva Galicia, Reino de Nueva España
1620
1620
Age 52
Pánuco, Reino de Nueva Galicia, Reino de Nueva España